WEEK 6: Fantasy EPL REVIEW
This was a weekend in which all top six teams all won. Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal cruised to victories. City is simply destroying opponents at the moment. Sane, Sterling and Aguero were the ones who profited the most this time around. Chelsea is not less impressive, with Morata recording his first EPL hat-trick and proving to be everything Conte wanted and more. Another newcomer, Alexandre Lacazette, led Arsenal with two goals, which took care of WBA on Monday. The Spurs dominated West Ham for most of the game, but then let up toward the end, which led to an unnecessarily tense ending in a 2-3 road win. The same scoreline applied to Liverpool’s win at Leicester. Okazaki started over Iheanacho again, and found the scoresheet again. The Reds, true to themselves under Klopp, almost led another lead slip away after Salah and Coutinho opened the scoring. Vardy missed a penalty late that would’ve tied the game. United earned a hard-fought three points in Southampton in a game that The Saints dominated in possession, yet failed to create opportunities. A discouraging result for a team with high aspirations before the start of the season and another bitter pill for fantasy owners of their players. Lukaku’s rebound goal was the deciding moment.
In other scores, Brighton won the battle of newly-promoted against Newcastle. Israeli Tomas Hemed scored the winning goal, but he will be on the sidelines for the next three games after having been retroactively suspended for stepping on DeAndre Yedlin’s leg. Owners of Andre Gray and Tammy Abraham were satisfied after both netted in Watford’s 1-2 road win against Swansea. Everton added more misery to Bournemouth’s season in 2-1 win, while Huddersfield and Burnley played a goalless draw.
Week 6 highest fantasy scorers
Goalkeepers: Mathew Ryan (Brighton), David De Gea (Manchester United), Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield) and all the rest who kept clean sheets.
Defenders: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Christopher Schindler (Huddersfield), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Hector Bellerin (Arsenal), Stephen Ward (Burnley), Zanka (Huddersfield), Nacho Monreal (Arsenal), Bruno (Brighton), Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea).
Midfielders: Leroy Sane (Manchester City), Phillipe Coutinho (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), David Silva (Manchester City), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur).
Forwards: Alvaro Morata (Chelsea), Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Oumar Niasse (Everton), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Tomer Hemed (Brighton).
WEEK 7: Fantasy EPL PREVIEW
Huddersfield vs. Tottenham
– Tottenham has been better on the road than at home this season. Despite Huddersfield’s best efforts to hold onto the top of the table, they have slowly but steadily begun to fade. Kane has been on fire after a slow start, following a brace on Saturday with a hat-trick against Apoel on Tuesday. I told you to be patient a couple of weeks ago. Now I’ll tell you to enjoy the ride. Trippier is likely to be in the starting lineup following Aurier’s dismissal. Schindler and Zanka have formed one the more formidable center back duos in the league and are the main reason why Huddersfield’s defense is much better than anticipated. Mounie is still out, so Depoitre will get another start.
Bournemouth vs. Leicester
– This is a duel of two underachievers. Who will rise to the occasion? Hopefully we see a high-scoring game. A share of the spoils is my most likely scenario. Iheanacho will never live up to expectations until he gets regular playing time, and that is not going to happen as long as Okazaki keeps making the best of his opportunities, which is definitely disappointing for Kelechi’s owners. Mahrez has yet to score but is bound to find the net eventually. In general, I’d pick Stanislas and Ibe to have good fantasy games. Vardy is a must-start as the team’s penalty taker (although he did miss one last weekend).
Manchester United vs. Crystal Palace
– Not only does Crystal Palace’s point total sit at zero, but they haven’t even scored in six games. It must be a horrible feeling, and it’s probably not going to come to an end at Old Trafford this Saturday. United’s players should top the highest scorers list as did City’s players last week. The main beneficiaries? Romelu Lukaku, who has been in scintillating form, and Marcus Rashford.
Stoke vs. Southampton
– This game couldn’t have come at a worse time for The Saints. They have struggled mightily in front of opposition’s goals and now have to face a Stoke team with a bruised ego after the heavy defeat suffered at the hands of the reigning champions. I wouldn’t recommend any of their players. As for Stoke, Jese hasn’t done anything after scoring on his debut. The clock’s arrow is pointing at his direction. Other than him, I see Joe Allen, Diouf, Shaqiri and Zouma providing some nice fantasy value.
West Bromwich Albion vs. Watford
– Like Tottenham, Watford has been excellent away from home with all three wins coming on the road. Now they face a team that hasn’t felt the emotion of a win in over a month. Will they be up for the challenge? I don’t think so. Richarlison has been a revelation for Watford. Combine him with Gray and Deeney and this is perhaps a team that can challenge for a European spot. Not in this game, though. Jay Rodriguez is my pick to score this week. I also think either Evans or Dawson heads one home and Phillips finally delivers.
West Ham vs. Swansea
– A matchup of two teams that can’t find their groove. Every glimpse of hope gets shut down with a new defeat. That being said, The Hammers have the better squad on paper, and as such should be considered favorites. Antonio got injured again and will miss this fixture. There are no clear-cut choices for fantasy purposes, but I’d take my chances with Marko Arnautovic and possibly Andy Carroll as Antonio’s replacement.
Chelsea vs. Manchester City
– The game of the season so far in England. Both teams come in great form and look unbeatable at the moment. City has won the last seven games they’ve played with a 26:2 goal difference, while Chelsea has won seven of their last eight games with a 23:4 goal difference. Both Aguero and Morata are on fire, leading the league in goals (along with Lukaku with six goals each). The stakes are high, and in such games, only a few players step up. Chelsea is more battle-tested, and in my opinion, they’re the better team overall. I see them winning this one, with Eden Hazard coming up big. The Citizens will be without Benjamin Mendy, as the most expensive full back on the planet has suffered ligament damage to his right knee that will keep him on the sidelines for an extended period of time.
The breaking news from this morning is Sergio Aguero’s car crash that left him lying in a hospital bed with broken ribs. Someone might have mentioned something about Kun getting hurt when he plays well… City’s chances are looking dimmer and dimmer by the minute.
Arsenal vs. Brighton
– The Gunners took care of their previous two home opponents (WBA and Bournemouth) with relative ease. Brighton’s faith should be no different. Lacazette is slowly finding his steps in the new environment. He, together with Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey, are my go-to fantasy players from this game.
Everton vs. Burnley
– Is Everton another victim on Burnley’s path? Or are they not motivated enough for Dyche’s men? Niasse was the difference maker off the bench for The Toffees last week, as was Tom Davies, who provided an assist for the first goal. Those performances should have earned Niasse and Davies starts over Calvert-Lewin and Davy Klaasen, although only the native of Senegal might get one. Goals will be at a premium, and Jordan Pickford could very well keep a clean sheet.
Newcastle vs. Liverpool
– Newcastle lost to Huddersfield and Brighton in the last five games and beat everybody else in the meantime. As unpredictable as they are, this will be a challenging task for The Reds coming off a pulsating 2-3 win in Leicester and a 1-1 draw in Moscow versus Spartak. The most encouraging factor is the re-emergence of Coutinho, who, despite all personal issues, has been an utmost professional off the field, and is delivering on it as well. Mane has served his suspension, so it’ll be interesting to see whether the Brazilian finds himself in the starting lineup or not. Regardless, this is promising to be another thrilling encounter in which you wouldn’t want to own a defender.