A rule of thumb I use to gauge how my week went is to ask myself two questions:

Did I score above the Average Pts?

Did I score half of the Highest Pts?

If the answer to both questions is yes, it’s a good week.

 

Differential:

Captain Kun was worth 40 points against Captain Mo’s 18 points

Jake’s take on clean sheets [https://divefpl.com/portfolio/burn-down-the-house-a-statistical-analysis-of-clean-sheet-potential/] was borne out this week. The Big 6 recorded one clean sheet while the last 6 promoted teams recorded two clean sheets and were the victim of another in GW2.

 

Cardiff v Newcastle

Whoa. The game could have legitimately ended nine-a-side. Kennedy (NEW) and Arter (CAR) were especially lucky to avoid assault charges while Hayden’s premiership debut lasted 20 minutes. The second half sub was sent off, leaving 0.2% of EFL owners wondering how he ended up on their team in the first place.

The soccer gods exacted mild revenge on Kennedy and extracted two points for a last second penalty miss rather than the three he would have dropped for a red card.

Even before the last minute PK save, Neil Etheridge ($4.5 GK – CAR) was the only player in this game that stood out as deserving any consideration at all for an EFL slot. Against inferior competition, Cardiff doesn’t look like scoring a lot of goals. With Etheridge, they don’t look like giving up a lot, either. Shots on goal? That’s another thing entirely.

Also worth a mention, Fabri (FUL – $4.5) has 15 saves against 5 goals conceded and 2 bonus points in two matches. He only has the fifth-best point returns among $4.5 keepers, but he’s earned his 8 points.

 

Speaking of Red Cards:

Vardy (LEI) three game suspension

Wan-Bissaka (CRY) one game suspension

Hayden (NEW) three game suspension

All of them were straight reds. I’ll be keeping Wan-Bissaka in my team, but I might have started him in GW3 against Watford in Shaw’s spot as Manchester hosts Spurs. We don’t have to worry over that anymore. Joel Ward ($4.5) entered W-B’s spot. Worth monitoring closely for a lot of us who own Wan-Bissaka. It’ll be a while before we see Vardy again.

 

Chelsea vs. Arsenal

I have no idea what’s going on with either team. Alonso should have put some concerns that he would be forced to play defense to rest. Ozil looks bad. Aubameyang missed some sitters. Lacazette is a sub. Hazard will be starting games soon. Pedro looks solid. You’d have to assume that both teams will settle down a little bit eventually, but outside of some nailed-on defenders and budget picks like Kante and Guendouzi, these two teams are still a bit of a mystery.

Last week’s call-out Maddison ($6.5 MID – LEI) scored against Wolves.

This week I’ll call attention to Guendouzi ($4.5 MID – ARS). He started again and looked more comfortable than in GW1. Arsenal’s next 8 fixtures are really appealing and they’re bound to figure out how to leverage all their talent into results eventually. Right? He’s not much of a goal threat, but he’s cheap as chips if you’re looking for a rock bottom priced mid who can get an occasional clean sheet point or assist.

Also me last week: “I’m looking at Eriksen as a set-and-forget fixture in my team. I’ll probably sell him in two weeks and regret it.”

Me this week: I haven’t pulled the trigger yet, but I’m almost certain to sell Eriksen for Alli and $0.4 in savings. Alli is looking supremely confident while Eriksen is playing pretty far back and Trippier is taking more of the set pieces that used to belong to Eriksen.

 

Big question on my mind this week:

Can Salah justify his $13 M price tag indefinitely? He’s doing fine so far.

If I wildcarded today (which I won’t):

GK $4.5 $4.5 dealer’s choice

DEF Robertson-WanBissaka-Stones-Bellerin-Mendy

MID Kante-Alli-Mkhitaryan-Mane-Richarlison

FWD Wilson-Aguero-Firmino

That leaves me $0.2 in the bank; I’m not too sure about Firmino though and it’s not very easy to get to Kane from here.

 

Other stuff:

Visiting an overzealous fan at the hospital, giving his jerseys to kids and the Pigeon Dance make Richarlison is a marketing exec’s dream. His price tag and three goals so far are drawing no complaints from EFL managers, either. His twitter feed is worth a visit. https://twitter.com/richarlison97

Glen Murray’s goal left David De Gea looking like he’d just seen a magic trick. Aguero’s third goal was of a similar vintage.

In the US, NBC sports has a handy youtube channel where you can see all the highlights.

https://www.youtube.com/user/2012NBCOlympics

 

My team: https://fantasy.premierleague.com/a/team/318573/event/2

 

And remember, you should dive!

J Hodge

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