Andy Carroll, hat-trick hero, topped the charts in Gameweek 33, but who else joined him at the Fantasy Premier League summit last weekend?
Andy Carroll (West Ham)
PlayON Price: £8.6m
PlayON Points: 4,500
Suddenly it’s Andy for England? It seems to happen every couple of months when West Ham’s big number nine hits some decent form, and when he’s at his best it’s hard not to be impressed. Carroll turned in one of the performances of the season against Arsenal in Gameweek 33, helping his side overcome a two goal deficit to come within a whisker of taking all three points.
The pony-tailed striker led all Premier League players with ten goal attempts, 13 penalty area touches and scored two of this three goals with his head in a classic centre-forward performance. Slaven Bilic was careful with his praise in his post-match interview, but even if Carroll hasn’t fully won over his own manager yet he’ll have a wave of fantasy selectors for the following Gameweek – despite the game being against league leading Leicester.
Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur)
PlayON Price: £9.1m
PlayON Points: 2,885
A common stance to pin on Lamela’s since he joined Spurs has been to label him a “flashy” player who doesn’t chip in with enough goals or assists. He had a torrid first season in the league, but his reputation now is far below what we see now week in, week out for Spurs.
The Argentinian has upped his game considerably this season and if he hasn’t been off the charts in terms of direct goal contribution this season – a reasonable four goals and six assists – the winger cannot be faulted for work rate, perhaps best illustrated by a startling 81 fouls he’s had given against him this season.
In Gameweek 33 against Manchester United however, he showed us the finer aspects of his game, getting a goal and putting a superb free-kick on the head of Toby Alderweireld for another. Once dismissed, Lamela is proof of the virtue of patience with imports into the Premier League.
Alberto Moreno (Liverpool)
PlayON Price: £7.2m
PlayON Points: 2,400
The Spanish full-back hasn’t been overly consistent this season, and on occasion he’s been complicit in some criminally slack Liverpool defending, but his potential on the attack has never been in question.
By powering in the opener in Liverpool’s 4-1 victory over Stoke at the weekend, he once again demonstrated his huge potential as a fantasy football option. A goalscoring defender is always a welcome addition and Moreno certainly appears to have played into Klopp’s good books again of late. Will we see more of this kind of thing as the season draws to a close? Bournemouth away in Gameweek 34 could answer a few of those questions.
Matteo Darmian (Manchester United)
PlayON Price: £7.6m
PlayON Points: -690
With Timothy Fosu-Mensah putting in such an impressive hour, the pressure was on Matteo Darmian to lay down a marker when he replaced the young Dutchman due to injury.
It didn’t go so well for the Italian, whose introduction was followed by three conceded goals in the space of ten minutes. It was unfortunate but he had a helping hand in every single one of Spurs’ successes. At the end of the Gameweek, he came out with the worst points tally in PlayON Fantasy Football and may well have ended his side’s Champions League hopes. A bitter pill to swallow.
Jakob Haugaard (Stoke City)
PlayON Price: £5.6m
PlayON Points: –150
Deputizing for Jack Butland – the goalkeeper with the most saves in the Premier League before injury – was never going to be straightforward, especially for a man with just one Premier League appearances to his name prior to Sunday. Unfortunately Haugaard didn’t rise to the challenge, conceding four goals and looking increasingly uncertain as the game wore on.
Not many fantasy managers will have plumped for the young Dane in their line-ups and with just two saves to his name and -150 points, the 23 year old won’t have won over many new fans on this showing. That said, his back four were completely unable to alleviate Liverpool’s relentless pressure.
Olivier Giroud (Arsenal)
PlayON Price: £12.4m
PlayON Points: 210
Liverpool 3-3 Arsenal. That barnstormer of a game was back in mid-January and it also happened to be the last time Olivier Giroud scored a league goal. That is a considerable goal drought for a striker who lead the goalscoring charts at several stages in 2015/16. Fitness and injury concerns have played their part, but a lack of clinical finishing in front of goal has seen him dip in and out of the starting XI.
Having lost out on the centre-forward role to Danny Welbeck against West Ham, Giroud got his chance to make a mark with half an hour left but failed to deliver, mustering just one goal attempt in a wide open game. After maybe his best ever start to a campaign it’s been three months to forget for the French international.