The Stag surveyed the expanse of colours laid out before him. The jerseyed knights jostled for positions, snarling as they sought the upperground and overenthusiastically celebrated their triumphs. However, The Stag required a differential. Only a knight less than 20% of the herd would do. Only one knight could help him vault the others over the next 3 gameweeks. Only one knight could bring him the fabled Green Arrows. A knight to brighten his day.
This week I have selected Spurs winger Nacer Chadli as my Stag's Knight. I'll go through my reasoning for choosing him in a second but first I must address the astonishing start of the season.
2015/16 has started off weirdly. There is no better word to describe the opening two gameweeks. People like myself with a passion for FPL who are on Twitter have resembled victims of violent crime. We're looking around looking for explanations, laid out on the floor. Our tears blending with our blood to form red arrows dragging us ever further into the murky depths of the overall ranks. Many of us have set records for our lowest overall rank and even our lowest gameweek ranks ever twice already! To put this in perspective, I never dipped below 2 million in GW rank all last season.
This year, I barely dodged it in GW1 before falling below the line for GW2. The last two Stag's Knights, Mané and Lens have so far failed to deliver, mirroring the daft results that have occurred throughout the league. Given time they will come good, these circumstances have so far been exceptional! Stay calm, don't panic, adapt with a wildcard if you must. Just remember that talent will overcome in the end, not luck.
Quite a lot about Nacer Chadli mystifies me. For a start, his ownership is incredibly low! Chadli is owned by only 7.3% of FPL managers despite having scored more PL goals since the start of last season than any other midfielder except for Eden Hazard. With that in mind, his price tag of 7.0 is doubly unbelievable. He has more strings to his bow that goals too. Chadli got a solid 6 assists over the course of last season.
Tottenham's vast array of midfield options also plays into Chadli's hands. Since he has seemingly proven himself to be too dangerous to drop, Pochettino instead resorts to pushing the Belgian forward. Only in the last 24 hours, Poch spoke about Chadli's out of position (OOP) potential:
"We have players like Nacer Chadli, Erik Lamela and now Clinton N’Jie, who can play like a striker."
Hence the possibility of Chadli edging further forward when Spurs are chasing goals is high.
In terms of fixtures, I've decided to try and adapt to this odd new season where away teams seem to prevail. Chadli will face Leicester away, Everton at home and then Sunderland away while Stag's Knight. Leicester and City have both played very well so far stealing more points than would have been initially expected, however, Leicester failed to keep clean sheets against Sunderland and West Ham so it would be a shock if Spurs fail to penetrate them. I fancy Tottenham to overcome Everton at White Hart Lane and then crush Advocaat's disturbingly poor Black Cats.
In midfield, Chadli has the supremely talented Christian Eriksen feeding him shooting opportunities and he has last season's deadly surprise package Harry Kane in front of him to get assists. Without injuries, I can't see how Chadli won't succeed for you and me as this week's Stag's Knight.
Thanks very much for reading. If you have any questions, want advice or just feel like screaming at a poor, unfortunate wannabe FPL genius, hit me up on Twitter @FPLStag.