The opening week was full of surprises.
We had Jamie Vardy punching himself in the face, two players scoring with the same overhead kick, and yet the most exciting thing to happen this weekend was the return of fantasy football!
There was joy, disappointment, and every other emotion we put ourselves through over the duration of the season. Lady luck smiled upon Stephen ‘Don’t Call Me Ben’ Kingsley and Etienne Capoue while she frowned upon Firmino and Alexis who took part in a seven goal thriller and contributed towards a grand total of … no goals.
If you owned the latter do not fret! As the noted scientist, and known germ lover, Louis Pasteur said, ‘Fortune favours the prepared mind’ so let us get right into the mind preparation with this week’s ‘Buy or Sell’.
Buy: Sergio Aguero – Forward, Manchester City, 13.0
Those who own Aguero did not have to wait long on their investment as he scored in his first match of the season. He followed that goal up with three more in midweek in the Champions League and is heading into a match-up against a likely Jack Butland-less Stoke City. Aguero is a must start andmust captain this week.
Buy: Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Forward, Manchester United, 11.5
Zlatan seemed un-involved for a lot of the Bournemouth match, you know, until he scored. That is likely going to be the way of things this season so just buckle in and collect your twenty plus goals. Virgil van Dijk versus Zlatan will be a fun match-up to watch this week.
Sell: Alexis Sanchez – Midfielder, Arsenal, 11.0
He looks a step behind after an intense summer away with Chile. In ninety minutes on the pitch in a 4-3 game Alexis only managed one chance created and failed to register a goal or assist. This Leicester City defence did look a bit shaky last week against Hull City, but the return of Robert Huth should have a calming effect on that back line.
Buy: Eden Hazard – Midfielder, Chelsea, 10.0
Against West Ham United, Hazard looked much more like the Player of the Year 2014/15 edition than the willowing husk edition we saw in 2015/16. Yes, his goal came via penalty, but that duty will likely remain his and, in open play, he was constantly beating his man. Hazard is one of the few Chelsea players that I expect to get 3000+ minutes this season.
Sell: Jamie Vardy – Forward, Leicester, 10.0
Vardy got many chances like the ones he had last season, but failed to turn any of them on target. In fact, of the two Leicester forwards, Musa was the one who looked the danger man against Hull. Laurent Koscielny’s return to the Arsenal defence should see them improve on last week’s performance.
Buy: Diego Costa – Forward, Chelsea, 9.5
Tell me if you have heard this before but Costa should have been sent off, but ended up scoring the winner. Petulance aside, Costa has plenty of value as long as he stays at Chelsea and his match-ups over the next few weeks (Watford, Burnley, Swansea City, Liverpool) are very kind.
Sell: Sadio Mane – Midfielder, Liverpool, 9.0
I was admittedly too low on him after his move to Liverpool and last week’s performance was Exhibit A. Unfortunately, at time of writing, Mane has picked up a shoulder injury and is expected to miss the match against Burnley this weekend.
Buy: Raheem Sterling – Midfielder, Manchester City, 8.0
The difference between Sterling under Pellegrini and Sterling under Guardiola has been staggering. The pacy winger has been making much better decisions on the pitch which has led to him earning two penalties and two open play assists in 180 minutes of action this season (all competitions). If Sterling lives up to his potential he will be both an absolute steal at 8.0 and a great differential at just 1.5% owned.
Sell: Christian Eriksen – Midfielder, Tottenham, 8.5
Eriksen looked off the pace in Tottenham’s opener against Everton though he was not the only one. Harry Kane struggled as well and if he is not scoring goals Eriksen’s chances at assists plummet. May I suggest a downgrade to one Erik Lamela?
Buy: Dusan Tadic – Midfielder, Southampton, 7.5
Tadic had a quietly terrific opening performance against Watford. In fact, he finished top five in key passes, take-ons, crosses, and shots on target last week. Manchester United is not an easy match-up, but considering how many ways he can impact a game he is somewhat match-up proof.
Sell: Cesc Fabregas – Midfielder, Chelsea, 7.5
This is more of a sit than a sell for now, but feel free to drop Fabregas if he does not get the start for the second consecutive week.
Buy: Abel Hernandez – Forward, Hull City, 6.0
Hernandez was responsible for potentially the most athletic ‘assist’ you will ever see with his overhead effort against Leicester. I have loved him for years, but even I shied away to start the season due to all the problems surrounding Hull City. That was a mistake as Hernandez is Abel (get it?!) to create his own chances even when service is slim. He is an excellent counter to everyone chasing Negredo, Gray, Wilson among others.
Sell: Callum Wilson – Forward, Bournemouth, 6.5
The last time he notched a goal or assist was last September and he has only put one shot on target in his last eight matches. He should be Bournemouth’s main man, but his struggles will likely continue the next few weeks as he consecutively faces four of the league’s top ten defences from last season.
Buy: Craig Dawson – Defender, West Bromwich Albion, 5.0
Dawson may well be the least sexy pick in all of fantasy football, but he sure does rack up points. With consistent playing time, crosses, and clean sheets he is an ideal second or third defender in your team. The match-ups are kind as well with West Brom facing just two top ten attacks in their next five matches.
Sell: Joe Hart – Goalkeeper, Manchester City, 5.4
Even if he ends up staying at Manchester City, his starting position is not guaranteed. At 5.4 Hart is profoundly not worth owning.
Buy: Stephen Kingsley/Jordi Amat – Defender, Swansea, 4.0-4.1
Right, when it looked like there would be no good 4.0 defenders, Swansea’s defence cranked out two! It is up to you which one you would like in your team with Kingsley the player with more upside, but questions about minutes or Amat who will only contribute towards clean sheets but will likely start twenty-five plus matches.
Sell: Jordan Pickford – Goalkeeper, Sunderland, 4.0
I thought Pickford was the 4.0 keeper to own, but I was wrong. Swap to Jakupovic when you get a chance.
TEB FANTASY FOOTBALL LEAGUE – Top Ten
|Rank||Team & Manager||GW||TOT|
|1||Dad all over again – Wayne Byrne||79||79|
|2||Abra-Mandanda – Matthew Freeman||75||75|
|3||For Fuchs Ake – Declan Wood||71||71|
|4||Dynamo Dan Dan – Daniel Bright||68||68|
|5||Umedalens IF – Elias Ericsson||67||67|
|6||Aaron’s G Squah – Aaron Alford||65||65|
|7||Why Even Bother? – Daniel Bimson||62||62|
|8||Regals Eagles – Jonathan Miles||61||61|
|9||Red n Blue Stratford – Andrew Cochrane||59||59|
|9||Head Down Studs Up – Jesse Boyce||59||59|