We are only in GW5 and it feels like so much has already happened, I suppose it has! The wildcard debate for GW2, The handball/ penalty fiasco, a transfer window running into the season, an untimely International break during a pandemic, goals flying in round the country and some huge upsets.
Newcastle winning vs West Ham in GW1 looked like it may be the start of something good but then got smashed by Brighton the next week. Man Utd struggled against Palace in GW2 after Everton had dismantled struggling West Brom and then seven goals in the Leeds (4) vs (3) Fulham match. GW 3 we saw Man Utd get a penalty after the final whistle to save their blushes and Chelsea comeback from 3-0 down to get a point vs West Brom in the dying seconds. On Sunday, Leicester got a shock 5-2 win at the Etihad courtesy of a Vardy hat-trick and then West Ham dominated Wolves in a 4-0 win. On Monday we saw Liverpool at their pressing best to beat Arsenal. Then came an even crazier GW 4, Everton won their 4th game of the season to put them safely on top with Dominic Calvert-Lewin on flames, Leeds got a 1-1 draw with Man City at Elland Road, and on an action packed Sunday we say Leicesters get trounced by West Ham at home, Spurs go one down in the 2nd minute, replying twice in 5 minutes and winning 6-1 at Old Trafford! Then the biggest shock, Liverpool annihilated 7-2 by Aston Villa, a team they finished 60 points ahead of just last season.
What do we expect?
In my opinion, until fans are back in the stadium, it’s probably going to carry on for a while so expect goals. No fans, two games a week and lots of uncertainty with Covid, I just think there will be lots of great entertaining matches.
The focus on my Fantasy team is goal scoring midfielders, penalty takers and attacking wing back. Nothing new there to be honest, the only deviation is lowering the budget for goalkeepers and defenders.
I have Kasper Schmeichel and a 4.0 keeper who probably won't get a minute this season. I’m looking to replace Kasper with someone a bit cheaper as I just don’t think many clean sheets will be kept in this early part of the season for the reasons stated above. Really not an area I’m spending too much time or Fantasy money on at the moment.
Castagne and Creswell have started well with clean sheets and assists, with the former chipping in with 1 goal already and has shot up in price by 0.3 points. Chilwell had a great premier league debut in the Chelsea 4-0 over Palace with a goal and assist in addition to his clean sheet. Tyrick Mitchell at 4.1 looks a decent cheap option, he has started each game and got an assist. The same can be said about James Justin who also has a goal and an assist to his name. I will also be looking to replace Trent Alexander with Robertson, other teams are watching Trent a little closer and he may have to become a decoy. His technical quality is not in doubt but he may have to be a bit more selective with his runs and positioning to allow other spaces to open up across the pitch. At 0.5 points cheaper, I think Robertson can get the same returns if not higher.
Heung-Min Son has started the season extremely well, a four goal haul vs Southampton and a brace vs Man Utd, he sits top of the charts and has good fixtures coming up. Jack Grealish took Liverpool apart and just keeps improving, at 7.1 points its a tricky choice, Villa have started very well but if they slow down, the goals may dry up for him. It will be interesting to watch their development. Then comes the Columbian superstar and icon, James Rodríguez, I was not sure how he would settle in after not being in favour at Real Madrid and Bayern Munich but he has been mightily impressive under Ancelotti, as have the whole team it has to be said, bar Pickford. Jarrod Bowen is a player I like a lot and at 6.3 is a bargain, he is a very good player who stays wide and looks to beat his man. He will also want to come inside and get in on the action. I see him doing well for the foreseeable and is a fair price to get in the team. There are a few penalty takers who should keep getting on the score sheet until they change the rule. Jorginho the obvious one, Salah will take them all now Milner doesn’t really get many minutes, Klitch for Leeds who is also a good cheap option in a high scoring team, Fernandes will put them away with conviction. There is soo many options in Midfield this season and its where most fantasy managers have spent the bulk of their money, rightfully so.
We have to start with Dominic Calvert-Lewin (DCL), six goals in four games, scored for England and is having a wonderful time in front of goal at the moment. Ancelotti told him to keep it simple and he is doing that to great effect. Getting into good goal scoring areas and using his physique and skills impressively. 0.5 point increases already this season and still a bargain at 7.5 if his form continues. Kane is scoring and assisting in abundance, an ever present in many Fantasy teams as is Vardy who just keeps going strong at 33 years old. I have looked at bargain options up top with a stacked midfield going with Wilson for the Geordies, Brewster for his new club Sheff Utd and DCL. Bamford is on a hot streak and is doing a great job keeping his place from Leeds record transfer, Rodrigo. Another good cheap option, with all the goals Leeds are scoring, he certainly deliver some points. Southampton have Chelsea and Everton next so Danny Ings although a solid option all of last season, won’t be a consideration for my team just yet. Michail Antonio has carried on from last season, two goals so far and I just think West Ham are set up nicely for him to do a similar job DCL does for Everton.
It’s still very early in the season for bold statements but goals are flying in so you have to be in on the action or your team would be hundreds of points off top spot by Christmas whether that is in your private leagues or in the overall leaderboard. Some players will come good as the season progresses like Werner and Aubameyang but right now it's not worth the gamble, pick the form players who have easy fixtures.
Liverpool have a decent run before they play Man City in GW 7, up next The Derby at Goodison which has been fairly dull for the past few seasons. If Everton decide to play expansive football, they may be crushed by a wounded Liverpool team. If it is an open game then goals could be flying in, Salah, DCL, Mane, Rodriguez, Digne (if fit) and Robertson would surely be part of the action.
Chelsea also have a nice run in their next 5 with only a struggling Man Utd wedged in there. This team will get b
etter as the season progresses with their new guys getting familiar with the league and each other. Zouma, Chillwell and Jorginho are solid options. The issue of course is if Abraham plays or not, the young English striker is clearly very talented but how much action he gets with Werner, Havertz, Pulisic and Ziyech waiting in the wings, all big signings pushing for a starting place. It's a bit of a fantasy dilemma right now at Chelsea under Lampard, so many good options similar to Man City in the past. We will find out more in the coming months. Crystal Pace have a good set of fixtures coming up so I’d be looking at Zaha and Mitchell. They keep it tight at the back and Zaha is always involved with the goals. Sheffield Utd should get their first win of the campaign vs a struggling Fulham, many fantasy managers 4.5 option in Brewster may come into play. Leicester and Man Utd have some tough fixtures coming up, clean sheets may be rare for both in the coming weeks. Leicester will want to get 3 points vs Aston Villa this weekend before tricky fixtures against Arsenal, Leeds, Wolves and Liverpool. Captain Pick Son, he is on fire and should be on the score sheet vs West Ham. It looks a great game on paper but Mourinho will want his side to get a bit tighter at the back and get those three points in the bag.