The last time we saw Thibaut Courtois in a Chelsea kit he was holding his head and leaving with blood coming from his ear -cue the mad scramble for Petr Cech in fantasy leagues. But it appears that scramble was premature as Courtois was cleared within 48 hours and is back fighting fit and ready to play in Week 8. A great match up against a hit and miss Crystal Palace team who ranks middle of the pack in goals scored means he tops the goalkeeper rankings this week alongside the man he replaced at Athletico Madrid in David De Gea.
The International break has given us fantasy owners a chance to look back over out fantasy rosters and make the adjustments to take us through the next month or so of the season in the best shape we can possibly be in. Getting back into the Premier League is exactly what us Football junkies need after uninspiring International games have been the headlines over the last week or so. The downside? We return to the Premier League minus a few players with Mesut Özil the biggest casualty of the international break injury curse.
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Never fear, though, because one man’s misery is another man’s success and that is exactly the situation for Santi Cazorla and his fantasy owners as he should now see increased playing time. I expect to see good things from Cazorla this week in their match up with Hull who rank 15th in goals conceded this season.
As always, each position comes with a breakdown of all fantasy relevant players and even a few bonus players to go with it!
|De Gea||Man Utd||West Brom||27|
|Foster||West Brom||Man Utd||23|
Do Not Start
Lloris (Tottenham) Groin (75%): Returned from international duty with a slight injury issue. I do expect him this week considering they have a tough match up and will need all available personnel to keep a clean sheet.
McGregor (Hull) Shoulder (22nd November): Out for another month or so making him droppable in all leagues. Harper is a nice week to week match up.
Great Match Ups
Good Match ups
|Rojo||Man Utd||West Brom||10|
|Rafael||Man Utd||West Brom||16|
|Shaw||Man Utd||West Brom||4|
OK Match ups
Poor Defences/Slightly Scary Match ups
Questions over Playing Time
|Evans||Man Utd||West Brom||15|
|Smalling||Man Utd||West Brom||2|
|Blackett||Man Utd||West Brom||13|
|Jones||Man Utd||West Brom||15|
Terrible Match ups – Potentially negative fantasy points
|Wisdom||West Brom||Man Utd||22|
|Dawson||West Brom||Man Utd||27|
|Pocognoli||West Brom||Man Utd||17|
|Lescott||West Brom||Man Utd||13|
MANGALA (MAN CITY) MUSCLE (25th October): Ruled out after his return from international duty until next week. Makes Demichellis a must start this week
Dann (Crystal Palace) Knee (15th November): He has been a solid consistent option so far but this week against Chelsea he would have been unuseable. You can stream decent defenders week to week so he is droppable for me.
Senderos (Aston Villa) Thigh (50%): Has been solid this season and Villa’s defence would suffer without him if it wasn’t for the fact Vlaar is ready to return. I’m not expecting him as of now and fantasy owners should not be owning him with his injury concerns.
Koscielny (Arsenal) Achilles (25th October): This will be a blow to fantasy owners who built their defence around Koscielny, but right now it only looks like being one week so don’t panic and stream someone from the rankings above.
Chambers (Arsenal) Suspended (25th October): Has picked up yellow cards like a child picks up dirt and that has led to his suspension. Until Debuchy returns, he has a path to playing time and should be owned in all leagues.
Lovren (Liverpool) Abdominal (75%): Has been a solid contributor for fantasy owners but his status is up in the air this week. If the news looks good then the matchup is insanely good this week!
Evans (Man United) Ankle (50%): United are starting to get their guys back in defence and that means we are going to go from a headache of having no one recognised to pick, to now having too many people. I don’t expect Evans this week as they won’t rush him back and I am not holding onto him because I don’t trust he has regular playing time.
Jones (Man United) Hamstring (This Weekend): This is the man they will want back to lead that defence but I wouldn’t risk him this week. They need him back so badly that they are unlikely to risk re-aggrevation of his injury.
Coleman (Everton) Knock (75%): I love the match up and I love Coleman but he is so important to what Everton do it makes me wonder if they will rush him back this week. He’s an elite defender so you’re holding onto him regardless. If you have the space to pick up someone with a good match up for this week then I say rest him for now.
Amat (Swansea) Knee (25th October): I’m worried that when he returns he may have lost his spot to Fernandez and will struggle to come back into the team. I wouldn’t be looking to own him.
Stones (Everton) Ankle (Unknown Return): This is shattering for football fans. Stones looked so promising this year and his loss is a loss to all English football fans. The only positive is that Distin owners can breathe a sigh of relief because he is now a lock every week.
Yoshida (Southampton) Ankle (This Weekend): Alderweireld is a quality player and Fonte is irreplaceable right now meaning Yoshida is going to struggle to come back in. His return throws question marks over his and Alderweireld’s role. I wouldn’t own Yoshida until I see he has a defined role.
Sakho (Liverpool) Thigh (This Weekend): Liverpool are getting back to health and I think there defence starts to grow but I don’t think Sakho beats out Lovren and Skrtel long term this season. With Lovren struggling Sakho is an interesting plug and play as I expect him this week.
Debuchy (Arsenal) Ankle (27th December): Got off to a hot start but I’m not sure any defender is good enough to stash as good options can be found weekly on the waiver wire.
O’Brien (West Ham) Knee (This Weekend): I want to see his role before I go and pick him up so don’t go chasing him this week.
Jenkinson (West Ham) Hamstring (75%): Similar story to O’Brien as more West Ham players get healthy their roles are less defined right now.
Mariappa (Crystal Palace) Knock (75%): A horrible week so I wouldn’t start him whatever. Honestly I don’t think he is worth owning because the regular time is not going to be there.
Demel (West Ham) Knock (50%): Just don’t see him having a role much this season
McNair (Man United) Hamstring (75%): This opens the door for Blackett’s return. This isn’t the last you will hear of McNair mark my words.
Keane (Burnley) Hamstring (75%): Burnley has a settled four at the back and as they are all fit there is no role for Keane right now.
Tiendalli (Swansea) Groin (75%): Taylor has been solid at left back and Rangel has right back locked up meaning Tiendalli is not a fantasy option right now even if healthy.
Smalling (Man United) Thigh (This Weekend): A real interesting conundrum for who United choose at the back making the entire centre back group hard to trust and impossible to start this week.
Naughton (Tottenham) Ankle (25th October): There is a defined role here with Walker out but Naughton has to healthy first and that is proving tough.
Walker (Tottenham) Pelvic (3rd December): Finally we have a date confirming he is out in the short term and everyone can drop him and forget about him. Please?
|Di Maria||Man Utd||West Brom||43|
|Mata||Man Utd||West Brom||29|
Top 20 Options
|Brunt||West Brom||Man Utd||24|
|Blind||Man Utd||West Brom||8|
|Gardner||West Brom||Man Utd||18|
|Dorrans||West Brom||Man Utd||27|
|Morrison||West Brom||Man Utd||19|
Playing Time Unknown
|Carrick||Man Utd||West Brom||0|
|Mulumbu||West Brom||Man Utd||8|
|Blanco||West Brom||Man Utd||2|
|Yacob||West Brom||Man Utd||2|
Don’t Bother Starting
|Januzaj||Man Utd||West Brom||6|
|Valencia||Man Utd||West Brom||13|
|Fletcher||Man Utd||West Brom||7|
|Fellaini||Man Utd||West Brom||2|
|Sessegnon||West Brom||Man Utd||10|
Chadli (Tottenham) Hip (75%): This will have fantasy owners nervous but I expect him this week and is safe to start.
Ramsey (Arsenal) Hamstring (25th October): No one wants to see him rushed back because he’s a great fantasy option. Keep hold and hope Arsenal save him until he is completely ready!
Özil (Arsenal) Knee (Unknown): A massive loss for Özil owners is a gain for Cazorla owners. The German is out for at least a month and potentially up to three. His talent means he isn’t droppable until he is ruled out for more than three months.
Brunt (West Brom) Groin (75%): Has been quietly solid this year on a mixed team. I expect him to be playing this week and have him safe to start.
Herrera (Man United) Rib (26th October): An exciting option who owners will be without this week and may see him limited next week but is definitely worth stashing.
Elmohamady (Hull) Knock (75%): Plays an interesting role for Hull and for that reason I expect him to play this week.
Schurrle (Chelsea) Illness (75%): They have so many options that it is hard to trust Schurrle this week. His absence would be good news for Oscar and Willian.
Ramires (Chelsea) Knee (75%): Another man whose absence would help Oscar and Willian owners be able to trust them. I don’t expect them to rush him back this week but wouldn’t be surprised to see him come off the bench.
Mirallas (Everton) Hamstring (Unknown): Huge loss for both Everton and fantasy owners. If you have the room stash him, do it, but his absence is a little up in the air right now.
Moses (Stoke) Thigh (75%): Has been awesome since he arrived on loan from Chelsea and is a big reason for the spike in Crouch’s value. I expect him this week and I’m excited about him.
Shelvey (Swansea) Suspended (25th October): Not a hugely exciting option given his lack of forward pressing but a solid option when not suspended. However, solid isn’t worth stashing. Solid can be found weekly on the waiver wire.
Delph (Aston Villa) Shoulder (50%): I expect him to play some part but his value has been in consistent 90 minute playing time and I’m not sure I see that this week.
Ward-Prowse (Southampton) Foot (29th November): A shame for all involved but he isn’t worth stashing.
McCarthy (Everton) Knock (75%): Everton use those middle guys differently every week so McCarthy is someone I’m avoiding this week with the injury concerns.
Whelan (Stoke) Knee (75%): Not productive enough to risk with this injury.
Valencia (Man United) Hamstring (75%): Not consistent enough to risk.
Nasri (Man City) Groin (2nd November): You have to hold him because he is an exciting talent.
Kouyate (West Ham) Groin (1st November): Not worth stashing.
Marney (Burnley) Knock (75%): I expect him to play but Burnley’s midfield isn’t good enough to start guys who aren’t 100%
Taylor (Burnley) Achilles (Unknown): A good player but not worth stashing
Aarons (Newcastle) Hamstring (1st November): A really exciting prospect who could be a decent stash if you have the space.
Arnautovic (Stoke) Knock (75%): Made some great plays last year but hasn’t been trusted consistently enough this year for you to start him even if healthy.
Barton (QPR) Hamstring (50%): A surprisingly creative force for QPR but until they sort out their strikers it’s hard to trust his creativity turns into assists. Impossible to start given his 50/50 status.
Allen (Liverpool) Knee (Unknown): Not really fantasy relevant given his role so you cannot stash him.
Pienaar (Everton) Knock (75%): Everton need someone to step up and replace Mirallas and Pienaar has the talent for it. Well worth picking up to see if he can get rolling now he is working his way back.
Fernando (Man City) Hamstring (75%): Neither Fernando or Fernandinho have stood out making both risky plays week to week. With limited attacking roles they aren’t exciting fantasy options so aren’t worth risking.
Young (Man United) Knock (50%): Blew his chance for United and your fantasy teams. Should NOT be owned.
Giaccherini (Sunderland) Ankle (8th November): Hasn’t really featured this year due to injuries and should not be owned until he gets healthy.
Odemwingie (Stoke) Knee (Unknown): Out until January and is not worth stashing.
Alvarez (Sunderland) Knock (8th November): Not worth stashing because he has no defined role even when healthy.
de Jong (Newcastle) Thigh (Unknown): This is my man to chase down if he can get healthy. Newcastle need some fire and he is good enough to provide it. When his condition starts improving you hould bust your butt to trade for him or pick him up off waivers.
Rosicky (Arsenal) Knock (75%): Doesn’t seem to be being used much and given the injury will feature as no more than a bench option for Arsenal if healthy.
Snodgrass (Hull) Knee (Unknown): Snodgrass is out until January and not worth stashing.
Can (Liverpool) Ankle (25th October): There isn’t a defined role right now but he is one to watch!
Barkley (Everton) Knee (25%): I am PUMPED because we may see him this week even if just for a few minutes. If you own him then the stashing should begin to be rewarded in the next few weeks!
Walcott (Arsenal) LMF (25th October): Another guy I am PUMPED about. Easily could be a fantasy superstar when he returns. May be a couple of weeks away still but it will be worth it – I promise.
Carrick (Man United) Ankle (50%): Probably not going to be ready this week and his role is not known going forward so you cannot own him.
World of his Own
|v.Persie||Man Utd||West Brom||20|
|Falcao||Man Utd||West Brom||18|
|Berahino||West Brom||Man Utd||39|
Desperation Flex Plays
Unknown Playing Time
|Samaras||West Brom||Man Utd||3|
|Anichebe||West Brom||Man Utd||7|
|Ideye||West Brom||Man Utd||7|
|Vaz Te||West Ham||Burnley||5|
Rooney (Man United) Suspended (2nd November): One moronic moment has cost fantasy owners but you have to hold onto him because he is consistently quality for fantasy.
Diouf (Stoke) Hamstring (75%): I don’t expect him to start but I expect him to feature at some point. If you need a flex play then go ahead and risk him IMO.
Welbeck (Arsenal) Ankle (75%): They have limited options upfront without him and they need to win games so I expect to see him starting for them.
Sturridge (Liverpool) Thigh (75%): He should return this week and my God does Liverpool need him badly. Expect a big performance from a big player this week.
Anichebe (West Brom) Groin (This Weekend): Unlikely to start over Berahino but could feature off the bench. Even so he isn’t worth starting.
Giroud (Arsenal) Ankle (10th January): I think you have to stash him because good striking options are short.
Vaz Te (West Ham) Thigh (75%): His role is diminishing with the way Sakho and Valencia are playing and he is borderline droppable.
Ideye (West Brom) Ankle (This Weekend): Much like Anichebe his role should be off the bench this week.
Drogba (Chelsea) Ankle (75%): With Remy available they likely rest him completely. I don’t think you should own him.
Rodriguez (Southampton) Knee (6th December): Just having a potential return date is exciting but its still a way away. Keep holding him and I would now look to trade for him if I didn’t own him.
Vokes (Burnley) Knee (Unknown): Not sure when he is coming back but when he does he should be useful. DO NOT STASH.
So there we have it for the week 8 rankings. After a painful break for international games the Premier League is back this season and it is sure to have all its normal thrills and spills. Good luck with your fantasy teams this week and as usual any questions then come find me on twitter!