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Fantasy Football Guide Week 9: Three Must Haves and a Bit of Gamble

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Week 8 was a week of fine margins, with 10 teams drawing and 4 other teams winning by only one goal. It was also not the highest scoring week in fantasy football; however certain players did catch our expert’s eyes as prospects for future weeks…

Charlie Adam has started the season on great form, scoring much higher points than many more expensive, yet still popular midfielders. A central figure in the Blackpool team that has started unexpectedly well, Adam has scored twice and assisted a further 3, as well as being named man of the match 3 times. Adam also takes penalties, meaning that future goals are likely. Taking into account Blackpool’s upcoming fixtures (they play no Champions League team until week 16), we believe that Adam will score solid points over the coming weeks. If this is the case he is a bargain, and we firmly that Adam is a player that should be in every team.

Ali Al Habsi is not the most well known player in the Premier league, and is selected by very few fantasy managers. However Habsi, the goalkeeper for Wigan Athletic, has played the full 90 minutes in every Premier league match since week 3. During this time he has scored solid points considering his cheap price tag. In general, the Wigan defence is not seen as the strongest, though with Habsi having received 3 clean sheets during his six matches in goal, this seems to be based on very little evidence. Also, the upcoming fixtures for Wigan are very reasonable, playing only two teams who have qualified for Europe before gameweek 20. With this in mind, we believe that Habsi could be a very good option as a backup keeper who can also be rotated in to play the occasional game. If you are looking for a cheap keeper, we believe there are few, if any long term options that are better than Habsi.

Stewart Downing has started the season on form good enough to see him called up to the latest England squad as a late replacement for the injured Aaron Lennon. Downing has scored 3 times already this season and is by far Villa’s highest fantasy point’s scorer. Downing is not the most expensive midfielder, however he is far from the cheapest, and we believe it is this slight expense that has caused many players to avoid Downing so far. An ‘under the radar’ player, such as Downing, can be a real asset to any team, as when he performs well you are likely to gain added benefit as few others will have him in their teams. The next 4 matches for Villa all seem reasonable, playing Sunderland, Birmingham, Fulham and Blackpool. Considering all this, Downing is a player we would certainly recommend for your team, particularly if you are looking to downgrade a more expensive midfielder, such as Joe Cole, and spend the money elsewhere.

Gamble – Seamus Coleman is another player who is not the most well known, but is someone our experts would strongly recommend. Coleman, a defender for Everton, is priced cheaply, and considering other Everton defenders such as Baines are valued much higher, he seems a bargain. Last season Coleman played only 108 minutes of Premier league football, and early this season he looked destined to warm the bench again, having played no minutes of football in the first two weeks. However, he has recently seen himself in favour, having missed only 8 minutes of Premier league football in the last 3 weeks. During this time he has also shown that he can get forward well, proving an assist in the game week Merseyside derby match. Overall, Coleman seems a good, cheap option, though the risk is possibly that he is too good to be true. With a wealth of defensive options the risk is that Coleman sees himself on the bench rather than playing, and if this is the case bringing him into your team was a waste. Everton do play Tottenham in week 9 though, so if you are unsure about Coleman one option is always to wait another week before adding him to your team. Overall Coleman represents the classic gamble: he could be a bargain if he plays, but a starting spot is far from guaranteed. The choice is yours.

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