Gameweek 15 rolled around not a moment too soon for some looking to bury the demons of a poor midweek showing from their fantasy football teams. Some juicy fixtures on paper meant much was expected of the “big name” players who had struggled to convince over recent weeks. Inevitably, those who have managed to squeeze Aguero into their team gave him the captaincy; after all, how does the saying go? “Once bitten, twice shy” I believe. As it was, this week became the stuff of nightmares as injuries and suspensions have torn through many people’s squads, leaving them with big decisions to make before gameweek 16.
Let’s take a look through who made the weekly dream team, and it may give you some ideas for transfer targets.
It was due to his second penalty save of the season that Hull City’s Allan McGregor finds his way into the team of the week. It was back on the opening day of the season that he last found himself at the top of the pile, and he repeated his heroics this week saving smartly from Graham Dorrans of West Brom in a game that finished goal-less. With popular keeper choices Krul, Elliot and Fabianski missing due to injury or suspension, many will be looking for a replacement. McGregor may be your man, but a word of caution; it’s Chelsea away next for Hull!
The only goalscoring defender to make the team this week was Aston Villa’s Ciaran Clark. Somewhat surprisingly, despite netting the winner in the 2-1 home win over Leicester, his team-mate Alan Hutton misses out on the dream team due to the yellow card he picked up. Clark’s 11 points came as a result of him picking up maximum bonus points. It was somewhat ironic that the popular transfer target prior to gameweek 15 was another Villa defender, Aly Cissokho, who only managed to pick up 2 appearance points.
QPR’s Mauricio Isla makes the team by virtue of his assist, clean sheet and maximum bonus pts giving him a 12 point total. I like Isla, he’s impressed me when I’ve seen him, but a quick word of advice. Harry Redknapp appears to have noticed that he is only really effective when QPR play at home. He prefers Nedum Onuoha when the R’s travel away. Maybe Isla suffers from terrible coach sickness? Who knows.
I hope you are sitting down for the next bit. For the second time in 3 gameweeks it is a Liverpool defender who features in the dream team. After Glen Johnson in gameweek 13, it was the turn of Martin Skrtel to represent the Reds with a 9 point total. No goals or assists, but maximum bonus pts, gets him a slot on the weekly team. Last season Skrtel provided 7 goals to a free-scoring Liverpool team, but this season he is yet to open his account. With Man Utd away and Arsenal at home up next, it might be a few more weeks until he thinks about rectifying this.
Finally, we have Tottenham’s Belgian centre-half Jan Vertonghen who appears in the back four with his 9 points. He took pelters this week from former manager Tim Sherwood, and with his performances this season it wasn’t hard to see why. However, maybe this was the spark he needed to prove his critics wrong as he produced a strong showing during Spurs’ 0-0 draw at home to Palace. He’s priced at £5.9m so not the cheapest option, but a decent run of fixtures awaits the Norf Lahndan club so maybe worth considering?
A goal for former Norwich player Leroy Fer gets him into the weekly team. Now plying his trade at QPR, he scored the opener in the 2-0 home win against Burnley this week. That’s two goals in his last three games now for Fer who is priced at a reasonable £5.5m and with a stunning differential ownership stat of just 0.6%, you’ve got to be in it to win it as they say, and his form is definitely worth taking note of.
Another player in a run of goal scoring form is Stoke City’s Jon Walters. Three goals in his last four games (he missed the loss at Old Trafford in gameweek 14) means he is in a run of red-hot form. Walters is even cheaper than Fer, priced at just £5.2m. Palace away next for Stoke before Chelsea come calling at the Brit, but Walters is the kind of player who I can see not being fazed by the opposition and continuing his good run. Did I forget to mention he is owned by just 1.1% of all managers? He is also second in the form table for midfielders, behind our final inclusion in this week’s team.
Yep, whether you want to believe it or not, the man in form in the middle of the park right now is the one and only Yaya Toure. With three goals in his last four, and now – with the injury to Aguero – a return to penalty kick duties, the giant Ivorian is most definitely back. Another double-digit points return (10) means you cannot ignore him for much longer. He will become a popular transfer target this week, and beyond, as Man City enter a very favourable run of fixtures.
Making his second appearance in 3 weeks in the dream team is Manchester Utd’s Dutch master, Robin van Persie. With many predicting his best days are behind him, he is making a good job of making us all look like mugs! His brace against Southampton in the Monday Night Football made it three in three for him. With the news of Aguero’s injury confirmed, many managers will have spare cash to play with. Although I personally believe he is overpriced by at least £2.0m, he will all of a sudden become an attractive option, and his ownership percentage of under 3% is about to skyrocket I would predict.
There have been many famous Number 9’s at St James’ Park over the years, and in Papiss Cisse they may very well have another one who will be remembered for a very long time up on Tyneside. Arguably his two braces in gameweeks 5 and 7 kept Alan Pardew in a job. Since then Newcastle have lost only once in 8 games. Another brace this week saw the Geordies destroy all that crazy talk of Chelsea going through the season unbeaten. Cisse was pretty much unplayable when he came on as a second half substitute, and the Chelsea defence panicked, probably as a result of his past performances against them. Arsenal away next, but Cisse is no respecter of reputations and if he gets game time, I would suggest he is more than capable of scoring at least one against a wobbly Gunners defence.
Speaking of previous Newcastle Utd Number 9’s, it was old boy Andy Carroll who completes this week’s dream team (and is also the Player of the Week) with his stunning performance for West Ham during their 3-1 home win over a strong Swansea side. Carroll was superb. His two headed goals were perfectly timed and placed as he led his team to victory and third place in the Premier League Table. Third! In December! I know! What nonsense is this? A fit and firing Carroll is a formidable prospect, and with a trip up to Sunderland next for the Hammers he can cement his reputation in Geordie folklore even more if he produces at the Stadium of Light. Following that it’s a rock bottom Leicester who visit Upton Park in gameweek 17. £6.9m and 0.3% ownership percentage. Are you tempted?
Gameweek 16 will see many managers take point hits or activate Wildcards as the following popular players are unavailable for one reason or another: Aguero, Fabregas, Austin, Fabianski, Chambers, Di Maria, Schneiderlin, Krul, Elliot, S Taylor. Many may panic and take unnecessary risks just to field a full team. My advice to you is to remain calm. This is the kind of fantasy football scenario that sorts the wheat from the chaff. Good luck.