After 3 red arrows, -20 point hit and a drop of 702k it appears I have turned the proverbial corner, at least for one week. Scored 68 points this week behind an entirely new forward line. Of course I would have scored 25 if I would have left Rashford, Defoe and Aguero as my fowards, instead I was 4 points less with Costa, Austin and Lukaku. However I feel as if I have strengthened by team by moving another high priced player in Aguero in order to bulk up my midfield. Now I turn my attention to defensive needs, as I missed the Valencia injury midweek. He will be transferred out and a replacement will be brought in.
68 points was my best overall score since GW5 and GW6 behind Aguero, Defoe and De Bruyne when I scored 69 each week. After three poor weeks I entered GW10 frustrated with the lack of production. Now I know how the Special One feels with the likes of Zlatan, Pogba, Mkhitaryan and others not producing. As has been the trend with my squad this year, I should have waited just one more week. The reality of the situation is, I didn’t. Without even reading the pundits or visiting fantasy sites I pulled the trigger and hoped for the best.
Foster is still between the sticks, averaging 3.4/game. The last 3 matches: Spurs, Liverpool and City have been difficult as he has conceded 6 in the last two games, but that could trend could be shifting starting in GW11. My concern on defense now lies with Valencia injured with no return date. His numbers haven’t been too impressive this season, so a change at the rear guard is warmly welcomed.
It finally appears that clean sheets are starting to fall, as teams recorded 7 during GW10 with Stoke vs Swansea yet to come. Holebas continues to perform for Watford as the Hornets record their third clean sheet, picking up 6 points. Everton was able to keep a clean sheet against the Hammers and Williams also picked up 1 bonus point, totaling 7 points, his best total since GW4! Still not sure which way to lean with the Toffees playing through a tough spell during this campaign. With Chelsea in GW11 and the likes of Man United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Leicester City and Man City, Everton will be challenged through GW21.
On the bench sit McAuley, who is still in the mix but most likely after this week and the Baggies visit to the KP Stadium. It’s probably the wrong season to own a defender from Sunderland, but van Aanholt continues to sit and watch, returning 7 points in GW7, he’s picked up just 3 points in the last 3 games. Not fond of using a transfer for a bench player, so he will remain where he is until the wild card becomes available.
The injury to Walcott, who was in fine form only effected 18.5% TSB, which is surprised. I suspected his ownership would be higher considering the Gunners have been in fine form but now face Spurs and United in the next 2 weeks. Spurs have kept 4 clean sheets in their last 7 games conceding goal to WBA, Leicester and Boro. Not sure how confident I am in Walcott maintaining his spot in the starting XI, after strong performances by Giroud and Chamberlin in GW10, might be a matter of time before Giroud starts and Sanchez moves back to a central position relegating Walcott back to the bench. Something to watch.
Capoue still in the top five scoring midfielders, but has not put together more than 3 points since GW5. His time has come to an end, even with Watford playing very well right now, Capoue might be fielded as a fifth midfielder or find himself a bench player. However I am considering moving Capoue in favor of Pereyra, who has been on my watch list for the last few weeks. Capoue finished GW9 with just 3 points. With the Walcott injury Allen was forced into the starting lineup with Stoke’s game yet to come.
It was De Bruyne playing second fiddle, getting 23 minutes to Gündogan this past weekend capturing just 1 assist and 4 points. At 5.5m he is a bargain buy player in a high powered offense. Second week he’s played all 90 (89 mins just 3 weeks ago). The man at the center of my attack was Alexis, who captained the Go ‘Orns in GW9. He finished the game with 2 goals and picked up 2 bonus points, as well as a yellow card for 13 points or 26 points as my captain. He will continue to be a cornerstone in my lineup.
There were three new front men leading the attack in GW9, two of which I had previously; Costa and Lukaku. As for the third it was a toss up, I wanted Deeney but opted for Austin. Hell I would have been better off forgetting about setting a lineup and letting it ride from GW9, I would have scored 4 more points! That said Costa and Lukaku each tallied a goal with Lukaku picking up an assist as well, 19 points between the two in form forwards. Austin had a tough game versus Chelsea but did have a few chances, one he converted, but was flagged for offside. Going forward Southampton has some excellent fixtures through GW25!
So where do I go from here? Team value has slipped from 102.1 down to 101.8, thankfully the transfers I made saw me keep 0.8m ITB. I have serious slipped out of the top spots in both my mini leagues and have started climbing back up the global ladder, now at 732k. Concerns are Valencia, now injured with no return date and Walcott coming back from injury but not sure if he will start in GW11 against Spurs. Moving Valencia at 5.0m I am watching Alonso, Shawcross and Van Dijk/Fonte. All fall within budget, with Southampton having the best upcoming fixtures. Going to reserve my decision for later in the week as I want to see how well Stoke plays today. Hopefully I don’t get hit with a price decrease on Valencia before Tuesday.
Edit: Thank you Joe Allen of Stoke for providing my squad with a needed 10 points with your two assists against Swansea. Stoke looked great today! With those assists, Allen, along with Holebas are looking to see their value increase. Total points for the week 78, best performance on the year.