Manchester is officially the place to shop in Premier League fantasy football, while a Newcastle defender is proving a must-buy.
Sergio Aguero’s hat-trick for Manchester City against Watford made him the top-scoring player in premierleague.com’s official game with 41 points, and it is now clear that he and strike partner Gabriel Jesus can both contribute to your team on a regular basis.
Manchester United players occupy the next three positions, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan the top-scoring midfielder and level on 37 points with striker Romelu Lukaku, while Antonio Valencia leads all defenders with 36 – and the market reflects this…
Mkhitaryan tops the charts in Press Association Sport’s “heat score” – based on overall selection percentage and how a player’s popularity is changing over time, with scores from 100 to -100.
The Armenia playmaker is at 46.29 after his ownership rose by five per cent to make him the sixth most-selected player, with Aguero second on 36.6 after 6.7 per cent brought him in this week.
You will need to save money elsewhere for those moves and Jamaal Lascelles is the new must-have bargain defender as West Brom’s Ahmed Hegazi drops out of the heat index top 10 for the first time. The £4.6million Newcastle captain’s ownership has more than doubled to 5.2 per cent after winning goals in back-to-back games, with a clean sheet thrown in.
Last week saw Paul Pogba transferred in and then out at a rapid rate, as he surged to 31 points but then suffered a hamstring injury.
He will be absent for the immediate future and managers have responded in droves this week, with over a third of his owners ditching the United midfielder to free up £8.1million.
It leaves him with a league-low heat score of -82.6, with suspended Liverpool wideman Sadio Mane second-coldest at -55.1. Javier Hernandez and David Luiz are next, with the Chelsea defender sent off against Arsenal.
Newcastle have a tricky run on paper – simulations based on bookmakers’ odds average out to a projected haul of just 2.97 points from their next three games.
That is largely influenced by a visit from Liverpool, whose awful form in front of goal offers hope, but it could leave managers looking for the “next” Lascelles – a low-priced defender with a chance for clean sheets who may chip in with a goal.
Ben Mee’s heat score is falling but, at £4.5million, he is a threat from set-pieces – he had three of Burnley’s five shots in their one-sided draw with Liverpool – and with Huddersfield, Everton and West Ham on the slate, the Clarets will hope to hold firm at the other end.
West Ham’s Jose Fonte (£4.9million) has back-to-back clean sheets, with an assist, and has matched Mee’s season tally of seven shots – albeit with only one on target. Maya Yoshida (£5million) scores highly in the fantasy game’s bonus points index and showed free-kick prowess against Swansea, and Southampton have three clean sheets and the eighth-easiest upcoming schedule.
Swansea’s own fixtures rank 10th with a projected 4.07 points and Lukasz Fabianski is the league’s top-scoring goalkeeper at a cheap price – Press Association Sport groups players in each position by price brackets, and the £4.5million Pole lurks in the second-cheapest bracket.