It’s that day again, it’s Friday Foreplay, Gameweek 4. Activities this week include captain picks, heavy hitters, clean sheets and punts.
1. Van Persie: The default captain choice from last season returns to the top of the picks. Manchester United have the easiest game this week, playing at home against likely relegation candidates in Crystal Palace. Factor in that Holloway does not park the bus, add to that mix Van Persie’s brace against Andorra, and you have the perfect mix for an explosive return for last year’s top Fantasy scorer.
2. Benteke: Benteke’s three goals in the first three games highlights why Lambert was desperate to not sell him this transfer window. Looking at the numbers we see that he big Belgian has averaged 2.7 shots and 2.7 key passes per game. He is a beast. Also, considering that the first three games were Arsenal, Chelsea, and Liverpool, that number looks tasty indeed. A home game against Newcastle isn’t threatening on paper and Benteke is a valid captain pick for the increasing number of non-RvP teams.
3. Giroud: Arsenal face a Sunderland team that could implode at any time, given Di Canio’s volatile nature. Sunderland have failed to keep a clean sheet this season and conceded three goals against Crystal Palace in their last game. Giroud’s three goals are backed up by his 4.3 shots per game, which if continues would make him a bargain, especially if he receives better service from Özil. If you have Benteke or Van Persie, it’s hard to argue for Giroud, but he is a fine differential captain pick this Gameweek.
Walcott has looked dangerous and has the stats to back it up, with 2.7 shots per game and 3 key passes. I believe he will be a staple of Fantasy midfields this year, as he is likely to rotate with Giroud for the striker spot given Arsenal’s lack of cover up front.
Sturridge has started the season with a goal per game with an average of 3.3 shots. He is looking increasingly likely to hold on to the striker spot after Suarez returns, with Rodgers planning to play Suarez as a wide attacker.
Rooney plans to be back in action against Manchester City, which means Welbeck is likely to start up front with Van Persie. He is in good from, bagging a brace for England to accompany his brace for United in Gameweek 1.
This is Soldado’s last chance to deliver as a heavy hitter as despite his two goals his involvement has been minimal. Villas-Boas must be pressing his players to provide better service to the Spanish striker. His goal for Spain against Chiles showed that he will deliver the supply is decent.
Teams must now focus so much of their effort on stopping Benteke that Agbonlahor could be granted space to do damage. Speed is his major asset, even though he has an eye for a pass as witnessed by his two assists already this season. It’s a stretch including him in the heavy hitters, but he sneaks in due to Aston Villa’s favorable home game against Newcastle.
Tottenham have conceded a single goal this season, away at Arsenal. They face Norwich, who failed to score in their only away game this season, and Tottenham is a decent bet for a clean sheet. Walker is the elite pick from Tottenham’s defender, given his attacking instincts.
Again, Manchester United at home against Crystal Palace is the obvious pick. Evra is the safe pick and provides an attacking threat, both from the wing and by finishing off set pieces.
Steve Bruce know how to organize a defence, and will be looking to keeping clean sheets at home. Hull managed a clean sheet in their only home game, against Norwich, and have a chance to do the same against Cardiff City this Gameweek. Chester is a budget pick, priced at 4.0.
Özil is an easy punt, but he could be limited to a substitute appearance in his first game. His attacking statistics from Real Madrid are out of this world so keep an eye on how quickly he adapts to the Premier League and Arsenal’s style of play.
Ben Arfa returns after a successful punt last week. When on form, he is close to unstoppable and is the most dangerous Newcastle player.
Paulinho has not been afraid to shoot on sight and is averaging 3.7 shots per game. That is a decent stat to bet on, so I wouldn’t feel too bad owning the Tottenham midfielder.
Rumbling Gut Pick
West Brom have failed to score this season, with the lowest shots per target per game (1.3). James Morrison has not looked dangerous and doesn’t get involved enough to warrant purchasing. However, ATFPL have a funny feeling he will come good this Gameweek.