P90 Points scored per 90 minutes at home/away based on this week's opponents QG%Percentage of games played where the player scored 6 or more points xPct The percentage of his team's goals a player has accounted for, multiplied by the expected goals for this week Rating Based on the player's rankings in the other three categories.
This week will be a big test for Cisse owners as he clearly has the much tougher fixture on paper, but all other factors suggest he is the best play for the week. I always say that the above data is a guide rather than a hard set of rules to be obeyed and this is one scenario where there is little chance I would go with Cisse over Van Persie or Rooney. Would I be surprised if Cisse scores? Not really, City have conceded recently at Swansea, Stoke and Norwich who are all far inferior teams to Cisse's Newcastle. Would I be shocked if Van Persie drew a blank? Again, probably not, his last four games have earned 1-2-2-2 points. Handing out the armband, however, should be a question of weighted expectations and with that in mind, you have to account for the substantial (though not necessarily probable) chance that Newcastle are simply shutout by a City side just metres away from title glory in the season's marathon.
I'm still tweaking the rankings system (and would welcome comments for consideration in the off season) but I still feel that xPct needs to carry the most weight (perhaps even more than the 50% is currently receives). This is still an imperfect measure, but it does account for the opposition which the other metrics noted above do not. Van Persie is the clear leader there and that ultimately is why I will personally lean that way this week.
If you don't own either of the above options, Rooney is of course another fine option, and probably better than the above ranking suggests given Swansea's apparent surrender after a fine first season in the Premier League. Like City, United need a win and anything but a convincing victory for Rooney and co would indeed be a shock, thus pushing Ronney into a good fantasy position. His home returns of late have been excellent and he trails only Van Persie in shots on goal over the past 6 gameweeks.
If you skewed the data to account for 'form' then Rooney would probably eclipse Van Persie for the week, though I am yet to be convinced that 'form' really exists in a fantasy sense. That said, the loss of Walcott and Arteta does bear mentioning as team form is very much something that exists. We know that United will show up and play this week, though probably not with reckless abandon while Arsenal could be apathetic, glorious or anywhere in between. If nothing else, Van Persie has the golden boot to go for, so expect the shots on goal to continue (if possibly from more acute angles and longer distances than we are used to).
It's closer than the above rankings suggests between this trio but all other things considered I would go with the old pair of Van Persie and Rooney as 1a and 1b with Cisse behind them in 3rd place. Fantasy Football Scout's captain poll suggests Van Persie will get a large proportion of selections this week, in which case Rooney may become a good value pick, gaining some differential potential without much loss in potential.