With so many midfielders performing so well in this early part of the season, it would seem that there is a never ending list of possibilities for fantasy premier league managers to consider. There is of course one big problem this week and that is the fact that Chelsea do not have a game this weekend due to European Super Cup commitments and this means no Juan Mata. So it would seem that our job here in the Managers Room is to find a suitable replacement.
Not being ones to disappoint or shirk a challenge here are our recommendations for week 3 of The Irish Times Fantasy Premier League.
Marouane Fellaini (Everton) £4.0 million. Fixture: West Brom (Away)
Fellaini has slotted into the role left by the now departed Tim Cahill and to what effect! Fellaini has scored 2 goals in 2 games and has picked up plenty of admirers along the way. The powerful Belgian has been given a more advanced role, playing further forward off Nicka Jelavic, which has so far worked to brilliant effect. The Toffee’s manager David Moyes has already admitted that the temptation to play Fellaini further forward could mean that he will feature much more prominelty in this more advanced role. Fellaini scored an impressive points tally last season having spent the majority of the campaign in a central midfield role. The link play between the Belgian and the Croatian striker has looked formidable and with a trip to the Hawthorns awaiting Everton this weekend, the partnership looks set to flourish even further. His current ownership rates will definitely increase in the coming weeks as will I imagine Fellaini’s goal tally . An extra draw for Fantasy Football managers will be that Fellaini is listed as a midfielder when in fact he has begun the season as an almost second striker.
Kevin Nolan (West Ham) £3.9 million. Fixture: Fulham (Home)
The Hammers will have been disappointed with their 3-0 defeat at the hands of Swansea last time out but will be looking to make amends this weekend at home to Fulham. Nolan has already made his mark on the Premiership in scoring the winner in the Hammers opening day win against Aston Villa, which has seen an increasing number of mangers selecting the Premiership veteran. Nolan has always been a consistent goal scorer in England. Last season he scored 12 goals in West Ham’s promotion whilst the season before with Newcastle, the midfielder scored 12 Premiership goals. The Hammers will be hoping to bounce back this weekend and should they manage to do so, Nolan will as usual be at the forefront.
Hatem Ben Arfa (Newcastle) £4.1 million. Fixture: Aston Villa (Home)
The talented young Frenchman has settled in to life at Newcastle following some dazzling displays last season. Ben Arfa has long been regarded as a ‘loose cannon’ but Alan Pardew has done an excellent job in getting the best out of the talented youngster. Ben Arfa scored 100+ points last season, which included 5 goals and 7 assists. He has begun this season in similar vein with a goal on the opening day win over Spurs. He has formed a decent understanding with the front pairing of Ba and Cisse and the dangerous trio could well wreak further havoc on a highly average Villa side this weekend. Ben Arfa has also benefited from the free role afforded to him by Pardew, which has given him license to roam behind the front two as well as playing out wide. Newcastle should have more than enough this weekend against Villa and expect Ben Arfa to shine once again.
Yaya Toure (Man City) £4.8 million. Fixture: QPR (Home)
Toure has unsurprisingly been one of the most selected midfielders in Fantasy Football so far this season with many managers currently opting for the powerhouse midfielder. We saw last season how Toure was at his most effective when playing further forward and Mancini has appeared to have been playing the Ivorian in an advanced role in City’s opening two games which coincidently has resulted in a goal and an assist. The notion that Toure is a holding midfielder has well and truly been put to bed at this stage. His score of 100+ points last season including 6 goals & 9 assists proves how much of an attacking threat he is. This weekend City host strugglers QPR. The champions should comfortably see off the R’s and maintain their unbeaten record. Last weekend Mancini opted to start with David Silva on the bench, which would have disappointed a lot of Fantasy Football managers, but on the flip side, it allowed Toure more freedom to venture forward which resulted in a goal. Toure has more than enough strength, power and quality to cause a leaky QPR defence problems on Saturday evening.
Antonio Valencia (Man United) £5.1 million. Fixture: Southampton (Away)
Valencia has had a very quiet start to this season’s Premiership but it must be said was forced to play at full back in the opening game of the campaign. He has since resumed his role on the right side of midfield where he is at his most dangerous. Valencia was arguably the league’s best winger last campaign and will be looking to further his reputation this time out, especially with so much competition in the United midfield. Valencia has been given the much coveted number 7 shirt for the coming season, which in itself proves how much he is valued at Old Trafford. This weekend United travel south to take on a Southampton side who have impressed on their return to the top flight. However, The Saints have looked less than comfortable at the back and with Valencia’s electrifying pace, he could certainly cause them problems on Sunday. Valencia managed a brilliant 14 assists and 4 goals last season and is more than capable of improving on that tally this time out, starting at St. Mary’s this Sunday.
So there are some options to mull over as we get ready for another round of fixtures, be sure to check back into the managers room tomorrow as we give you our thoughts on strikers for the coming weekend.
Don’t want to miss the latest fantasy football news or tips then check out our social media feeds;