A low scoring Gameweek seems to be the norm rather than an exception in the Fantasy Premier League World these days. With an average of 45 points and a mere 16 goals scored, Gameweek 12 was no different.
Popular captain picks Alexis Sanchez, Kevin De Bruyne, Dimitri Payet, Riyad Mahrez, Graziano PellA? and Wilfried Bony failed to deliver any attacking returns. None of the 20 teams in the league scored more than 2 goals.
Freak outcomes such as Manchester City failing to score against bottom club Aston Villa, Liverpool crashing to a 2-1 home defeat against bogie club Crystal Palace, and faltering champions Chelsea losing 1-0 away to Stoke (not much of a surprise really) did not help the cause of fantasy managers looking to recover lost ground.
It was not all gloom though. The Jamie Vardy bandwagon continues to roll on. Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane continued their recent goalscoring run. Manchester United secured their 4th consecutive clean sheet at home to West Bromwich Albion.
Here are five things we learnt from Gameweek 12 in the Fantasy Premier League:
There is no stopping Jamie Vardy
Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy continued his astonishing goalscoring run in the Barclays Premier League after netting his 12th goal of the season against a stubborn Watford defence. Vardy has now found the back of the net in his last 9 consecutive matches in the Premier League — which leaves him one goal short of the record set by former Manchester United striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy.
Vardy’s spectacular goalscoring form has propelled high-flying Leicester City into the 3rd place in the league table and only one point behind leaders Manchester City and Arsenal. Priced at 6.0 at the beginning of the season, Vardy’s price has skyrocketed to 7.4 on the back of his goalscoring heroics. He is currently the highest scoring striker in the league with 86 points and the second highest scoring player in FPL overall — only 1 point behind team mate Riyad Mahrez.
To say that Jamie Vardy is a must-have for your fantasy team would be tantamount to employing euphemism at its very best. Get him now!
Sergio Aguero is irreplaceable at Manchester City
Barring the match against an injury-stricken Bournemouth side in mid October, Manchester City have struggled to find the back of the net since the hamstring injury suffered by their talismanic Argentinian striker Sergio “Kun” Aguero while on International duty. Their last 3 matches included two goalless draws against Manchester United and Aston Villa and a controversial 2-1 home win against a struggling Norwich side.
Ivorian International Wilfried Bony has been unable to fill the giant boots left by Aguero since his injury, scoring just 2 goals all season — both coming in the 6-1 win over Bournemouth. Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and Yaya Toure have also failed to deliver big fantasy returns in the absence of Aguero.
Clearly, Sergio Aguero is the only antidote for City’s goal scoring woes in the Barclays Premier League. Pellegrini revealed in his post match press conference on Sunday that the Argentine International is on course to return to first team action after the International break. Fantasy managers across the board would be well advised to start making space in their squads for accommodating the 13.0 rated striker.
In his last match, Aguero tore apart Newcastle United by scoring an astonishing 5 goals in 19 minutes. Pellegrini and City will be hoping for more of the same after the diminutive striker returns from injury.
Louis van Gaal has turned Manchester United into a formidable defensive unit
Louis van Gaal has recently come under severe criticism from sections of Manchester United fans for his “pragmatic” approach. After playing out three goalless draws in all competitions, Manchester United got to back to winning ways on Saturday after recording a 2-0 home win over West Bromwich Albion.
While the lack of goals upfront remains a major headache for Louis van Gaal, the Dutchman needs to be commended for turning his Manchester United side into a formidable defensive unit. Manchester United have amassed 8 clean sheets in the 12 matches they have played this season.
Centre-back Chris Smalling, valued at a hefty price of 6.7, is the highest scoring defender in FPL so far with 64 points. Priced at 5.6, goal keeper David De Gea provides the cheapest and the most secure route into the Manchester United defence. Since the horrific injury suffered by Luke Shaw 2 months ago, Argentine Marcos Rojo (5.5) has slotted in at left back and provides another cheaper option to those looking to reinforce their backlines with a Manchester United defender.
With the schedule smiling kindly until Christmas (Watford (A), Leicester (A), West Ham (H), Bournemouth (A), Norwich (H)), fantasy managers would be well advised to stock up their squads with Manchester United defensive assets after the International break.