As the weather gets warmer for our friends in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere but colder for those of us in North America, Western Europe and the British Isles, what a wonderful time this is to discuss who’s hot and who’s cold in our beloved EPL.
Let us go then, you and I, on an all-weather expedition to the peak of this summit we like to call GW 12 (yes, it’s higher and even more daunting than K2!).
The more the Arsenal midfielder ignores Arsene Wenger’s restrictive tactics, the more he delivers in fantasy scoring. Over the past three game weeks he has produced two goals and one assist (@EVE; SWA; @MCI) and has a very similar upcoming schedule (TOT, @BUR; HUD). I think he’ll continue to deliver positive results as long as he stays in the starting XI.
Oh Eden, how we’ve waited for thee to kick into gear and make it rain! Over the past three game weeks, the Duke of Hazard has been showing very positive signs: an assist versus Watford, a goal at Bournemouth, and three shots on target versus Jose Mourinho’s parked bus. Coming up for the Garden of Eden is a very promising list of fixtures: @WBA; @LIV; SWA; NEW; @WHU; @HUD)... I’m buying!
Brighton’s striker has been unbelievable. Unbelievable as in I don’t believe for even a minute that this can continue. Over the past three game weeks, the journeyman striker has produced a brace at West Ham (this is the minimum I expect of any able-bodied striker shooting at Arrgh, Joe Hart, Arrgh), and a goal each versus Southampton and at Swansea. The upcoming fixtures aren’t all that bad (STK; @MUN; CRY), but with Tomer Hemed back healthy and in the rotation, Monsieur Murray must keep this level of production rolling. And keep in mind, his conversion rate carries a strong whiff of unsustainable good luck: His four goals are the result of only six shots on target. When it comes to Murray, I’d roll with him against a Jack But-landless Stoke, but ditch before the visit to Mourinho’s bus depot.
Before we move on to the colder part of our adventure, I’d suggest refueling your fantasy roster with a Bournemouth defender. Check out their upcoming list of fixtures and be sure to thank me in a month or two!
After a white hot start, it’s been ice, ice baby for the Armenian international. In fact, he’s been AWFUL over the past three game weeks. No, the fixtures weren’t great (@HUD; TOT; CHE) but he’s produced nothing of value except a guarantee of those patented early hooks from Mourinho (you know, the ones where he stares down the player and your only reaction is to think that said individual may never again step on a futbol pitch). The Red Devils’ upcoming schedule is tempting (NEW; BHA; @WAT) but I urge extreme caution with Mkhi. I’m not even sure he’s in the starting XI anymore.
Poor Little Pea! With news that his former Manchester United tormentor David Moyes will manage West Ham, Chicharito must feel like Jamie Lee Curtis on Halloween night. How is it possible that the boogeyman is back, again?!?! With “Captain Failure” Moyes now in charge of seeing through a swift and expedient relegation for West Ham, we cannot be sure that Chicharito will be in the starting XI. Surely he’ll get a run of at least three games to prove his worth, but after that (author mimes a slit throat)... The only thing in the Mexican international’s favor is a promising upcoming schedule featuring three suspect defenses (@WAT; LEI; @EVE). He’ll need muchos goles!
Virgil van Dijk
Yes, Dear Reader, this one hurts me deeply. I looooooove VvD in fantasy games. But the truth of the matter is that the Dutch giant has been a bit underwhelming since his return to action following that whole transfer saga. The past three game weeks (WBA; @BHA; BRN) should have been a bonanza for the defender, but we got only one clean sheet followed by two very frustrating games with meager fantasy output. The next three games are pretty brutal affairs (LIV; EVE; @MCI). I’m not dropping VvD (I will never drop VvD), but I am benching him (I hate benching VvD). I don’t feel well.
So as not to leave on a sad note, here are other hot players I’ll be monitoring: Mohamed Salah, Riyad Mahrez, Fernandinho, Shane Duffy, Manuel Lanzini, and the Divinity of the Young Pope of Burnley.
Have you caught any of these players in your fantasy sides? Whom do you see warming up or cooling down? Tell us what you think in the comments below!