|Game of Stones
|Locky Bauer Bowyer
|Kebab Eaters Utd
Our final top ten looks like this. Caligula rose to the top in GW29 and stayed their till the end, stretching their lead week on week. Despite taking a tumble in the overall rankings in the last three gameweeks the gap back to their nearest Buckets rivals has steadily increased. Caligula returned after lockdown at 34k in the world. They end the season at just over 13k, having reached a high of just under 7.5k in GW35+. It’s their 7th top 20k finish in 14 seasons and it earns them their second Buckets title. Congratulations to them.
Game of Stones entered the top 10 in GW5 and stayed there for the duration, having brief spells at number one and never being outside of the top five. They reached a season high 24k in the world in GW25 and started the last nine gameweeks around the 39k mark, but as Caligula charged forward, Stones fell back. There was a lot of jockeying for position in behind Caligula within the top six over the nine weeks since the restart. Most held second position for at least a week, but none could put together a consistent run of scores to make ground on our champs.
Locky Bauer Bowyer became our first Last Man Standing winners. They saw off the final week challenge of Kebab Eaters and Sterling Silva by the finest of margins to take the prize. Locky’s also reached the highest overall rank of any other player during the course of the season. After GW11 they sat in 1,974th place and remained in the top 10k for the next nine weeks.
Mister D won the Buckets Cup at the first time of asking. Their impressive spurt during February and March set them up in the final against Neil Madrid. The final was played in GW30+ – the first back after lockdown. It produced the highest scoring Buckets Cup final to date with Mister D winning 105 to 95. Neil Madrid’s total would have won the Buckets Cup in any other year.
Gameweek 30+ saw many a Buckets team hit the hundred point mark. Five of the top ten hit triple digit returns, including Ginger Fizz, whose 124 points remained the highest weekly score of the season. It was a double gameweek with Manchester City, Arsenal, Aston Villa and Sheffield United all playing twice, which makes the single gameweek score in the final gameweek of 122 points by Upper Bullens all the more impressive. The Fizz’s 124 points was 21k in the world for weekly scores – Bullens’ total ranked them the 1,518th best team in the world. The Fizz followed up that 100+ effort with another two gameweeks later. Although less, the 106 points accrued in GW32+ was within the top 7k in the world for weekly scores. Within the first three weeks of the restart Ginger Fizz had climbed 400,000 places worldwide. It bagged them the June manager of the month award.
We had ten separate manager of the months this season and three teams who won more than one manager of the week award. They were Rock Ya-Sin (36th) King Ragg (44th) and FTM (26th). FC Caligula won MOTM once. Game Of Stones didn’t win it at all.
Mohamed Salah couldn’t make it three consecutive seasons as the highest scoring player. He finished second to Kevin De Bruyne, who successfully avoided both injury AND Pep roulette to hit 251 points, consisting of a new assist record (23) and 13 goals. Liverpool’s title winning season was the ultimate team effort. Points, goals and assists were shared around the team – although we’re still talking about the three highest scoring defenders, two of the three highest scoring midfielders and three of the four highest scoring players. When it comes to dishing out player of the year awards that split vote may hand that trophy to De Bruyne. Where would City have been without his contribution? You can also pick out any one of his four nominations for goal of the season too. Although, in truth, Son Heung-Min’s solo run against Burnely in GW16 probably just about shades it.
Team of the season
- GK – Nick Pope – Burnley – 170 points
- DR – Trent Alexander-Arnold – Liverpool – 210 points
- DC – Virgil Van Dijk – Liverpool – 178 points
- DC – John Lundstram – Sheffield United – 144 points
- DL – Andrew Robertson – Liverpool – 181 points
- MR – Mohamed Salah – Liverpool – 233 points
- MC – Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City – 251 points
- MC – Raheem Sterling – Manchester City – 204 points
- ML – Sadio Mane – Liverpool – 221 points
- CF – Jamie Vardy – Leicester City – 210 points
- CF – Pierre Emerick Aubameyang – Arsenal – 205 points
Bargains of the season (with starting value)
- GK – Dean Henderson – Sheffield United – 160 points – £4.5m
- DR – Enda Stevens – Sheffield United – 142 points – £5m
- DC – John Lundstram – Sheffield United – 144 points – £4m
- DC – John Egan – Sheffield United – 133 points – £4.5m
- DL – George Baldock – Sheffield United – 142 points – £4.5m
- MR – Adama Traore – Wolverhampton Wanderers – 130 points – £5m
- MC – Mason Mount – Chelsea – 137 points – £6m
- MC – Jack Grealish – Aston Villa – 149 points – £6m
- ML – Harvey Barnes – Leicester City – 133 points – £6m
- CF – Danny Ings – Southampton – 198 points – £6m
- CF – Raul Jimenez – Wolverhampton Wanderers – 194 points – £7.5m
I’m not sure whether a defender has ever topped the 200 point mark – or outscored every single attacker other than the golden boot winner. Jamie Vardy may have banged in 23 goals but Trent Alexander-Arnold sits level on points with him having scored 4, assisted 15 and with 14 clean sheets. Might we be looking at the first £8 million defender at the start of next season?
We all know John Lundstram isn’t a central defender but for pretty much all of the first half of the season he was a FPL manager’s dream. A starting value of £4m and playing so far out of position he was almost in a different country. Unsurprisingly, Lundstram and his Sheffield United colleagues (the ACTUAL Blades defence) dominate the bargain differential squad of the season. The entire back line is red and white. Lundtsram is one of the seven players, along with TAA, who has returned a 20+ point weekly score. Michail Antonio’s four goals against Norwich a few weeks ago gave us the largest individual weekly total. The other four players to achieve the mark were Ayoze Perez, during Leicester’s 9-0 hammering of Southampton, Raheem Sterling in GW1 and GW35+, Sergio Ageuro, following a hat-trick against Villa – and Phil Foden in DGW30+, against Arsenal and Burnley. Manchester City players have achieved four of the nine highest gameweek scores since the restart.
Ryan Bertrand’s -6 in GW10 – the same week as Ayoze Perez scored 20+ – was the season’s lowest score. A bit unfair, considering he only lasted 11 minutes of the game, hobbling off to then watch his teammates implode as Leicester ran riot. Bertrand went into that game with only 5 points in the bank, having missed a few games with injury and not keeping a clean sheet in the games he had played. Credit to Southampton who finished the season impressively, beating Manchester City – and with Danny Ings coming close in the golden boot chase and being far and away the best value attacking player in the game for the whole season (not including Lundtsram of course – who really isn’t a defender).