Clean Sheet Rankings
- Chelsea vs Swansea (0.79 11 - n/a)
- Liverpool vs Wolves (0.81 9 - 8)
- Man City vs Everton (0.81 14 - 7)
- Arsenal vs Bolton (0.95 10 - 7)
- West Brom vs Fulham (1.26 2 - 7)
- Stoke vs Man Utd (1.29 8 - 5)
- Newcastle vs Blackburn (1.29 5 - 7)
- Fulham @ West Brom (1.31 5 - 5)
- Tottenham @ Wigan (1.31 4 - 2)
- QPR vs Aston Villa (1.33 n/a - 6)
- Man Utd @ Stoke (1.38 6 - 4)
- Wigan vs Tottenham (1.48 4 - 5)
- Sunderland @ Norwich (1.49 7 - n/a)
- Everton @ Man City (1.53 4 - 3)
- Bolton @ Arsenal (1.64 1 - 5)
- Aston Villa @ QPR (1.69 1 - n/a)
- Wolves @ Liverpool (1.86 3 - 2)
- Norwich vs Sunderland (1.88 n/a - 9)
- Blackburn @ Newcastle (2.14 1 -4)
- Swansea @ Chelsea (2.26 n/a - 2)
- Chelsea vs Swansea (2.26)
- Newcastle vs Blackburn (2.14)
- Sunderland @ Norwich (1.88)
- Liverpool vs Wolves (1.86)
- QPR vs Aston Villa (1.69)
- Arsenal vs Bolton (1.64)
- Man City vs Everton (1.53)
- Norwich vs Sunderland (1.49)
- Tottenham @ Wigan (1.48)
- Stoke vs Man Utd (1.38)
- Aston Villa @ QPR (1.33)
- West Brom vs Fulham (1.31)
- Wigan vs Tottenham (1.31)
- Man Utd @ Stoke (1.29)
- Blackburn @ Newcastle (1.29)
- Fulham @ West Brom (1.26)
- Bolton @ Arsenal (0.95)
- Everton @ Man City (0.81)
- Wolves @ Liverpool (0.81)
- Swansea @ Chelsea (0.79)
In reality you're probably going with one of the red hot strikers from United/City but there isn't really much to say with that pair. Below are a couple of outside the box ideas, along with my personal choice between Rooney and Aguero:
Fernando Torres - channeling a bit of Matthew Berry, let's do a round of blind resumes:
- Player A - 11 shots, 5 on target, 2 goals in 331 minutes
- Player B - 10 shots, 4 on target, 1 goal in 338 minutes
- Player C - 6 shots, 3 on target, 1 goal in 446 minutes
We've seen that shots, particularly those on target are a decent indicator of goals scored, and on that basis Player B looks to be Player A's approximate equivalent and quite a bit above Player C. Player A is Luis Suarez, currently owned by 36% of managers, Player B is Fernando Torres (4%) and Player C is Darren Bent (7%). Swansea defended pretty well against Arsenal away but struggled at City, and you'd probably say that Chelsea fall somewhere in the middle of that group. They've surrendered 20 shots in 5 games (2nd most in the league) and despite his struggles, Torres still has the class (usually) to take advantage of that kind of charity. This pick would be a huge risk, and not one I would make, but if you still own Torres you really have to either sell him or captain him this week. If he can't do it now, he won't do it ever.
Frank Lampard - I wouldn't really suggest captaining Lampard but I did want to take the opportunity to draw attention to the fact that Lampard has some pretty impressive underlying numbers and might not be finished just yet. Despite speculation that his role would be much deeper than in prior year, he's actually had more passes in the opponents half this year than last (59% vs 54%) while also enjoying a slight uptick in overall touches per game (80 vs 77). He's managed 2 assist to date but his 15 key passes are second in the league and at this rate, he should be able to rack up pretty big assist numbers for the year. The problem is that he's managed just 4 shots all year (0.9 per game) compared to 55 last year (2.4 per game). He remains on penalty duties which should help his goal total a bit but until he starts shooting more, it's tough to justify his lofty price tag. There is still something here though and he makes a good gamble this week, though not a very logical play.
Juan Mata - there's been a lot of excitment about Mata so far this year but he's managed just 11 points in 3 games and for me, handing him the captaincy is too cute. You like the 11 key passes (though no assists yet) but like Lampard, he's mustered just 4 shots (2 on target) and he just doesn't carry the goal/assist combo threat of a Rooney/Aguero or even Silva/Nani/Young.
Robin Van Persie - the fixture looks good and the Dutchman is of course capable of hitting a high score, but we've been burned by him already this year and while the 3 goals last week were encourgaing, Arsenal just aren't in the class of the elite teams at the moment and you wouldn't be surprised if they squeaked a 1-0 here (though they could just as well score 5). If you want to avoid the Rooney/Aguero pairing this week then for me, Van Persie is the man to go with, but it's such a risky move; the kind that can win and lose your league, and the kind I try and stay away from.
I've written extensively about United and City this week, so I won't dwell on those points already raised here. Wayne Rooney and Sergio Aguero (and Edin Dzeko) are in irresistible form and any of them make great captain picks in any given week. When in doubt I tend to defer to the fixture list and given City's home fixture, I'd give the nod to Aguero/Dzeko over Rooney. I wouldn't argue against someone going the other way and as a Rooney owner I won't be making a transfer to get a City player, such is the fine margin between this trio.
Reader QuestionsRyry - Currently I have Rooney, van Persie and Adebayor upfront but considering brining in Dzeko and Suarez for adebayor and rooney. Just wondered what your thoughts were!
True, Rooney has a tough fixture but I rarely reccommend paying for transfers and I certainly wouldn't be selling Rooney at this point, even just for a week. I like Dzeko/Aguero over Van Persie in the long run but I would probably wait until next week to make that move when City enjoying a bigger fixture advantage than this week.
PUI165 - I have a question about Sturridge who I own and who got injured last night. My options: 1) Try and survive this GW and hope he plays the next one, 2) sub in Adebayor for 4pt hit, but that would leave me very top heavy. The funds I have I was planning to use on upgrading Taarabt and or Walcott to Mata/VDV. 3) Taarabt, Sturridge out-Best, Mata in for 8pt hit.
Again, I am reluctant to reccommend taking a 4 point hit, unless your current team looks like it is going to be forced to play short handed. Everyone else in your team looks like a starter, so I would stand pat for this week. I would target moving Walcott on and probably go after either Nani or Young, depending on who you like more (you already own Silva). If you wanted to move Sturridge on next week, I'd agree and go with Adebayor given Spurs good looking fixture list.
Moe Vawda - Need advice on who to choose from SWP, Barton and Taarabt?
I like all three of these guys and would definitely put them on my shortlist. For me though, a combination of impressive underlying stats and his performances in the last 2 weeks have convinced me that Taarabt will start scoring decent fantasy points soon and I love him at 6.5m, especially as it seems many managers are giving up already.
Raddz - I was wondering if it would be a good idea to cash in on Young and switch him for Nani as it looks like Nani is doing better right now or should I just wait and see?
I think the two are very very close, and the only reason I say I like Nani more is simply because I've not seen enough to change my mind. I would imagine you could use that free transfer to improve your team somewhere else so I'd hold with Young for now, unless your team is totally set, then yes, I like Nani a touch more.
Gummi - I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on front-loading (so to speak) your team and having only budget options in the back. For example, picking Rooney, Aguero, Silva, Nasri, and Young and complimenting them with cheap options such as Dyer in the middle and a bunch of cheap defenders (Gabbidon, Ward, De Laet, etc.).
In the early running I think this would have been a very good strategy with teams like Newcastle, Swansea and QPR providing even more cheap options to go with the established cheap favorites like Stoke. I'd be reulctant to go with 5 uber-cheap defenders but if you supplement them with a Enrique or a Phil Jones then that gives you a nice base of, say, 10-12 clean sheets to build on. The problem I've found with this strategy in the past though is that you are so reliant on your squad that when suspensions and injuries start rolling in, you can quickly find yourself forced to play Gabbidon at Old Trafford etc. I do like the idea and I'm kind of leaning that way myself, but the key is making sure those 5 defenders and budget mids play every single week and avoiding cute picks like Jonny Evans.
deb - just wanted to ask whether you saw much value in owning both Aguero and Dzeko (as well as Silva), or is that overkill for City forwards?
I've thought about this myself and I think the biggest downside is that it precludes you owning a defender from arguably the best unit in the league. It would obviously lead to some big fluctuations in your weekly score as when City struggle so will you, but over the course of a season that doesn't really matter. I would say Rooney-Hernandez-Nani would be overkill due to prices involved but Dzeko being a bit cheaper does make it more tempting. I like Richards and Kompany too much to do it, but I see no reason why it isn't doable.
Shedboy - I am trailing almost 100 points in each of my mini leagues, so what i'm asking you is 'Is it still(given my 100point trail)worth paying that extra 2.5m on Rooney or it can used somewhere else? I also have Aguero, Silva, Nani from Manchester.
That's a tough question. So early in the season I wouldn't be too concerned with the league table and I'd target the players who you like to score the most points. It sucks to bring Rooney in now as you are just locking in a 12m stalemate, but I took the same approach some years with Ronaldo and he just kept doing it all year. The thing with Rooney is that he is rarely dropped and has a tremendous ability to rack up minutes. United have Wellbeck to come back as well as Berbatov (and I suppose Owen) on the bench which might hamper Hernandez a bit as the season gets into the winter grind. In short, until someone else does something remarkable, Rooney looks to be worth every penny.
@RaySoc - sell Adam/Suarez for Nani/Dzeko vs Larsson/Aguero to join Silva, Moses, Barton, Brunt, Rooney, Adebayor? othr sugg?
This looks like the kind of situation where Dzeko may be better than Aguero. Nani is a potentially huge upgrade over Larsson and if there's no other way to free up the cash then I like that first pairing more. I might be more tempted by Taarabt/Aguero but until we see the points flowing for the QPR man, I'd lock in Nani and Dzeko. Given Liverpool's good fixture this week, I wouldn't do these transfers in one go and incur a fee, but instead probably grab Dzeko this week and then Nani next week in time for the Norwich fixture.
@weheartfooty - have already made my transfer - do I cost myself 4 points replacing smalling?
Unless you're facing the prospect of starting 10 men, I'd hold onto Smalling who could even play this week, and holds value in the near future given the injuries to United's back line.