With all the action this week, stretching through Wednesday evening I thought I better get formulating some thoughts on the weekend's happenings now or face an essay deadline on Thursday morning.
Play the Fixtures
The games in the books so far have illustrated just how important it is to play the fixture list each week. Of teams who faced opponents that concede more than 1.5 GPG, all but Wigan managed to net twice leading to big fantasy weeks from budget players like O'Hara, Pienaar, Denilson and Carew. Some of the stars in these games also managed to shine, notably Fabregas, Bent and Arteta (all in my captain rankings this week). Tougher fixtures for Birmingham and Stoke limited the fantasy contribution of their players this week (though Birmingham have a chance for redemption on Wednesday at Blackburn).
The clean sheets for the week served to illustrate this point further with 3 of the 4 best fixtures yielding clean sheets despite neither Everton (11th) nor Wigan (18th) ranking in the top 10 in goals conceded this season. Arsenal, by the way, quietly notched their 11th clean sheet of the season and have only conceded just 3 goals in the last 6 games.
From both a fantasy and reality perspective, Sunday was pretty disappointing. No clean sheets (giving just 3 in 10 games for the weekend so far) along with goals from fantasy lightweights like Park and Diouf ensured that the spoils were limited to an unassisted Rooney goal, a first half Torres header and a Drogba goal at Ewood Park. I suppose this scoring underlined my key trend for the season that top strikers are more valuable than top midfielders but nevertheless I expected more points from the big boys, especially Chelsea.
Plenty of action still to come this week so do not despair if things haven't gone your way so far. Looking further ahead to gameweek 32 the teams to target are Liverpool, City and Spurs who all enjoy a great fixture in terms of both attacking and defensive point potential.
Check back after the midweek games for a final wrap up before next week's preview on Thursday. Thanks for reading and please post your thoughts/comments/questions below or @plfantasy.