By KFFL Staff on February 18, 2011
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In the 2007/08 Barclay's Premier League season, Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas scored seven goals and assisted on 20 others. His production the following season was similar, although injuries kept him off the field for a significant amount of time. Then last season he had a breakout goal-scoring year with 15 goals to go with 15 assists. He had become the complete package as an attacker in the midfield, which usually equates to Fantasy dominance.
Nagging injuries and a slow start hindered Fabregas at the beginning of the current season. However, he still managed three goals and seven assists in his first 12 league appearances (in those 12 appearances, he only played the full 90 minutes six times).
A funny thing happened after that 12th match. In his last seven matches, Fabregas has zero goals and only three assists. He's taken a much deeper position in the midfield. It's worked out for Arsenal, as they have five wins and two draws in those seven matches. His Fantasy owners have to be disappointed, though. He's morphed into an extremely expensive version of Charlie Adam. He's still accumulating bonus points, but he's not scoring at a rate needed to justify his 12.0 Fantasy price tag. Fabregas picked up an assist and a bonus point vs. Wolves this past weekend, and has a match against Stoke City before this Gameweek ends. After that, it's time to explore other Fantasy midfield options. Preferably less expensive ones.
Manchester United 2, Manchester City 1
The match of the weekend was the first match played, as United toppled City in the Manchester Derby. Wayne Rooney stole the headlines with an unbelievable overhead volley to win it, but it was Nani who led the Red Devils attack for most of the game. The midfield Fantasy scoring leader came away with a goal and an assist. Remarkably, he didn't pick up any bonus points. Those went to Rooney (2), Chris Smalling (3) and Manchester City's Vincent Kompany. It's time to put Smalling on the Fantasy watch list. He's a cheap defender on the league's top club.
Arsenal 2, Wolves 0
Arsenal controlled this match, and Fantasy managers will be disappointed that they didn't come away with three or four goals. Robin van Persie continues to be the in-form striker in the Premier League, and is an elite captain option as long as he stays healthy. When Samir Nasri returns, Arsenal's attack will be the best in the league.
Birmingham 1, Stoke City 0
Birmingham entered this Gameweek with two home matches, and came away with one clean sheet. Not too shabby for Fantasy managers who stockpiled Blues defenders. Nikola Zigic scored the game winner, marking his third consecutive game with a goal. That streak ended when Birmingham lost 2-0 to Newcastle on February 15. Birmingham does not have a GW28 match, but Zigic will be a reliable third Fantasy forward after the break.
Blackburn 0, Newcastle 0
This was a dull game, unless you owned multiple defenders from these squads. Newcastle came away with all six Fantasy bonus points: Jose Enrique Sanchez (3), Fabricio Coloccini (2), Joey Barton (1).
Blackpool 1, Aston Villa 1
Blackpool's Charlie Adam was once again the Fantasy star of the match, finishing with an assist and three bonus points. He's second only to Nani in midfield Fantasy points. Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor scored his second goal of the season, which is also his second goal in four matches. He still has not earned a bonus point, and should still be avoided in Fantasy leagues.
Liverpool 1, Wigan 1
Liverpool midfielder Raul Meireles scored for the Reds and has a goal in each of the last five Fantasy Gameweeks (five goals in his last six matches). His late goal-scoring touch gives Liverpool a few options once new signee Andrew Carroll returns from injury. With Meireles being in such good form, he's unlikely to lose any minutes to Carroll, and is one of the best Fantasy transfers leading up to GW28.
Wigan defender Steve Gohouri scored his first goal of the season, but with a match against Manchester United up next, he's not a great Fantasy option
West Brom 3, West Ham 3
New Hammer Demba Ba saved the day for West Ham with two goals. Ba, Carlton Cole and Scott Parker came away with all the bonus points, leaving West Brom with very little to show on the Fantasy front.
With one match left in GW27, West Brom players have time to earn more Fantasy points. One player to watch is goalkeeper Boaz Myhill. Myhill was a save machine with Hull City last season and has 19 saves in his last four matches. He only carries a 3.9 Fantasy value.
Sunderland 1, Tottenham 2
Tottenham scraped out another win, but they did so without their Fantasy stars Rafael van der Vaart and Gareth Bale. Tottenham's midweek Champions League clash tested the team's endurance even more. They still have a league match with Blackpool next Tuesday. No rest for the weary.
Sunderland's Asamoah Gyan scored his ninth goal of the season and second in two games.
Bolton 2, Everton 0
In 24 Gameweeks with Chelsea, Daniel Sturridge never played more than 23 minutes in a match. Since going on loan to Bolton, Sturridge has played 24, 90 and 89 minutes in three games, and scored in each one. He's also earned Fantasy bonus points in each appearance. Meanwhile, Chelsea hasn't scored in their last two matches. Hmm…
Fantasy managers who relied on Johan Elmander and Kevin Davies earlier this season should switch to Sturridge.
Fulham 0, Chelsea 0
Fulham nearly stole this match at the very end. Clint Dempsey drew a penalty kick in the closing moments, but then failed to convert. Fortunately, he earned three bonus points.
Fernando Torres looked a bit more comfortable in his second match in Chelsea blue, but he missed on a few good chances. It's not time to add him in Fantasy… yet.
Birmingham 0, Newcastle 2
Newcastle stole three points on the road. Jonas Gutierrez led Newcastle to victory and produced his first double-digit Fantasy day of the season. He's still a good distance behind Barton and Kevin Nolan in terms of Fantasy production.
*All stats up-to-date as of 02/15/11
**Fantasy values are based on www.premierleague.com
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