After the fireworks of the midweek game, you could say that this round was a bit of a let down! For those of us following Matt’s captaincy options you’d be pretty happy with Suarez again but it’s the defenders that really disappointed. There was only 3 clean sheets this week, all from largely unfashionable teams in Palace, Norwich and the surprising Fulham. If you’ve been reading my work, you’ll have known that I’ve been a big fan of Palace for defensive options but unfortunately that trend may be nearing the end of it’s cycle.
Ruddy (4.9m) – Norwich are a tough team to gauge. They’ve been torn apart this season by some of the top teams in Man City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea, all of whom scored at least 3 goals against them. But on the other hand, they have kept 5 clean sheets… Ruddy had probably his best game of the season to keep West Brom out with a bunch of saves and a couple of BPs to score 10 points. The next month could really define their season with 4 very winnable games (5 if you include Man Utd) and I’m tipping them go on a mini run. Whether they can keep enough cleanies over this period to make someone like Ruddy worthwhile I’m not sold on just yet but Hudgton does like his teams to keep it tight at the back so it is possible. I would put their entire team on your radar.
Sakho (5.2m) – You could say that goal was a little bit of a fluke, but he was credited with it so his owners pocketed 10 points on the back of it. I don’t like Liverpool’s defence, firstly for the porous nature of it (one solitary cleanie all season), but also the lack of continuity in who starts. This was Sakho’s first game in a month and with the number of centre backs at their disposal it’s impossible to find any trends as you might do with other teams. 10 points from the goal and a couple of BPs
Riether (5.0m) – Would the real Fulham please stand up? Also, would the real Aston Villa please stand up too? Fulham managed to tighten up in defence just enough to keep a cleanie, but we can put this down to new manager syndrome for now. A trip to Everton and then a home game against Man City should bring them back down to earth. 8 points from the clean sheets and a couple BPs for my last minute trade out Riether. You can’t pick defensive trends from one game, particularly with the circumstances surrounding it and the upcoming fixtures, so it’s a no from me.
Ward (4.0m) – Palace are continuing to buck the odds and the newly found defensive stability that Tony Pulis has introduced is well and truly in effect. They notched their 4th cleanie from 5 games which is outstanding work by a team anchored to the bottom of the table. A trip to Chelsea this weekend will prove tough however, then games against Newcastle and Villa precede a trip to Man City. The question is, has Pulis done enough in such a short period of time to even consider keeping this up against the absolute best? Ward was their top scoring defender this week with 7 points.
Schurrle (7.1m) – A couple of excellent goals from Schurrle wasn’t enough for Chelsea to get the points this week, but it may have given a strong hint to Jose that he deserves more minutes. I hope he does as a lot of us are on the look out for more midprice midfielder options. He does have an injury concern, but you can’t really trade him in on the back of one game anyway. 15 points from the 2 goals and full BPs.
Fer (5.8m) – Further to Ruddy, I like Norwich to go on a bit of a run up to the end of the year. If they do, players like Fer will be integral to that. He was everywhere against West Brom to score 14 points from a goal, an assist, and full BPs. Fer was on many a radar at the beginning of the season and he could well have found his feet and at this price, is very tempting.
Sidwell (5.0m) – Sidwell picked up the “Jonjo Shelvey Award” for the best performance by a cheap midfieder who won’t recreate this for a couple of months, with 11 points from a goal and full BPs. He doesn’t do this anywhere near enough to be considered by us though and we’ll move along quickly.
Paulinho (6.7m) – Of all Spurs’ summer signings Paulinho has arguably been the most impressive. He’s slipped straight into the line up and found the transition to the EPL easier than most. His attacking output however is not that flash with only 2 goals and 2 assists which isn’t enough to be considered an FPL player. This week he scored one of those goals, and also got full BPs to get himself 10 points.
Cabaye (6.5m) – Kudos to our very own Nick Burk who pinpointed Cabaye in the Man Utd v Newcastle game as good chance of getting amongst the points. He was involved, quite a lot involved! He scored the winner against Man Utd to condemn them to their second defeat at home in a week. Unfortunately for those tossing up whether to trade him in or not, the decision has been taken out of your hands due to him being suspended for a week. He scored 10 points from that goal as well as the full BPs he received.
Suarez (12.7m) – Come on Luis! One goal? Appalling. Matt’s captain choice did the job for us again with a very handy 15 points. He scored another goal as well as providing 2 assists and locking in full BPs. He’s easily the inform striker in the England, probably the world right now but there are some tough nuts to crack on the horizon. Tottenham, Man City and Chelsea, all away, could catapult Suarez into Ballon D’Or favouritism if he’s keeps this goal scoring run going against them.
Chamakh (4.7m) – Something really bothers me about Marouane Chamakh… I’m not sure if it’s the absurd fight against a receding hairline, or maybe because I can’t figure out if he’s any good or not… Either way, he’s scored 2 goals from 2 games to help Palace along to their best run of the season. He didn’t seem up for it at Arsenal and there were signs he wasn’t at Palace either, but perhaps the slight tweaks in formation that Tony Pulis has implemented will get the best out of him. He seems a bit more comfortable playing alongside the physical Jerome and it might be that he eventually realises his potential in the EPL. He was given full BPs as well as the goal for another 9 points. Is it possible that a striker is too cheap to consider?
Outside of those… Ozil was unlucky to miss out with another double figure haul (his third in a row!) and Krul had another massive game, both scored 10 points. A couple of other notable performances… Osvaldo and POD Ireland both netted goals in the 9 point games.