The Good, The Bad, and The Smugly: Our writer picks out 3 fantasy picks with contrasting fortunes so far this season.
Marcos Alonso. Alonso is very good right now, he has been killing it thus far (no pun intended). He’s the top scoring player on FPL currently, and a defender at that. He’s been efficiently prowling that left-wing so much so that he makes Benjamin Mendy look lazy, and that takes some going. Five assists and a goal in four games?!
Ludicrous, you’d think. Not for Marcos, he’s proved his weight in gold in that Chelsea squad. Things don’t look to be souring too soon, either, as The Blues take on Cardiff this weekend. I think Cardiff have been poor in their opening games, and I don’t see fortune turning in their favour anytime soon. I’ll wait for them to prove me wrong, but as I see it now, they are a stagnant team, and a perfect candidate for relegation.
The same was said about Huddersfield last season, but they hit the ground running hitting two for two victories in their first couple of games. Cardiff? Not so much. Two points and two goals from four games. An uninspiring team whose best asset is Neil Etheridge. This is surely an easy clean sheet for Alonso, and if Chelski continue to flake goals in, he’s bound to either grab one himself or set one up. Heck, he may even get a bonus point or two.
I think Alonso is essential at the moment, especially in Sarri’s offensively minded side. Currently sitting at 40.6% ownership and £6.8, he’s a must-have in my book.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Auba takes the ‘Bad’ biscuit, scoring a measly 0.040PPM (Points Per Minute). For relatability, Alonso sits at 0.122PPM. Aubameyang is underperforming massively for his price tag of £10.9. This is a surprise seeing as how elegant he started Premier League life last season, scoring 10 goals in 13 games. Savage stats for a man who joined Arsenal in January.
This season, though, he’s not been at the races. In his first game, against City, he looked lethargic. The same can be said for most of the squad that day, but being arguably the club’s best player he should be coming to the fore for Arsenal. The Gunners changed their tune in the second game against Chelsea, in a respectable 3-2 defeat. Unfortunately, Aubameyang did not. He should have had two goals this game, missing one opportunity where even pre-retirement Heskey would have found the net.
Aubameyang’s Fortunes Changing?
Things were on the up against West Ham. He was starting to get shots on target, and himself and Lacazette looked to be forming a nice partnership. The tide finally turned against Cardiff, where he opened his 18/19 Premier League account with a goal.
Arsenal face Newcastle on Saturday. This is a tough one to predict for Pierre. He’s got a goal to his name, has improved his confidence, and is playing a fairly beaten-down Newcastle team. The sky is the limit, surely? Maybe not. The Magpies aren’t on their best form, but can be resolute at home against big teams. Having said that they have lost both home games so far this season to Spurs and Chelsea respectively. I wouldn’t discount Benitez, though, as he always seems to have a trick up his sleeve.
If you don’t already own Auba, I would leave off buying him until next week. He is an undisputed goal machine though, so if he picks up at least one against Newcastle, that could be the beginning of a very beautiful story.
Roberto Pereyra. I had my eye on Mitrovic for this prestigious ‘Smugly’ Award. Alas, Pereyra beats him to it. Weighing in at £6.3 and 28 points, he’s undeniably the most smug bastard in the league. Compared to Salah’s price, you could buy Pereyra twice and still have some shrapnel leftover.
He’s been invaluable to Watford’s glorious start this season, scoring 3 goals in 4 games. In fact, if you take out his goals, Watford would be down 4 points. He is playing quite a similar position to last year, alternating between Left Attacking Midfield and Centre Attacking Midfield. However, his rewards this season haven’t come from a positional change on his part, it’s due the new two striker setup, with Gracia opting to play both Deeney and Gray.
A bold and worthwhile decision, it seems, as Watford are undefeated so far, even dispatching Spurs in their most recent game. Watford face United in their next fixture. A difficult game overall, but seeing as we’re looking at Pereyra and not a Watford defender, I reckon it’s a good game. The United defence is very shaky and there’s no concrete selection in their back-four.
Their best defender, Shaw, may be sidelined this weekend and the centre-half conundrum is a shambles. I’m sure this is an angle that Pereyra will be looking to exploit. If you’re looking for a budget midfielder who is involved in his side, Roberto Pererya is your man. His price tag gives you room to manoeuvre for the more expensive must-have players. By god, don’t we know there’s a lot of them this season.