THINGS TO REMEMBER FROM THE WEEK OFF
It’s hard to remember exactly what happened more than a week ago. So when World Cup Qualifiers force clubs to skip a week of league soccer, you tend to forget things. That’s why we’re here at RotoExperts, to help you remember all of the key things you may have let slip your mind lately.
If you have a perfect memory (impossible), just skip to the bottom for my Gameweek 4 stud predictions. In other words, don’t skip ahead.
A TOP FORWARD IS A MUST
Being the most consistent players in Fantasy Soccer, forwards are the easiest and best options to captain every week. We see it every year. In 2011, if you captained Robin van Persie or Wayne Rooney every week, you probably did pretty good.
Midfielders are good options, but we’ve already seen this season, it’s hard to pick the right one. Sure, Eden Hazard has been awesome through three matches, but you can’t tell me Juan Mata isn’t going to make it on the score sheet for the rest of the campaign.
You need at least one of these three studs: Fernando Torres, Carlos Tevez or Robin van Persie (Possibly Emmanuel Adebayor in the next month). If you started the year without one of them, you’re probably sitting at the bottom of your table, unless of course you picked all of the correct defenders and midfielders, which isn’t likely.
If one of those three forwards has a home match, you more than likely will use them as your captain. That’s how simple it is.
In Gameweek 3, there were 14 players in double digits (four defenders, four midfielders, six forwards). The forwards included a lot of popular names like RVP, Tevez, Peter Crouch and Steven Fletcher. Fluttered in the top defenders and midfielders was Robert Snodgrass, Winston Reid and Ciaran Clark. Trust me that will be Clark’s best game of the season.
Form your squad around your forwards, not the other way around.
I have a rule to go by with expensive defenders and goalkeepers, have a minimum of one and maximum of two. By this, I am referring to keepers priced over roughly 5.8m and defenders over 6.5m.
Why? Well, it’s pretty simple. They are harder to predict. At the moment, Petr Cech is the only expensive goalie in the Top 10. For defense, there are only two highly priced defenders in the Top 10.
I know it’s only been three weeks, but look at it at the end of the year. The benefit of having these overpriced defenders isn’t worth it. Sure, maybe some of them will finish in the Top 10, but looking at the bigger picture, there will be another 10 behind them not even 10 points behind. As for forwards, guys like RVP and Tevez will be at least 30 points ahead of the next tier of strikers. A much bigger difference.
LAST TIME OUT
Since a lot of people wait a day or two before games to make transactions (which you should do), let’s review what happened on the pitch in Gameweek 3.
West Brom beat a hot Everton club at home 2-0. Both teams are at the same level in that they can each compete with the top dogs. They each have a lot of solid players that aren’t all that expensive for Fantasy. I’m talking about Shane Long, Chris Brunt and Liam Ridgewell for WBA and Marouane Fellaini, Steven Pienaar and Nikica Jelavic for Everton.
West Ham took out Fulham 3-0, but they are a very unpredictable team. Kevin Nolan and Matthew Taylor both have plenty of Premier League experience and lead the Hammers in midfield.
Swansea’s hot streak ran out, but they still managed a point versus Sunderland. Wayne Routledge has started the season great and at 5.0m is a fantastic fourth or fifth option for your midfielder.
Tottenham did not show much yet again in a 1-1 draw vs. Norwich. With Adebayor and Clint Dempsey both coming in, the poor results will likely end. I like Moussa Dembele a lot, but Dempsey may steal his current spot.
Stoke City drew at Wigan 2-2. Going forward, keep an eye on who will benefit the most from Charlie Adam’s arrival. Will it be Peter Crouch or even Jonathan Walters?
Manchester City and Manchester United both won against bottom-tier clubs, but did so unconvincingly. Don’t expect this to change either with the World Cup Qualifiers (WCQ) happening over the weekend. Since all of the bigger teams have the better players, they also have all the ones that play for their respective national squads. That’s not a good thing for team chemistry. It will still take a couple weeks before we see any kind of dominance from either team.
Aston Villa got a surprise result at Newcastle, drawing 1-1. Newcastle has a ton of defensive injuries once again which didn’t help. Hatem Ben Arfa can become a Top Five midfielder, keep your eyes peeled.
In the match of the week, Arsenal took down Liverpool at Anfield, scoring two goals. Santi Carzola is a great connector in the midfield and has been their best player thus far. Liverpool, much like the Manchester’s is still struggling (although a bit more). Don’t expect them to come through. I don’t see the Reds getting a win until Gameweek 7 or 8.
WEEK FOUR STUDS
Arsenal vs. Southampton. That’s right, I’m going with their entire team. The Gunners are going for four straight shutouts and face a club that has given up eight goals already. The aforementioned Cazorla and Thomas Vermaelen are the best options.
Manchester United vs. Wigan. I know I said United was struggling, but they are at home against Wigan. If they don’t score at least three goals here, something is definitely wrong. My money is on RVP and Antonio Valencia.
Chelsea at QPR. That’s three really favorable matchups this week. There will be plenty of goals in this one. Torres and Hazard are the headliners, but I think Mata finally shows his worth in this one.
Anthony Pilkington. He has yet to score this year and at home against West Ham is a prime opportunity for him. Pilkington had eight goals last season, while playing less than 2,000 minutes (roughly 22 matches).
Miguel Michu. There’s no way Villa stops Swansea from scoring. Michu has jumped 0.8m already in value and now would be the prime time to buy.
Simon Mignolet. Are we confident Liverpool can score on the road, especially during WCQ week?
Carlos Tevez. He’s an obvious pick and I don’t see Man City getting a clean sheet in this one either.
Emmanuel Adebayor. Mark up the first one for Adebayor this season.
Marouane Fellaini. I think he keeps his hot streak going against a battered defense.
To finish things off, I’m giving my upset of the week to Sunderland. If you couldn’t tell, I don’t really like the way Liverpool is playing at the moment.
And of course, be sure to check on injuries before setting your lineup and making transactions. Nothing major has popped up through the first wave of games, but you never know.
*Stats up-to-date as of Sept. 8