Who’s heading into your Fantasy Premier League team for GW3?
GK – Wayne Hennessey (CRY) £4.5m
Crystal Palace got off to an unconvincing start to the season with a 0-3 home loss to surprise package Huddersfield. FPL managers could not be blamed for dumping their Eagles defensive representatives after that result; especially with a trip to Anfield in GW2. However, despite a 1-0 loss, the star performer – both on the pitch and in terms of fantasy points – was Wayne Hennessey.
He returned a cool 9 points courtesy of 12 saves (4pts), maximum bonus (3pts) and appearance points (2pts). With Frank De Boer eager to tighten up the defence (it is his area of expertise after all) and a fixture list that’s kind on paper at least for the next few weeks, it may be worth reinvesting in the Palace backline, and I can see no greater value than in the Welsh International keeper.
Fixtures: SWA / bur / SOU
DEF – Marcos Alonso (CHE) £7.0m
Well, what can I say? After a zero point return in the opening game at home vs Burnley, the Chelsea wing-back was considered by many to be a luxury asset and was dumped by over 65k of managers. Lo and behold, he pitches up at Wembley to take on Spurs and almost single-handedly annihilates them.
Two goals, maximum bonus and appearance points saw a 16 point haul which could have been way more if it hadn’t been the clean sheet wipe out by his own team mate late on in the game. He’s a defender playing effectively as a midfielder, and his hefty price tag reflects that – but is he a must-own in this vein of form?
Fixtures: EVE / lei / ARS
MID – Richarlison de Andrade (WAT) £6.0m
After a stellar start to the season with an assist at home vs Liverpool and a goal plus man of the match performance away vs Bournemouth, it is Richarlison that is the talk of the Twitter FPL community at the moment. Ok, so he doesn’t play for a “fashionable” club, but he appears to already be the main creator and influencer at a club that seem to be way more organised and threatening under new manager Marco Silva.
One word of caution though; he may be being eased in gently. So far he has racked up 41 minutes in the opening game and 79 minutes in GW2. But I think he’s definitely a viable option for at least the next few weeks, and maybe beyond.
Fixtures: BRI / sou / MCY
FWD – Javier Hernandez Balcazar (WHU) £7.1m
Chicharito, Little Pea – whatever you want to call him, there’s no doubting the guy’s pedigree, and after a poor FPL return on the opening day away at his old employers at Old Trafford, he reintroduced himself to the Premier League with a bang in GW2 down on the South Coast vs Southampton. Two goals, maximum bonus points and 13 points were banked for his many owners.
I was somewhat surprised how many FPL managers have already taken the plunge; over one in four teams at the time of writing and it is rising steadily. West Ham are about to play their third successive away game due to the recent Athletics competition held there, but the fixtures are still very much in their favour and in Chicharito they may have finally found themselves a forward who can score consistently and importantly, stay fit!
Fixtures: new / HUD / wba
PLAYERS TO WATCHLIST
MID – Jese Rodrigues Ruiz (STO) £6.0m
To be honest, I was very tempted to throw Jese in the above category at the expense of Richarlison, but there is something about Stoke that I inherently mistrust. Mark Hughes has a tendency to unearth these gems from the big clubs around Europe but struggles to coach any kind of consistency into them. I have a feeling this could be the case with Jese and he could go the same way as Arnautovic, Bojan and Shaqiri before him; i.e. one great game in every five. For me, until I see the kind of consistency that makes him an FPL asset, I will place him on the Watchlist and monitor closely.
FWD – Manolo Gabbiadini (SOU) £7.0m
He may have got off the mark in GW2 with a goal at home vs West Ham, but I continue to have a nagging doubt over the goal scoring abilities of Gabbiadini. He appears to have beaten Charlie Austin to the punch in the starting striker berth so obviously his new manager sees something in him, but I’m getting a sense of Déjà vu from last season, when he scored four goals in three games after signing for the club in the January transfer window and then did nothing else for the remainder of the time. Saints have kind fixtures though, so he’s definitely one to keep an eye on, but I wouldn’t take a punt on him just yet.
If you’re not the superstitious sort and don’t believe in the “Saturday Lunchtime Captain Curse” then you may wish to hand the armband to one of your Man City players who travel down to Bournemouth who have yet to register a goal yet this season. David Silva has been excellent in both games so far; Kevin de Bruyne has yet to come good (although beware his current role that is seeing him sat much deeper than last season); Gabriel Fernando de Jesus hasn’t opened his account yet, but to be honest for me the stand out option for the armband from the Man City players this week could very well be:
BRONZE PICK – Sergio Aguero – He was very unlucky not to add to his opening day goal vs Brighton in the draw with Everton. He is looking lively and seems to be relishing the fight with Jesus to prove he is still Top Dog.
Man Utd host Leicester in the Saturday evening game and no doubt for the third week running the most popular FPL captain choice will be Romelu Lukaku. And why not? 3 goals already and the games highest owned player (approaching 58%), many have seen this season as “fire and forget” and are just going to leave the armband on him for 38 games barring suspension or injury. Another popular choice will be Paul Pogba, but a word of caution here; his points scoring contributions appear to be coming late on in games after the introduction of subs like Herrera or Fellaini which free him up to get higher and therefore in on the action. The Utd defence looks more resilient this year and you could do worse than captain one of their defensive assets or even keeper David de Gea, but with the wealth of attacking talent on display that seems a little dull for me. If you own him, then for me the next best option after Lukaku is:
SILVER PICK – Henrikh Mkhitaryan – He’s sad double digit hauls already (11 and 10pts) in the form of 4 assists plus bonus points in each of the two games so far, he is finally starting to fulfil his potential.
GOLD PICK – Harry Kane – Oh Harry. Where did it all go so wrong? The most expensive asset in FPL this season at £12.5m, it appears the August Hoodoo is actually a very real affliction and poor old Kane does indeed have some curse on him that prevents him scoring in the Premier League during the 8th month. Except it’s a load of rubbish. I can almost certainly maybe positively guarantee (with a disclaimer) that he will bust this myth apart at Wembley on Sunday afternoon when Spurs host Burnley.
Written by @FPL_Fly