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Weekly Picks

The Bargain Hunter - Week 31

by Steve Rothgeb
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

I just realized that with my column this week,  I am playing with house money.

 

I cannot go wrong, because if any of my picks go sour, I can always claim next week that this was published on April Fool's Day. How dare you take me seriously on a day like this!

 

The problem is though, I am coming off a hot Week 30, so there will be no "fooling" around. Instead, I have renewed confidence and it is only fitting that I had to wait an additional week to toot my horn about it. Let's review how Week 30 went then before looking ahead, to refresh our memory after a two week hiatus.

 

At keeper, I backed Hugo Lloris. Much to my chagrin, he was injured just two minutes into the match and had to come off. Still, I was pleasantly surprised that Yahoo gave him four points for his efforts. Hey, that's two points per minute. Even Luis Suarez wasn't THAT good in fantasy. Seeing as how I cannot predict injury, I looked at how my backup keeper did, Adrian. He put up a whopping 16 points, so I am giving myself an "A" there.

 

In defense, I backed Ryan Taylor despite having no faith in a clean sheet. He returned a solid 10 points. I have been chirping about Taylor for several weeks now, so allow me to keep my broken record on the shelf. He is still priced at a bargain considering how effective he has been - averaging 8 points per game over his last four and costing only 6.94m as of this writing.

 

In midfield, I struck out. However it has to be said that my pick did do something brilliant since I backed him. I am talking about Nemanja Matic. For Chelsea, he disappointed in fantasy by returning just two points, well below an average week for him. While it ruined what could have been a perfect week for bargain hunting, I felt vindicated for the selection after seeing the goal he scored for Serbia over the international break. Just your typical defensive midfielder scoring on a bicycle kick. Way to go, Nemanja! His price has dropped even further into bargain territory after his 2 pointer, so don't be surprised if you see his name again in the near future.

 

Finally, my proudest moment, the forward selection. Both my featured pick, Diafra Sakho, and my alternative, Bafetimbi Gomis, scored on the day. Double digit returns either way you go. You have to love that.

 

Now we arrive to Week 31. Aston Villa and QPR each have a double this week and it has certainly played a part in my selections. Let's dive right in then:

 

 

 

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Goalkeeper

 

 

Boaz Myhill (West Brom)  With Aston Villa traveling to Old Trafford for one of their two matches and QPR on the road for both of theirs, I think it makes sense to avoid investment from either at the keeper position. Odds are each club will take a loss among the two so while one game may return a decent score, the other game could cancel it out immediately. Unfortunately, the half dozen other options in the bargain range all have unfavorable matchups as well. While monitoring the games from Week 30, I saw what Boaz Myhill was doing. He made over a dozen saves for the Baggies in their 3-0 loss at the Etihad. I went ahead and barndoored him in at 2.80m before prices changed, and I am happy I did as his price is now up to 6.61m, already more expensive than Ben Foster. West Brom host QPR. A Tony Pulis led club playing at home against a relegation zoned Rangers side is always appealing. Naturally, if they can contain Charile Austin, their chances of a clean sheet are high, though Matt Phillips has a knack for grabbing a goal from nowhere. Still, this is the safest play for a bargain keeper. In fact, it may be the only safe player for a bargain keeper. My other option listed below is not done with confidence, but for my money was the next best option out of the bargain lot. You may have heard of him around these parts before. 

 

Other Option for Goalkeeper 


Tim Howard (3.70m, home to Southampton)   

 

 

 

Defender


 

Yun Suk-Young (QPR) Here is a legit double gameweek option that can be had at a bargain price. Suk-Young is only averaging five points per game this season and chances of getting points from clean sheets, goals or assists are pretty slim despite the likelihood that he will be on the pitch for all 180 minutes of Rangers' double. Yet, there is reason to like him. Five points per game averages to a 10 point projection if he is to play both matches. Immediately, considering his 6.40m price tag, he becomes a value pick for this week. Another positive bullet point on the list is the two opponents. While it is true that both are away from Loftus Road, Aston Villa and West Brom are not exactly built on the reputation of scoring goals. Villa have been abysmal at scoring for much of the season until their recent uptick and the Baggies are more about dictating the match through defending than they are scoring. While I wouldn't count on it, it would be a nice added bonus if QPR can keep one of their two opponents out. 

 

Other Options for Defense 


Marcus Rojo (6.16m, home to Aston Villa)       Ryan Taylor (6.94m, away to Sunderland)

 

 

 

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Midfielder



Matt Phillips (QPR) I was worried that Phillips may have been too expensive to list here before I had a chance to look him up but I was pleasantly surprised to see he was still eligible. His zero point return in his last start surely has something to do with it. If you have seen some of the highlights that Phillips has provided since given a chance, surely you have to look past his blank last time out. He looks to have a knack for creating goals from nothing, precisely what Rangers need when they struggle to build up to a scoring chance. He now has 180 minutes to add to his highlight reel. Charlie Austin may be a requirement to own this week but if you are struggling to afford him or you have a front line of players you don' want to sell because of the value you would stand to lose on them, then Phillips can provide an alternative. Granted, an inferior one, but the game is about what a player does in relation to their price. Any double digit return from a bargain player is sound value. With Phillips, I see a ten point return as highly probable, assuming he is healthy for both. 

 

Other Options for Midfield 

 

Scott Sinclair (6.15m, away to Manchester United, home to Aston Villa)    Nemanja Matic (5.39m, home to Stoke City)

 

 

 

Forward

 

Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) First of all, I urge you to monitor the status of Diego Costa as the deadline for Week 31 nears. It is to early to tell right now, but should it appear he missed out the weekend, then one of Loic Remy or Didier Drogba would fill in at forward for Chelsea's home match against Stoke. Remy would be the most likely to deputize, and comes in at just under 8m. Knowing what I know at this stage of the week though, I feel the best bargain at this position is Benteke. It appears the knock he picked up against Swansea is behind him and is heading into the weekend with a clean bill of health. I wouldn't expect much from Villa's first fixture away to Manchester United, but what meager returns that may be had there can just be added to the points he can potentially rack up in the home game against QPR. He just squeaks in the bargain zone at 8.76m and has the potential to be on par with Charlie Austin's production which will cost you 15m instead. Everything equal, I prefer Austin, but Benteke needs to produce just a bit more than half the fantasy points Austin does to validate his price and selection. I think the chances of him hitting that target are high.


 

Other Option for Forward 

 

Bafetimbi Gomis (8.64m, home to Hull City)

 

 

 

  

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

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