Fantasy Premier League Week 2 Preview: Part 1

Rooney

So week 1 was rather low scoring, meaning that a big part of the week 2 preview is trying to avoid knee jerk reactions, making sure that fantasy owners carry on thinking long term. You cannot win your fantasy league in the first couple of weeks. But, by making bad decisions now and chasing points that have already gone, there is a fair chance you could cost yourself the league. Remember that the first game of the week this week is on Friday night and line-ups lock at 6:45pm. So, don’t get caught out and frustrated!

All reference to draft leagues uses the scoring system of playtogga.com, which has increased scoring options.

Aston Villa vs Man United: 7:45pm BST 14/08/15

Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan is the undisputed number one for Villa, but I would struggle to use him in this match-up. United is a big step up from Bournemouth, and Villa will struggle to keep a clean sheet this week. It looks as though the United goalkeeping job is Sergio Romero’s for now, and this a contest where I would look for him to have a good game. This is actually a best case scenario for fantasy owners as, Romero offers the upside of Cech, Hart etc for the price of Mignolet, Fabianski etc.

Defenders: The Villa defence had an interesting composition that I would think they keep this week. However, I am steering clear of any of the Villa defenders in this match-up. Chris Smalling was superb for United last week and was ably supported by Blind, Shaw and Darmian. This is the group I expect to start again and all except midfielder Blind have fantasy value this week.

Midfielders: No Aston Villa midfielders jump off the screen for me this week, although I still have Sinclair as a low-end guy with big potential. But I don’t think I would risk it this week. Depay and Young should get the nod up top with Rooney again, and both offer decent midfield value. Depay is the more dangerous, but also costs more; if I own either already I am playing them. Mata is likely to start alongside Carrick and Schneiderlin again, but because of the uncertainty I am not even sure I would use him in draft leagues. The other two again are not dead certs making it hard to use either.

Strikers: I would expect Sherwood to go with one up top again, and I expect him to want the pace of Agbonlahor for the counter attack, which means there is no value in this Villa strike force. Rudy Gestede would have real low end value if he is starting but this won’t be easy against Smalling and Blind. Rooney should have got his season off to a flyer if it wasn’t for a Walker own goal. Once again, Wayne will lead the line and once again he is a must start and is in the debate for captaincy.

Injuries:

Out: Fellaini – Suspended, Jones – Thrombosis, Okore – Knee, Gardner – Ankle, Grealish – Thigh, Gil – Muscle, Rincon – Knee

Question Marks: Rojo – Fitness (50%)

Southampton vs Everton: 3.00pm BST 15/08/15

Goalkeepers: This will be a tough match up for both keepers and isn’t one that jumps off the table as a week to use either Stekelenburg or Howard, especially in SC. In draft leagues they hover around the top ten, but they aren’t in the elite options bracket.

Defenders: Yoshida got the nod at centre back alongside Fonte and I cannot see why that would differ this week. However, I would still hesitate to use Yoshida, but Fonte would be someone I would be willing to go with even in this tougher match-up. Out wide I hope Cedric Soares gets the nod again because Everton don’t have the same pacey wing threat that Newcastle had. Soares has real talent going forward and could be a top end defender if he can sort his defensive side out. Targett is likely to get the start again and in SC leagues his £4.0m price tag is one that could be exploited if you need to clear cap space this week. For Everton, the loss of Baines will continue to dominate and means that left back spot is up for contest initially this season. Jagielka and Stones should be the pairing in the centre with Coleman at right back. All three of these are strong options in draft leagues but with the threat of Southampton going forward I would look for other match-ups in draft leagues if I could.

Midfielders: Tadic and Mane are both expected to start and are both players I would use in either format. Ward-Prowse is unusable until we see what he role is and whether he has one. Behind them the Wanyama, Clasie and Davis is interesting in who will play, but none of them are of use. Wanyama has bench value at a basement price of £4.5m, but that really is as far as it goes. For Everton, Barkley is the stand out midfielder in all formats with Mirallas someone I would use in draft leagues, given his forward going ability.

Strikers: Pelle has earned the right to keep the job up top for now and is a good option in any format. Rodriguez is intriguing because if he fires he will be really good, but he needs a little bit of time to get back to game speed. In SC leagues I would find another option for now but in draft leagues I would definitely hang on. For Everton, it is Lukaku who will start despite the heroics of Kone who will feature off the bench. Lukaku has value in all formats but Kone has little to none what-so-ever.

Injuries:

Out: Forster – Knee, Gardos – Knee, Bertrand – Knee, Ramirez – Muscle, Hibbert – Knee, McGeady – Hamstring, Gibson – Foot, Baines – Ankle, Pienaar – Hamstring

Question Marks: Clasie – Hamstring (75%), Mirallas – Ankle (50%), Besic – Hamstring (50%), Deulofeu – Hamstring (75%)

Harry Kane

Tottenham vs Stoke: 3.00pm BST 15/08/15

Goalkeepers: Having been on the bench last week, it seems likely Lloris should return this week but that element of doubt that is there right now would be enough to make me hold off if I didn’t have auto-sub options. Add in that Stokes attacking options look reasonably scary and it is definitely enough to put me off both he and Vorm. Butland was beaten by a wonder strike on Sunday and Stoke looked really solid for the previous 85 minutes as they reduced Liverpool to very few chances. Tottenham don’t look settled yet and are lacking attacking flair off the bench, meaning I would be tempted to use Butland if I needed an option in draft leagues, but I would steer clear in SC.

Defenders: With Danny Rose potentially still out for the foreseeable future, it looks as though Tottenham will go with Davies, Alderweireld and Vertonghen. Right back is interesting because Trippier is the shiny new toy, but Walker is the trusted man. For now I wouldn’t own or use either in SC leagues, but I’m holding onto Trippier if I can in draft leagues. As for the other three, the only two I would look at in SC leagues is Vertonghen and Alderweireld. In draft leagues both are ownable. Stoke looked solid without Shawcross, but the only two defenders I am putting any stock in are Glen Johnson and Geoff Cameron, who I expect to start every game. I prefer Johnson because he is a big threat going forward and would be tempted by him in both formats.

Midfielders: Eriksen and Chadli are locked in for Tottenham, and are good options in both formats once again this week. Lamela and Dembele lose value because I am just not sure how they work it for the time being. Centrally it looks like Bentaleb with Dier, but I’m not trusting that either are definitely on that page on Saturday. The addition of Shaqiri makes this massively interesting for Stoke and could potentially see van Ginkel shift back into centre mid with Walters behind Diouf and Afellay and Shaqiri outside. However, Arnautovic throws a bone into that equation meaning that they could go with any combination in Shaqiri’s first week. For now Walters is the only startable one in no auto sub leagues but Afellay and Shaqiri are both worth owning.

Strikers: Kane is the only sheriff in town which means he will start and is usable in all formats. Bojan’s likely absence this week means Diouf should have another chance to stake his claim for the spot. In SC leagues Diouf’s long term value is an issue with the one sub rule but in draft leagues he is likely to be a starting centre forward this week and therefore should be started in most places.

Injuries:

Out: Pritchard – Ankle, Rose – Thigh, Shawcross – Back, Bojan – Fitness

Question Marks: Townsend – Shoulder (50%), Soldado – Back (50%), Arnautovic – Thigh (50%), Wilson – Ankle (50%), Pieters – Illness (50%)

Sunderland vs Norwich: 3.00pm BST 15/08/15

Goalkeepers: Pantilimon owners had it rough last week as one of the surprise keeping options from last year got destroyed by some very good goals by Leicester. Pantilimon did nothing wrong but his defence was really poor and it is tough to trust him this week without seeing some improvement first. Ruddy had a tough game last week and cannot be owned given the fact the Norwich philosophy looks largely about attack; let’s see how they set up away from home but for now leave Ruddy alone.

Defenders: I will hold onto Kaboul because he is a cheap option and he is better than last week, and van Aanholt has promise, but I am really scared to start them this week. Hopefull Adam Matthews gets the nod over Jones at right back, and then he has some minor value at £4.0m but last week made me VERY nervous. I wish I could say there is some light here, but no Wisdom last week means there is nothing here to get excited about. Ironically, his replacement Whittaker is as close as it gets until Olsson returns.

Midfielders: Jermain Lens is someone I am encouraged about after a decent game last week, and Adam Johnson on the pitch was interesting fantasy wise, but it was so woeful that I struggle to trust any of them right now. Larsson will have value at some point but right now his only value is in draft leagues and not SC. For Norwich, I really hope Redmond starts this week, but without being sure it’s hard to trust him to start. I would keep him benched if I don’t have an auto-sub league and I wouldn’t use him in SC. As for the others, there just isn’t enough right now to make them must own let alone must use.

Strikers: DEFOE, DEFOE, DEFOE. I told you I am riding this train to heaven or hell and I wasn’t kidding. Defoe is one of the only strikers guaranteed to start every week and he is clinical when given the opportunity. Oh, and have I mentioned he is just £5.5m?! Fletcher will likely start on the bench but we will see how Advocaat thinks this week after being hammered last week. He has no value this week, but just maybe going forward. Norwich stunned me by starting Grabban ,who I thought would have a bench role. And even though Jerome looked promising and should have had a goal, I am not trusting any of these enough to own.

Injuries:

Out: Gomez – Knee, Olsson – Shoulder, Mulumbu – Foot, Lafferty – Knee

Question Marks: M’Vila – Fitness (50%), Brown – Knee (50%)

Wijnaldum

Swansea vs Newcastle: 3.00pm BST 15/08/15

Goalkeepers: Starting against Chelsea was always going to be tough for Fabianski but this week it does get a little easier, if not massively so. Newcastle did look good last week but Swansea look a solid unit who I like to keep a lot of clean sheets. Fabianski is hovering in the top 5 region for me this week. Tim Krul is one of those bargain keeping options at just £4.5m but this week against a very exciting Swansea he is not someone I want to be taking a punt on.

Defenders: Naughton, Williams, Fernandez and Taylor are the unit here and they all have value in both formats most weeks. As I said for Fabianski Newcastle are good but this group are more than capable of shutting them out this week. I liked the Janmaat, Mbemba, Coloccini, Haidara combination even if Coloccini’s inclusion shocked me somewhat. Both the full backs got forward plenty and Haidara is a bargain at £4.5m as a squad player until we see how the Dummett vs him contest goes now Dummett is getting fit again. This week though it is tough to rely heavily on any of them and I might just use the known quantity in Janmaat.

Midfielders: Ayew and Montero looked fantastic last week and both seem to be a really good fit for Swansea.  Both are usable in draft leagues and Ayew is someone I am looking to acquire in SC as well. Sigurdsson didn’t really have much impact last Saturday, but I expect he will have plenty this season and is someone I wouldn’t hesitate to start in draft leagues. Shelvey is another draft league option just solely because of his range of passing. On the Newcastle side, Wijnaldum looked superb and even Obertan looked threatening. Obertan is so cheap he is worth a look in SC leagues if he is going to be the starting option and Wijnaldum is someone I would look at even though he is a fraction more expensive. Sissoko is more of a draft league option given the price to reward chances I feel he offers.

Strikers: Gomis looked full of running last week and his run to earn the penalty was spot on. With no other major threats the job is his making him a decent option in both formats. Cisse started last week and I expect he probably will again making him a viable draft league option. Mitrovic is perhaps a player I prefer but coming off the bench heavily limits his usefulness.

Injuries:

Out: Marveaux – Groin, Dummett – Hamstring, Cabella – Thigh, Good – Hip, Riviere – Knee

Question Marks: Amat – Foot (50%), Ki – Hamstring (50%), Anita – Back (50%)

N.B. All injury information correct at the time of writing. Check premierinjuries.com for any further information as the weekend gets closer.

 

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