Well after what should have been a high scoring week for all it seemed I was left behind, even though 4 of my players got amongst the points… I’m sure a few others felt the same. Captain RVP failed for the first time, funnily enough it co-incided with United’s first game without a goal all season. Knee-jerks are prevalent during these times and I’m here to help you all avoid some traps and find those players worthy of bringing in! Exams are finally over so I have more freedom with my articles, now let’s get into it!
- Suarez – Probably the in-form player of the competition at the moment, Luis is tearing it up. While his finishing boots still aren’t totally strapped on (4 shots off target this weekend) he is getting so many chances he naturally buries at least one per game. He is involved in everything Liverpool do attacking wise and is a locked on starter. Easy fixtures, a team in good form and a striker on fire what else could you want?!? I have held off on him for this long but I see him pressing very quickly towards must have status. With Swansea and Spurs away in his next two I won’t be dashing around to fit him in this week, especially with him walking the suspension tightrope. I will be working towards selling Ba for those interested, however I will stress that RVP is not a good trade! More on that later, great option if you can get him.
- Silva – The Spaniard promised a lot on the weekend, highlighted in this article last week and he duly delivered. 16 points is a great haul and at just 9.3 last year’s second top scoring midfielder looks a bargain, although tough fixtures in the next couple (including a UCL game) has me wondering whether he is just one of those options you go chasing, only to find he is no better than who you had before (*cough* Hazard *cough* Mata *cough* Bale). If you require a midfielder at his price however, Silva could be just the man for you. Good option.
- Tevez – The first of my knee-jerk successes, Tevez bounced back to life with a 19 point haul against Villa! City finally showed their true colours we knew and loved last year and could be finding their feet again. Keep an eye out for his action in the champions league this week, however he seems a good chance to start most EPL games with Mancini’s rotation system as it is. Good option, it’s hard to see Aguero providing any more value than Carlos in the near future. A great avenue into City’s attacking resources…
- Puncheon – Pulled this one out of my ass, I was after a cheap midfielder and ended up getting one of the stars of the round. Pity Mata had to come on and score 1, just my luck. A goal and an assist is not all, he had 8 shots on the weekend (5 on target)! Playing on a wing for Southampton their free scoring ways should help him, especially if he can nail down a starting role. Not one to go chasing but if you need someone at his price he could be your man…
- Enrique – In Liverpool’s new formation he looks to have a great attacking role down the left wing, an 18 point haul this week proof of his capabilities. Liverpool seems to have tightened up again, however once more in the next two fixtures I can’t see them keeping a clean sheet, plus Enrique’s value depends greatly on this formation. At 5.7 he could hold great value but give it a couple of weeks, I’m not convinced yet…
- Walcott – He has changed the dynamic of Arsenal’s attack ever since getting some good game time into his legs, and put on a clinical display against Spurs on Saturday on his way to a 12 point haul. He produced 2 assists last week and with form on his side he could become a real option at just 8.7. Don’t go trading out Cazorla for him yet, but I feel that time may come. He could hold great value, but he also still holds a great deal of risk.
- Sterling – He has certainly convinced me now and his value is about to soar. At just 5.4, Liverpool’s second greatest threat and a certain starter Sterling looks like your best option as a fifth midfielder. He will provide great back up and holds great potential in home fixtures, even enough to start placing him as a fourth midfielder. If you want him then get him while he’s cheap! However once again don’t go trading out guys like Nolan, Morrison Michu etc. You will find that they will continue to outscore Sterling. Only bring him in as a 5th mid if you need the cash…
- Long – Finally I get to Long, a great point of difference as your third striker. With guys like Berbatov, Suarez, Tevez, RVP and others taking up our striker positions if you want to free up some cash here is a great alternative, he has delivered attacking returns in 6 of his last 8 games and is leading an in form West Brom’s charge towards a top 10 finish. A great point of difference and a very solid option.
- Ivanovic – The forgotten man, Branislav has taken a huge fall from grace after he topped the standings of all players after 7 gameweeks. In the past 5 rounds he has failed to score more than 2 points and missed last week entirely… Time to ship him out if you haven’t already done so, plenty of good mid-price options that will do as good a job, if not better.
- Hangeland – A needless double footed challenge cost both Hangeland’s owners and Fulham 3 points on Sunday. With their easy fixtures starting to dissipate a 3 game ban serves the perfect time to ditch him, possibly for a Stoke or Sunderland defender. Cuellar and Shawcross come to mind, both similarly priced and will be very solid in defence.
- Baines – I hate to say it, but our man Baines fits into the loser category this week. While he almost had an assist for Fellaini this week, he has to produce his returns solely on the back of his attacking exploits, with clean sheets at Everton just about as likely as Adz’s number one captain performing (boom!). His 7.6 price tag is becoming harder for me to justify, we are basically selecting him as a 6th midfielder. A tally of 20 points in his last 7 outings certainly doesn’t qualify for a 7.6 priced player, it may be more beneficial to trade him out for a mid priced defender guaranteed with a decent flow of clean sheets. This way you can rotate your defenders of your bench and hopefully have more success. Funny how this game changes, just a month ago an expensive defence was the thing, now it totally is not! This week’s home game against Norwich could be Baines last for me, regardless of his return. If it comes down to having him or RVP in your team, I know who I would choose…
- Ben Arfa – Another visit to the loser category for Ben Arfa this week, Newcastle’s form doesn’t look like suddenly improving and neither does the Frenchman’s. Time to ship him out with plenty of players around his price performing much better (Fellaini, Michu, Nolan, Morrison…)
- Mata – Don’t be too alarmed, I’m just putting Juan into this category as he completely stuffed my weekend, his 1 point cancelling out Puncheon’s 12 on the bench. More on him in the knee-jerks (yes people are trading him out) but don’t worry, he is key to everything Chelsea do and will bounce back this weekend.
- Pienaar – A run of 4 blanks does not read well for the left midfielder, with Fellaini in such good form and other mid pricers lighting it up Pienaar just doesn’t fit anymore, trade him if you still have him. Having said that, give him this week against Norwich at home (without Fellaini) to score you some deserved points before shipping him out.
- Torres – Little discussion needed here, in terrible form, no confidence, Sturridge will start playing the full 90 minutes soon and Torres will be on his way out. I just can’t see him ever recovering, not at Chelsea anyway… say goodbye!
- Fellaini – Of course the week I bring him in he gets his 5th yellow card and misses a home game against Norwich… oh well, get your backup ready!
Would just like to point out that last week I had a 100% record with my knee-jerks, everyone on the list produced attacking returns this week! Experience in this game is enough to tell me that just because a player has a short spell, even one game without scoring does not give reason to trade them out. Not only this, but sometimes we shouldn’t go chasing players… It has killed me before and will kill many rookie fpl managers. Just take note.
- Mata – While Mata came off the bench for just a single point, it very well should have been at least 4 if not more. He put Sturridge clean through on goal and also should have had a tap in, only for Sturridge to shoot the chance wide. He still looked dangerous as ever and don’t even dare think of trading him out 😉
- Ba – I will agree he hasn’t convinced me of late, however Newcastle’s form has been less than satisfactory and he’s still managed to score. A trip to Southampton could spell his last chance for me, but I don’t see any other option to trade him to this week. Bear in mind I don’t agree with bringing in Suarez just yet, maybe start planning a move over the next few weeks. He has been going close on a number of occasions with keepers pulling out some stunning saves to deny him. Don’t be surprised if Newcastle bounce back and Ba is at the centre of everything, still great value at 8.3.
- Garrido – He is knocking on the door, at just 4.5 and Norwich surprisingly collecting 4 clean sheets in 5 Garrido provides the best route into their suddenly rock solid defence. However I don’t think they will keep it up this way and I can see many people falling into his trap, before seeing poor returns and eventually moving him on. They have only been able to keep clean sheets at home, with only 1 away clean sheet. One home game in their next four fixtures does not read so well now, does it?
- Enrique – As I mentioned earlier, Liverpool’s formation is not yet a sealed deal and with a couple of tough fixtures to come I would be certainly holding off until after next week’s midweek fixtures. Don’t force him in yet!
- BERBATOV! Now onto my 3 biggest concerns. Hopefully no one on this site is dumb enough to trade Berbatov after one blank, but some people apparently are. He was looking very lively up until the red card and really should have had at least one goal to his name. His performance was enough for me to recommend anyone who doesn’t have him to get onboard! He looks as close to a must have as you can get, a player of his ability at 7.6 is an absolute steal!
- VAN PERSIE! Please please please don’t trade RVP out after his first blank of the season. In fact it was United’s first blank of the season and I can’t see that happening again anytime soon. Not only this but RVP has been rested midweek from champions league duties so he will be fresh and waiting to destroy QPR this Saturday! He is captain material this weekend as United look to bounce back so don’t think of forcing him out for Suarez, find other routes to the Uruguayan. During weeks like this it may seem pointless in having RVP wasting away 13.7m while plenty of others could do a similar job, but what about the week where everyone else fails and RVP bags a hat-trick? I can’t see any urgent need for us to clear our budgets with so many bargain options around, so why not have the best?
- FELLAINI! Finally I reach the man monster. I traded him in this week so he was odds on to get suspended, however don’t let that be the pitiful excuse for you to trade him out. Another assist this week and very nearly another goal, he is still in top form and will bounce back after a freshen up this weekend. Still the best mid-price midfield option going around and a must have in my books, get your backup ready this week.
That will do for this week, a big wrap up. It is important I believe that we do our best to stick with our current squads, that is unless you see someone as an absolute must have (none this week, apart from maybe Vanners!). Hopefully those of you with Stoke/West Ham players enjoy (or enjoyed) success and good luck in preparation for next weekend! Cheers.