If you’re a Premier League fan, could you ask for more? Tuesday and Wednesday earlier in the week featured four EPL teams in Champions League, Thursday brought three more in Europa League fun, and now we’ve got Friday, Saturday and Sunday with the usual full complement of all 20 teams. After that, you hardly have to wait as 16 sides play again Tuesday and Wednesday in Carabao Cup affairs (probably running out some players you rarely see in action). In other words, “Are you not entertained?”
Friday 20 September 2019
The second week of NFL action kicked off yesterday with Tennessee meeting Jacksonville. This is kind of like that. Maybe it could be worse, but it sure could be a whole lot better from a non-partisan fan’s perspective. I didn’t watch American football yesterday, and I’ll probably skip this bit of English football, too.
After all, I already got rid of Ryan Fraser, Joshua King, and Callum Wilson (yes, before their explosion in Week 5). I don’t want to hate watch, that’s no fun. If you’ve still got some of these players in your fantasy teams, don’t let me stop you, go right ahead and enjoy. You big smart jerk.
And if you’re looking for a last-minute replacement for Daniel James or similar weekend doubt, then maybe you can found a sure starter here an hour before kickoff.
Saturday 21 September 2019
Leicester is in fifth place, which sounds about right. Wait a minute, Tottenham’s in third? Really? Are you kidding me?! I’m a Spurs fan, and it sure doesn’t feel like they should be in third place. You know that they lost at home to Newcastle, right? Oh yeah, Man City lost to newly-promoted Norwich, so now the table has no meaning. Look at it: 3rd through 16th are separated by only three points. I mean, Spurs are in 3rd place, woo hoo!
Here’s an evenly matched game featuring a defensive-minded team looking to break out against an attacking side that held Man City to “only” two goals. All eyes will be on Teemu Pukki, Emiliano Buendia, Todd Cantwell and friends to see how they follow up their improbable upset victory. Plenty of fantasy managers will also want to see if Ashley Barnes can get back in the goals. But come on, we all know it, it’s pretty much all about the Pukki Party!
Everton started the season with a favorable schedule, which has me really worried about what happens when they get to the tough part. After all, they’re in 11th place after facing five teams that are all 9th or worse: Bournemouth (9th), Crystal Palace (12th), Aston Villa (17th), Wolves (19th), and Watford (20th). Egad! Now 15th place Sheffield United comes to town. If Everton can’t get a convincing win here, it may be time to start selling off Toffees.
After seeing the aforementioned shock loss by the Citizens, you knew it wasn’t a good time to be in the shoes of Shakhtar Donetsk players. It’s probably not going to be any fun for struggling Watford either, but at least the visiting Hornets have some momentum following the come-from-behind 2-2 draw with Arsenal last weekend under new-old manager Quique Sanchez Flores.
Of course, you might also remember the result of the FA Cup final at Wembley between these two teams a few months back, and you won’t have much question of what will happen this time at the Etihad. The real question that millions of fantasy managers are wondering is whether the infamous Pep Roulette will ruin the weekend. Many have already been burned by captaining Raheem Sterling the past two weekends, but the disappointment didn’t come from any lack of playing time, just poor performance. Most probably won’t risk captaining Sterling this time around, but an unproductive, 15-minute cameo from the usually dazzling City winger would only add to the misery.
Sometimes a match between two bad teams can be interesting. Sometimes... Not all that often, though. Not sure why this one is the featured late Saturday game. Also not going to think about it any more. Turning off the fun part of my brain until Sunday. No, wait, when’s the Saturday Night Live season premiere? Is that this week? Next week? Next month? Who’s hosting? I have no idea. I should find out.
Sunday 22 September 2019
This match-up is the island of misfit toys. Wilfried Zaha and Luka Milivojevic have combined for 17 points in FPL, as neither has a goal nor assist. Raul Jimenez has been respectable with 20 points thanks to his pair of goals, but Diogo Jota has only 9, failing to contribute anything on the score sheet.
Oh, and the vaunted Palace defense just conceded four times at Spurs, while Wolves have let nine (!!!) slip by in the past two league games. Even worse, Wolves are coming off an embarrassing home defeat to start Europa League against (who?) Braga. (Again, I ask, who?) If you can tell me where Braga is from without looking on the inter webs, I will give you a cookie. Or a biscuit. Or a fruit pastry roll or rum ball or whatever it is that the dessert snack specialty is there.
This is... I mean... I don’t know. It should be a lot better than Palace v. Wolves. But am I excited about it? I guess a little. It’s just, you never know what you’re going to get from either team. Then again, what’s wrong with that? That’s kind of fun, isn’t it? Alright, I’m talking myself into it. It better not be a dud.
Arsenal had the three points seemingly in hand at Watford, then let two of those points slip away (or gifted them, as appears in the video). Then again, Spurs had the three points at Arsenal, then the Gunners clawed back to take a point. You’d think they’d win this game at home, but as noted, confidence seems to switch on or off in their heads mid-game. On top of that unpredictability, Villa has been enjoyably feisty. So it should be a fun match-up. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, Dani Ceballos, John McGinn, Jack Grealish, Tyrone Mings, et al. I really, really want to watch this game. However...
This... this is what we’ve been waiting for! The weekend’s glorious Big-Six match-up. Two teams with something to prove following disappointing Champions League losses. Two attack-minded clubs with lots of our fantasy assets. An exciting youth movement (Ali was right!) led by Tammy Abraham and (hopefully) Mason Mount, against the veteran league-leading guile of more established superstars including (but certainly not limited to) Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, and Virgil van Dijk. You will be watching. So will I. And we can chat about it together, so be here on Sunday!
Join in the comments below as your favorite teams and fantasy players deliver or sputter live! It’s fun, we’ve got a great community, don’t be shy, go ahead and be part of it if you aren’t already!