Part two, looking at Sunday and Monday's matches, after the jump. Part one, here.
Chelsea 2 - 0 Liverpool
For good reason this weekend's analysis starts and ends with Fabregas' 38pts (see below) but surely no MMM is complete without a paen to Drogba. In a match where Chelsea's lack of width played right into Liverpool's hands, Drogba pulled wide twice to create the goals that sent Chelsea top. I don't know where Bosingwa was - there are a few reports that he's injured, but I can't find any details - but in his absence, Ivanovic found himself Chelsea's outlet on the right. However both right backs are priced at or above 9, so not likely you'll be adding them to your squad.
There is going to be much drama when Drogba (and others) go off to the African Cup of Nations in January. Chelsea will rely heavily on Anelka - who is slowing rising in price with weeks like this one. Maybe Lampard - or Joe Cole? Hmmm.... - starts to shine again playing off a lone striker. But surely fantasy squads are going to find a huge hole that will have to be filled. He's SO CHEAP relative to his production... many a fantasy season could come down to how managers choose to replace Drogba. Hopefully some team, though not Chelsea, will bring in a hot shot striker from outside the league to give us the cheap, top class option we haven't had at striker this season.
West Ham United 2 - 2 Fulham
Or have we? Alessandro Diamanti has quietly, and now a bit more expensively, been producing for West Ham. He's taking kicks and creating, most notably for Carlton Cole who scored for the second consecutive match. However, West Ham have fallen apart defensively. Last season you could at least bet on West Ham at home. They would NEVER have given up two goals to a 10-man Fulham side. Even sadder, Noble is no longer relevant for fantasy with Jimenez and Diamanti taking kicks.
Fulham isn't very relevant either this season as we've talked about - last season's performance priced them too high, especially considering their performances this season. However, they're home to Hull next. Gera might we worth a look, especially with Dempsey doubtful with a sprained shoulder.
Everton 1 - 1 Stoke City
Billy ran around with the rare old crewSorry, but I've had that damn song stuck in my head for weeks now. And while it name checks the North London sides, I start singing it when I think of Bilyaletdinov. I thought about starting him this week, but wasn't sure if Pienaar was going to return from his injury. Now Everton as hoping Pienaar will be back AFTER the international break. Thanks, guys! So Bily comes in and racks up double digit fantasy points against a tough Stoke side. Unfortunately his price, which had stayed stable, jumped with the CHE/LIV point update so he now costs 6.51. Surely too much for a doubtful starter. Right? Or is that just sour grapes? Home to Wolves next and then @Bolton, maybe it IS worth it. A bit pricier, Cahill had a second consecutive nice game - this time getting point without a goal. Johnny Heit came up with a second assist in as many weeks despite being moved infield to cover for Yobo. He's looking like a great signing for Everton and while no Vermaelen (see below) he's a really nice fantasy player.
And he knew an Arsenal from Tottenham blue
As for Stoke, they're certainly surprising in their second season. They're solid as always but Huth over Wilkinson? Lawrence and Tuncay consigned to the bench? This isn't last year's Stoke team and I'm still trying to figure them out for fantasy. I'll stay away for now, but if you're profitting from Tuncay for a buck... good on you!
Arsenal 6 - 2 Blackburn Rovers
What to say about this one? 8 goals, 8 different goal scorers. 1 goal, 4 assists, 4 shots on target for Fab4. They obviously wanted to give Wenger an anniversary present and did that in style. Even Arshavin produced, and this was anything but a "big match". And Arsenal still have Birmingham, @West Ham, Spurs, @Wolves, @Sunderland coming up in the league. So we could see one or two more big results like this.
Vermaelen scored his FOURTH league goal of the season, tying him with Fabregas for the team lead. I sure wish I had owned him from week 1, but even just having him since week 2 he's on track to have a historically great season for a fantasy defender. And he's not a wing back, or an attacking middie listed in defence. HE'S A CENTER BACK! If Arsenal can start keeping clean sheets, well his ceiling is off the charts.
I'm looking at PRobbo's stats for this match, and at first I was amazed that he returned 4 pts. Now that I look closer, I just think that's wrong.
10 saves = 20pts
6 goals allowed = -18pts
1 loss = -2pts
So his total should be flat, zero points. *Shrug* There are 5% of teams with PRobbo in their lineups and they probably want me to keep it to myself. So, in deference to them, I'll just move on.
Aston Villa 1 - 1 Manchester City
Points haven't been posted for this match yet, but it looks like K2 with 15 and Given with 0. Those were the two players I was watching closely. Big Brad will probably get the pts I was hoping would come to Given. But all of Villa's shots save one either were blocked, were off target, or went in! Otherwise, Bellamy was the star of the show again. Bellamy and Villa's center back pairing - assembled for probably around 30 million less than their opposite numbers. Just shows that money can't buy you everything... well, it can. But MORE money doesn't always mean better. Which reminds me, someone needs to write a post explaining what happened to all the premium middies of season's past. But that's for another time.
So until next week...