Another weekend in which the majority suffered at the hands of Harry Kane’s week on/week off policy. A home game against Palace promised so much but didn’t deliver. Maybe the best course of action is to go with your instinct on who might be the best Man City player to hand the armband to. Last week it was Leroy Sane; this week Kevin De Bruyne had a turn. Greenyteamy got 20 points out of the Belgian. They also had Mohamed Salah, whose 15 points was his fourth double figure score of the season. He also becomes the game’s second highest scoring player behind Sane. He’s the Liverpool player most likely, particularly with Roberto Firmino’s patchy form and Philippe Coutinho’s injury problems. However, Sadio Mane’s return to the side may see a shift in a share of the Red’s points.
Player of the week – Steve Cook – 15 points.
Just what you need out of your fourth or fifth defender. Hold out for 90 minutes, then power in a header from a corner with a few to go. In come the bonus points to add to your goal and clean sheet. What you also need is for him not to be warming your bench.
Bargain of the week – Scott Malone – 12 points
Huddersfield’s fifth clean sheet matches City, Spurs and Chelsea. Its Malone’s first as a recent regular starter. It seems Huddersfield are still a steady defensive bet against the teams they need to beat…
Twat of the week – Christopher Schindler – -2 points
Seems the difference between good Liverpool and shit Liverpool is Sadio Mane. In his second start since returning from the AFCON he registered a 16 point haul and was the highest scoring player of the week. And it seems the only manager who knows the difference between good Liverpool and shit Liverpool is Hedgehog Corpse. Handing Mane the armband catapulted the Corpse up to fifth in the League and into third place in the February table.
We’ve only one more February gameweek left. It’s all to play for. In truth, there could be as many as 20 teams in it. Gameweek 26 kicks off in a fortnight after the break for the FA Cup 5th round, and is a reduced gameweek due to the League Cup. Those 5th round results will be worth keeping an eye on as they’ll determine who is in line to play in Gameweek 28. Negotiating the next few weeks is not going to be straightforward, especially if you’re still involved in the Buckets Cup.
The second round match ups are ready to view on the Buckets Cup link. There were some close run things this week – and some surprise results. 4 Fuchs Ake won the Fuchs derby. Racing Club Skegness are the lowest ranked team left in and sprang the biggest surprise, knocking out Greenyteamy. Hedgehogs high score saw off third placed When Harry Met Alli, whilst fourth placed Yeboah’s fell to 31st placed Jarvis FC.
Player of the week – Sadio Mane – 16 points. Just as you got shot of the Liverpool midfield.
Bargain of the week – Alfie Mawson – 15 points. Cheap goalscoring defender alert….
Donkey of the week – Jason Denayer – -2 points. Meanwhile, the Sunderland revival….
Goal of the week – Alfie Mawson. …and one of them was a sweet volley.
One of those weeks where nothing happened – nothing came off. Only 19 goals scored. The average FPL score was a measly 35 points. Our manager of the week managed 52 – the only manager to break 50 points. Jetty City crept ahead of everybody else probably because they had Gylfi Sigurdsson in their side. The Swansea midfielder doesn’t appear in too many other Buckets teams. A good example of a differential paying off.
The only side in the top six that won were City, and we got sick of them weeks ago. No goals for United or Spurs, a stalemate with two unlikely scorers between Chelsea and Liverpool and worst of all, Arsenal messing up at home to Watford, who have been in terrible form of late. Thank goodness for the Alexis Sanchez assist. He appeared to be the popular captain choice again and the extra four points probably turned what could have been a really shit week into…a fairly shit week.
There were some interesting tactics employed in the race for the January Manager of the Month. The top two challengers played chips. Greenyteamy went for the bench boost and that garnered them an extra 12 points. Upper Bullens triple captained Harry Kane to the tune of 6 points – essentially two more than they’d have got had they just not bothered. Disappointing on the one hand, but it was enough to get them over the line. Might they regret those choices come the double gameweeks? Here’s the final table.
We have our first gap opening up at the top of the table. We’ve a two team brekaway. Uriah Rennie 2nd XI and Queen Of The North move past the 700 point mark with healthy weekly scores of 65 and 66. The gap between QOTN and The Craggy Islanders in 3rd is 23 points. Then only 13 points separate the next nine teams. In fact, an inspired captain choice and prevailing wind could see teams as far down as maybe Rip Roaring Reds in 17th climb the league and land somewhere in the top ten and within shooting distance of the prize money.
November manager of the month goes to Greenyteamy who held off challenges from a number of teams to hold on to the lead they’d established after last week’s matches. Only Yeboahs Right Foot and Hedgehog Corpse of those featured in the monthly table appear in the overall top ten. This may explain the tightly packed nature of the mid table. Other than our leading pair and Hedgehogs, the rest of our top ten had a fairly uninspiring week in which they limped to an around-average score. Much the same as last week. And the week before.
Buckets stalwarts, Romeoshondavan, scored the highest weekly score. More than half of their 70 point total came courtesy of old faithfuls Sergio Aguero (as captain) and Alexis Sanchez. Before the week started, Philippe Coutinho was not only the most picked player in the game, but also the most transferred in and most popular captain of the week. He lasted 36 minutes. The rap he took to his ankle looks like it might rule him out until the New Year. There was potential for a Sunderland trouncing at the hands of the Liverpool midfield, but it never transpired, and left a lot of managers cursing their luck.
The nine goal thriller served up by Swansea and Palace provided us with six of the ten players who managed double figure scores this week. They’re not among the most popular teams with fantasy managers. I know a couple of Buckets teams have Christian Benteke clogging up their attack. His ownership across the whole game is only at 6%. More surprisingly perhaps is that Gylfi Sigurdsson appears in only 5.2% of teams in the game as a whole. Maybe his value seems a little high. But, he’s a top ten midfielder, has played virtually every minute of Swansea’s last nine games and has contributed meaningful points in seven of them. Basically if Swansea score, he’s usually somewhere in the mix.
Player of the week – Fernando Llorente – 15 points.Collected in 25 minutes.
Bargain of the week – Leroy Fer – 14 points. His 5th and 6th goals of the season. Only Hazard and Sanchez have more in the midfield.
Donkey of the week – Kyle Naughton – -1 points. A clean sweep. His fourth donkey in three years.
Goal of the week – Pedro.Finally worth considering him for your fantasy team. At 3m25s
Friday’s preview highlighted the rising stock of the Chelsea team and I don’t know why I didn’t take my own advice. Their fifth consecutive clean sheet and their fifth consecutive victory. They were the only team to keep a clean sheet this weekend. Only 11 defenders collected anything but their appearance points and four of them play for Chelsea. Eden Hazard scored his fifth goal in four games and registered the highest score of the week. His overall performance merited much more than the 19 points he achieved. He’s an absolutely essential buy at the moment.
So, it’s just typical that a two week international break should come along. Although it does give you plenty of time to figure out exactly how to wedge him into your team. But with each passing day there’s the danger that his value will edge higher and higher. It had already jumped from £9.8 to £10 million over the two gameweeks before the Everton game. There’s every chance it’ll increase by the same amount, or maybe more, come the gameweek 12 deadline. And the same goes for absolutely everybody else in the Chelsea starting XI at the moment from Courtois to Costa.
No less impressive were Liverpool, hammering six past Watford. Their front four all returned double figure scores. It was Philippe Coutinho’s fourth – a feat only matched by Hazard and Alexis Sanchez. Mane, Lallana and Firmino have all managed three each. They occupy four of the top twelve scorers overall – four of the top eight midfielders. If you’ve still got a wildcard, gameweek 12 looks like a perfect opportunity to play it. At whose expense might be better looked at in the preview in a fortnights time. A few injuries to Arsenal, Spurs and City players over the international break will make that decision a bit easier. Here’s hoping.
Racing Club Skegness were far and away our highest scorers of the week with 87 points. There were only two other managers in the 70’s. Greenyteamy opted for Firmino as captain. He contributed 30 of their 77 points. Cooksters 74 points came with a 38 point contribution from Hazard as captain. Skegness also went with Hazard, but also benefited from Coutinho’s contribution, a resurgence from Wayne Rooney on his recall to the Manchester United squad and Sam Vokes’ 11 point return, which puts him at the top of the budget striker picks. His current form is bettered only by that of Costa and Romelu Lukaku.
Player of the week – Eden Hazard – 19 points. Goal of the week too.
Bargain of the week – Robert Snodgrass – 14 points. Back with immediate effect.
Donkey of the week – Jose Holebas – -2 points. A lot of managers won’t be happy with him – a form budget defender in a lot of teams. Picked up a ban too.
Goal of the week – Eden Hazard. His second goal from a slightly odd angle.