Game Week 9 is far from done with a swathe of European fixtures still to come but let’s digest the weekend’s action from a Dream Team perspective.
Most pressingly, just how big should we go on Diogo Jota (£3.0m)?
Prior to kick-off at Anfield, most eyes were on what Jamie Vardy (£6.0m) could do against an injury-ravaged defensive line.
But the defending champions didn’t care much for that narrative and instead decided to remind everyone that they are a phenomenally good team.
And team is the optimum word because the 3-0 victory over Leicester – who started the weekend top of the table – was achieved without four massively important players: Virgil van Dijk (£5.1m), Trent Alexander-Arnold (£4.8m), Jordan Henderson (£1.7m) and Mohamed Salah (£6.8m).
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Roberto Firmino (£2.8m) was awarded Star Man but Diogo Jota’s (£3.0m) continuing form is arguably the bigger takeaway.
The Portugal international crept into the top ten forwards and moved to within a point of Vardy, the man many expected to profit most from the fixture.
It remains to be seen who will take a seat on the bench once Salah returns but it’s becomingly increasingly difficult to imagine Jurgen Klopp leaving Jota out of the starting line-up for an important game.
This weekend just gone was supposed to be the start of Aston Villa’s favourable run of fixtures taking them to Christmas.
Last week we highlighted the potential value of Tyrone Mings (£2.5m) and co but the experiment didn’t get off to the best start as Dean Smith’s side lost to Brighton.
Although Ezri Konsa (£1.8m) did score to guarantee at least one Villa defender left with some points.
We’ll not write-off this plan just yet though, let’s give it another couple of games at least.
We’ve written a whole separate piece about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s (£5.5m) woes so we won’t repeat ourselves here.
Instead let’s take a positive from Arsenal’s 0-0 draw at Leeds in the form of Bernd Leno (£2.5m).
The German was named Star Man and the 13 points catapulted him up to second in the goalkeeper rankings.
In combination with the woodwork, he denied Marcelo Bielsa’s troops to ensure the visitors left Elland Road with a point despite Nicolas Pepe’s (£3.6m) premature exit.
While we’re on that incident, the Ivorian was actually having a surprisingly good Dream Team campaign before he fell into Gjanni Alisoki’s (£1.4m) wind-up trap.
Before Game Week 9, only four midfielders had more points but any momentum the Ivorian had evaporated the moment he decided Leeds’ bleach-blonde full-back was rather annoying.
The minus points plus the impending suspension will probably see him drop out the top ten midfielders and if Mikel Arteta’s post-match interview is anything to go Pepe will be lucky to start another game before the new year.
A full-strength Everton team is seemingly still a free-flowing source of points.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£4.1m) cashed in as the Toffees got back to winning ways with a 3-2 win over Fulham — although they needed some assistance from the penalty curse currently affecting Scott Parker’s men.
22.5% of Dream Team gaffers watched on smugly as DCL scored twice to take 18 points away from west London, becoming the second player after Kane to reach the 100-point mark this season in the process.
It was a good afternoon for Dream Team favourite Lucas Digne (£2.5m) too.
The Frenchman provided two assists and looked much more effective with the return of Richarlison (£3.8m) ahead of him.
However, James Rodriguez (£4.0m) drew a blank for the fourth consecutive game.
Another goose egg against Leeds in Game Week 10 would create dilemma for the 24.3% of gaffers who have invested into the stylish southpaw.
And finally, the answer to the question of whether Man City’s steadily improving defence could repel Dream Team’s golden boys Harry Kane (£7.8m) and Son Heung-min (£5.2m)… no.
But don’t ditch Kyle Walker (£3.5m) and his mates just yet, they play Burnley in Game Week 10 who, last time we checked, don’t have Kane up front.
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