So this week with 8 games being played Saturday, I’ve decided to simplify things a bit by making my recommendations for the 10AM, 15K Striker game in particular. If you were hoping for some tips on the Manchester City vs. Tottenham game, feel free to tweet me @onthelaces and I’d be happy to give you some advice.
As for the rest of Saturday, we still have 7 games to choose from featuring an abundance of talent. However, these matches are going to provide more than just talented players, as Saturday will display a number of intriguing story lines and match ups.
I think it’s safe to say Liverpool are one side most people will have their eye one; as Brendan Rodgers’ struggling side look to break their poor form vs. a downtrodden Aston Villa squad.
At St. Mary’s, Southampton will look to bounce back, in a match up that features a ton of exciting attackers when Swansea come to town.
None of the matches compare; however, in respect to Arsenal vs. Leicester City in an early season four vs. five matchup. While Leicester have shown some weakness in the past few weeks falling behind early vs. Stoke and Aston Villa, they have also showed tremendous resilience fighting back to earn 4 points out of 6 in dramatic fashion. On the flip side, Arsenal looked uninspired vs. Chelsea in a 2-0 defeat that may have been a bit unjust, but seemed to fit Arsenal’s usual track record.
Lock of the Day
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) Forward – Salary: $9,900:
Aside from Van Gaal, I don’t think there is a person in this world more thankful than Wayne Rooney for the bright arrival of Anthony Martial. I know his comments prior to the year displayed excitement to be back in his usual number 9 spot, but let’s face it, his game in this system just looks more comfortable tucked underneath a high striker. After an extraordinarily rough start in his former role, Rooney has returned to a place he excelled in last season and is no longer the primary scoring threat for the opposition to worry about. I’m expecting a dominating performance from United who are in wonderful form when they face off against Sunderland who can only be described as dreadful.
Second Choice: Dimitri Payet (West Ham) Midfield – Salary: $8,300:
It is unbelievable how many people had never heard this guy’s name before the season. I think it’s safe to say everyone knows his name now. He’s got a decent matchup and is the catalyst behind every movement West Ham make. With a number of talented options around him, he’s got the pieces in place to provide plenty of danger without being locked in on too closely.
Worth Your Buck
Eden Hazard (Chelsea) Midfield – Salary: $10,200:
Similar to the logic behind United and Rooney, Chelsea face an abysmal Newcastle side and are coming in hot off a big win vs. Arsenal. Hazard has delivered nothing close to the player we saw last season guiding The Blues to the title and POTY, but he did ‘score’ last week and it just feels like things might get going for Chelsea towards a more normal form. I trust Hazard because he is known to step on set pieces, isn’t afraid to shoot, contributes in all facets and of course takes penalties. Against a careless Newcastle side this is the big selling point for me and with the help of a pen, I can easily see a goal and an assist from the Belgian in a win by wide margin.
Mesut Ozil (Arsenal) Midfield – Salary: $8,400:
Which Mesut will we see on Saturday? That somehow remains the big question around this talent almost every week. Now 26, Ozil enters the prime of his career with question marks still surrounding his consistency, which in my eyes is pretty unacceptable. However, it must be noted that even when he vanishes for long stretches, his impact when reappearing tends to be of the highest order. Arsenal don’t have a walk in the park, but I think if you want to get in on Arsenal, Ozil is a good play with Cazorla out and Sanchez being very over priced for what he has delivered thus far.
Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea) Defender – Salary: $5,600:
I like Chelsea this week, plain and simple. Ivanovic’s struggles may have dropped his stock substantially, but I know he can still play and you should trust him this week. Chelsea are coming off back to back wins (including Champion’s League) and a massive shutout vs. cross town rivals Arsenal. While this may not be much of a trend to forecast hope on, I urge you to examine the opponent (Newcastle) and Mourinho’s historical track record in making this choice. Stretches like this rarely occur for the Portuguese and when they do, he either leaves the club or pulls them out of the fire with a vengeance. For me, Chelsea have too much talent and Newcastle have too much dysfunctionality to expect this to play out in any other fashion than a Chelsea victory. They will hold a shutout and Ivanovic might even get on the score sheet.
Bojan Krkic (Stoke City) Forward – Salary: $4,800:
The return of Bojan couldn’t have gone any smoother. After over eight months out with a knee injury, Bojan returned to the Prem with a fantastic goal. While Arnautovic deserves most of the credit, Bojan’s cool finish and intelligent movement are a dangerous addition to an already potent attack. With Shaqiri, Arnautovic and Diouf around him Bojan has the free role to explore spaces and look to be the missing link to help pull Stoke up the table and away from the relegation zone.
Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) Midfield – Salary: $4,600:
The young English winger might have too much hype just like every English phenom, but none the less the boy can play. He’s a dynamic option with plenty of attacking intent to go grab points for you and at this price he might be a necessary play. One of the few guys at this price that can actually put in a MOTM type of performance, if he’s in the lineup he’s definitely one of the best guys under 5K available to you if you want the big pay off on a small amount of money.
Gary Cahill (Chelsea) Defender – Salary: $3,500:
And we’re back! Chelsea! Chelsea! Chelsea! I know this is against everything I stand for but I’m endorsing Chelsea clearly this week. I’m not going to give you a long speech about taking Cahill, just take him if you agree that a shutout is coming and can’t afford to take any of the sexier options.
The In Betweeners
Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) Forward – Salary: $7,600:
At last he has returned and I couldn’t be more excited. It wasn’t the start the Liverpool faithful would have hoped for last week, but I didn’t expect much in his debut which is why I left him off my sheet last week. However, Sturridge has a mentality to his game that won’t allow for a string of ineffective performances to occur and so expect him to press for production with an assertive nature few in the game are capable of. Lucky for him when he forces things his athleticism and abilities allow for the results to come to fruition and I can promise you from what I saw last week he hasn’t lost a step even with a number of injuries in his young career. Liverpool need a win and Sturridge is the sort of guy to make the difference right when Liverpool are desperate for a big outing.
Anthony Martial (Manchester United) Forward – Salary: $7,800:
Anytime I see a striker in this kind of form at a price under 8K, I make it a priority to fit him in somewhere. I’d be wary of overloading with both United front men in a single lineup, but I’d 100% insert one into any lineup I go with. Martial at just 19 years of age has taken the league by storm and already stolen the hearts of the faithful fans of one of the world’s must prestigious and illustrious clubs. He’s a physical specimen (even at his age), full of confidence, cool and composed and if all those attributes weren’t enough to sell you he’s absolutely ruthless in front of goal. Give him an opening and the young French striker will 100% punish you. With plenty of talent beneath him, Martial has one focus and that’s finishing and with the form he’s in there is no reason to think vs. Sunderland that will not continue.
Asmir Begovic (Chelsea) Goalie – Salary: $5,100:
This one’s a simple one. Chelsea goalie vs. Newcastle with less risk than some of the more expensive options in front of him.
Traps to Avoid
Graziano Pelle (Southampton) Forward – Salary: $9,300:
I don’t love Southampton this week. They were fine last week vs. united, but this team is clearly missing some of the spark we’ve seen the past few seasons. While the talent could easily mesh on any day, I think the wingers are the better plays vs. Swansea on this day. While Pelle is a tremdnous goal threat, I’m not sure how much action he’ll see with Swansea’s equally talented squad stealing some of the spotlight. He’ll have a chance or two and might net, but if he doesn’t, you’ll have wished you went with almost anyone else. There are plenty of options this week with more upside and less risk across the board then Pelle, but that doesn’t mean the big Italian isn’t going to be in our future lineups.
Dusan Tadic (Southampton) Midfield – Salary: $9,700:
Dusan Tadic is miserable against bad teams. I’m not sure why, but the winger rarely puts his best performances in when the games are truly tough. Even though he was decent last week vs. United, his contribution wasn’t enough to justify his price tag and with 7 games happening I don’t see why you would spend such a ridiculous number when there is surely going to be performances put on by much cheaper midfielders.
Simon Mignolet (Liverpool) Goalie – Salary: $5,600:
Liverpool can’t even hold a clean sheet against Carlise United, so why do we think things will be any different against anyone else. They will likely be scored on and Mignolet is way over priced to provide you with anything short of a shutout win. Stay the heck away and find a cheaper play, there is plenty of them…trust me you’ll be fine.
Remember to hit me up on twitter with any questions you have @onthelaces.