The first double gameweek of the season brought my record differential XI score, with the team passing the 100-point mark for the first time.
It could have been much better but the team, like most other fantasy managers’, was hit by a ruthless streak of rotation. Several big names missed a game, impacting David Silva as one of my captain options.
But there were several successes, namely captaining Antonio Rudiger when he helped himself to a clean sheet and tier-two passing bonus. The 20-point return compensated somewhat for David Luiz missing the second game of the week.
How the XI performed (GW17)
Key: G = goal, A = assist, CS = clean sheet, MOTM = man of the match, T1T/T2T = tier-one/two tackles, T2P = tier-one/two passing, TI/2S = tier-one/two shots, TI/2SA = tier-one/two saves (c) = captain YC = yellow card
Ederson – 2 & 3 – T1S, YC = 5
Callum Paterson (c) –2 – YC & 0 = 2
Antonio Rudiger (c) – 20 – CS, T2P & 4 – T2P = 24
Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 7 – CS & 0 = 7
David Luiz – 10 – CS, T2P & 0 = 10
Christian Eriksen (c) – 5 – A & 10 – A = 15
Felipe Anderson (c) – 13 – G, MOTM & 4 = 17
Leroy Sane – 10 – A, MOTM & 8 – G = 18
David Silva (c) – 2 & 2 = 4
Gylfi Sigurdsson – 1 – YC & 2 = 3
Roberto Firmino – 2 & 6 – G = 8
TOTAL: 113 (previous record 83)
Saturday sees a tasty clash between Chelsea and Manchester City – a battle of prized assets from Eden Hazard to Raheem Sterling.
Fantasy managers might see Arsenal’s home clash with Huddersfield as a more predictable affair. After weeks of back-and-forth switches between Aubameyang and Lacazette as the most popular Gunners player, it’s the former who is now the clear favourite with 13% and just under 6% ownership respectively.
The rest of the Arsenal side isn’t highly fancied. Only two others are backed by more than two per cent.
Among the major differentials is Lucas Torreira (£8.4m/1.4%). The Uruguayan has caught my eye with consecutive MOTMs, a goal and assist. He comes with a warning, having also picked up two yellow cards, bringing his season total to four – but in a game Arsenal are expected to dominate, could Torreira make it three MOTMs in a row?
Wolves howling again
Newcastle wins in gameweek 14 and 16 have proved slightly more promising for the Magpies but a 3-0 home defeat to West Ham reminded us of their frailties.
Three goals in his last four gives Salomon Rondon (£9.5m/0.6%) a place in our squad, given Newcastle v Wolves is the only game on Sunday.
But on the other side, Wolves pair Matt Doherty (£6.5m/7.32%) and Raul Jimenez (£7.9m/6.4%) also make the grade. Wingback Doherty, who registered a goal and an assist is a mainstay in my regular team. While Wolves may not have been as generous in providing clean sheet points in recent weeks, I feel Doherty always has a chance of being involved down the other end. On days like Sunday, he gives you a chance of doubling up on attacking returns and/or defensive returns.
Jimenez, meanwhile, also has a goal and assist to his name in the last two games. He’s quietly gone through the season scoring four goals and setting up his teammates for six others.
Gomes the ghost?
Owned by a meagre 0.1 per cent, Andre Gomes (£9m/0.11%) scored 11 points in gameweek 17. A tier-two passing bonus against Newcastle and a MOTM away to Liverpool shows the Barcelona loanee’s potential.
Gomes faces Watford on Monday – another day where a single game takes place.
Differential XI (Under 10% ownership at the time of writing, not team’s most popular player)
Lukasz Fabianski (£6.5m/2%)
Matt Doherty (c) (£6.5m/7.32%)
Hector Bellerin (£8.9m/2.08%)
Yerry Mina (£8.1m/0.7%)
Lucas Torreira (c) (£8.4m/1.4%)
Andre Gomes (£9m/0.11%)
Gylfi Sigurdsson (c) (£9.1m/8.64%)
Leroy Sane (£10.3m/9.2%)
Felipe Anderson (£8.7m/4.3%)
Raul Jimenez (£7.9m/6.4%)
Salomon Rondon (£9.5m/0.6%)
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