It has been a strange start to the Barclays Premier League season, especially in Fantasy. Only 2 clean sheets, one player to manage a brace and no forwards making it to double figures. Is this a sign of things to come, or should we give it until the international break? I’m a fan of having some early season patience… It’s time to take a look at the weekends winners and losers once again! God it’s good to have FPL back…
On the Up
Foster – He was on my bench, as he was for many managers… Damn rotating keepers. Even so, I’m just happy to have him. It’s like the competition has only just realised one of the best cheap keepers over the past 3-4 seasons is priced at 4.5 playing for Tony Pulis! Bargain.
Kingsley – He’s 4.0 and started last weekend, however Neil Taylor was still recovering from Wales duty at the Euro’s. AVOID. Amat is covering for the loss of Ashley Williams so unless they sign another centre back then he fits the D5 bill.
Barkley – Ross was in my squad from Day 1 and this was an awesome reward! Sure it was a little lucky, but things can happen when you own players taking set-pieces. It’s a huge advantage to have. I missed the Everton game so can’t really comment on how he played, but I’m still confident Barkley’s in for a good season. We know he always starts like a house on fire!
Redmond – My biggest regret of GW1 is not selecting Redmond. Comfortably. I hadn’t done enough research into Southampton’s pre-season and didn’t realise they were playing 2 strikers… My mistake. I’ll be verifying that mistake quickly I imagine, he’s a priority for me. The only problem is I absolutely loved what Tadic offered as well. This leaves me with a dilemma… Is 2 Southampton midfielders overkill? Probably, but one is technically a striker! 6.0 is great value and makes selecting his fellow striker Shane Long incomprehensible. He looked dangerous that’s for sure.
Shaqiri – He’s capable of producing magic and that’s exactly what we saw on the weekend. Incredibly that was Stoke’s first direct free-kick since 2013. For the most part however Shaqiri had a quiet game, and was actually about to be substituted as he took the free kick. I always tend to avoid players accountable to substitutions around the 60 minute mark. He’s a risk.
Lamela – There’s no better reward than a pre-season pick justifying his spot with immediate returns. This was reward for those who backed in their gut, fair play! I’m still unconvinced but that may be the Arsenal talking in me, Lamela looks lively and is certainly a great option at 7.0. Value.
Mane – I was lucky enough to be at that crazy 4-3 contest on Sunday, and Saido Mane was MOTM by a mile. Everytime Liverpool went forward he was the player leading the counter, constantly running at Monreal and causing Arsenal all sorts of issues. That goal he scored was absolutely insane. I feel as though he’s going to have a huge season, 9.0 is a lot be he could just be worth it. Trying to pick a Liverpool midfielder is a nightmare!
Martial – I was always a fan of selecting Martial throughout pre-season, even though he was never in my own plans. He’s a fantastic alternative to Ibrahimovic if you’re after United coverage, Martial looks set for a breakout season if you don’t consider his 11 goals and 6 assists last year enough! I’m honestly considering bringing him in this week, do not write him off due to his price tag! Huge potential.
Negredo – This was a massive goal from an FPL sense! Forget his ownership, Negredo was a hugely popular selection by those taking their teams seriously. We know what he’s about, and that awkwardly bundled goal might be how he gets a lot of his points this season. He’s certainly a player capable of scoring 15 goals, which at 6.5 is all you can ask. Great option.
Diomande – 4.5 throwaway who starts and is capable of scoring… Say no more. If you’re after a bench forward then I guess this is your guy!
Ibrahimovic – I was Zlatan’s biggest fan all pre-season, he’s world class and I’m not sure the throwaway “adjusting to the Premier League” applies here. I however didn’t start with him, choosing to see how he went GW1. Safe to say a swap between Sanchez + Cheap striker for Ibra + Redmond could be on the cards. I’m going to the United Southampton game so I’ll know a lot more about their FPL assets next week!
Defenders – Just 2 clean sheets have been managed by 18 teams so far… Insanity. The early season rustiness will wear off, I wouldn’t make nay rash trades in defence this week. Stick with your guns until the international break at least.
Sanchez – Having been at the game I’m concerned that Sanchez looks as jaded as he did at the start of last season. I owned him for 6 weeks last year where he did bugger all, then by the time he hit form his hamstring went. Of course he came back late in the season and hit form, but for such an up and down player keeping patience at 11.0 is hard. On the weekend he hardly impacted the game at all, keep in mind the scoreline ended up 4-3! To be honest I think starting with him was a mistake, he might be the type of guy who you see score once or twice and get on board ASAP. Form player!
Mkhitaryan – You need to start to be FPL relevant. He looks to be going head to head with Mata for that right wing position, it’s strange that such a coveted player is sitting on the bench but there you go! Can’t win them all, trade this week.
Ramsey – Rambo looked like a great differential heading into the season. He was brilliant for Wales in Euro 2016 and looked set for another outstanding season at Arsenal. Ramsey got to play in his desired number 10 role with Ozil missing, however his hamstring popped in the 60th minute. Expect to see him out for at least a month, an easy trade for those who took the punt.
Sigurdsson – Firstly, why did people start with Sigurdsson? Did they somehow miss Iceland’s heroics? Secondly, why are they trading him out now that he’s back fit next week? Get it together people!
Long – I never agreed with this option, and whilst it’s an early call I think it’s safe to say Redmond looks by far the better option classified as a midfielder! I’d be looking to swap the pair if possible.
Gray – A home game against Swansea looked the perfect opportunity for Gray to open his PL scoring account, however it wasn’t to be. Something has just hit me… He plays for Burnley. They won’t exactly be the highest scoring team. I’m looking to trade a cheap striker and I prefer Carroll’s potential, experience and West Ham’s threat at this stage. Gray definitely deserves a few weeks to prove himself, but I’ll be looking just as closely at how Burnley fare. He needs to be getting chances!
Firmino – Lastly, and I don’t know why I’m writing about him here, Firmino is in the top 5 midfielders traded out. WHY! Rage trade at its finest. Yes he failed to register a goal or an assist in a 4-3 win, but he still played well. His team looked extremely threatening. Of course most of all, he had chances!!! I watched Firmino closely and if I was an owner I wouldn’t be too worried that points are far away. A massive game is just around the corner and as a non-owner I feel threatened. I’ll be getting him in when possible!
Player of the Week
Coutinho – I did say that he has been overlooked at 8.0, but wow that was some statement! To be fair before he scored that free kick he was completely irrelevant, but that doesn’t matter. From that moment up until he was subbed with cramp he dominated the game. Playing in behind Firmino in the centre, Coutinho looked extremely dangerous when pushing forward. His free kick turned the game for Liverpool and that’s what he’s capable of. It’s not hard to see why he’s expected to rise overnight, however I wouldn’t swap any Liverpool mid for him. If you’re like me however and don’t own a Red due to their fixtures, we might have to change that!!! Gun.
There you go. 1 gameweek down, 37 to go. The most important message this week, DO NOT PANIC. One bad score isn’t the end of the world. Just don’t go throwing away your pre-season plans because one of your players blanked, patience is required. Give your squad 2 more weeks to show what they’re capable of, then you’ll have a much better idea of what changes need to be made! Good luck trading and let’s make next week another successful one points wise…
Personally I started with 52, not great but we move on. Any score above 60 is solid. Let me know how you fared in the comments!