Gameweek 13 came and went in the blink of an eye, and with no Monday Night Football, all the scores were done and dusted yesterday evening. Before we turn our focus solely on GW14, let’s look back on what happened with the gameweek 13 review.
It was a bizarre week in a lot of ways, with a lot of the “big guns” failing to deliver, and some unlikely individuals stepped up to the plate and scored good FPL points. The overall gameweek average was 39 points, even less than GW12’s low total of 44, reflecting the low return from the high ownership players.
Let’s take a look at who made the weekly Dream Team…
In last week’s article I suggested that although 3 Sunderland players had made the weekly Dream Team (Pantilimon, O’Shea and Vergini) it would be – quote – “foolhardy” – unquote – to bring any of them into your team based on their upcoming fixtures. Well, I was wrong. I can admit that. In an unusual turn of events, Sunderland managed to shut-out free scoring Chelsea, and once again it was the man between the sticks who proved that they are well and truly over that 8-0 battering by Southampton that saw regular first choice Vito Mannone lose his place. I can’t see Poyet dropping Costel Pantilimon now, and his 10 points this week exceeded his 9 point return in GW12. That’s 24 points in 4 games for a £4.4m keeper with an ownership percentage of just 1.1%
The value this week was to be found in defence, with a back four of goal scoring defenders making the Dream Team with all 4 being awarded all 3 Bonus points and contributing towards their teams keeping a clean sheet. A 4-way tie for “Player of the Week” with all of them scoring 15 points each. First up was the player being vilified by Liverpool fans week in week out. Not a good word has been said or written about Glen Johnson for a long, long time. Rumour has it, even his birthday cards from his family contain swear words aimed at him.
It’s been a similar situation recently for Manchester United defender Chris Smalling, who scored his first goal since the 2011/12 season, and the 15 points he earned by scoring the opener against Hull were added to the measly 4 points he had racked up so far this season.
Slightly more popular with his own fans is Manchester City’s Gael Clichy, (although I don’t suggest you ask Arsenal fans what their opinion of him is) who in the absence of the injured Kolorov, is finally enjoying an extended run in the team. Pellegrini’s infuriating habit of rotating the two of them makes either a poor FPL choice, but Clichy has now returned 30 points during his 4 game run to date. Admittedly, 15 were racked up this week and 12 were awarded in GW10 after the win over Manchester United, but you get my point.
The final inclusion in the back 4 is West Ham’s Aaron Cresswell, a player who doesn’t seem to be on the radar of too many managers, but who is having a decent season with 51 points on the board already. With the Hammers about to embark on a decent 4 game run (wba/SWA/sun/LEI) could he be the one to swap one of your Saints defenders for? £5.4m and 1.1% ownership.
There were also consistent returns across the midfield this week with all 4 picking up 10 points each. Let’s start with the surprise inclusion. Aston Villa’s Joe Cole, making only his 3rd appearance of the season (and his first start) grabbed a goal against Burnley much to the joy of the 0.1% of managers who own him. With the tears flowing after they realised he was their 3rd sub. Is this a start of a return to his halcyon days during the 2007/8 season when he scored 7, assisted 6 and racked up 18 bonus points? No.
It was a case of “Return of the Jedi” as Crystal Palace’s Mile Jedinak made his 2nd appearance in the weekly Dream Team following his 3rd goal in 5 gameweeks in the 1-1 draw with Swansea (and he missed one of those due to suspension remember). It’s unlikely he is going to be able to keep this run up on a consistent basis, but priced at just £5.2m he is a budget midfield option in a run of good form.
Leicester’s Esteban Cambiasso also provided a 10 point haul scoring in the 5 goal thriller at Loftus Road. Liverpool are up next for the Foxes, with Man City in GW16, but if ever there is a player on their books with a “big-game” pedigree it is Cambiasso. Don’t be surprised if he grabs a few more goals between now and the New Year.
Completing the midfield is last season’s FPL Gold, Yaya Toure. After a slow start to the season, he appears to be getting back to his best. Possibly this was a World Cup hangover, or he is just a really big sulker following his Birthday snub by Manchester City. This was his 2nd consecutive 10 point return, and a fair few managers will now be looking at how to fit him into their team. The injury to Angel Di Maria may help, or possibly you may be looking to free up funds by dumping Costa? Either way he may soon once again become a “must-have”. Just be warned though; Man City face Sunderland away on Wednesday night, and the Black Cats always beat City 1-0… just saying.
To complete the symmetrical feel to this week’s Dream Team (I do like a 4-4-2, but then I’m a bit “old school”) we have yet another couple of players who scored 10 points each. Making his 2nd appearance in the weekly Dream Team is a budget range striker in a healthy run of form. QPR’s Charlie Austin scored and assisted in the 3-2 win over Leicester. That’s 7 for the season for Chaz, and from a personal point of view the ONLY thing that stopped my own personal week from being a total disaster. QPR still have favourable fixtures going into Christmas and the New Year so I expect his 9.5% ownership stat to keep increasing as long as he keeps delivering.
The final inclusion in this week’s team is the player who was expected to be dropped for GW13. All the pre-game media talk was about how LvG was at the end of his rope with Robin van Persie and it would be TTFN ASAP with a return TBC. Not so. The Dutchman played, scored a wonderful goal and genuinely looked the business. However, at £12.4m only 2% of managers were able to take advantage of his 10 point return. With Falcao lurking and Rooney in the middle of a formidable run, he is still definitely one to avoid and is overpriced by at least £2m this season.
On a personal note, this week saw me reach 3.5k followers on Twitter in a calendar year. If you’re not already following, please come and check out the account nobody is talking about…