Fantasy Football Insider – Gameweek 2: Things looking rosy in the garden of Eden
In what was a chaotic few days in the Premier League overall, one of the new boys suggested he’ll be more than able to live up to the hype.
Gameweek 1 review
By this stage many of you are probably considering a complete overhaul of your fantasy football team because true to form, the opening weekend of the Premier League delivered results and events that nobody could possibly have foreseen.
5-0 wins for QPR and Fulham, a nightmare start for Liverpool and Manchester United being so comprehensively outplayed were some of the less likely scenarios to materialise from the weekend, but at least there was some comfort for fantasy football managers with the Chelsea contingent delivering on their double gameweek.
Six Blues players made the Dream Team after Gameweek One, the most prolific of whom were Branislav Ivanovic (24 points) and Eden Hazard (21), who have developed the unlikeliest of telepathic partnerships at Stamford Bridge.
Despite his awful mistake against Reading, Petr Cech was still good for eight points, Frank Lampard’s two goals earned the veteran 16 points and Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole ended up with ten points apiece.
Not venturing far away from Stamford Bridge, Mladen Petric (16) and our own Damien Duff (13) were the chief benefactors of Fulham’s tonking of Norwich at Craven Cottage and thanks to the QPR defence parting easier than the Red Sea at Loftus Road. The exploits of Swansea duo Miguel Michu (18) and Nathan Dyer (16) left Michael Laudrup and a decent percentage of fantasy managers with smiles on their faces.
Our annual fantasy football call to arms received a more overwhelming response than usual and although we don’t want to scare you by laying on the line just how enormous a task it will be to top the J-League, it’s made up of more than 2,200 entrants this season.
In that event, Richard Snowden started as he means to go on with a impressive 120 points, good enough for an overall rank of 148th in a league consisting of well over two million entrants. Nice.
Richard’s side, Release the Krakens, had Chelsea trio Torres, Hazard and Ivanovic to thank for his massive haul, with the likes of Michu and Thomas Vermaelen also doing their bit. Richard currently holds a six-point lead from James Wong’s Perfect Tactics in second, with Stephen Ruth’s Man Red in the bronze medal position three points further back.
Gavin Gingles’ Meath Lovers Pizza are on 110 points in fourth, two points clear of two of the funnier names we’ve encountered in the league thus far, Mark Kilgallon’s Bacary Lasagne and Paul Murphy’s Poo in a Urinal, a name we hope has nothing to do with any personal reference.
J-League Top 5:
- Release the Krakens – Richard Snowden: 120 points
- Perfect Tactics – James Wong: 114 points
- Man Red – Stephen Ruth: 111 points
- Meath Lovers Pizza – Gavin Gingles: 110 points
- Bacary Lasagne – Mark Kilgallon, Poo in a urinal – Paul Murphy: 108 points
In the garden of Eden
We were beginning to tire of Eden Hazard earlier in the summer when he made his transfer saga into a sort of a football equivalent of Le Bron James’ infamous ‘decision’ to join the Miami Heat a few years back.
Given the clamour for his signature, however, it was obvious that the boy’s a bit special and, having endured a somewhat mixed Community Shield, it didn’t take him long to show the Premier League what he’s made of.
Granted, Wigan and Reading may not have been the toughest of opponents, but Hazard has an astonishing five assists to his name already, more than a quarter of the highest number of assists registered by one player in the whole of last season.
They’re a different type of player, but already Hazard is shaping up to be this season’s David Silva and by that we mean a player coveted by every fantasy manager for his knack of picking up assists, with Hazard likely to score more goals than the diminutive Spaniard as well.
In his last two seasons playing for Lille – he was voted the Ligue 1 Player of the Year in both of them – Hazard scored 34 goals and contributed 26 assists, stats that could cause a wet dream for Fantasy Football addicts.
It’s early days yet of course, but Chelsea look to have recruited a real star in the making and although we tried our damnedest to avoid such an obvious and terribly over-used pun, everyone would do well to heed the Hazard warning delivered by the Belgian new boy in the opening week of the season.
JOE’s Fantasy Football Picks:
Top Dollar: Eden Hazard (£9.6 million). After talking him so much above, Hazard is the obvious choice for our recommendation from the high end of the market this week. Newcastle are better than Wigan and Reading, but in this form, he’ll be very hard to stop.
Mid-Range: Shinji Kagawa (£8.5 million). RVP mightn’t have had much of a chance to make an impact and Wayne Rooney might have toiled badly against Everton, but their Japanese playmaker looked very impressive and would have had an assist or two if United’s forward line were on their toes.
Fulham might have got off to a flier last weekend, but they’re traditionally one of United’s least taxing opponents at Old Trafford and the Red Devils need to get things back on track.
Bargain Basement: Steven Davis (£5.0 million). The Northern Ireland international was always a tidy player with Villa and he’ll fit nicely into Southampton’s attacking system. Already a goal to his name against the champions and we fancy him to add a few assists before the season’s out.
Irish Pick: Ciaran Clark (£4.5 million). The signs are that he’ll be a fixture in the Villa XI this season and he got a good 90 minutes under his belt against West Ham. Providing Paul Lambert can tighten them up a bit at the back, Clark could be a bargain for the year ahead.
Captain’s Pick: Robin van Persie (£13.0 million). Some people will say it’s too early yet, but after their toothless display against Everton we would expect Fergie to shake things up a bit and go with the Dutchman from the start. The prospect of the Red Devils going two games without a goal is almost unthinkable and we’ve a feeling RVP will score his first goal in a different shade of red on Saturday.