I fully expected someone from the Manchester derby to step up, seize command, and hand his side a glorious victory. Given the importance of that match to the league race, as well as the significance of the red-hot Mancunian rivalry, such a player would have automatically won POTW accolades. But while the match result was probably fair, no single player stood out for me. Therefore, we look elsewhere for the winner of that honor.
POTW: Harry Kane
Tottenham’s 5-1 demolition of Stoke crucially stopped a 4 game winless streak for a side that many thought would challenge for the title this season. While the rampant Son Heung-Min was undoubtedly the Man of the Match, Harry Kane’s brace was the most significant fantasy event of the week.
Prior to yesterday, Kane had scored two goals in his previous three games, but fantasy managers seemed to expect more from the player who placed 10th best in the world in Ballon d’Or voting on Thursday. Many dropped him after his goose egg last week, and many of those who kept him chose to place the captain’s armband elsewhere this week.
But those who kept the faith were rewarded with a double, the second of which was his twelfth league goal of the season, and his 50th in 48 total competitions this year. Tottenham stopped the rot, and Kane restored faith in a premium player that many fantasy managers had begun to doubt.
Honorable Mention: Son Heung-Min
Son was simply brilliant against Stoke. He first deflected a cross off Ryan Shawcross to break the deadlock before notching a goal of his own and assisting Christian Eriksen. His drive was relentless, so to say that he orchestrated the victory would not be an understatement. Kane, Eriksen, and Deli Alli get the lion’s share of fantasy attention, but Son’s scintillating performance and huge fantasy haul remind us that there is a fourth option in Tottenham’s attack. He is quite possibly the league’s most underrated player.
Honorable Mention: Jermain Defoe
Another scorer of a brace yesterday, Defoe reminded us — in grand style — that he still has fantasy relevance:
Palace’s next three matches are Manchester United, Liverpool, and Manchester City, so perhaps now is not quite the time to invest in Defoe. But the crafty little finisher has definitely reminded us that he’s still here.
Honorable Mention: Steve Mounie
Rounding out a hat trick of braces this weekend is Steve Mounie. His double lifted Huddersfield to a critical victory over Brighton, putting an end to his club’s miserable 4-game losing skid. Mounie’s season has been blighted by injury, but his return to form and fitness comes at a critical time for his club as they struggle to stay above the relegation zone.
Mounie’s performance returns him to our fantasy thinking, but now may be just a bit too soon, as Huddersfield host a wounded Chelsea on Tuesday. But once that fixture is out of the way, Huddersfield embark on a very favorable 7-game run of fixtures: Watford, Southampton, Stoke, Burnley, Leicester, West Ham, and Stoke (again). Mounie will be one to monitor as a potential budget third forward.
Who were your heroes and zeroes this week? How did your captaincy decisions work out? Are you looking at Defoe or Mounie? Tell us how your teams did in the comments below!