Gearing Up For the Gameweek

Where I discuss my thoughts on the upcoming gameweek.  I talk about what players and teams to avoid and which to seek out for roster selection.

Gameweek 7 Preview: Saturday Slate

It's time for gameweek 7 and this weeks slates offers a ton of options for stacking due to so many favorite home teams.  The key to this week will be mixing the highest scoring favorite in with the best performers from the lesser picked games.  Lets get into it and break things down game by game.  This will be a 2 part article with the Saturday slate first, followed by Sunday slate later today.

Aston Villa vs Man City

This has the potential to be a trap game as I think many people will load up on City player due to Villa's consecutive 3-0 defeats in the league.  I personally wouldn't want too much exposure to this match, but Villa will be under siege so taking some of City's offensive players in at least one lineup is a good play.  One of Aguero (10.2k), Dzeko(8.9k), or Jovetic(6.6k) along with whoever starts out of Milner (4.5k)/Navas(4.9k) or Silva(7.7k) is a good option to stack.  I've been trying to avoid higher priced midfielders so I might air toward Milner/Navas as they won't need as many points to justify their pick.  On defense Hart(4.7k)/Caballero(3.5k) along with Zabaletta(4k) or Clichy(3.1k)/Kolarov(4.5k) offer good stacking opportunities.  I only recommend getting the City GK if Caballero starts simply because there are better priced options than Hart with a higher ceiling due to not facing many shots.  Kolarov might be a must have if he starts due to his set piece duties, and a start is likely since Clichy has starting the last 2 games and will be on short rest.  Just avoid Villa all together and hope they pull off a 0-0 or 1-0 if you decide to fade City a lot.  City did have a midweek game, but it was at home so that won't hurt them as much as other teams who had to travel for their midweek Europe games.

Hull City vs Crystal Palace

This is actually an interesting game as both teams have shown a propensity for scoring, and not so much for defending.  This is going to be one of 3 games where you will find the best value picks and differentials to go along with one of you favorite stacks.  Hull has scored at least 2 goals in 4 of their last 5 home games including vs City as well as giving up at least one, and Palace has scored 3 in their last 3 on the road.  Hull's starting keeper is out so Harper will be stepping in so I think it is a good idea to avoid their defense all together even though Robertson(3.2k) rates pretty well.  The value in these games will definitely come from the budget midfielders and forwards both teams have.  For Hull Jelavic (5.5k) is too pricey and not as highly rated as Hernandez(4.9k), so I would definitely recommend Hernandez as a value forward pick that a lot of people won't consider getting.  I don't like any of Hull's midfielders.  Crystal Palace on the other hand offers a handful of great value players in midfield and up front, and even though they are on the road they haven't been kept scoreless while on the road this season.  Puncheon(5.2k) rates in the top 15 of my model and combos great with Campbell(4.5k) if you are looking for a contrarian pick.  Bolasie(5.5k) and Jedinak (5.6k) are also options but are over priced compared to Puncheon/Campbell so I would stay away from either.

Leicester City vs Burnley

I love this game, there are just piles of value to be had here as Burnley is absolutely atrocious.  They just lost to a Brom team 4-0 who has a typically bad scoring record so far this season.  Leicester City even though they were handed a tough road loss vs an underrated Palace team, has not lost to Burnley in their last 6 contests and has only failed to score once at home so far this season.  I expect Leicester to really be on the front foot this game and due to Burnleys inability to score they offer a great cheap defensive stack option with DaLaet(3.4k), Konchesky(3k), and Schmeichel (3.7k).  In the midfield Cambiasso (5.2k) and Mahrez(3k) rate similarly, but Mahrez is much cheaper so if he gets a start he is my value pick of the week.  You'll want to pair them with one of Ulloa (7.5k), Vardy (6.5k), or Nugent(4.5k).  Vardy ranks the highest just outside the top 20, but Ulloas PK duty may put him higher.  Nugent is cheaper but ranks much further down the list but also has potential PK duty.  Ultimately it comes down to picking which one fits best price wise with the rest of your lineup.  Personally I'm partial to Ulloa as the guy seems to have a poachers knack, while Vardy / Nugent are better options when Leicester will be on the counter a lot.  Stay far away from Burnley.

Liverpool vs West Brom

I think this is one of the other games that has a potential to be a trap game.  Liverpool are a public team and are thus heavily favored.  Brom on the other hand apart from their 3-0 loss to the Swans have performed admirably on the road holding both Spurs and Southampton scoreless.  I don't expect much from West Brom offensively even though they just put 4 past Burnley and 3 past Hull since those were both home games so I'm not sure I would recommend any of their offensive players as there will be better options elsewhere.  A stack of Moreno(4.3k)/Manquillo(4.1k), Sterling(8.8k)/Gerrard(7.1k), and Balotelli(8.6k) could pay massive dividends if their offense actually beings to click.  Ultimately though I think without the dynamic of Sturridge to play alongside Balotelli their attacking play seems to be impotent.  I will most likely be fully fading them save for maybe one lineup.  My one hesitation from fully fading them is  Balotelli has probably been unlucky to score and ranks highly on my model due to having so many shots and fouls won.  My eye test disagrees with this a bit as most of his shots aren't from good positions and historically he hasn't had a good conversion rate.  When Sturridge comes back I plan on being much more bullish on Liverpool.  The problem with Pool is all their players are basically approaching the luxury price and I think going full value with luxury options sprinkled in is a better option than stacking a lot of upper mid range priced players with fewer value and luxury options.

Sunderland vs Stoke

This may be one of the few games this weekend that doesn't have a lot of goals in it.  Sunderland actually has some high rated options, but they simply don't have the propensity for being a multigoal team.  The Larsson(5.9k) and Wickham(4.7k) combo because of this is a little too pricey for my taste and doesn't really seem prime to offer a multi goal combination.  Pair that with the fact Sunderland hasn't won in their last 5 and have given up 2+ goals at home in 3 of their last 5 this could be another game where you may find some semblance of value on the road team.  However, if you do want to take a gamble you can do so on the Mannone(4.5k) and  Van Aanholt(3.2k) combo but I wouldn't recommend it.  The value in this game could actually come from Stoke who have scored in all of their last 5 away games and were unbeaten in that run as well.  I personally might be fading them all together as I don't like getting on road teams, but this may be a situation where there could be some value as I think they may largely be on the front foot this match.  The 3 options you will want to look at is Moses (5.5k) who is the highest rated player in my model (barely edging out Tadic), Crouch (5.8k) who might be a little too expensive but does  find himself in the top 30 of fwd options, and Arnautovic (4k) who is reasonably priced and will likely not be owned by many.  Ultimately I think if I take anyone it would be Moses as I am super high on him right now and think he could possibly be fixture proof.  I'm not sure this is the week to jump on the bandwagon as I'd prefer to do it in a home game,  but mark my words he's going to be a player that will put up some consistently good point hauls this season.

Swansea vs Newcastle

This game could make or break me this week.  One of my targets this year has been teams playing at home vs Newcastle since their defense has been so woeful.  They also haven't particularly shown much offensively either even though I'm quite fond of Cabella.  Add in all the drama with their manager, and this makes for a perfect storm to pick against.  I think many people we be hugely down on the Swans due to their recent defeats to Southampton, Chelsea, and tie vs Sunderland.  Keep in mind 2 of these were road games with one of them being against the league leaders.  Also the Southampton games is skewed due to the Bony red card.  They've kept clean sheets in 4 of their last 5 at home and scored 3 in two of those games.  I've been high on Bony(5.9k), but he hasn't produced yet after finishing the season emphatically last year.  I jump off on him recently due to the road fixtures, but now is the time to jump back on.  Either him or Gomis(5.9k) will start and at the same price it is a no brainer to pick one of them for your Swansea stack.  Unfortunately a full defensive stack isn't possible due to Richards replacing Rangel and is listed as a Midfielder, but Fabianski (4k) offers the best value next to Schmeichel and Caballero (if starting).  You will want to pair him with Taylor(3.4k) if you go for a Swans stack.  In the midfield Sigurdsson(7.4k) is the obvious pick but if you need to save money Dyer (5.5k) and Routledge(4.5k) offer cheaper options.  I think eventually if/when Newcastle turns their season around they will offer some good value picks between Janmaat/Cabella/Cisse but it won't be this weekend, especially not on the road.

That's it for part one of the preview.  I have to go take care of some errands and will put up part 2 later this afternoon.