There have been many Fantasy Premier League weeks defined by ownership of a single player.
Mohamed Salah made a mockery of the blank Gameweek last year as he put four past Watford, Sergio Aguero picked up a magical five-goal haul against Newcastle and Harry Kane managed four goals against Leicester.
Last week, it was that man Aguero once again as City dominated Huddersfield and scored six with Aguero netting a hattrick.
There had been rumblings of Pep potentially dropping/rotating/resting him (delete depending on your world view) and so I totally ignored the Argentine in my preview and my team — to my own great cost.
We must carry on looking ahead, though, and many managers will be hoping he can do it again as Wolves host the champions, who show no signs of slowing down.
Elsewhere, Liverpool will look to dampen the Seagulls’ spirits after their incredible win over Manchester United and there are relegation six-pointers everywhere with Huddersfield against Cardiff, Fulham taking on Burnley (sorry Burnley fans but the Europa League can be a curse) and a London derby between Arsenal and West Ham.
Here are a few things to consider when putting together your fantasy plans for next weekend.
- Aguero (11.1m) led the way for shots on goal with 9 as Manchester City battered Huddersfield
- Danny Ings (5.5m) had six shots for Southampton in his first full match
- Once again Salah (13.0m) had 2 big chances for Liverpool but this time failed to take either of them
- Ben Davies (6.0m) had 4 shots and created 2 big chances — not bad for a defender
- Benjamin Mendy (6.2m) had more touches in the opposition’s half and the final third than any other defender making him a midfielder essentially
Best: Arsenal – West Ham (h), Cardiff (a), Newcastle (a), Everton (h), Watford (h), Fulham (a)
Unai Emery was not handed the easiest of starts as he was put up against the two previous champions in his first two matches.
It has opened up for Arsenal considerably now though as they play none of the other top six teams until Gameweek 11 and they have two of the promoted teams in the next six.
Worst: Newcastle – Chelsea (h), Man City (a), Arsenal (h), Crystal Palace (a), Leicester (h), Man United (a)
Newcastle have not gotten off to a great start. They looked good against Spurs but lost and then looked poor against Cardiff and failed to get a win despite having a last-minute penalty.
It will only get worse now, though, as they face three of the top six in a row and they have Manchester United to look forward to as well.
Mohamed Salah (MID, 13.0m, Brighton at home)
In any other season, a goal and two assists in the opening two matches would be great. However, expectations are high for Salah and people’s eyes are being drawn to his teammate Sadio Mane.
As mentioned above, Salah still has the stats to suggest he will outscore everybody again this season: no midfielder has had more shots or big chances than him and only a handful of strikers have had more chances than the Egyptian king.
This week they face Brighton whose win over Manchester United should not fool you as that was at home. On the road, they were bottom of the table last year.
My captain’s armband is staying firmly on Salah for another week.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (FWD, 11.5m, West Ham at home)
It’s finally time to take a proper look at Emery’s Arsenal.
One man is at the forefront of everybody’s minds. Bearing in mind who they have played so far, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s five shots and two big chances are respectable and anybody who saw MOTD last week will know he should have scored against Chelsea.
This week they face a woeful West Ham at home and Aubameyang will have plenty more chances, surely one of them has to go in!
Benjamin Mendy (DEF, 6.2m, Wolves away)
I picked him out last week and he did not disappoint. Mendy is fast becoming an essential FPL asset as he is offering the full package of attacking returns and clean sheet points.
I listened to the 5Live coverage on Sunday and his name was constantly being mentioned as he picked the ball up time and again to provide width for his team and put in excellent crosses.
It’s still difficult to captain a defender but Mendy could become the exception!
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (MID, 7.0m, West Ham at home)
Another Arsenal man, this time the creator for Aubameyang. Mkhitaryan has been putting in excellent performances in difficult games and now he will have much more freedom to create chances for his teammates.
I’m expecting many more points. Bearing in mind the teams they have played against, nobody has created more chances than the Arsenal midfielder and only Ryan Fraser of Bournemouth has created more big chances.
Theo Walcott (MID, 6.5m, Bournemouth away)
If you can’t quite afford Richarlison (he did rise in price very quickly), then his teammate could be the next best thing.
I don’t like the idea of ‘coverage’ because better players will outscore their teammates and owning the teammate just makes it more frustrating. However, Walcott has been in similar positions to Richarlison, he just hasn’t scored quite as many yet.
It’s possible we could see a regression to the mean and Richarlison will start missing while Walcott will start scoring.
Marcos Alonso (DEF, 6.6m, Newcastle away)
I said Marcos Alonso was a bad idea in Maurizio Sarri’s new system in pre-season. I was wrong. One key to FPL is never being too proud to admit when you were wrong and picking up somebody in form.
The left back has already managed a goal and two assists and it doesn’t look like he’s being held back by the new system at all.
It takes a lot to get him in but it’s worth it when you look at Chelsea’s upcoming run (Newcastle, Bournemouth, Cardiff, West Ham).
Ricardo Pereira (DEF, 5.0m, Southampton away)
If you can’t quite stretch to Alonso, Pereira is a decent option for a relatively cheap 5.0m.
Pereira has shown himself adept at getting forward in Leicester’s first two games. He has two assists already and has put in eight crosses, creating three chances.
He’s also had more touches in the opposition area than any other 5.0m defender so he could come good in Leicester’s upcoming run of Southampton, Liverpool, Bournemouth, Huddersfield, Newcastle and Everton.
Don’t sell Aaron Wan-Bissaka
I know he was sent off but he will miss just one game. A 4.1m defender who looks nailed on to start and used to be a winger, he loves to get forward.
If you sell him now, then it’s wasting a transfer on a player who was likely to be on your bench anyway and then you’ll probably want to transfer him back in when you realise how useful it is to have a player at that price who starts for their team.
Just put him on your bench and forget about it until next week. If you can’t manage without a 4.1m defender for one week then you’ve got bigger issues!
Steve Cook (DEF, 4.6m, Everton at home)
It’s a golden rule of FPL (just like Garth Crooks’ team of the week) that a defender who scores is instantly a hit.
However, this is Steve Cook; a man who has not scored more than twice in the last two seasons and who plays for a notoriously leaky defence.
He’s had one shot in the last 180 minutes of football and it went in, Buying him now is the definition of points chasing. Don’t be sucked in!
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