After a flying start to the season, many teams were hit with a massive reality check in GW3. The nightmare of an Aguero + Ibrahimovic blank came true, meaning the round average ended at a pitiful 42 points. The international break is now upon us, and many teams will be choosing to activate their wildcards with the transfer window to close before GW4. Wildcard time? There’s plenty to cover so strap yourselves in…
On The Rise
Valencia – After losing out to Shaw last week, Valencia got his own back with a haul of 3 bonus points. In all honesty I think owning both is becoming more and more of a possibility, Mourinho has United looking rock solid at the back and 5.5 is a bargain. Get on board.
Baines – What could have been… I think we have to look at this positively. Sure, the width of the post was the difference between Baines scoring 7 points and scoring 15 points, but at least he’s back on penalty duties! Add that to his free kick duties and he’s once again one of the top defensive options. I’m a very satisfied owner, Everton are looking solid under Koeman!
Holgate – At 4.5 the young Everton centre back is aquiring a lot of buyers, but I’d be avoiding him. The Toffees are in for numerous centre backs and after the signing of Ashley Williams I don’t see a spot for him long-term.
Sanchez – Typical Sanchez. After owning him for 2 blanks, he comes out and scores 16. Ridiculous. He’s the type of player that gets red hot when he hits form, he’s capable of averaging 10 points per game over the next month if he gets a run on. A big risk at 10.9 (Soon to be 11.0 again), but he’s more than capable of these huge scores! Risk v Reward. I like his team mate personally.
Ozil – This is the man I speak of. Based on last seasons performances I’m surprised Ozil isn’t double figures, but I don’t think he will remain at 9.5 for long. He is critical to everything Arsenal does well and has his fair share of set pieces, a massive advantage in FPL. He created a record 144 chances last season, and with new signing Perez willing to get in behind defences I’m tipping him to go close to matching that feat this season. I’m on board this week and he’s my pick of the round! Get around him!
Fer – One option that has snuck under the radar is Leroy Fer. He isn’t your typical FPL selection, usually playing a deeper midfield role. However at just 5.1 his forward raids can’t go unnoticed, scoring his second goal in 3 league games. I wouldn’t pick him myself, but I can see why others would. A real budget saver.
Hazard – Undoubtedly the pick of the season so far, Eden Hazard has confirmed to us that he’s back to his best. When you consider that his best involves creating 24, 24 and 25 goals previous to last season, it’s clear that 10.2 is an absolute steal. As close to a must have as there is this season, especially with Aguero set for a spell on the sidelines.
Cazorla – I’ve never been a big fan of selecting Cazorla in Fantasy, however it’s becoming clear how vital he is to Arsenal’s chances. He won’t create as many chances as Ozil, however his penalty duties give him a huge boost as far as goal threat is concerned. The fact that you can pick him up as a mid-pricer (7.5) really changes the game, if you can’t afford Ozil or Sanchez then Cazorla is a no brainer for Arsenal coverage. Gun.
Antonio – I absolutely love Antonio, and it’s a huge shame that Bilic was threatening to use him as a right back. It’s crazy stuff. He was the first player picked in my squad when FPL opened, but twice he has been fielded at right back. Guess what, it hasn’t worked! He was substituted after 51 minutes on the opening day, fail. Then he was played on the wing against Bournemouth. He scored. Bilic then starts him at right wing back against Man City. Antonio gets pushed forward at half time, he scored! Seeing the pattern here? Surely Sam Byram starts at right back, allowing Antonio the freedom to get in the box regularly. If he does, 7.0 is a steal. Certainly an option this week with West Ham’s kind run of fixtures.
Forwards – After Aguero, Ibrahimovic and Negredo had been on fire in the first two gameweeks, it was a week for the midfielders. Incredibly only 3 goals were scored by forwards in GW3. For comparison, 19 had been scored in the first 2. I’d suggest this was a one off so don’t make any irrational decisions, especially if you’re using your wildcard!
Walker – For many managers (Myself included) this was a bullet dodged. Kyle Walker was looking an intriguing option at 5.6 and I was considering bringing him in. Unfortunately he was substituted after 28 minutes due to illness, but I wouldn’t worry too much if I was an owner. He should be fine after the international break.
Stones – I’m still confident that Man City’s defensive form will turn around sooner rather than later. I was lucky enough to see this game live and they absolutely dominated West Ham. The Hammers hardly had a sight on goal before Antonio leapt to nod in at the back post. Back in your guns.
Mahrez – This hurts. FPL can be a game of fine margins, and this is a perfect example. Mahrez has hardly set the world on fire this season, however if his penalty had found the back of the net we would be having a completely different discussion. A goal and likely 3 bonus points would have scored him 11 and made him the third highest scoring midfielder of the season, without doing a thing in open play! Give him a couple more weeks…
Martial – I really liked Martial’s prospects a couple of weeks ago, and I won’t lie I got sucked in. He remains inconsistent and isn’t quite ready to take a premium spot in your midfield. There’s plenty of alternatives, Ozil being my favourite!
Kane – Unbelievably Harry Kane has still never scored a goal in August (10 games). It was midway through September that he hit form last season, so don’t rule him out… He remains a brilliant option to replace Aguero in my opinion, especially with many people trading him out. It can also afford to wait until gameweek deadline as his price will only fall!
Long – Long’s fall from grace was complete when Austin started ahead of him against Sunderland. Alarmingly Southampton struggled to find a way through to goal once again, leaving question marks over their FPL assets. I will get to see them live over the next couple of weeks so I’m giving Tadic and Redmond two more lifelines!
POSSIBLE BANS – A side story this week is the potential bans clouding three popular FPL players, although it seems only two remain in hot water. Of course Andre Gray’s potential suspension was discussed last week, however he has been given until September 5 to argue his case. I’m not really sure what there is to argue to be honest, I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t get a suspension. Nevertheless, do not trade until anything is confirmed!
This weeks hot topic is Sergio Aguero’s elbow. Amazingly it’s not injured! 75 minutes into last Sunday’s clash with West Ham, Kun decided to throw a wild elbow in the vicinity of Winston Reid’s head. The referee has admitted to the FA that he didn’t see the incident (Not sure how) and Aguero has since been charged for rough conduct by the FA. We’re expecting a verdict today, but anything less that 3 games would be criminal. It’s a red card offence and should be a 3 game suspension, it’s a pretty simple case. Once again do not trade until any ban is confirmed, but start planning to offload Aguero. He’s also sitting out of the international break due to a calf strain, and that’s a massive worry in itself. I have my get out plan ready to implement as soon as a verdict is handed down! You should too, you don’t hold 13m on the bench.
Lastly, Erik Lamela looks to be one lucky boy. There has been no word from the FA about him being charged for an eye gauge on Lovren, so we can only assume that he will be free to play next week. I’m pretty amazed by this, if that incident is seen by the referee then surely it warrants a red card? A players hands should never go near someones face, let alone go near a players eyes. I thought this was going to be a 3 game ban after the weekend, but I’m starting to think Lamela owners may be fine. He’s on fine form so let’s hope he doesn’t do anything else stupid!
Player of the Week
Sterling – There’s no doubting who has been the most hotly debated player this week, and that’s Raheem Sterling! Sure this performance was the icing on the cake, but the signs were there the previous two weeks (as I had mentioned)! I thought he was City’s best player in GW1 and he did it again against West Ham on Saturday, only this time it ended in a 2 goal, 15 point haul! Sterling has had the most touches in the box of anyone so far this season, that’s a crazy stat for a winger. Classified as a midfielder and only setting you back 8.2, this is almost a no brainer. Pep’s team are dominating every week and Sterling is going to keep getting chances. If Aguero misses then here’s your route into City’s attack, it’s great to see him finally living up to the hype!
That just about covers things after what has been a massive week in football! Of course there is one big topic left untouched, the transfer deadline day. Don’t worry, we have an article in the works! There was plenty happening yesterday so be sure to check that out and we’ll discuss things further sometime over the next week! For now, enjoy the break from football… Who am I kidding, the international break is a joke.