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Blog - Fantasy Picks

 By John Culea

Fantasy Preview: Gameweek 3

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero has collected two goals in two games.
Manchester City's Sergio Aguero has collected two goals in two games.

There will be 10 games over the weekend before a two-week break. Fantasy managers have one game to check announced lineups before the week locks: Burnley hosting Manchester United. Fantasy values are in parentheses.

Saturday, Aug. 30

Burnley (0-0-2) vs. Manchester United (0-1-1)

Bottom-of-the-table Burnley get no relief in the schedule and will fall deeper in the drop zone.

Manchester United was mortified in Capital One Cup play by MK Dons, losing 4-0. The Red Devils should unleash their fury against the Clarets with Robin van Persie (9.2) and Wayne Rooney (9.6) leading the attack. Juan Mata (7.9) scored in the Sunderland draw. New transfer and assist specialist Angel di Maria (8.5) offers fantasy hope, but new players to the league are not always instant point producers.

Manchester City (2-0-0) vs. Stoke (0-1-1)

City dominated Liverpool and got a second goal from Sergio Aguero (9.2) after he was inserted again as a substitute. Edin Dzeko's (8.3) injury doubt propels Aguero into a starting role.

Stoke had a comfortable Capital One Cup victory in midweek, with Jonathan Walters (5.8) getting a brace. Fizzled transfer Bojan Krkic (6.1) is injured.

Newcastle (0-1-1) vs. Crystal Palace (0-0-2)

The Magpies, with new additions, have yet to score. Michael Williamson (5.2) is suspended.

Marouane Chamakh (5.8) scored in the West Ham loss. Dwight Gayle (4.7) had a hat trick in midweek. Neil Warnock has another bite of the Palace managerial apple. Jason Puncheon (6.0) returns from a one-game suspension. Palace have surrendered a league-high five goals.

QPR (0-0-2) vs. Sunderland (0-2-0)

Bottom-of-the-table Rangers have Loic Remy (7.7) and not much more.

Sunderland's Jordi Gomez (5.0), Adam Johnson (6.4) and Connor Wickham (5.5) scored in midweek.

Swansea (2-0-0) vs. WBA (0-2-0)

The surprising Swans have their tails up and are getting inspired play from Gylfi Sigurdsson (6.4) ( a goal and two assists) and Wilfried Bony (7.3).

The Baggies have drawn twice. Ideye Brown (5.8) was active as a sub in his debut.

West Ham (1-0-1) vs. Southampton (0-1-1)

The Hammers got goals from Stewart Downing (5.8), Carlton Cole (4.9) and newcomer Mauro Zarate (7.0). Kevin Nolan (6.2) is out injured, but they get James Collins (5.0) back from suspension.

Saints' Dusan Tadic (5.8) and James Ward-Prowse (5.2) continue to impress, but the team has scored only one goal.

Everton (0-2-0) vs. Chelsea (2-0-0)

If he overcomes a toe injury, the big talking point will be Romelu Lukaku (7.9) playing against his old team for the first time. Starter Steven Naismith (5.9), a onetime substitute, has scored a goal in each of the first two games. Everton have two draws, surrendering the lead in both games while conceding four goals.

Chelsea's Diego Costa (9.2) is out with a hamstring injury, so Didier Drogba (5.7) will likely start. Andre Schurrle (6.9) is an injury question mark. Cesc Fabregas (8.7) has been a distribution machine with three assists. The Eden Hazard (9.3) of old resurfaced with a brilliant goal. Thibaut Courtois (7.3) and Branislav Ivanovic (7.9) anchor a stiff defense.

Sunday, Aug. 31

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

Villa were target practice last season. This season they have two straight clean sheets.

Brad Guzan (5.7) and co may get their third against the tame, defensive-minded Tigers, but defender Ron Vlaar (5.5) is an injury doubt.

Hull get forward Yannick Sagbo (4.7) back after a long suspension.

Tottenham (2-0-0) vs. Liverpool (1-0-1)

Top-of-the-table Spurs have five goals, and two belong to fantasy defender leader Eric Dier (5.4). Emmanuel Adebayor (7.8) has a goal and an assist and looks vintage. Erik Lamela (6.4) is on a man-of-the-match tear. Nacer Chadli (6.5) had a brace last week. Kyle Naughton (5.0) returns from a one-game suspension.

Liverpool was manhandled by Manchester City and have not filled the void left by Luis Suarez. Mario Balotelli (9.0) may start. Defenders Glen Johnson (6.5), Martin Skrtel (7.0) and Alberto Moreno (6.7) are injury doubts.

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

The cruel-and-unusual-punishment schedule continues for the sturdy Foxes after games against Everton and Chelsea, and now Arsenal.

Arsenal showed gritty comeback ability to draw with Everton, but Olivier Giroud (8.7) is out until January with a broken foot. Aaron Ramsey (9.5) has two goals in two games. Alexis Sanchez (9.2) scored his first goal for the club in Wednesday's Champions League victory.

Recommended captains:

Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Yaya Toure, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Wilfried Bony, Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey

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