Well that didn't work either.
Another week, another lousy fantasy performance. Yes, I had Luis Suarez in my team. No, I didn't have him as my captain. I thought that in the white-hot atmosphere of the Tyne-Wear derby it was unlikely that Yohan Cabaye or Mathieu Debuchy would return points, but that Loic Remy would prosper running at Phil Bardsley and an older, slower Sunderland back line. I got that calculation exactly backwards. I thought Glen Johnson was worth the money. He wasn't. I bet heavily on Arsenal against Crystal Palace. Giroud came good at the last minute, but Ozil and Ramsey were relative disappointments. I thought that Michu might struggle against West Ham, but at home it was worth the risk. It wasn't.
There's nothing so frustrating as a lousy fantasy weekend.
Thankfully, there's nothing so joyful as picking a new team on a Monday! The match-ups are good; the players are performing well; and they haven't let you down yet.
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In that spirit, let's look at some early pick-ups for week 10.
1. Luis Suarez - Six goals and one assist in four matches. And what goals! The nutmeg on Jonas Olsson and then the amazing header from the edge of the box for his second! Suarez has to be backed against anyone, and the Arsenal backline, despite their recent good play, always seem to be a bit brittle. On the road, against the league leaders - and it will be the rare fantasy manager who doesn't captain the Uruguayan.
2. Wayne Rooney - A nice bounce-back game for Rooney against Stoke. After just five points against Southampton he scored a goal and returned more points than Robin Van Persie, despite the Dutchman adding a assist to a goal of his own. Either player is a good bet this weekend against a struggling Fulham, but I'm leaning towards Rooney. He just seems more involved in play, is taking free kicks, and frankly, just costs less.
3. Sergio Aguero - Other than a few early weeks when they clearly had the best matchup of the week (or two matches) I've had a blind spot for Chelsea and Manchester City players. There are just too many options in both squads. It's hard to pick who starts, and then who might get the fantasy points. But Sergio Aguero seems to be rising above such concerns. He's been a regular starter for City now that he's healthy, regardless of what formation they play. And he's been scoring goals, adding another against Chelsea at the weekend. I'll worry about whether or not he plays against Norwich, and I'll consider bringing in both Manchester United strikers mentioned above, but at home against a Norwich side that can be beaten badly on the road, I think Aguero is an almost sure bet, and possible captain.
4. Mesut Ozil - After loading up on Arsenal against Crystal Palace, Ozil is the one who survives this week's cull. We've seen that Liverpool can be scored upon, and if Arsenal are to do it themselves, they'll have to get Ozil involved in the play. I'm not 100% sure that Ozil doesn't end up on the bench, but for the moment his price and his potential see him keep his spot.
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5. Adnan Januzaj - The Manchester United youngster will keep his place as well this week. He didn't start against Stoke, and that's a concern. But his performance in place of, and in comparison too, Nani, would seemingly force David Moyes' hand this week at Fulham.
6. Stephane Sessegnon - West Brom are at home to Crystal Palace this week, so look for heavy investment in their players. The caveats are that their forwards aren't producing, that they play forwards like Saido Behrahino and Victor Anichebe in midfield, and Morgan Amalfitano was injured last week and we don't know when he'll be ready to return. That leaves Sessegnon as the last man standing. He's been largely anonymous this season but due to the matchup, I'm willing to overlook his recent form. James Morrison and Chris Brunt may come into my thinking later in the week as we get a better idea of what team Steve Clarke might set out on Saturday.
7. Robbie Brady - He should be fit enough to start after coming off the bench against Spurs. Hosting Sunderland could mean goals for the Tigers, and Brady is likely to be involved. I'm still not entirely convinced with him - just four shots on target - but he's on penalty kicks and we know he can put up big points if things go his way.
8. Jose Fonte - The cheapest entry into the Saints backline. And at Stoke, who have only scored two goals at home, while the Saints have only allowed two goals on the road this season, you'll want at least on Saints defender. Dejan Lovren is probably the pick of the litter, but Fonte is running him close and at a discount.
9. Curtis Davies - Davies has been a revalation in his second (third?) stint in the Premier League. Hull have only allowed one goal at home this season, and Sunderland have only scored twice on the road. Davies had been averaging 12 points per match before the late penalty heartbreak at Spurs this weekend.
10. Razvan Rat - I'm not sure about this one, but Rat has done well since breaking in to the West Ham first team recently. They're keeping clean sheets, and hosting Aston Villa - well, that's tricky. Recent form favors the Hammers, but Aston Villa always seem capable of scoring goals. For now, he's in, but maybe a Manchester City starter instead, if we have an idea of who that might be.
11. Artur Boruc - Southampton at Stoke. See Fonte, Jose above.
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- Luis Suarez
- Sergio Aguero