Fantasy Football Fixture Analysis Gameweek 10
Welcome to Fantasy Football Fixture Analysis Gameweek 10. I’ve had a couple of bizarre experiences writing here on this site during my tenure. Some of you will remember the DayQuil incident from a season ago – I think I singlehandedly wrote more about the MLS in two hours than the entirety of their pool of staff wrote about their league all week. And before that, I had those growing pains in trying to learn the nonsensical nature of writing proper English (essentially, if you think you should add a ‘u’ to a word, just add the ‘u’ to be safe). And there was also a time when I used a double space between each of my sentences (American standard) – and it still makes me laugh imagining the editors going over my entire article each week deleting a single space after every sentence.
Today’s writing experience is a bit different, and it’s definitely another ‘first’ for me. You see, I had a birthday this past weekend – and we celebrated with a litre of tequila. So welcome to my first hangover article. It’s like the Michael Jordan ‘flu game’ without being nearly so cool. I’m not saying this to try to garner attention, I’m just saying this because today felt like writing through a pool of mud. I don’t know if that makes sense, but that’s what it feels like. And because this hangover has be in a bit of an ornery mood, I decided to put Arsenal and United in the ‘Teams to Avoid’ section this week (spoiler alert). And instead of making Everton my third team to avoid, I decided not to make a third entry at all. It just hurts too much.
The Fixture Tracker…
Gameweek Tracker GW10-14
Top 3 Best Bets
#1) Manchester City – WBA (A), ARS (H), LEI (A)
You’ll have to forgive me if this part of the weekly article is starting to get a bit boring – but there’s no two ways about it: City are the kings of the table, and they look unstoppable at the moment. In fact, there really isn’t a schedule that you could throw at them right now that wouldn’t see them as favourites. So as much as I’d like to shake it up a bit and write about some other teams every now and again, I just can’t.
The one negative that I have to interject here is that the rumoured rotation woes finally hit this squad this past weekend. Most notably, Sterling and Jesus found themselves on the bench to start the game, and that’s just a reality that we’ll have to live with going forward. City have a packed schedule coming up with a cup game this Tuesday (check the fancy new feature on the tracker!), a league game this weekend and a Champions League match shortly after. Add to that the fact that many of their players will find themselves travelling abroad to play during the international break between GW11 and GW12, and you start to get a sense that maybe some of your City coverage will be subject to further rotation in coming rounds. But seeing as how City are now the only team in the league without a loss, and their GD is a staggering +28, you’ll just have to forgive the rotation risk and continue to include these players in your squad. Looking long term, nearly all of your City investment will pay off for you in the end.
As for this schedule that City have coming up, there really isn’t that much to worry about. West Brom shouldn’t scare anybody away; their last two home games were against West Ham and Watford, and neither of those resulted in wins; City should have the upper hand in all aspects of that clash. Arsenal were fortunate to play against a crumbling Everton side this past week, so don’t put too much stock into their 5-goal outburst. This is still the same Arsenal squad that only managed a single goal over the course of their first four road games to start the year, so let’s not get to thinking they’re now suddenly prolific goal scorers simply because Koeman and Co. decided to toss the match. City should be able to humble this Arsenal side fairly easily as long as the two sides play to proper levels. And Leicester have only two wins to their credit this year with victories over Brighton and Swansea. But they’ve wilted against any kind of real competition, so not much worry over in my mind.
#2) Liverpool – HUD (H), WHU (A), SOU (H)
I know that Liverpool got smashed this past weekend, maybe even deservedly so. Liverpool aren’t quite on the level as Spurs are at the moment, and for the purposes of this article, that’s OK. With a team like City, writing them into the article is easy – they’re better than everybody else, and as such, their fixtures are always in their favour. But with a team like Liverpool, they don’t have to be better than everybody else, they simply have to be better than their fixtures ahead to merit inclusion here in this list.
And I don’t think I’m going out on a limb saying that this team is better than this run of fixtures coming up. The worry with Liverpool, just like with City, is that they’ll have a very packed schedule coming up for themselves with CL play and players on international duty – but the rotation risk seems to be less of a concern with Liverpool (which may be due to them not having the reliable depth that City have). Liverpool have been erratic, brilliant, terrible, confounding and generally not worth the hassle to this point this year, I’ll concede that. They’ve had huge signature wins (4-0 over Arsenal anyone?) and gigantic defeats (0-5 vs City and 1-4 vs Spurs). But we know that they have the talent, at least on an individual player level, to generate some decent points when in the right position.
And this schedule they have coming up is that ‘right position’. Huddersfield pulled off the miracle win over the weekend against United, but they had gone scoreless in their three previous games. Chances are they won’t post back to back Hail Mary wins. West Ham are still starting Joe Hart, so take that for what it’s worth. And Southampton have only won a single road game this year – but that was against Palace, so it almost doesn’t count. If ever there was a chance for Liverpool to right the ship and get some stability in the table, it would be with this run they have coming up.
#3) Watford – STK (H), EVE (A), WHU (H)
Watford are that sneaky team that just won’t go away this year. They’ve lost the games you’d maybe expect them to lose (most recent pair of defeats came against City and Chelsea), but they’ve also given a good account of themselves with four wins on the year (most recently against Arsenal in a 2-1 win). They seem to have good balance top to bottom: nothing too flashy, but everybody on the pitch seems to be perfectly capable of doing their job and working within the system. And as long as they have that, you start to think that maybe them being in 6th place on the table isn’t really so shocking. This team genuinely deserves to be there.
And looking at this schedule, tell me how this team doesn’t have a decent shot at another 7-9 points? Stoke have been absolutely dreadful. We could forgive them for getting rolled in that 2-7 defeat against City a couple of rounds ago, but they then followed that up with another loss against Bournemouth last week. Everton, as they are now, aren’t a worry for anybody. Maybe they’ll have an uptick in form with a new manager, but until that happens… I’ll give the nod to Watford. And like I said before, West Ham are still starting Joe Hart. Honestly, with this schedule, and a couple of lucky breaks from other teams around them in the table, Watford could be firmly in the Top 4 going into December.
Teams to Avoid
Arsenal – SWA (H), MCI (A), TOT (H)
There may be a few owners out there that will start to gravitate towards including Sanchez, and his Baby Gap kit-wearing companions, bringing them into their fantasy teams based on Arsenal’s recent effort against Everton. But like I said before, Arsenal only had a single goal on the road all year prior to that effort, and they’ve dropped points in places that they probably shouldn’t have. And add to that the fact that they’ll be playing City and Spurs in short order? I’ll pass. You could make the case to ‘rent’ an Arsenal player just for the Swansea match, but you’d almost have to sell said player immediately after the game.
Manchester United – TOT (H), CHE (A), NEW (H)
Safe to say that a few key injuries finally caught up with United. Ordinarily, that wouldn’t be a huge issue as a team like United tends to have capable replacements, but United will have the same congested schedule that City and Liverpool will have – the only difference is that they’ll have to play Spurs and Chelsea whilst trying to get healthy and navigating CL and international duty. I’m not saying that United have no chance here – they’re good enough to get 9 points from any three-game schedule out there. I’m just saying that with other dominant teams having a much easier set of fixtures right now, maybe United aren’t worth the risk at the moment.
Thanks for reading Fantasy Football Fixture Analysis Gameweek 10. This article was written by Guy
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