Friday, 6 December 2013

GW 15 FPL #JackInTheBox

Well, my man Charlie Adam was stymied by the Bluebird defence last match and managed to pick up a yellow card in the process.  Not very #JackInTheBox-like but much more similar to another compound word that starts with the word "Jack", if ya know what I'm sayin' (wink wink).

I'm now 2 for 5 and although the thrill and excitement of Caulker's absolute brilliance has faded a little with each passing week, I know that the #JackInTheBox is meant to be exactly what it's named after, an astonishing surprise that you're thrilled by but perhaps didn't quite expect.  So this week there are some intriguing matches in the bottom 5 of the Premier League table, namely:

20)  Sunderland home to Tottenham (6th)
19)  Crystal Palace home to Cardiff City (15th)
18)  Fulham home to Aston Villa (10th)
17)  West Ham away to Luis Suarez (4th)
16)  Norwich away to West Brom (13th)

Lots of thinking to do here, as we must remember, it's not so much the opponent that we're focusing on, it's the chance that one player from one of these teams will produce something that earns valuable #FPL points.  On the face of it, Palace at home to Cardiff looks like the go-to match, but at the same time, Liverpool have struggled to produce clean sheets recently so their 4th place position in the table certainly doesn't mean that a West Ham player with under 3% ownership won't score or assist, right?  Well, maybe that's a bad example ;)

Norwich, my #JackInTheBox "teacher's pet" whenever they qualify, have had a horrid away record so far this season, scoring 4, conceding 21, and notching just 3 pts in 7 matches for their troubles.  I will happily avoid them this week for the first time since I've worked this feature.  West Ham, without a top-notch striker, with a captain struggling through an extended goal drought, and now without the wizardry of widely recognized threat Morrison (suspended), are also a tough squad to take a punt on at the moment.  That leaves Sunderland, Palace and Fulham.

Sorry Sunderland, but you are just too inconsistent to punt on and I don't get a happy-happy joy-joy feeling from Fulham despite their home fixture with Villa (Ruiz was tempting but his minutes are volatile and my favourite Fulham player Kasami is owned by too many to qualify), so Crystal Palace is where it's at.  I started the season wishing well for Palace after last year's heroics and the fact that our old friend Ian Holloway was providing additional entertainment only solidified things.  I also LOVE the environment at Selhurst Park and it's quickly become one of my favorite grounds to watch on the telly from all the way over here in America.  So who is there to consider?

GW15 FPL #JackInTheBox:  Barry Bannan

The Moroccan with the crazy hair always has a potential goal waiting on one of his feet or the forehead that sits in front of his epic 'do, and the Palace defence has stepped things up a notch recently. I'm also a fan of Jason Puncheon but you just never know when he's going to need to unexpectedly leave the pitch to attend to "other" business.  Barry Bannan is enjoying a good run of form recently and I am giving him #JackInTheBox honours this week.  I first thought this would be a nice surprise, but Bannan's recent form is catching the attention of many, including @fpladdicts, @fplhelp and @Shoonchy, all of whom have touted him on Twitter and in their weekly articles leading up to GW15.  Bannan may not be a frequent goal threat, but he whips some stellar crosses into the box and handles set pieces as well.  At 4.4m you're not gonna go broke, and he's as nailed on a starter as you'll find in the sub-4.5m market, with some good upcoming fixtures to boot.

So Barry, I'm placing a lot of pressure on your shoulders buddy.  I will do everything in my power to avoid throwing out a drink-driving joke, and instead will simply let you know how optimistic I am that you will play an influential role in a fixture highlighting two promoted sides doing everything they can to ensure the hard work they put into earning promotion to the greatest single-country club league in the world wasn't for naught.

Barry Bannan, ladies and gentleman, not only the so-called Scottish Iniesta, but also your FPL GW15 #JackInTheBox.  Fare thee well my friend, and do your buddy Walt proud, just like you did in this really cool training ground competition that our friends at YouTube kindly caught on tape...

Now that you're done with this article, take a click over to the Chief's post showcasing his GW15 FPL squad.  Once you read the first sentence and see his gameweek scores for the past 7 gameweeks, you will be immediately reminded why he is the one and only CHIEF. Matej's weekly #CalledIt differential article will also be posted soon, along with a related competition that I believe will become EXTREMELY popular and that you will all want in on!