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.
Burnley v Stoke Leicester v Sunderland Watford v West Brom Man Utd v Everton Arsenal v West Ham Hull v Middlesbrough Southampton v Crystal Palace Swansea v Spurs Chelsea v Man City Liverpool v Bournemouth
Chelsea’s apparent march to the title has turned into a bit of a limp in recent weeks. No clean sheet in seven has included an unexpected draw with Burnley, an even more unexpected defeat against Palace and a skin of their teeth victory over Stoke. It’s probably been the case for a while, but it seems no longer necessary to have three Chelsea players in your squad. There is no current value for money in those once fixture-proof defenders.
And yet, despite the lack of clean sheets, interest in the Chelsea back line still remains high, probably because they’re chipping in with the odd goal and assist still. Only Cesar Azpilicueta has seen a nosedive in his price in recent weeks. People are still tending to buy Marcos Alonso rather than sell him. He’s still playing further forward than most of the rest of his team, but is he really likely to come up with another 20+ score. I guess that’s what we’re all worried might happen if we were to give him the boot.
Eden Hazard is the only Chelsea player resident on the front page of the form table at the moment and Diego Costa has two one point scores to his name in the last two weeks. Maybe a defeat at the hands of Manchester City this week will see managers think twice about their Chelsea assets, particularly with a double gameweek on the horizon for Manchester United and a much easier run in lined up for their nearest challengers, Spurs.
Liverpool v Swansea Bournemouth v Watford Crystal Palace v Everton Middlesbrough v West Ham Stoke v Man Utd West Brom v Sunderland Man City v Spurs Southampton v Leicester Arsenal v Burnley Chelsea v Hull
We all want Diego Costa to play – that is, those of us who decided to give him another week to calm down and realise the error of his ways. It’s a home tie against Hull. There’s rich pickings there. Alternatively it gives you a nice chunk of money with which to redesign your squad. The pounds have been dropping off Costa since his suspension four gameweeks ago. Close to 700,000 managers decided not to keep him and his value fell by £0.3 million. With the news breaking on Saturday morning of his latest indiscretion nearly another 300,000 managers decided enough was enough. And it had all been going so well. His value is down to £10.6 million from a season high £11 million. It seems destined to tumble further and yet whatever your left with annoyingly isn’t enough to purchase Zlatan or Kane. You can buy every other striker in the game – just not the two you really, really want.
The next best affordable option is Jermain Defoe. Sunderland may go down this season, but that doesn’t rule Defoe out of being a prized fantasy asset. He scored a third of Sunderland’s goals last season and he’s got just over half of them so far this season. If his scoring continues at the same rate he’s going to end up with at least 20.
Romelu Lukaku is the pound for pound option. At £9.6 million it wouldn’t leave you with much to invest elsewhere, but it may guarantee you a lot of goals. Lukaku’s form has been Kane like in it’s inconsistency. Scoring in patches in between looking bored. But – Everton arguably have the best run of fixtures, and should be buoyant off the back of their dismantling of Manchester City.
Liverpool haven’t had a great January, but this Swansea team love conceding. And they’re very good at it. This should be the game where the Reds get back to winning ways. Liverpool players have permanently featured on the first page of the FPL form charts. Not at the moment though. Lots of managers need Firmino, Lallana and Coutinho to start finding the net again.
Of course, Chelsea are an obvious clean sheet bet. Captain Alonso again. And always bear in mind Burnley’s shocking away form. They’ve scored just three goals on their travels. So Arsenal defenders should come into the reckoning – and they could be keepers with a fairly kind run of fixtures on the horizon.
Hull v Everton Burnley v Sunderland Chelsea v Stoke Leicester v West Ham Man Utd v Middlesbrough Southampton v West Brom Swansea v Bournemouth Liverpool v Man City Watford v Spurs Arsenal v Crystal Palace
Nobody knows what day it is but this is essentially a normal weekend of matches, although it does start with one of those one off Friday evening affairs. The rest of the weekend sees seven matches on Saturday, followed by the first two matches of 2017 on Sunday afternoon. It’s also the half way stage and the final round of games to determine the December manager of the month. We also get access to our second wildcard after this round of games, so if you haven’t played your first one, now’s the time.
Chelsea look certainties to record their 13th straight victory, and don’t be surprised if it comes with another clean sheet. The shut out is so inevitable that there’s even a case for implementing a three defender combo. It pretty much guarantees you at least 18 points at the moment. And why not hand the armband to one of them? We shouldn’t forget Thibaut Courtois, who at £5.8 million comes in a good half a million cheaper than his defender colleagues. The drawback being he’s not having very many saves to make and so bonuses are at an absolute minimum.
Three Chelsea defenders releases cash you may have invested in Costa or Hazard to spend on other striking options. Zlatan looks good for more goals at home against Middlesbrough and a certain Argentinian comes back into contention across town. Aguero’s price has dropped to £12.8 million. In his absence, City have managed to record three straight victories and have even managed two clean sheets in that run. He’ll undoubtedly regain his place, but it’ll still be a squeeze to fit him in, particularly if you’ve retained Diego Costa and invested in Zlatan in the mean time. Although, if you have that wildcard, then why not give it a go?
Watford v Crystal Palace Arsenal v West Brom Burnley v Middlesbrough Chelsea v Bournemouth Leicester v Everton Man Utd v Sunderland Swansea v West Ham Hull v Man City Liverpool v Stoke Southampton v Spurs
It’s the Boxing Day fixtures. Or at least eight of them are. We’ve 30 games taking place over a 10 day period encompassing three gameweeks. The only day between the 26th December and 4th January without a Premier League game is the 29th December.
Two of those three gameweeks will complete December. The current manager of the month table looks like this…
Not all that different from the actual league table with our top two seemingly fighting it out for the £60 prize. Might be even worth playing a chip. An Ibrahimovic hat trick against Sunderland on a triple captain could bring someone into contention.
He’s the man most likely, particularly this weekend with Diego Costa suspended. He fell way off the radar following a five week run up to gameweek 11 where he didn’t register a single goal or assist and picked up two bookings. He was dropping out of teams at an average rate of 200,000 a week in the worldwide game. And when Aguero picked up his suspension only 73,000 took the punt on bringing him back in. That’s 73,000 in comparison to 317,000 opting for Harry Kane. Ibrahimovic has outscored Kane 25-6 in that time. That’s potentially a 40+ point swing if you factor in captain picks.
And now that Costa is out for a game, is it worth considering bringing him in to replace the Chelsea man? Well, it depends when and for how much you bought Costa. Those who have had him since the early days might not fancy the hit. It’s only a week and given Costa’s form, dispensing of his services might not be worth it in the long run. I doubt even the most disciplined of managers would be able to simply kick Costa out for a week and then instantly replace him once the ban is over. What if Ibrahimovic scores that hat trick?
There may be another way. Those 317,00 cursing Harry Kane’s sudden dip in form have a ready made way in. Kane should have filled his boots at home to Burnley and Hull. Four points from those two games isn’t good enough. Also note that United’s fixtures up to FA Cup week are also much more favourable.