That’s another gameweek down as we charge towards the hectic festive period, it’s vital to have your squad at full strength for the upcoming few weeks. Last weekend was tough for most, especially if you didn’t own Mahrez (Hopefully no one here)! A few popular options are battling niggling injuries, while the value picks continue to defy the odds. Here are the big movers from GW15…
On the Rise
De Gea – The only team that’s really showing consistent defensive form is Man United. What’s more incredible is that most of their first choice defensive options are out injured! Van Gaal has them playing a style of football which, well… Doesn’t concede very often. You have to credit him for solidifying what used to be a shaky back four. One man that deserves a lot of credit is De Gea, he’s world class right now and was the only reason West Ham didn’t score on the weekend. If you’re in the market for a solid, consistent keeper then look no further.
Ighalo – Wow. If you haven’t seen the highlights of the Watford v Norwich game, do yourself a favour and check them out. Ighalo could have had anything! He is in freakish form right now, and makes a mockery of our perceived ‘big 4’ forwards. His strike partnership with Deeney is thriving right now, Deeney’s presence allows Ighalo to do his thing, and boy is it working out for Watford. Many will consider getting Deeney as a POD, but I’m not sure that’s wise. He has been banging in the penalties lately, all of which are earned by Ighalo! 5.9 is a steal, the value buys available this year is ridiculous, if only we had the big guns to go with them…
Lukaku – I’ve had my reservations about Lukaku, however his recent form has finally convinced me. He has all the talent in the world, and it seems as though he’s finally starting to reach his potential. Having managed just 10 goals last season, Lukaku has already banged in 11 in just 15 games this campaign. Crucially he is doing it on a consistent basis, scoring in each of his past 5 appearances. No longer is he a one hit wonder. He also creates chances, notching a solid 4 assists and tallying an impressive 16 bonus points so far in 2015/16. Everton’s fixtures still shine upon them, and the only thing that looks like stopping Lukaku right now is the post and crossbar. He’s in for me this week, a month too late!
Ramsey – Here’s an outsider to consider. Ramsey has often been a fantasy favourite, owing to his incredible breakout season in 2013/14. Unfortunately he has been shifted out wide to accommodate Cazorla in central midfield. With a host of Arsenal midfielders succumbing to injury, Ramsey looks to be getting a run in the central role he so craves. Arsenal face Villa, Man City (Hardly a defensive rock) Southampton, Bournemouth and Newcastle during the festive period, a time in which Ramsey could provide a huge boost as your midfield POD! One to consider strongly.
Shaqiri – Stokèlona put Man City to the sword last Saturday and it caused everyone to sit up and take them seriously. We knew they had a host of fancy imports, and finally Shaqiri delivered on his treasured ability. He was sensational in setting up the first 2 goals for Arnautovic, and somehow contrived to miss an open goal when the Austrian returned the favour. It would be a HUGE gamble to bring either of them in, however if they continue this hot streak look out. Both are viable differentials in midfield. I’d want to see them back it up next week, even if it’s just looking dangerous!
Ali – Ali is becoming a popular 5th midfield option, and it’s easy to see why. He is playing high on confidence and is one of the main reasons for Spurs’ form this season. My problem is this, he shouldn’t be a starter in your team at any stage. Ideally you want to use him as precautionary backup and if you’re willing to pay an extra 0.8 for that then go for it. Stanislas remains a bargain at 4.2 and is certainly my pick as a back up option. Forget rotating your final attacker, just ask those stupid enough to bench Mahrez!!!!
Myhill – He was a personal favourite for me after the first few months, however West Brom have hit a rough patch defensively. The problem is that Myhill isn’t even needing to make saves! The Baggies have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 5, and amazingly Myhill has gained save points in just one of those games! Butland looks the obvious cheap option, whilst De Gea remains a stalwart. It should be noted that before the end of the festive period, West Brom host Bournemouth, Newcastle and Stoke whilst also visiting a struggling Swansea. I can smell a Tony Pulis 0-0 or three amongst those, seller beware.
Begovic – Courtois is back, which means Begovic is out! Regardless Chelsea are a shambles right now, so don’t bother getting Courtois in just yet. Trade!
Sagna – Having started the season as an absolute bargain, it seemed as though Sagna was the perfect option since being preferred to Zabaleta. City’s defensive form has been nothing short of woeful, managing just 2 clean sheets in their last 10 appearances. Sagna hasn’t picked up a single attacking return in that time, averaging 2.3 ppg. Kolarov will stay in my team thanks to his ridiculous attacking potential, but Sagna needs to go. I’ve always maintained that Kompany is overrated, I guess we won’t know until he returns!
Coutinho – How hard is it to say “Coutinho has picked up a hamstring strain and will miss a couple of weeks.” Why do managers have to keep them in contention when they know perfectly well they’re going to miss! If you’re still holding onto the Brazilian, he has been slated to return earlier than expected, whatever that means… If you have a free trade handy, keep it up your sleeve and wait for more news during the press conferences.
Yaya Toure – I guess a few will be holding on to grim hope that Toure can still carve a few years of his body and rediscover his barnstorming form. He is still vital to how Man City setup, however those line bursting runs are getting fewer and fewer. This latest injury setback should have been the final straw, although he is due back this week. Too much value elsewhere.
Hazard – I guess that’s what you get for showing faith in a man! The fact that I paid 10.9 for a player who hasn’t scored in 23 appearances this season says a lot for the premium talent going around at the moment. Chelsea look a lost cause, but they still have 3 very winnable fixtures to come. I’ve committed to Hazard, so I suggest we at least see it through until Boxing Day!
Martial – Remember that time 850000 managers transferred in a raw 19 year old talent? He is clearly United’s most dangerous player, but I guess that isn’t too hard. One for the future.
Aguero – You bastard. “For everyone asking, I’m fine. It’s just a harmless bump on the heel. Thanks, all of you, for the support!” My ass it’s just a harmless bump on the heel, apparently 11 days after the incident he still can’t walk! It sounds as though he certainly won’t be playing this weekend, and that’s enough for me. In comes Lukaku, which is what I should’ve really done in the first place! Once again I’ll have a stockpile of cash in the bank waiting for Kun to return.
Just remember, there’s probably another 50 point captains haul to come this season. He was the reason I charged up the rankings from >2 million to be in the top 100k, and he will do so again!
Kane – Calm down, I’m not saying he has to go. However I don’t think the decision is as clear as it seemed 2 weeks ago. It looked as though we had 3 clear in-form strikers to pick from, with Aguero throwing his hat into the ring. You can’t count Sturridge as a threat until he gets some game time under his belt (He’s now injured… Again…), however Ighalo’s performance suggested that he should be right up there with Lukaku, Vardy and Kane. He has some great fixtures over the next 3 weeks, it’s do or die!
Benteke – Since returning from injury Benteke has come off the bench 3 times to score or assist on each occassion (2 goals 2 assists) from just 86 minutes. In his 3 starts, he has done nothing. Against a Newcastle outfit who have been woeful at the back he failed to cause any troubles at all. Definite pass.
Sturridge – It’s getting farcical. Sturridge has returned for 2 games and managed to injure his hamstring… AGAIN. At what point does he just retire? Abou Diaby v 2.0!
Player of the Week
Mahrez – Incredible. Mahrez’s stats this season are crazy, he has now scored 10 and assisted 6 in just 14 appearances. His lazy 21 points on the weekend was his seventh, yes SEVENTH double figure haul of the season, his third of 15+. To put it into perspective, if he managed to continue at this rate he would challenge Suarez’s 300 point season, scoring around 20-25 goals and assisting ~15. He won’t, but that’s how good he’s going!
Now, do you want to know what’s even more crazy? 128,000 FPL managers benched him this week. That included a lot of so called “experts” on my twitter timeline, and I’m scared it may have included a few of us addicts. That is honestly the craziest, stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of since starting FPL. He was already the top scoring midfielder this season before the gameweek started, he is now clearly the highest scoring player in the league. No logic whatsoever justifies benching him, especially against a team struggling near the relegation zone! Rant over. Start him, play him, strongly consider captaining him. There’s my advice!
Just quietly on the other end of the spectrum, 449 managers triple captained him. Bastards… Although if you think that’s a lot, 494 have transferred him out since his hat-trick. Tough gig.
Hit me up with your transfer queries as we head further into December, things are going to start heating up! In other great news Baysie has returned from his hiatus, what a time to be a fantasy addict. Good luck for GW16, may it treat you well!