Coming into Gameweek Three of the Premier League, Fantasy managers will be feeling slightly apprehensive about their lineups following a weekend where a lot of big name fantasy assets blanked, unless they were wearing the Red of Manchester United. Whenever that happens, there is an automatic reflex to make radical changes to your FPL team, taking hits and even using your Wildcard chip. My advice is to stay calm and not make any rash decisions. Look at your squad and, unless multiple of your key players are under-performing, don’t look to do anything radical as there is a long season ahead.
To be successful in fantasy football, you need to do more than simply get in players who have scored well in recent weeks, and get rid of quality players who are under-performing right now. If you do that you will continuously be chasing points which have already been scored. Quality players who have done proven themselves over the longterm deserve patience as we all know they can breakout and become must own players in the blink of an eye. In this article I will bring you two stars, both of whom I definitely rate in that #FPLGold category, one of who I think you need to back this weekend but might need to ship out soon, and another who I think you need to hold onto for the season, but might need to temper expectations for in Gameweek 3. They are Kevin De Bruyne and Harry Kane.
Keep the Faith – Kevin De Bruyne
Kevin De Bruyne: GW3 Fixture: Bournemouth (A) Image via footballtransfertavern.com
Of those players who are feeling the ire from FPL managers this season, none has been talked of more than Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne. In the absence of alternative midfielders in his price bracket such as Alexis Sanchez and Eden Hazard, the Belgian got the seal of approval from more than a quarter of FPL managers to begin the season. However, a meagre 5 points from the opening two games is not what you expect from a player who costs £10m. KdB was regarded as being the safe option from Man City, with uncertainty about the other midfield positions and indeed up front. However, the Ginger Prince has not been getting in the box enough to justify the trust managers have put in him.
City have not started the season very well, but managers need to hold fire on De Bruyne until after this gameweek at the very least. Bournemouth have conceded 3 goals so far this season, against the mighty attacking juggernauts which are West Brom and Watford. Having only just managed to secure one point at home against Everton on Monday Night Football, City will be keen to show what they can do in the lunchtime kickoff. If De Bruyne fails to register a goal or multiple assists against the Cherries, he will have worn out his welcome in our hearts. It may even be the case that regardless of what he does this weekend, he could find himself transferred out to make room for the returning Alexis Sanchez or even Eden Hazard.
Last week, according to the fantastic Andrey Arshivin (see tweet below) Bournemouth conceded a league high 13 chances inside the box, and across the two gameweeks so far, only Swansea have conceded more of those gilt edged opportunities. We recommend sticking it out with your City assets until after this Gameweek 3 fixture, including the talented Belgian.
— Andrey Arshivan (@arshifpl11) August 24, 2017
The Ginger Prince has the most shots per game this season (3.5) than any of his City team-mates, not a mean feat considering he plays with shot happy Sergio Aguero. All 7 of those shots have been from outside the box (2 have been on target), and we really need to see him get into the area with dangerous intent on a couple of occasions against Eddie Howe’s men. City have won their last 4 away games against Bournemouth, and have scored at least 2 goals in each of their past 4 meetings. Come on KdB…. pop some Cherries.
Keep the Faith, but Temper your Expectations – Harry Kane
The Reigning PL Goalscorer of the year: GW3 Fixture: Burnley (H) Image via uncova.com
Harry Kane has cut a frustrating figure in the two opening games of the season, seemingly as keenly aware of the “August Jinx” as clued in fantasy managers. He has yet to score a goal in the Premier League in August, preferring to let the other contestants for goalscorer of the year get a headstart before getting going. FPL managers who put their faith in the England star over a nonsensical jinx are understandably questioning their judgement, but there is no player for whom patience should be sustained than Sir Harry. As the goalscorer mantra goes, its not when a forward is missing chances that concern is merited, it is when they aren’t getting those chances that you (and they) should be worried. Kane has definitely been getting in the situations, he just has not got the rub of the green as of yet. Kane has taken a league high 14 shots this season, only 3 of which have been from outside the box. He has hit the target 4 times, had 5 shots blocked and has hit the woodwork a league high 2 times. Those are not stats which should have managers worried, just frustrated.
All of the above made me strongly consider Kane as my GW3 captain, and truthfully that could still happen. However, his history against this weekend’s opponent is giving me pause. This Sunday Kane plays against Burnley, who beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in Gameweek 1, but fell to Robson-Kanu and the Baggies last weekend. Sean Dyche is a good manager who knows how to set up against better quality opposition, and so I don’t expect this to be easy for Tottenham. In addition, Kane has not found games against Burnley to be happy hunting grounds in the past, not having scored against them since the 2014/15 season when he scored one in a 2-1 White Hart Lane victory. Since then, in 5 meetings across all competitions he has yet to score despite Spurs scoring 10 goals. While I still expect Spurs to win, this may prove to be another frustrating game for his fantasy owners.