Riddle me this, riddle me that, who needs something to gnaw at?
Let’s not answer that and instead focus on this Gameweek’s Friday Foreplay and its included captain picks, heavy hitters, clean sheets, punts, and the big ol’ rumbling gut.
1. Suarez: The two best strikers in the league this season are in the top two spots in this Gameweek’s captain picks. Liverpool need a win following last week’s loss against Arsenal and have the best fixture on paper playing at home against Fulham. Liverpool are scoring 1.8 goals per game and Suarez’s 6 goals in the last 5 league games bodes well for Fantasy managers captaining him this Gameweek.
2. Aguero: Aguero’s potential is being realized again this season, as this week’s Watchlist highlights. It’s no wonder given his amazing return of 18 points from a goal, three assists, and three bonus points in City’s demolition of Norwich. Despite playing much better at home, City are still scoring 1.6 goals per match in away games, the third best away attacking form in the league.
3. Sturridge: The Fulham game is too tempting so here comes the second Liverpool forward in the captain picks. Despite my opinion that Suarez is the better long term option, holding and captaining Sturridge this Gameweek is perfectly acceptable. He is averaging 3.5 shots and 1 key pass per game which backs up his 4 goals and 2 assists in the last five matches.
In a sharp decline from last season, Manchester United are ranked 14th in the league in goals conceded, with an average of a goal conceded at Old Trafford. After Arsenal’s impressive win against Dortmund there is no reason to believe United will keep a clean sheet against the current league leaders. Despite Ramsey’s continued Fantasy returns, both Özil and Cazorla have better underlying numbers and should return more points in the long-term.
Van Persie and Rooney are the obvious United players to own, given the lack of Fantasy output from midfield, and their inclusion comes from a combined total of 5 goals and 5 assists in the last three games. With the leaky defence, Van Persie and Rooney are the major factors in keeping United competitive this season, thrusting the Moyes lead team to 1.7 goals per game.
Silva is flourishing under Pellegrini and is one of the listed options to replace an injured Michu in your team, as covered in this week’s Statistics Lab. He leads the league in key passes (27 in 7 appearances) and also offers a decent goal threat with 14 goal attempts.
It’s telling that Southampton’s conceded goal last Gameweek was a freak Begovic clearance bouncing unfortunately for Boruc. Since Gameweek 3 they have only conceded two goals: the aforementioned one and away at Old Trafford. Now is the time to play your Southampton defenders, with the next two fixtures being Arsenal and Chelsea away. Clyne offers the cheapest route into the Saints defence, priced at £4.6.
Tottenham are labouring in attack under Villas-Boas this season but are second ranked defensive team in the league, conceding 0.5 goals per game. A home game against Hull is a great bet for a clean sheet, and Dawson is still the safest long term prospect in the Tottenham defence and is being purchased in numbers as noted in this week’s Market Mechanics accordingly.
Chelsea will be fired up to deliver a result against West Brom after Mourinho’s tough response after their loss against Newcastle. Terry is Mourinho’s man and has played every minute of every game in the league this season.
Eto’s brace against Schalke was a reminder of the Cameroonian’s quality and he will surely start against West Brom after that display. He seemed rusty at the beginning of the season but could start to show his worth with Torres missing out due to injury.
Benteke hasn’t scored since his return from injury but has put up decent numbers with 5 shots on target and 2 off in addition to 3 chances created in two starts and one substitute appearance. Given the plethora of forward options he’s perhaps not a priority purchase for most Fantasy managers but Aston Villa have attractive fixtures in November and December and he could be a shrewd pickup.
With all the focus on Aguero and Silva, Nasri’s Fantasy potential is being ignored by many. Fortunately, his potential was recognized by AllthingsFPL’s Darsh in this week’s Differentials. Owned by only 2.5% of Fantasy managers he could be a great purchase for those chasing in their mini-leagues. However, be aware that he has only played a full match in the league once this season and is always a rotation risk given Manchester City’s strength in depth.
big ol’ rumbling gut pick
Swansea’s Bony hasn’t started the last two league games, has lost the trust of Fantasy managers and dropped £0.6 in price and has scored only once since Gameweek 1. But we predict he’ll score against Stoke. Imagine that.