Top of the league – The Craggy Islanders – Adrian Roche – 2345 points
Da Pitch aren’t giving up on that title yet. They’re making every effort to close that gap. Scoring 105 points should help, unless the team you’re chasing racks up 104. The big scores were plentiful this week – seven in triple figures – only one less than last week. Albion aren’t out of contention either, posting 95 points. Our leaders however, crucially, still have their triple captain.
April manager of the month – Kebab Eaters United – Paul Howard – 351 points
April has probably produced a Buckets record for the highest monthly score for a four week game month. It took Kebab Eaters 351 points to win it – which included two 100+ scores. We’re looking at an average score of close to 90 points a week. Mentions too for the Islanders, Caligula and Da Pitch who weren’t far behind, also averaging an 80+ weekly total.
Manager of the week – Rip Roaring Reds – Sean Whyton – 125 points
For the second successive week we have a highest weekly score of 125 points. It was the triple captain chip that garnered the triple figure totals this week. And it was the triple captaining of one player in particular, Mo Salah, that reaped the greatest reward. The Islanders held the highest weekly score prize for one week only – they only scored four goals to the Reds’ seven. Most of us realised that all out Liverpool was the way to go with them coming up against the whippiest of whipping boys, Huddersfield. I suspect the Islanders are saving their triple captain for the last gameweek – a tactic which I think they’ve employed before – but had they gone with it they’d have accumulated the highest weekly score, won the manager of the week, the manager of the month AND probably sewn up the Buckets title.
Player of the week – Mohamed Salah – Liverpool – 19 points
It’s Salah’s second player of the week award. What a week to land the triple captain chip. He was always going to be the one and this Huddersfield fixture was always likely to be the game. There have been frustrating moments throughout the fantasy season for Salah owners, but he’s still leading scorer, and now by a fair distance. It appears that by not reaching the heights of last season he’s unworthy of a player of the year nomination or a place in the team of the year. Nonsense.
Bargain of the week – Cyrus Christie – Fulham – 11 points
Three consecutive clean sheets for Fulham. How did that happen? There’s no point in discussing this any further. Only ghost ships own Fulham defenders.
Twat of the week – Ainsley Maitland-Niles – Arsenal – -2 points
Doesn’t anybody want Champions League football next season? Maitland-Niles did Arsenal’s Europa League cause more good with dopey 30 minute red. He was on the Rip Roaring Reds’ bench. A smart place to put him.
April Manager of the Month – Edgbaston – Micheal Dineen – 267 points
In what was probably our closest manager of the month tussle of the season, the prize goes to Edgbaston. All of the teams in contention could have pinched the top spot with a better captain choice. Most plumped for Salah, who had a rare off week. Some, most notably Caligula, could have come out on top with a different team selection. Caligula had an extra 10 points on the bench which would have seen them over the line. Having said that, Edgbaston could also have picked up a few more points, opting as they did for Hugo Lloris over Mat Ryan and Pascal Gross over Willian. Caligula’s poor showing saw them drop to fifth overall. The gap is down to 36 points behind the Vinegar Pissers, with The Craggy Islanders and Nashton Villa now leading the chase. Mega double gameweek to come – it’s still anybody’s.
Manager of the week – Queen of the North – Dorine Reacher – 76 points
Queen of the North became only the fifth team to achieve a second manager of the week nod and move into the top 10 overall – although they’re probably out of the running for a top four place with no chips remaining ahead of the double gameweek. The key to a high score was stocking up on Palace players who made themselves safe with their 5-0 rout of Leicester. Wilfried Zaha bagged his second double figure score in three weeks and was the Queen’s highest scoring player.
Player of the week – Dusan Tadic – 15 points
Despite Palace’s best efforts it was another relegation threatened team who provided us with this weeks best player. Southampton look semi-revitalised and not yet ready to give up on their Premier League status – and may now offer us some options for their double gameweek – Tadic being one of them. He normally shows up for one week of every season with a big score. He chipped in with 23 points back in gameweek 8 of the 2014-2015 season.
Bargain of the week – Mamadou Sakho – 13 points
There we are. The Palace representative. Sakho was one of four Palace players to hit double figures this week. Lots of managers have taken a punt on Zaha given his good form, but not so many on any other player, probably due to the fact they only have one game next week. All others have been gradually discarded in preparation for the GW37. They have Stoke and West Brom left to play – which in the middle of the season would tempt you towards them. Now they’re safe and with those two teams still fighting, it might be best to look elsewhere.
Twat of the week – Marc Albrighton – -2 points
It’s very difficult to time tackles when you’re wearing flip flops and sunglasses.
Goal of the week – Dusan Tadic
No vid for this toe-poke. Tadic again. You definitely won’t see this name mentioned again until next season.
Are Aquamar about to throw this thing away? The gap is now 12 – just 12 points to When Harry Met Alli. And 25 to The Craggy Islanders. Aquamar have been posting good scores but have been taking a crazy amount of hits to achieve them. They opted to take another three this week to add to the eleven of the previous three weeks at a cost of 36 points. Have they got their chip and wildcard tactics all wrong?
In the same four week stretch WHMA have made 5 changes, costing them 4 points. They bench boosted their way to the highest weekly score of 100 points this week. The four subs collected 18 of those points. We’ll have to wait and see whether that would have been better left for next week.
And that’s because of those Craggy Islanders. Making just three changes with no points deducted in the last four weeks, they played their wildcard this week enabling them to set up nicely for next week’s double GW37. At present they’ve 13 players set to play twice. I expect that to be 15 at kick off. And they have their bench boost in waiting.
There was a wide range of scores this week. This highest – the 70, 80 and 90+ totals came to those that played the double gameweek, utilising their chips and wildcards cleverly. Sanchez lead the captain picks and didn’t disappoint. Arsenal defenders contributed too. Two clean sheets was perhaps unexpected. Just watch them finish fourth. Jack Stephens and Maya Yoshida were popular choices. They were far too cheap to ignore and returned well. There was an extra bonus for those that took a punt on Fraser Forster, with the Saints keeper scaring the shit out of James Milner, then saving his penalty.
Player of the week – Fraser Forster – 17 points. Double gameweek – keeper wins again.
Bargain of the week – Rob Holding – 15 points. In till the end?
Donkey of the week – Lys Mousset – -1 points. Striker own goal. Ooops.
Goal of the week – Vincent Kompany.In till the end?
West Ham v Spurs Man City v Crystal Palace Bournemouth v Stoke Burnley v West Brom Hull v Sunderland Leicester v Watford Swansea v Everton Liverpool v Southampton Arsenal v Man Utd Chelsea v Middlesbrough Southampton v Arsenal
There’s one extra fixture this week with Southampton and Arsenal both playing twice – once against each other in the midweek, and against Liverpool (Southampton) and Manchester United (Arsenal) over the weekend.
Meaning neither have an easy week ahead. Southampton are comfortably mid-table – about as mid-table as you can get. Last week, they were the first team since January to allow Hull to collect any away points, and before that were comfortably beaten by Chelsea and Manchester City. On the beach? This may open the door for Arsenal…or maybe not. Their respective form tables make similar reading.
Anyone holding both the triple captain and bench boost chips might be looking at this week to play the first of those. Mesut Ozil is Arsenal’s form man with two goals and an assist in his last five games. I guarantee Alexis Sanchez will still pick up more armband nominations. Ozil’s barely been on the radar at all this season. Sanchez sort of looks like he’s still trying.
Introducing Southampton players to your team is a much easier task. Their defence is made up of three players coming in at under £5 million and whilst clean sheets might not appear likely given the opposition, be aware that both Maya Yoshida and Jack Stephens have picked up 27 and 23 points in their last five weeks. That includes bonuses, assists and goals. Up top they’re giving us very little at the moment. Manolo Gabbiadini was meant to offer more. He arrived, he scored goals, he got injured – and he’s been hooked before the 60 minute mark since that return. The last thing you want is four games in two weeks returning just four points.
Double gameweek 37 holds much more potential. Chelsea and Spurs players are a must. Also consider Chelsea welcome Middlesbrough this week, whilst Spurs visit West Ham (on Friday night – remember) with the possibility of reducing the league lead to a single point. The problem with ditching Southampton players is the price difference, but if you’ve got your wildcard left, now’s the time.
The week that Leicester City won the league. Amazing.
Far and away our highest scorers of the week were Shoelace Untied with 78 points. The next highest scoring team didn’t even make it over 60 points. Shoelace now come into real contention for a top four prize and shouldn’t be ruled out of clinching the title given their ascent over recent weeks. The same can be said for The Kolarov Mane, who despite dropping a place this week, take the April Manager of the Month prize.
No-one could catch them once they’d posted their 190 point total in gameweek 34. It’s telling to see four of the top five in the mix for the April prize, all coming good at the right time and trying to haul Caligula back in. Caligula go into the penultimate week with a re-established 12 point lead. It’s still all to play for.
Shoelace’s outstanding week was helped massively by automatic substitutions and somewhat ironically, Sadio (The Kolarov) Mane. Squad rotation from our European semi finalists did play a part, with mixed results across the league. All three of Shoelace’s subs were used – but most notable was Sergio Aguero being replaced by Mark Noble. The West Ham captain scored two for the second consecutive week and added 16 more points to their total. Mane’s hat trick against Manchester City bagged him the player of the week award. That’s seven goals in six games without too many people realising – a run that’s accumulated 50 points.
Player of the week – Sadio Mane – 20 points. Coming up on the rails for Euro qualification
Bargain of the week – Karl Darlow – 15 points. A penalty save that might keep them up
Donkey of the week – Aly Cisshoko – -2 points. This should really be a Spurs player.
Goal of the week – Andros Townsend. Two contenders in four weeks.