Fantasy Premier League: Matchweek 17

TorresGetty

By AVI CREDITOR

Its fans likely have no more hair to pull out. Its new manager has been questioned since the first game of the season. Injuries and poor play had the club lingering around the drop zone for an unusual amount of time.

But is it finally time to put some faith in Liverpool?

The Reds' schedule from now until the beginning of February is a fantasy manager's dream. In order: At Newcastle, vs. Fulham, at Blackpool, vs. Wolves, vs. Bolton, at Blackburn, vs. Everton, at Wolves, vs. Stoke City. Not exactly a murderer's row. If Liverpool, which has snuck up to ninth in the league table, is ever going to hit its stride and become a contender for a Champions League spot, it's going to be now. The fantasy value for Fernando Torres, Martin Skrtel, Dirk Kuyt, Maxi Rodriguez & Co. is on the rise.

Here are a few more Fantasy Premier League notes, along with our captain pick of the week and an SBI league standings update:

AMERICAN WATCH

Jonathan Spector should now be on your radar. It remains to be seen if his place in Avram Grant's midfield is a permanent one, but considering he's listed as a defender and costs just £4.1, he could be a shockingly helpful player as the season unfolds. Give it another week before making the add.

Stuart Holden is expected to return from his two-game absence (thigh injury) to face Blackburn at home. Don't be afraid to play him if he's on your roster.

Clint Dempsey remains a sound weekly play, coming up with a beautiful assist against Arsenal last week. He's tied for the 12th-most points among Fantasy Premier League midfielders. Start him with confidence against Sunderland this week.

Brad Friedel (vs. West Brom) and Tim Howard (vs. Wigan) both make for excellent plays in goal this week. I'd rank Howard slightly above Friedel this week, but either should be able to help you.

INJURY QUICK HITS

Rafael Van der Vaart's injury timetable has gotten shorter, but he's still expected to be out for Tottenham's match with Chelsea this weekend…Same goes for Cesc Fabregas, who is due to miss Arsenal's clash with Manchester United…Steven Gerrard is still a week or so away from returning to the lineup for Liverpool…Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon is a doubt with a hamstring injury. If you are putting your eggs in the Black Cats' basket, Simon Mignolet is the keeper to add…Staying with Sunderland, Asamoah Gyan is a doubt with a toe injury, making Darren Bent and Danny Welbeck more valuable…West Brom's Peter Odemwingie has an injured groin and may not suit up against Aston Villa.

LAST WEEK'S CAPTAIN PICK

Darren Bent, Sunderland (2×2=4 points)

WHAT I REALLY MEANT TO SAY WAS…

Samir Nasri, Arsenal; Ryan Nelsen, Blackburn (15×2=30 points)

THIS WEEK'S CAPTAIN PICK

Fernando Torres, Liverpool, £11.9

He missed last week's match because his wife was giving birth to their second child, but the Spanish striker is set to return to action against a fragile Newcastle team. It's unclear how the Magpies will react to Chris Hughton being sacked and Alan Pardew being hired, but Liverpool is in solid form, and as stated above, they could remain in form for quite some time given its schedule. Torres is bound for a break-out game, and he should be the focal point of Liverpool's attack upon his return to the lineup.

Other options: Aston Villa's Ashley Young (vs. West Brom); Everton's Tim Cahill (vs. Wigan Athletic); Tottenham's Gareth Bale (vs. Chelsea); Manchester United's Nani and Dimitar Berbatov (vs. Arsenal); Arsenal's Samir Nasri (at Manchester United); Manchester City's Mario Balotelli (at West Ham); Stoke City's Matthew Etherington (vs. Blackpool)

Soccer By Ives League Standings (Top 10)
1. The 14ers FC…………………….906 points
2. typos by ives………………………904
3. SP………………………………………903
4. Freddie Adu's Cru………………898
5. Austin Killbotz!!…………………..898
6. Welschpool FC…………………..891
7. vonruedenFC……………………..886
8. Zlatans Revenge………………..882
9. Ft Mudge Possums……………881
10. scoobys doos…………………..880

LAST WEEK'S SBI LEAGUE TOP SCORER

AC Vols (87 points)

—————————-Robinson(9)————————
–Kyrgiakos(6)–Konchesky(6)–Kolarov(3)–G. Cahill(2)–
–Nasri(C-30)–Gamst Pedersen(6)–T. Cahill(5)–Lee(2)–
———–Odemwingie(13)————-Carroll(5)————

———————-

Will you trust Liverpool given its cushy schedule? Who are you making your captain this week? What's your lineup looking like?

Share your thoughts below.

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