The Good, The Bad, and The Smugly: In a regular series, our writer picks out 3 fantasy picks with contrasting fortunes so far this season.
In this week’s edition, some of the best performing FPL options were defenders from some of the top 6 clubs.
Andrew Robertson. The attacking fullback has earned the top spot this week. Bringing in 12 points, he was awarded Man of the Match for his outstanding performance against Fulham. It wasn’t as much of a routing as I had anticipated, but enough to get the job done for Klopp’s men. A strong response to the Red Star defeat is just what the doctor ordered. The Scot is owned by 31% of managers, being the third favourite defender of choice.
As it always is, watching Roberston last weekend was a joy. He is an incredible player, both offensively and defensively. As an unbiased fan, it is very hard to decide who is the better LB when you compare him to Alonso and Mendy. This weekend, though, it sure was Andy.
What’s a Scot got to do?
Shaqiri made it 2-0 in the early stages of the second half, but this was only made possible through Robertson. A failed corner resulted in the ball finding its way out to the wing, where Van Dijk laid the ball off to Robertson. Ball still rolling, Andy met it with his left foot and delivered a sumptuous cross to Shaq at the back post.
Moments later, Andy was released through the Fulham defence to have a crack at goal, but Rico did well to stand tall to his effort. This was one of a few big saves from the Spanish keeper. Something tells me if another man were between the sticks for Fulham, the scoreline could have ended very differently.
Taking a glance at Robertson’s future, Liverpool travel to Watford. The Hornets have had a slight dip in form since their strong start. Offensively, they have been doing okay with the likes of Pereyra and Gray, amongst other attackers that have started slower. Defensively, they leave a bit more to be desired.
Three in twelve possible clean sheets. Not a fantastic stat when you’re about to face Liverpool. Although, this is good news for Robertson. He has a chance of getting a clean sheet and an even bigger chance of preventing Watford getting theirs.
Callum Wilson. In what was an average outing for the Englishman, Callum gets ‘Bad’ status. Bournemouth played away to the Toon Army last weekend. It was an exciting game, but Wilson couldn’t excite enough to get on the scoresheet. At 35.6% ownership, he is currently the fifth highest owned player in Fantasy (0.1% less than Salah!).
That’s astonishing from a man whose Premier League life has been so riddled with injuries. Maybe this will be the season for the 26 year old to keep up his form and avoid injury. Although, if he does, he could be waving goodbye to Bournemouth.
A lot of people, even the bookies, expected Bournemouth to beat Newcastle last weekend. I had a feeling The Magpies would triumph. Not because I’m clairvoyant, but because I feel as if they’re too good a squad for their position right now. They have good upcoming talent with the likes of Kenedy and Lascelles, and a solid goalkeeper in Dubravka.
What about Benitez at the management helm? They’re some good starting ingredients to a ‘top 10’ recipe. Summer signing Salomon Rondon (albeit on loan) has now opened his Premier League account in his newfound black and white colours, which only strengthens my argument. Or, maybe I’m just a delusional football fan, prophesying unrealistic outcomes. The latter seems more likely, to be honest.
Lady Luck plays her part
Last weekend, Wilson tasted both ends of the ‘luck spectrum’. Failing to produce anything on the Newcastle goal, he decided to have a crack at his own. With an inswinging cross delivered by Ki, Wilson attempted to clear the ball but ended up producing a great effort toward his own net. Thankfully, Bosnian Begovic parried the ball, leaving Wilson without an own goal. With about five minutes to go in regulation time, Wilson became the unluckiest man on the pitch.
A Bournemouth corner was crossed in to the box and into the path of Brooks, who fired a dangerous strike on goal. During the ball’s flight, it ricocheted off Ake. At this moment, one Dan Gosling was offside. If the former Magpie had stayed onside, it looked as if Wilson was next in line for an effort. Alas, it was not to be.
The Cherries will host Arsenal after the international break. Arsenal have been conceding a lot (15 goals, 12 games) and Bournemouth have been scoring their fair share (21 goals, 12 games). A stat that could be of note is that Bournemouth have scored in five of their six home games this season. Will a Cherries goal come in the shape of Callum Wilson? Roughly 35% of Fantasy players will certainly hope so.
Juan Foyth. Juan who? Exactly. The young Argentine is starting to make a name for himself. Thankfully, this is in a better light than his Premier League debut against Wolves in gameweek 11. From conceding two penalties in Molineux Stadium to scoring the winner at Selhurst Park; that’s a nice turnaround.
Owned (and heard of) by 0.1% of managers, Foyth brought forth 15 points last weekend. With Vertonghen looking to be sidelined until December, Juan is looking like he’ll have a short spell as a Premier League centre back. I would have thought Dier was the go-to man for the spot, but Poch had other ideas.
‘Juan’ goal to rule them all
For Spurs, things started sloppily against Palace. They were poor in possession, which culminated in a nervy back-pass from Foyth to Lloris. Things were starting to look promising for Palace. However, even if they don’t have the upper hand, top teams have a habit of getting the job done. In the 66′, Lamela executed a corner which fell to the head of Harry Kane. A strong effort from the Spurs number 10 was parried high into the air by Hennessey. The Palace players stood there, staring at the ball as if it were a fireworks display on New Years Eve. Enter Juan Foyth, as he headed the falling ball into the back of the net. 1-0 Spurs. “Jordan, what ‘Ayew’ doing?” Hodgson uttered on the sideline…
Looking at Foyth in Fantasy terms might be a waste of time. It completely depends on Vertonghen’s injury. After the break, Spurs will be visited by Chelsea. The Argentine did look shaky against Palace, so will Poch give him the go-ahead against a side that will be searching for a win?