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As expected, the biggest matches of last weekend didn’t provide owners with the biggest points. Liverpool vs. Manchester United and Manchester City vs. Arsenal were big games and the best ones to watch, but that didn’t mean you had to captain anyone on those teams.
United looked good on the road, but got a nice PK call in their favor, which ended up being the game winner. Man City is still having some problems scoring against tough defenses, and through five matches, they have zero clean sheets after having 35 the last two seasons. When things aren’t working, they aren’t working.
Clint Dempsey made his first appearance for Spurs as they came back from one down to beat QPR at White Hart Lane. He played 87 minutes, but didn’t record a goal/assist. Emmanuel Adebayor is still out with a hamstring injury and will be a nice addition to their offense in a couple weeks.
The biggest matchups are often the toughest to predict. Which means it’s a lot easier to pick the good/mediocre teams to win at home against the bad clubs at the bottom of the table.
Chelsea at home against Stoke City, West Brom at home against Reading, Newcastle at home against Norwich. I’ll even include Southampton at home against Aston Villa. Those are the type of games you had to capitalize on this past weekend.
Last week I listed players from each of these teams as my top plays of the Gameweek. Ben Foster, Hatem Ben Arfa and Rickie Lambert all backed up my predictions. Kyle Naughton was a no-go as he picked up an injury midweek in UEFA Europa play.
Everton and West Brom are two of the hottest teams right now and should be looked at for cheap and midrange priced players. Everton beat Swansea 3-0 on the road. The Swans started hot and have really cooled off now, losing two straight matches. As for West Brom, they have already beat Liverpool and Everton while drawing with Tottenham on the road.
WEEKLY FANTASY TIP
Matchups, matchups, matchups. Just like any other Fantasy sport, you have to base a good part of your squad around the schedule. Sure, there are players like Robin van Persie and Carlos Tevez to whom it doesn’t matter who they play because they can score on anyone. But for most of the other players, a friendly fixture means friendly numbers.
I know Southampton just won 4-1, but that was at home against Aston Villa. This week they’ll travel to Everton. The Toffees will once again have some of the weekend’s top scorers from Leighton Baines to Marouane Fellaini.
Sunderland is another team that’s under the radar starting the campaign with four straight draws against top clubs like Arsenal and Liverpool. They could pull out their first win against Wigan this weekend. The same can be said about Stoke City who is at home against Swansea. Stoke has already drawn with Arsenal, Man City and Chelsea.
Use your free transfer on players from these teams. Right now, it would be pointless to waste one on a Chelsea or Tottenham player who has tough matches on the road.
YOU’RE THE CAPTAIN
- Robin van Persie, Manchester United
- Steven Fletcher, Sunderland
- Marouane Fellaini, Everton
- Hatem Ben Arfa, Newcastle
- Leighton Baines, Everton
Tottenham has zero clean sheets so far and they’re also dealing with injuries to two of their normal defensive starters. That’s a man reason for RVP’s No. 1 ranking. Another reason is that he’s really good and playing at home.
You may be surprised by my second option, but look at the numbers. The transfer from Wolves is on fire. In three matches, he has already scored four goals for Sunderland. Another one against Wigan is a good possibility for Fletcher.
Fellaini has been an absolute beast for Everton so far. He already has three goals and an assist, which is the most goals he’s had since 2008, his first year with the club. It may be surprising, but Fellaini is still just 24 years old and it looks like he’s finally reaching potential.
HBA is all over the place, in a good way. He’s skilled and quick and can destroy opponents little by little. Even though Newcastle is on the road, he’s still a good option against Reading.
Baines fills in the last spot playing at home against Southampton. A clean sheet is a real possibility, but the fact that he has a goal and two assists already are a better reason to captain him.
- Tim Howard, Everton, 5.5m, vs. Southampton
- Asmir Begovic, Stoke City, 4.5m, at Swansea
- Simon Mignolet, Sunderland, 5.0m, vs. Wigan
- Ben Foster, West Brom, 5.1m, at Aston Villa
- Joe Hart, Manchetser City, 7.0m, at Fulham
- Leighton Baines, Everton, 7.2m, vs. Southampton
- Phil Jagielka, Everton, 6.1m, vs. Southampton
- Liam Ridgewell, West Brom, 5.1m, at Aston Villa
- John O’Shea, Sunderland, 5.0m, vs. Wigan
- Ryan Shawcross, Stoke City, 5.0m, vs. Swansea
- Ashley Cole, Chelsea, 6.5m, at Arsenal
- Robert Huth, Stoke City, 5.5m, vs. Swansea
- Rafael, Manchester United, 5.6m, vs. Tottenham
- Vincent Kompany, Manchester City, 7.5m, at Fulham
- Winston Reid, West Ham, 4.8m, at QPR
- Marouane Fellaini, Everton, 7.1m, vs. Southampton
- Hatem Ben Arfa, Newcastle, 7.8m, at Reading
- Michu, Swansea, 7.4m, at Stoke City
- Santi Cazorla, Arsenal, 9.2m, vs. Chelsea
- Eden Hazard, Chelsea, 10.3m, at Arsenal
- Kevin Nolan, West Ham, 6.2m, at QPR
- Steven Pienaar, Everton, 6.6m, vs. Southampton
- Jonathan Walters, Stoke City, 6.4m, vs. Swansea
- Steven Gerrard, Liverpool, 9.4m, at Norwich
- Sebastian Larsson, Sunderland, 6.3m, vs. Wigan
- Robin van Persie, Manchester United, 13.5m, vs. Tottenham
- Steven Fletcher, Sunderland, 7.2m, vs. Wigan
- Peter Crouch, Stoke City, 6.5m, vs. Swansea
- Sergio Aguero, Manchester City, 11.0m, at Fulham
- Demba Ba, Newcastle, 7.8m, at Reading
- Bobby Zamora, QPR, 6.4m, vs. West Ham
- Nikica Jelavic, Everton, 8.4m, vs. Southampton
- Luis Suarez, Liverpool, 9.4m, at Norwich
*Stats up-to-date as of Sept. 24