In Nik's absence it has fallen to me to give you our picks for week three of the Premier League season. Fortunately for me, there are a few standout fixtures so we'll be focusing on Spurs, Manchester City, and Newcastle United players. But of course, there are other good options as well.
So, without further ado... on to the picks.
Hart is too expensive for my tastes, but gets QPR this weekend, so he may be worth the investment.
- Branislav Ivanovic
- Benoit Assou-Ekotto
- Jan Vertonghen
- Davide Santon
- Sasha Reither
- Vincent Kompany
Do you keep your Chelsea players through the off week? That's a big theme this week. Ivanovic has been great so far and I'm leaning towards keeping him for the long haul. Unlike Hazard, whom I know I would buy back at 9-something, while I love Ivanovic at 8, I'm not going to spend over 11 on a defender.
Assou-Ekotto and Rafael are your expensive, but goal-scoring defenders. Vertonghen is the bargain entry into the Spurs defence. Santon and Reither are both good bets in their respective matchups, while Kompany is the only Manchester City defender we can count on to start the match.
While Manchester United is on the road, I'm looking to Kagawa to play off Robin van Persie and be the team's attacking hub. Maloney should have a similar role for Wigan, whom I really like this week, and honestly this season. Michu is a no-brainer at this point, though Sunderland will be an interesting test for Swansea.
I'm loth to go into the weekend without a Manchester City midfielder, but like the defence, who do you pick? Silva seems more likely having only come off the bench against Liverpool. Toure will have a lot of interests after his goal, but it's the first 70 minutes of every match that he spends in a deep-lying role that makes me nervous. (See also Fellaini, Marouane.)
- Emmanuel Adebayor
- Papiss Cisse
- Demba Ba
- Carlos Tevez
- Mario Balotelli
- Mladin Petric
- Bryan Ruiz
- Robin van Persie
- Eden Hazard
- Fernando Torres
I'm loving K2's chances of scoring this week, but don't love the idea that Defoe starts again. The Newcastle forward situation is interesting, presuming you only want one of them. Ba has been the better player this season but many fantasy managers will be priced out of picking him for that reason. Cisse is the value play (even at 14.50). Tevez is a no-brainer this week, while Balotelli should come good. However, his insipid performance against Liverpool was not encouraging. The Fulham pairing of Ruiz and Petric are both good value. Petric may have the higher ceiling, but Ruiz gets kicks and is the more consistent fantasy performer. Van Persie... well, the song remains the same. He's going to start for Manchester United, but damn is he ever an expensive bet.
Finally, you have your Chelsea players again. Honestly I can understand your keeping them. And frankly I still may sell them. I'm not going into week four without Hazard, and with QPR the opponent, it would be silly not to have Torres as well. In fact, it's @QPR, Stoke, @Arsenal, Norwich before Chelsea's schedule really stiffens up (@Spurs, ManU, @Swansea, Liverpool, @WBA, ManCity). So it may be a case of "set and forget".
Of course, your mileage may vary. And I would love to hear your picks, and your reasoning in the comments.