The Prem is here, and we can all now rejoice. Now that the season has kicked off, I will be doing my best to fill your Mondays with sweet, fond memories from the games from over the weekend. I also ask for some patience as I work through how to best provide both a summation and meaningful outlook on the matches.
I was hoping to write about all 20 teams for this post, but it started to become lengthy and I started to get sleepy. So, here are my notes over the weekend on Arsenal to Liverpool (alpha order because why not?)…I will hopefully have Man City to West Ham by tomorrow.
Arsenal – Won 4-3 (Home, Leicester)
FWD: Welbeck (1 goal, 74 min – 6 pts), Lacazette (1 goal, 90 min – 6 pts), Giroud (1 goal, 23 min – 5 pts)
MF: Xhaka (2 assists, 90 min – 10 pts), Ramsey (1 goal, 23 min, – 6 pts), Elneny (1 assist, 66 min – 5 pts)
DEF/GK: Kolasinac (1 assist, 90 min – 5 pts); no other DEF/GK topped 1 point
Typical Arsenal defensive effort – just a mess in the back, but wow did it lead to an exciting match; Lacazette hit an early header at the two minute mark, rewarding owners with a good haul for his first match in the Prem. Ramsey and Giroud bailed out Arsene Wenger with two goals as substitutes, but the most impressive performance was from the man who assisted their goals, Granit Xhaka.
Xhaka already has gone up .1 in price, and I like him as a cheap source of points at 4th MF. Beware that Alexis Sanchez is due back next match, and should be only make the Gunners’ attack even more potent, but could also lead to more uncertainty in regards to playing time.
Bournemouth – Lost 0-1 (Away, West Brom)
FWD: King (90 min – 2pts), Afobe (63 min – 2 pts), Defoe (26 min – 1 pt)
MF: Fraser (90 min – 2pts), Surman (90 min – 2pts)
DEF/GK: Aké (1 bonus point, 90 min – 3pts), Daniels (90 min – 2pts), Cook (90 min – 2pts), Francis (79 min – 2pts)
Blank from the Cherries – Their next fixture vs Watford isn’t so bad, but they play Home to Man City and Away to Arsenal after. Not sure what to make of their first game, however I’m hopeful a home match vs Watford will help them find their goalscoring ways. Good to see King play the whole game, and Defoe as a sub makes me think King is still the best purchase into their attack. That being said, I’ve already transfered out King for Vokes on my team just to move money elsewhere and those upcoming difficult fixtures.
Brighton – Lost 0-2 (Away, Man City)
Cheap MF report: Stephens (4.5), Groß (5.5) and Pröpper (5.5) all played 90 min; Knockaeart subbed in and only played 13 minutes.
DEF/GK: Lewis Dunk denied Jesus a goal, getting an own goal on an amazing strike, and also helping himself to end the day on -1 points.
Something tells me you should stay away from Brighton players unless you absolutely need a cheap, throwaway player.
Burnley – Won 3-2 (Away, Chelsea)
FWD: Vokes (2 goals, 90 min – 13 pts)
MF: Defour (1 assist, 74 min – 5pts), Cork (1 assist, 90 min – 5 pts)
DEF/GK: Ward (1 goal, 90 min – 7 pts), Lowton (1 assist, 90 min – 4 pts), Heaton (4 saves – 2 pts)
Wow. Biggest upset of the day byfar, and booooy am I pumped that the Vokes no longer has to split time up top with Andre Gray, Honestly, GW1 could very well end up as his best match of the season, but I think his price allows you to do so much more with the rest of your roster, he will be hard to ignore. Goals are a’comin to Burnley!
Chelsea – Lost 2-3 (Home, Burnley)
FWD: Morata (1 goal, 1 assist, 90 min – 10 pts), Batshuayi – (59 min – 1 pt), Costa (DNP)
MF: Willian (1 assist, 90 min – 6 pts), Kanté (90 min – 2 pts)
DEF/GK: David Luiz (1 goal, 90 min – 6 pts), Azpilicueta (90 min – 1 pt), Alonso (1 yellow card, 90 min – 0 pts), Cahill (1 red card, 13 min -3 pts)
The Blues fell apart after Cahill got the early Red Card for as he lost control of the ball and then went studs up into a tackle to earn the booking. Morata looked good up top in the absence of Costa, but it is very apparent that Chelsea needs to sign a bunch of players in a hurry if they want to compete for several trophies. As far as fantasy, I still plan to play Alonso vs Spurs next weekend, but he may be a victim of an early season Wild Card if Chelsea continues to struggle. Also, if Costa is on your team, GTFO.
Crystal Palace – Lost 0-3 (Home, Huddersfield)
FWD: Benteke (90 min – 2 pts)
MF: Loftus-Cheek (90 min – 2 pts), Zaha (90 min – 2 pts), Puncheon (90 min – 2 pts), Townsend (45 min – 1 pt)
DEF/GK: 1 pt for everyone, -1 for Joel Ward.
I honestly didn’t catch this game, but having two Palace MF for this match dug into my final score for the week. I will most likely start a 4th DEF over Puncheon this week, but I’ll continue to roll with Zaha until I decide with my Wild Card who I would prefer at the 7m price point.
Everton – Won 1-0 (Home, Stoke)
FWD: Rooney (1 goal, 1 CS, 3 bonus points, 90 min – 9 pts), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (1 assist, 1 CS, 90 min – 5 pts)
DEF/GK: Keane (1 CS, 2 bonus points, 90 min – 8 pts); Jagielka (1 CS, 1 bonus point, 90 min – 7 pts), Baines (1 CS, 90 min – 6 pts), Pickford (1 CS, 90 min – 6 pts)
Rooney looked great in his much-hyped return to his boyhood club, and should be a target for many teams looking to fill out their 3rd FWD. I have no idea who Calvert-Lewin is, but if he’s getting 90 minutes a game alongside Rooney, he’ll be due for some assists. The Everton Defense was the big winner for fantasy this week, with points and bonus points all around. However, I won’t be buying any Everton DEF until GW 6: they face Man City, Chelsea, Spurs and Man United over the next 4 weeks.
Huddersfiled – Won 3-0 (Away, Crystal Palace)
FWD: Mounie (2 goals, 3 bonus points, 90 min – 12 pts); Quaner (1 assist, 18 min – 4 pts)
MF: Mooy (1 assist, 1 CS, 90 min – 6 pts), Ince (1 CS, 90 min – 3 pts)
DEF/GK: Zanka (1 assist, 1 CS, 90 min – 10 pts), Schindler (1 CS, 90 min – 6 pts), Lossl (1 CS, 4 saves, 2 bonus points – 9 pts)
Welcome to the show, Huddersfield Town! Usually one promoted side ends up excelling at the highest level, could this be their year? I didn’t catch this match, but I am certain that their early schedule looks particularly enticing.
Leicester – Lost 3-4 (Away, Arsenal)
FWD: Vardy (2 goals, 3 bonus points, 90 min – 13 pts), Okazaki (1 goal, 71 min – 6 pts), Iheanacho (8 min – 1 pt)
MF: Mahrez (1 assist, 90 min – 5 pts), Albrighton (1 assist, 87 min – 5 pts)
DEF/GK: Maguire (1 assist, 90 min – 3 pts), Fuchs (90 min – 0 pts), Schmeichel (6 saves, 90 min – 2 pts)
Vardy is still the king of this attack, and my preseason love for Iheanacho was probably premature. I still think Iheanacho may have a spot before long alongside Vardy, but he may bounce this season; I’d expect quite a haul vs Brighton at home next week and you should be able to start any of their defenders or Schmeichel and hopefully end up with a CS.
Liverpool – Tie, 3-3 (Away, Watford)
FWD: Firmino (1 goal, 1 assist, 3 bonus points, 80 min – 12 pts)
MF: Salah (1 goal, 1 assist, 1 bonus point, 85 min – 11 pts), Mané (1 goal, 90 min – 6 pts), Can (1 assist, 90 minutes – 5 pts)
DEF/GK: Lovren (90 min – 1 pt), Moreno (90 min – 1 pt), Matip (90 min – 1 pt) Shaky defense for Liverpool vs Watford.
Bobby Digital had a huge night and I expect him to put up big numbers while spearheading the Liverpool attack and also being on PKs. He showed why he may still be a steal even after being reclassifed as a forward, as he will receive ample opportunities to score this year.
This match showed how good Liverpool’s options at MF are, with Salah, Mané and even Can chipping in and making their presence felt on the attack. I don’t think Coutinho is the answer to their defensive issues, but I do think that he’ll be back and starting within two matches (if Barca doesn’t make a ridiculous offer for him). On defense, Milner played all of 4 minutes, and Nathaniel Clyne missed the match but should be back next week. While that should help them concede less goals, I would suggest betting on Liverpool’s offense over its defense for the early part of the season.