Fantasy

Fantasy Premier League 2013: Projecting Optimal Lineup for Week 7

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01:  Mesut Oezil of Arsenal goes past Camilo Zuniga of Napoli during UEFA Champions League Group F match between Arsenal FC and SSC Napoli at Emirates Stadium on October 1, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images
Richard LangfordCorrespondent IOctober 2, 2013

It's been a wild start to the Barclays Premier League, and that has certainly wound its way to the realm of fantasy. 

While this makes locking in a lineup with a sense of confidence a bit of a tricky task, it also presents a great opportunity. 

There are plenty of bargains to be had. There are also plenty of big names to avoid. Identifying the players in both those camps is key to fantasy success. 

Player values and scoring according to ESPN.

 

Goal: Asmir Begovic, 6.2

ZILINA, SLOVAKIA - SEPTEMBER 10:  Asmir Begovic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in action during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifying Group G match between Slovakia and Bosnia-Herzegovina at the MSK Zilina stadium on September 10, 2013 in Zilina, Slovakia.  (Photo by
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Asmir Begovic made six saves last week against Arsenal. Of course, he also allowed three goals. His three points from the match tied his lowest mark this season. 

Still, it has been a solid showing for the 26-year-old who has two clean sheets in EPL play this season, and he'll have a chance of getting another against Fulham this week.

 

Defenders: Leighton Baines, 7.9; Luke Shaw, 5.6; Geoff Cameron, 5.9; Ashley Cole, 7.6

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 30:  Leighton Baines of Everton in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Newcastle United at Goodison Park on September 30, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

I like this defensive group. Baines is a consistent producer, yet he also has the ability to score big. Ashley Cole is another player who is a safe bet to score and has the potential to go big.

With Southampton's strong play, Luke Shaw has been tremendously reliable and is definitely a name on the rise. Geoff Cameron is another consistent producer, and he has 26 points in his last four contests. He is a nice bargain pairing with Begovic as they face Fulham

 

Midfielders: Michu, 8.4; Aaron Ramsey, 7.5; Peter Wittingham, 5.9; Mesut Ozil, 9.9

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 22:  Michu of Swansea City in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Swansea City at Selhurst Park on September 22, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Mesut Ozil is the big splurge and worthy of a captain's spot. His ability to create assists has taken just fine to the EPL, and he scored his first goal for Arsenal on Tuesday in a Champions League tie.

Also, with Ozil comes Aaron Ramsey in this lineup. The teammates have been sparkling together and, with a tie against West Brom this week, that should continue. 

Another player taking to the EPL is Peter Whittingham. He is being used in an attacking role at Cardiff City which gives him plenty of opportunities to put up points.

Then there is Michu, who didn't pickup a goal or assist for the fist time in three EPL matches last week, but I look for him to start another streak. 

 

Forwards: Olivier Giroud, 8.5; Sone Aluko, 5.0

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 01:  Danny Rose of Spurs challenges Olivier Giroud of Arsenal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on September 01, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/G
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Olivier Giroud is benefiting from the playmakers behind him, and it is paying off in fantasy. After scoring a goal in each of his first four matches of the season, he hasn't tallied one in the last two. However, he did pick up an assist last game, and I'm predicting his scoring will resume this week.

And now I've gotten to the bargain part of my fantasy lineup. Sone Aluko proved his worth with a match-winning goal against Newcastle and is a great value and worth a play in a budget bind like mine. 

 

Bench: G, John Ruddy, 5.2; D, Daniel Fox, 4.6; M, Robbie Brady, 5.5; F, Kenwyne Jones, 5.7

Needless to say, I didn't leave myself much to splurge on the bench.

John Ruddy is a good producer and a solid value, but it is Robbie Brady who is the real class here. The youngster's value is starting to climb, and for good reason. He's posted 22 points in his last two outings.

Kenwyne Jones is not as good a value as Brady and Ruddy, but his consistent output is still well worth his modest price. 

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