Just when you think Luis Suarez has slowed down, he does this: Four goals, an assist, and 6 shots on target among other things for a combined 56 fantasy points. Captaining Suarez this week got me more points than my entire team got in weeks 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11, and 13. That’s incredible and all I really have to say. He’ll be my captain for the foreseeable future each and every week.
Now to everything else that happened during our midweek games:
Crystal palace 1 – 0 West Ham
Tony Pulis enjoyed his first home game in charge of Crystal Palace. A rare Marouane Chamakh goal gave Palace a lead right before half time and they controlled the rest of the game in what ended up as three points. Palace are no longer last in the Premier League and look poised to put up a fight and get out of the relegation zone. West Ham are going in the opposite direction. Carlton Cole started the game for the Hammers but they still struggled in attack and the only player who can create anything on that squad is Ravel Morrison. They are 17th and only three points away from the relegation zone, desperately in need of January’s transfer window.
Arsenal 2 – 0 Hull City
Arsenal took care of business at home in comfortable fashion in a very unsurprising score. Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey had great fantasy days and finished with 18 and 16 points respectively. Olivier Giroud was rested on the day in anticipation of the Everton clash this weekend and he should be a nice fresh choice for fantasy owners. Hull struggled to produce anything on the pitch or on the fantasy sheet. Curtis Davies sat out with a one game suspension because of yellow card accumulation and Robbie Brady is no longer a fantasy option.
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Liverpool 5 – 1 Norwich City
This was more like Luis Suarez 5 – 1 Norwich City. Suarez is simply incredible and is making a statement for the FIFA Ballon d’Or. Apparently only 20% of fantasy managers own him, which is mind-boggling consider how productive he has been. He is fantasy’s top scorer while playing only 9 games. Coutinho and Gerrard continue to be the centerpieces of midfield and will continue producing fantasy points.
Manchester United 0 – 1 Everton
Manchester United continue struggling and loosing all three points at home is unacceptable. Sir Alex Ferguson told United supporters to stand by their new manager, but things are getting ugly for David Moyes and he could be on the hot seat soon. Everton are in fifth place and looking to challenge for a spot in European play. Romelu Lukaku is an important part and looks like the best decision of a Premier League team this past summer.
Southampton 2 – 3 Aston Villa
In my column about Southampton’s success, I spoke about the lack of injuries being one of the factors going into their amazing run. They’ve now lost three games straight as injuries have begun piling up. Artur Boruc is out for an extended period of time, Dejan Lovren missed a game due to illness, and Gaston Ramirez, Morgan Schneiderlin, Nathan Clyne, and Victor Wanyana are all dealing with injuries as well. Unless they are healthy, the Saints don’t have the depth to win consistently. The story to monitor with Aston Villa is that Christian Benteke started the game on the bench and is in a major slump. Avoid for now.
Stoke City 0 – 0 Cardiff City
An expected 0-0 draw as Stoke continue playing better than average defense at home. Both teams needed the point as they are now four points away from the relegation zone. Asmir Begovic is as good of a choice at goalkeeper as anyone when Stoke have a favorable home matchup.
Sunderland 3 – 4 Chelsea
Seven goals at the Stadium of Light accounted for an amazing game. Eden Hazard was the star of the night with two goals and an assist and he should continue to do well as the centerpiece of Chelsea’s attack. Chelsea have not been the best defensively but they’ve also gotten unlucky a few times and I can see more clean sheets in the future. Sunderland are once again dead last in the Premier League and need to change something if they want to stay.
Swansea City 3 – 0 Newcastle United
Newcastle’s recent form came to an end at Swansea as the teams looked a lot like they did last season(Swansea good, Newcastle not). Swansea were still without Wilfried Bony and Michu but Jonjo Shelvey has been spectacular in recent weeks and makes for an interesting fantasy option. Fantasy favorite Mathieu Debuchy scored an own goal and received a yellow card but he is better on most weeks and this performance shouldn’t drive fantasy managers away.
Fulham 1 – 2 Tottenham
Fulham played much better than recently and the change could be attributed to new manager Rene Meulensteen. They couldn’t get any points but it was a great effort from Tottenham and Fulham’s future looks better than it did a week ago. Lewis Holtby scored a spectacular late goal to win the three points for Spurs and that goal saved Andre Villas-Boas a lot of pressure as his seat cooled down by a few degrees. Dimitar Berbatov played great but it’s unknown if that was just a one game effort or the start to a good run.
West Brom 2 – 3 Manchester City
Manchester City were in control for a majority of the game but two late goals by West Brom put fans on the edge for the final minutes of the match. Yaya Toure put in a great display and was on penalty duty, increasing his fantasy value. Sergio Aguero was relatively quiet but scored the first goal of the match and ended with 12 fantasy points. Are Manchester City’s away struggles a thing of the past or was this game an anomaly?
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We have another quick turnaround on our hands so make sure to check out Nik’s fantastic Player Picks for this weekend’s matches.