Selling on Graziano Pelle may seem like a crazy idea right now but if you take a look at the match ups that Southampton have coming up, then selling him in all forms of fantasy football doesn’t look so crazy after all. Previously, in fantasy football I haven’t really looked forward at the coming schedule to much, preferring to play fantasy football week to week, but back in the last international break I looked ahead a few weeks and set my teams up based on that. Since then, I have had four of five great weeks and that prompted me to look ahead again. And when I did I discovered some things that made me reconsider my teams going forward over the next five weeks.
In this article I will take a look at the match ups each of the twenty premier league teams have over the next four weeks and give you advice on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball for those teams. For each team I have listed there opponents over the next four weeks. The two numbers next to those teams is their ranking for first Offence (O) and the Defence (D) out of 20.
Offence: Arsenal is coming up against three teams whose defence ranks in the top five right now. This means that they could have a few tough games in terms of creating chances and possibly means you should look to replace any of the non-elite attacking options. Sanchez is the only midfielder who is un-droppable no matter the format. In addition, you should consider Welbeck replaceable and should hold off picking up Giroud in salary cap leagues until their roles are defined. In terms of draft leagues Giroud, Welbeck, and Sanchez are must own but the rest of the midfield is pretty much replacement level.
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Defence: Three of the four teams coming up rank below 10 in terms of goals scored so Szczesny, Mertesacker, Chambers and Gibbs are all salary cap considerations. Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal are must own in salary cap leagues. You may want to consider benching them for the Southampton game, but otherwise you should have no hesitation starting them.
|Aston Villa||Burnley||19||18||Crystal Palace||8||19||Leicester||17||14||West Brom||14||11|
Offence: Playing against two of the worst teams in the league in goals conceded in the next two weeks and then against two other teams in the bottom ten is a good omen for a returning Benteke, as well as Agbonlahor who grabbed a goal last night against the best defence in the league! As for the rest of the midfield/strike force there isn’t really anything exciting in terms of goal threats with only N’Zogbia and Weimann with more than six points in a week. None of these guys are really worth owning in salary cap leagues unless you feel you can gamble on Benteke at his price. In draft leagues Agbonlahor, Benteke, N’Zogbia, Weimann, Westwood and Sanchez are worth a consideration but only Benteke has top 10 potential at his position.
Defence: They are facing three attacks in the bottom ten and a surprisingly impressive Crystal Palace team. The injury issues make it tough to trust any of the central defenders going forward but Guzan, Cissokho and Hutton are potentially value guys to have in your team at a relatively cheap price for the next few weeks in both game styles.
Offence: Not a great combination coming up for the attacking group but they just scored two goals at a stingy Stoke which will fill them with confidence going forward. Ings is a tempting buy in salary cap leagues but if you want him you need to act quick as his price will increase this week off the back of a two goal performance. As for the other strikers, neither is useful in salary cap leagues and are barely useful in draft leagues either. Looking at the midfield, Boyd has been disappointing in his lack of explosiveness since arriving and only Jones has been consistently useful. There is no midfielder worth having in salary cap leagues with Boyd and Jones being the main two gambles in draft leagues.
Offence: Does it really matter who they play? They look so explosive that you will own the main protagonists if you can. Costa, Hazard and Fabregas are the main guys in salary cap leagues with Oscar and Matic on the bubble considering their costs. The rest of the midfield is hard to trust in salary because they are very interchangeable and are reasonably expensive compared to other options. In draft leagues I think Willian and possibly Ramires are worth a punt as they seem to be the two guys in rotation when healthy. Looking at the front group, Remy and Drogba are both tempting in draft leagues because Costa could come down with his injury bug at any point. Neither is worth owning in salary cap leagues.
Defence: Unless one of them gets suspended they have a settled back four of Cahill, Terry, Ivanovic, Azpilicueta with Courtois behind them. They have a great four weeks coming up and all should be considered in both styles with no one else worth consideration right now. An injury to either full back brings Luis into contention and a centre back would make Zouma a consideration in draft leagues
|Crystal Palace||Swansea||10||3||Aston Villa||20||9||Tottenham||10||11||Stoke||14||5|
Offence: Three defences in the top 10 coming including two in the top five currently means we could be about to see a tough patch for them. The main fantasy value has come from the midfield group of Puncheon, Jedinak, Bolasie and Frazer Campbell up top. The only advice I would give is that Puncheon is droppable for one of the other two midfielders who have been more consistent than he has and are cheaper. However, there are other cheap options who have been useful that you could consider replacing Puncheon with. In draft leagues those three midfielder, plus Ledley, are the main guys worth owning. Upfront, Campbell is the only salary cap guy I would even consider and in draft leagues I might be tempted by Gayle as well for his ceiling.
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Defence: A pretty nice run coming up but only Ward has been a lock to play recently due to injuries, meaning he is the only one I would consider in salary cap. Speroni may be worth a flyer in salary cap leagues but his form has been inconsistent at best so there are probably better options. In draft leagues all defenders bar Ward will be streamable and Speroni should be owned as a week to week match up play but mainly as a back up.
Offence: A very middle of the road week with two mid ranked teams; one high ranked and one low ranked. They have been scoring regularly and Lukaku has been a consistent performer. He is the only real option up top in salary cap leagues with Naismith and Eto’o seeming to share time since Naismith’s hot start ended. In midfield Barkley has been a good option since returning and with Mirallas returning now they are the two main midfielders who are useful in salary cap leagues. In draft leagues Eto’o and Naismith are worth a punt considering how poor the striking options are alongside Lukaku. In midfield you could consider McGeady and McCarthy who have been consistent performers when they are on the field but playing time has been an issue with them missing weeks for no reason at all other than rotation.
Defence: Their match ups are similar to the offence. Baines, Colman and Jagielka are main stays as long as they are healthy and can all be considered in salary cap leagues and are must own in draft leagues. Distin is in there courtesy of injuries to Stones and Alcarez but is only worth owning in draft leagues because of the uncertainty in his position. Howard is going to be owned in draft leagues but there are better cheaper options in salary cap leagues than him.
|Hull||Man Utd||7||5||Everton||4||16||West Brom||14||11||Chelsea||1||2|
Offence: Two really tough match ups coming up mixed in with an easier one and middle of the pack one. I’m personally not sure I want any of them in salary cap leagues because the strikers are interchangeable. If I had to pick a striker it would be Jelavic who was on form pre-injury but whether he gets back to that is tough to tell. In draft leagues both the main strikers should be owned. In midfield the main guys are Diame, Elmohamady, and Livermore and they could all be useful as reasonably affordable but unexciting options in salary cap leagues. In draft leagues you should see those three and Huddlestone owned. Quinn, Ben Arfa and Brady are worth monitoring incase they get going!
Defence: They have been playing with three defenders some weeks and only Curtis Davies has been a regular. Expect Dawson to become one if he stay healthy but for me I can’t see how you can own any of the defenders given the uncertainty and the three bad match ups coming. McGregor should be owned in draft leagues but will spend the majority of the time on the bench in the coming weeks. He’s droppable in salary cap leagues if you need the cover.
|Leicester||QPR||17||20||Liverpool||8||14||Aston Villa||20||9||Man City||2||3|
Offence: A great match up next week against the worst defence in the league so far, followed by a team who appear to have no defence, meaning this is the absolute last chance for Leonardo Ulloa to prove he deserves to remain owned in salary cap leagues. Since week five he is averaging a measly 1.7 points per game, so if he cannot get it done in the next two days then you have to cut ties with him. The other two guys should not be considered in salary cap leagues with Vardy possibly owned in draft leagues. The midfield is a really sad state of affairs with not one person having a fakepremierlg rating above one and therefore no one is worth owning in either style of play.
Defence: Two good match ups for the defence and in either style of league you could look to stream Morgan, de Laet or Konchesky as defenders or Schmeichel but they are nothing more than that. You definitely do not want to be starting these guys against Liverpool or Man City though.
Offence: If you drafted Daniel Sturridge then I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you your season is probably bad right now. He has no confirmed return and with Balotelli still a slight question mark, there is potential for Rickie Lambert now that he has opened his account. Playing Stoke is always tough so I wouldn’t want to start him this week but if Balotelli’s injury develops further then I would look to invest in him for the Leicester and Sunderland games before debating cutting ties before the Man United game. As for the midfield Sterling, Gerrard and Henderson should be owned for sure in salary cap leagues. Lallana, Can and Coutinho are all worth a punt in draft leagues but I would leave Allen off my squad.
Defence: Three awesome match ups in the next three weeks is a good sign but can you really trust these defenders? After shipping three goals to Palace changes for this week would not surprise me at all. Skrtel and Lovren have been regulars at centre back but we could also see Sakho or Toure enter the debate. Right now I back Lovren over Skrtel if one of them is to get dropped and I would be tempted to shed Skrtel in salary cap leagues if you haven’t already. And only Lovren is therefore own-able from the central defenders. Looking at the full backs it’s been such a crapshoot that I do not think any are own-able in salary cap leagues because even when they play they are unimpressive! In draft leagues I would say Sakho, Skrtel, Lovren should be owned but I don’t think you can trust any full backs.
Mignolet is an expensive option in salary cap leagues who I would stick by for these three weeks because runs don’t get much better. In draft leagues you aren’t dropping Mignolet simple as.
Offence: A fairly match up proof group with three really good games coming in the next four, so let’s start by just say Aguero is a yes because he or Costa have to be on ALL teams (Having both would be AWESOME, but expensive!) Jovetic and Dzeko are too random to own in salary cap leagues but both should be owned in draft leagues. In the midfield Silva will be superb as he was before the injury. Yaya seems to be starting to wake up a little, but in salary cap leagues his cost is an issue considering the return on the season so far. As for the rest I see Navas and Nasri as the potential lottery ticket picks in salary cap leagues with none of the other being owned in my opinion. In draft leagues it is those four and potentially Lampard who should be owned because if Lampard can find a place he will be a constant goal threat and that is worth having on your bench I feel.
Defence: Two tough match ups an two easy ones in the next month but this is a group I generally want to have because they don’t let in many. Kompany is a must start every week in both formats and while Kolarov is out, so is Clichy. On the right I hate that they interchange so much as picking one is a nightmare. The same can be said for the Demichellis/Mangala choice meaning that I don’t want to own either. In draft leagues it is worth having all six of the current options and Kolarov because they all get chances and when they do they are playing for one of the best teams. They are all injuries to their main rival away from being elite options. Hart is a most own in draft leagues and in salary cap leagues it depends on your keeper budget philosophy.
Offence: A mixed group of match ups coming up for this group. Rooney, van Persie and Falcao must be owned in draft leagues but in salary cap leagues there cost means I would rather have Costa or Aguero (or other cheaper options, such as Pelle) if I had one of these. In the midfield, the only guy you should bend over backwards to own in salary leagues is Di Maria. In draft leagues it should be Di Maria, Mata, Fellaini (I cannot believe I just wrote that!) and Valencia because they are the only guys I trust to get you assists/goals with Blind out and Herrera struggling.
Defence: Wow this group is a mess with injuries right now. With two good match ups you could look to own in salary cap leagues any fully fit defenders out of Rafael, Shaw, Jones, Evans and Smalling because they are a lock to play if fully fit. You could consider dropping them before they play Southampton and Liverpool but you can decide that nearer the time. In draft leagues I think all should be owned speculatively. De Gea is a top Goalkeeping option and should be owned depending just on philosophy.
Offence: Not a great month coming for them with three teams who’s defence currently ranks in the top 10, but having Burnley sandwiched in the middle is a bright spot. An issue here is that Cisse is probably the first choice but the big if is fitness. Perez is currently the second choice with Riviere third. In salary cap leagues you can stream Cisse or Perez for that Burnley game but otherwise I don’t think you should any of the three. In draft leagues I think Cisse and Perez are the only two worth speculating on. In midfield, Ameobi is currently on a hot run and may be worth streaming in salary cap leagues but otherwise I don’t think anyone is consistent enough to own. In draft leagues I feel that Sissoko and Ameobi are the two main guys. When de Jong comes back I would give him a long hard look in both formats.
Defence: With Coloccini and Ryan Taylor out this is quite clear. Janmaat and Dummett are the full backs with Williamson and Steven Taylor (if healthy) the centre backs. Haidara is the current back up but with the run they have coming they should only be owned in salary cap league if you are planning to use them against Burnley and bench them for the other three match ups. In draft leagues, I think Janmaat and Dummett are musts with Williamson, Taylor and Haidara streaming guys. Coloccini is a must own when he returns. Krul is a must own in draft but for me is droppable in salary.
Offence: Three good match ups coming in the next four with one terrible one against Swansea. This means that Austin is a good purchase with Vargas on the bubble in salary leagues going forward. In draft leagues, both should be owned with Zamora a potential own simple as. Hard to trust anyone other than Fer right now meaning he is the only one I would consider in either league.
Defence: Even with two good match ups, these guys are hands off right now in all formats simple as!
|Southampton||Man City||2||3||Arsenal||5||5||Man Utd||7||5||Burnley||19||18|
Offence: Three top five defences in the next three weeks followed by Burnley is like crossing the Sahara to get a cupcake. Tough, but there is a big treat at the end! However, following Burnley is Everton and then Chelsea so that is four top five defences in the next six weeks. Therefore, this may well be time to sell on your Southampton attackers because there could be a barren run to come. In salary cap leagues, you only own Pelle and swapping him for another option to pick him back up for the Burnley and Everton games may be good option. In draft leagues you could float Pelle out there and see what you can get back but you would need something top five rest of season to sell him (Aguero, Costa, Rooney come to mind). Long is another potential guy to own in draft leagues but shouldn’t be touched in salary cap leagues. In midfield I would sell on everyone in salary cap leagues for three weeks and come back to Tadic, Schneiderlin, Wanyama and Mane because this could be a really tough period coming up. In draft leagues you cannot get top end value so I would hold Tadic, Schneiderlin, Wanyama and Mane and take the bumps.
Defence: You think four in six is tough for the offense? Well how about the defence facing four of the top five offenses and another who is ranked seventh? Yeah it is not going to be the same pretty picture you have seen recently for the defenders and in salary cap leagues you may want to stream defenders/goalkeepers to replace whichever ones you own for the next three weeks. You can drop back in for any of the five main guys (Clyne, Bertrand, Fonte, Alderweireld and Forster) when they play Burnley. In draft leagues hold everyone but look to bench them as often as possible.
|Stoke||Liverpool||8||14||Man Utd||7||5||Arsenal||5||5||Crystal Palace||8||19|
Offence: Stoke have a decent match up next week and then two pretty awful ones followed by Palace. However, there isn’t anyone that exciting as a forward option week to week in either the striker or midfield position. Of the options available Bojan and Moses are two options to consider in salary cap leagues. In draft leagues you should look to own Moses, Walters, Crouch, Diouf and Bojan.
Defence: A tough run with four top ten offences coming up for a team whose defensive players average a measly 1.2 fantasy points in the last six weeks. In salary cap leagues all defenders are droppable and only Shawcross and Bardsley are own-able for me in draft leagues. Thinking about it the same goes for Begovic as Shawcross and BArdsley. He should only be owned in the draft format.
|Sunderland||Chelsea||1||2||Man City||2||3||Liverpool||8||14||West Ham||5||9|
Offence: Chelsea and Man City in the next two weeks is awful for a group who haven’t been good this year. This is quite simple; Own no Sunderland strikers in salary cap leagues and only Fletcher and Wickham should be owned in draft leagues. In midfield I would only consider Larsson right now in salary cap leagues and he is also a definite in draft leagues with Johnson a maybe. That was fairly easy right?
Defence: Yeah with those four match ups this is easy as well. Don’t own any Sunderland defenders or goalkeepers in salary cap leagues and Pantilimon is the only guy I would own in draft leagues.
|Swansea||Crystal Palace||8||19||QPR||17||20||West Ham||5||9||Tottenham||10||11|
Offence: The worst two teams coming up in the next two week means that I am excited for Swansea players all over again. Bony is definitely someone to consider in salary cap leagues if you are looking for someone to replace Pelle for the next few weeks but he is the only Swansea striker for salary cap leagues. In draft leagues Bony should be owned and Gomis should be monitored. In midfield Sigurdsson is a most own in both formats with Routledge and Dyer must own in draft leagues and potential own in salary cap leagues. Ki, Shelvey and Montero should be considered in draft leagues but not in salary leagues.
Defence: Two tough match ups in the next three with a great one sandwiched in the middle. In salary cap leagues I would consider Taylor, Williams and Rangel as a potentially mid-price option with Fabianski also someone who should be owned in those leagues. In draft leagues Taylor, Williams, Rangel, Fabianski and Amat should be owned going forward because although they are tough match ups it isn’t like they are playing the power house teams.
Offence: This pattern of bottom five top five defences isn’t much fun for fantasy owners because you don’t want to just be getting guys one week to drop them the next. However, at the Striker position that isn’t an issue for salary cap leagues because right now it is simple; don’t bother with any of them. In draft leagues Adebayor and Kane are worth owning but not Soldado right now. In the midfield Chadli is the best option for salary cap leagues with Eriksen also someone who should be considered. Other than that you don’t want any of them in salary cap league but in draft leagues you should also invest in Lamela.
Defence: Three HORRIBLE match ups coming for a defence who have been struggling lately. In salary cap leagues do not own any of them and in draft leagues you can look at KAboul and Rose as the main two guys who play consistently when healthy. Lloris is a must own in draft leagues but can be dropped in salary leagues.
|West Brom||Arsenal||5||5||West Ham||5||9||Hull||12||11||Aston Villa||20||9|
Offence: No easy match ups coming but unless Berahino is going to miss time due to the news of his arrest then I think you are safe to use him in both formats and that is about it at the striker position. In midfield you don’t want any for salary cup leagues but you should consider Brunt and Dorrans as tempting options in draft leagues.
Defence: A couple of tough match ups followed by some easier ones but there isn’t enough consistency here for any of the defenders or Foster to be owned in salary leagues. In draft leagues you should own Foster for a backup in draft leagues and maybe Dawson or Wisdom as defensive cover but that is it.
|West Ham||Newcastle||12||5||West Brom||14||11||Swansea||10||3||Sunderland||16||16|
Offence: Two tough match ups sandwich a middle of the road match up followed by an easy match up. Sakho and Valencia have been two of the biggest surprises this season and depending on health I think you could consider either in both formats even with the tough match ups. The match ups do mean that I would look at Zarate in draft leagues only and then possibly Carroll as well. In midfield Downing is definitely someone I would want to own in both formats if he is returning to health. In addition, I would consider Noble and Amalfitano in draft leagues only.
Defence: With three decent match ups and one good one coming I would look to use Cresswell or Jenkinson for the next four weeks if I need some cover or depth in either format. In draft leagues I would also consider Reid. At for the goalkeeper Adrian is someone to consider utilising in both formats.
So there you go for your fantasy football transfer view looking forward over the next four weeks. This article may become a fortnightly or monthly feature if it proves useful but I don’t think enough will change week to week to make it worth doing more regularly than fortnightly.