End of season results

May 23, 2017

up The Craggy Islanders
Adrian Roche
85 2315
down When Harry met Alli
Trevor Gordon
80 2312
same Aquamar 15
Noel Driver
77 2274
up Kebab Eaters Utd
Paul Howard
110 2255

The Craggy Islanders are our champions. By three points. I think that might be our closest finish yet. It was looking at one point, before the bonuses came in, that it might end up being a tie. I’m glad it wasn’t. I didn’t fancy the season long count back of goals scored. The Islanders won the last weekly battle 85 to 80 – the five point gap enough to take over at the top. WHMA played the All Out Attack, but to no avail. It wouldn’t have made a difference had they not bothered.

The Islanders started this season as our first manager of the week and then spent most of the next three months coming and going, in and out of the top 10. They hit a century in gameweek 14 climbing back to the summit. From that moment on they never left the top four, clinging on to first for six weeks between 16 and 22, and then next appearing in top spot when it really mattered – gameweek 38.

Meaning When Harry Met Alli must settle for second place for the second successive year. They were always in the mix. They never dropped out of the top 10 but for one week in December. From the turn of the year they took up residence in the top four and never fell below that. They were at the head of the group of teams trying to peg back Aquamar through the last third of the season, managing to take the lead in gameweek 37. Perhaps their decision to play their bench boost a week earlier than The Islanders cost them the title. We’ll never know.

And we’ll never know whether Aquamar’s itchy transfer finger cost them the top prize. Sitting in the top 3,000 worldwide in gameweek 32 with an 80 point lead over their nearest Buckets challenger, they went on a complete transfer bender making 19 in the last six weeks. Not having Harry Kane to play out the final two weeks, however, was probably the biggest handicap. It was a season of what might have been for Aquamar, also finishing runners-up in the Buckets Cup to Shoelace Untied.

Fourth place was a battle to the death with five or so teams continuously changing places over the closing two months of the season. Kebab Eaters United eventually pipped Edgbaston to the last cash prize. Edgbaston finished fifth last year too, but do take home the prize for the May manager of the month and the highest weekly score – a record breaking 181 points in gameweek 37.

Shoelace ploughed all of their energy into winning the cup, taking 76 points worth of hits across three gameweeks in order to outscore their opponents. Curiously, they also climbed the table, proving that taking hits doesn’t necessarily always cost you points. As long as you bring in the right players. It’s not a tactic I’d suggest playing across an entire season.

Rico United were double month winners and Yeboah’s Right Foot won manager of the week more than anyone else, coming out on top four times. That’s probably pretty impressive in a 53 team league. The record still stands at seven in a 26 team league.

Alexis Sanchez topped the player charts by some distance, although had Harry Kane played out a full season, it’s probable he’d have collected more points. He finished joint third with Eden Hazard, and just behind Dele Alli, but missed eight games with injury. Tom Heaton was the top goalkeeper. He kept ten clean sheets, and headed both the saves made and bonus points tables to finish ahead of Hugo Lloris and Thibault Courtois. The Chelsea defence ruled. No-one got close to Cahill, Alonso and Azpilicueta. Kane, Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku topped the bonus charts, all scoring 33. Marcos Alonso’s value rose the most over the course of the season, £0.9 million to £6.9 million.

Picking a bargain buy of the season hasn’t been as easy as last year when we had so many Leicester players to choose from. West Brom’s second top scorer, Gareth McAuley, deserves a mention. The 804 year old defender started as a £4.5 million back up in many teams but probably lasted the distance thanks to his steady return of goals and clean sheets – up until the point that West Brom reached 40 points and they got the holiday brochures out. Josh King’s second half of the season was as prolific as any of the elite forward players in the league. Only Sanchez and Alli scored more from midfield. From gameweek 20 onwards he contributed in 13 of the 18 games he played in. Expect a position change and starting price rise for next season.

See you then.

Gameweek 31 preview

April 4, 2017

Burnley v Stoke
Leicester v Sunderland
Watford v West Brom
Man Utd v Everton
Arsenal v West Ham
Hull v Middlesbrough
Southampton v Crystal Palace
Swansea v Spurs
Chelsea v Man City
Liverpool v Bournemouth

Chelsea’s apparent march to the title has turned into a bit of a limp in recent weeks. No clean sheet in seven has included an unexpected draw with Burnley, an even more unexpected defeat against Palace and a skin of their teeth victory over Stoke. It’s probably been the case for a while, but it seems no longer necessary to have three Chelsea players in your squad. There is no current value for money in those once fixture-proof defenders.

And yet, despite the lack of clean sheets, interest in the Chelsea back line still remains high, probably because they’re chipping in with the odd goal and assist still. Only Cesar Azpilicueta has seen a nosedive in his price in recent weeks. People are still tending to buy Marcos Alonso rather than sell him. He’s still playing further forward than most of the rest of his team, but is he really likely to come up with another 20+ score. I guess that’s what we’re all worried might happen if we were to give him the boot.

Eden Hazard is the only Chelsea player resident on the front page of the form table at the moment and Diego Costa has two one point scores to his name in the last two weeks. Maybe a defeat at the hands of Manchester City this week will see managers think twice about their Chelsea assets, particularly with a double gameweek on the horizon for Manchester United and a much easier run in lined up for their nearest challengers, Spurs.

Gameweek 21 results

January 16, 2017

same The Craggy Islanders
Adrian Roche
78 1211
up Aquamar 15
Noel Driver
93 1202
down Yeboah’s Right Foot
Paul Murray
63 1186
same When Harry met Alli
Trevor Gordon
89 1166
same Kebab Eaters Utd
Paul Howard
87 1161
up Hedgehog Corpse FC
Nick Smith
83 1134
up greenyteamy
adam greenwood
93 1132
up Biscuitmen
Chris Morton
71 1129
down Cooksters
Peter Cook
60 1126
10  down Uriah Rennie 2nd XI
Neil Greenwood
47 1120
11  down INIT FC
Mustafa khan
54 1119
12  up Rip Roaring Reds
Sean Whyton
77 1117
13  same 4 Fuchs Ake
Jason Earwicker
67 1116
14  down Go Buffoons Go
Jitesh Lakhani
57 1111
15  up FC Caligula
Ajay Supeda
78 1110
16  up To Elland Back
Alan Hardy
78 1106
17  down Atlético Chappers
Richard Chapman
48 1103
18  down QUEEN OF THE NORTH
DORINE REACHER
50 1095
19  down 30:19
Darren Lavelle
58 1092
20  up Neil Madrid
Neil Strong
82 1092
21  up RICO UNITED
JASON REACHER
83 1080
22  up Edgbaston
Micheal Dinneen
71 1078
23  up Joey Bosa
Paul Bentz
68 1075
24  up romeoshondavan
Rob Hewer
93 1074
25  down Your Ad Here
Matthew Hopkins
58 1069
26  down nO fucHs given
Paul Callaghan
54 1066
27  up Golden Boys
Stephanie Cripps
84 1053
28  up Upper Bullens
Andy Taylor
91 1049
29  down Jeff Lamp’s Porsche
David Spinks
74 1049
30  down Hucking Fell
P Hawkins
60 1047
31  down Jarvis FC
Matt Jarvis
76 1045
32  same Crazy Legs XI
David Caldicott
67 1026
33  up Release The Hounds
Paul Mitchell
108 1023
34  down Ciderheads
Darren Pope
57 1022
35  up RG XV
Ryan Garoghan
74 1008
36  down Shoelace Untied
Caroline Strong
54 1005
37  down FTM
Stu Smith
43 1000
38  same I am not Zlatan
Colin Goulding
73 993
39  up Have a little dink
Ian Williams
60 979
40  down Real Jorvik
Simon Brown
50 969
41  down Pepe Le Blue
DEAN CRIPPS
45 969
42  same Pretty Schitty City
Alex Michaluk
53 950
43  up Bakerlona
Stuart Baker
72 940
44  up Pudding And Pie
John Seacroft
87 939
45  up Dj daz
darren frankland
89 934
46  down Big White Chiefs
david frankland
49 933
47  down jetty city
scott mcgow
44 925
48  same bazza 28 united
laura barrett
69 902
49  same Bermie Utd
Glen Davies
66 893
50  same DJ’s Trail Blazers
Danian Jones
52 873
51  same Racing Club Skegness
Andrew Swift
32 847
52  same Bish Bosh Goal
Simon Purnell
55 845
53  same Jarv88
Paul Jarvis
51 819

 

There were plenty of big scores around this week thanks to many of our elite players and popular captain choices getting in among the points. Covincing wins for Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs, all with clean sheets, almost guaranteed a good captain score. Unless you’d picked Diego Costa. If you’d plumped for any of the other usual suspects – Hazard, Pedro, Eriksen, Alli, Kane, Sanchez or Ozil – you’d have bagged yourself a good double figure total.

The most profitable of those was Harry Kane, whose patchy form has seen him drop in and out of teams all season. He’s on an upward slope at the moment with six in four. Cue a rush of transfers in ahead of next week, probably in place of Costa – probably ahead of his next dip in form.

Not many Buckets teams are carrying Kane at the moment. Release The Hounds are. They made him captain. They scored 108 points. It moves them up nine places in the league. It also guarantees them a place in the first round proper of the Buckets Cup. But best of all, it puts them in the lead for the highest weekly score, eclipsing The Craggy Islanders’ 104 points from gameweek 14. Congratulations to them. For now. Those double gameweeks aren’t far away.

If only RTH had Marcos Alonso in their defence. I suggested a few weeks ago the possibility of captaining a Chelsea defender. I don’t think anyone has been brave enough to do that yet. Two goals, a clean sheet and top bonus marks equals 21 points as a defender and that equals this seasons highest weekly player score. He’s a dream fanstasy defender, spending most of the time in the opposition’s third, yet racking up the clean sheet points that come largely courtesy of his buddies in the back three. But now at £6.5 million he’s going to be a bit of a squeeze to get in unless you’re willing to sacrifice elsewhere.

 

Player of the week – Marcos Alonso – 21 points. Two goals and a clean sheet>better than a hat trick.

Bargain of the week – Abel Hernandez – 13 points. Hull need this guy to stay fit.

Donkey of the week – Gareth McAuley – -3 points. Should have beena City player.

Goal of thew week – Andy Carroll. The GOTS contenders are coming thick and fast now.

 

Gameweek 11 preview

November 3, 2016

Bournemouth v Sunderland
Burnley v Crystal Palace
Man City v Middlesbrough
West Ham v Stoke
Chelsea v Everton
Arsenal v Spurs
Hull v Southampton
Liverpool v Watford
Swansea v Man Utd
Leicester v West Brom

I guess by now we’ve all realised how good Chelsea are at the back, playing this 3-4-3 system. But are we four games too late? There’s not really a cheap way into the Cheslea back line. Any squad surgery you’re thinking of carrying out will probably need to come at a cost, unless you’ve got money in the bank – or Antonio Valencia. Chelsea’s immediate run of fixtures may look hard, but you should definitely consider doing your Christmas shopping down the Kings Road.

From December the 11th, they take on West Brom, Sunderland, Palace, Bournemouth and Stoke in successive weeks. Now consider the possibility of them keeping their defensive form in two of the four games they face against Everton, Middlesbrough, Spurs and City until then. Maybe it’s worth investing in the defence now before those £6 million price tags become slightly less affordable £6.2’s and £6.3’s. 

Marcos Alonso, a defender starting as a midfielder, is a tempter. As is Victor Moses, who has cemented a place as a right wing back, contributing 21 points in the four game run and costing you only £5.5 million. He’s filling the role of an elite midfielder at a bargain price.

And then there’s Eden bloody Hazard. First he’s hot. Then he’s not. It’s difficult to trust him given the guff he produced last season. However, it’s three goals in the last three games plus an assist and three bonus points. Other managers fancy him – in the last week he’s dramatically jumped back up to £10 million from £9.8 million. Here’s a stat attack – at this point last season there had been 19 penalties awarded. So far this season there have been 33. Hazard takes penalties. Hazard’s problem is his price tag and the sheer amount of choice among the other elite teams. It would mean taking a punt on dropping a Liverpool, Arsenal or City midfielder. Walcott’s injury and Sterling’s dip in form might tempt you that way.

But why venture into a team with a tricky fixture run when you’ve got Ilkay Gundogan? Middlesbrough, Palace and Burnley await Manchester City, who silenced any doubters in the best way possible by beating Barcelona in midweek, thanks in no small part to Gundogan. WHO WILL COST YOU £5.5 MILLION. The only question mark is whether he’ll be occasionally rested, having come back from such a serious injury. That might happen – but four goals in two game must nail him a start on Saturday.

Gameweek 31 preview

March 20, 2014

22 Mar 12:45 Chelsea v Arsenal
22 Mar 15:00 Cardiff City v Liverpool
22 Mar 15:00 Everton v Swansea
22 Mar 15:00 Hull City v West Brom
22 Mar 15:00 Man City v Fulham
22 Mar 15:00 Newcastle v Crystal Palace
22 Mar 15:00 Norwich v Sunderland
22 Mar 17:30 West Ham v Man Utd
23 Mar 13:30 Tottenham v Southampton
23 Mar 16:00 Aston Villa v Stoke City
25 Mar 19:45 Arsenal v Swansea
25 Mar 19:45 Man Utd v Man City
25 Mar 19:45 Newcastle v Everton
26 Mar 19:45 West Ham v Hull City
26 Mar 20:00 Liverpool v Sunderland

 

It’s here. It might be a bit forward to predict that this week could decide the destination of the Buckets title, particularly with two more double gameweeks on the horizon, but if Romeo’s post a massive points total; particularly if they post the highest points total of the week, then it may be very difficult to catch them. Last week they scored more than 20 points more than their closest rivals, widening the gap at the top to 47 points. Another 20 point swing over the likes of Sporting, Panza, Magico, Shakin Stephens and Neil Madrid may be too much of a mountain to climb for those teams. It’s very likely that the highest gameweek score of the season will be achieved this week. The current leaders are Romeo’s with the 110 points they accumulated in gameweek 14.

Anyone with a wildcard can fill their boots this week. There are ten teams playing twice, and two of those teams appear in every double gameweek remaining. Manchester City and Sunderland’s progress through the domestic cups mean that they both have 11 games to play in the eight remaining weeks. With unlimited transfers, picking three from each team wouldn’t be a bad tactic. Even Sunderland, still languishing in the bottom three, offer plenty of point scoring opportunities, particularly with their budget priced defenders. January signing Marcos Alonso has started and completed seven games, amassing 24 points. That’s an average of just over three points a game – and not a bad return for a £4.5 million man. Vito Mannone leads the way as bargain goalkeeper of the season. A third of the games he has started have ended in him scoring double figures. They’ve two away games to negotiate, and it’s the first game against Norwich that promises the most. A clean sheet there and then whatever they can muster out of their away trip to Liverpool shouldn’t disappoint too much.

With City, you’re spoilt for choice. Their home tie against Fulham should assure big returns. They are on a run of three consecutive clean sheets – the first time they’ve managed that all season. They have to cope without Vincent Kompany for the Fulham game, but welcome him back for the Manc derby. Pablo Zabaleta and Joe Hart looked nailed on for a place in both games. As does Martin Demichelis, despite being widely criticised every time he takes the pitch. It’s always difficult to predict who’ll get the nod at left back. Alexander Kolarov has been the most productive, but it’s Clichy who has started two of the last three. Nasri, Toure and Silva may start both games. Almost certainly starting the Fulham game will be Edin Dzeko. Dzeko seems to be ahead of Alvaro Negredo in the pecking order up front for City. Taking a punt on Sergio Aguero being fit for both games could be a costly mistake. Even if he is back in contention for the United game, it may only be as a sub, and Dzeko is almost certain of game time in both matches – and at virtually half the price.

Away from the triple double gameweekers, you could also consider the double double gameweekers. Everton play twice this week and twice in gameweek 34. And Manchester United play twice this week and in gameweek 37. Banking some Everton and United players could bear fruit in later weeks. This week, Everton in particular, look capable of scoring highly. They have a home tie against struggling Swansea, and an away trip to a Newcastle side without a manager in the dug out, a striker on the pitch or a care about whether they win, lose or draw.

Concentrating solely on this week though, and it’s Liverpool who must offer the best scoring returns. They’ve two games against teams in the bottom three. The only quandary is which player to pick as your captain. Apart from Suarez and Sturridge, who top the striker form table, Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson are in the top 10 current form midfielders, and they’ve even contrived to keep two clean sheets in their last two games.

It’s time to start tinkering.

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