Last time in my fantasy column, we looked at forwards. Hopefully you did what I did and captained Diego Costa, as his hat-trick performance last week saw him earn a massive 34 points (17 if you didn't captain him). He remains the top scoring forward this season with 41 points. Unfortunately due to some injuries and the fact that some of my players are backups, my team only got 51 points this week, one less than the average of 52, despite eight of my players getting 2 points or less (5 got zero). For this reason, I decided to shake up the midfield by dropping Yaya Touré, as the Ivorian has just 5 points this season, and with a midweek Champions League clash against Bayern Munich, the Citizens will have to split their focus between that and the weekend game against Chelsea.
Deciding how much of your budget to spend on the midfield is key. Originally I thought it would be beneficial to spend the majority of the budget on high scoring forwards or wingers who are classified as midfielders, but when none of your five defenders get even a single point, it's hard to move up on the table. For this reason, look for value in consistency of players who you know will be starting every week, even if they play for lesser clubs. It can be good to have a couple high scorers in the midfield, like Cesc Fabregas (31 points on the year) who I swapped in for Touré, and the Spaniard is currently £1.4M cheaper as well. As much as I hate to admit it, Stewart Downing has been a fantastic fantasy player this season for those who own him. Costing just £5.5M, he has only had one performance that was worth less that 8 points this season. With Enner Valencia looking like a good striker for West Ham, Downing has someone to supply with service until Andy Carroll comes back, in which case he will have two options.
With a limited number of free transfers, choosing players who will stay injury free is important. Obviously at times this can be a crapshoot, but avoiding Arsenal players in general may be a good rule to follow. Avoiding players from any team involved in European competitions can be good, but the top players are always going to play for clubs involved in continental play with the exception of Manchester United.
Next week I will take a look at defenders.
Has anyone been a surprise standout for you so far? Feel free to share in the comments, if you don't want to give away your secrets!