Manager of the week – FC Caligula – Ajay Supeda – 80 points
From what I can see only two of us handed Mohamed Salah the armband this week. Caligula were the highest placed, now in 7th, and our highest scorers. Plenty of other teams had him but didn’t captain him, largely favouring Kane, who didn’t even start against Leicester. Lots of other teams don’t have him, having probably ousted him in recent weeks to buy Kane – or maybe Raheem Sterling. Caligula’s other 38 points were kind of cobbled together by a couple of clean sheets and just two more goals scored in another week where rotation caused mild panic and the need for a strong bench.
Player of the week – Mohamed Salah – Liverpool – 21 points
It’s all about him this week. And it’s a massive headache for those that don’t have him. How many teams in that 35% are ghost teams? Teams that picked him and maybe even set him as captain from week one but haven’t bothered playing the game. I wouldn’t be fooled by that figure. More managers have transferred him out rather than in over the course of this season. Just in the last three weeks nearly 100,000 managers have rejected him, probably to afford Sterling or Kane. This is the kind of gameweek that makes those decisions look awfully dumb. He’s now top of the scoring charts – somehow?! Liverpool’s strength so far this season has been keeping clean sheets as opposed to running riot at the other end of the park. Salah’s scoring rate appears fairly similar to that of last season too. Explosive bouts of scoring weren’t his thing. It was consistent high single figure to low double figure scoring. There were rare blanks but also hardly any bonus. Check out his bonus scores for this season – just 5 points. That’s less that Huddersfield’s Chris Löwe. The answer is to lose one of your heavy hitters if you have more faith in Salah, make six transfers to squeeze him in around a team full of dross or just leave it as it is and hope for the best.
Bargain of the week – James Tarkowski – Burnley – 14 points
All of the Burnley back line were capable of these type of scores all the way through last season. They perfected the ability to chip in with the odd goal or assist while keeping a clean sheet and winning 1-0. Not so much this season. Joe Hart sits top of the saves table which tells you a great deal about the holes in their defence. Their immediate fixtures aren’t great, so this may turn out to be more of a one off rather than a corner turned.
Twat of the week – DeAndre Yedlin – Newcastle United – -3 points
Newcastle’s defence are even less popular than Burnley’s, despite being amid a decent run of fixtures and being more than capable of frustrating more attacking teams. Dodgy refereeing and last minute winners didn’t help their cause on Sunday, although neither did Yedlin deciding to rugby tackle Diogo Jota when clean through on goal.
Manager of the week – To Elland Back – Alan Hardy – 75 points
It definitely wasn’t the week for changing your team. You didn’t need to get Philippe Coutinho in and you didn’t need to get rid of Harry Kane. The Liverpool player, along with Roberto Firmino, was inexplicably left out of their squad for the Merseyside derby, having between the pair of them scored five in Europe in the midweek. The omens were with Kane and Spurs this week, having beaten Stoke by four goals in each of the last four games they’ve played against each other. This 5-1 victory included two goals for the games most frustrating player, who is still somehow second in the overall scoring charts. To Elland Back triple captained him, which almost guarantees you manager of the week status if you pick the right man.
Player of the week – Son Heung-Min – 16 points
It was Son who really shone for Spurs though. Last season it took him a while to get going and similarly this time round it’s only now he’s getting a run of games that he’s starting to contribute decent points returns. It looks like he might permanently fill that third attacking midfielder berth behind Kane in the Spurs line up as he did to great effect for the second half of the previous campaign. And at £7.9 million he’s a decent price for another midfield headache.
Bargain of the week – Steve Mounie – 13 points
Mounie’s only other two goals of the season came in week one. Nothing has happened since – not even an assist. We get frustrated by Harry Kane’s week on week off schedule. This bloke’s working to a week on, 15 weeks off schedule. Remember to pick him again in gameweek 31.
Twat of the week – Marvin Zeegelaar – -2 points
A short lived honeymoon period for the once unknown Watford defender of five gameweeks ago. The impressive run of four games, two assists, two clean sheets and three bonus points has now been brought to a shuddering halt by one red and a three game ban. We may never see him again.
Goal of the week – Jermain Defoe. See what happens when you pick him.
This is getting painful. At least we have a new name on the manager or the week roll call. Jarvis FC have been floating around between 30th and 40th for a few weeks now. Their 81 points puts them in 26th – the heady heights of mid table. Of more immediate interest will be the fact that with half of this 6 week game month complete, they’re up in to 5th place on the manager of the month table. It’s worth having a look…
Two players hit 19 points this week – Adam Lallana and Christian Eriksen. Jarvis made Eriksen captain, and that was that. It would have been a bold move to hand the armband to the Dane a few weeks ago, but his form has vastly improved since gameweek 13. He’s currently on a streak of scoring goals as well as providing assists, and he’s also nothced 8 bonus points in that four week spell.
After the goal glut at the weekend, defenders and keepers had a better time over these midweek games. Jarvis picked up 27 points from their defence and keeper. Eight teams kept clean sheets – that’s the most since way back in gameweek 9.
Player of the week – Adam Lallana – 19 points. When injury free, the most consistent and reliable of that Liverpool midfield.
Bargain of the week – Salomon Rondon – 17 points. Another £6-7 million striker coming into form
Donkey of the week – Marko Arnautovic – -2 points. Christmas off. Well done Marko.
Goal of the week – Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Coming back into contention.
Bournemouth v Leicester Everton v Arsenal Middlesbrough v Liverpool Sunderland v Chelsea West Ham v Burnley Crystal Palace v Man Utd Man City v Watford Spurs v Hull Stoke v Southampton West Brom v Swansea
Midweek games always bring that prospect of a bit of tinkering, especially at this time of year with the Christmas fixtures on the horizon. There’s no planning for it. You’ve just got to take it on the chin and hope you’ve got ample on the bench.
Still the Chelsea juggernaut rolls on. This gameweek sees them start a run of four fixtures against bottom half teams. Winning them all to nil is not out of the question. It’s difficult to know which players to hang your hat on. Diego Costa is undroppable at the moment, despite being one card away from a suspension. The defence are expensive, but worth every penny. It might even be tempting to captain one of them – particularly Cesar Azpilicueta, who leads the way for defensive bonuses.
And no other defence can compete. Liverpool and Manchester City continue to struggle. Dodgy keepers and a questionable defensive philosophy make every one of their players virtually unplayable. They’re so unattractive. John Stones has even dropped into the bargain zone.
And their struggles don’t end at the back. Is it the Aguero suspension/Coutinho injury having a negative effect? Managers are growing tired with certain players. Last week, Roberto Firmino was the most transferred player out. Closely followed by Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and James Milner. Other midfielders are making their presence felt and it’s no longer a risk to drop these once so reliable players.
Atlético Chappers are another new name on our weekly role of honour. They amassed 73 points this week. It’s a total that sees them climb eight places and into the top 10. Their 79 points was the third highest score of last week, and inevitably they’re the early leaders in the race for the December manager of the month prize. What edged Chappers over the line was not so much the 38 point combined total of this season’s top three performers, Vardy, Mahrez and Lukaku, but the inclusion of Scott Dann and Craig Cathcart in the defence.
Dann is the third highest scoring defender, despite only keeping four clean sheets. He has however weighed in with three goals and ten bonus points, played every minute of every match bar one, and has only been booked twice. All that for only £5.3 million. Cathcart is arguably even better value at £4.6 million. He’s collected one booking across every minute of every game and kept seven clean sheets into the bargain. While everyone is marvelling at Leicester’s season, Watford’s achievements shouldn’t be underestimated. Allan-Romeo Nyom crept into he top ten defenders after his 12 point haul this week. Heurelho Gomes is jostling with Jack Butland to be number one keeper, and if either Odion Ighalo or Troy Deeney occupy your third striker slot alongside Vardy and Lukaku, you’re pretty much guaranteed another goal.
Up until Riyad Mahrez scored last night my nomination for goal of the week was going to be Jamie Vardy – which was assisted by Riyad Mahrez. They’ve four nominations between them. I imagine the other assisted each one of those goals. They’ve 26 goals between them. They’ve 246 points between them. Mahrez, but for his ever increasing value, would have won player of the week this week for the second week running. Jordan Henderson wins by being virtue of £0.4 million cheaper. Mahrez started the season £1.5 million cheaper than Henderson. His value has increased by £1.4 million and Vardy’s by £1.6 million. Vardy’s ownership continues to increase week on week. Mahrez is owned by 63% of all managers. No-one else even gets close to that. I’m not sure even Luis Suarez or Eden Hazard reached those kind of heights in the last two seasons. Leicester for the title. Chelsea for the Championship.
Player of the week – Jordan Henderson – 13 points. In only his second 90 minutes of the season. One to watch maybe.
Bargain of the week – Allan-Romeo Nyom – 12 points. An assist, clean sheet and top bonus marks.
Donkey of the week – Danny Rose – 0 points.A little harsh – one of those weeks where no-one was sent off, conceded a hatful or scored an own goal.
Goal of the week – Riyad Mahrez. His second contender, equalling Vardy.