Gameweek 17 was full of opposites with every team playing on Saturday failing to keep a clean sheet whilst 3 out of 4 sides on the Sunday failed to find the back of the net. To round things off on Monday night we had a 7-goal thriller with Arsenal beating Reading by a comfortable margin. The shock of the weekend came at Anfield, where Aston Villa defeated Liverpool by 3 goals to 1 with the man mountain Benteke stealing the show with 2 goals and an assist.
Other news included QPR finally notching their first victory of the season and their first under Harry Redknapp, Fulham have been struggling without the creativity and skill of Bryan Ruiz and this set the stage for Taarabt to shine. Elsewhere, another Belgian powerhouse, Fellaini, can consider himself lucky to have only been given a 3-match ban for his numerous attacks on Shawcross during the Stoke-Everton game. However, in Gameweek 17 there are some other players who are more worthy of our analysis, so without further ado here is the Fantasy Premier League Dream Team in a valid formation:
DREAM TEAM ANALYSIS
With Foster still unable to make his return from injury, Myhill (4.4m) continued between the sticks for West Brom and picked up an impressive 9-point haul. Myhill made 3 saves during the stalemate against West Ham and the bonus judges felt that he deserved 2 additional points for his performance. With Foster back in training, Steve Clarke will have the tricky task of deciding who to play in goal for the next Baggies match.
For the first time this season, all 3 dream team defenders come from the same side. Kicking things off at the back we have the matchwinner, Jan Vertonghen (6.3m) who scored the all-important goal in the 1-0 win over Swansea. With Vertonghen scoring his first Premier League goal, this could be a sign of things to come and with Spurs embarking on a reasonable set of fixtures, we may see some fantasy football managers taking a gamble on his skills.
Next up we have the defender who supplied the assist, Kyle Walker (6.1m), who was chosen in our Select XI. Walker has now established himself in the Spurs team and is also taking his fair share of set pieces. It’s tricky deciding which defender is the best option for Spurs defensive coverage as Vertonghen and Walker both have similar prices but with Walker showing a greater potential for attacking returns and costing 0.2m less, we think he edges it.
To finish our backline off we have Kyle Naughton (4.2m) who earned an unlikely start against Swansea. Making only his third start of the season, Naughton impressed in the left-back role and was rewarded with a bonus point for his efforts. It remains uncertain whether Naughton can hold on to the starting role but if he does, he would be an excellent budget option for Spurs coverage.
Santi Cazorla (9.7m) has had impressive statistics all season long and on Monday night he finally delivered, scoring his first ever Premier League hat trick away at Reading. With Wenger finally giving Walcott his opportunity up front, space was created for Cazorla to exploit and he racked up an incredible 23 points thanks to 3 goals and an assist. This win will have lifted a load of pressure off Wenger with the media harshly criticising the French manager in recent weeks.
Alongside Cazorla we have another mercurial talent in Adel Taarabt (5.6m) who Redknapp is banking on to drag QPR out of trouble. He began by scoring a brace against Fulham in the 2-1 win. Taarabt was slightly fortunate with his first taking a big deflection but this second was a delightful finish in the bottom left corner with the outside of his foot. Redknapp will be gutted that he has failed in convincing the Moroccan to stay during the African Cup of Nations and will be hoping that Taarabt comes back in one piece.
Next up we have a Norwich duo starting with Wes Hoolahan (5.5m), who despite having a bizaare surname, managed to inspire Norwich to yet another victory over Wigan. Grabbing a goal and an assist, Hoolahan racked up a strong total of 13 points after being rewarded with the maximum bonus haul from the judges.
His partner in crime was Anthony Pilkington (5.7m), who supplied Hoolahan for his goal and was in turn set up by his fellow team mate for a goal of his own. That goal was Pilkington’s second in his last 3 games but investors should beware as Norwich face both Chelsea and Man City in Gameweeks 19 and 20 where their impressive unbeaten run of games is sure to be given a stern test.
Mentioned earlier in this article, Benteke (6.6m) proved to be the architect in the 3-1 dismantling of Liverpool in front of their home fans. The young Belgian has settled in to life in the Premier League surprisingly well and defences are struggling to deal with his presence. Lambert is finally getting the credit he deserves for giving Benteke gametime ahead of fellow striker Bent. At 6.6m, Benteke is an interesting option for those looking for a budget 3rd striker.
Another player who was particularly impressive in the 5-2 Arsenal win over Reading was Lukas Podolski (8.2m), another Premier League newcomer. The German has barely featured in the last 4 games for Arsenal but he marked his first full 90 minutes of the season with a goal and 2 assists. This takes his tally so far for the season to 5 goals and 5 assists, and for those looking for Arsenal coverage up front instead of in midfield, they may want to consider Podolski’s potential given the uncertainty surrounding Giroud’s gametime.
Finishing things off for Gameweek 17, we have the most expensive player of the fantasy premier league game, Robin Van Persie (13.8m), who is having an incredible season for United. Sunderland didn’t stand much of a chance and Van Persie duly made them pay, scoring his 12th goal of the season and creating another in the 3-1 victory. With the Dutchman in this sort of form, it would take a very good reason for a fantasy football manager to ignore his potential to rack up fantasy points at will.
That concludes our round-up of the top performers from this fantasy football gameweek, how many of these players were present in your squad? Did any of you fantasy football addicts bring in one of these players at the last minute only to be rewarded with a strong points haul? Feel free to get involved by commenting in the boxes below or joining the conversation on Twitter with @FFAddicted. Also, don’t forget to like us on the Fantasy Football Addict Facebook page for your chance to win a detailed analysis of your fantasy premier league squad!
[box type=”info”]If you have any opinions on the Fantasy Football Addict Select XI, please share them with us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by leaving a comment in the box below. Alternatively, you can tweet us at @FFAddicted or leave a message on our Facebook page. Also, don’t forget to like us for your chance to win a detailed analysis of your fantasy premier league squad in our monthly giveaway! For a second chance to win a squad analysis, join our “League of Addicts” by entering the following code: 98894-156973, GET INVOLVED![/box]
Image Credit: Flickr – Ronnie Macdonald
Image Credit: Fantasy Premier League – Dream Team