Manager of the week – Salah Buffoon!!! – Jitesh Lakhani – 74 points
A second manager of the week award for Salah Buffoon!!! Their last, in GW8, helped them jump into the top 40 and came largely as a result of sticking the armband on Eden Hazard and reaping the rewards of a double figure haul. Ditto this week. Hazard’s first 10+ total in nine weeks has helped the Buffoons rise into the top 30. Hazard scored a goal and a noteworthy fifth assist in four games to help Chelsea to victory over Brighton. Chelsea’s good festive fixture run might enable Hazard to produce more of the same – although it does appear that he’s ended the week with a yellow flag next to his name.
Player of the week – Henrikh Mkhitaryan – Arsenal – 14 points
Bargain of the week – Danny Ings – Southampton – 13 points
Southampton’s impressive win over Arsenal provides both the player awards this week. Does this prove it’s better to pump more money into your midfield than it does into your attack? Danny Ings’ brace and top bonus comes in at 11 points to Mkhitaryan’s 12 (2 goals plus 2 bonus points), and so he somewhat unluckily, given the match result, has to settle for the bargain award.
The Arsenal side that looked so impressive in the North London derby haven’t fulfilled that fantasy point-scoring promise, particularly Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who many managers instantly transferred in as a result of his performance against Spurs. Mkhitaryan gave way at half time in that game and has only played 45 minutes in each of the games since, so it would have been hard to predict his involvement here, never mind the likelihood of him netting twice.
Attention may switch to Danny Ings again as it did in the early weeks of the season. The Southampton striker needs to stay fit having just come back from a six week lay off. He and Salomon Rondon appear to be the only viable sub £6 million striking options on the table at the moment.
Twat of the week – Laurent Koscielny – Arsenal – 0 points
And to complete the set. It’s not the return to first team action that Koscielny would have wanted, but worth noting that he lasted the full 90 minutes and starts at a reasonably priced £5.4million. You’d expect him to be a regular, maybe once the busy festive schedule is out the way, so definitely worth keeping an eye on. Arsenal need to improve defensively and maybe Koscielny will help them do that.
Goal of the week – Gerard Deulofeu. A game full of good goals…
Manager of the week – Blakes11 – Steven Darling – 102 points
From out of nowhere Blakes11 finally get the hang of making transfers. In as much as they made one and chalked up the equal highest score of the year. In previous gameweeks they’d taken 64, 20, 16 and 12 point hits. I have no idea whether any of those were by accident or by design. The 20 point hit actually saw their overall league position rise. And they still haven’t played their wildcard. BLAKES11 – PLAY YOUR WILDCARD. They attempted the free hit in gmeweek 5 to no real avail. And yet – this week – one transfer – 102 points. But – have they done enough to put themselves in the box seat for the highest weekly score prize? Well, yes. Nashton Villa’s 102 point haul came in gameweek 12. In which they scored four goals. Blakes11 beat that by scoring an amazing seven goals. And looking at the team they have assembled at the moment, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them climbing higher than the 44th place in which they find themselves at the moment. Providing they don’t have any more transfer meltdowns.
Player of the week – Aaron Mooy – 15 points
It’s another bumper week for Huddersfield – who are becoming very, very difficult to predict. They’re either thumping teams – or getting thumped. This week Watford were on the receiving end – picking up their customary red card and twat award (see below). Mooy is their top scorer and his price has fluctuated in accordance with his form. Their current good(ish) run has seen them climb back into mid table safety. Mooy comes in currently at £5.3 million, so could definitely be worth a punt, particularly with him being fairly consistently on set piece and penalty duty.
Bargain of the week – Laurent Depoitre – 13 points
Lumbered his way to a goal and two assists which should secure his the centre forward place for another week. He and Steve Mounie have been vying for the position and taking it in turns to look unplayable one week, whilst being invisible the next.
Twat of the week – Troy Deeney – -2 points
Invariably a Watford player losing his head. Troy Deeney’s been a washed up fantasy asset for a season or two now. As long as Richarlison and Abdoulaye Doucoure keep on playing their way through the season instead of kicking lumps out of the opposition, Watford may stay up and may retain some fantasy worth.
Manager of the week – Upper Bullens – Andy Taylor – 79 points
It wasn’t a great week for Hornets, but they did surpass the 1000 point mark – our first and only team to do so thus far. Our team of the week scored almost twice as many points and did so off the back of a resurgent Everton side. Wayne Rooney captained Upper Bullens to 79 points. Jonjoe Kenny chipped in with another six points for a third clean sheet in four. The young right back is locked in until Seamus Coleman returns it seems and will still only set you back £4.3 million. In fact three of Everton’s back four – that’s Kenny, Cuco Martina and Mason Holgate – won’t cost you any more than that price.
Player of the week – Shinnji Okazaki – 16 points
Why hadn’t anyone thought of playing Okazaki for 90 minutes before? He’s normally hooked around the 70 minute mark. This will end up being his best fantasy season. Even better than the championship winning season. He’s already on six goals – the most he’s ever managed in a campaign.
Bargain of the week – Tiemoue Bakayoko – 9 points
It’s odd to see an elite team player in bargain section, but at only £5 million, Bakayoko is your second cheapest route into the Chelsea team after N’Golo Kante. Kante is a bit of a waste of funds as your classic holding midfielder. Bakayoko’s score has been ticking along at the same rate – and so is probably not worth the investment either.
Twat of the week – Jonjo Shelvey – -1 points
It was so nearly another Watford player picking up the twat award for yet another sending off. It would have been their fifth of the season and maybe a stat worth noting when considering changes to the team. However, Tom Cleverley was spared the ignominy by virtue of costing £0.1 million less than Shelvey. Also probably a more justified red given the challenges involved.
Goal of the week – James McCarthur.
This was tough. It was a week low on belters, but Zaha’s trickery and the last-minute-ness of the goal wins the award. 1m04s.
Congratulations to DJ Daz who finally poked their head over the precipice of our accidental relegation zone and made it on to page 1. They collected 73 points, the highest total of the weekend. It was an impressive score too, with most of the rest of the league finishing with scores in and around the 40’s and 50’s. Their defence picked up 30 points, as did their trio of Chelsea players. Good old Diego Costa came through as captain, despite finally picking up that fifth booking. He got his usual goal and a solitary bonus mark to boost his captain total to 12. And he gets Christmas off. He probably deserves it.
Second highest score came from Uriah’s. They were probably the team to suffer most at the hands of Sergio Aguero’s sending off a few weeks ago, dropping from 1st to 12th as a result. They’ve clawed their way back up to 5th off the back of a 68 point score this week. They’re still 60 odd points off the lead. There’s a spread developing at the top of the table and our top two, The Craggy Islanders and Yeboah’s Right Foot, are gradually opening up a lead on the rest of us.
Player of the weekend – Patrick Van Aanholt – 15 points. Good goal too.
Bargain of the weekend – Daniel Amartey – 10 points. Rescuing Leicester….
Donkey of the week – Jamie Vardy – -2 points – …from this loon.
Goal of the week – Jay Rodriguez. Another likely GOTS contender.
Crystal Palace v Chelsea Middlesbrough v Swansea Stoke v Leicester Sunderland v Watford West Ham v Hull West Brom v Man Utd Bournemouth v Southampton Man City v Arsenal Spurs v Burnley Everton v Liverpool
As usual with the Christmas schedule, previews and resuts round ups are either very quick or written while drunk. You might find that the Christmas week games are all previewed and rounded up together. That might even include gameweek 20, which is the first gameweek of the New Year. Then there’s a big old gap of a fortnight while we get the 3rd round of the FA Cup out of the way. I’ll try to at least update on the December manager of the month.
For the remaining three weeks of the month, it’d be foolish to look anywhere other than (YAWN!) Chelsea. There may have been a few frustrated managers at Eden Hazard’s latest injury lay off, although he’s not exactly getting in among the points at the moment. Leading the Chelsea midfield form table is Cesc Fabregas, who appears to have patiently worked his way into his manager’s thoughts with some impressive substitute displays. He replaced Nemanja Matic from the start against Sunderland and duly got a goal. Could this be a permanent swap?
West Ham’s players haven’t featured in these previews too often this season. Improved performances have garnered four points from their last two games, including a clean sheet against Burnley and a close run thing against Liverpool. Their remaining December fixtures offer points potential. Andy Carroll and Dimitri Payet are the obvious ways in, although the latter comes at a price as you’d expect.