Another set of unexpected outcomes in week 3 of the 2015 - 2016 Premier League has made our early-season predictions inconclusive to say the least. With the Manchester United - Newcastle, Arsenal - Liverpool and Tottenham - Leicester matches failing to impress in the way we expected last week, many of us have set off in different directions in search of greener pastures for fantasy investment. Even Chris and Jason, whose Man City recommendations from last week were spot on, have decided to switch things up for this round.
Here are our thoughts on which matches have the potential to deliver strong fantasy returns in Week 4:
Chris (Chris_Manfredi) - AFC Bournemouth vs. Leicester City
The sardine can also known as Dean Court will be packed and buzzing with anticipation following Bournemouth's exciting 4-3 victory at West Ham, especially with Leicester City coming in as the second highest scoring team in the Premiership. Sure it may not be the marquee match-up of the weekend as far as team pedigrees go, but it feels like this tilt should feature plenty of net busting for the offensive players.
Poor Artur Boruc has four saves and five goals conceded. Anybody with a rudimentary knowledge of math knows that is a tempting ratio for the visiting side. If you haven't gotten in on Leicester's four goal winger Riyad Mahrez yet, what are you waiting for? Otherwise, three assist midfielder Marc Albrighton and strikers Shinji Okazaki and Jamie Vardy have each already scored for the Foxes, warranting consideration in their own right. As for the home team, you're looking squarely at hat trick lad Callum Wilson, while midfielders Marc Pugh and the disappointing but dangerous Matt Ritchie along with rampaging right back Simon Francis could be promising selections.
Roberto (Roberto Rojas) - Southampton - Norwich City
My reason for choosing this match is because of the horrible start that the Saints have had so far. In the opening three matches, they've picked up only two points after drawing two and losing one, leaving them in the relegation zone at the moment. This is a must win for Ronald Koeman's men, but can they get the best out of the likes of Graziano Pelle and Sadio Mane?
Recently promoted Norwich have won, lost and drawn in their first three matches, but have looked very impressive so far from a fantasy perspective. Russell Martin and Nathan Redmond have been providing the goals for the Canaries and will look to do so again and cause a big surprise to a Southampton side who many expected to build on the success of last season.
Jason (jasonuk17) - Tottenham Hotspur - Everton
Has anybody seen Harry Kane? Anybody? I've heard rumors that he's been playing, but I'm not seeing points next to his name. Which is odd since he started the season as the fourth most expensive striker in the game. And for anybody who bought him, it has to be frustrating at this point that he's not rewarding that investment in the slightest. Maybe more importantly, Spurs have to be wondering if he's going to help them anytime soon, as two points from three matches is a rough start. It won't be an easy task to get that first goal against an Everton side that has started the side well, but for many manager this could be his final chance before he gets the ax.
On the flip side, it will be interesting to see if Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku can continue to score points for owners against a Spurs defense that has fallen asleep at times this season. More importantly for Everton's fantasy players, this is a tough stretch for the Toffees with Chelsea, Swansea, Liverpool, and Manchester United also making up four of Everton's next five matches following the trip to London. A great performance against Spurs might be needed for Everton's top performers to remain on some manager's rosters.
Mo (EGYPT) - Manchester City vs. Watford FC
Short and sweet: Man City is currently on fire. If you want to score major points then just fill up your team with as many City players as possible. In defense, Aleksandar Kolarov and Bacary Sagna should score loads of attacking points plus the very possible Clean sheet. In midfield you can take your pick from Silva/Navas/Toure/Sterling; most of them will score strong points this weekend but I think the pick of them should be David Silva. Up front, you should fancy Sergio Aguero to get you a couple of goals against Watford as well.
Charles (the orphanage) - AFC Bournemouth vs. Leicester City
Exciting stuff, where we get to see if there are any fantasy contenders or merely pretenders. This game should be wide open, end to end action with two clubs ready to spread the field and attack. Callum Wilson is coming off a hat trick for the Cherries at West Ham last week. Ivorian Max Gradel is a very interesting player at left wing, a lightning quick match up concern for the Foxes' back line.
The visitors, Leicester City sit in 2nd place in the table, having scored 7 goals in three matches. Rare air, indeed, for the team that were nearly relegated before discovering themselves late last season. The Blue Army is coming off a 1-1 draw against Tottenham last week. Midfielder Riyad Mahrez has rapidly turned into a fantasy superstar and watch teammates Jamie Vardy and Marc Albrighton. Are the Foxes for real? Will these undervalued and perhaps under-chosen fantasy performers hold up over the course of the season? This will be a fun match to watch from any perspective.
Gavin (Gavin Wright) - Chelsea vs. Crystal Palace
This match is going to be a real acid-test for Chelsea, and there are a ton of questions that we'll get the answers to. Have they turned the corner following their victory over West Brom last weekend? Will John Terry's absence through suspension help or hinder their success? Does Kurt Zouma retain the center back berth, or do we perhaps see Branislav Ivanovic slot into the center to give a debut to Baba Rahman? Is the addition of Pedro the missing piece to the puzzle?
I think we'll see a more cohesive Chelsea team this week despite the absence of their captain, or maybe even because of it. We've seen Liverpool move on positively without the presence and expectations around Steven Gerrard in their team, and I think we could see a more free-flowing side from the Blues this week as well. Some would argue that perhaps Chelsea have been too open thus far, but a new-look playing style could be developing here. Of course, that also plays into plenty of attacking opportunities for Palace as well, so we could be in for another 5-goal thriller like last week.
Which fixture do you think will result in the most fantasy points? Where will you be investing for your team? Did we skip your top choice? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!