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Steve Rothgeb

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Fuzzy's FPL Favorites - GW4

Thursday, August 30, 2018


This one is for the Deuce.

 

I would be remiss if I neglected to acknowledge the retirement of Clint Dempsey before presenting the meat and potatoes of this week's column. What an absolute legend, both for the United States and for every club he played with. Among those clubs, two from the Premier League. He had a season at Tottenham, which being a fan of Spurs and the US National Team was like having a Double-Stuffed Oreo. But the place where he truly made his mark was his days with Fulham. It was during his Fulham days that I started playing FPL and I remember how cherished a player he was in the game. Whenever a double gameweek would roll around, the FPL community was always stressing how important it was to have Dempsey in your side, because he always delivered in those big occasions. And that was pretty much the story of his career, a player who perhaps was not the quickest, not the most skilled or polished player on the pitch, but he had a knack that pretty much every athlete that etches their name in folklore - the ability to rise to the occasion and deliver in big moments. That season where he helped Fulham get all the way to the Europa League final, that goal against Juventus in the knockout stage - simply devine. In total, he scored 50 goals for the Cottagers, proving to the football world that an American can score goals in the world's most competitive league. You will be missed Deuce, but never forgotten.

 

Right, so how to transition this...well, we could begin talking about Fulham. How about that cracking goal from Jean Michael Seri?

 

Transition complete. So, Week 3 had plenty of drama unfold, but there will be little review in the opening here. One could argue I am avoiding rehashing the events from the past round because I am still reeling over the transfer decision I made, which involved moving OUT Lucas Moura. I listed him as a player to avoid buying last week and while I can be chastised for that call after he bags a brace, at least you can rest assured that I am putting my money where my mouth is on these picks, and several times over the course of the season I am going to get burned. It just would have been nice if this particular burn did not feel of a third-degree level. With a 4 point hit included, I flushed 19 points away with one calculated decision that went completely pants.

 

That brings me to the main point I want to address this week. Now, after a tough transfer result like that, along with a red-carded Richarlison, a non-firing Aubameyang and a round score that took a pleasant overall rank and doubled it, red arrows littering the team page - one might suspect that ol' Fuzzy might be considering playing his wildcard.

 

Not happening. This week, I have seen a a massive push on social media to activate one's wildcard. It is not a crazy notion.  Week 4 is probably the first week of the season where thinking of activating the wildcard comes into play, but I would expect that from managers who have had a complete nightmare of a start. The weird thing is, that is not what I am seeing. Instead, many people are ready to reshuffle squads that do not look all that bad to me. I am also seeing many people back the notion of triple captaining Sergio Aguero this weekend against Newcastle. I cannot argue the play. Conventional wisdom suggests the triple captain chip is best utilized in a double gameweek, but we have had this chip thing long enough now to say that conventional wisdom has not really paid off. Managers are beginning to be a bit more bold with the use of their chips and I am all for it. That said, this talk of activating wildcards and playing chips this week is music to my ears. Only time will tell, but for me, the season is early, my team is not a disaster, and I want those weapons on standby. It seems like some managers are trying to secure a good final rank in the first month of the season. For me, I am happy to tread water in the ranks and store my energy, wildcarding in a week that I really need it.

 

 

Fuzzy is not at peak performance levels at this time, please indulge him with his short and sweet thoughts on his picks for Week 4...

 

 

Follow the entire Rotoworld Premier League team on Twitter: Neal | Steve | Andrew | Sean | Stag | Ben | Galin | Nik

 

 

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD

 

So now it is time to look at the players to think about ahead of Week 4. As a reminder, there are four categories of players which I feel are worth mentioning week to week when making decisions about transfers....

 

1) Players to buy

2) Players to sell

3) Players to hold onto

4) Players to avoid buying

 

I will also include later in the section, my top choices for the captain's armband. While I will consider every player from A to Z, you will normally find the usual suspects there.

 

Right, so let's dive in...

 

GOALKEEPERS

 

*Just as a reminder, keepers should always be the last position to think about using transfers for, unless there is an urgent need. So, when you see who I have listed here, bear in mind that my keeper advice does not carry as much weight as the outfield positions.

 

Player to buy: Wayne Hennessey - Play the fixtures with Palace, from keeper to forward. Here's their next five (SOU, hud, NEW, bou, WOL) So usual suspects from the Eagles: your Zaha's and van Aanholt's are worth investment, but so are budget starters like Hennessey, who is already a top 5 scoring keeper at the moment.

 

Player to sell: Joe Hart - After losing the plot completely in consecutive weeks and Tom Heaton getting starts in Europe, I have to think Hart's days are very numbered. 

 

Player to hold: Asmir Begovic - Even if I were on a wildcard, I would hang on to Begovic. The trip to Stamford Bridge might have owners looking to sell but the Cherries have a very nice run of fixtures immediately after their match with Chelsea.

 

Player to avoid: Neil Etheridge - Paying for points that already happened. Cardiff's next five are brutal, with Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City and Spurs on tap.

 

 

DEFENDERS

 

Player to buy: Marcos Alonso - Sometimes, the obvious choice is the right one. I try not to highlight "obvious" choices but I have been driving the same point home in recent weeks - you need to open your pocketbooks for premium defenders, at least two of them. Alonso is the pick right now, with immediate back-to-back home games against Bournemouth and Cardiff that should have you salivating.

 

Player to sell: Victor Lindelof - United are in such disarray and have so many defensive options to choose from, I feel it is best to sell just about any of them, though I fear the ones that start have some good fixtures ahead. The one that seems most likely to stay out after starting the first two games is Lindelof.

 

Player to hold: Everton defenders - Everyone not named Michael Keane that is, who is injured. This is mostly for owners of Leigton Baines or Seamus Coleman. Niether have returned anything on either side of the ball yet, but I would, with admitted reluctance, trot them out for two more weeks, seeing if something can be had from home games against Huddersfield and West Ham.

 

Player to avoid: Jose Holebas - Attacking returns in two of his first three, we all know the ability Holebas offers. I am not going to bring him in now though, with the Hornets facing Arsenal and Spurs in the next few weeks. They also play Man United, but is that scaring anyone at the moment? Still, I prefer my defenders to have some clean sheet potential and I don't see it for Watford in the next few weeks. Holebas will be a player to buy down the road.

 

 

MIDFIELDERS

 

Player to buy: Eden Hazard - Despite only a handful of minutes as a substitute in the first two games, Hazard has managed attacking returns in all three of Chelsea's games. Now that he is back to a starting role, his form and FPL history cannot be ignored. If I were wildcarding, he would be in the squad.

 

Player to sell: Wilian - Hazard in looks to mean Willian out. The Brazilian was the one to drop out with the Belgian's return and with Pedro continuing to produce, it looks to stay that way for at least a little while. It may seem an obvious call but one that needs to be declared based on Willian's ownership percentage.

 

Player to hold: Crystal Palace mids - Luka Milivojevic and Andros Townsend have not delivered returns yet but both are fully capable of breaking through during Palace's lovely schedule. Max Meyer is probably not owned by too many but is another one to have faith in.

 

Player to avoid: Manchester City mids - You may accuse me of riding the fence here by not mentioning a particular player. Rotation in this area for City is killing FPL managers. If you own one of them, you have to start them and hope for the best. City look poised to batter Newcastle, and one or two mids will likely score huge. I would hope to have luck on my side as an owner but I am not testing my luck by trying to pick the right one to transfer in.

 

 

FORWARDS

 

Player to buy: Wilfried Zaha - Notice a pattern? Four players to buy, two from Chelsea and two from Palace. Already owned by nearly a third of FPL managers, Zaha needs to find a place in your side. Yes, Mitrovic had the big week for a budget striker but I think over the course of a long term commitment, 5+ gameweeks, I think Zaha does better and enought to warrant the extra .5m he costs.

 

Player to sell: Roberto Firmino - Nominating a Liverpool player to sell is likely one of those calls to blow up in one's face, but I hope logic prevails here. It seems necessary to have at least one, if not both of Sadio Mane and Mo Salah, plus a defender from the Reds. This is a case where Firmino simply isn't essential enough to warrant a forward spot when you have premium options like Kane and Aguero firing as well as budget options emerging. Back-to-back road trips to Leicester and Spurs seems one of those rare moments where you can get away with dropping someone like Firmino.

 

Player to hold: Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang - I guess this is where I stubbornly stand my ground. Yes, I am not pleased with his lack of touches in Week 3, expecting to see improvement after two tough fixtures to start the season. Maybe I would be ready to sell given a different opponent, but it seems madness to cut any attacking player up against Cardiff, no matter how poor the form. The chance that he may not start due to form is the big concern. Still, a sub appearance against Cardiff can pay off. One more week pal, one more week.

 

Player to avoid: Luciano Vietto - A promising performance from the loanee in his first start, delivering a pair of assists. If he were classified as a midfielder, I might look his way but his pitch time is still too uncertain to take up one of three vital forward slots.

 

 

TOP CAPTAIN CHOICES

 

1) Sergio Aguero

2) Harry Kane

3) Mo Salah

4) Eden Hazard

5) Sadio Mane

 

That's it from me this week folks. Please, bear in mind much can change between the publishing of this column and the FPL deadline on Saturday. Remember, some injuries are not revealed until just before the deadline. Always try to refrain from executing your transfers for as long as possible to avoid wasting it on a player who turns out to have had a problem in training. That said, if you only have just enough money for the player you are looking to bring in and that player is at risk of rising in price, then sometimes you need to take a calculated risk and hope the fantasy gods will be kind to you.

 

Good luck, and may your arrows be green.



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.
Email :Steve Rothgeb





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