PITCH & PINT – EPISODE 10: Bang On Average
Episode 10 of Pitch & Pint Podcast, being recorded on Tuesday September 25 2018. Bang on average
Hello and welcome to episode 10 of Pitch & Pint. My name is Stephen, your host, you can find me @6thGoal on Twitter
Let’s skip all the formalities this week and get right into Gameweek 6.
(:24) RANDOM THOUGHTS
It was a rather short weekend, with all but two games forced into Saturday’s fixtures. I was up at 430am to watch Watford visiting Craven Cottage. Needless to say, that game set the tone for the entire weekend.
Watford deserved better than a 1-1 draw, escaping, some would say with 1-point. But, on the road, in the Premier League most times I would take that point. But not Saturday. It was a true, tale of two halves. Things were golden inside of 2 minutes, but never got any better for the Hornets.
As I have said for a few weeks now, there are NO Watford players to own at this time. Their forwards are priced a bit too high for me, their defensive assets aren’t great, but as a squad, they are playing well, minus the lack of concentration in the second half that led to a mistake and a goal in the 78’ minute.
Shade of the Marco Silva team from last season. It was these sorts of mistakes we had not made in the first 4 weeks of the season. Even last week, we had a few lapses in the defense that led to at least one or both of those goals last weekend.
That leads me into forwards. May as well start with Mitrovic, since he ruined my Saturday, but I am not a fan of the big Serbian. That said, he currently has the stats to back his play.
Looking at forward 7.0 and less, he trails just Callum Wilson (37) on penalty touches (34), tied with Josh King. He’s on 5 goals, which is the best for any forward in the price range. He’s also 10 goal attempts (28) better than the next closest players in Ings and Jimenez. (18).
I just don’t believe in Fulham, I think they are on a good run but are going to end up being relegated back to the Championship. He’s got returns in 4 out of 6 games and is already looking like he could price rise to 7.0 before the weekend, as over 90k managers have brought him in on the back of that late goal.
For me, I am still on the Arnautovic/Zaha duo, both at 7.0. While Arnie missed out at Chelsea this weekend, I feel he is still a great play at that price, better than Mitrovic over the course of the season. I’ve been about patience this season and I am trying everything not to chase points, which is what I would be doing if I made the move to Mitrovic, off either of my current forwards.
Now, if Arnie is a long-term injury, then I will need to reconsider, but even then, I might look at a budget option in Ings, Jimenez or Murray.
Ahead of the GW6, the biggest question, who to captain? On the back of near 300k managers bringing in Hazard, I couldn’t get the numbers to work with my 2 FTs to get the Belgian in. Maybe that was a blessing, as he failed to return for the first time this season. The easy move would have been what many others did, Salah out, Hazard in. I still believe in the underlying statistics for Salah, unlike those of Mitrovic, which I feel aren’t sustainable (He scored 12 in the Championship last season).
Salah leads all players with 52 penalty touches, 25 goal attempts and 18 shots inside the box. He plays for the second highest scoring team in the league, which means he will continue to see many chances in the box, on goal. His price has already seen a drop by 0.1, as now just over 42% of fantasy managers own him. The exodus looks like it’s continuing as well, as over 27k managers have transferred him out, not favoring the next two weeks, away to Chelsea and home to Man City.
I like the fixture at Stamford Bridge. We saw West Ham catch the Blues on the break a few times on Sunday but were unable to capitalize on the situation. This could be a great opportunity for Salah and the Reds to prove they can challenge at the top of the table. He’s scored just 1 goal in two games against Chelsea last year, that coming at Anfield.
Chelsea have a tricky run of fixtures, home to Liverpool in GW7 and Man United in GW9. There could be the possibility to look at Hazard after GW9 for me. Hazard is third with 37 penalty touches behind Sterling and Salah with 16 goal attempts, just 7 inside the box. So just how good are Chelsea?
Currently Chelsea is tied with Liverpool on 14 goals with both teams chasing City on 19. They have the second-best goal attempt total with 111, again trailing City at 140! They are also second with a 5.1 mins per chance and have fired 37 shots on target, third best trailing Liverpool, on 38 and City again, on 55.
Using Fantasy Football Scout’s Season Ticker and The Art of the Dive’s fixture ticker, found at divefpl.com, developed by FPL_Jim, you get results at opposite ends. Scout would lead you to believe, based on the match ups over the next 4 weeks, Chelsea isn’t a strong option, ranked 17 out of 20 for teams on attack. Again, they have home games against LIV and MUN, while visiting SOU and BUR over that period.
Now, FPL_Jim’s chart at divefpl.com shows Chelsea, along with Liverpool and Man City, the top three teams in that order based on:
- Goals per game (high)
- League position (high)
- Goals conceded (high)
- Passes (medium)
- Shots (medium)
- Big chances (medium)
- Saves (low)
Chelsea haven’t been impressive. They posted 7 goals against HUD and CAR but escaped ARS, 3-2 on a late Marcos Alonso goal. Against NEW, it was a DeAndre Yedlin OG in the 87th that cost the Magpies a point. So even though they are on 16 points, currently 3rd in the league they haven’t impressed to the degree of City, which many expected and Liverpool.
Currently, I own Alonso, who will be a cornerstone all season for my defense pending injury. I was also on Pedro, but after the Europa League injury to his shoulder, I transferred him out last week for a budget option.
I was hoping that Giroud would have performed against West Ham, getting his second start, but his perform was unimpressive, 8 penalty touches, 3 goal attempts, all on target. He’s priced right at 7.8 for a second forward, but need to see more consistency, which we haven’t. Especially with budget options readily available at 7.0, even more so at 5.5!
Hazard at 10.9 is still being transferred in ahead of Liverpool, some 54k managers have brought him in, meanwhile, 84k have transferred Pedro out. Still feel he is a good option at 6.7, but concern over rotation with Willian have turned many managers away from him.
Wee Man, not even sure why the fuck we are considering Ryan Fraser. Ahead of GW6 he’d scored 3 goals and 2 assists, picking up 7 bonus points for a total of 39 points, third best midfielder behind Hazard and Mane, but just ahead of Salah. At 5.7, his price is right and Eddie Howe’s team had scored 10 goals.
Historically, he’s never scored more than 5 goals (17/18) or had more than 8 assists (16/17) in a season. While I transferred him in last week, I feel I am chasing points and this was a knee jerk decision, much like the one I made to bring in Theo Walcott for Richarlison ahead of GW3. Both were ill advised, yet I still made both transfers.
His hot start reminds us all of Etienne Capoue in the 16/17 season, scoring 4 goals and an assist in his first 5 games and just 3 goals over the next 33 gameweeks.
Part of the reason for jumping on wee man, was the fact Bournemouth was pretty free scoring, which is an Eddie Howe trait. Their next 4 games include CRY/wat/SOU/ful. Except for Watford, FUL/CRY/SOU have conceded a combined 268 goal attempts with 102 on target.
Midfielder at 7.0 and less, Fraser seems to tick all the boxes, at least for the next 4 games. He’s played every minute, has a 6.8 PPG a VAPM or value added per minute of 0.83 and the highest BPS baseline for players at that price.
One player I am not buying into Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, now up to 4.5 for So’ton. He’s on two goals for the season but has never produced attacking returns the last 2 seasons. Saints aren’t a high scoring team, but really what can we expect from ANY 4.5 midfielder. Not much. Don’t care who it is from Obiang and Billing to Wesstwood, Mendy (the other Mendy) and Ward. These will be 5th midfielders, enablers, to allow you spend more of your budget elsewhere.
Much of the take ahead of GW6 was the return of Richarlison. Being a Watford supporter, I saw the highs and lows of him last season. I backed the Brazilian during the middle of the season with the armband and he faithfully returned between gameweeks 11 to 13.
He followed Marco Silva to Everton, but now the Toffees have one win in their last 6 games, now nursing two games losing streak. Some will point to the fact Richarlison hasn’t been available for the last 3 games after receiving a red card in GW2.
Maybe there is still a bitterness that resides in me, when he was with Watford. I do feel Watford is a stronger team without the individual talents of Richarlison. He doesn’t play as a team player, which means his decision making is going to struggle. We saw this yesterday in having the options to pass the ball off, but instead taking on a low percentage shot.
Aside from what many said on Twitter, he wasn’t good on Sunday with just 2 penalty touches, 4 goals attempts, with just 2 on target. Even those stats are better than what Richarlison’s shooting statistics were last season.
There is a maturity level I haven’t seen in Richarlison, when Watford was in their tailspin before Silva left, Richarlison wasn’t a factor. Some will knock this off to fatigue. If that was truly the case, then the manager should have been benching his ass, not continually starting a player who wasn’t in form.
The relationship between Richarlison and Silva has been compared to that of a father and son. Until Everton turn things around, I don’t feel his 6.6 price tag is warranted. Over 68k managers have already transferred him back in, bumping his ownership to around 18%.
That leads me to the final budget priced midfielder, James Maddison, referred to as a “poor man’s Christian Eriksen.” Maddison score his first legitimate goal this weekend on a dead ball, giving him 3 goals on the season to go with 1 assist and 3 bonus points.
Owned by just over 9% and the most bought midfilder ahead of GW7 with nearly 92k managers moving for him ahead of a good run for Leicester, facing only Arsenal in GW9.
Question is, just how much trust do we put into the Foxes scoring? They have four games in which they have scored 2 or more goals and haven’t been shut out yet. Promising stats, however they have just 71 goal attempts, 8th worst with just 36 shots inside the box, which is 4th worst in the league. Their goal conversion and shot accuracy are ranked first and second in the league.
I still feel Demarai Gray is a viable option at 1.2 less, his attacking numbers are comparable, bettering Maddison in penalty touches and attmepts inside the box. No set piece duty and the fact Gray’s distribution numbers aren’t as strong, probably give Maddison the edge, but will cost you more.
Maddison isn’t one I am currently looking, as he doesn’t fit into my planning over the next 4 weeks.
Before we continue, I need a beer. It’s time for our Gameweek 7 Beer of the Week sponsored by Revision Brewing out of Sparks, Nevada.
(11:23) FPL GAMEWEEK 7 BEER OF THE WEEK
Revision Brewing Company is known for brewing mouth-watering prominently hop-forward beers by the award-winning brewmaster Jeremy Warren and head brewer Jeb Taylor. Revision Brewing Company opened in March of 2017 and located in Sparks, Nevada.
With some serious momentum behind the beers, Revision produced 5,615 barrels of beer at the end of 2017 and the brewery projects to produce upwards of 20,000 barrels within the next few years.
The brewery has also begun its barrel aging program with plans to release creative barrel-aged beers that will bend the mind and tantalize the palate at the end of 2018.
Revision Brewing Company’s brewmaster and CEO hails from Knee Deep Brewing Company out of Auburn, CA, a company that he originally founded out of his garage in Sparks, Nevada.
In July of 2015, Jeremy Warren (Founder and former Brewmaster of Knee Deep Brewing Company) decided to sell his shares of Knee Deep Brewing to his business partner and set out to start Revision Brewing Company where he could have total creative freedom.
Warren is known for his world-class IPA’s, 2x IPAs and 3x IPAs and after only a year of opening the doors at Revision Brewing Company, the brewery took a gold medal win for Revision IPA in the American India Pale Ale Category and DIPA won the silver medal in the Imperial India Pale Ale category at the 2018 World Beer Cup awards.
Only four other breweries in the history of the World Beer Cup have medaled in both the American-Style India Pale Ale and the Imperial India Pale Ale category in the same year. Revision Brewing Company joins Russian River, Pizza Port, Noble Ale Works and Big Rock Chop House in this achievement.
According to Beer Advocate’s press release, “2018 World Beer Cup Winners Announced,” 8,234 entries from 66 countries compete(d) at the “Olympics of Beer.”
Today its Sparkle Muffin, a fruit-forward single IPA featuring deep flavors of citrus from the hops, yet very easy drinking. Their tagline, “don’t wait until later, enjoy right meow!”
This is the sixth hazy IPA I’ve had from Revision, which has included The Bruff, Lord Lupulin, Whole Lotta Ruckus, Trying To Get My Aroma, Bro and Revice a collaboration with Device out of Sacramento.
Let’s pop the top on this 16-ounce can
[BEER TOP OPENING SOUNDS]
POUR: Sparkle Muffin pours a hazy, light straw color with a pineapple yellow and a white, foamy, one-finger head that lingers depositing some good lacing on the pint glass.
SMELL: First whiff, is big pineapple with a mix of citrus and tropical fruits including some stone fruits, mango, passion fruit, grapefruit and orange peel. Just a slight hop resin on the nose.
TASTE: Like many NE style hazy IPAs, the taste follows the nose, as you get a big, sweet juiciness in the flavor of pineapple and mix of citrus fruits. At just 30 IBUs, this is a not a big hop beer, but you do get a hint of piney resin.
OVERALL: This hazy IPA is medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel and some dense carbonation. For a brewery that specialized in bit, hoppy beers, their hazy line has been very impressive for a West Coast brewery.
Now with hopped water poured, let’s continue.
(13:36) RANDOM THOUGHTS (CONTINUED)
There are other lesser owned options in the midfield that could prove to be good value. While I am not high on owning Watford players, I will lead with Will Hughes.
This on speculation Troy Deeney is injured, with multiple broken bones in his foot after a challenge from Timothy Fosu-Mensah that should have been deemed a red card.
If Deeney is lost, it will be a huge blow for the Hornets, but it could potentially move Hughes back to a central role, possibly to the #10, behind Gray. Hughes has started every match OOP on the right flank, with Gerard Deulofeu recovering.
He’s posted 23 points on the season, on the back of a goal and assist, not bad for a 5.0 midfielder but he’s the cog in the Watford midfielder that makes that unit click going forward in attack.
He’s posted 53 passes in the final third and 8 chances created, which is best for the 5.0 midfielders. He’s third best with 14 penalty touches and 9 goal attempts, with 4 from inside the box. His play will only improve when he gets back to the center of the pitch.
Thankfully Javi Gracia was giving him the flexibility to come inside on a regular basis, as Daryl Janmaat would fill the right-wing role from his defensive position.
Aaron Lennon has been on my radar since the start, as I did consider him as a fifth midfielder to start the season, at 5.5 I decided upon James Milner instead, which left Lennon unselected.
His VAPM or value added per million has been excellent Depending on what metrics you use, VAPM could fall in line with PP90 (points per 90 minutes), PPM (points per match), PPMM (points per match per million) or even xG/xA.
Continuing to look at midfielders at 5.0 and less, Lennon seems to check many boxes, but keep in mind Johann Berg Gudmundsson is back and recorded 2 assists last game.
Lennon has started and played every minute down the right side, but this was the first week in which he returned points (13) off a goal and assist. Like hughes, Lennon has some good statistics when it comes passing in the final third and crosses, but has just 3 chances created. We know the struggles that Burnley has scoring, not sure I take much solace in their 4-0 win over Bournemouth, as we know the Cherries don’t play very good defense. I will need one more week to see what the Clarets can do offensively. However, they do have car/HUD in their next two, which could help them get back on track.
Another budget midfielder to watch, Anthony Knockaert, another favorite of mine, based off the VAPM metric. With Pascal Gross out injured, Knockaert appears to be in good form with returns in his last 3 games and 4 out of 6 to start the season.
Could it be the Knockeart we saw in the Championship in 16/17 when he scored 15 goals and 9 assists? Maybe not to that level, but this has been one of his best runs since Brighton have been up.
After GW7, Brighton have an amazing through GW6, not playing any of the top 6 teams, but seeing many of the bottom half of the table. Must wins for the Seagulls, but also provide Knockaert an excellent opportunity to make some noise at 5.5 and just 0.7% owned. A huge differential.
On the season, 20 crosses, 9 chances created, 3 of them big chances. He also has 14 penalty touches, 12 attempts on goal with 8 shots inside the box. I do feel he plays a bigger role with Gross sidelined.
Ahead of this week it was the combination of Alonso, Mendy and Robertson, owned by over 31% of managers in the top 1000. I can only guess that figure has dropped a bit with Mendy sidelined with an injury, no return date and very little information from City or Pep.
However, it’s been the 4.0, now 4.2 starlet, Aaron Wan-Bissaka “doing bits” as teammate Patrick van Aanholt would say. Aside from his red card in GW2, AWB has been the pick of the season on the back of 3 clean sheets and 9 bonus points. He’s outplayed the Palace bonus point magnet, Mamadou Sakho by 4 points and added an assist in GW1.
A must own, even if he’s not started, but used as an enabler on or off the bench. Owned by a massive 27.5%m, he’s averaging 5.6 PPG with a VAPM of 0.86!
A few other cheap options that don’t seem to be getting the same consideration, Shane Duffy. Much like Knockaert, he performed well in the Championship, but just now seems to be putting it altogether, as he’s posted 2 goals and 2 assists on the season.
At 4.5, he’s scored 27 points but only owned by 3.2% of managers. After City, it would be a great time to invest in another budget defender.
Look at Newcastle defensive assets after GW8. It could be worthwhile getting one in ahead of GW7 and their home fixture against Leicester but benching them away to United the following week. At 4.9 Jamal Lascelles (4.8) would be the top option, but there is also value in Yedlin (1.1) and Dummett (0.2), both at 4.5. However, the real value could be in Martin Dubravka.
Priced at 5.0, he’s 0.5 more expensive than Joe Hart and Lukasz Fabianski, two of best goals keepers based on saves, Dubravka has 15 through 6 games. I do feel at that price he’s better than what Pickford has shown at Everton and the ageless wonder at Arsenal, Petr Cech, looking over his shoulder at Bernd Leno.
Now with those random thoughts out of the way, let’s look back at GW6.
(19:48) WHAT WE LEARNED FROM GW6
So just what have we learned from the latest game week?
- Salah still the FPL Pharaoh: Those managers who moved Salah for Hazard this week dodged a huge bullet, as the Egyptian hit for his second, but it was called back due to offsides. Salah, still looks very dangerous! His numbers are top of the league for midfielders, but hasn’t been as fortunate as his strike partner, Sadio Mane in the early going.
Sure, the price point is a big distraction, at 12.9 he’s still the most expensive player in the game and many managers believe he should be performing at such a level, outscoring ALL other players.
He continues to look a player in form, as the Reds have a tough run of games. Chelsea could be a good match up, as their wing backs long to bomb forward, which could leave room for Salah to run in to.
- Wolves Howling: The newly promoted club made some excellent moves ahead of the season to bring their Championship winning squad up to a level to compete in the Premier League.
They scored 99 points on the back of 82 goals last season and have strengthened their squad to put them into a position that could see them finishing in the top half of the table. Now Nuno Espirito Santo’s men aren’t going to beat Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest, winning the top flight in 1978 after gaining promotion.
But Wolves have already shown they can compete at this level. Great depth in the squad and they are hungry to prove they belong. There are some excellent fantasy options through the entire starting XI. Maybe we should listen a bit closer to FPL_Fly when he talks Wolves.
- From Slugs to Spurs: No wins in their last 3 and Maurico Pochettino was left scratching his head. Back to back 2-1 loses to Watford and Liverpool in the Premier League and another to Inter Milan, midweek in Champions League.
Spurs made good in GW6 with a 2-1 win away to Brighton. It wasn’t a pretty win. Kane picked up his 3rd goal on the season from the PK spot and Erik Lamela hit in the second, which was much needed, as Brighton clawed to get one back, late.
While Spurs aren’t looking their best, they are still a club to be reckoned with. Talent though the starting XI, but the lack of Hugo Lloris in goal continues to be a problem, as Michel Voom is injured, they were down to Paulo Gazzaniga, as he picked up all 3 bonus points this weekend.
They will be there in the end, but just a bit slow to get going this season. The next 2 fixtures hud/CAR should help.
- Then There Was Liverpool: The only perfect team left on the books with 7 wins in the first 7 games, as they set a club record in their 126-year history! They are second in goals scored with 14 and league best with just 2 conceded. We all remember that mistake by Alisson or else they could be on 5 out of 6 clean sheets to start the season.
Many still believe Salah is not at his best and Mane, the cheaper route was or is the player to own. However, we have seen many fantasy managers moving their Liverpool assets ahead of a tough run in the Premier League and Champions League. Their next 4 games
- Home to Chelsea in the Premier League
- Away to Chelsea in the League Cup
- Away to Napoli in Champions League
- Home to Man City in the Premier League
Starting GW9, their schedule becomes easier, which could represent a return of fantasy manager to the Liverpool assets.
Let’s get into a bit of beer news, in fact, let’s talk beer festivals!
(22:53) BEER NEWS
This past weekend, a beer festival took place. Not that these festivals are new, as we approach October and the plethora of Oktoberfests that span the globe! From Munich to Miami and Berlin to Bakersfield. Okay, so I don’t really know if they hold an Oktoberfest in Bakersfield.
Abbreviated GABF, the Great American Beer Festival is a 3-day annual event hosted by the Brewers Associtation in Denver, Colorado.
The Brewers Association is an American trade group of over 7,200 brewers, breweries in planning, suppliers, distributors, craft beer retailers, and Individuals particularly concerned with the promotion of craft beer and homebrewing. The organization was founded in 1978 my Charlie Papazian, one of the most prominent and recognized names in the world of beer and brewing.
The GABF brings visitors from around the world to sample thousands of different American craft beers. Hundreds of judges from the United States and abroad evaluate beer in the associated competition, ultimately judging several thousand beers entered by hundreds of breweries.
Gold, silver and bronze medals in 161 beer-style categories (as of 2017) are awarded, though not every medal is necessarily awarded in each category. That number increased this year as GABF welcomes juicy and hazy styles and three others to the competition.
Typically happening in late September or early October, the event is currently held inside the Colorado Convention Center. There are four separate four-hour attendee “sampling” sessions (one Thursday, one Friday and two on Saturday) with the first of the two on the Saturday being called the “members only” session which is only offered to BA members as well as special guests such as participating breweries and VIP.
The last day is also the day awards are presented which occurs inside the CCC’s 5,000-seat Bellco Theatre immediately before the members only session. Judging occurs elsewhere downtown in the days leading up to the last day of the 3-day event.
Founded in 1982, the GABF is the largest ticketed beer festival in the United States and one of the largest in the world. By the way for those in the Bakersfield area, there are numerous Oktoberfest’s you can attend.
Now, let’s take a look at Stout Players and Pale Ailing Performers from GW6 and prospects moving forward.
(25:07) GAMEWEEK 6 STOUT PLAYERS & PALE AILING PERFORMERS
- Petr Cech (5.0) 11 points, on the back of a CS and 6 saves, also picked up 3 bonus points. Gunenrs still have a good run of 4 games, but his price could be prohibitive.
- Lukasz Fabianski (4.5) 11 points, identical stats as Cech, as the Hammers also record their first CS, Fabianski is now on 30 saves for the season, record 9 save points and 4 bonus on the year. They have United and Spurs in two of their next 3, but continues to be a viable option
- Martin Dubravka (5.0) 10 points, as Newcastle got their 2nd CS, as he finished with 4 saves and 3 bonus points. Better fixtures after GW8 and a trip to Old Trafford.
- Joel Matip (4.9), got his first start, scored a goal and kept a clean sheet with 3 bonus. Not much value, but will rotate in for some rest for the defenders.
- Aarn Wan-Bissaka (4.2) everybody’s favorite 4.0 defender, on the back of 0.2 increase kept his 3rd CS and his third 3 bonus point haul. Quickly become a mainstay in lineups and off the bench. Big ownership at 27.8%
- The trio of Bernardo Silva (7.5), Ilkay Gundogan (5.5) and Riyad Mahrez (8.6). Silva played 90 minutes with a goal and assist, 3 bonus points. Gundogan followed Silva, but finished with 2 bonus points, while Mahrez hit for a brace, his first 2 goals for City in just 29 minutes. That all equates to ROTATION!
- I spoke about Aaron Lennon (5.0) earlier, some nice underlying stats, finished on 13 points with a goal and assist with 2 bonus points for 13 points. I still like him moving forward as they are away to Cardiff and home to Huddersfield.
Pale Ailing Performers:
- Jordan Pickford (5.0), that defense in front of him is a shamble! Make matters worse, Pickford is 5.0…still! No value in him at this time, until Silva learns what the letter ‘W’ stands for.
- Man United defenders, all of them. Still can’t buy into this defense. They concede a goal and are still on just 1 CS. I can’t even back Luke Shaw (5.1) as MANY, maybe too many managers brought him in. Why? I still don’t know. I honestly thought Ashley Young played better when he got the start vs Watford. Guess Jose knows better.
- Eden Hazard (10.9), HUGE movement ahead of GW6 to bring him in on the back of his first hat trick, giving him 5 goals on the season, but couldn’t find a way past Fabianski and West Ham defense that had conceded 11 goals in their first 6 games. Ouch! Liverpool and Man United in 2 of their next 3 games.
- Lucas Moura (7.4) no returns in the last 2 games, however Son returned to the lineup, as did Lamela, which could grab vital minutes from the early season Spurs hero. At 7.4, with rotation a possibility, it might be time to take you price increase and run or possibly turn him into Son at 8.3.
- For all the chatter this week, Richarlison failed to impress. Maybe I wound up after that Watford loss, but I don’t believe I will look in his direction until Everton start winning again. Remember how he played last year when the Hornets were in a nasty slide? He didn’t. Sure some of could possibly be knocked off to fatigue, but he was awful.
Time to look back on my GW6 results.
(28:23) GW6 TEAM REVIEW (6THGOAL)
On the weekend, I score 63 points, 11 better than a weekly average of 52 with a game week rank of 815k. On the season I sit on 358 points, just 2 points off where I was looking to be at this point in the year. Less than half a point off my 60 PPW average. Overall, I picked up my second green arrow in a row, now up to 457k, my best overall rank this season.
It was a defensive unit that picked up 34 points, a total of 5 clean sheets between Ederson and Walker, who I brought in for Mendy ahead of the week, as well as Alonso, Robertson and Wan-Bissaka. Sounds very template, doesn’t it?
Outside of Salah in the midfield, who got the armband and 16 points, Fraser, Milner and Walcott were unimpressive with none of them return. And I will say it again, I knew better than to bring in Fraser on a FT. Once bitten, twice stupid!
Up front, I had planned on three forwards, but a late scratch to Arnautovic saw me run out Zaha and Aguero, as Walcott got the start in his place. Zaha wasn’t good, didn’t score and somehow, Palace still came out ahead.
Walcott, well it was my hope that the addition of Richarlison back into the Everton starting XI would imspire and create. Unfortunately, it did nothing of the sort as Everton lost…again. Becoming a Marco Silva trait. Toffee fans, aren’t you glad Everton got their man? Sorry Tornado, don’t mean to rub it in.
Only concern ahead of the upcoming week, the curious case of what make of Henrikh Mkhitaryan? I held him last week, one the off chance he might be fit. Wasn’t the case but I feel he’s going to represent my FT ahead of GW7.
As we near the end of the show, let’s take a quick run over at the upcoming fixtures for GW7
(29:49) GW7 PREVIEW
WHU | MUN: The Hammers impressed last week against Chelsea without Arnie up front. With any luck their talisman will be back in the starting XI this week and as we have seen, with his intensity, he can score against anyone. Hammers play was much improved, and I look for them to be competitive against United. The Red Devils have 7 points in their last 3 games and many are liking the form of Lukaku to come up big in their upcoming fixtures. Depending on how the United defense comes out, I could see the Hammers grabbing all 3 points.
ARS | WAT: The Gunners started slow last week but came on late in the second, by way of comparison, Watford start hot and faded. Could be an interesting game at the Emirates Stadium. The form that Watford has been in, I can see this being competitive, but also will be a bigger test with two quality forward in Aubameyang and Lacazette playing well. Hornets will need to show some early season form defensively. I could see this game being a draw.
EVE | FUL: Everton was terrible last week, even with Richarlison, who in my opinion wasn’t impressive offensively. Can’t see buying into him this week. Walcott wasn’t much better and with the form the Toffees are in, it could be time to let them all go. Fulham, yeah, got luck last weekend and grabbed a late point at home. It was Mitrovic, with a cheeky back heel to even things up. He’s probably the hottest, most consistent forward right now. Fulham should grab all 3-points in this game.
HUD | TOT: I like David Wagner, but this team doesn’t have enough to compete right now. Spurs, while not in top form, appeared to play better last weekend away to Brighton. Kane, could he be hitting form? Many still feel he’s fatigued and the stats say he isn’t performing well. Read and heard much about bringing him in for a 2 weeks punt. Myself included. Spurs big, 4-0
MCI | BHA: No doubt Brighton will sit back, concede possession and let City run at them all day long. While Murray, Knockaert and Duffy have been playing well, I don’t see the Seagulls stealing a point this weekend or even getting on the board. As for City, many look to put the armband on Aguero.
NEW | LEI: Not sold on Leicester, I know many are coming onto Maddison right now, after he scored last week, which was his first legitimate return on the season. No luck involved. Vardy is back, but we know he doesn’t produce many chances. No love for Newcastle quite yet but could see them picking up a point this weekend. I think the Foxes sneak a win in this fixture.
WOL | SOU: Wolves are still looking the class of the promoted teams, as they have scored points in their last 4 games, 2 draws and 2 wins. They looked class last weekend against United and should be able to roll it up against a weak So’ton team. Danny Ings returns to the lineup, but not sure the Saints will have enough, I do look for him to get a poachers goal, but Wolves will be took much. I like Wolves by 2 goals.
CHE | LIV: The match of the week at Stamford Bridge, can Chelsea stop the big red machine and their perfect start to the season? Both teams have midweek European games, which could give us some idea how they will line up on Saturday. Hazard flopped last week and the Blues drew with West Ham, while Salah returned and Liverpool netted 3 times. The Rudiger injury could be key for Chelsea, as Liverpool rolled up 14 goals. Both teams with interesting fixtures over the next few weeks. I like Liverpool to remain perfect on the season, but feel there will be goals in this game.
CAR | BUR: I have called Cardiff exciting to watch. They have some good players in their starting XI, but are still winless on the season. This is an opportunity to pick up their first win, playing a struggling Burnley outfit that finally picked up their first on the season last week. A 4-0 thrashing of Bournemouth was a return no one was expected. Maybe Dyche has turned the corner with this team. On paper, this should be a Burnley clean sheet and win.
BOU | CRY: Palace drew at home last week, with very little offense from the likes of Wilfried Zaha, the Eagles go as Zaha goes. Bournemouth isn’t impressive on defense as Eddie Howe stress the attack. None of that was generated last week, after Fraser was brought in by over 300k managers. Many will be looking for him to return, as the Cherries play at home. Palace and Zaha have been good on the road, I feel the real Bournemouth team shines through and concede multiple goals in a Palace win
(34:26) GW6 4-PACK
Time to look at the GW6 4-Pack of the Week, where I give you one player at each position that is low owned, affordable and could return
GK: Petr Cech (5.0 / 2.3%): As a Watford supporter, I hope the Hornets turn things around after a poor 2nd half showing at Craven Cottage. I feel Javi Gracia could implement some personnel changes to the starting XI. That fact alone could give Arsenal an edge, as Watford have fielded the same starters for 6 weeks. Watford needs to rebound after a strong start, but really faded at both ends the pitch. If there are any lingering effects from last week, I think we will see them early. Think Arsenal do have enough defensive to slow down the Hornets.
DEF: Sol Bamba (4.5 / 1.3%) Not highly owned, but has some good underlying stats for Cardiff, 40 total aerial duels, 26 won and a CBI of 54, all near the top for defenders in those categories. Think he gets his starting CB spot back, but Burnley have scored just 5 on the season, 4 of which came last weekend.
MID: Ilkay Gundogan (5.5 / 3.8) could be a consideration, after he got 68 minutes last week with a goal and assist. Could be a good chance he gets his second straight start this week, home to Brighton. Honestly, it’s a real crapshoot in the midfield, but at his price, if he start’s he could produce some quality numbrs.
FWD: Luciano Vietto (5.5 / 0.8%) Vietto looked good last week against Watford, played a key role in the goal scored by Mitrovic and with Everton struggling think he gets another shot at attacking returns. He’s created 11 chances, 2 of them big chances and has returned 3 assists. Mitrovic has the hot foot and head, look for him to dominate the Everton defense.
Final segment, my captain and transfer for GW7
CAPTAIN: My captain selection is possibly contingent on my transfer. If I bring in Harry Kane this week, I would give him the arm band away at Huddersfield. It’s a great opportunity for Kane to right the wrongs early on and kick start his season. Fantasy managers know how lethal Kane can be, but unlike last year, his underlying numbers are suffering. Still, 3 goals on the season and it wouldn’t be out of character to see him hit for a hat trick.
However, if I don’t move on Kane, there is a good possibility I give the armband to Aguero, home to Brighton. We will need to see how much he plays midweek in Champions League, but Jesus seems out of form and out of favor right now with Pep. Much like Kane, this game has the opportunity to bring big results for the Argentine.
On September 8, ahead of GW5 I wrote a piece called The Great Kane Robbery, presenting the idea of bringing the Spurs front man in for 2-game stretch, away to Huddersfield and home to Cardiff the following week. While that transfer will now cost me a -4 hit to make it happen since I used both FTs last week, that decision is temporarily on hold.
As I look over my squad, it’s a tough decision on who is more pressing to move, Henrikh Mkhitaryan or Theo Walcott. Mkhitaryan has just 22 minutes in the last 3 Premier League games, losing his starting spot in the Arsenal midfield. Walcott on the other hand showed a few flashes last weekend but failed to convert offensively with Richarlison back.
Mkhitaryan, even with the Gunners good run through GW10, appear to be the man on the chopping block this week, which leaves me 7.8 million to spend on a new midfielder. I am not tempted by Richarlison or Maddison at this time. Already own Fraser, that mistake made last week and Milner, who’s currently my 5th midfielder.
Moura looks like he’s losing minutes in the Spurs midfielder with Son returning and Lamela looking good, which rules him out. Not fond of many of the budget options this week, but could be tempted by a Wolves midfielder, as they have a good run of 4 games.
Right now, my transfer is truly undecided, but it could will be a move away from Mkhitaryan…finally.
That’s it for episode 10, thanks for listening. Hope you had a good GW6 that brought up many points and a green arrow, as we prepare for GW7
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Gameweek 7 is coming, be prepared or be left behind.
Thanks for listening.