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The Week Ahead, Part 2: Player Picks

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The best player of the season so far and still reasonably priced.
The best player of the season so far and still reasonably priced.

So, we have lots of new options and resources here at SBNation.  For those of you who haven't looked around the place yet, we have blogs entirely focused on many of the Premier League teams, we have blogs focused on every team in Major League Soccer, as well as a few others focused on teams in Italy, Spain, and other general topics.  We also have the resources of a larger company at our disposal.  It isn't a huge company by any means but it is certainly more than what either we or Nik had doing this on our own.  While none of those authors (or authoring teams) or SBNation as a company are under any obligation to do anything that we suggest, we certainly have the platform to ask now that we're official and see how it goes.  

So, with that in mind I am putting out a request to our readers to make suggestions as to what you'd like to see now that we have these additional resources (sort of) at our disposal.  What would help you manage your team better? What would make the experience more informative or entertaining than what you've experienced so far on our original blogs? Like the summer (or the January Transfer Window), this is a time when we have the opportunity to think about possibilities.  If we can get some momentum going behind some new ideas then this is the perfect time to make them happen.  

So, with that, I open the floor to you in the comments section to suggest things that you'd enjoy seeing. OK, on to the player picks for the week. 

Forwards

 

  • Aguero - I know I'm going out on a limb here given his injury situation but for what (little) it's worth he isn't listed on PhysioRoom.com's injury list.  Assuming he's going to play, he's a must-start. If it looks like Aguero is out then Balotelli is a very reasonable next choice. 
  • Long - He's been having a very good, under the radar, fantasy season thus far.  WBA's rough start to the season has masked his performance but at home this weekend for a reasonable price and playing against struggling Wolves checks all of the boxes we look for - form, home match, and weak opponent (sorry Chris).
  • Di Santo - Speaking of quietly excellent fantasy seasons, Chelsea castoff Franco Di Santo has been having one for Wigan despite their ugly start to the season.  Check the boxes with me - in form (check), home match (check), and weak opponent (Bolton = check).  Throw in cheap and you can barely lose. 
  • Sturridge - Some how all he's done in 2011 is score goals first for Bolton and now for Chelsea.  Any reason he isn't being hailed as the next big thing?  He's more expensive than our other recommendations but he's cheaper than Drogba and he's been producing more regularly. 
Midfielders
  • Silva - Like Aguero, he's a must-start.  Unlike Aguero, he isn't at all questionable due to injury.  Quite simply, he's been the most consistent fantasy producer this season.  He hasn't had a huge breakout scoring output since the early going but he's only failed to hit 9 fantasy points in the Yahoo scoring system once this season.  Even at his current retail price you're not going to find a much better deal than that. 
  • Moses - We need some cheap options and Victor Moses is a nice option since he's been doing well despite not yet scoring or getting an assist.  The downside is that he hasn't scored nor gotten an assist yet this season.  If you want more, check out our inaugural FanPost from Mike.  
  • Ramires - I'm sure a lot of you will be focused on Frank Lampard after his explosion but if you go back and watch those goals, they were more about being in the right place at the right time than they were about him returning to his past excellence. If you watch the entire match, you'll see that Ramires also got into some great positions this time around but couldn't convert.  Now, if you're gambling, would you rather bet 8.84 on Ramires continuing to be in those positions and maybe cashing one in or 22.66 on Lampard and NEEDING him to cash 2 in to make him worth the price? Just saying.
  • Hoilett - He hasn't had a huge match yet this season but he's been hinting at it and is undoubtedly the most talented attacking player on the Rovers team.  I like Rovers at Loftus Road and he's my pick.
  • SWP - Another bargain midfielder with a strong match-up.  He's been returning his cost by just showing up and home against Rovers, even if I'm not high on QPR at home, isn't exactly a trip to Old Trafford or Eastlands. 
  • Nasri - We need a premium priced player on this list and Nasri is a nice combination of expensive but not so much so that he can't possibly be expected to return value (see Lampard, Frank).  He's been exceptional every chance he's had since coming to City.  
Defenders
  • Rangel - He's really only had one bad match (away to Arsenal) and at Norwich isn't exactly the Emirates regardless of how poorly the Gunners have been playing so far this season.  His points have come from solid defending stats plus a lot of clean sheets sprinkled with the odd attacking points all while avoiding cards.  Solid recipe for continued success even as his price rises. 
  • Tierney - There aren't going to be many weeks when I can, in good conscience, recommend a Norwich defender but with Tierney coming off two straight double digit point outputs and facing punchless Swansea at home, I find my opportunity. That he's only 7.64 is a bonus. 
  • Richards - He didn't get the last start for City but don't take that out on him, it'll happen with deep teams like City as the manager tries to keep his players fresh and egos soothed.  Given City's home record and Richards' tendency to get at least some attacking points, you have to like the value at 8.88.
  • Boyata - Bolton on the road isn't my favorite choice but it is Wigan that they're traveling to see and Boyata is cheap enough to make the risk worthwhile.  Just don't expect a second goal in two weeks. 
  • Brown - Like Boyata, he's more an enabler than a stud but he's been churning out points that match or more than match his price week after week (well, except the one when he was negative).  He can definitely help you get to a more expensive defender like Richards or Kompany. 
  • Gibbs - Another cheapie who has had his moments.  With Arsenal needing a home win and the other side being a defensive question  mark with Jenkinson replacing the crocked Sagna you have to assume that Gibbs will get the start over Santos.  Throw in a reasonable probability of a clean sheet at home against Striker-less Sunderland and that's a solid value pick. 
Goalkeepers
  • Hart - If you've purchased some cheap defenders then you can afford the obvious (but expensive) choice in net.   
  • Vorm - His price has stayed reasonably low despite the fact that five of his seven matches have resulted in 10+ fantasy points with most of those five being well into the teens.  Hard to turn down with Norwich the opponent. 
  • Ruddy - A little less upside and fewer amazing saves than his newly promoted counterpart but with the Norwich/Swansea match-up having nil-nil written all over it he won't have to make many saves to make him a great bet at 6.25.
  • Szczesny - How often does a keeper let in THAT many goals without there being a strong sense that he was at fault for at least a few of them.  You MIGHT be able to lay Walker's North London Derby winner on him but it would have been an exceptional save if he'd made it.  His price is also not too bad which makes him a solid option if you don't have the stomach for the newly promoted duo or the funds for Hart. 
I'll be back on Friday with Injuries and Suspensions.