Gameweek 9 Fantasy Premier League Tips & Talking Points

Gameweek 9 Fantasy Premier League Tips & Talking Points:

Just to review, here’s how I started out last week’s tips article in regards to players returning from international duty: “…will some random player pick up a knock that isn’t reported until a day or two later? It’s happened before. Will a South American player simply be given a bit of rest upon returning due to the demanding travel schedule? We’ve also seen that in the past. The truth is, the first game back from international duty is always a bit tenuous.”

What can I say? I feel somewhat vindicated. I hate the first game back from international duty. I think every Aguero owner out there wishes he would’ve just stayed benched, right? And who doesn’t secretly think that Tottenham would’ve won their game outright had Son played more than a handful of minutes? You can look at multiple games and just shake your head at what a mess it was. So did we have phenomenal scores? Not so much. But this week is a return to some normalcy – just cross your fingers that European play doesn’t continue to affect roster rotation…

We’re not out of the woods quite yet, so here’s what we got for this week…

Guy’s 5 Tips For Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 9:

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#1) Can you trust any piece of Manchester United to give you fantasy points?

(2:08 on the podcast. Click here to start the podcast from this point)

I guess maybe you can trust the defence? Probably? But maybe not all the time? We do know that the attacking portion of that team is a mess right now – and that’s not just me being a Man U hater (though at this point, who isn’t?), that’s just based on the data that they have produced in these last 4 or 5 games.

Nobody really gave United much of a shot in this last match vs. Liverpool, but we still expected more. I don’t have the particulars here in front of me, but Man U have built a team that cost them hundreds of millions of dollars, and they looked like they played for the nil-nil draw there. You can’t have that kind of firepower and just sit on it. How ineffectual was the Man U attack? They had 7 shots in that match, just one on goal. They earned a single corner. Their accurate passes were 259 to Liverpool’s 509. And the big man up front? Look at his BPS score right now for that game, it’s a -9. That’s right, a negative BPS rating. Until now, I didn’t realize it went that low.

And Ibrahimovic’s stock is rightly falling, but he’s still owned by over 40% of all players. That’s staggering to me. It’s now been 4 rounds without a goal, and he just earned a -9 BPS…what am I missing here? Is it that people think that Man U will suddenly turn this ship around and go back to scoring 4-5 goals per game on the regular? In their last 5 matches, they scored 4 against Leicester while at home; however, every other game in that series was either at 1 goal or no goals at all.

Do you realize that Wayne Rooney is still tied for the team lead in assists with 2? The man has played a total of 46 minutes in the last 3 games combined and nobody else was able to pass him in assists. I think it would be disingenuous to say that the team is ‘broken’. That’s a rather harsh term that’s often used as a throwaway comment. But I will say that the team hasn’t been assembled properly out of the box. If there was ever a time to consider dumping those huge salaries for a better option on your team, it’s now.

#2) Is Junior Stanislas worth the risk?

(6:32 on the podcast. Click here to start the podcast from this point)

Most people have already locked in their value mid for the next extended period. Those who jumped on Capoue early aren’t thrilled with his most recent scores, but he’s not a liability for his price, so why move him? Or maybe you don’t have Capoue but you have a player like Snodgrass who occasionally scores every few games in the 93’ minute. At his price, he’s also not a huge liability, so why waste the transfer?

Kind of like the case with Heung Min Son, a player like Stanislas is looking like a much better buy now that he’s getting full 90 minute starts. Prior to his first 90 minute game in GW6, Stanislas had a total of 5 points from his two appearances. After he became a full-timer? 3 goals, 3 assists and 36 points from 3 weeks’ work. It’s hard to argue with those results.

And the good news is that he could continue this kind of pace against his upcoming schedule, which includes: Tottenham, Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Stoke. Tottenham will be tough, but past that? Huge opportunity.

#3) Move over Stoke, who plays Sunderland this week?

(9:08 on the podcast. Click here to start the podcast from this point)

When we started this article series, we really picked on Stoke. And it was totally justified. They weren’t just losing games, they were losing by huge margins. Now, are Stoke all fixed and ready to start winning regularly? Not by a long shot. Stoke are, however, showing that they do have some pieces on that roster that will naturally play well enough to get a few results here and there.

Sunderland, on the other hand, are the real deal. Stoke covered up how bad Sunderland were with their play early on – but make no mistake, Sunderland are the genuine article, the worst team in the league. Not only have Sunderland not actually won a game yet this season, they look primed to really try to not win a single match all year.

And this week Sunderland will travel away to West Ham in a match that the Hammers desperately need. And West Ham have really kind of pulled it together long enough to stop the bleeding, at least on the defensive end. Since going through that phase of giving up multiple goals per match, they were able to allow just a single goal in GW7, and they got a clean sheet in GW8. It’s still too soon to tell if their ills have been sorted in the back (the addition of Cresswell will help a ton…after his red card suspension), but they’ll look better than advertised against a team like Sunderland.

Interesting to note that Michail Antonio is currently the most transferred out midfielder so far this round. I’m wondering if that’s not a bit premature given the great West Ham matchup this week.

#4) Leicester are actually very good…at home

(13:17 on the podcast. Click here to start the podcast from this point)

Leicester were blanked 0-3 on the road to Chelsea last weekend, and that pretty well fits their script this year. Travel, then lose. And of course, we see a new round of people selling off Vardy and Mahrez on the most transferred-out list. But selling them off prior to a home match may not be the best course.

All 8 of Leicester’s points have come at home this year. They have 3 clean sheets, 1 goal allowed, 5 goals scored and no losses in 4 home matches so far. It’s crazy to see a team be as Jekyll/Hyde as this, but the results are what they are. Leicester are just on another level at home that they can’t seem to achieve while traveling.

So maybe Vardy isn’t the best bet right now, but any midfielders and defenders you have from them are worth a hold this week at the very least. The next three home fixtures that Leicester will play will be against Palace, West Brom and Middlesbrough. Will the road fixtures in between those games make them worthy of a spot in your lineup? They will play Tottenham in GW10, but after that, they’ll get Watford and then…Sunderland. I’m not saying that you should go out and buy them right now, but if you’ve got them, let them ride another round and then see how you feel.

#5) So, about Walcott and Alexis…

(15:45 on the podcast. Click here to start the podcast from this point)

I had something else planned for this space, but let’s touch on my point again from last week. I made the case that you had to have coverage from Arsenal in some fashion (I know, very bold of me). But the larger point was to caution people choosing Walcott over Sanchez, and trying to tell them to plan for how get Sanchez in their squad if Walcott ever went down.

But you know what? Maybe both need to be in your team. I was wrong. The argument shouldn’t be about having one over the other, it should be about who you need to drop to get both on your team in tandem. We can get very hung up on where the FPL game lists players for roster selection. And we get very weird about having two midfielders or two strikers from the same team on our roster’s at once. But in this case, it’s worth it.

In the Champion’s League game midweek, who were Arsenal’s first two goal scorers? Walcott and Sanchez. And last week? Walcott got the goals and Sanchez was still on an assist. This coming week against Middlesbrough, why should we think that either of these two will slow down?

So I’d like to recant my last advice about these two players and amend my stance to say that both of these players should be in your squad. I don’t know if I’d call them ‘must haves’ quite yet, but they’re as close to that status as you can get. I will say, I believe so much in these two playing together right now that I went and changed my team to include them both. This isn’t passive advice, I think they’re the real deal this year – past injuries be damned!

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