Game week 7 arrives with many fantasy players having played their first wildcard, some having sold Mo Salah, others considering bringing in World Cup golden boot hero Harry Kane, and early season essential Benjamin Mendy is being sold by thousands.
Former England keeper Hart seems to polarize opinions more than most players. Ex professionals continue to state his qualities, while many fans continue to debate his performances and skill set. Capable of making excellent one-on-one saves before getting caught out of position, flapping at crosses or letting a routine shot go past him, he can be frustrating at times. Still this is fantasy football, and until Nick Pope returns Hart seems likely to hold the Burnley keeper spot, a spot that has been a position full of fantasy points in the last few years.
After a difficult start to the season, the clean sheet at home to Bournemouth was a much needed boost. A follow up trip to a rather toothless Cardiff City could add more defensive returns and fantasy points for Joe.
Brighton seemed to play for the draw at home to a Tottenham side lacking their normal fluid football. Seems logical for the Seagulls to copy that approach against the mighty City. It would be a surprise to see Ederson pick up saves points, but you have to fancy him to claim the clean sheet.
Fabian Delph / Benjamin Mendy
If Mendy is ruled out, then Fabian Delph will once again start at left back. Great chance for a clean sheet and you can always hope he adds a rare assist. If Mendy is fit, then this is a game he will love.
The England performances were great in the summer, and he plays with the air of a more confident man now. Questions remain about his defensive capabilities against the elite attacks, but this week he faces a Huddersfield side who have failed to score in 5 consecutive home league games. Expect to see him rack up a heat map deep in the Terriers’ final third.
Digne registered 4 shots, 4 key passes, 4 crosses into the box, 5 tackles and 3 interceptions in his last home game at Goodison. The French left back has caught the eye as a raiding fullback so far and faces a Fulham side that enjoy playing open football. At 4.8m and with clean sheets not happening, he remains a minor gamble but one that you can see having a big week at some point.
Matt Doherty / Jonny
Both attacking wing-backs have caught the eye in the early weeks, with Doherty picking up the most FPL owners of the duo. There isn’t much in the stats between them, and doubling up this week wouldn’t be a bad move at all.
Roberto Pereyra / Andre Gray
The Gunners back line has been really poor so far this season despite the clean sheet achieved against Everton. With fullbacks both bombing forward at the same time and lacking pace in central defense, they have been exposed in the opening weeks.
Watford have started the season really well and should have been out of site at halftime last week at Fulham. The midfield quartet mix muscle, guile and pace, so I can see them causing Arsenal all sorts of problems. Look for the Hornets to create a number of chances. In particular, I like one or both of my Watford choices to score this week.
The young Brazilian plays with so much confidence under Silva, looking a constant threat. Fulham’s central defensive partnership of Callum Chambers and Alfie Mawson had no answer to Gray’s or Deeney’s pace and strength last week. Richarlison has the same combination of abilities, and I share the view we may see him moved to a forward’s role for this one instead of the left-side position he normally plays. Even before Mawson became a doubt, Fulham showed themselves willing to help opposition forwards, so Richarlison should get chances this week.
Eriksen is confirmed out this week.
During preseason, watching highlights of his time at Norwich City and listening to Norwich fans made it clear that Maddison would become a fantasy favorite. Able to shoot with either foot, looking for the through-ball, appearing confident and at times even greedy, he ticks plenty of boxes.
Maddison has 3 goals and an assist in his last 5 games, meaning he makes plenty of sense on paper for game week 7. Facing a Newcastle side who have lost all three of their home games so far, the bright start can continue.
Andrew Schurrle / Aleksander MItrovic
Marco Silva’s sides are fun to watch, always offensively minded. But off the ball they are often a little too generous to the opposition. Everton’s style suits Schurrle on the counterattack, with his clever movement being picked out by Seri’s accurate passing.
Meanwhile, the Toffees have had problems defending set-pieces. This plays into the hands of Mitrovic who is a real bully boy (in a good way) right now. Both should get one or two clear chances to score in this game.
David Silva / Bernando Silva / Leroy Sane
There won’t be many players who have a better perspective on life than David Silva must have right now. The fantastic news about his little boy seems to have lifted the player, and he is the main man in the City side at this stage of the season.
Bernardo meanwhile is showing signs of a player who can be the older Silva’s long term replacement. A goal and an assist at Cardiff continues his strong start to the season. He also scored in this fixture last season.
Mendy’s injury has proved a problem for fantasy football fans, but it has been good news for Delph and last season’s young player of the year Sane. In the two league since Mendy missed out, Sane has played 180 minutes, providing a goal and an assist. In this fixture last season, Sane provided all 3 assists in a 3-1 win.
Mo Salah / Sadio Mane
Chelsea’s start to the season is pretty much as good as you can get with 5 wins and a draw. However, when you look a little deeper, you see that they have faced only one decent attacking side so far, the 3-2 win over Arsenal in game week 2. During that game the Gunners scored twice but missed a number of absolute sitters as they cut through Chelsea with ease.
Chelsea play a very high line, and that’s something you just don’t want to do when facing Liverpool. Sari could change his approach, but I suspect he will choose to take on the Reds at their own game.
If Arsenal could create so many chances, then I see both Mane and Salah having similar joy. If they can be less wasteful than they were at Wembley two weeks ago, they can both find themselves in the goals this week.
Alexandre Lacazette / Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang / Aaron Ramsey
After starting on the bench for the opening weeks, Laccazette is the clear #1 center forward for Arsenal at this point, while Aubamayang is starting to flow with goals. It’s very rare to see Arsenal not score at home, so look for them to fire in at least a couple more this week in a game that will be very open.
Kun / Raheem Sterling
With Chelsea facing Liverpool in the Saturday evening game, Pep will want to apply some pressure. City has scored 2 or more goals in 19 of the last 21 home league games, making Kun the clear captain choice this week. Sergio has had his minutes managed recently, so we can’t rule out him going off after an hour if City are 2 or 3 clear again, but hopefully the 2 or 3 will have been scored by the main man.
With Sterling being rested midweek, I see him starting. He is a far more effective goal scorer for his the club than he is for his country. We saw him steal Kun’s thunder in a few games last season, and it’s possible that happens here. Few will own him, making him a great differential pick this weekend.
In six games, he has provided a pair of goals and an assist, making him great value in FPL. Both goals came at home where he averages over 3 efforts per game. Against Burnley in the last home fixture, he recorded 6 shots on goal with 3 on target.
A goal and assist last week, being 1st pick on Leicester penalties, and with no international football to come, Vardy offers you one more alternative. It’s Newcastle, Everton, Arsenal and West Ham in the next four. Last week he fired 7 shots and 2 key passes, remaining a complete handful for opposition defenses.
He still looks a little unlike the Harry we know, but week 6 saw signs of the beast awaking with 5 efforts on goal along with the goal itself. He still seems to be sitting too deep, so maybe it’s too early to jump on him, but Salah faces Chelsea and City back to back while Harry faces Huddersfield and Cardiff.
Normal business would be an easy choice to take Kane; it’s just the form to the eye that makes me hesitate. For me, to have Kane this week would mean selling Salah and taking a hit. I’m tempted, and I have my wildcard ready to bring the ‘Pool man back after City if needed. It’s one of those decisions that may go right down to Saturday morning.
Are any of the players listed above in your match day side? Any bold souls picking up Manchester United players instead?