If you can, you're going to start Mesut Ozil in Week 4. It's the right decision, too, with the German playmaker offering a chance for big fantasy points as Arsenal play Sunderland. However, in order to shoehorn Ozil into your team, you'll have to dig a little deeper to find valuable contributors.
Players flying just under the radar can offer both value and results, ensuring that bringing Ozil to your team doesn't sacrifice points from elsewhere. I've taken the liberty of offering a few examples, for which you can thank me later.
Jose Fonte, Southampton
Jose Fonte has already proved valuable to Southampton this year, scoring a last-minute equaliser to deny Sunderland a vital away victory last month. He's also a fine central defender who will be fancying his chances against a West Ham attack stripped of Andy Carroll.
Southampton's midfield offers good protection for Fonte, so he should have plenty of support this weekend. He is accurate with his passing and displays good awareness of how the play is going to develop.
He will be a useful option to have in your defence this week, as well as an outside bet for a goal.
Gary Hooper, Norwich City
Although Norwich face a tough battle with Tottenham at White Hart Lane, the Canaries actually have a good record when facing the London club recently, claiming five points from their last three encounters.
Past form is by no means a predictor of present events, but the Canaries have an upgraded strikeforce that The Daily Mail reported will include new signing Gary Hooper.
Hooper is coming off a shin injury sustained in the preseason, which obviously makes him a risk. He might not start. He might not even feature at all. However, before the injury, he had already shown his scoring touch for Norwich and could be crucial to securing any points.
He was brought to Carrow Road for his goals. You should follow Chris Hughton's lead.
Hatem Ben Arfa, Newcastle United
Newcastle have been less than convincing so far, so it's a real risk to pick any of their players. However, if there's one who has the ability to change the Tyneside club's fortunes, it's Hatem Ben Arfa.
The Frenchman was the difference as the Toon overcame Fulham, scoring the winner and looking something close to the creative force he has been in the past. It's going to be very difficult for him to single-handedly drag his team past Aston Villa—especially at Villa Park—but Ben Arfa has done it before.
Regardless of his team's overall performance, Ben Arfa is likely to be a constant threat. With all the drama surrounding Yohan Cabaye, Ben Arfa has slipped through the net a little bit.
Newcastle are relying on him more than ever, and last week, he seemed to respond. A good run of games should only see him get better.
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