Welcome to today's edition of Tactics Tuesday, where I talk about the intersection of what's happening on the pitch and the stats that you're seeing in FPL. The goal of this piece is to help you make informed decisions when adding and dropping players or playing certain positions versus certain teams.
We've been away for a few weeks and I'd like to begin with an apology for that. With moving into a new place and the high number of Monday fixtures this season, at times publishing on Tuesday has been easier said than done. Moving forward if there is no Monday fixture, this will drop on Tuesday. If there is one, depending on time it may take until Thursday mainly because I don't like to go through all the numbers until all games have finished due to wanting to make sure that my stats are accurate and that I'm not trying to fit in something that I liked from the Monday game at the last second.
Alright… now that that is behind us, let's get to this weeks look in.
Callum Paterson, not your average forward:
Called a “stop-gap” solution by his own manager Neil Warnock, Paterson will make him think twice if he has a few more performances like the one versus Brighton on the weekend. Sol Bamba may have stolen the show with his late winner but it was Paterson that set it up by driving a shot on target during some good ole chaos in the box. Paterson has three goals so far this year and is 1.8 shots per game playing everywhere for the Bluebirds.
Paterson began the season playing in central midfield and has consistently moved up the pitch as Cardiff continued to have goalscoring troubles. Initially, the goal was for his aerial prowess to set up other attackers but after five starts at forward it's safe to say that until something changes with the roster makeup at Cardiff, Paterson is their forward. It's interesting because Paterson is immobile but when the ball reached him, he knows what to do.
Looking at his equalizer versus Brighton, Paterson stands there and Kadeem Harris finds his head for the goal. Paterson doesn’t have to do much movement when he’s getting pinpoint deliveries like this:
— Chuck Booth (@ChuckBoothSport) November 13, 2018
It’s unknown how long Paterson will continue on in this role but as long as he keeps scoring, Warnock has no reason to move him. Looking at his 5.2m price tag at the midfield position, Paterson could have some worth in FPL as a cheap enabler. In Fantrax leagues where he’s actually listed as a defender, Paterson is the ultimate out of position player (since Victor Moses doesn’t have a role anymore) and should be owned EVERYWHERE regardless of league size.
Anything you can do, City can do better.
I’ve already expressed how much I love a good team goal by looking at the Arsenal goal from a few weeks ago and in true City fashion, they blew it out of the water. With an astounding 44 passes and a silky smooth first touch leading to City’s third goal it was an emphatic statement that Manchester is blue and until further notice, so is the Premier League.
This level of selflessness in such a star-studded team is unbelievable. The top six are improving but Manchester City are also improving. The saying is, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." but someone forgot to tell Pep Guardiola.
Newcastle are fine and Rondon is Back
Newcastle United struggled to start the season going winless in their first 10 but two wins in two weeks will do wonders in a crowded bottom of the Premier League. Some of this is down to playing the entire top six outside of Liverpool, by far one of the hardest starts in the Premier League. It’s been clear that Newcastle doesn’t have the horses but with the Rafa Effect, the Magpies are able to pick up points that they shouldn’t. Three goalless draws and surprise wins over Watford and Bournemouth have put Newcastle into 14th place three points off of West Ham.
The Bournemouth win was down to Salomon Rondon finding his footing to score his first two goals of the season. Even better is that Kenedy looked lively too but this is down to Rondon. Create chances, put the ball on his head and he will score. He’s a one-dimensional striker but if anyone can gameplan to get the most out of him, it is Rafa Benitez. Hopefully, they can get some guys in January, but there are easily 3-4 teams worse than Newcastle in the Premier League.
What does this mean in Fantasy leagues? First, add Rondon in draft. Second, if Kenedy is around, add him too. When it comes to the defense, they’re all in play versus non-top six sides.
Is the Vardy Party over?
Leicester should have scored a goal this past weekend. In fact, they had a shot at at least three in an emotional match versus Burnley. There is a lot going on around the club but Jamie Vardy hasn’t taken advantage of a soft schedule that he would have punished in the past. After retiring from international play to focus on his club career, Vardy has only scored three goals and collected one assist. He’s taking more shots per game than any other point of his career but they aren’t going in.
Some of this is down to Kelechi Iheanacho wasting every chance that comes to this but the other half of this is the Mahrez effect. While James Maddison has been great this season, he’s not Mahrez, because no one is. Defenses don’t respect the Leicester attackers and that’s hurting Vardy. I’m not looking to drop him in draft leagues but I’m concerned and looking to trade him for assets.