Awake son. Get dressed, splash your face, and brush your teeth. Or just stay in bed and obsess over your Fantasy team. To fire your obsession we offer a sampling of captain picks, heavy hitters, clean sheets, punts, and the big ol’ rumbling gut.
1. Michu: Swansea have the fixture of the Gameweek, at home against struggling Sunderland. There’s always the chance that Poyet will have an immediate impact, but Swansea are too strong at home despite any first game boost. As highlighted in this week’s Comparing the Captains, Michu has created eight chances in the last four Gameweeks, produced over 60 passes in the final third, and has six shots on target from 17 goal attempts. Couple that with Sunderland’s abysmal 11 goals conceded from 38 shots conceded in the box and 17 out, and the armband starts looking mighty attractive on the Swansea forward who earned his first cap for Spain in their win against Belarus.
2. Lukaku: Lukaku’s performances, both for club and country, have seen his ownership skyrocket to 22%, as covered in this week’s Market Mechanics. His six shots on target from 10 goal attempts in 3 appearances are healthy and, in addition to his brace against Croatia, make him a great captain pick this Gameweek. He will get chances against a Hull side who despite having only letting in three goals in their last four games are still conceding 16 shots per game this season.
3. Giroud: Giroud has over five goal attempts with almost four shots in the box on average in home games this season. Despite having only produced a single assist in his last three games he remains a Fantasy threat with Arsenal firing on all cylinders, playing at home against Norwich.
Newcastle haven’t kept a clean sheet since Gameweek 2, boosting our confidence that Sturridge and Suarez remain viable heavy hitters. Suarez was picked by all but one of our contributors as one of the three front men to keep until the January wildcard and Sturridge remains a fine cheaper option.
Özil is pulling the strings in Arsenal’s fluid midfield and is providing his teammates with an amazing four key passes per game and a decent 1.3 shots per game. He’ll be parked in Norwich’s final third and is worth a bet this Gameweek.
About the only defender likely to get into the heavy hitter category, Baines’s triple threat of assists, set pieces, and clean sheets secures his place this Gameweek. A clean sheet against Hull is likely and with Lukaku in the box Baines’s is sure to start racking up the assists.
The last two picks are risky but could provide explosive returns. Hazard came off the bench against Norwich to score his first goal of the season and should he start for Chelsea, playing at home against Cardiff City, he’s a great outside bet. Chelsea have registered the most shots (79) – 49 inside the box – with 26 on target in the last four gameweeks. All three stats top the tables. Cardiff in the same time period have allowed 76 shots towards their goal (most) of which 39 have come from within their box (2nd worse).
Negredo’s scored in both games for Spain during the international break in addition to his goal for Manchester City against Everton last Gameweek. One of the most consistent scorers in Spain during his playing days for Sevilla, his last season form of 31 goals in 42 games is enough to impress anyone. His price of £9.3 could prove a bargain, should he secure a starting spot up front for City. He’s also a fine differential, as covered in this week’s ATFPL Differentials.
Everton entertain Hull at Goodison Park where they have conceded a little under 0.7 goals per game. With Hull having failed to score in two of their three games Everton’s defenders seem tasty for this Gameweek. We have already highlighted Baines, so Coleman gets this paragraphs praise. He’s a decent attacking threat, albeit not at the level of Baines.
Chelsea have only conceded one goal at home in three games played, a defensive streak not surprising given Mourinho’s former record with Chelsea. Ivanovic has played every minute of the season and is the safest option in the Chelsea defence.
Swansea, this week’s Flying Under the Radar topic, have six home games in the next ten, starting with this Gameweek’s fixture against Sunderland. They have conceded the second least shots in the box in the last four games, a positive sign against strong opposition in Liverpool, Arsenal, and Southampton. Chico, the safest pick given their current injury situation, offers decent chance a clean sheet as well as bonus point, as highlighted in our Bonus Points System Stats Lab.
Bony finally played a full game in Swansea’s fixture against Southampton and has an impressive 11 goal attempts for an average of an attempt every 21.1 minutes. Priced at £7.5, he could prove a valuable differential this season.
Barkley seems to have cemented his starting place under Martinez and has already scored two goals, provided two assists, and recorded six bonus points in seven games. The fifth midfielder in this week’s Watchlist, he’s still value at £5.5.
We’re keeping faith with Soldado, although as a degraded punt given his lack of goals and game time last Gameweek. Defoe’s blank should give Villas-Boas reason to reinstate Soldado to the starting lineup where we are expecting him to start a scoring run.
BIG OL’ RUMBLING GUT PICK
Playing for what some are calling the worst Premier League team in some time should not give us faith that Chamakh will return Fantasy points in Gameweek 8. He has a single goal to his name this season, six games ago, and has also neither recorded an assist nor bonus points in this time. Yet, we are predicting a goal for Chamakh and a witty comment from Ian Holloway following a surprise win against Fulham.