Hello everyone! I hope Week 10 was a success for your fantasy teams! There were plenty of points on offer with Arsenal and Chelsea performing well as predicted, Southampton keeping pace at the top with yet another clean-sheet victory and Sergio Aguero being Sergio Aguero.
Before we get to this week's Premier League-related questions, I have to ask that you bear with me this week as I'll be running the ship on my own. As you may have read in yesterday's thread, Kellz is journeying into the wilderness in South America. Stall is still on vacation with his family Stateside, and Mo is going to be traveling this week as well. I've drafted in K.M. to help out with Player Picks, but I'll be posting all the other articles this week in addition to my weekly Player Picks article for Fantrax. If I'm a little late getting to any of them, know that I'm doing my best! Cheers!
With that out of the way, let's reflect on Week 10 and look ahead to Week 11 with the following questions:
1. Did everyone forget about Oscar?
Much of the talk leading up to the Week 10 deadline was focused on Chelsea leading up to their match with Queens Park Rangers, and there were multiple mentions of usual suspects Thibaut Courtois, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa. Eden Hazard also gained a lot of attention, and while both Hazard and Fabregas put in strong performances, Courtois and Costa disappointed. Willian was also a consideration and even made it into Mo's Player Picks, but I can't recall a single mention of Oscar, who put in a great performance and scored a wonderful goal. With the array of attacking talent around him, has Oscar been forgotten as a fantasy option, or is he back on your radar?
2. With Chelsea incapable of keeping clean sheets and Liverpool incapable of scoring, what will be the outcome?
Two of last season's title contenders face off this weekend, but they head into the game in drastically different situations. Jose Mourinho's side have picked up where they left off and have been on a tear in the League so far, racking up 26 points out of 30 on offer with solid attacking displays carrying them to victories over all but the Manchester clubs. Liverpool, by contrast, have fallen to four defeats so far this season and have looked a shadow of the team that came so close to winning the title in the Spring. Both teams have dealt with their share of struggles, though, with Chelsea failing to keep a clean sheet in 7 of the opening 10 fixtures and Liverpool failing to score at all in their last two. Can the Blues keep a clean sheet, or will the Reds get on the scoresheet. If they do, will it be enough to get anything from the match?
3. Do you see any upsets on the cards this weekend?
Based on last season, or even the state of the Premier League just a few weeks ago, Newcastle defeating Liverpool would have been considered a major upset, but I'm not sure it can be counted as such after the Magpies' recent resurgence and the Reds poor form. Beyond that, Week 10 delivered few surprises, with Sunderland's 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace probably the most shocking of the lot. Aston Villa and QPR tried their best, but were unable to come away with anything against Tottenham or Chelsea. Will we see any upsets this week? Can Leicester City derail Southampton? Do QPR stand a chance against Manchester City? Will this be the weekend that Burnley gets their first Premier League victory?
4. With Arsenal's midfield contingent returning to fitness, who should start?
With Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott returning from injury over the past couple weeks and Jack Wilshere getting over an illness that kept him out at the weekend, Arsenal's midfield is beginning to return to full-strength, with Mesut Ozil the only long-term absentee among the usual starters. Alexis Sanchez has been in sublime form since being moved out to the wing after an unsuccessful stint as the lead striker and is likely the first name on the team sheet for Arsene Wenger. Who else should join the Chilean to make the strongest midfield setup for the Gunners?
5. Will any of the newly-promoted teams survive the drop?
Another week, another trio of losses for the Premier League's newest members. Burnley, in particular, look like being mired in a relegation battle over the course of the season, but with QPR and Leicester joining them in the relegation zone after the opening quarter of the season things aren't looking great for any of them. Rangers and the Foxes at least appear to have Premier League quality strikers in Charlie Austin and Leonardo Ulloa (although he's been anonymous of late), but do any of these sides have enough quality throughout their squads to climb out of the basement by the end of the season?
6. With European football in midweek, should we be focused on single-competition teams this week?
We've seen the dreaded 'European Hangover' so many times that it may be a viable strategy to avoid the teams playing closest to Premier League action on weeks where Champions League and Europa League matches take place. Of course, the best teams tend to make it into these competitions so many of the League's best players fall into the pool that we would be avoiding if we decided to go this route. With rotation a strong possibility, especially as we head towards the hectic holiday period, how heavily should we be weighing options from teams that are only participating in the Premier League as opposed to their counterparts? Should we only avoid the Europa League teams? Champions League teams playing on Wednesday? Or should we not pay it any mind and pick the players based on match-up and form?