By AVI CREDITOR
With the story of the week seemingly reaching its bizarre conclusion, it appears that Wayne Rooney will have some Fantasy Premier League relevance after all. Assuming the off-field distractions that have plagued Rooney this season are behind him, he should be OK once he regains his fitness. The biggest loser in all this is Mexican international Javier Hernandez, who figured to see a massive increase in playing time had Rooney been shipped away. Chicharito remains a viable option until Rooney recovers from his ankle injury.
The Red Devils to own, still, are Dimitar Berbatov and Nani, whose form has kept Manchester United afloat amidst the chaos. These are players to target if you haven't rostered them already.
If you are looking at grabbing Rooney for your roster, these next couple of weeks is the time to do it. His £11.4 price tag will only grow as more managers add him, and if he can find any semblance of last season's form, that would make him a relative bargain. If you're in the position to be patient with Rooney, he's definitely worth a look, but don't mortgage your team just to get him, as his play has left much to be desired up until this point.
Here are a few more Fantasy Premier League notes, along with our captain pick of the week and an SBI league standings update:
Could this be the start of another goal-filled run for Chelsea? The Premier League leaders host Wolves, followed by matches at Blackburn and suddenly-a-pushover Liverpool, home matches against Fulham and Sunderland and then two more away fixtures at Birmingham and Newcastle.
All of those teams currently are either 12th or lower in the Premier League table. Despite being shut out in two of their last three games, the Blues have things set up pretty nicely over the next couple months.
Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard and Brad Friedel continue to get the job done, as all three come off serviceable weeks.
Dempsey tallied an assist against Tottenham and has two goals and an assist in his last four games; Howard came up with his third consecutive clean sheet after shutting down Liverpool; and Friedel managed to blank Chelsea, albeit a side that was missing Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard from the lineup. Both Howard and Friedel are Top-5 fantasy goalkeepers and should be trusted on a weekly basis. If you're deciding between the two this week, Friedel (at Sunderland) has a better matchup than Howard (at Tottenham).
Steer clear of Marcus Hahnemann this week, as the Wolves keeper must face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The Blues outscored Wolves in their two matchups last year, 6-0.
Stuart Holden remains a speculative play as a fourth or fifth midfielder with Bolton's matchup at Wigan being a favorable one.
Although Moussa Dembele returned from injury, he also limped off in Fulham's match last week. Eddie Johnson's chance at seeing extended minutes at Fulham still figures to be reduced though, with the word that Andy Johnson's return is imminent. As much as you might want to root for them, Jonathan Spector, Brad Guzan and Eric Lichaj also do not belong on your rosters.
INJURY QUICK HITS
The revolving door at the infirmary at Emirates Stadium keeps on turning. Theo Walcott, Nicklas Bendtner, Bacary Sagna and Cesc Fabregas are fit for Arsenal. Manuel Almunia, Thomas Vermaelen, Robin Van Persie and Laurent Koscielny are not….Chelsea should still be without Alex, Frank Lampard and Ramires against Wolves…Other doubts or outs include: Birmingham's James McFadden and Cameron Jerome, West Brom's Peter Odemwingie and Aston Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor.
LAST WEEK'S CAPTAIN PICK
Nani, Manchester United (10×2=20 points)
WHAT I REALLY MEANT TO SAY WAS…
Charles N'Zogbia, Wigan Athletic (15×2=30 points)
THIS WEEK'S CAPTAIN PICK
Didier Drogba, Chelsea, £13.1
Chelsea-Wolves is the mismatch of the week, and Drogba is expected to return to the lineup after battling an illness. He tallied a brace against Wolves in his only match against Mick McCarthy's side last seasn (he missed the 4-0 Chelsea victory last Novemeber), and should be as big a threat to post armband-worthy numbers as any player this week.
Other options: Chelsea's Florent Malouda; Manchester United's Nani (at Stoke City); Manchester City's Carlos Tevez (vs. Arsenal); Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas and Andrey Arshavin (at Manchester City); Tottenham's Rafael Van der Vaart and Gareth Bale (vs. Everton)
Soccer By Ives League Standings (Top 10)
1. typos by ives……………………….506 points
3. fighting relegation………………484
4. Angel City Rovers………………482
6. Welschpool FC………………….478
7. De Jong's Right Boot…………477
9. Ballin Inc…………………………….473
10. Ft Mudge Possums…………469
10. The 14ers FC…………………..469
LAST WEEK'S SBI LEAGUE TOP SCORER
6th Amendment (87 points)
Do you still trust Manchester United to be a fantasy powerhouse even without Rooney? Who are you making your captain this week? What's your lineup looking like?
Share your thoughts below.