ROBERT SNODGRASS IS GETTING IT DONE
It’s been a while since we’ve had a double Gameweek. In fact, the last one took place in the first week of the campaign with Chelsea and Reading. In that week, Chelsea scored six goals, grabbed a clean sheet and Eden Hazard quickly found a place in the hearts of Fantasy owners.
Could Sunderland or Reading, two clubs battling in the relegation zone, join the ranks of Fantasy gold for just one week? For Reading, that answer is an easy no, but for Sunderland it’s debatable… sort of.
Former Manchester City wonder boy, Adam Johnson, is starting to revive is name. After notching a goal and an assist this week, he now has two goals and four assists in his last seven matches. He’s starting to live up to his value after all. Fellow midfielder James McClean also grabbed a goal and an assist, and led all Black Cats in Fantasy points (at premierleague.com) this week.
The disappointment of the Gameweek was Stephane Sessegnon (until he got a last minute goal against Reading), who is the second most owned player on Sunderland. Above him is Steven Fletcher, who missed the first match due to injury but helped out anyone who captained him with a goal against Reading on Tuesday.
To answer the earlier question, the double Gameweek didn’t really help anyone out. Even with the disappointing double, there were still a lot of goals from other clubs. Eight of the 11 matches had at least three goals, with four of the eight amassing at least four goals. That led to a lot of Fantasy points, unfortunately, not for the forwards.
For Gameweek 16, only three strikers had more than seven Fantasy points. That’s not good at all. At least those three players are well known: Fernando Torres, Grant Holt and Wayne Rooney. Obviously, the biggest news is that Fernando Torres netted two with an assist. His midweek Champions League match gave him some confidence and he’s supposedly back to his glory days. That is a stretch to say the least, but Chelsea has a bye this week (due to the Club World Cup), so you don’t have to think about adding El Niño yet.
Robert Snodgrass had another great game (one goal, two assists) and led Norwich on the road to a 4-3 win at Swansea. That’s now nine straight league matches in which the Canaries are unbeaten. What’s not to like about a Canary named Snodgrass?
Last week’s cover boy, Miguel Michu, recorded his second straight brace and now has 12 goals on the season, most in the Premier League. Another midfielder that needs to be mentioned is American, Clint Dempsey. While he has taken a backseat to Gareth Bale and Jermaine Defoe this season, Dempsey has silently recorded either a goal or an assist in four straight matches. He had a slow start, but now may be worth his 9.1m value.
[caption id="attachment_31006" align="alignright" width="496" caption="<strong><em>Robert Snodgrass is just one of many players surprising on the Canaries. </em></strong><em>Photo Credit: Craig Brough</em>"][/caption]
Even with all of the goals, there were still five clean sheets. Most surprising was the one from Southampton, who have now allowed just four goals in their last six matches. Yes, I said that correctly. In their first 10 matches of the campaign, they gave up 28 goals. At 4.0m, Nathaniel Clyne is the best option, as he also has a goal and two assists this year.
There were a few defenders who didn’t record a clean sheet, yet were top defenders. The least well known among them is Sebastien Bassong, who is a threat to score every week with his head. He now has three goals in his last four matches.
In the biggest game of the weekend, United won yet another thrilling battle between the Manchester clubs. Robin van Persie curled in a free kick in the final minutes to seal a 3-2 victory after Wayne Rooney put them in front in the first half, 2-0.
Everton would not be outdone. They scored two stoppage time goals to come back and beat Tottenham 2-1. Steven Pienaar and Nikica Jelavic were the goal scorers. Marouane Fellaini didn’t score and it’s starting to be a bit of a surprise when he doesn’t.
Liverpool also had a comeback win on Sunday at West Ham even without the help of Luis Suarez. And oh yeah, Arsenal won. Mikel Arteta got two penalty kicks which is not reason enough to add him to your squad.
Norwich. That’s all that need be said right here. The Canaries have not lost in nine straight league matches. You know who else can say that right now? No one, because they beat Manchester United a month ago. As I write this, they just fell apart at home against Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup in 1-4 loss. Here’s to hoping that doesn’t affect their league play.
No matter, they face Wigan at home this weekend, which should pick their spirits back up. After that, they get West Brom on the road, a club that has lost three straight matches. Home games against Chelsea and Man City will be tough, but we’ve already seen them fight with the big boys. At least for this week, a clean sheet and a couple of goals could be in the script.
- David de Gea, Manchester United, 5.5m, vs. Sunderland
- Mark Bunn, Norwich, 4.0m, vs. Wigan
- Jose Reina, Liverpool, 5.8m, vs. Aston Villa
- Joe Hart, Man City, 6.9m, at Newcastle
- Asmir Begovic, Stoke City, 5.4m, vs. Everton
- Patrice Evra, Man United, 6.8m, vs. Sunderland
- Glen Johnson, Liverpool, 6.3m, vs. Aston Villa
- Sebastien Bassong, Norwich, 4.5m, vs. Wigan
- Rafael, Man United, 6.4m, vs. Sunderland
- Leighton Baines, Everton, 7.5m, at Stoke City
- Ryan Nelsen, QPR, 4.0m, vs. Fulham
- Ryan Shawcross, Stoke City, 5.6m, vs. Everton
- Gael Clichy, Man City, 5.6m, at Newcastle
- Liam Ridgewell, West Brom, 5.0m, vs. West Ham
- Thomas Vermaelen, Arsenal, 6.8m, at Reading
- Michu, Swansea, 7.9m, at Tottenham
- Marouane Fellaini, Everton, 7.8m, at Stoke City
- David Silva, Man City, 9.4m, at Newcastle
- Santi Cazorla, Arsenal, 9.5m, at Reading
- Kevin Nolan, West Ham, 6.9m, at West Brom
- Raheem Sterling, Liverpool, 5.7m, vs. Aston Villa
- Robert Snodgrass, Norwich, 5.8m, vs. Wigan
- Clint Dempsey, Tottenham, 9.1m, vs. Swansea
- Jonathan de Guzman, Swansea, 5.7m, at Tottenham
- Stephane Sessegnon, Sunderland, 7.3m, at Man Untied
- Robin van Persie, Man United, 13.7m, vs. Sunderland
- Luis Suarez, Liverpool, 10.4m, vs. Aston Villa
- Carlos Tevez, Man City, 9.4m, at Newcastle
- Wayne Rooney, Manchester United, 11.7m, vs. Sunderland
- Jermaine Defoe, Tottenham, 8.4m, vs. Swansea
- Sergio Aguero, Man City, 11.0m, at Newcastle
- Shane Long, West Brom, 6.4m, vs. West Ham
- Olivier Giroud, Arsenal, 8.5m, at Reading
- Grant Holt, Norwich, 6.0m, vs. Wigan
- Demba Ba, Newcastle, 8.2m, vs. Man City
YOU’RE THE CAPTAIN
- Robin van Persie, Man United
- Luis Suarez, Liverpool
- Carlos Tevez, Man City
- Wayne Rooney, Man United
- Michu, Swansea
The one thing you have to worry about when captaining RVP this week is United’s level of focus. Against clubs with weaker offenses, they tend to win close, low-scoring affairs. Sunderland is not one known for their offense. United won’t be forced to push forward, like they have done so many times when trailing this season.
Suarez is a close second, but he’s currently on a bit of a cold streak and is coming off a suspension. He’ll be a top option for many, but I’m still tentative about putting him at No. 1 after he killed me two weeks ago.
Tevez should get the start here, as Mario Balotelli may be rewarded with a full month of benching after his play in the Manchester Derby over the weekend. Newcastle’s defense still isn’t full strength and Tevez is always a threat.
Rooney grabbed two goals against City and has been pretty steady lately in the Fantasy department. There really isn’t another option that I would put right here unless you consider my next option… That’s where Michu comes in, with 12 goals on the year AND the most Fantasy Points of anyone. That’s right, he has more than RVP. Can he keep it going on the road at White Hart Lane? Time will tell.
*Stats up-to-date as of Dec. 11
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