The Digest articles make a welcome return to Fantasy Football Scout in 2023/24.
In these pieces, a player, team and talking point that have attracted interest in the weekend’s matches are discussed.
Five-time top 1k finisher Tom Freeman will be taking the reins this season, producing regular Digest articles, with only Premium Members able to access every single one.
Here, he discusses Rodri (£5.7m), West Ham United’s strong start to the season and Brighton and Hove Albion/Manchester United’s upcoming fixtures.
Rodri stepped up when his side needed him most in Gameweek 3, scoring a late winner at Bramall Lane.
So often Manchester City’s man for the big moments, he completed the most passes (114) and made the most tackles (three) against Sheffield United. The standout stat from a Fantasy perspective, however, was that he took five shots, the most he’s ever managed in a single Premier League match.
Man City continually worked the ball wide and found Rodri on the edge of the box, with three of his efforts inside the penalty area, which is captured here on his expected goals (xG) shot map:
The Spaniard also found the net at Turf Moor in Gameweek 1, which means he has scored as many goals in three Premier League games this season as he managed in 36 last term (two).
So, he’s stepped up in the absence of Kevin De Bruyne (£10.3m) so far, but does Rodri really have enough goals and assists in his locker to become a genuine Fantasy option?
Firstly, it’s worth pointing out his role has changed this season and he’s clearly enjoying playing alongside new signing Mateo Kovacic (£5.0m), whose presence allows him to venture forward more.
“Ilkay [Gundogan] and Kevin [De Bruyne] played much higher than me so I needed to cover them but now with Mateo [Kovacic] I can go forward more. He’s a very experienced player and a smart player. It’s easy to play with him. He has a special ability to break lines with the ball and he speaks fluent Spanish so it is even easier to communicate with him.
I think I can improve in these terms even though I know it is not my role. I know I can do it and, in some situations, where I read the games and pay attention to the strikers and the wingers I can take advantage of this space in the final third that they generate. I’m trying to improve in this sense.” – Rodri
Here’s a rundown of Rodri’s 2023/24 stats so far, alongside last season’s average. It’s a small sample size, of course, but it’s all we have to go on so far: