Season review

1  same The Vinegar Pissers
P Hawkins
84 2289
2  same Nashton Villa
Jaime Nash
65 2253
3  same Edgbaston
Micheal Dinneen
67 2251
4  same Despicable Mee
Trevor Gordon
67 2250
5  same FC Caligula
Ajay Supeda
86 2245
6  same The Craggy Islanders
Adrian Roche
65 2216
7  same Hornets
Andrew Wade
76 2215
8  up INIT FC
Mustafa khan
74 2193
9  down Brexiter City
Colin Goulding
52 2184
10  up It’sOnlyAGameFarke!
David Spinks
66 2156
11  up Rico united
71 2155
12  up The winnings R mine
david bruce
71 2148
13  down greenyteamy
adam greenwood
51 2139
14  down Fun Lovren Criminals
Paul Callaghan
34 2134
15  up Game of Throw-Ins
Ryan Garoghan
73 2133
16  same Queen of the north
55 2125
17  down Emergency Gap Jumper
Ian Williams
54 2125
18  same Kebab Eaters Utd
Paul Howard
60 2108
19  same Pure Buffoonery!
Jitesh Lakhani
54 2103
20  up We are Ayling
Paul Murray
68 2095
21  up Your Ad Here
Matthew Hopkins
88 2094
22  up Gotta Light?
Andrew Swift
66 2089
23  down Shoelace Untied
Caroline Strong
53 2089
24  down Klopp of the Pochs
Jason Earwicker
58 2082
25  down Rip Roaring Reds
Sean Whyton
48 2078
26  down Atlético Chappers
Richard Chapman
55 2073
27  up Flying squad
Matt Jarvis
87 2072
28  up Pretty Schitty City
Alex Michaluk
85 2065
29  down To Elland Back
Alan Hardy
69 2061
30  up Neil Madrid
Neil Strong
84 2061
31  down Golden Boys
Stephanie Cripps
55 2052
32  up King Dunlap
Paul Bentz
80 2050
33  same mrs mcgoo
laura barrett
70 2048
34  down Aquamar 1564
Noel Driver
43 2035
35  same Crazylegs XI
David Caldicott
57 2021
36  same blakes11
Steven Darling
54 1998
37  same musttryharder FC
Paul Telford
52 1995
38  same Kompany & Co
58 1983
39  same FTM
Stu Smith
55 1980
40  up Jarv88
Paul Jarvis
85 1918
41  down iamgroot
scott mcgow
56 1903
42  up romeoshondavan
Rob Hewer
66 1898
43  up Upper Bullens
Andy Taylor
69 1896
44  down cookster fc
Peter Cook
50 1895
45  same disco dancer
darren frankland
61 1879
46  same Pudding And Pie
John Seacroft
52 1848
47  same Bakerlona FC
Stuart Baker
59 1829
48  same Release The Hounds
Paul Mitchell
50 1799
49  same Real Jorvik
Simon Brown
50 1752
50  same Biscuitmen
Chris Morton
71 1653


Winners – The Vinegar Pissers 

The third manager to pick up their second title scoring the second highest finishing total. The Vinegar Pissers only spent six weeks outside of our top 10, first taking root in GW5. They did drop to the depths of 11th and 12th, before permanently floating around 6th until gameweek 29, when a manager of the week performance saw them rise to third. Then GW31 – only four games – but a Mohamed Salah masterclass and everybody’s posting 100+ totals and challenging for the highest weekly score prize. The VP’s kicked arse with 124 points from eight players, 58 of which came from Salah. That put them at the top of the league and that’s where they stayed – and in truth, no-one really got that close to them. Congratulations to the Pissers. They got as high as 8,202nd in the world, never took more than a four point hit, played their triple captain and bench boost in the run in and utilised their free hit well, picking up a good score with it and a green arrow just before Christmas. Interestingly, they played their wildcards at almost the earliest possibly opportunity on both occasions. Proving that there is still no logic to this game and it’s all complete luck.

Runners up – Nashton Villa, Edgbaston and Despicable Mee 

Our Champions League qualifiers all had similar seasons, making their surge into the top ten and then the top four at around the same time. It was during March that they all lost ground on the VPs and were left desperately trying to claw back the points lost during gameweeks 29 and 31 – the two weeks that definitely won the VP’s that manager of the month, and arguably won them the league. It was a superb debut season for Nashton who reached their highest worldwide position after GW37, but were unable to continue the rise and challenge for the top spot. They would have had to surpass the 100 point mark in GW38 to knock our champions off their perch.

Edgbaston have finally crept into our top four after two consecutive 5th place finishes, despite finishing lower in the world rankings than in both of their last two attempts. And fourth placed Despicable Mee are regressing. Two consecutive runners up placings and now fourth place. Once always the bridesmaid – now a distant uncle only invited because they had a space to fill. In all seriousness – if one of these two doesn’t win this title soon, I’d be very surprised.

The rest

There were valiant efforts by two former champs who just ran out of steam at the last knockings – FC Caligula and The Craggy Islanders finished 5th and 6th respectively. We’re sure to see them in the running next season. Hornets, a total rookie FPL debutant, who were top every week bar three between gameweeks 2 and 29, finished in a respectable 7th. By gameweek 16 they had climbed to 1,663rd in the world, as high (possibly) as any Buckets manager has been, but they peaked too early. Better understanding of the chips and when to play them might serve them better next season. The rest of us – probably got stung by Harry Kane once too often, and only realised when it was too late that they should have had Mo Salah as captain EVERY WEEK.

The awards

We had more managers of the week scoring 100+ scores than in any previous season. The Vinegar Pissers’ 124 point score was the second highest weekly winning score, but falls way behind their own record set in the 2013-2014 season when they managed 165 points in a week in which virtually everybody passed the 100 point barrier following a mammoth double gameweek. That same season produced the highest winning finishing score in our league of 2356 points. Despite there being more 100+ weekly winners in this season, The VPs finished 67 points behind that total. It’s worth noting that the 124 points scored in GW31 was done so from only four games. Another thirteen of our fifty teams passed the century mark that week. And most of them were only fielding bit part teams.

We had ten different managers of the month, six managers taking two weekly accolades, but only one, The bloody Vinegar Pissers, managing three highest weekly scores. Shoelace Untied took the December prize, accumulating 477 points for the month – the highest ever monthly total.

The players

We may have fallen just short of breaking our manager records this season, but the reason we got so close was largely due to one player – Mohamed Salah. He became the first player to pass 300 points for the season. No-one else came close – which may explain why we didn’t quite eclipse the higher scores from four years ago. Back then, in the ‘Suarez’ season, there was a great supporting cast, with the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling, Robin Van Persie, Yaya Toure and Eden Hazard all scoring big, playing consistently and featuring in a lot of teams. This season only Harry Kane, Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne passed the 200 point mark. Despite Kane running Salah (fairly) close in the golden boot chase, he was still close to 100 points behind. Which says more about the frustrating, annoying, inconsistent, trolling season the Spurs striker had. Nowt for weeks then just when you get sick of it all three frickin’ hat tricks…or whatever it was. Dickhead. Still – he’ll be in from the start next season.

Kane picked up more player of the week awards (three) than anyone else. Salah, who only scored more than anyone else once throughout the whole season, was much more consistent. A goal every week rather than three and a gap. And lets mention GW31 again – 29 points – the highest ever single match gameweek score. Sergio Aguero, Heung-Min Son and Marko Arnautovic were the only other players to get two player of the week awards. Tottenham won the award six times ahead of Chelsea with five, and then perhaps surprisingly, Manchester City, with only four winners. Ayoze Perez, Federico Fernandez and Callum Wilson showed up on the bargain list more than once and Newcastle appeared to be the best go-to cheapo team, winning the award five times over the course of the season. Watford were king of the twats offering up six ‘worst of the week’, with Jose Holebas winning the award twice. Jack Stephens also won it twice – and in consecutive weeks, so well done to him. Manchester City did dominate the goal of the week contenders with eight wins, but anyone who tells you that Jamie Vardy’s over the shoulder volley against West Brom in GW30 isn’t the goal of the season, is some kind of goon.

Debatable team of the season

  • GK – David De Gea – 172 points

No arguments here, although Lorus Karius did pick up more points per match of all keepers playing more than 10 games. Karius and Mignolet played half a season each – 19 games a piece. Mignolet scored on average 1.1 points per game less and kept three less clean sheets – although still 7 out of 19 which is pretty respectable.

  • DR – Cesar Azpilicueta – 175 points
  • DL – Marcos Alonso – 165 points
  • DC – Nicolas Otamendi – 156 points
  • DC – Jan Vertonghen – 138 points

Antonio Valencia, Ben Davies and Kyle Walker all scored more than Vertonghen, but none are central defenders. In the favoured three at the back, you’d probably have to drop Alonso. He hasn’t scored enough to warrant his usual left wing back position ahead of the highest scoring midfielders either…coming up next. Andrew Robertson missed 16 games and Phil Jones missed 15 games, but both beat all of the above, other than Alonso, in points per game. Jones managed 15 clean sheets in his 23 games. Basically – if he didn’t play – United usually conceded.

  • DM – Luca Milivojevic – 144 points
  • CM – Kevin De Bruyne – 209 points
  • AM – Mohamed Salah – 303 points
  • AM – Raheem Sterling – 229 points
  • AM – Christian Eriksen – 199 points

Obviously, this is where it all gets a bit ‘debatable’. No real team is complete without some kind of defensive holding player, so when you see the PFA team of the year, and it’s basically a goalkeeper and 10 attackers, you do wonder if they ever really watch the game. But then if you were going to stick a defensive midfielder in there, you wouldn’t necessarily be basing their inclusion on their fantasy points total, seeing as how nothing they do is ever taken into consideration when the scores are totted up. You’d just pick N’Golo Kante and move on wouldn’t you? Milivojevic is definitely worth a mention though. Arguably the most reliable penalty taker in the league, double figures for goals and in the top 10 for bonuses.

  • CF – Harry Kane – 217 points

His best goalscoring season but not his his best fantasy season. Too many braces and hat tricks, if their can be such a thing, and not enough consistency. Kane would go missing for weeks, but then burst back into life racking up the highest bonus score too. It was all about catching him on a good day. He blanked in 19 gameweeks – half a season. Salah failed to score anything other than appearance points in only 10 games. Aguero, and latterly, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, finished the season with more points per match. There’s your front three for August.



Player awards


Gameweek 3 results

1 The Magico Rob Buttaci 53 193
2 The Mindless Morons John Seacroft 53 192
3 Crazylegs Xi David Caldicott 40 180
4 Neil Madrid Neil Strong 55 176
5 Bermie Utd Glen Davies 48 172
6 Sportingoffensivewig Alex Ritchie 53 170
7 {Your Ad Here} Matthew Hopkins 45 167
7 Hedgehog Corpse FC Nick Smith 40 167
9 Panza Grande XI Stuart Baker 44 165
10 Upper Bullens Scouse Mouse 56 161
11 Romeo’s-honda-van Rob Hewer 80 161
12 Shakin’ Stephens P Hawkins 46 160
13 Rip Roaring Reds Sean Whyton 43 159
14 Real Jorvik Simon Brown 53 155
15 NaboombuDirtyYellows Andrew Swift 33 155
16 Shoelace Untied Caroline Strong 37 155
17 Release the Hounds Paul Mitchell 39 150
18 Uriah Rennie 2nd XI Neil Greenwood 22 149
19 pretty Schitty City Alex Michaluk 36 147
20 Ciderheads Darren Pope 46 143
21 Inter Minan Jordan Raper 40 139
22 Have a little dink Ian Williams 41 139
23 Kedah FA David Spinks 43 135
24 Biscuitmen Chris Morton 34 133
25 Mid-Season Blip Paul Bentz 34 133
26 Rien Toulouse Colin Goulding 49 115

Another week in which defences came out on top. Nine teams kept clean sheets. Only the Crystal Palace v Sunderland game saw both teams find the net. Of the top 30 players in the game, 20 are either goalies or defenders. Simon Mignolet, Jose Enrique and Seamus Coleman lead the way. Olivier Giroud is in 4th place, and the highest scoring forward player.

Most Buckets managers ended up in and around the average weekly score of 44 points, but Romeo’s-Honda-Van, who finished last season with six manager of the week awards, managed an amazing 80 points. The highest score of the week across the whole game was 82. No-one else came close in the Buckets league to matching that score, and it saw Romeo’s climb 14 places from second bottom to 11th.

Romeo’s were never likely to get close to the manager of the month award. League newcomers, The Magico held off the challenge of league newcomers, The Mindless Morons and former champions, Crazylegs and Neil Madrid to take the first monthly prize. Congratualtions to them.

Player of the week – Ben Davies – 15 points. Scored a good goal too.

Bargain of the week – Nathan Redmond – 11 points. Scored a good goal too.

Donkey of the week – John O’Shea – -2 points. Not a good start for Di Canio.

Goal of the week – Hatem Ben Arfa. 3rd consecutive season with a goal of the week.

Gameweek 26 preview

09 Feb 12:45 Tottenham Tottenham v Newcastle Newcastle
09 Feb 15:00 Chelsea Chelsea v Wigan Wigan
09 Feb 15:00 Norwich Norwich v Fulham Fulham
09 Feb 15:00 Stoke City Stoke City v Reading Reading
09 Feb 15:00 Sunderland Sunderland v Arsenal Arsenal
09 Feb 15:00 Swansea Swansea v QPR QPR
09 Feb 17:30 Southampton Southampton v Man City Man City
10 Feb 13:30 Aston Villa Aston Villa v West Ham West Ham
10 Feb 16:00 Man Utd Man Utd v Everton Everton
11 Feb 20:00 Liverpool Liverpool v West Brom West Brom
17 Feb 15:00 Liverpool Liverpool v Swansea Swansea


Double gameweek time again. Liverpool and Swansea. Swansea would have played Liverpool in gameweek 27, but they’re in the League Cup final against Bratfud, hence the rearranged fixture. The Liverpool Swansea game takes place next weekend – an FA Cup weekend. So we’ve a long wait until this week’s final points are decided. This weekend Swansea take on QPR at home, whilst Liverpool entertain West Brom. There is definite potential for lots and lots of points. Both teams have plenty of top level FPL performers to pick from.

Liverpool, in recent months, have become a lot less reliant on Luis Suarez. Daniel Sturridge has made a great start to his career there, having contributed in each of his 4 league games so far. He did pick up an injury against City on Sunday which kept him out of the midweek England game, so there’s no guarantee he’ll play both matches. Suarez undoubtedly will. As will Steven Gerrard, who by contributing in all but 1 of the last 9 weeks, has crept up, kind of quietly, and almost unnoticed, to be the 2nd highest scoring midfielder in the game. He and Juan Mata are also the 2nd highest assisters in the game, with 12. Even Jordan Henderson has been getting in amongst the points. Possibly having his best game in a Liverpool shirt against Arsenal, he scored a great goal, assisted the other in the 2-2 draw, and managed 2 bonus points on top. Brendan Rodgers has a full strength defence to pick from. A defence that have kept 4 clean sheets in their last 8 games. Not bad. Also consider that 3 of those other 4 games were against City, United and Arsenal. Two clean sheets for Liverpool thsi gameweek? Perhaps. They’re a much more attractive fantasy option than they were last season, or at the start of this. They currently head the best of the rest league after their winter resurgence, but whose to say they can’t push on for Europe. If they win these two games they could be level on points with Everton by the next gameweek.

Swansea have been steadily chugging along – winning here, losing there, not conceding many, but not scoring as many as they did in the early days of the season. And that’s probably because the goals have dried up for Michu. He’s slipped to 4th in the midfielders table, and hasn’t scored a goal since the 23rd December. He’s still in over 40% of teams across the game. Compare that to Gerrard who only appears in just over 10% of teams. Gerrard may be slightly more expensive, but is in way better points scoring form. I expect a lot of Michu owners are clinging on in the hope that his early season form comes back. There’s no sign of his value diminishing. I expect there’s been a rush on buying him back in for this gameweek. However, there are other options in the Swansea squad – all much cheaper, and in much better form. Jonathan De Guzman, Nathan Dyer, Wayne Routledge and Pablo Hernandez are all priced at under 6 million. Ben Davies, however, is the best value Swansea player of them all. The defender is still only priced at 4.6 million, although that may rise by the weekend. He’s the third best value defender in the game across the whole season, after Joey O’Brien and Sebastian Bassong. He’s the best value defender in the game on current form.

It’s the middle week of three in this short game month. How well you use your double gameweek options will determine how good a position you’re in for gameweek 27, and the February manager prize. And remember – the cup starts next week.