Season review

May 14, 2018

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
JASON REACHER
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
DORINE REACHER
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
DEAN CRIPPS
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

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Gameweek 34 results

April 28, 2017

  same Aquamar 15
Noel Driver
74 1985
up When Harry met Alli
Trevor Gordon
68 1912
up The Craggy Islanders
Adrian Roche
77 1911
down Kebab Eaters Utd
Paul Howard
41 1887
same RICO UNITED
JASON REACHER
51 1869
same Hedgehog Corpse FC
Nick Smith
53 1868
up Uriah Rennie 2nd XI
Neil Greenwood
68 1848
up FC Caligula
Ajay Supeda
57 1837
up Edgbaston
Micheal Dinneen
72 1834
10  down Biscuitmen
Chris Morton
39 1825
11  up Atlético Chappers
Richard Chapman
68 1822
12  up INIT FC
Mustafa khan
87 1811
13  up Neil Madrid
Neil Strong
65 1810
14  down Joey Bosa
Paul Bentz
31 1809
15  down Upper Bullens
Andy Taylor
51 1803
16  same Yeboah’s Right Foot
Paul Murray
54 1802
17  up Cooksters
Peter Cook
73 1800
18  down To Elland Back
Alan Hardy
37 1791
19  up Rip Roaring Reds
Sean Whyton
76 1790
20  down 4 Fuchs Ake
Jason Earwicker
55 1785
21  down Go Buffoons Go
Jitesh Lakhani
55 1782
22  up Shoelace Untied
Caroline Strong
82 1770
23  down Your Ad Here
Matthew Hopkins
51 1767
24  up Hucking Fell
P Hawkins
86 1765
25  down QUEEN OF THE NORTH
DORINE REACHER
42 1759
26  up greenyteamy
adam greenwood
59 1737
27  down Jarvis FC
Matt Jarvis
53 1734
28  up nO fucHs given
Paul Callaghan
56 1730
29  down Jeff Lamp’s Porsche
David Spinks
42 1728
30  down romeoshondavan
Rob Hewer
51 1722
31  same Have a little dink
Ian Williams
51 1720
32  up jetty city
scott mcgow
54 1684
33  down Release The Hounds
Paul Mitchell
41 1675
34  same 30:19
Darren Lavelle
40 1667
35  same RG XV
Ryan Garoghan
44 1657
36  same I am not Zlatan
Colin Goulding
41 1640
37  same Golden Boys
Stephanie Cripps
32 1630
38  up Ciderheads
Darren Pope
62 1627
39  down Pudding And Pie
John Seacroft
42 1614
40  same FTM
Stu Smith
68 1610
41  same Crazy Legs XI
David Caldicott
65 1596
42  up Real Jorvik
Simon Brown
86 1581
43  down Pepe Le Blue
DEAN CRIPPS
48 1561
44  up Dj daz
darren frankland
78 1559
45  down Bakerlona
Stuart Baker
44 1556
46  same Big White Chiefs
david frankland
76 1534
47  same Bermie Utd
Glen Davies
39 1483
48  up Bish Bosh Goal
Simon Purnell
73 1481
49  down bazza 28 united
laura barrett
55 1480
50  down Pretty Schitty City
Alex Michaluk
56 1477
51  up Jarv88
Paul Jarvis
47 1400
52  down Racing Club Skegness
Andrew Swift
41 1398
53  same DJ’s Trail Blazers
Danian Jones
51 1394

 

Real Jorvik win the double gameweek with 86 points. They shared that score with Hucking Fell, but scored five goals to HF’s three and claim the weekly accolade. It was a double gameweek that could have delivered more. Jorvik only had two players that played twice and they only contributed 18 points. Jorvik’s best player was an elite single gameweeker. Diego Costa was handed the armband and had his best scoring week of the season amassing 16 points – 32 as captain.

In truth not all that many of us went double gameweek crazy. The managers who went for it scored in the 60’s and 70’s, but knowing an 80 point score was possible with only two double gameweekers makes you wonder whether it was worth it. Hucking Fell played four double gameweekers with a return of 53 points. They captained Beneteke, and had De Gea in goal. The United keeper returned the best of the double gameweek scores. The United defence boosted a lot of totals with their 0-0 Manc derby result. Daley Blind, Eric Bailly and Matteo Darmian all had double clean sheets. Frustratingly, Antonio Valencia, the most picked United defender, only played in one game. Watch out for Jose moaning about rotation for the next few weeks. As attractive a player Valencia is, he seems to be the one the United manager is more likely to rotate out of games.

There was a lot of investment in the Boro defence, a move which looked doomed for failure after 20 minutes against Bournemouth. At that point they were 2-0 down and a man down. They redeemed themselves against Sunderland with a 1-0 victory. And Christian Benteke was the main Palace scorer. Two goals against Liverpool helped boost the scores of those that had opted for him as captain.

The whole week was sent into a spin before it had even begun with Ibrahimovic’s injury. That forced a few managers into last minute hit taking transfers. He’s out for the season now. Marcos Rojo picked up a similar season ending injury in their Europa tie, so maybe Jose’s moans are justified. Aquamar were forced into five transfers because of the injuries, taking a 16 pint hit. They brought Rojo in only to have to transfer him out immediately. The gameweek worked out OK for them. Their overall lead was reduced by a measly 5 points as their double gameweekers contributed a useful 53 points towards their final 74 point total.

 

Player of the week – David De Gea – 17 points. Double gameweek goalie coming out on top.

Bargain of the week – Marc Pugh – 16 points. Single gameweek midfielder runs him close.

Donkey of the week – Oumar Niasse – -2 points. Unlucky – this card has now been rescinded.

Goal of the week – Diego Costa. Team goal alert.

 

A preamble. We’ve still not had the Manchester United v Bournemouth game. The most disorganised club in Europe it appears have left everyone hanging. Places are still to be settled at the top of the Buckets table. I suppose it’s exciting, although I don’t think there’s anything that can stop Caligula being crowned champions. They’re awaiting a score for Chris Smalling as well as a point from Aaron Cresswell who will replace Dimitri Payet once substitutions are activated.

The Kolarov Mane have climbed into second but can’t go any higher. Your Ad Here are 14 points further back with Simon Francis on the bench. Unless the Bournemouth captain gets in among the goals and keeps a clean sheet on Tuesday night, third is as high as they can hope for. That seems pretty much nailed on as Edgbaston are 25 points further back and with only Manuel Lanzini to come in after substitutions and David De Gea to play.

There is a battle for fourth. Shoelace sit in fifth, three points behind Edgbaston with Chris Smalling and Anthony Martial to play. A goal for either of those should be enough, providing of course they stay on the pitch. Or even get on the pitch in the first place. Might Van Gaal rest players now?

Unfortunately for Rocky Ba Bauer, now in 6th, it appears to be out of reach.

If Edgbaston lose the fourth place spot, they may have the May manager of the month award to fall back on. They currently lead Init FC by nine points. Init probably need Chris Smalling to score to overhaul the lead. Walking With Memphis, however, three points further back, and 12 behind Edgbaston, have Smalling, Antonio Valencia and Anthony Martial to play. LVG playing the kids might be the only thing that keeps Memphis (and Shoelace) from toppling Edgbaston.

Full weekly round up will arrive sometime Wednesday I expect.

 

Gameweek 5 preview

September 10, 2015

12 Sep 12:45 Everton v Chelsea
12 Sep 15:00 Arsenal v Stoke
12 Sep 15:00 Crystal Palace v Man City
12 Sep 15:00 Norwich v Bournemouth
12 Sep 15:00 Watford v Swansea
12 Sep 15:00 West Brom v Southampton
12 Sep 17:30 Man Utd v Liverpool
13 Sep 13:30 Sunderland v Spurs
13 Sep 16:00 Leicester v Aston Villa
14 Sep 20:00 West Ham v Newcastle

 

It’s been a long two weeks. I hate international breaks. The next one is in a months time. By then we’ll have reached gameweek 8, the first week of October, and we’ll know our second manager of the month.

This gameweek is the first since the closure of the transfer window. The last day scramble saw a number of players coming in from abroad or exchanging one Premier club for another. Some of whom will go straight into teams for the weekend. Others will probably have to bide their time.

And one of those could be Anthony Martial, whose switch from Monaco to Manchester United cost £36 million. It gets even more ridiculous if you factor in all the add-ons. Will he be thrown straight in at the deep end against Liverpool this weekend? Who knows? Do you throw £36 million away on a bench warmer? Their failure to score more than one goal in any league game so far this season might tempt Van Gaal to chuck him straight in. He’ll cost you a reasonable £8 million if you fancy a punt.

The most expensive new addition is Kevin De Bruyne. In the 2013/14 season De Bruyne amassed a measly 7 points, playing 132 minutes of football during his spell with Chelsea. Since then he’s gone on to win the German player of the year award (not a bad award to win), and become the sixth most expensive player of all time. Straight in? More likely than Martial I’d say, but you’ll have to find £10 million in order to do it.

Aaron Lennon had a relatively successful spell at Everton last season and has returned permanently. Other than Ross Barkley, no other Everton midfielder has either  scored or assisted so far this season. This could mean Lennon finds himself in the starting XI come Saturday lunchtime.

One very likely starter is Virgil Van Dyk, who Southampton have bought to line up alongside Jose Fonte at the heart of their defence. Only Fonte remains of the Saints’ reliable back line of last season. Injury to Ryan Bertrand, the selling of Nathaniel Clyne and the failure to land Toby Alderweireld permanently has seen Southampton struggle defensively. Van Dyk has been Celtics best player for a few seasons now. And he takes a mean free kick too.

So, there’s a selection. Other than that, the big news of deadline day surrounded a player that didn’t move – David De Gea. His value has fallen to £5.3 million during his absence from the United team. But now, following the collapse of his move to Real Madrid, he’s apparently back in contention. Those with Sergio Romero in their teams need to take note.

 

 

 

 

Gameweek 17 preview

December 18, 2014

20 Dec 12:45 Man City v Crystal Palace
20 Dec 15:00 Aston Villa v Man Utd
20 Dec 15:00 Hull v Swansea
20 Dec 15:00 QPR v West Brom
20 Dec 15:00 Southampton v Everton
20 Dec 15:00 Spurs v Burnley
20 Dec 15:00 West Ham v Leicester
21 Dec 13:30 Newcastle v Sunderland
21 Dec 16:00 Liverpool v Arsenal
22 Dec 20:00 Stoke v Chelsea

 

Following his man of the match and player of the week performance last week, Tom Heaton is the leading keeper in the game. Every year there are keepers that defy the logic of fantasy league and rise to the top of their positional standings, and this season is no different. Heaton is second to Rob Green in the amount of saves made. Every three saves gains the keepers an extra bonus point, so it stands to reason that those facing the most shots are going to be scoring as highly as those more dependably keeping clean sheets.

Some teams have had to call on their third choice keepers. Damian Martinez collected 14 points with two clean sheets in the three and a half games he played for Arsenal in the last month. Jak Alnwick at Newcastle is fairing less well. Both Tim Krul and Rob Elliot are out until the New Year meaning it could be a difficult winter ahead for those with Newcastle defenders in their side. After surviving 30 minutes against Chelsea conceding only one goal to hold on to a surprise victory, Alnwick has conceded eight in the two games he’s played in since.

Sub keepers are a nice fall back for those that don’t want to break the bank on that position with almost all of them coming in at between 4 and 5 million. The odd surprise clean sheet is an extra bonus to the points you might be collecting elsewhere in the outfield due to saving money between the sticks. Alnwick, however, does look way out of his depth, and the jury is out on Ben Hamer at Leicester. Although he has kept as many clean sheets in two matches as Kasper Schmeichel managed in the other 14 games of their season.

Petr Cech could be in goal again for Chelsea this weekend. There’s still a red box next to Thibaut Courtois’ name – although his return date is listed as being the 22nd December. Cech has a 100% record of league clean sheets. That’s one and a third games played – none conceded. £5.5 million might represent good value for one of the league’s best keepers, but it’d be an almighty risk to draft him in for the upcoming game.

Costel Pantiliomon seems to have taken the number one jersey from Vito Mannone at Sunderland. Last week he moved ahead of Mannone in the keeper standings and has kept three clean sheets in the seven matches he’s played. Along with Rob Green, Pantilimon is the cheapest current “first choice” available. Both are recording around 3.7 saves per game. Pantilimon appears to be much better value however as Green has as many clean sheets in all games as the Sunderland keeper has in just seven.

And of the big names, only in the last few weeks have the improved defensive displays of the Manchester teams seen their keepers start to rise to the top of those standings. David De Gea has bagged eight saves and therefore two extra bonus points in two recent matches, as well as three clean sheets in his last six. Joe Hart has three clean sheets in four. His save count isn’t as high, but that’s due to the defenders doing their job rather than Hart not doing his. £5.6 million for De Gea appears better value at the moment than the £6.1 you’d have to fork out if you wanted Joe Hart in your team.

Five first choicers have seen their values decrease from their starting price. All have been, in past seasons, fairly reliable clean sheet keepers and save makers, but this season has seen high ownership at the start dwindle drastically as the season’s rolled on. Asmir Begovic has two clean sheets – the last one being in September. Begovic kept nine last season and 12 the season before. Julian Speroni also managed 12 last season, but so far has only managed three. Wojciech Szczcesny and Tim Howard were last seasons leading points scorers between the posts, but both have had £0.2 million chopped from their starting price. Both have only kept three clean sheets. They’ll have to go some to reach the 16 and 15 respectively that they managed during last season. The other keeper to plummet in value is perhaps unsurprisingly Simon Mignolet. Who now faces a spell on the sidelines with Brad Jones taking on goalkeeping duties at Liverpool. In actual fact, Mignolet’s figures aren’t that much different from last seasons as it stands. Had he kept his place and kept one more clean sheet before gameweek 20, he’d be on track to equal the 10 he kept during last season. Remember, Liverpool’s crack at the league title last season wasn’t built around a impenetrable defence – it was goals going in at the other end that made that happen.

So anyone for a keeper swap ahead of the weekend?

 

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