WILL THEO WALCOTT CONTINUE TO PROVE HIS WORTH?
How about Chelsea’s win on Saturday? That was supposed to be their hard match in a double Gameweek and the Blues came away from Stoke-on-Trent with a 4-0 win, thanks to two opening own goals by Jonathan Walters.
Because of their double GW, Chelsea players were added across the board at the official Fantasy game at PremierLeague.com. Eden Hazard and Juan Mata were both added by close to one million owners each, while Demba Ba was picked up by 1.3 million people and is now the third most owned player in the game.
While Ba didn’t record anything in his first game, he grabbed a goal against Southampton on Wednesday. Hazard and Mata led all midfielders by the end of the week as they each picked up full bonus points in one of the matches. Frank Lampard also found himself up there as the No. 3 midfielder. Defensively, it could have been better for Chelsea because the Southampton defenders actually outscored them. Rickie Lambert also deserves a mention as he led all forwards with two goals for the Saints.
There were some high-scoring matches like Chelsea’s, but three games ended in a 0-0 draw. That’s not exactly what you want to see as a fan, but at least you’re still getting clean sheets for your defenders/goal keepers.
The Everton-Swansea match was the most disappointing of those, as each team has been able to score all season. Two of the highest scoring midfielders in the game, Marouane Fellaini and Michu, were unable to get anything going.
Two of the higher scoring clubs from the weekend were actually Sunderland and Reading, which scored three goals apiece. Since neither of these teams were offensive powers this campaign, no one really capitalized from their scoring onslaught. Four of the top six midfielders for the Gameweek are currently from these two clubs and none of them are owned by more than two percent of Fantasy players. Adam Johnson has the most value of the bunch, as he has four goals and five assists on the year. Pavel Pogrebnyak scored another goal for Reading, which makes it three straight matches that he’s found the back of the net.
The biggest games of the weekend were held on Sunday. One of them lived up to its billing, as Liverpool gave all they had at Old Trafford, although, it wasn’t enough in a 2-1 loss. Robin van Persie opened up the scoring for Manchester United on a nice pass from Patrice Evra. The Red Devils scored another goal early in the second half, courtesy of Nemanja Vidic’s slight touch. Newly acquired Daniel Sturridge took one back just two minutes later, but that was all the Reds would get.
The following game, between Arsenal and Manchester City, had its moments but was disappointing overall. An early red card for Laurent Koscielny put the Gunners in an early hole, even after Wojciech Szczesny saved Edin Dzeko’s PK. City scored both of the game’s goals in that first half. Arsenal kept pushing to make the game a little interesting in the second half, but they still couldn’t score. The second most added forward for the GW, Carlos Tevez, finished with both assists and full bonus points.
A lot of people added Chelsea players last week because of their double Gameweek. This time, Arsenal has a double and will likely see an uptick in transfers this week. Plus, after this week, three of their next four games will be at the Emirates. Let’s have a look at the players you should get for your squad.
Arsenal has been above average defensively this year and that’s where Szczesny comes in. He’s not all that expensive at 5.3m and there’s no reason he won’t be a top keeper this week. Kieran Gibbs is their best defensive option on the back line at only 5.6m. He likes to get forward and has shown he can either score or assist. Bacary Sagna recently returned from injury and has played well on the flank. He is valued at just 5.1m, making him an easy choice to pick up.
Even though Santi Cazorla has more Fantasy Points on the year, Theo Walcott is the better midfielder to own. He was recently moved to a central attacking role and has destroyed the opposition with his speed. Even after being held scoreless against Man City, Walcott still has four goals and four assists in his last five games. Jack Wilshere can also be looked at it, but he’s a pretty big stretch for 6.4m.
At forward, Olivier Giroud has not started in five straight games, so you have to go with Lukas Podolski up front. He’s been a streaky player this year and his 8.2m price tag wouldn’t be worth it unless he had a double.
West Ham also has a double, but I wouldn’t deform my squad to add one of their players. They are really struggling to do anything right now.
I mentioned Everton last week and have to say something again this week. Their next three opponents are Southampton, West Brom and Aston Villa. Having at least two of the Toffees on your squad would be wise for the coming weeks.
- Joe Hart, Man City, 6.9m, vs. Fulham
- Pepe Reina, Liverpool, 5.8m, vs. Norwich
- Wojciech Szczesny, Arsenal, 5.3m, at Chelsea, vs. West Ham
- Jussi Jaaskelainen, West Ham, 5.3m, vs. QPR, at Arsenal
- Ben Foster, West Brom, 5.0m, vs. Aston Villa
- Glen Johnson, Liverpool, 6.4m, vs. Norwich
- Bacary Sagna, Arsenal, 5.1m, at Chelsea, vs. West Ham
- Pablo Zabaleta, Man City, 5.9m, vs. Fulham
- Leighton Baines, Everton, 7.5m, at Southampton
- Patrice Evra, Man United, 7.0m, at Tottenham
- Branislav Ivanovic, Chelsea, 7.1m, vs. Arsenal
- Kieran Gibbs, Arsenal, 5.6m, at Chelsea, vs. West Ham
- Chico, Swansea, 4.8m, vs. Stoke City
- Winston Reid, West Ham, 5.1m, vs. QPR, at Arsenal
- Mathieu Debuchy, Newcastle, 5.0m, vs. Reading
- Theo Walcott, Arsenal, 9.0m, at Chelsea, vs. West Ham
- Steven Gerrard, Liverpool, 9.4m, vs. Norwich
- Gareth Bale, Tottenham, 9.8m, vs. Man United
- Santi Cazorla, Arsenal, 9.6m, at Chelsea, vs. West Ham
- Juan Mata, Chelsea, 10.0m, vs. Arsenal
- Michu, Swansea, 8.3m, vs. Stoke City
- David Silva, Man City, 9.4m, vs. Fulham
- Kevin Nolan, West Ham, 6.5m, vs. QPR, at Arsenal
- Adel Taarabt, QPR, 5.7m, at West Ham
- Eden Hazard, Chelsea, 9.4m, vs. Arsenal
- Robin van Persie, Man United, 14.1m, at Tottenham
- Luis Suarez, Liverpool, 10.4m, vs. Norwich
- Lukas Podolski, Arsenal, 8.2m, at Chelsea, vs. West Ham
- Edin Dzeko, Man City, 7.4m, vs. Fulham
- Carlos Tevez, Man City, 8.9m, vs. Fulham
- Demba Ba, Chelsea, 8.9m, vs. Arsenal
- Romelu Lukaku, West Brom, 6.4m, at Stoke City, vs. Aston Villa
- Christian Benteke, Aston Villa, 6.7m, at West Brom
- Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool, 7.3m, vs. Norwich
- Jermaine Defoe, Tottenham, 8.4m, vs. Man United
YOU’RE THE CAPTAIN
- Robin van Persie, Man United
- Luis Suarez, Liverpool
- Theo Walcott, Arsenal
- Lukas Podolski, Arsenal
- Edin Dzeko, Man City
There are no surprises here. Van Persie continued his scoring streak against Liverpool. He has scored in eight of the past nine matches to go with four assists. He’s the most expensive player by far for a reason. He makes a normally tough decision easy, when you can captain him no matter what the schedule says.
Suarez didn’t score at Old Trafford, but I wouldn’t fret about him. He already has 15 goals for the campaign, just two less than RVP. A home game against a struggling Norwich squad, which has one point in their last five matches, awaits.
My next two picks are a couple of Gunners. When you have a double Gameweek, you tend to be a safer Fantasy pick, much like Chelsea players last week. A road match at Chelsea isn’t all that favorable, but a game at home against a West Ham club that’s currently a mess should produce some numbers.
Walcott is playing great in his new role, which has shot him up the charts as one of the hottest players in the game. Podolski is my other play because he’s the starting forward over Olivier Giroud. That’s all that matters.
My fifth captain choice goes to Dzeko who gets the nod slightly over Tevez. I know Tevez had two assists last week, but Dzeko has been the consistent scorer. He’s always in the right place at the right time. Playing at the Etihad against Fulham should net him at least one goal.
*Stats up-to-date as of Jan. 14
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