Fantasy Football Fixture Analysis Gameweek 13
Welcome to Fantasy Football Fixture Analysis Gameweek 13. Apologies up front, lads, ladies, folk. I’ve included City as my top pick this week. So it matters not if I write this article or if somebody else writes it, the boredom factor of being hit over the head with the blatantly obvious really isn’t the fault of the writer. And here’s the thing, we could go total fantasy hipster on you all and just leave them out of the article – but we’re trying to be respectable around here. And we shall give no safe harbour to hipsters of any kind.
If you are reading this and think you might be a hipster yourself, ask yourself this question: does me saying that we don’t tolerate hipsters, fantasy or otherwise, offend you? If it does, you might be a hipster. In addition to skinny jeans and ironic viking-like beards, hipsters are usually easily offended. You know who else is a hipster? Joe Hart. Look at that hair and his constant tendency to fail whilst still trying to look cool. Do you want to be like Joe Hart? No, you do not.
I digress. Once the City coverage is out of the way, I think I’ve taken a bit of a chance on the other recommendations, feeling a bit bold today I am. So grin and bear the obligatory City coverage, and use my other picks as potential ammo to mock me in the near future. It’s ok if you mock me, for I’m not a hipster. I can take it.
The Fixture Tracker…
Gameweek Tracker GW13-19
#1) Manchester City – HUD (A), SOU (H), WHU (H)
Having City up at the top of the list is getting so monotonous, so boring, so recycled. But it’s still so necessary. Honestly, what else would we put up here at this point? City sit 8 points clear of all others at the top of the table, they have the second best defence in the league, they’ve scored 13 more goals than the second place team in the offensive output category – and they still have yet to actually lose a league game this season. And it’s not just that they’re a little bit better than anybody else, they’re simply in another class right now.
City have won their last five matches by a combined score of 18-5, and they’ve had nine different goal scorers over that stretch; and that’s the real problem with this team, at least from a fantasy perspective. Myself, I’ve been riding Sterling through this most recent schedule, and it’s frustrating when Kun, KDB and Jesus gobble up the scoring as they have in the last two rounds. But just three games ago, Sane, Fernandinho and Sterling were the only scorers, so the faithful to the forwards lost out. City’s propensity to allow all players the opportunity to score is insanely frustrating when you can only own three of their players at once.
This is especially troubling for fantasy play because you know that this will give the team confidence in continuing to rotate their squad. When any player on the pitch can score, nobody is truly guaranteed a 90-minute start. So for fantasy purposes, City can cause just as much harm as good. But from a fixtures standpoint, their inclusion into the list is a layup.
Just look at this schedule they have coming up. Huddersfield have fallen on hard times, two of their last three games were losses by a combined score of 7-0. Southampton are on a two-game skid, and they surely won’t right the ship against a class team like City – especially not if their form against Liverpool is going to remain as their default setting. And West Ham still continue to start Joe Hart, and David Moyes probably thinks that guy is just aces. No matter what you do, you should consider giving yourself the maximum allotment of City players to take advantage of this schedule.
#2) Arsenal – BUR (A), HUD (H), MUN (H)
Nobody likes Arsenal, right? Their kits are provided by Baby Gap, they routinely have the worst haircuts (collectively) in the league and their manager is constantly under attack for one reason or another. Even their fans that love them don’t really like them – and you can see this from how they act online after a loss. So it came as a bit of a surprise to me, based on all of the negativity, that Arsenal are actually winners of three of their last four matches. And of course their most recent win was a 2-0 win against Spurs.
Ordinarily, a run of good form still probably wouldn’t be enough to get me to recommend Arsenal over several other teams with decent schedules. But now that Alexis has played in four consecutive 90-minute games, I’m more inclined to see if he can build up a decent scoring streak for himself. And let’s be honest, Sanchez is really just auditioning for the January transfer window, so he might just go all out this month. Over his last four starts, Sanchez has accumulated a pair of goals and an assist, and when he’s in form, Arsenal tend to play better. Is it a coincidence then that his four consecutive starts have resulted in 9 points for the club? I think not. I mean, they did lose to City in that stretch – but everybody loses to City this year. You just have to write that one off.
Looking ahead here, the United game will be challenging based on how stingy that defence still is, but those first two games are worth gambling on in my opinion. Burnley are in some form at the moment, but their winning streak has been based on beating lower-level teams. And Huddersfield, like I said, just wilt against a big club. Call me crazy, but I think Arsenal will return good points going into December.
#3) Chelsea – LIV (A), SWA (H), NEW (H)
I could’ve put a couple of different teams here. United still have the best defence in the league. Liverpool look like Mo Salah is the answer to all questions related to football in general. And Spurs will undoubtedly bounce back with a relatively tame schedule. But no, I went with Chelsea here.
Just as I’m excited about Sanchez coming back into form, I’m thrilled that Hazard has rounded the corner and come back to his old ways as well. In his last three games, Hazard has now amassed 3 goals and an assist. Adding in his 6 bonus points, that gives Hazard 32 points over the last three rounds. And when he puts up numbers like those, you can bank on Chelsea winning. I don’t know, maybe it’s a personal bias I have, but when the fantasy staples like Sanchez and Hazard start to perform, this game feels better to me. Instead of constantly guessing which City mid will score, or trying to predict if these new players in the league will have staying power or will go the way of Capoue…it’s nice to know that Hazard and Sanchez are still there, still doing work.
And with that in mind, I have to admit that I’m not sure about how Hazard, Morata and Co. will perform against a decent Liverpool side on the road – but I am fairly certain that they’ll make the most of their chances in back to back home games against the likes of Swansea and Newcastle. This schedule, coupled with the resurgent form of Chelsea, is almost too good to pass up.
Teams to Avoid
Sure, they’re on a good tear here lately, and I’ve raved about them in the past. But with Everton swooping in trying to woo head coach Marco Silva, it’s only a matter of time before Silva forces the issue upon the Watford brass. If reports are to believed, Silva is keen to talk to Everton to try to bump up his prestige a bit. For those Football Manager players out there, you know how easy it is to lose a locker room when the bigger clubs come calling. I’d stay off Watford for a while as their players begin to adjust to the potential loss of their leader.
Don’t let the Leighton Baines penalty points fool you. Despite my rush of nostalgia towards Sanchez and Hazard being key contributors again, I’m still going to call #FakeNews on Everton getting back to basics and letting their best players shine. Everton have an easy schedule coming up, but until Marco Silva takes over, stay away.
Thanks for reading Fantasy Football Fixture Analysis Gameweek 13. This article was written by Guy
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