It’s week four of the Premier League and I’m guessing by now that you hate your fantasy football team?
Welcome to the club.
So what should you do this week? Well, probably find an article with a better track record than this one. But you’re here now so you may as well read on.
The Kane conundrum
Carrying an £11m striker in fantasy football is a risky thing to do. With no goals (or assists) in his past two games, is it time to start thinking about moving on Tottenham’s Kane if you have him?
Strangely enough, he has actually gone up in value this week to £11.1m, indicating plenty of people have just bought him. For a game against a top-six side.
In those two goalless games he had a combined 49 touches – four in the opposition penalty area – with two shots attempted.
But his goal-a-game record against the Gunners is surely reason enough to keep him for at least one more week.
Alistair Bruce-Ball said on the podcast: “People have completely panicked, chucked the baby out with the bath water and everyone is getting rid of Kane. Why would you do that after one game where nobody gave him a pass to score from? Kane does well in this game normally.”
You might think a 100% scoring ratio would be up there with the Premier League’s best, but more than 20 players have a better than goal-a-game record against certain teams.
One word of advice: if somehow Emmanuel Adebayor ever plays against Derby in the Premier League again, BUY BUY BUY. The 35-year-old, now at Kayserispor in Turkey, scored six in two games against the Rams.
tl;dr – keep Kane if you have him, although maybe don’t buy him in.
How long should we keep Liverpool defenders for?
It’s getting all too predictable now. Three games Liverpool have won. Three games Liverpool have taken a convincing lead in. Three games Liverpool have conceded the final goal of the game to blow clean sheets.
He is not worried about it. “If you look at their clean sheets last season, they kept more than anyone else. Therefore it will happen sooner rather than later. We’re only three games in,” said Sutton.
We talked about it last week too but it’s worth looking at again. Should you be concerned? Liverpool have faced 35 shots – more than rock bottom and point-less Watford, as well as Brighton, Leicester and Sheffield United.
Instead of Alisson behind the back four it’s Adrian.
Plus they face an in-form striker who loves facing the big boys on Saturday. Burnley’s Ashley Barnes (£6.6m) has scored 13 Premier League goals in 2019, behind Sergio Aguero (16) and Sadio Mane (15).
In fact, a third of his Premier League goals have been against ‘big six’ opponents – 12 out of 36. Since his top-flight debut in August 2014, he is one of only five players to have scored against all six (alongside Mane, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jamie Vardy and Georginio Wijnaldum).
tl;dr – get rid of some of your Liverpool defenders.
Load up with Norwich players?
It is a similar dilemma to the one fantasy football players had with Leicester in 2015-16: when are these guys going to stop scoring?
For every Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, there is a Hamilton Ricard (eight in nine for Middlesbrough in 1998-99) or Amr Zaki (four goals in his opening four Premier League games for Wigan in 2008).
And so to Norwich City 2019-20.
The top scoring player in the game so far is Norwich striker Teemu Pukki, who is valued at £7m (up from £6.5m at the start of the season).
The Finn has scored five goals in three games. If he scores against West Ham he will become only the third player to score in his first four Premier League games – after Diego Costa (who scored seven in that time) and Micky Quinn (six).
The sixth-highest scoring midfielder is the Canaries’ 21-year-old Todd Cantwell, who is valued at £4,7m (up from £4.5m) after 19 points, including two assists and one goal.
In their way this weekend are West Ham, who have conceded seven goals in three games.
Hammers striker Sebastien Haller (£7.4m) should also be under consideration after scoring twice at the weekend. Only one team have conceded more goals than West Ham – Norwich.
tl;dr – sign Norwich and West Ham attackers but don’t go near their defenders.
I’ve got one more idea to run past you before you go. Young English Chelsea players. That’s it, that’s the idea.
Chelsea’s transfer embargo – and Frank Lampard’s arrival as manager – have seen a more youthful and English team this season. Mason Mount is the fourth highest scoring midfielder and is available for a snip at £6.2m.
He has the dreaded yellow exclamation mark of doom (75% chance of playing) but Lampard expects him to be fit.
If I can’t interest you in Mount, how about Tammy Abraham, the £7.1m striker who scored twice against Norwich? With a lack of world-class strikers at Stamford Bridge, he could get a proper run in the team. Abraham has scored more than any other English player in the top two tiers since the start of last season, with 28 goals.
Those two have scored all Chelsea’s league goals this season.
tl;dr – sign Mount (and hope he’s fit).
And remember if in doubt, WWPVAD – what would Patrick van Aanholt do?
Last week the Crystal Palace defender picked himself in his team, benched all three players for opponents Manchester United – then scored the stoppage-time winner.
Some other thoughts
- Don’t go for Southampton or Manchester United defenders. The Saints have scored in their past 15 Premier League home games, while United have kept one clean sheet in 14 league match. They play they opening game of the weekend, on Saturday at 12:30 BST at St Mary’s.
- Get Ryan Fraser in? The Scot was involved in three of Bournemouth’s goals in their 4-2 home win against Leicester last season. They meet at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.
- Make Raheem Sterling captain? He has scored five goals this season – level with Teemu Pukki. Only two players (Edin Dzeko and Chris Sutton) have scored six in the month of August. Opponents Brighton have never won a league game at Manchester City (two draws and seven defeats).
- Sign a Watford forward? They have an expected goals (xG) figure of 4.27 in the Premier League this season, but have scored only once. The chances are coming so somebody might start taking them…
- Don’t overload with Wolves players. Juggling the Premier League with the Europa League may see some changes for Sunday’s game with Everton.
All information is correct at 22:00 BST on Thursday night