As two of America’s oldest colonial cities gear up for American-Football supremacy, we turn our early Sunday attention to a pair of games in Old England, with an eye toward Chelsea’s rebound game on Monday.
My favorite team (Newcastle) visits the team I adopted last year (Palace) when Newcastle were in the Championship. Admittedly it’s a very sentimental game for me, but for most EPL fans it’s a tough one to get up for. Fantasy-wise I like the Eagles’ (Palace not Philadelphia) big three of Andros Townsend, Wilfred Zaha and the resurgent Christian Benteke. If I were to gamble on one, it’s gotta be the ultra-active Townsend in a bit of a revenge game against The Toon.
For my beloved Newcastle there is not much to get excited about. By the time you read this, we will know if new striker Islam Slimani is in Rafael Benitez’s starting XI. I think he’s a very nice pick up for the Magpies, whose strikers have been good Togga plays. The Algerian international Slimani could ascend to a solid forward option in Official FPL as well.
Or as I like to call this match, the “England National Team Scout Fest”.
This match is rife with troll potential from a fantasy perspective, so buyers beware! It could be a goal-fest or it could be a drab 1-1. Whether you’re picking defenders like Virgil van Dijk, Jan Vertonghen, Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier or Serge Aurier the gamble is on!
Likewise if you try the tempting fruits of forwards like Harry Kane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah (listed as a forward in Togga but midfield in Official) -- they could leave your belly full of goals, or they could leave you feeling starved and nauseated if they blank.
Owing to the aforementioned uncertainty, I’m splitting the risk down the middle and will be opting for the midfield skill of Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli with Son Heung-Min and Sadio Mane the more risky alternatives owing to their greater goal dependency.
Watford v Chelsea
Antonio Conte is the single most infuriating manager I’ve ever had to deal with as a fantasy manager. It’s as if he receives NSA hacks of my Togga roster and knows exactly what to do to ensure that I have to take as many unexpected “DNP” zeroes as possible. In my Togga draft head-to-head, I need him to start Eden Hazard, Victor Moses and Olivier Giroud this week. Just in case, I’ve stashed Cesc Fabregas and Davide Zappacosta on my bench as emergency subs. This probably means that Conte will bench all five and start the likes of Ross Barkley, Danny Drinkwater, Pedro, Emerson and Alvaro Morata. He will look at my NMA chat comments at half-time and then sub in one or two of my hopefuls as cameos at 90+1 to add injury to insult... not that I’m bitter or anything.
Watford’s fantasy assets seem to be changing; gone may be the days of Richarlison, and in may be the days of Gerard Deulofeu and old friend Troy Deeney. This game will go a long way towards how I rate Watford’s fantasy prospects going forward.
And because you asked, my Super Bowl prediction: New England 31-24 Eagles. TB12! TB12! TB12!