With many activating their wildcards after a horror start, there is plenty of transfer action going on!!! Here are the risers and fallers for GW2…
On The Rise
McCarthy – He’s just backup until Speroni gets back in a couple of weeks time. Have I mentioned that Crystal Palace’s defence is a shambles? Don’t expect anything other than a bench fodder. That’s not to say don’t get him as your ‘backup’ keeper though, I have him ready to rot away for the entirety of the season! Just don’t expect a Myhill performance.
Manchester City – I said during pre-season if Man City can get it together, their defensive assets are severely under-priced! They have looked brilliant so far, and it’s started from the back. No longer do they look like they could concede at any moment, a few other top teams have gone that way though. This makes them even more appealing, and a couple of blokes stand out.
Kolarov is my pick of the bunch by far. Sure there has always been the fear that Clichy could take his spot, but I just can’t see it happening at the moment. I have had Kolarov in City’s best 3 players during both opening fixtures, how he doesn’t have at least 2 or 3 assists is beyond me. He is on set pieces, and has a better scoring/assist record than guys like Ivanovic, and when he plays even Baines! It’s a risk don’t get me wrong, but if he loses his spot it’s an easy trade to make. For the short-term at least I see him as a lock, and he could rack up the points. 5.5 is a steal. Kompany has been below par over the past couple of seasons, but looks back to his best. Unfortunately he has scored 2 goals, meaning his price is spiking as everyone scrambles to get him in. He’ll be 6.3 by the end of the week, and I’d be hesitant to spend that kind of money just yet. Hart has gone up in price, but I’m still against spending big on keepers. I say avoid.
In other big news, it looks like City have sealed the signing of Otamendi (pending a medical). That is huge news for their defences prospectsif he comes! Judging by how FPL have priced new players this season, he won’t be coming in any cheaper than 6.5 so I’d give him time to settle. He makes Kolarov and Kompany all the more tempting though…
Manchester United – Remember that underlying stat I kept referring to that United kept conceding just the one goal last season? It’s now come to fruition. They have conceded 5 less goals than ANY other team (Including Chelsea) since November last year. They aren’t offering enough going forward, but importantly for us they’re rock solid at the back. Darmian is the hyped player, already increasing to 5.7. Realistically he has the same, if not less of an attacking threat than Shaw (Who is 5.5, but set to increase before the end of the week). Yes he’s injury prone, but we can only hope he’s past that stage. He’s my pick of the bunch. Smalling is too expensive and Blind is classified as a midfielder. Romero is a popular option between the sticks, but while De Gea is still at Old Trafford I’m not giving him a second thought.
Liverpool – Lastly, Liverpool’s defence needs a mention. They looked solid once again on Monday, although Ritchie’s shot that cannoned off the post was a stroke of good fortune. Mignolet once again looks good value, however he hasn’t been picking up many save points as of yet. Clyne has been solid as expected, but I’m still not convinced he holds much value at 5.5. Gomez is without a doubt the man you should be after, and yes I played down his prospects last week! I misjudged how good he is, there’s no doubt he will get plenty of game time this season. BE WARNED. He will be rotated, so don’t be relying on him every week. However at 4.6 (Soon to be 4.7) he looks a no brainer. They face a tougher test this week away to Arsenal so don’t expect immidiate returns if you bring these guys in.
At the risk of constantly repeating myself, you can check out my views on most of this weeks star midfielders HERE. When the GW1 bolters repeat their efforts and nobody else decides to lift a finger, chaos ensues. This weeks risers are almost identical, and not much has changed. Here is a quick summary:
Mahrez and Leicester look awesome, in the short term at least he should be a safe bet. He looks certain to rise to at least 5.8 by the end of the week, if not 5.9. Just don’t be shocked when he inevitably has a quite period. Toure looks good, I’m still not winning to spend the 8.6 (Soon to be 8.7) to get him. Remember, no penalties (Unlike 2013/14)!
Barkley looks awesome, the only thing that has me hesitant is Everton’s fixtures. I currently have him in my plans this week. Payet got on the scoresheet this time, furthering his potential. I still question his value at 7.6 (Unlikely to rise again this week at this stage). Sigurdsson is proven in the PL and likely to score 7 or 8 and rack up assists along the way. Payet’s dead ball duties are a massive bonus, but he’ll need to keep finding the net.
Ayew scored again, however I’m less convinced that he can maintain this output. He will be solid this season, but with so much value in the midprice range he’ll have to score 10+ in my opinion, unless he adds assist work to his game. Wijnaldum is just as dangerous, however Swansea do look the far better side. Albrighton got another assist, and is looking comfortable on a wing. I still have him in the Sinclair bracket. You’ll get decent bursts from him, but I’m not expecting much more than 4 goals and maybe 10 assists, which is decent if you’re shopping in that price bracket! He’ll have quite periods.
Silva – There are a couple of new names thrown into the hat this week. David Silva is one of them. I had questioned whether he would be able to maintain the level he produced last season, and to be honest at the moment he looks like surpassing it. In my opinion he is the second best player in the EPL behind Aguero. Hazard and Sanchez are incredible, but Silva is absolute class. From an FPL perspective, Man City look like the team to get behind and Silva should reap the benefits of their success. Feeding Aguero and Sterling will allow him to rack up the points. If De Bruyne arrives I might have second thoughts, but at the moment he looks gold.
Sanchez – Boom! I put him down for a 20+ goal season in July, and from what I saw on Sunday I have absolute confidence that he can do just that. I’d get him over Hazard if that’s your conundrum. He will rack up the goals this season…
Depay – It’s lucky I made it a late edition this week!!! For those that haven’t heard, Manchester United played a vital Champions League qualifier last night and Depay was the star. He scored 2 cracking goals and picked up an assist as well. Club Brugge would match it with a few EPL sides, they are no push-overs. Depay should have scored last week and looks vital to Van Gaal’s line-up. At 8.5, I think I’ve seen enough to suggest he will be a great pick this season. Get on board!
Gomis – Gomis was on the scoresheet again, and having gotten a few mentions here in pre-season there’s a lot of managers scrambling to get on board the train before it departs the station (He is 7.1, increasing to 7.2 by the end of this week). I still have my concerns though. Newcastle aren’t exactly on fire, and they had 10 men for the majority of the game. Even so, Gomis could only pick up 6 points! Because its been such a poor start to the season, these hauls look huge. They do to me! However once the guns are up and running, Gomis will need more when he scores. He has scored twice but is yet to pick up a single bonus point! That’s a concern for me, just like it was with Costa last season… I won’t be chasing him in FPL, but in my draft comp (no bonus points) I’m a happy owner! I still have him down for 15 goals this season, but without the extra bonus points/assists he won’t hurt you too badly… I hope.
Lukaku – When this guy is on form, there aren’t many defences who can control him. Lukaku’s touch seemed to be off last season, but he showed exactly why he’s such a talent in Everton’s win over Southampton. 8.1(Borderline as to whether he will rise again this week) is great value if he can push on from the platform he has built himself over the past few seasons. He is at the right age to take the next step, and if he does 20 goals is not beyond him. I love the fact that he assists and gets amongst the bonus points. Having managed 22 assists in his 3 seasons at the top level, if that goal mark heads towards 20 he will be a star selection. I’m struggling to move forward without him, Everton’s fixtures are the only thing holding me back! He does however love a goal against the top sides… Great option.
Arsenal – The improvement of the Manchester defences makes it all the more alarming for Koscielny and Cech owners like me. Arsenal dominated the game on Sunday, but every time that Palace went forward it looked like they would score. They could easily have had 2 or 3 in the back of the net, to say that Cech has had a shaky start at the Gunners is an understatement. He wasn’t at fault for the goal on the weekend though, put that down to Koscielny. They look out of sorts, and I think there’s one key reason for that. The partnership between the centre backs and the keeper needs serious work. Cech wasn’t sure when to come for crosses and communication seemed poor, I guess that can happen when you’ve been at the same club for 10 years. It will surely click at some stage this season, but right now I wouldn’t feel comfortable owning any Arsenal defensive assets.
Sunderland – All I can say is if you own a Sunderland player, you might be best served by giving them a spell on the sidelines. I had Myhill in my squad for most of pre-season, but opted for Pantilimon thanks to their easy start. He has done his best with some wonderful saves (as always), but they are a shambles in front of him. Just dump your Sunderland defenders ASAP! If they turn it around when relegation looks almost certain, we can pick up some bargains!
Chelsea (Ivanovic, Terry) – The biggest shock to me this season is how poor Chelsea have been at the back. Make no mistake, they are lucky to have only conceded 5 so far. The signs were there when they were playing Swansea, Gomis got in behind Terry and Cahill at least 4 times. Aguero managed to get through 1 on 1 within 30 seconds. Chelsea are all over the shop at the moment, and paying a premium for their defensive assets whilst they’re struggling seems a waste. I have faith that Mourinho can get them together, but in the short term it doesn’t look good.
Here’s my Chelsea defensive prediction:
They looked old and slow, this culminated in Terry getting subbed for the first time in forever. You can’t own him at 7.0! Ivanovic was a ‘must have’ for some this pre-season. That in itself was laughable, but even more so now that I’m tipping him to be dropped this week. New signing Baba Rahman (A £21.7m left back) has started training and could debut this weekend. I can almost guarantee this will mean shifting Azpilicueta back to his preferred slot at right back, meaning Ivanovic makes way. He was given a bath by Montero, and Sterling made him look 40+ at times. His effort for Man City’s third goal will surely result in their new club captain getting the chop. Harsh, but fair considering how he has performed so far! At 31 playing as a full back, you can’t afford to drop off like he has, it has exposed Chelsea far more than Mourinho would like.
At 6.0 Rahman could be good value, but Azpilicueta still remains a first team lock in my view. He is the Chelsea defender to own…
Sterling – I didn’t mention Sterling last week as I though I saw plenty of promise to hold onto him. Watching him on the weekend, now I’m less certain. I can still see him having a major impact, he will push 10 goals and 10 assists this season. However, he may not become the superstar I thought he might this season. Pre-season can be mis-leading. Don’t write him off completely, but with Yaya firing, Silva a class above and Depay now in the mix, he is down to his last chance. If you’re not wildcarding, I’d hold him. He has dropped to 8.9 and may lower a little further, but I still have him firmly on my watchlist!
Hazard – I’ll try to make this as clear as possible. You don’t write off a world class player because he has had a quite couple of weeks. He will still be an awesome pick this season, you can almost lock him in for another season like 2014/15. However I’m less confident that he will take that next step. Being selected by 50% of the competition, owning him is safe but boring. If he’s not going to push on like I thought he was capable of, then I’m not interested in owning him. He will drop to 11.4 this week and if he doesn’t score next week, he’s likely to drop more. As soon as he scores though, watch everyone crawl back to him. I have no doubt he will make it back into my side this season, but whilst I’m wildcarding I feel I can make a better team without him. That’s not me writing him off though!!! Hazard will still be good. If you’re not wildcarding, hold him. If you don’t have a team that you think is perfect without him, I wouldn’t take the risk.
Walcott – God damn… New season, same sh*t. Walcott must be the highest paid benchwarmer in the world. 3 years ago he got a £100,000 a week contract, before proceeding to do f**k all until GW38 last season. “Wow he’s amazing at striker” everyone claims, and Arsenal end up giving him ANOTHER £100,000 per week contract. Guess what, he’s back to the bench. He can’t even start ahead of Giroud… What a waste. I’ve run out of patience, however if he actually gets given a chance by Mr Wenger, he could become relevant again. We all knew the risk… The toughest call will be resisting the temptation if he starts and scores! I can’t see this rotation system ending.
Chamberlain – Don’t ask me why Wenger decided to start Ramsey on the right instead of the Ox, I am literally clueless. Cazorla had to be played through the middle, but Wenger’s refusal to drop Ramsey meant he ended up dropping Arsenal’s best player so far this season. Great logic. I guess you can’t own him then! Dump.
Rooney – I picked Rooney not because I thought he was an awesome selection, but because the guy I really wanted wasn’t available in GW1. Turns out I would’ve been better off selecting him anyway. I’m more than happy to see Rooney’s back with my wildcard. He hasn’t looked like it so far this season. Give him this week against Newcastle as his last chance…
Kane – Another selection of mine which was forced thanks to the Copa America. How Kane didn’t finish that cross in the second half is beyond me. There goes 8 points (Probably more considering bonus) down the drain. He doesn’t look like the player of last season, could he be just another England one season wonder? He’ll have to serious up his game if he isn’t to be a flop this season. Keep him on the watchlist, but short-term feel free to trade him to anyone capable of finding the back of the net! His substitution on the 60th minute suggests he isn’t quite fit just yet…
Player of the Week
Aguero – What a man. In his first start of 2015/16, he was through on goal within 30 seconds. The rustiness was obvious to see, but his goal was anything but. Kun had 3 or 4 golden chances within the first 30 minutes, wow he looked good! I am getting him in and not looking back, a 30+ goal season is right on the cards. Let’s pray he just stays fit, for the benefit of the Premier League as well as us FPL managers!
That does it for this week. Plenty to ponder! For those wondering I’ve activated my wildcard. I was forced to pick a team I wasn’t really satisfied with thanks to Aguero and Sanchez being MIA in GW1, and it’s left me ranked 2,915,792… Yep I didn’t even know there was that many players. I don’t think I’ve been ranked below 1 million since starting FPL, so something had to change! I was going after the big 4, but Depay’s performance has me pondering a few mid-pricers. It’s early in the season, but my plan of going without any midpricers looks to have failed. I reckon you need at least 1, just be careful not to overload. I’ll say this much, a decent defence has done nothing but screw me over so far. So bugger it, I’ve had enough of my strikers half arsed antics! A complete panic decision (something we preach not to do) of course, but at some point a message has to be sent…
The one thing I will always encourage you to do is make sure you like your team. That doesn’t mean bringing in guys such as Mahrez because everyone else is. It also doesn’t mean hold onto to those players not cutting the mustard if you’re not confident they can deliver. Be sure to select players you can back in, not just players that others like! Good luck trading this week amigos.