Fantasy football: Sturridge, Ben Arfa and other must-haves

Last week's Dream Team

It’s Friday afternoon and, like us, you’re probably sat at your desk staring at the clock and wondering it still hasn’t reached 5.30 when, you could bet your house and family on this, it was 4.40 at least two hours ago.

While you try to figure out why it is that time stands still when it should be running and vice versa, it might also occur to you that you still haven’t tinkered with your fantasy team.

Since we’re feeling helpful and we know how painful it could be to research that one player capable to turn our team’s fortunes around, here’s a list containing four players you ought to have in your team (or maybe not, as that would mean you might score more points than us, so…well, do as you’re pleased).

1) Daniel Sturridge

The first player to score in each of Liverpool’s four opening league fixture since Mark Lawrenson and Alan Hansen didn’t occupy the Match of the Day sofa (believe it or not, there was such an era), the former Chelsea striker is pricey at £9.4m but has been worth the investment so far.

Southampton have conceded a meagre nine shots on target and two goals in their first four games, but surely the 26.8% of managers who selected Sturridge can’t be wrong, can they?

2) Hatem Ben Arfa

Ben Arfa has been Newcastle’s shining light so far this season, scoring twice in the last two games and just about keeping Alan Pardew in the job.

The Frenchman is a relative bargain at £7.4m and has already earned 27 points to the 19% of fantasy managers smart enough – or brave enough, considering Ben Arfa’s injury record – to select him.

Hull, Newcastle opponent on Saturday, have conceded more than a goal a game so far which, theoretically, means Ben Arfa an excellent signing but beware, the Magpies have scored just one goal in their last five league games at St James Park.

3) Jussi Jaaskelainen

No longer a surprise, considering how long he’s been around (he’s only 38, still a youngster compared to Brad Friedel, mind), the Finnish custodian continues to prove a reliable choice.

A save percentage of 42% and just one goal conceded in four games represent great value for the £5.5m-rated stopper. Furthermore, the Hammers’ four Premier League games this season have produced a total of three goals, so another snooze-fest against Everton should see you bag some precious points.

4) Phil Jagielka

“An England international in a fantasy league guide? I could have picked that myself.” If that’s what you’re thinking, first of all congratulations, you can now skip this paragraph.

For those of you who haven’t selected Jagielka yet, the Everton man is mister reliability. 25 points scored in his first four league appearances and all for a mere £5.5m, which has been considered too attractive to resist by 16.5% of players.

Oh, and did we mention Everton play West Ham this weekend? That’s West Ham who have not scored a Premier League goal in 284 minutes. A clean sheet beckons.

Enjoy the football on the weekend, good luck with your teams and remember….nobody, absolutely nobody at all, is interested in a live-update on how your fantasy team is doing, therefore a celebratory tweet/status update at the end of the weekend is more than enough!

Prices and stats according to premierleague.com

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