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Five Questions for Fantasy Premier League Week 4: Can City's Defense Keep Dominating?

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We may have more clarity in several respects after three weeks of action in the books, but plenty of uncertainty remains. These are some questions you will want to ponder before setting your line-ups for the upcoming fourth week of Premier League fantasy action.

Who needs Aguero and co. when Kolarov and Kompany are outscoring their opponents all by themselves?
Who needs Aguero and co. when Kolarov and Kompany are outscoring their opponents all by themselves?
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
1. Can Manchester City continue with its string of clean sheets and perhaps more importantly will it stick with a constant defending line-up?

The best offense is a good defense, right? Illustrating that the inverse can be just as true -- the best defense is a good offense -- the high-flying Citizens have amazingly scored more times (eight) than they've allowed shots on target (six), leaving Joe Hart with little to do. Consequently, the England international backstop has rewarded his fantasy owners with a consistent string of points along with Aleksandar Kolarov, Vincent Kompany, Eliaquim Mangala and Bacary Sagna. Thanks to their offensive exploits in addition to their defensive results, Kompany and Kolarov are among the top performers in all of fantasy, ahead of star attacking teammates Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Yaya Toure.

In 2014-15, Manuel Pellegrini relied heavily on rotation with no defender starting as often as 30 times; in fact, Pablo Zabaleta (29) and Martin Demichelis (28) were the only ones with 25 or more starts, and that duo hasn't featured at all yet while neither has Gael Clichy who made 23 starts. Additionally, the team recently welcomed pricey newcomer Nicolas Otamendi who will surely push for inclusion. Will the skipper reward this season's early quartet with regular playing time going forward or will he return to his old puzzle piece ways when it comes to the back line, frustrating City defender fantasy investors far and wide?

2. After scoring its first victory of the season, is Chelsea ready to assert itself with a big winning streak or was that merely the artificially calm part of a continuous up-and-down roller coaster ride where your stomach should prepare for some serious churning again?

Chelsea avoided disaster by dispatching West Brom -- where amazingly Albion had won twice and drawn once with the Blues in the previous three fixtures at the Hawthorns -- with Diego Costa, Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard finally delivering for their fantasy owners. Even so, while the Blues may have gotten the result, they didn't exactly right the ship. John Terry earned the Blues' second red card and Nemanja Matic allowed the squad's second penalty kick of the young season. Additionally, despite West Brom holding its biggest goalscoring threat and primary penalty taker, Saido Berahino out of the line-up, Chelsea gave up Albion's first two goals of the season and it took a PK save from Courtois for the title trophy holders to eke out the victory. (Can you say, "Berahino surely would have converted that?" I thought you could.)

Chelsea had the stingiest defense in 2014-15, but it has leaked seven times already, less than only Sunderland. (You read that right folks, terrible horrible miserable Sunderland!!!) Will Jose Mourinho's men be able to right the ship in the back with the grizzled old captain suspended or will the defensive struggles continue? Can the title holders crawl back up the ranks and challenge for the crown again or are they lost at sea? Is everybody dropping Branislav Ivanovic and/or Terry from their fantasy sides or are they worth holding on to? Will John Stones come over from Everton? Will newcomer Baba Rahman earn a start alongside Ivanovic and Cesar Azpillicueta or will it be both Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma? Is this really one question or is it about 19 questions disguised as one?

3. When, if ever, will Manchester United and Tottenham start scoring?

Manchester United and Tottenham accounted for the fourth and fifth most goals, respectively, in the Premiership last season. However, the Red Devils have netted only twice while Tottenham has poached a meager three thus far. (Even sadder, half of United's tally total came from a Spurs' own goal.)

None among the very popular Memphis Depay, Christian Eriksen, Harry Kane, Juan Mata or Wayne Rooney has scored yet, dashing the hopes and expectations of many a fantasy owner. Will they manage to turn things around or will the dulled output for either or both sides continue?

4. Which players who have started unexpectedly strong can keep it up over the season and which have their photos in the dictionary next to the definition of flash-in-the-pan?

In his third first Premier League game ever, young Bournemouth sniper Callum Wilson netted a hat trick, a feat he'd never accomplished before, even in the weaker Championship. Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez scored four times in the entirety of last season, a count he's already equaled in the first three tilts of this campaign. Midfielder James Morrison netted twice for West Brom against Chelsea after tallying the same total in all of 2014-15. Norwich defender Russell Martin has also scored twice so far, equaling his count over 48 games in the Championship last season. Canary teammate Nathan Redmond has also netted twice from midfield, compared to six goals last campaign. The aforementioned Kolarov and Kompany already have combined for three goals and six clean sheets between them after putting together only two scores and 16 shutouts over last season's 38 tilts.

It's a small sample size and anybody can go wild over three games. How predictive is any of this for the rest of the season? Which of the unexpected fantasy stars of the early season will come crashing down to earth in short order and in whom are you keeping the faith?

5. Which impactful incoming players from game week three are you adding to your fantasy line-ups and are you expecting similar outputs from any other newbies in week four?

Newcomers Pedro (Chelsea), Salomon Rondon (West Brom), Bakary Sako (Crystal Palace) and Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke) started for the first time and delivered impactful performances with goals and/or assists in game week three, while Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) looked lively. Elsewhere, Alessandro Diamanti (Watford), Gokhan Inler (Leicester City), Florian Thauvin (Newcastle) and Adama Traore (Aston Villa) enjoyed promising debuts for their teams as substitutes, while Dele Alli (Tottenham) scored in his second game off the bench. Which among those are immediate must-have additions to your fantasy line-ups and who are inspiring a more measured, wait-and-see approach?

Are you expecting impacts from the likes of Nathan Ake (Watford), Botti Bia Bi (Swansea), Clinton N'Jie (Tottenham), the aforementioned Otamendi (Manchester City) or Rahman (Chelsea) in game week four? On top of that, what rumored transfers are you hoping will go through and really shake up the fantasy punch bowl with some super spiked spiciness?

Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments!