Wait, Manchester United lost to who? One of the richest and most popular clubs in the World fell to the hands (or feet) of Norwich on Saturday.
That’s right, a team scoring almost three goals per game lost to a team that was scoring less than one goal per game with a goal differential of negative 10. About zero people predicted the Canaries to come away with a win. Don’t forget, they also beat Arsenal and Tottenham (Capital One cup) in the past month, as well.
What does this mean for your Fantasy squad? Norwich is by far the best-valued squad when looking at defenses. John Ruddy only costs 4.6m (at the official game at premierleague.com) and has four clean sheets in his last five matches. He has more points than any other keeper does in the Premier League. Joe Hart has 14 less points yet currently costs 2.3m more. That’s the difference between having Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney on your team.
As for the Canary defenders, none of them cost more than 4.5m. Javier Garrido had the assist against Man United and now has bonus points in two straight games. He has five more Fantasy points than Patrice Evra, costs a lot less and is owned by about five percent less of contestants. Sebastien Bassong and Michael Turner also deserve a mention on the back line, as they have been key in Norwich’s current run.
In the other matches, red cards took the headline. Emmanuel Adebayor scored and then was sent off shortly after against his former club. Arsenal went on to score five goals after Adebayor was given the boot. The same story can be said about Brede Hangeland for Fulham. He got a red and offensively challenged Sunderland proceeded to put three in the back of the net. Marouane Fellaini picked up only a yellow card in their road loss at Reading, but that still lead to a two-game suspension for him since it was his fifth of the campaign.
Liverpool and Manchester City were favorites of most Fantasy owners as they combined for an 8-0 score line. In form striker, Luis Suarez, scored twice while defender Jose Enrique scored, assisted and got full bonus points. He was my No. 1 defender in last week’s rankings.
As for City, it took some time but they got back to scoring big against Aston Villa. Carlos Tevez had two goals and two assists while David Silva once again showed life with a goal and two assists. Sergio Aguero made an appearance as well, scoring twice.
Swansea continues to defy odds with their always-productive midfield. Pablo Hernandez, Johnathan de Guzman and Michu all found the score sheet in a road win. QPR lost yet another disappointing game, but this one came at home against the club that is directly above them in the table. Never a good thing.
In somewhat of an upset, West Brom took out Chelsea on the legs of their usually consistent forwards. Peter Odemwingie and Shane Long both grabbed goals while Chelsea looked largely unimpressive for most of the game. West Brom continues to impress every week.
Instead of going defensive, it’s time to focus on some attacking options.
Man United vs. QPR
United is not happy coming off a loss and QPR gets them at the most unfortunate time.
Everyone knows about Robin van Persie so he shouldn’t come as a surprise. Rooney will be back from illness and couldn’t pick a better time to break his scoring streak. Each of them was rested for their midweek Champions League match. My top defender choice, Patrice Evra, will also have full strength for this one.
The hardest part to decide on United is their midfield. Shinji Kagawa is out for another month which means both Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia will continue to get starts. Each of them presents a risk, especially for their price, but each has plenty of upside in this match.
Stoke City vs. Fulham
This may be a surprise choice, but hear me out. No one else will be looking at Stoke City players for good reason; they only have 10 goals through 12 matches. However, on the other end of this, Hangeland will not start for the first time all campaign for Fulham. Not to mention, Fulham has allowed eight goals in their last three road matches and 11 goals in their last four matches overall.
Peter Crouch is basically their only true forward that needs to be looked at. He hasn’t scored in six straight gameweeks, but that is about to change. Charlie Adam is easily their most popular midfielder and he should grab at least an assist in this one. Jonathan Walters is another option to check out, but make sure he’s playing first as he’s dealing with a knee injury. Defensively, Ryan Shawcross and Robert Huth are always good options. Geoff Cameron deserves a look as well since he’s the cheapest of the bunch.
- Anders Lindegaard, Manchester United, 5.4m, vs. QPR
- Tim Howard, Everton, 5.6m, vs. Norwich
- Ali Al-Habsi, Wigan, 5.0m, vs. Reading
- Asmir Begovic, Stoke City, 5.1m, vs. Fulham
- Boaz Myhill, West Brom, 4.4m, at Sunderland
- Patrice Evra, Man United, 6.8m, vs. QPR
- Rafael, Man United, 6.4m, vs. QPR
- Leighton Baines, Everton, 7.6m, vs. Norwich
- Jose Enrique, Liverpool, 5.7m, at Swansea
- Ryan Shawcross, Stoke City, 5.2m, vs. Fulham
- John Arne Riise, Fulham, 5.7m, at Stoke City
- Liam Ridgewell, West Brom, 5.0m, at Sunderland
- Ivan Ramis, Wigan, 4.5m, vs. Reading
- William Gallas, Tottenham, 5.0m, vs. West Ham
- Kaspars Gorkss, Reading, 4.0m, at Wigan
- Santi Cazorla, Arsenal, 9.4m, at Aston Villa
- Gareth Bale, Tottenham, 9.7m, vs. West Ham
- Juan Mata, Chelsea, 9.6m, vs. Man City
- David Silva, Man City, 9.3m, at Chelsea
- Eden Hazard, Chelsea, 10.1m, vs. Man City
- Hatem Ben Arfa, Newcastle, 7.8m, at Southampton
- Antonio Valencia, Man United, 8.6m, vs. QPR
- Pablo Hernandez, Swansea, 6.1m, vs. Liverpool
- Kevin Nolan, West Ham, 6.9m, at Tottenham
- Charlie Adam, Stoke City, 6.6m, vs. Fulham
- Robin van Persie, Man United, 13.7m, vs. QPR
- Luis Suarez, Liverpool, 10.2m, at Swansea
- Demba Ba, Newcastle, 8.3m, at Southampton
- Olivier Giroud, Arsenal, 8.4m, at Aston Villa
- Carlos Tevez, Man City, 9.4m, at Chelsea
- Sergio Aguero, Man City, 11.0m, at Chelsea
- Lukas Podolski, Arsenal, 8.2m, at Aston Villa
- Wayne Rooney, Manchester United, 11.8m, vs. QPR
- Rickie Lambert, Southampton, 6.0m, vs. Newcastle
- Peter Crouch, Stoke City, 6.8m, vs. Fulham
YOU’RE THE CAPTAIN
- Robin van Persie, Man United
- Luis Suarez, Liverpool
- Demba Ba, Newcastle
- Olivier Giroud, Fulham
- Carlos Tevez, Man City
The Red Devils were just shutout on the road. They aren’t very happy and go against the last-place club in the league. United averages three goals per game at Old Trafford and RVP will be around all of them.
There may not be anyone else more in form at the moment than Suarez. He has scored in four straight matches. While he’s on the road, Swansea’s defense isn’t impossible to get by.
All of a sudden, Arsenal’s attacking prowess was back against Tottenham. Ten guys or not, they still scored five goals. Giroud is the man of the moment with three goals in his last two matches.
While he probably won’t have another two-goal, two-assist performance at Chelsea, Tevez is still the likeliest of candidates to score in this match. Chelsea hasn’t had a clean sheet in seven straight games.
Newcastle isn’t playing great, but that doesn’t matter to Ba. He will find the back of the net no matter the situation and this situation is friendly for him even on the road.
*Stats up-to-date as of Nov. 19