The big hitters continued to rake in the big points as managers saw yet another high scoring game week in one of the most tumultuous seasons ever witnessed in the Fantasy Premier League world.
Chelsea, Arsenal and Watford were the only 3 teams to record home wins this week as Premier League’s so called minnows continued to defy the odds by securing upset wins over their much fancied opponents.
Arsenal reasserted their title credentials by beating Manchester City at the Emirates, Leicester City bandwagon continued to roll on, Watford gave Klopp’s Liverpool an almighty thumping at Vicarage road, unfancied Norwich City secured a shock win over Louis Van Gaal’s stumbling Manchester United and Chelsea got back to winning ways against Sunderland to kick off the post-Mourinho era.
Here are the 4 major talking points as Gameweek 17 came to its conclusion on Monday.
1. Manchester United are FPL Junk at the moment
The return of Chris Smalling at the heart of Manchester United’s defence against Norwich failed to stem their free fall down the Premier League table. The Red Devils put in an abject display in front of the Old Trafford faithful and were deservedly beaten 2-1 by an excellent Norwich City side.
The irrelevance of Manchester United’s attacking players for our FPL teams in the near future can be very well gauged from the fact that they have mustered a mere 7 shots on target in their last 4 matches. At the back, United are currently missing Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian through injury. The usually resilient Manchester United backline has failed to keep a clean sheet in 4 of their last 5 Premier League encounters.
Fantasy managers would be well advised to steer clear off Manchester United’s Fantasy assets for the time being.
2. Everton-Leicester lived up to its Fantasy billing
Fantasy managers expected massive fantasy returns as high flying Leicester City travelled to Goodison Park to take on a free scoring Everton side. And they weren’t disappointed as both teams played out a highly entertaining 5 goal thriller that eventually went in Leicester’s favour.
Riyad Mahrez continued his astonishing goal scoring record as he dispatched two penalties on the way to yet another double figure return (15). His partner in crime, Jamie Vardy, reaffirmed his status as FPL Gold as he chipped away with 2 assists to notch up attacking returns in 15 consecutive matches.
On the other side of the divide, Everton striker Romelu Lukaku scored for the 7th match in succession to take his season’s goal tally to 13 and render him a must have in your fantasy squads. Midfielder Ross Barkley served up 2 assists and 1 bonus to maintain his position as the 3rd highest points scoring midfielder in FPL at the moment.
3. Watford continue to defy Fantasy odds
Quique SA?nchez Flores’s Watford side upset the fantasy odds as they demolished Liverpool 3-0 at Vicarage Road on Sunday. Odion Ighalo continued his remarkable goal scoring streak by netting a brace against Jurgen Klopp’s side and condemning them to their 2nd successive defeat in the league. Ighalo has now scored 12 goals and provided 5 assists in his maiden season in the English top flight.
Elsewhere, Ighalo’s strike partner Troy Deeney chipped away with an assist to record attacking returns in 5 of his last 7 matches in the league. Owners of Watford’s defensive assets were rewarded as well as they hung on as the Hornets hung on to record their 3rd consecutive clean sheet. Left back Nathan Ake (A?4.4m) scored Watford’s opening goal on the night and went on to reward his owners with a massive 14 point haul.
Although Watford have a tough upcoming Christmas schedule (Che (A), Tot (H), Man City (H)), Fantasy managers will find it extremely hard to drop their Hornets assets given their incredible run of form.
4. Mesut zil is pure FPL Gold
Arsenal midfielder Mesut zil took his season’s assist tally to 15 as he set up both the goals to propel the Gunners to a 2-1 home win over title challengers Manchester City. zil has ratcheted attacking returns in 14 of the 17 matches in the league this season – rendering him a priceless fantasy asset.
The German playmaker is also a bonus magnet having accumulated 20 bonus points over the course of the season given his excellent all round stats. Mesut zil outstanding form will be pivotal to Arsenal’s title ambitions come the end of May next year. The same can be said of his fantasy appeal as well.