Thursday, 22 October 2015

Stag's Knight - Gameweek 10

The Stag surveyed the expanse of colours laid out before him. The jerseyed knights jostled for positions, snarling as they sought the upper ground and over enthusiastically 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.

It’s extraordinary how quickly the FPL landscape can be changed. A few weeks ago, people scrambled to bring Anthony Martial after he went on an unbelievable hot-streak. Then we had the Aguero injury which forced people to invest money elsewhere. Indeed, the injury to the Argentinian was a huge factor in Gameweek 7’s Stag’s Knight Raheem Sterling being deployed further forward last weekend, where, as you all surely know, he got a hat-trick. Meanwhile Wilfried Bony reemerged from relative FPL obscurity to score 2, assist 1, and notch up 3 BAPs alongside the Englishman. His instant impact honestly surprised me. I had considered him for both my own team and Stag’s Knight but doubted him too much to take the plunge. He proved me wrong! So with that slice of humble pie in one hand and my own FT in the other, I’m selecting Wilfried Bony as Gameweek 10’s Stag’s Knight.

I’ll get straight to the facts here. Bony has got only 3 Premier League games to prove his worth to manager Manuel Pellegrini as star man Sergio Aguero is expected to then return in time for the Liverpool game on November 21st. In that sense, Bony fits the Stag’s Knight metric perfectly - a 3 week pick for a 3 week player. In terms of ownership, Bony is owned by only 3.1% of all FPL managers, 2.8% if you include all “ghost ship” teams according to Fantasy Football Fix. This highlights the striker as a staggering differential for improving your overall rank. Furthermore, the case for Bony is supported by an ownership of 7.3% among the eminent top 1000.

Bony’s Premier League stats this season are not comprehensive enough to paint a true picture of his performances, good or bad. Stats from sub appearances here and there coupled with a one-sided trouncing of Bournemouth hardly merit mentioning, let alone reliance. Hence, I’ll do an unusual thing and just highlight pure ability. He has 30 Premier League goals and 9 assists in 71 appearances. If you were to discount the cameos as a sub for City, you’d find he has been averaging about a goal every second game. That’s a solid ratio for any striker.

Apart from the psychological “now or never” factor and evident ability, Bony has decent fixtures on his side too. I tend to run an “avoid Manchester Derbies” policy when I’m looking at FPL players - the risk of cards is a major deterrent in general. I’m willing to turn a blind eye on this occasion though because those derbies tend to produce goals in bucket loads also. Following on from the clash in Old Trafford, Bony and co. host the league’s worst defence at the Etihad. You can probably guess who that is… yup, Norwich City. They’ve shipped 20 goals in 9 games so far. Bony will finish his term as Stag’s Knight when City visit Villa Park, where Tim Sherwood’s men are seriously struggling. I’d even go as far to predict that poor Tim won’t even be in charge by the time City visit. Regardless, I reckon City will go nuts there, especially with David Silva back providing assists.

Big, strong and sometimes lethal – Your Stag’s Knight for Gameweek 10 is Wilfried Bony.

As I highlighted at the top of the article, so much can change in a week. I concluded last week’s article hoping for a change of fortune for Stag’s Knights. That’s exactly what I got. All three came up trumps, each scoring goals..

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