Matchweek 5 was a forward’s feast as the English Premier League roared back into action following the end of the first international break. Defending proved too complex a task for back lines around England, with the likes of Leicester, Everton, Cardiff, and Fulham all conceding 3 or more.
My match of the weekend though comes brought to you courtesy of the Hammers of East London who beat Everton 3-1 away at Goodison Park. Highlighting both midfield effort and clinical finishing, West Ham win their first win and points of the season, while earning likely no one other than die hard Hammers fans boatloads of fantasy points.
On his first start of the season, Andriy Yarmolenko polished off a fabulous, free-flowing counter attack with a little unselfish help from Marko Arnautovic, before adding another 20 minutes later – the ladder a lovely curling effort. The Ukranian was owned by only 0.7% of fantasy managers, but will likely see a massive stock increase as Manuel Pellegrini comes closer to finding his best 11.
Marko Arnautovic left Goodison with a goal and an assist, keeping his own fantasy stock nice and high, though also picked up a knee injury and could miss next weekend’s home game against Chelsea.
Pedro Obiang and Mark Noble both picked up some points for assisting Yarmolenko’s second, and Arnautovic’s first. Obiang had a fantastic game in the center of the park, coming in along with six other changes which his manager made after the dismal performance at home against Wolves before the international break. But like Yarmolenko, the young Spaniard could get a solid run of games under his belt, and might very well be another one for fantasy managers to keep an eye on.
Felipe Anderson, one of the only remainders from matchweek 4, did about as good a job as you could hope without putting any points on the board, and remains a good, low-cost alternative to other more expensive creative midfielders.
The blue-half of Liverpool will have nothing to be grateful for after their sides performance at home, with a number of West Ham’s best chances coming from sloppy errors. Sigurdsson managed to score, and Lucas Digne had an excellent game at left back, but otherwise it was a day to forget for Toffee fans. Marco Silva will have a lot on his mind about the balance of his team as he looks to be coming out of a small, early season injury crises with the likes of Mina, Walcott, and others back in training. Richarlison, who scored two on duty with Brazil, will be available after a three match suspension against Arsenal next weekend.
There is conceivably a lot of talent in the West Ham lineup, but until now fantasy managers had seen virtually no return on their investments. However with a little bit of confidence from 3 well worked goals, and 3 points, the low-cost squad from east London could add heaps more options for fantasy mangers looking for budget difference-makers.