Every week at Daily Fantasy Focus, we analyse the big hitters and wide misses of the weekend’s Premier League action.
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
GW8 PlayON Points: 6,380
PlayON Price: £15m
As is often the case with Daily Fantasy Focus’ Champs and Chumps, Sergio Aguero rose to the occasion in Gameweek 8 to leap from the bottom tier of last week’s Chump pit, right to the very top of this week’s pantheon.
Putting away five goals in less than thirty minutes, Sergio Aguero was back to his very best against Newcastle, running the likes of Mbemba, Coloccini and Tim Krul ragged beyond repair.
The Argentine struggled in the early stages of the season. Counting as one of the most wasteful strikers in the league so far – six big chances missed – he was anything but here, as he clinched his five superb goals from eight attempts and just ten touches in the box. Martial and Vardy for instance, both had more touches in Gameweek 8.
The Aguero-De Bruyne-Silva axis flexed their muscles without ever breaking a sweat. The latter two players now look primed to provide the platform for Aguero to kick on – fitness allowing – for the remainder of the season. De Bruyne already looks a significant upgrade on the often one dimensional Navas.
As highlighted in Monday Manager, there was definitely a sense of blood in the air when Aguero broke his six game barren spell with a late late Champions League penalty at Monchengladbach. On Saturday, a goal was certainly expected of the Argentine, but it’s safe to say that nobody imagined the five.
In short, PlayON daily fantasy line-ups were effectively made redundant in the absence of the City number ten.
Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur)
GW8 PlayON Points: 3,625
PlayON Price: £10.7m
Spurs were fortunate to come out with a point at Swansea City on Sunday and it was Christan Eriksen who delivered it – gift-wrapped, in the form of two exocet free-kicks.
Since that watermark victory over Manchester United in Gameweek 4, Swansea had failed to register a single win in a frankly bleak September. Eriksen ensured that they’d wait a while longer yet.
Creating a fairly average three goalscoring chances in his past two matches, the Spurs number 23’s attentions seem more focused on the net as opposed to assists – with eight attempts on goal across Gameweek 7 and 8.
The Dane snatched the win from Swansea’s hands on not one, but two occasions. The first free-kick completely wrong-footing Fabianksi, the second making a fool of him.
If Harry Kane continues to struggle to get among the goals, Spurs and the PlayON managers out there still have an impressively equipped supporting cast – Christian Eriksen chief among them – to make up the deficit.
Glen Johnson (Stoke City)
GW8 PlayON Points: 1,820
PlayON Price: £6.7m
It’s rare in these parts to give praise to Glen Johnson.
His Liverpool career never quite hit the high notes of that Portsmouth wonder-strike and it’s probably been both a blessing and a curse in that it’s essentially built his professional reputation.
Still, credit where it’s due. The Stoke full-back was the highest scoring defender this past Gameweek, with a total of 1,820 points.
Mark Hughes’ side finally enjoyed a solid day’s defending – their first clean sheet of the season – and ran out as 1-0 winners over Aston Villa. Facing Swansea and Watford in the coming weeks, now could be the time for Johnson and Stoke to exercise some consistency.
Tim Krul (Newcastle United)
GW8 PlayON Points: 100
PlayON Price: £6.6
Someone had to be the victim of Sergio Aguero’s return to dominance. It just so happened that this week, Tim Krul was on the receiving end.
The Dutchman has been Newcastle’s best player throughout a shocking start to the campaign, ranking second behind Jack Butland for saves with 33 so far. However, even he was powerless to stop the tsunami of goals that flooded his way in Gameweek 8.
Of Aguero’s five shots on target, Krul failed to get a touch on a single one yet still made five crucial saves throughout the course of the game. That tells you all you need to know about Newcastle’s defensive capabilities.
For the moment at least, the north-east remains a fantasy football graveyard.
Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea)
GW8 PlayON Points: 25
PlayON Price: £9m
By no means solely responsible for Chelsea’s lacklustre defending, Ivanovic’s reputation has still suffered the most from it.
The Serbian claimed a grand total of 25 points in Gameweek 8, as his colleagues shipped three goals to a Southampton team on the rise.
The fantasy value of Chelsea defenders is in steep decline and the rot doesn’t show any signs of stopping. While Ivanovic made no specific errors in the lead up to Saints’ three goals, he was still a contributing component in a Blues backline that seems utterly dysfunctional a present.
They may well pull it out of the bag against Villa in Gameweek 9, but unless you’re out for a risky differential pick – never thought that would be said about Chelsea – Ivanovic and company are best avoided.
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
GW8 PlayON Points: 900
PlayON Price: £13.7
We have to talk about Wayne.
Louis Van Gaal’s undroppable captain laboured through Gameweek 8 without ever really threatening to dent Arsenal’s early lead.
With just the one league goal from his opening eight games, England’s record goalscorer is struggling and up until now his teammates – Anthony Martial and Juan Mata among them – have papered over the emerging cracks in his game.
Rooney is too talented an individual to write off, but you feel that until he starts hitting the net on a regular basis he’s just not worth the risk in daily fantasy terms.
Certainly not with clashes with Everton and City on the horizon.