It’s a one man Fantasy Premier League wrecking ball causing havoc across mini-leagues worldwide. It’s Wayne Rooney. The Manchester United striker is already owned by 45% of Fantasy Premier League managers and has put up a whopping 55 points in just 4 game weeks.
Rooney is scoring 14 points per game week – on pace for a cool 522 points this season if he starts 38 games.
Of course, Rooney won’t score hat tricks every game nor will he start all 38 games so he certainly won’t finish the year with 522 points. 200 points is usually enough to win the top scoring forward of the season, and Rooney’s teammate Nani led Fantasy Premier League scorers last season with just 198. But the fact that Wazza is on pace for 522 fantasy points shows just how ridiculous this first month has been. 522 points?!
Kun Aguero debuted with 2 goals and an assist in just 30 minutes. Edin Dzeko scored 4 goals in one game and was then benched. Wayne Rooney scored back-to-back hat tricks. Back-to-back hat tricks, people.
I must admit, I did not see this type of production coming from Rooney over the first month though I knew he’d be my rising fantasy stud for the year. He was my Captain in my Gameweek 1 Fantasy Premier League lineup (with the Captain’s Armband all pre-season) despite his prohibitive pricetag of 12M and even with all the summer excitement around Aguero and Suarez. I watched Rooney in the United States on Manchester United’s pre-season tour and was attracted to his superb link-up play with Welbeck, Young and Nani. So against West Brom on Gameweek 1, I gave him the Captain’s Armband and he delivered a solid 9 points – a joke in comparison to his scores in weeks 3 and 4.
Fantasy managers who managed to keep that armband on Wayne’s biceps despite the supposedly ‘tricky’ or ‘difficult’ matches against Tottenham and Arsenal, and this past weekend away to Bolton – have been well rewarded. 110 points in 4 weeks for Captain Rooney. That’s a SEASON’S WORTH of FANTASY POINTS for a good 5th midfielder or 3rd or 4th defender. 110 points. Wow. I am excited. Shocked. Just wow.
Sure, Rooney’s form is red hot (ironically for fans of the England National Team, I wonder if this form comes 1 year too early as the Poland/Ukraine Euro 2012 competition doesn’t kick-off until next summer) but should we have expected 6 goals and 2 assists these past two weeks? Probably not.
Last season, Manchester United beat Bolton just 1-0 at home and drew with Owen Coyle’s men 2-2 at the Reebok Stadium. The three goalscorers for United were Berbatov, Nani, and Michael Owen. No Rooney. No problem for Wazza. 5-0 in this year’s edition with three goals.
Last season, Manchester United played Arsenal twice in the league, losing once 1-0 and winning once 1-0 with J.S. Park the only goalscorer. No Rooney. No problem for Wazza. 8-2 in this year’s edition with 3 goals and 2 assists.
So should we expect another 20+ fantasy point performance this coming weekend for Captain Rooney at home to Chelsea? I wouldn’t be so sure. Chelsea and Manchester United each won 2-1 last season at home in the league. Vidic and Hernandez scoring at Old Trafford and Rooney scoring in a 2-1 loss at Stamford Bridge.
In what will surely be the decision of the month for fantasy managers, the classic ‘form’ vs ‘fixtures’ debate will rear its ugly head again this weekend as Rooney takes on Chelsea with his red-hot form.
So far it’s been a season of form (Rooney does it against Arsenal, Tottenham, and away to Bolton) over fixtures (Torres draws blanks at home to minnows Norwich and West Brom, and RVP draws a blank at home to Swansea). In year’s past, Arsenal and Tottenham would have shown a bit of resolve, limiting Rooney to a goal maximum, while newly promoted Championship sides would have been run over 3-0 or 4-0 by a rampant Chelsea attack.
If you didn’t select Rooney, don’t fret. Perhaps you went with Drogba, Torres, or RVP over the last few weeks. Or even Dzeko, Aguero, or Suarez. Those decisions weren’t necessarily poor, and perhaps, historically speaking as you can see from the examples below, were based in just as sound logic as going with Rooney – but of course there are elements of luck to this game.
Remember Chelsea’s 6-0 home win against West Brom last August? I did when I selected Chelsea attackers in gameweek 2. Not this year. A 2-1 win. Or Arsenal’s 6-0 over Blackpool last August? I did when selecting Arsenal attackers this past weekend against Swansea after seeing RVP score 4 goals against San Marino a few days ago and Theo Walcott threaten Bulgaria up and down the flanks. Not this year. A 1-0 win. Arsenal and Chelsea scraped by West Brom, Norwich, and Swansea – against all historical record and disappointing the millions of Torres, RVP, and Malouda owners. To add insult to injury, RVP and Walcott not only had history on their side, they also had a bit of form, scoring in midweek internationals (as RVP did) or scoring in both legs of the Champions League (as Walcott did). Form and fixtures, then, they had to deliver, right? Nope.
So that’s just the way the first month of the league has been. Unpredictable yet exciting. It’s been a one-man show. Wayne Rooney has thrown the fixture list out the window and his red-hot form has propelled him, and his fantasy owners, to a new stratosphere.
When will the brilliant run end?