Assistant AM's Week 3 Player Picks

We're not even playing and we're the talk of the player picks this week!

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.

Keepers

Home teams with good matchups. Nothing much to think about here other than which one you want. Krul is surprisingly the value play having given up goals in his opening two matches. But those were against Spurs and Chelsea. Aston Villa at St James' Park should be an easier task for him.

Brad Friedel is another whose performances haven't been up-to-par this season. While I do think there are goals in this Norwich side, Spurs will be looking to keep a clean sheet, and BBBF will be motivated ahead of the rumoured arrival of Hugo Lloris.

Vorm is on the other side of the equation. He's expensive, but has been putting up the points for fantasy managers. Al Habsi got back on track in a big way last weekend, and I like Wigan hosting Stoke City.

Hart is too expensive for my tastes, but gets QPR this weekend, so he may be worth the investment.

Defenders

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.

Midfielders

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.)

Forwards

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.

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