We run through the very best and very worst of the Premier League’s fantasy performers for Gameweek 4.
Diego Costa (Chelsea)
PlayON Price: £13.6m
PlayON Points: 3100
For once it was Diego Costa playing the victim to some overtly physical play.
The Swansea defence tried their best to keep him under wraps, but the Spain international came up with the goods yet again to bag a brace and claim his third and fourth goals in as many Premier League games. This was Antonio Conte’s most challenging fixture to date and the rub of the green looked to be slipping away from Chelsea following Leroy Fer’s literal kick-and-rush goal to take the lead.
Costa is not easily outdone however and showed his athleticism – not always his most lauded attribute – to pull off a dramatic scissors-kick equaliser. His brace counted as his sixth goal in four games versus Swansea, cementing his status as an absolute menace to South Wales. His propensity to pick up bookings is a concern – three yellow cards so far – but the quality of his performances and more importantly his points return have been hard to ignore. The most consistent striker of the season so far.
Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hostpur)
PlayON Price: £9.4m
PlayON Points: 3650
He showed glimpses of real talent at various points last season, but never really got to string together a run of games through a combination of injury and competition for position in a Spurs side that was riding high in the league for much of 2015/16.
In Gameweek 4, Spurs taught an abject Stoke City a footballing lesson, clocking up a 4-0 scoreline with starring performances from a Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and most impressively of all Son Heung-Min. The South Korean international put in a man of the match display, putting two goals past Shay Given and turning provider for Harry Kane to break his long running goal drought. Son will have caught the eye of the fantasy public with this showing and should in effect keep the inconsistent Erik Lamela on the bench. The 24 year old could be in line for a breakthrough year.
Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal)
PlayON Price: £7m
PlayON Points: 1725
Arsenal’s late late victory over Southampton not only gained the Gunners a valuable three points but it was likewise the first outing of a new defensive partnership. One that Arsene Wenger hopes will give some much needed solidity to an often fragile defensive structure.
Laurent Koscielny lined up beside Shkodran Mustafi in this new look backline, but the duo did not appear entirely comfortable with each other. They allowed Southampton to get five shots away on target over the 90 minutes, one of which rebounded off Petr Cech to give the Saints an early lead. This was however quickly cut short as Koscielny celebrated his 31st birthday by scoring a stunning bicycle kick to equalise. Arsenal ultimately ran out as 2-1 winners, but you feel it will take time for their array of new signings to fully bed in. As such, despite the Frenchman’s high points yield this week, it’s difficult to foresee Koscielny and co. becoming a watertight unit and therefore, fantasy regulars, for some time yet.
James Collins (West Ham United)
PlayON Price: £6.6m
PlayON Points: 175
Until the 40th minute in West Ham’s Olympic Stadium encounter with Watford, everything appeared to be going to plan. Manuel Lanzini and Dimitri Payet were pulling all manner of tricks out of the bag, Michail Antonio had two goals to his name and the Hammers faithful were lapping it all up. Then things went sour on all fronts.
At the centre of the calamity that followed was James Collins. After Odion Ighalo snatched one back to make it 2-1, Collins gifted Watford a second by effectively teeing up Troy Deeney with a poorly guided back pass. Adrian and the Wales international were culpable from here on out, as the visitors steamrolled the hosts 4-2.
Only Sunderland have conceded more goals in the opening four fixtures, but fantasy managers are now caught in the conundrum of whether to opt for West Ham defenders – with some favourable games approaching – or whether to abandon faith in the likes of Collins altogether.
Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City)
PlayON Price: £7m
PlayON Points: 925
The Dane’s sweeper keeper-like forays out of the box were both risky and costly.
The champions looked fragile in their 4-1 defeat to Liverpool and the back five that made them so effective last season looked a shadow of its former self. Kasper Schmeichel played his part in the defeat, gifting the ball to the opposition for Firmino to round off the game with the final goal.
It could have been worse. The Foxes’ number one held out to make seven saves in an early bombardment, but it’s clear that Schmeichel, Morgan, Huth et al just don’t possess the same value or impenetrability this time around.
N’Golo Kante is sorely missed.
Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City)
PlayON Price: £10.9m
PlayON Points: 500
The Austrian international went missing against Tottenham Hotspur and performed in much in the same vein as he’s started the season. Poorly.
One of the most important and exciting outlets of the Stoke attack last season, Arnautovic has been a letdown this season – a trait very much in sync with the rest of his teammates in 2016/17. The wideman fluffed chances and did little more than pick up a booking as Spurs ran riot in Gameweek 4.
With no goals and no assists in four starts and a tricky fixture to Crystal Palace on the way, Stoke and by association Arnautovic don’t look like tempting fantasy options at this moment in time.