Baby, baby, I’d rather, I’d rather go blind
Than to see your red arrows, see your red arrows haunt me
I’d almost rather go blind than suffer the horrible fate of our beloved Fantasy Premier League’s (FPL) red arrows. But alas, such things are bound to happen and are best dealt with by shedding a single tear of sorrow and diving into further FPL research. So, All Things FPL (ATFPL) presents the Gameweek 13 preview and its captain picks, heavy hitters, clean sheets, punts, and the big ol’ rumbling gut.
Currently third in the captain poll, Ángel Di María offers fantastic potential for Gameweek 13. United face Hull at Old Trafford for the first of six favourable fixtures that Louis van Gaal is targeting to turn around Manchester United’s season. Statistically, Di María is the soundest choice with 7.4 points per game at home this season, a number fully justified by the 4.0 goal attempts and 3.6 key passes. Add to that Hull’s propensity to concede shots away from home—fourth worst in the league—and the Argentinian is the Foreplay’s captain of choice.
Called “one of the five best players in the world” by Manuel Pellegrini, Sergio “Kun” Agüero is living up to the hype with his performances this season—his latest magic being a hattrick against Bayern Munich. Despite not scoring against Swansea he had seven goal attempts (most for Gameweek 12) and continues to be City’s prime Fantasy target. The question this Gameweek is whether the impressive Southampton defence will be able to contain the 17 goal striker—a tough task indeed.
Diego Costa’s injury lay-off didn’t slow him down as he’s hit two goals in three games since returning to action. Although having half the goal attempts of Agüero (32 vs 64), all but three attempts have been in the box and over two thirds have been on target—again only second to Agüero. Chelsea play away from home against Sunderland who, despite hovering around the relegation places, are conceding few big chances per game, the types of chances Costa buries with regularity. The same applies to Costa as Agüero this Gameweek, both are generally sound picks with question marks surrounding the fixture.
Chelsea’s midfield trio is looking more attractive by the week. Eden Hazard is outrageously talented, easiest on the eye, and arguably has the highest Fantasy potential; Cesc Fàbregas is consistency personified, having drawn only three blanks and outscoring Costa six times this season; and Oscar is a fine differential playing in behind Costa. Having one is recommended, if not essential, and who you choose depends on your strategy; however, Fàbregas must be considered the safest pick.
Arsenal, in direct contrast with Chelsea, offer only one viable midfield Fantasy option at this point in time in the Alexis Sánchez. Unlucky not to pick up points against last Gameweek after four goal attempts and seven key passes against Manchester United, the tenacious Chilean could benefit from the return of Olivier Giroud to Arsenal’s lineup, as point out in the last edition of What We Learned.
Swansea’s attacking partnership of Wilfried Bony and Gylfi Sigurðsson is serving the Wales outfit well. The Swans have four home games in the next six fixtures, starting with Crystal Palace in Gameweek 13, so now is a good time to invest. Bony, a feature of this week’s Differentials, has five goals in his last six appearances and ranks well in shots on target and goal attempts at home. Sigurðsson’s limited goal threat (15 goal attempts) is offset by his eighth placed ranking in key passes—a fine placing, especially given his starting price of 6.0 million.
Christian Eriksen just about squeezes into the Heavy Hitters with Tottenham’s home game against Everton. The Dane is Spurs’s best player this season and compares favourably with Sigurðsson with a similar amount of key passes, a larger goal involvement, and more than double the goal attempts (15 vs 35), although they both have eight shots on target. He’s your best bet if you want to go for a Tottenham player.
Wayne Rooney is included due to surprisingly placing second in the Gameweek 13 captain poll and a fine performance against Arsenal last Gameweek. However, as pointed out in the Weekend Numbers, he has just one shot on target in the last three Gameweeks reflecting his deeper position and willingness to help out the midfield.
Burnley’s Danny Ings and QPR’s Charlie Austin are competing for the mantle of best budget forward option and both need to be fit and firing for their teams to stay in the Premier League this season. Ings’s brace against Stoke came as no surprise to Fantasy readers with an eye on the numbers as he’s produced 20 goal attempts in the last six Gameweeks, fourth among forwards during the period.
Austin’s blank last Gameweek could be a minor blip as the forward has shown he can score against the best of them with goals in at home against Manchester City and in away games against Chelsea and Southampton as well as home strikes against struggling Sunderland and Aston Villa.
Olivier Giroud’s instant impact in his introduction against Manchester United last Gameweek had Arsenal fans wondering what if he had been fit for Arsenal’s dire run of form. Although not a world beater, he’s a fine player and Arsenal’s best finisher with 16 goals and nine assists last season. He’ll get plenty of chances with Sanchez buzzing around him.
The ATFPL Clean Sheet Consortium likes the look of …
…Gary Cahill for Chelsea who face a rather toothless Sunderland attack.
…Swansea’s Neil Taylor who faces a Crystal Palace team who, despite defeating Liverpool last Gameweek, have limited attacking potential with the second lowest total goal attempts for the season.
…QPR’s Steven Caulker against a the worst away attack in the league by goal attempts in Leicester who also haven’t scored in their last five league outings.
Big ol’ Rumbling Gut Pick
He’s not got the best of Fantasy numbers or underlying stats but Jefferson Montero has shown glimpses of quality in the last four Gameweeks. Strictly a speculative pick with an attractive fixture. Still, ATFPL’s gut rumbles strong for the lightning fast Ecuadorian.