So who thought after 70 minutes of Premier League football that Di Maria wasn’t worth the hype? Well I hope it wasn’t anyone who saw my rankings last week, because while he wasn’t an elite option for me he is a stunningly talented player and he showed that last week, confirming his move into the Elite tier this week. However, it isn’t just Di Maria who gets a jump in the United team from last week with their whole defence showing more what we can expect from them and Herrera and Mata showing us they are goal scoring threats.
As for the rest of the league, Diego Costa did what he does best and scored a ton of fantasy points. Pelle showed he could lead the line for Southampton, and Remy, Agbonlahor, and Valencia will all have made fantasy owners happy. Everton finally kept a clean sheet meaning that now Howard is only tied as the worst fantasy keeper so far this season, ironically with Szczesny who I also picked as an elite option this year. That’s just a few of a number of highlights from a wonderful week four that saw the usual upsets and thrillers we expect every week from the Premier League and our fantasy teams.
This is the week I have used my wildcard in my salary cap league because last week we saw how teams will use players until January at least, However, I can understand if people want to wait another week or two to see if managers change their plans at all, but just remember the Premier League is ever evolving. In my experience the most successful fantasy owners are the most decisive ones when it comes to making the big moves.
As always, the injury advice in this article is aimed at draft leagues mainly and for salary cap leagues the general rule is not to carry a player who is out for two weeks or more. For those who play in weekly fantasy premier leagues these rankings and the injury news should give you a baseline to work off when try to set the best team possible. We will have more on those leagues coming from one of our writers in an attempt to help you guys reward your fantasy efforts with a little money each week.
|De Gea||Man Utd||Leicester||16|
Howard finally came through for me last week after I called him an elite option in the preseason, but hopefully fantasy owners stuck with him because their starting schedule was relatively tough. West Brom last week was a good match up and so are Crystal Palace this week, but beware, it gets tougher the next two weeks. De Gea kept his second clean sheet last week and yes it was against QPR but United should only get stronger from here on in now that they have some defensive options. Leicester have scored in every game but one this year, but I am not sure they can get through a United team with point to prove.
All four of these guys have decent match ups this week. Arsenal have yet to keep a clean sheet and that worries me a little, but Villa have won games without being overly threatening so it wouldn’t shock me if their luck runs out. West Ham have not looked great and Liverpool’s team seems to be settling. West Brom have frankly looked awful most of this season and Tottenham should benefit from this. McGregor had a great week with a 14 point effort, but since then has only put up five points in four games. However, Newcastle have been awful this season having failed to score three out of four time so I like McGregor to add a second clean sheet this season.
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This tier is a little thin due to a combination of bad match ups and poor defensive records this season. Begovic should have a good week against a team that have been humiliated twice this year and seem to be lacking a top level striker. Mannone has a nice match up against Burnley who have blown hot and cold this year. Sunderland’s defence does concern me, but Burnley’s attack just doesn’t worry me until it at least starts firing a little.
Ranking Guzan this week was tough because Aston Villa have been so good defensively and shutting down Liverpool last week was a great effort, but Arsenal are due to break the shackles and Villa are due a mistake or two at the back stopping him from being a tier above. Southampton were amazing last week and I love their defence now they have added Alderweireld. The only thing that stops Forster being higher is Swansea have looked really good this year. Hart had a great game Wednesday against Bayern Munich and that should have put an end to the Caballero talk, but playing the explosive attack that Chelsea have been this year means I am not confident about starting him. Courtois is starting to slide down my rankings each week with the way Chelsea have opened up their tactics leaving them vulnerable at the back and against a potentially explosive Man City, he’s someone I am cautious on.
A great week for Speroni last week as he more than trebled his fantasy production in the first three weeks, but Everton are a slightly bigger threat so another big week looks unlikely. Newcastle have had a terrible start to the season in defence but Hull are not great going forward and Krul is a top class keeper. QPR have been as strong defensively as Newcastle but Stoke haven’t been prolific in front of goal so Green has the chance of decent week. I actually like Heaton in this match up but Burnley look all over the place at the back at times and therefore it makes it hard to move him up any further than this. Foster and Adrian have tough match ups, but Tottenham and Liverpool have had trouble in front of goal at times stopping them dropping to the bottom tier.
No other Options:
Schmeichel and Hamer are hard to trust even when you know which one is playing. Caballero was rumoured to have a shot at playing this week but Hart’s performance mid-week should have put a stop to this for now.
Schmeichel (Leicester) Knee (75%): You’re not using him or Hamer this week whatever so it isn’t a big deal.
These three are currently the biggest threats going forward from defence in the league and that is why they are the three Elite guys. There are others I would place here if I could be sure they are playing.
Villa have been clinical with their minimal chances this year but Arsenal are a decent defence who I don’t expect to gift them anything. Love Jagielka and Stones this week with Distin struggling again and a match up against a Palace team that looks toothless. West Ham have been decent in fits and starts but Liverpool defence is starting to settle down and I see big potential for a clean sheet. United clicked last week when they went back to a solid back four and I expect them to shut down Leicester this week. Tottenham have tailed off a little after a strong start but this is a great get well game for them.
Chelsea’s leaky defence is starting to worry me but Mourinho loves these big matches and it wouldn’t surprise me if there was a big performance in this defence this week. Stoke have looked really good at the back this year and this appears to be a pretty friendly match-up for them. I like any team playing Burnley is my general rule, but there are limits to that. Swansea have been top class this year and they are close to be granted a top slot in my defences I love this year but I need them to prove it against a good team going forward and Southampton are just that.
Potential Flex Plays:
Villa have been solid at the back this year but Arsenal have been scoring regularly and I don’t see that stopping this week. Newcastle have been inept going forward but Hull seem to be finding ways to concede lately. City have a really tough match-up against the Costa-led Chelsea so they slot in here. I am finally trusting someone other than Kompany to be a sure fire thing to play for City this week so beware this is probably the week Mangala starts! Southampton have looked good at the back but Swansea have look irresistible going forward and that concerns me.
Desperate for a point or two:
This tier is exactly what it says on the tin. I expect all of these guys to play but I am not keen on their match-ups. However, I don’t expect them to have such terrible weeks that they put up negative points.
The Interesting if they play tier:
Again, exactly what it says in the title of the tier is my thoughts. All of these slot into the same tiers as their team mates if you are sure they will play. The only exception is Zabaleta who I like in the elite tier if he is sure of playing.
|de Laet||Leicester||Man Utd||10|
All have terrible match-ups that could see negative weeks coming their way so I would stay away at all costs.
Vlaar (Aston Villa) Calf (50%): I am now starting to think we may not see him and that hurts this defence. However, they did well without him last week and sure news he is out elevates Baker up to the potential flex tier with the rest of the Villa guys.
Jones (Man United) Hamstring (04th October): I like him enough to hold onto him until he comes back to get a look at his role in a draft league.
Amat (Swansea) Knee (25th October): Not sure he earns the job back with the addition of Fernandez so he is droppable to me.
Debuchy (Arsenal) Ankle (Unknown): Definitely out this week and you should hold onto him until we find out a better timetable.
Monreal (Arsenal) Knock (75%): If he isn’t 100% then I don’t see them risking him. If he is ruled out definitively then Gibbs jumps high up my rankings this week.
O’Brien (West Ham) Knee (75%): Even if he plays I will stay clear of a team playing Liverpool as much as possible.
Skrtel (Liverpool) Injury Cleared Up: Missed the last couple of games but I am not sure he walks back into the team which hurts both his and Sakho’s value
Distin (Everton) Leg (75%): Stones played well last week so I think they leave him out this week.
Johnson (Liverpool) Thigh (This Week): Liverpool’s full backs have played relatively well so I think they sit him out this week at least.
Smalling (Man United) Groin (This Week): With Shaw supposedly healthy I am not sure how United arrange their defence which is bad news for Smalling this week. As an owner you should hold if you have the space for a week or two to take a look but if you need space I would jettison him.
Walker (Tottenham) Pelvic (This Week): I am officially done with him and do not want the headache he causes in any shallow league.
|Di Maria||Man Utd||Leicester||17|
Not much to say here other than start them and reap the rewards.
All have the potential week to week to be elite guys for your team, they just need to show a fraction more.
I’m not even questioning starting these guys this week and neither should you if you own them.
All have the potential to put up exciting weeks and I expect them all to at least start.
Solid but Unexciting Flex Potential:
I’m expecting to see most of these start but there is limited potential of a 6-10 point week.
Potential Top 15 Plays:
All of these would be top end options if they were sure to start this week. The reward for playing them could be high, but there’s also a risk of a 0-1 point week.
Top 30 Potential:
I like these guys but if I knew them and the tier above were all playing then the guys in the tier above just have the better potential to get goals and assists.
Unexciting but Potentially Solid:
If they play there is a solid 2 points on the table but the chance of a goal or assist is highly limited.
Wilshere (Arsenal) Ankle (75%): His injury creates the uncertainty about whether he plays and right now I don’t know what to say. If you have another option you probably should take the guaranteed points from them, but if you need a home run then Wilshere is your man.
Taylor (Burnley) Achilles (27th Sept): Not worth holding onto as there are others out there which will give you the same.
Aarons (Newcastle) Hamstring (01st Oct): Looked good before the injury but I’m not sure he is worth holding onto.
Allen (Liverpool) Knee (Unknown): An unexciting option in my opinion who isn’t worth owning.
Barton (QPR) Hamstring (50%): Does create chances but I am not sure QPR have the men to put them away. If you need the space ship him out this week at you can get 2 points elsewhere off waivers.
Pienaar (Everton) Groin (75%): Not sure they throw him straight back in this week but he has a role in an exciting team so he is worth holding onto.
Mulumbu (West Brom) Hamstring (75%): One of West Brom’s most exciting players but that isn’t saying a lot.
Fernando (Man City) Groin (27th Sept): Not even sure to play with Fernandinho fit so I would drop him.
Flamini (Arsenal) Thigh (75%): Arteta being back limits his chances so I wouldn’t worry about owning him if you need the space.
de Jong (Newcastle) Thigh (Unknown): An exciting prospect who is worth holding onto until you desperately need space.
Sessegnon (West Brom) Eye (75%): As with Mulumbu really.
Odemwingie (Stoke) Knee (Unknown): Not worth holding onto.
Nolan (West Ham) Shoulder (04th Oct): If you have held him so far you might as well wait out two more weeks if you can afford the space.
Ben Arfa (Hull) Parent Club (27th Sept): Right now he isn’t owned very much so this week won’t affect many teams
Snodgrass (Hull) Knee (Unknown): Not worth holding.
Can (Liverpool) Ankle (25th Oct): Not worth holding
Walcott (Arsenal) Knee (27th Sept): Next week it is for you patient owners. Should come back slowly but it will be worth it guys.
Carrick (Man United) Ankle (27th Sept): Not sure there is a role for him to come back to so I’d drop him.
Barkley (Everton) Knee (Unknown): Still unsure on an exact timetable but I’d hold.
A League of His Own:
Unstoppable right now and therefore has to be in a tier above the rest.
With Jovetic injured, the two City guys should be sure to start and Rooney is the United forward I write in pen each week.
Top 5 Potential:
Lukaku got the ball rolling last week and should be in with a good chance of a goal in this match-up. Balotelli should see plenty of opportunities to shine with Sturridge out. Pelle looks lethal in a really promising Southampton team. Adebayor seems to have a firm grip on the job with a really nice match up this week.
I would love to have Welbeck up one tier but I just need to see that spark first. Naismith has shown the spark but the rule of regression tells me he isn’t good enough to keep this up enough to put him up a tier. Hernandez excites me a lot and this is a decent match up. Ulloa has looked like the man Leicester need to lead the line and United ae still gelling at the back. I expect v.Persie to start because of his connection with LvG but something doesn’t feel right about him and that may see him slip next week if it doesn’t improve. Austin is the main option in a QPR team that will look to return with a bang. Bony could easily be the tier above but he needs to show me last year was not a fluke. Valencia is getting the time his talent deserves and Liverpool are susceptible at the back.
Low End #2’s/Flex Options:
I love the two Villa boys until Benteke returns but are they good enough to keep taking the limited chances they are being given? Jelavic should still see time with Hernandez but out of the two he will likely make way first. Riviere is getting there and this could be the week he gets motoring. Diouf is talented and QPR’s defence is not good. Berahino got off to a flyer and the potential is there for a repeat.
A mix of guys I expect to play who just don’t seem effective so far (Jutkiewicz, Campbell, Nugent, Bojan and Wickham) with guys I am not sure on their role but are exciting (Sakho, Zarate, Gayle and Long) and finally two guy I expect to start on the bench but have a world of potential when they come on (Remy and Falcao).
The Land of Uncertainty:
|Vaz Te||West Ham||Liverpool||5|
A very messy group of unknowns due to lack of playing time or injury. Lambert could see an improved role with Sturridge missing but I think they load the midfield instead of going like for like in position.
Just a group I really want no part of.
Jovetic (Man City) Hamstring (This Week): They won’t rush him back making Dzeko and Aguero must starts.
Chamakh (Palace) Hamstring (11th Oct): Not worth holding onto.
Sturridge (Liverpool) Thigh (25th Oct): I would hold onto him but there may be nervous owners who have started slow and now may be time to try and buy low on him.
Ings (Burnley) Hamstring (11th Oct): An uninspiring start but you draft him for his potential so don’t get cold feet now. Hold onto him for a couple of weeks and see if he comes back firing. Massive buy low opportunity here.
Giroud (Arsenal) Ankle (10th Jan): Hold because he won’t stay on waivers for long.
Anichebe (West Brom) Knock (75%): There isn’t really a role for him with the options they have upfront.
Eto’o (Everton) Knock (75%): At most he is a bench player for Everton and that makes it hard to start him especially with a knock. I would hold him because the striker pool is thin.
Rodriguez (Southampton) Knee (Unknown): Pelle is playing J.Rod into an uncertain position but for now you have to hold him for his potential.
Carroll (West Ham) Ankle (Unknown): He should be on the waiver wire and not on your squad.
Benteke (Aston Villa) LMF (Unknown): It’s getting closer guys. If you can buy low then absolutely do it!
As always there is my weekly fantasy premier league marathon. I have had feedback that people aren’t always that interesting in the explanations of the tiers and will just ask if they want to know why X is a tier above Y. Therefore from next week I will drop the explanations which should make this a bit more digestible. That is unless I get some opinions to the opposite!
As always guys good luck this week (unless you are playing me) and any questions then get in touch on twitter data-show-count=”false” data-size=”small”>Follow