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What We Learned from Gameweek 6
Gameweek 6 brought about some surprising results in the EPL: City dominating and getting a well-earned victory at Stamford Bridge, United dropping points thanks to a missed penalty in extra time, Brentford holding their own with Liverpool to earn a very solid point at home, and Arsenal painting North London red with a convincing win over a reeling Spurs. Even Burnley waking up to draw with Leicester at the King Power and Raul Jimenez scoring his first goal since the head injury that robbed last season from him were part of the fun that was Gameweek 6.
There is still one more match to be played on Monday between a resurgent Palace and the surprising Brighton, who look to go top-of-the-table with three points on the road. That certainly has become a match that will draw more interest with both teams’ recent form than it did before week one kicked off.
Each week this space will look quickly at some notable takeaways from the previous gameweek and provide some instant reactions and thoughts for going forward. With (almost) six weeks under our belts, we have some more workable data to start making sense of this fun and frustrating game of Draft PL.
Brentford Keep Rolling
Liverpool goalkeeper Allison was a popular player this gameweek in the Perfect XI Community League game, also including in my lineup. On paper, Liverpool should have steamrolled the newly-promoted Bees to a tune of two or three to nil. But Ivan Toney and co. had different ideas. Knowing that Liverpool would dominate possession and surely get their goals, Brentford pushed on the counter attack and stung the Reds for three goals of their own.
The standout fantasy performances belong to the aforementioned Toney, Ethan Pinnock, and Vitaly Janelt. The first two have been on managers’ radars since preseason or Gameweek 1 and they have continued to impress. Toney has been consistent for four consecutive weeks, posting double digits in every game in that span. While those scores have been helped by attacking returns (two goals and two assists), he did put up 11 FPTS in the game with no returns against Brighton. Toney is the focus of this offense and is finally showing that to managers that took a chance on him in the draft.
Pinnock unfortunately went off injured in the first half against Liverpool but managed to score a goal before he left. That allowed Pinnock to put up another double digit FPTS output, his fourth in six starts this year. The injury looks to keep him out of the next match, but look for more production from the attack-minded defender when he returns to the lineup.
Both Toney and Pinnock are well-rostered commodities by this point in the season, whereas Janelt finds himself only rostered in 17% of leagues despite putting up consistent numbers for most of the matches so far. Janelt has started all six matches for the Bees, scoring at least 9.5 FPTS in four of six, with only one attacking return on the season: his goal this week. The points have come from nine key passes, three shots on target, six shots overall, and a solid number of interceptions, clearances, and aerials won. He also leads all players in tackles won with 14 on the season. Janelt is a key part of this offense that seems to be starting to click. Look to add Janelt as some consistent MID depth, especially with many top clubs starting heavy rotations thanks to European competitions being played this week.
It seems we did not have to wait long to see the potential replacement for Harvey Elliot in the middle for Liverpool. 20-year-old Curtis Jones made the most of his first start of the season with 17 FPTS in only 67 minutes of action. Firing a rocket into the back of the net helps with that total, but Jones was involved in the game in different ways as well. He took on players registering two successful dribbles (CoS), provided a key pass, a tackle won, an accurate cross, an aerial won, and four shots.
Hopefully Klopp will give Jones more chances to prove himself as a connecting piece in the middle of a potent attack. A speculative add in deep leagues, Jones could provide some rare MID depth, provided that he is allowed to play and shine.
Lookman made his first start since joining Leicester in the summer transfer window and he showed the reason for excitement over his move. The Leicester midfielder scored 15 points in 77 minutes without an attacking return. Lookman moved well in the Foxes attack, taking on defenders and completing three successful dribbles, just one game after completing four in 44 minutes off the bench against Brighton.
Lookman also provided four key passes and a shot on target in the draw with Burnley. He was Leicester’s third-highest scoring player behind Jamie Vardy and Youri Tielemans, who both had attacking returns with two goals and an assist respectively. Lookman was only four points off of Tielemans despite being subbed off early. He should secure a starting spot very soon in Brendan Rodgers's XI and give fantasy managers a solid return for the season. Still available in almost 50% of leagues, Lookman should see that change and reward the managers savvy enough to roster him when they can.
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