Julian Finney - Getty Images
Who should you be looking to add to your fantasy line-up ahead of the Week 7 deadline?
I had an unbelievable time in New York, taking in the city, the sights, the people, the food and the night-life, but it's easy to forget that any such trip can have a few negatives:
- I missed Tottenham's first win at Old Trafford since 1989, when I was just 6 years old.
- I missed Europe turning the USA over on the final day of the Ryder Cup.
- I missed all barndoors.
- I had just 10 hours sleep across 4 days.
- I now have very bad jet lag.
- I have 3 days worth of work to catch-up on.
It also led to me having very little time to catch up on any football action from Week 6, so if you read anything in this post that you disagree with (or is just plain wrong) please let me know in the comments section below.
One thing I can state with some confidence is Week 7 provides us a number of tasty match-ups from a fantasy perspective.
CHELSEA v Norwich
TOTTENHAM v Aston Villa
EVERTON @ Wigan
I don't think you can look beyond in-form Chelsea and Tottenham at home to struggling Norwich and Villa respectively, nor on-fire Everton at Wigan. Three teams in the top 5 scoring goals against three teams in the bottom 6 struggling to score and conceding too many - 3 wins seem likely as the Blues, Spurs and the Toffees look to continue their good starts to the season.
MANCHESTER CITY v Sunderland
WEST BROMWICH v Queens Park Rangers
LIVERPOOL v Stoke
City certainly don't look like themselves but I still expect them to have too much for Sunderland at home, despite Steven Fletcher scoring with every touch he gets at the moment. West Brom have had a great start under Steve Clarke while QPR and their mishmash of a squad can't buy a win, so I predict 3 points for the Baggies and 3 points for Liverpool over Stoke, with the the trashing handed out to Norwich just what they needed to break their duck under Brendan Rodgers.
SWANSEA v Reading
SOUTHAMPTON v Fulham
I'm not 100% confident that Swansea or Southampton will win but I do expect both teams to score goals this weekend given their opposition's lack of confidence on the road. However, I wouldn't get too excited about the defensive choices of either team.
I'll be avoiding the two most intriguing clashes of the weekend, West Ham v Arsenal and Newcastle v Manchester United, with the exception of Santi Cazorla who (like most of you) I hold at a nice discount.
Now on to the Week 7 player recommendations.
Cech - He's been the most consistent keeper so far and he has the most solid defence in front of him. If you have the money, Petr Cech is the safe choice with Norwich coming to town.
Reina - Very low on confidence but I really don't see Jose Reina going negative at home to Stoke, so at his current price he's worth a gamble in my opinion.
Friedel - It was close between him and Ben Foster, but Big Brad Friedel has been inspired by the arrival of Hugo Lloris and Aston Villa offer a clean sheet chance.
Vertonghen - Whether he continues at left back or returns to the center, he's a class act on the ball, defensively sound and a massive goal threat.
Baines - Perhaps tough to justify spending so much on Leighton Baines in an away fixture but he returned 9.5 points without a goal, assist or clean sheet last week and Wigan are not playing well.
Ivanovic - With Ryan Bertrand always a bench risk it leaves Branislav Ivanovic as the go-to choice if you want a Chelsea representative in your defence.
Jenkinson - There is a chance that Bacary Sagna returns but it would be harsh on Carl Jenkinson if he were dropped after his performances so far.
Kompany - City's rock has been a shadow of his former self so far, but class is permanent and he's below 10.00 for the first time in ages.
Agger - The hard-as-nails Dane is playing with a fractured knee cap but still performed well at Norwich, has a decent fixture and is due a goal soon.
Chico - I'm still not sure about Swansea's new signing but he's well priced at the moment and there aren't a lot of other options around the 6.50 mark.
Shorey - Back in favour at Reading and getting his share of set pieces, but don't expect a clean sheet from Nicky Shorey.
Bale - Very expensive but he's been given the freedom to roam under AVB and he's shooting from all over the place. A score under 20 points would be a surprise this week.
Lampard - It's funny how the press have barely mentioned the fact he was benched against Stoke and Arsenal when they used to beat AVB with that stick. Still, I can't see him missing three league games in a row and he's always a threat.
Cazorla - Keeps on racking up the phantom points and although he wasn't great against Chelsea, he's currently the signing of the summer.
Morrison - Taken over the role Chris Brunt used to play, the hub of everything good West Brom do and playing a poor QPR team.
Ramirez - Grabbed his first league goal against Everton and it's likely to be the first of many given his quality. He's also sharing set pieces with Adam Lallana.
Michu - I'm giving him another chance because Reading leak goals, but as Neal mentioned earlier this week, it could be his last chance.
Silva / Nasri - It's extremely handy that Manchester City v Sunderland is the early kick-off as there are a number of selection headaches and we should get the line-ups before kick off. I'm thinking about one of Silva or Nasri depending on who plays.
Sahin - Starting to show why Real Madrid signed him with intelligent passing, good movement and a keen eye for goal, a really great pick-up for Liverpool.
Lennon - A cheap way to get on the Spurs wagon this weekend, Aaron Lennon has been fantastic in his new right-wing/forward role and has been rewarded with an England recall.
Stirling - Still not returning the fantasy points his performances deserve but that means he's still dirt cheap and a goal is coming.
Suarez - I never even considered Luis Suarez last week and it proved costly as he banged in a hat-trick and 35+ points. I'm not sure I can justify him at full price but I wouldn't have given it a second thought at 18ish.
Hazard - I'm convinced Eden Hazard is going to have a 20 points+ game very soon and Norwich seem likely candidates. I prefer him to Fernando Torres.
Jelavic - In the form of his life with 10 goals in 11 games thanks to excellent supply from Pienaar, Baines, Mirallas and fantastic finishing - can Wigan stop him? Probably not.
Defoe - You know the risks, if he doesn't score he won't get you any points, but he should get plenty of chances this weekend and he's playing very well.
Aguero / Balotelli / Tevez - See Silva / Nasri; we should get the starters before kick-off and Balotelli will have a point to prove if he gets the start.
Mirallas - I'd say he's already cemented his place in Everton's starting XI given his performances so far and I'll be hanging on to him for the Wigan trip.
Long - Got a bit lucky with his goal against Villa but he's looking sharp and QPR are all over the place.
Lambert - With Ramirez's added quality to set up more chances he's worth a look, with the added bonus of penalty duty.
I'm going to have to leave it there for now but please check back here on Friday for all the team and injury news.
Missing the barndoor and paying full price is really hurting me this week, but this is what I currently have on my team page:
Reina, Jenkinson, Kompany, Vertonghen, Michu, Ramirez, Morrison, Cazorla, Mirallas, Hazard, Suarez
I quite like it but it won't stay like this as I'm lacking a City and Spurs attacker. Bale and Balotelli are very much on my radar at this point in time, with Bale > Morrison and Balotelli > Suarez a switch I may consider (although that leaves me lacking a Liverpool attacker). So many good choices and tough decisions to make - the way things have been going I'm sure I'll make the wrong ones come deadline!
How's your team shaping up?