Steve Rothgeb

The Danger Zone

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The Fantasy PL Danger Zone

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Gameweek 5


With the Manchester Derby this weekend, along with top sides in Champion's League action midweek, there is plenty of reason to be cautious in selecting your team for this Gameweek.  Anticipate some star players to warm the bench.  The purpose of this article is to take a look at some popular prospects you may want to avoid this week for one reason or another, along with some viable alternatives: 


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Michel Vorm (Swansea City) - In reality, Vorm is a fantastic keeper, seemingly courted during every transfer window by the top clubs in Europe since he arrived at Swansea. After a dreadful opening schedule, the Swans have a much friendlier path ahead, and Vorm will be a consideration for me going forward. However this week, even though they are playing a promoted side in Crystal Palace that they should handle, I don't like his prospects regardlss for a couple of reasons, 1.) I don't normally pick a road keeper unless clean sheet odds are extremely high. 2.) I think Swansea as a whole will be a bit fatigued and emotionally drained after their historical Europa League clash with Valencia midweek.

Alternative:  Save some cash at this position this week and look at Tim Krul.  Newcastle have yet to concede at home this term and promoted side Hull City Tigers have yet to score on the road. Krul has amassed double-digit points when at home thus far this season and with the Magpies finding some offensive form of late, I see this match as an out and out win for Krul, and a high probability for a clean sheet. Currently priced at 7.1m, Krul is a bargain this week, and if your 2nd keeper is Rob Elliot, like 30% of  Yahoo managers are, then you have the added bonus of Krul's backup in place should something bizarre happen in pregame warmups. You never know.




Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal) - Arsenal's defense has been somewhat of an enigma this season. They have managed one clean sheet this season, coming against inarguably their toughest opponent, Tottenham. Meanwhile, they were beaten up at home by Aston Villa, and have let goals in against Fulham and Sunderland, two clubs who haven't exactly dazzled anyone thus far. Well, you can blame Koscielny for most of this. In four matches, he has been responsible for conceding penalties in two, and missed another due to suspension....resulting from one of these fouls. One has to wonder despite his regular place in Wenger's XI if that spot could eventually be supplanted by Thomas Vermaelen, who is returning to fitness, can play CB, and made a sub appearance in Arsenal's last match. Either way, I'm avoiding for now.

Alternative:  This is a good week to depend on the highly owned Branislav Ivanovic.  The versatile Chelsea defender has been playing RB exclusively so far this season and is always a goal threat. I like the Blues chances of keeping Fulham out of net at Stamford Bridge this weekend and I think Chelsea are hungry to score after being kept out by Everton last week. While Chelsea have plenty of rotation risks to navigate through, I think Ivanovic is relatively safe and is the most logical choice out of the bunch if you are going to pick one Blue. At 12m, he doesn't exactly qualify as a bargain, but with the matchup and what he can offer, assuming you are savvy enough to have a viable backup option on your bench, he is a no-brainer.


Follow the RotoWorld_PL team on Twitter: Galin | Jeremy | Neal | Nik | Steve 



Phillipe Coutinho (Liverpool) - Expectations were high for the young CAM after his transfer to Anfield last winter, impressing in the second half of Liverpool's 2012/2013 season. He got off to a bang in the opening match this term, notching 14 points for his owners. Since then however, he has been unable to eclipse five points, a run of form that simply won't cut it for a prospect that costs over 10m. Couple that with the fact that he is a slight doubt heading into this Gameweek due to a shoulder injury that saw him subbed off after 55 minutes in the Swansea match, and this situation scream Danger! to me. I still expect Coutinho to be fantasy relevant during the season, but for now, being the highest owned midfielder currently in the Yahoo game (27.65%) cannot be justified.

Alternative: Mesut Ozil. Simples. Currently 8.43m, he needs to be owned regardless of fixture, but a home match for Arsenal against Stoke City not only is enough for me to depend on this world-class bargain, I am currently assigning him the armband. He's 4m less than Steve Sidwell folks. Take advantage of Yahoo's haphazard pricing approach and get Ozil in your squad before his price begins to soar.


UPDATE: An update on Coutinho's shoulder injury has revealed that he is set to miss a significant amount of time because of necessary surgery. He must be replaced immediately if still in your squad.



Danny Welbeck (Manchester United) - I feel Welbeck shouldn't even be worth mentioning, but he's currently the 4th highest scoring attacker and ranks 8th in ownership. Danny is suffering from an injury at the moment that kept him out of United's PL clash with Crystal Palace and their midweek CL match against Bayer Leverkusen, not making the bench for either game. He is not currently flagged as injured in the game but even if fit for this weekend, it's the Manchester Derby at the Etihad, United have made some additions at the end of the transfer window, Rooney is back and looking sharp, Nani just signed a contract extension....there are just too many red flags here. Drop him.

Alternative: With the Manchester Derby, and the expensive players associated with it that I think are best to avoid this week, owners should be capable of splurging their budget on top non-Manchester options at the attacker position, with Daniel Sturridge as my personal top ranking choice. Four games, a goal in each, home to Southampton. 18m is nothing to sneeze at budget wise, but with this week's list of fixtures, as mentioned throughout this article, I think managers can cobble together a very strong squad by finding budget options in midfield and throwing a ton of cash into attack. Give me Sturridge and let me smile at another of his patented goal-scoring celebrations.



Steve Rothgeb is a contributor for and, a self-proclaimed fantasy sports oracle, and Tottenham Hotspur fanatic. He can be found on Twitter @FuzzyWarbles.
Email :Steve Rothgeb

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