The captain rankings were ruined almost single-handedly by Carlo Ancelotti, who:
- decided to bench Lampard despite quotes all week that he would play;
- started Malouda on the bench, and worse, brought him on for a worthless 1 pointer
- started Alex on the bench and gave him 9 minutes for another worthless 1 pointer.
Nani and Berbatov were the key fantasy men for me in this one, while I was delighted to see Vidic get on the scoresheet, not just from the view of my team, but also because I tipped his future goal success back in GW2. Nani played two great assists for the first two goals and he is a better option than Valencia right now. At 8.0m I am not convinced he will deliver great value but he is certainly playing much better than last season, even earning the 3 BP last week. He is very near the top of my watchlist.
Berbatov also played well (though was offside too many times) and has developed into a legitimate top level forward so far this year. United's fixtures are very favorable over the coming weeks and between now and GW17 the only game you could see them not scoring in is GW12 at Man City. In short, no matter what happens to Rooney, Berbatov should remain good value and he is staying in my team for the foreseeable future.
City once again limited their opposition offensively and really should have kept a clean sheet in this one. Kalinic's goal was a fluke and I fully expect City to resume normal duty this week at Wigan. One slight problem is the imminent debut of Boateng who will steal minutes from someone so perhaps Toure is the best option for now though over the season I think Kolarov and Boateng's offensive force could make them better value.
Up front this team is lacking firepower and they really need to either get Balotelli back or play Adebayor. The former option is obviously the more likely and until then I think this side might not hit the goal heights we know they are capable of. Tevez remains a good option but I think he is overpriced and will fall more in line with Bent, Berbatov and Anelka (who are all significantly cheaper) rather than the top line forwards.
Fabregas was great in this one and might be the best midfielder around both in and out of fantasy circles. He is averaging 2.4 BP and one assist per 90 minutes and he could have added 3 or 4 more this week alone if Arsenal's finishing had been better. At 11.9m he is pricey but no other player has the potential to deliver in all 3 scoring categories as much as Fabregas right now so I would not hesitate to bring him in if you have room for a pricey mid. I would switch Lampard to Fabregas in a heart beat for the next 7 weeks.
Arsenal have now conceded one goal in three of their games, all against so-so opposition (sorry Liverpool, you are in that category right now) and I do no rot rate their their defense as startable on an every weekly basis. They dominated huge stretches of the Bolton game but both centre backs made mistakes for the goal and Wenger's attacking style will always make this side susceptible to conceding cheap goals and not locking down the clean sheet.
Drogba is now taking corners (which gave him an assist for Essien's goal) and most free kicks. He is the clear number one pick right now and should be held by everyone. He is also the closest thing to a must-captain player we have had since Ronaldo fled for Madrid.
It was disappointing to see Chelsea concede a worthless goal but it looked offside to me and I don't think any less of their unit over the course of the season because of it.
Alot of people will be jumping on Dembele this week but take note that one of his goals took a wicked deflection and the other squeezed under the wall and past an unsighted 'keeper. With Zamora out, Dembele is obviously going to start each week but I would not rate him up with Carroll, Kalinic or even Ebanks-Blake just yet.
I was pleased to see Konchesky get both the start and the 2 bonus points and he remains a great pickup, though if you don't own him yet I'd stay away this week as Liverpool travel to Man United.
Chaz Adam is a legitimate fantasy option and his set piece taking make him borderline starter worthy. By plugging in a 5.0m player, you should be free to splurge elsewhere all the while getting 35 starts, 6 goals and assists and a large proportion of Blackpool's bonus points (he already has 6). Blackpool's attacking ideology is highly admirable and I think Holloway will stick with it as there are many teams in this league who are terrified of losing and can be beaten if you go for the jugular. This should lead to goals over the course of the season and you would back Adam to be involved in a large proportion of them.
You hate to take 'positives' from an injury but from a purely selfish fantasy point of view, it would have been preferable for Modric to be out for a sustained period of time, allowing Van der Vaat to be guaranteed minutes and Bale to stay in midfield. As warned, Bale was shifted to left back this week, though Assou Ekotto was back against Werder Bremen and the pair linked up well once more, so one would think Bale will retake his left mid spot on the weekend.
In short, Bale is still close to a must own player, but while others will jump on board now, I am biding my time before I commit to using 7.5m on Van der Vaat.
As always thanks for reading and I encourage you to post your comments and thoughts below or @plfantasy.