For this week, let me go ahead and get the obvious out of the way. Chelsea and Aston Villa have a blank this week. REMOVE them from your team. Post haste.
Situations to avoid:
Asmir Begovic (Stoke City) - Begovic is a top 5 scorer for keepers in the early going and is fairly priced at about 10m. Generally, Stoke play tight at home, and Begovic represents good value in those situations. I do not like the Potters chances of going to West Ham and keeping a clean sheet or coming away with a win. Remember, a win is a big fantasy points earner in the Yahoo game for goalkeepers.
Alternative: Spend an extra million and change at the position this week and get Man City's Joe Hart. Yes, City were embarrassed by Cardiff last weekend. Yes, Hart has not looked the England #1 he normally does, but I think a home game against Hull City is just what the doctor ordered. Pellegrini knows he has a bevy of attacking options, and scoring against Hull City shouldn't be an issue. I expect the focus of this match to be on their defense, and assuming Javy Garcia will never make another appearance at CB again....ever....then I trust a clean sheet from City more than any other club this gameweek.
Steven Whittaker (Norwich City) - What's this? 4th highest scoring defender thus far? Home game against Southampton? Only costs 8.7m? What's not to like here? Unfortunately, there is a high probability he will be dropped from Norwich's starting XI this gameweek, as Seb Bassong looks set to lead the Canaries defense at CB after recovering from injury. This will likely shift Russell Martin over to RB, giving Whittaker nowhere to play. Avoid.
Alternative: Save a couple of million and give Newcastle's Matheiu Debuchy a try. In relationship to other defenders pricing to start the year, Debuchy's price was a real head-scratcher. In a good way. He is very cheap, and while Newcastle currently don't have much attack about them at the moment, their defense isn't as suspect. A home game against Fulham could offer up some fantasy returns at a discount price.
Marouane Fellaini (Everton) - As things stand right now, with Darren Gibson injured and Ross Barkley catching everyone's eye, Roberto Martinez has Fellaini playing a deeper, more defensive role in midfield than the Belgian occupied last year under David Moyes. Should Fellaini stay at Goodison park, Barkley falls out of favor, and Martinez fails to add any new players to his midfield, Fellaini could become a fantasy goldmine again. But for now, there are better options that are cheaper, even within the same team.
Alternative: Save 3m and opt for West Ham's Kevin Nolan this week. Nolan has been a very consistent fantasy producer for the Hammers in their home fixtures in recent seasons, and I expect that to continue this week against Stoke City.
Ricky Lambert (Southampton) - Don't get me wrong, I love Lambert. There's only one Ricky Lambert. But in the Yahoo game, for now, I must avoid. First off, Southampton just spent a ton of cash on Pablo Osvaldo. Osvaldo is being eased into matches, but considering the investment the Saints made, you have to think he will be a regular starter in short time. Jay Rodriguez is also in the picture and pitch time for these three options may evolve into a timeshare: 2 starting, 3rd subbing in. I still like Lambert of the bunch, but his price as a forward in the Yahoo game is just too steep when you compare to other options and there are only 3 coveted spots to fill at the position.
Alternative: So why not try any of the cheaper options? With so many top clubs battling each other this weekend, making attacking choices a bit tougher to predict, this is the route I recommend.....RVP, Aguero, and one of many great options for under 10m. If you find you have the money to do RVP, Aguero, Lambert, then by all means, be my guest. Otherwise, I recommend giving that 3rd spot this week to Ricky van Wolfswinkel as my budget striker pick to click.