It’s our last hit before the dreaded international break. To fulfill your Fantasy we offer a sampling of captain picks, heavy hitters, clean sheets, punts, and the big ol’ rumbling gut.
1. Suarez: Sunderland was the victim of Suarez’s and Sturridge’s emphatic answer to whether they could play together up front, as they combined well for three goals and two assists. Suarez is probably second only to Van Persie in the Fantasy game and could end up being a bargain at £11.1. As highlighted in this week’s Forward’s Stock Check, his brace wasn’t a fluke as his seven goal attempts and four shots in the box prove.
2. Sturridge: Sturridge is making his case for leading the line for England in Brazil next summer. He’s now scored in all but one game for Liverpool in the league this season and a home game against Crystal Palace is the easiest game on paper. The only issue is whether he will be rotated at some point, especially with Suarez available again, but this is unlikely with the international break coming up. Although six goals in seven games is not a pace he will keep up for the rest of the season, he could still score big almost every week if he adds assists to his game as he showed he is capable of against Sunderland.
3. Van Persie: Call me stubborn or call me stupid, but I just don’t believe Manchester United are due a collapse just yet. Despite the doom and gloom prediction of journalists, David Moyes is still a talented manager with better players at his disposal than he has ever had before. It may perhaps take time for him to settle on a system, but Van Persie’s talent is such that he will score goals. If United don’t come barking mad, frothing at the mouth aggressive against Sunderland, with a point to prove, then it’s time to reevaluate their season. Until then, I’m backing Van Persie.
Apart from Van Persie, Rooney is the only other valid Fantasy option from United at this point. His two goals in the last two games have come from eight goal attempts and he also has 12 touches in the box in Gameweek 5 and 6, the second highest of all forwards. Being more than £3.0 cheaper than Van Persie makes him an interesting cover for United, but watch out for his reported shin injury that could keep him out of the team for the game against Sunderland.
Like Sturridge, Giroud has been remarkably consistent, failing to score or assist in only the home win against Stoke. Apologies for the cliché, but he really has a good touch for a big man and is creating chances for his teammates as well as scoring.
Lambert’s free kick against Crystal Palace was bananatastic and showed his ability to finish of his set piece chances. He has somewhat disappointed this season as the Southampton team has been more adept at keeping opponents at bay rather than putting them to the sword. But a home game against Swansea is likely to offer goals and we expect Lambert to be influential.
Paulinho has been surprisingly attacking minded for Tottenham with 21 goal attempts already this season. While Soldado has been quiet, Paulinho has instantly adapted to Villas-Boas’s setup and was noted in this week’s Statistics Lab as Tottenham’s likely best valued attacking asset.
Aguero is the final heavy hitter this Gameweek, thanks to a home game against a more open Everton under Martinez. We’re hoping he gets paired with Negredo up front as he doesn’t seem to be at his best playing alongside Dzeko.
Liverpool’s home game against Crystal Palace stands out as the best clean sheet on paper, while Tottenham’s home game against West Ham is a good bet, and Southampton’s excellent start to the season makes us hopeful of a clean sheet we would never have bet on at the start of the season.
Touré is still the cheapest link in the Liverpool defence but Enrique is the safe bet who also offers some attacking threat.
Tottenham’s Dawson is a cheap, but safe starter following Kaboul’s injury against Anzhi Makhachkala. Naughton is an intriguing short-term purchase at £4.3 but the best pick, price aside, is Walker, who delivered six assists last season bombing down the right wing.
Southampton’s goalkeeper, Boruc, is moderately priced at £4.6 and offers guaranteed game time as well as save points if Southampton come under pressure against Swansea. Fonte, however, has received bonus points for every other game this season and is a fine pick.
Despite his heroics against Newcastle, Lukaku is only a punt, as we are cautious about predicting goals for any striker visiting the Etihad Stadium. He’s as good a punt as you can pick though, and is a likely season keeper, priced at only £7.7, and already a popular bandwagon according to this week’s Market Mechanics.
Remy’s three goals have come in under full three games for Newcastle, signifying a lethal finisher. Although it’s hard to argue his inclusion over Lukaku’s, he’s a decent punt and a fine third striker in any squad.
BIG OL’ RUMBLING GUT PICK
Graham hasn’t scored this season, has been substituted in his last two games, and had an abysmal return of three goals last season. Yet we predict he’ll come good for the brave 1.0% of Fantasy managers who own him. Please Graham, surprise us all with a stunning 40 yard strike against all odds.