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Blog - Fantasy Picks

 By John Culea

Fantasy Preview: Gameweek 2

Week two will be cover three days for the ten Premier League matches and there is one chance to see announced lineups before the game locks: Aston Villa hosting Newcastle.

There are two massive matchups this week: Everton hosting Arsenal on Saturday and Liverpool making the short Monday trip to Manchester City. Player values remain the same.

Saturday, Aug. 23

Aston Villa (1-0-0) vs. Newcastle (0-0-1)

Villa come off a clean sheet over upgraded Stoke and got a goal from Andreas Wiemann (6.2). Newcastle had encouraging play from newcomer Remy Cabella (5.8); however, holdover Moussa Sissoko (6.2) continues to disappoint. The Magpies had zero shots on goal against Manchester City. Crystal Palace (0-0-1) vs. West Ham (0-0-1)

Manager-less Crystal Palace has Jason Puncheon (6.0) suspended. West Ham's James Collins (5.3) is also suspended.

Swansea (1-0-0) vs. Burnley (0-0-1)

Gylfi Sigurdsson (6.1) had a goal and an assist against Manchester United and is in top fantasy form. Wilfried Bony (7.4) is a constant threat to score. Permanent signing, midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng (5.7) is a fantasy bargain.

Burnley offer no fantasy help except low budget bench players. Swansea has the firepower to make this a cricket score.

Chelsea (1-0-0) vs. Leicester (0-1-0)

Chelsea has the real deal in Diego Costa (9.0) and although Cesc Fabregas (8.4) has yet to take his first shot, he had two assists. The Blues will find Leicester more difficult than Burnley, but not much and seem likely to rack up major fantasy points. Ramires (6.5) returns and Andre Schurrle (6.6) may be benched in favor of Willian (6.9).

Leicester's killer opening run of matches continues after sharing a surprise point with Everton. A fantasy value steal is forward Jose Ulloa (4.9) but not against Chelsea.

Southampton (0-0-1) vs. WBA (0-1-0)

Despite the mass exodus of players, the Saints have a pretty good team and gave Liverpool all they could handle before losing late. Transfer additions forward Graziano Pelle (5.6) and attacking midfielder Dusan Tadic (5.5) provide quality and James Ward-Prowse (5.1) looked great against Liverpool.

The Baggies Saido Berahino (5.5) leads the league with two goals scored. Stephane Sessegnon may sneak into the first XI.

Everton (0-1-0) vs. Arsenal (1-0-0)

Romelu Lukaku (8.0) had a disappointing first game with his new permanent team. Seamus Coleman (7.0) was a substitute.

Arsenal was sluggish in a Champions League goalless draw against Besiktas on Tuesday. Aaron Ramsey (9.2) got a red card in that game, but against Crystal Palace scored the winning goal. He and newcomer Alexis Sanchez (9.0) work well together. Olivier Giroud (9.0) will start and the Gunners should have Per Mertesacker (7.2), Mesut Ozil (7.9), and Lukas Podolski (7.0) ready to play.

In what's becoming a regular occurrence, Aaron Ramsey rescued Arsenal.
Can Aaron Ramsey get on the scoresheet again?

Sunday, Aug. 24

Hull (1-0-0) vs. Stoke (0-0-1)

Hull's goalkeeper Allan McGregor (5.3), in a clean sheet win and penalty save against QPR will face more firepower from the Potters who hope newcomer Mame Biram Diouf (5.7) at least gets off a shot. Injured Robert Snodgrass (5.8) is out for six months.

Stoke's Bojan Krkic (6.1) was active and looks like a fantasy rewarder but the game is likely to have few if any goals.

Tottenham (1-0-0) vs. QPR (0-0-1)

Spurs got only one goal in a late result at West Ham. Christen Eriksen (6.8) and Eric Lamela (6.2) are overdue to score. Kyle Naughton (5.3) is suspended. Jan Vertonghen (6.6) could return. Forward Loic Remy (7.7) is QPR's only fantasy hope.

Sunderland (0-1-0) vs. Manchester United (0-0-1)

Wayne Rooney (9.4) looked good in the Swansea loss. Ashley Young (6.1) and Juan Mata (8.0) were flat after an outstanding summer.

Robin van Persie (9.2) is needed and could feature. Luke Shaw (6.6) and Danny Welbeck (6.6) are out, but Jonny Evans (6.5) could return in place of Tyler Blackett (5.0). Sebastian Larsson (5.8) got the equalizing late goal that garnered a point.

Monday, Aug. 25

Manchester City (1-0-0) vs. Liverpool (1-0-0)

After playing just seven minutes as a sub, Sergio Aguero (9.1) scored a goal and will likely start. Edin Dzeko (8.1) was impressive with an assist. You never know when Yaya Toure (10.0), who can sometimes frustrate fantasy managers with seemingly indifferent play, will explode for goals and assists. David Silva (7.7) managed a goal and was active in distribution.

Liverpool got a goal from Daniel Sturridge (9.5) and a goal and an assist from fantasy bargain Raheem Sterling (7.4). They also are about to get a giant headache in Mario Balotelli whose fantasy value is not set.

Captain recommendations: Rooney, Sigurdsson, Bony,

John Culea

John Culea is an American living in San Diego who became hooked on football while serving in the Navy for two years in London. A former TV news, Emmy Award-winning anchor/reporter, he goes by the fantasy honorary title of "Sir John." He is a devoted Chelsea supporter and offers previews of upcoming Premier League action and a review of the games played from an American perspective.

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