FPL Roundup: Hazard is Flying Again
FPL Roundup: Hazard is Flying Again

This article is part of our FPL Roundup series.

Whereas last weekend 0-0 was the most common result, the lone 0-0 final score from Gameweek 10 was arguably the most notable.

That's because it came Saturday at Old Trafford, where Manchester United failed to score against promoted side Burnley. In doing so, Jose Mourinho's side still sports just one Premiership victory since Gameweek 3, and Saturday's toothless display marked the Red Devils' third straight without a goal.

After acquiring last season's top scorer in Ligue 1, the top assister in the Bundesliga, and then breaking the world transfer record on another player, Manchester United's 13 goals fall behind the attacks of Watford and Crystal Palace. The tally is also just two more than Mourinho's Chelsea side managed through their first 10 league games last term, a span that included just one fewer win as well.

While more and more questions will be raised of Mourinho, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has become increasingly blame-worthy for fantasy owners. After four goals in his first four Premier League appearances, Ibrahimovic hasn't scored since. That obviously includes Saturday, when he failed to net despite attempting a whopping 12 shots against Burnley, with four on target.

On the back of another scoreless display, Ibrahimovic's fantasy price tag has already dropped to £11.2m. Considering it stood at £11.9m after five weeks, Ibrahimovic's stock is clearly on the decline, and at 35 years old in his first English season, it's possible that Ibrahimovic is getting heavy legs already.


Despite the shortcomings of Man United's attack, Saturday's opposition deserves great credit, as Burnley's performance at Old Trafford was the latest in their surprisingly stout big-game pursuits.

After blanking Liverpool 2-0 in Gameweek 2, the Clarets only allowed a 93rd-minute goal against Arsenal a month ago, which surely gave them confidence going to Manchester over the weekend. In clinching their third clean sheet there, Burnley have only allowed 13 goals, which matches Liverpool and is just one more than the Red Devils themselves.

Although Burnley have maintained the second-lowest percent of possession (39.8) this season, they've compensated by being combative in the air, where their average of 20.4 duels won per game ranks second-best. They've also broken up play fairly regularly, with their 18.3 interceptions per game trailing only Arsenal and West Ham.

Considering the Clarets' fielded a bottom-five defense during the 2014-15 campaign, when they were last in possession, first in aerial duels won and 13th in interceptions, their improvement in the latter category has been particularly beneficial, but the performance of goalkeeper Tom Heaton has undoubtedly been the most valuable element of their defense.

With Burnley allowing the second-most shot attempts per game (21.2), Heaton has emerged as a fantasy star, as he comfortably leads all players at his position with 50 points in the Premiership's official fantasy game. Heaton's heroics were never more evident than Saturday, when he posted a remarkable 11 saves en route to his third clean sheet and 11 fantasy points to boot. That served as Heaton's second double-digit fantasy output of the campaign, with his prior coming in the aforementioned win over Liverpool, but Saturday was also his second 11-save showing as well! His first came in Burnley's 3-1 defeat in Gameweek 8 at Southampton, and with seven saves in his following game against Everton, Heaton has now accumulated 29 saves in his last three outings alone.

Overall, his 50 saves this season dwarf the next-closest tally, which sits at just 36. Given his £4.7m valuation, Heaton is one of the best bargains regardless of position, and given that only one team has scored fewer times than Burnley, he may be the key to the Clarets staving off another relegation this time around.


For all the flack their defense caught following Gameweek 6's 3-0 demolition at Arsenal, just as much praise has to be given to the way Chelsea has responded with four straight clean sheets.

As predicted, manager Antonio Conte opted for a change in formation following his team's assault at the Emirates, finally dropping Branislav Ivanovic and shifting in favor of a three-man defense. While Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Gary Cahill have patrolled the back line, with Azpilicueta and Cahill rocketing into top-six fantasy defenders along the way, the wing backs of Chelsea's new 3-4-3 have been especially impressive.

Even though he's still just 25 years old, Victor Moses has seemingly resuscitated his once-promising career, as he's scored and assisted in Chelsea's past three games from the right flank. Meanwhile, summer signing Marcos Alonso has been stellar on the left, averaging 1.4 shot attempts and leading the Blues with 3.4 tackles per game. In five total appearances, including four consecutive starts, Alonso's 5.4 fantasy points per game this season places fourth among defenders.

What's more, Alonso's all-around contributions have allowed Eden Hazard to almost solely focus on attacking, which has unsurprisingly sparked Chelsea's attack. The Blues have scored 11 goals since changing shape, with Hazard scoring three and assisting another over those four matches. As it stands, the Belgian now only trails two midfielders in fantasy points.

So after a rocky start, only two teams have conceded fewer goals than Chelsea on the season, and no team has scored more often over their past four matches, showing just how perfectly Conte's adjustment has panned out.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Pitner
Nick Pitner writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire. He supports Arsenal FC, the Green Bay Packers, and the New York Knicks, while specializing in those respective sports in his coverage for the site.
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