Gameweek 25 preview

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

 

Is that a title decider on Saturday lunchtime? Leicester play Arsenal next week. What if they won them both? Arsenal are faltering. Vardy, Mahrez, Ighalo, Barkley and Kane have returned to their scoring ways after their winter breaks. Mesut Ozil hasn’t. Fantasy form can tell us so much about the on field fortunes of a team. Without Ozil performing Arsenal have failed to win in four games. It’s six games since Ozil last contributed anything. His value has started to fall. Is that it for the German?

It’s worth highlighting the form of some lesser fancied players. West Ham are quietly going about their business. They’ve a realistic chance of the top four and are more than capable of ousting United from the fifth spot if their recent form continues. Thanks not necessarily to Dimitri Payet, although he has looked impressive since his injury return, but to Michail Antonio and Enner Valencia. Payet will contribute more – it’s only a matter of time. He’s too good not to. Meanwhile Valencia has scored four in his last seven and added six bonus points. Antonio has been the Hammers’ main provider with five assists in the last seven. He’s also added three goals in the same amount of time.

Southampton’s defence haven’t conceded in four. Koeman has had to chop and change a little bit at the back, but he was able to play arguably his strongest five against Arsenal in midweek. Bertrand, Soares, Van Dijk, Fonte and Fraser Forster are all available at under £5.5 million. Forster’s four clean sheets in four games since his injury lay off make him the most sought after keeper at the moment.

Christian Eriksen has begun to make his mark. He’s bagged two goals, three assists and seven bonus points in his last three games. He, Kane and Alli would have amassed 86 points in that time, and he’s become only the second player to reach double figures for assists this season. Could he catch his north London rival?

Benik Afobe has played four games for Bournemouth and scored in three of them. Also adding goals to his game in recent weeks is a little known English forward called Wayne Rooney. He was in danger of completing his first Premier League season without reaching double figures for league goals. Five in his last six have taken his total to seven. His value had dipped below £10 million. I think that may also be a first. He might be the best value striker around at the moment.

Gameweek 21 results

1 Golden Boys Stephanie Cripps 27 1,159
2 Your Ad Here Matthew Hopkins 24 1,132
3 FC Caligula Ajay Supeda 26 1,129
4 4 Lime Jellies Ian Williams 31 1,121
5 greensmeansbusiness adam greenwood 43 1,110
6 Walking with Memphis Noel Driver 41 1,101
7 Howayman Mark Bromham 25 1,100
8 Game of Throw ins Darren Lavelle 28 1,093
9 Sergio Five O DEAN CRIPPS 26 1,093
10 Gaalacticos Colin Goulding 36 1,093
11 Shoelace Untied Caroline Strong 39 1,089
12 Pretty Schitty City Alex Michaluk 24 1,086
13 SS3 FC Paul Murray 20 1,085
14 Atlético Chappers Richard Chapman 38 1,080
15 Bicuitmen Chris Morton 38 1,079
16 Rocky Ba Bauer P Hawkins 25 1,079
17 scotty2hotty scott mcgow 29 1,079
18 Edgbaston Micheal Dinneen 22 1,077
19 Hedgehog Corpse FC Nick Smith 32 1,077
20 The Kolarov Mané Trevor Gordon 34 1,073
21 Init fc Mustafa khan 27 1,058
22 Grievous AngelRangel Andrew Swift 31 1,056
23 Rip Roaring Reds Sean Whyton 47 1,053
24 JonniestaRedmondinho David Spinks 37 1,051
25 Romeo’s Honda Van Rob Hewer 28 1,049
26 Below Par Paul Bentz 37 1,043
27 The Craggy Islanders Adrian Roche 32 1,042
28 Neil Madrid Neil Strong 25 1,037
29 Bermie Utd Glen Davies 29 1,035
30 The Mindless Morons John Seacroft 32 1,032
31 Panza Grande XI Stuart Baker 31 1,028
32 Uriah Rennie 2nd XI Neil Greenwood 42 1,015
33 Upper Bullens Andy Taylor 33 1,008
34 RICO UNITED JASON REACHER 47 977
35 Go Buffoons Go!!! Jitesh Lakhani 52 977
36 Ciderheads Darren Pope 36 957
37 The Hardy Boys Alan Hardy 24 956
38 Baker Bum Boys Lewis Baker 35 931
39 Release The Hounds Paul Mitchell 32 930
40 Crazy Legs XI David Caldicott 28 917
41 Bish Bosh Goal Simon Purnell 48 895
42 Sweet Cherry Pie Jason Earwicker 26 892
43 REAL JORVIK Simon Brown 34 811
44 BrussiaHairbach Alex Ritchie 21 761

 

Easily one of the shittest weeks in FPL history. The majority of us scored under the worldwide average of 35, and just under half of us didn’t even get above 30 points. And yet, there were points to be had. There were 34 goals scored – well over the gameweek average. It was who scored that was the problem.

Of the six players that started the gameweek with over 100 points, only Mahrez and Barkley scored any more than their appearance points – and that was the single point they get for a clean sheet as a midfielder. Of the most popular players – those with over a 20% ownership – only Bacary Sagna and Marko Arnautovic contributed anything extra.

And – there were five players scoring two or more goals this week. Olivier Giroud and Wayne Rooney offered the most likely path to a double figure score – with 14.9% and 8.5% ownership respectively. Jermain Defoe’s hat trick was enjoyed by only 2.5% of managers, with even less benefiting from Enner Valencia and Roberto Firmino’s braces.

Go Buffoons Go!!! were the only team to get above 50 points and did so thanks to Giroud’s 13 points and Arnautovic’s five – doubled to ten as captain. Andre Ayew contributed a double figure score also –  his first since mid November. Making the most ground at the top of the tree were Greensmeansbusiness and Walking With Memphis. Aaron Ramsey and Bacary Sagna were the main contributors to Greens’ score. It could have been so much better had they picked Defoe instead of Chris Smalling. The 17 extra points would have seen them climb another place in the table and into a prize money position. WWM also had Giroud. They got another 12 points from their City contingent – six from Joe Hart for his clean sheet and another six from their skipper, Yaya Toure.

It was a more memorable week for some cracking 20-30 yard screamers. Honourable mentions to Enner Valencia, Dimitri Payet (he’s back), Wayne Rooney, Jonny Howson and Joselu.

 

Player of the week – Jermain Defoe – 17 points. Five goals in two games.

Bargain of the week – Joleon Lescott – 15 points. Villa won!!!!!!!!!!

Donkey of the week – Kyle Naughton – -4 points. Wasn’t a sending off and will probably be rescinded. Doesn’t help if you had him in your team though.

Goal of the week – Roberto Firmino. His second just shades it.

Gameweek 11 preview

08 Nov 12:45 Liverpool v Chelsea
08 Nov 15:00 Burnley v Hull
08 Nov 15:00 Man Utd v Crystal Palace
08 Nov 15:00 Southampton v Leicester
08 Nov 15:00 West Ham v Aston Villa
08 Nov 17:30 QPR v Man City
09 Nov 13:30 Spurs v Stoke
09 Nov 13:30 Sunderland v Everton
09 Nov 13:30 West Brom v Newcastle
09 Nov 16:00 Swansea v Arsenal

 

Southampton entered a run of fixtures three weeks ago that promised so much, and the surprise team of the season so far haven’t disappointed. Their games against Sunderland, Stoke and Hull have yielded ten goals with none conceded, and there’s every chance that they could complete November as strongly as they ended October. Leicester and Villa, their next two fixtures, haven’t won a game in the same time frame. Villa have only scored once, and Leicester haven’t found the back of the net at all. Both going forward and at the back, based on their own form, and the form of the two teams they’re about to come up against, the Saints continue to offer the best chances of points returns and will be crucial to those teams chasing the manager of the month award.

It could all change though. Their December looks tough with City, Arsenal, Everton, United and Chelsea all left to play. A change in tactic might be necessary to get the best out of cheap and mid priced options, with one team in particular, already in good form, entering a phase of winnable fixtures.

West Ham’s stock has been on a steady rise since a narrow loss at United followed by three consecutive victories, which included the scalp of City. Their run of fixtures into December sees them entertain Villa, Newcastle, Swansea and Leicester, around winnable trips to West Brom and Sunderland. There maybe aren’t quite as many front to back options as there are in the Southampton team, but it’s no longer the case, as it has been in every other season for the Hammers, of having one of their players in your squad to make up the numbers. Their two main forwards are in among the goals and the bonuses. Diafra Sakho missed the trip to Stoke last week, but returns to partner Enner Valencia, who after a sluggish start, has registered goal, assist or bonus marks in five of his last seven appearances. Stewart Downing is bettered only by Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez in the midfielder standings. His form as earned him an England recall. Defensively, it’s more of a risk, but in Aaron Cresswell, they have a full back with assist potential. It’s two in the last three for him with a couple of bonuses thrown in.

The first five yellow card suspensions are beginning to take effect. Lee Cattermole, unsurprisingly, will miss this weekend after reaching five bookings in Sunderland’s last match. He wasn’t the first to be suspended however. Callum Chambers had reached that mark two gameweeks ago. The young Arsenal full back is free of any threat of a suspension for the time being and will hope to carry on where left off last week. One booking away from a suspension are, among others, Daryl Janmaat, Winston Reid, Jack Wilshere, Steven Naismith, and perhaps most notably, Cesc Fabregas.

Gameweek 4 results

1 Uriah Rennie 2nd XI Neil Greenwood 91 243
2 * Your Ad Here * Matthew Hopkins 83 235
3 Upper Bullens Andy Taylor 79 224
4 Rip Roaring Reds Sean Whyton 93 224
5 Panza Grande XI Stuart Baker 65 223
6 NaboombuDirtyYellows Andrew Swift 54 216
7 Paris Spinks Germain David Spinks 58 212
8 Sportingabiggerwig Alex Ritchie 67 212
9 Crazylegs XI David Caldicott 69 208
10 RayCrawfordsCrackers Rob Hewer 67 208
11 Bermie Utd Glen Davies 61 205
12 Gaalatcticos Colin Goulding 68 200
13 Real Jorvik FC Simon Brown 56 196
14 Pescara Rangers Stewart Pope 73 195
15 Neil Madrid Neil Strong 55 189
16 Van Damme United P Hawkins 51 188
17 Pretty Schitty City Alex Michaluk 68 188
18 Hedgehog Corpse FC Nick Smith 44 188
19 Ciderheads Darren Pope 68 184
20 Biscuitmen Chris Morton 63 183
21 No Recognized Plan Paul Bentz 35 169
22 Howay Man AFC Mark Bromham 46 167
23 Shoelace Untied Caroline Strong 50 166
24 Release The Hounds Paul Mitchell 59 165
25 Luxembourg United Simon Smallbone 70 164
26 Who R U DEAN CRIPPS 36 159
27 Accrington Rudyard Ian Williams 50 155
28 The Mindless Morons John Seacroft 31 154
29 Jordie’s Giants Jordan Raper 33 129

 

Uriah Rennie 2nd XI are our new leaders, jumping three places from fourth to first with an impressive 91 points. Not the highest score of the week however. Rip Roaring Reds eclipsed them with a 93 point haul, and jumped ten places from 14th into the top four. Both teams had Diego Costa and Wayne Rooney. Both made Rooney captain. Kind of a gamble given the indifference of both his and United’s early season form – but one that paid off. It’s taken until game four for United to finally get some worthwhile fantasy points on the board. No coincidence that it happened in the gameweek they were finally able to pick all of their new signings – and drop Ashley Young. Angel Di Maria (also picked by RRR’s) was the most impressive, and their highest scorer, with 14 points.

Kudos to those of you – and there were quite a few of you judging by the scoring – who took a risk on Diego Costa, either by bringing him in – or not leaving him out. And especially to those who went all out and opted for him as captain. Panza, Upper Bullens and *Your Ad Here*, who make up the rest of the top five, should be smugly relieved he overcame his injury. He’s scored in every game now. He’s bagged the first hat trick of the season. He’s on seven goals, outscoring some teams. Having started the week on £10.7 million, it’ll be interesting to see how far and fast that value rises before next weeks fixtures. At his rate of scoring, even if he were to tip the £11 million barrier, it still seems like too good an offer to turn down. No new striker has hit the ground running quite like Costa in the Premier League era. It took Luis Suarez a season and a half and a couple of bans to be this prolific. How long can it last? At this rate, if the hamstrings hold out, and he keeps his head – because he does look like he’s got at least one red card in him – could we be looking at our first 40 goal finisher?

He’s not the only newbie to be impressing. The top scoring striker list looks very unfamiliar. Leonardo Ulloa and Graziano Pelle leap into the top five having scored and gathered top bonus marks at the weekend. Both are set to see their values rise in the coming weeks if their form continues, but at £5.5 and £7.5 million respectively, neither are going to dent your finances too much and leave money for spends elsewhere. In fact, buying a form striker has never been as cheap. Steven Naismith and Andreas Weimann make up the top five (with Costa), and a little further down the list comes Gabby Agbonlahor. None of those three will cost you any more than £5.6 million.

And it’s Villa, who against all odds, are offering the best cheap options at the moment, particularly in defence and attack. All of their first choice back four have hit double figures, and Brad Guzan leads the goalkeeping charts. They have the best defensive record thus far, and kept another clean sheet at the weekend in a surprise victory over Liverpool. Contrast that with Arsenal, who’ve yet to keep a clean sheet. Wojciech Szczesny was last season’s second highest scoring keeper. Villa’s next opponents? – Arsenal.

 

Player of the week – Diego Costa – 17 points. Draft him in now

Bargain of the week – Graziano Pelle – 13 points. Southampton won’t get relegated.

Donkey of the week – John Terry – -1 points. Not completely watertight at the back.

Goal of the week – Enner Valencia. Boom!