Our Sky Sports Fantasy Football guru looks at Wayne Rooney's upturn in form in his weekly preview.
By Tim Clement - @SkyFantasyFooty. Last Updated: December 14, 2012 5:06pm
Wayne Rooney: Rapidly racking up the points after slow start
Sir Alex Ferguson may be reaping the rewards of utilising Wayne Rooney's versatility but Sky Sports Fantasy Football bosses remain unconvinced by his role this season.
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The Manchester United striker has racked up 99 points so far, the same as the game's most popular player Robin van Persie, but is only in 12 per cent of teams, less than Fernando Torres.
Rooney's deeper role saw him struggle for points initially; failing to contribute a single goal or assist in his first five games of the season, but his form has soared since a brace of assists against Newcastle.
In his last nine games the 27-year-old has netted six times and provided seven assists to help United pull clear at the top of the Premier League table, while his all-round contribution has been recognised with a league high of six Sky Sports man-of-the-match awards.
Rooney has actually averaged more points-per-game than any other player this season with the exception of Alexander Buttner, who boasts a 19-point haul from his solitary appearance.
The England striker, who seems to have established himself as United's first-choice penalty taker, can be expected to continue to pick up points in the coming weeks with a favourable run of fixtures, starting with a visit from Sunderland on Saturday.
Elsewhere, last weekend saw Santi Cazorla move top of the overall points table with 111 to his name thanks to another man-of-the-match display against West Brom.
The Spanish playmaker is worth backing to add to that tally considerably as he comes up against Reading's leaky backline on Monday night, while his price tag of £6.7m makes acquiring his services a no-brainer.
The game's third highest scorer, Luis Suarez, should also be expected to rack up plenty of points as he returns from suspension for the visit of Aston Villa to Anfield.
For those in need of more affordable options, Stoke's backline are great value with Geoff Cameron a mere £3.8m while goalkeeper Amis Begovic, who has kept a league high of eight clean sheets, is only £4.1m.
A couple of Norwich players also tempt as they host Wigan on Saturday, with Sebastien Bassong providing more points-per-pound than any other defender thanks to five clean sheets and three goals, while Robert Snodgrass took his tally to 76 with a 20-point haul last weekend.
On the injury front, Vincent Kompany looks set to miss Manchester City's trip to Newcastle, who are likely to be without Hatem Ben Afra, while Mohamed Diame faces a spell on the sides after suffering a hamstring injury.
Gareth Bale is expected to have recovered from his minor hamstring injury in time to face Swansea, while Tottenham could also welcome back Scott Parker, although his Fantasy appeal is limited to little more than tackling bonus points.
For more tips tune in to The Fantasy Football Club, 10pm, Friday, Sky Sports 2 HD as Teddy Sheringham joins Fenners and Merse while Jack Wilshere reveals his current One2Eleven.