We analyse the very best and worst of the Premier League’s fantasy performers for Gameweek 8.
Charlie Austin (Southampton)
PlayON Price: £9.2m
PlayON Points: 3105
Slowly but surely, Charlie Austin is starting to resemble the player that was so impressive for QPR two seasons ago. West Ham owner David Sullivan famously opted against signing the Englishman on his alleged lack of knee cartilage, but Austin has showed no sign of such an impediment this season.
In Gameweek 8, the Southampton no. 10 bagged his third and fourth goals of the season as the Saints ran out as 3-1 winners over Burnley. Similar to Christian Benteke is recent weeks, the forward is reaping the benefits of his standing as the lone centre-forward option and therefore primary focal point of his side. With Shane Long injured, Austin has cemented his place as first choice striker at Southampton and could rank as a bit of a dark-horse goalscorer this season. However, with Manchester City and Chelsea up next, he’s got his immediate work cut out for him.
Theo Walcott (Arsenal)
PlayON Price: £11.3m
PlayON Points: 3150
With each passing game, Theo Walcott is giving credence to the widely held opinion that he is finally starting to deliver on his long held potential. This is certainly the richest vein of goalscoring form that the wideman has ever enjoyed as he has now netted five times in eight Premier League appearances.
Despite an indifferent international break – like many of his England comrades – Walcott resumed his league performances with a brace against Swansea, as the Gunners claimed a 3-2 victory. Over the past four Gameweeks, no midfield player has scored more, or hit more shots on target – 8 – than the 27 year old. Similarly, only Raheem Sterling has touched the ball in the opposition penalty area – 42 times – than the Arsenal no. 14 who claims 41 touches for himself. With this kind of increased goal-threat, Walcott could be experiencing a breakthrough season – a decade in the making.
Maarten Stekelenburg (Everton)
PlayON Price: £6.9m
PlayON Points: 3125
Everton’s Maarten Stekelenburg became only the seventh goalkeeper to save two penalties in a single Premier League match as Everton clinched a 1-1 draw with Manchester City on Saturday.
The Dutchman put a midweek international blunder behind him to depart Goodison as a hero. Foiling both Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero from the penalty spot in the course of a season is no mean feat, but doing it twice in Gameweek 8 alone will have won over a number of fantasy prognosticators. As the Toffees prepare to face a struggling West Ham in Gameweek 9 and boasting the second tightest defence in the league, the Dutch stopper could be in for another positive outing.
David Marshall (Hull City)
PlayON Price: £6.2m
PlayON Points: -250
Bournemouth slammed six goals past an abject Hull in Gameweek 8 and if not for the woodwork it could have been seven.
Hull may have defied the pre-season predictions of impending doom for the first few fixtures – chirping up with positive results against Leicester and Swansea – but since then it’s been a crippling regression to the mean. Since that time the Tigers have scored just four goals and won precisely zero matches.
In his three games since taking over goalkeeper duties, David Marshall has shipped eleven goals. In Gameweek 8 he certainly wasn’t helped by a pitiful backline, but nonetheless ranked as one of the worst fantasy performers of the round.
Granit Xhaka (Arsenal)
PlayON Price: £7.6m
PlayON Points: 575
The Gunners were leading 3-2 over Swansea when Granit Xhaka raised further suspicions over his temperament and apparent lack of discipline.
The Swiss international received his marching orders for a rash and needless lunge on Moudou Barrow and will in all likelihood serve a suspension as a result. The midfield grafter doesn’t command much of a fantasy following but his showing in Gameweek 8 could deter fantasy managers further and likewise allow Francis Coquelin to claim his starting spot.
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
PlayON Price: £15m
PlayON Points: 570
It’s been a tough week for Sergio Aguero.
The Argentine’s rough international form continued last week as he missed a penalty in Argentina’s 2-0 defeat to Paraguay. That misfortune carried over to Gameweek 8 as City’s star man failed to convert from the penalty spot in his second successive game.
City and Aguero’s relatively poor showing punished his large contingent of fantasy selectors but that shouldn’t deter many for long. For the most part, Aguero looks to be on song for his best ever season in a City shirt. Gameweek 8 and his international form should merely register as a blip.