Most of the biggest scoring teams taking part in this round of the cup found their way through to the next round. This week saw the second highest average gameweek score across the whole game, so 80’s, 90’s and some 100+ totals were always going to be needed to help teams progress. Spare a thought for Iamgroot, who scored 80, but were still knocked out. They would have been the lowest placed team left in the competition. Title challengers, Brexiter City were able to progress with 69 points. The next round has drawn Brexiter together with league leaders Hornets in an intriguing (cliche) top of the table clash.
Manager of the week – Upper Bullens – Andy Taylor – 111 points
We had three 100+ scores this week including the second highest gameweek score of the season. Bullens’ 111 points is also their second manager of the week award. They’ve been hard to come by this season with Greenyteamy the only other team to achieve a double weekly nod. It makes you wonder how they’re still languishing in 32nd place.
Of course this and the other century scores were achieved with the help of Manchester City’s five goal haul aganst Leicester which saw Sergio Aguero notch a long overdue four goal blitz. The potential is always there – he normally gets one in a season. Bullens captained him and picked up another 20 points from Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling to add to Aguero’s 42. There was an inevitable double figure contribution from Mohamed Salah and a slightly less expected one from Oumar Niasse, who seems to have worked his way to the front of the pecking order in Everton’s attack again. Kebab Eaters and To Elland Back also hit centuries, both captaining Aguero, and with help from the likes of Roberto Firmino, Ben Davies and penalty demon, Luca Milovejovic.
Hornets are back on top after a week away. For one night only, after Saturday’s games, Gotta Light had found their way to the number one spot, climbing up from 7th. Again proving how congested it is. It’s still anyone’s title.
Player of the week – Sergio Aguero – 21 points
Aaron Ramsey equalled the highest weekly player score last week – a record held by Sergio Aguero since September. That record stood at 20 points. Ramsey’s time at the (joint) top lasted a week. Sergio wanted the accolade all to himself. Four goals and all the bonus marks gets you 21 points.
Bargain of the week – Steve Mounie – 15 points
I predicted in gameweek 15 that Steve Mounie would score big again in GW31. Not a bad shout – I was only four gameweeks out. His third double figure total of the season and just his fifth goal came 11 weeks since his last. It would have been four points more had he not cruelly been robbed by a dubious decision to award an own goal to Steve Cook.
Twat of the week – Harry Maguire – -1 points
It had to be one of those on the receiving end of the Manchester City hammering. Maguire gets it as the most popular and most expensive route into the Leicester back four. The booking didn’t help either. It’s harsh on Harry as we all know the real twat of the week was Chris Smalling, who took a dive in his own half which resulted in Newcastle’s winning goal and snuffed out Manchester United’s faint title challenge. Well done Chris.
Goal of the week – Sergio Aguero (4th goal).
You never know – he might get a player of the season nomination this season (he’s never had one!). 2m30s.
Manager of the week – Mrs Mcgoo – Laura Barrett – 90 points
Finishing totals in the 70s and 80s were commonplace this week with all but one of the double figure scorers coming from the ‘big 6’ sides. Mcgoo were the only team to creep into the 90s with a front three of Morata, Aguero and Lukaku ably backed up by a strong Huddersfield defensive presence. Mcgoo went for the Kane out/Aguero in transfer which kind of worked…but didn’t. Harry Kane shouldn’t be the bane of fantasy managers lives, but his insistence on scoring two or three every two or three weeks is proving to be, what’s technically known as, a ballache.
Player of the week – Alvaro Morata – 17 points
This hat trick tales him into second place overall in the player standings. It should be an exciting four, or maybe even five way race for the golden boot. Fitting three of them into your team seems to be an essential at the moment.
Bargain of the week – Oumar Niasse – 11 points
Probably seen as a last throw of the dice by his manager and came up with more for Everton in 35 minutes than most of the rest of the team had managed in six games. I doubt even the most die hard of fans had him anywhere near their fantasy team. Only 0.9% of players worldwide had accidentally picked him. He might be on from the start in their next match.
Twat of the week – Serge Aurier – -2 points
A sending off that almost cost his team three points. Spurs seem to be alternating the full backs a lot. This at least puts a stop to that for a week.
Goal of the week – Fabian Delph.
There aren’t many City players left who haven’t scored.
Real Jorvik win the double gameweek with 86 points. They shared that score with Hucking Fell, but scored five goals to HF’s three and claim the weekly accolade. It was a double gameweek that could have delivered more. Jorvik only had two players that played twice and they only contributed 18 points. Jorvik’s best player was an elite single gameweeker. Diego Costa was handed the armband and had his best scoring week of the season amassing 16 points – 32 as captain.
In truth not all that many of us went double gameweek crazy. The managers who went for it scored in the 60’s and 70’s, but knowing an 80 point score was possible with only two double gameweekers makes you wonder whether it was worth it. Hucking Fell played four double gameweekers with a return of 53 points. They captained Beneteke, and had De Gea in goal. The United keeper returned the best of the double gameweek scores. The United defence boosted a lot of totals with their 0-0 Manc derby result. Daley Blind, Eric Bailly and Matteo Darmian all had double clean sheets. Frustratingly, Antonio Valencia, the most picked United defender, only played in one game. Watch out for Jose moaning about rotation for the next few weeks. As attractive a player Valencia is, he seems to be the one the United manager is more likely to rotate out of games.
There was a lot of investment in the Boro defence, a move which looked doomed for failure after 20 minutes against Bournemouth. At that point they were 2-0 down and a man down. They redeemed themselves against Sunderland with a 1-0 victory. And Christian Benteke was the main Palace scorer. Two goals against Liverpool helped boost the scores of those that had opted for him as captain.
The whole week was sent into a spin before it had even begun with Ibrahimovic’s injury. That forced a few managers into last minute hit taking transfers. He’s out for the season now. Marcos Rojo picked up a similar season ending injury in their Europa tie, so maybe Jose’s moans are justified. Aquamar were forced into five transfers because of the injuries, taking a 16 pint hit. They brought Rojo in only to have to transfer him out immediately. The gameweek worked out OK for them. Their overall lead was reduced by a measly 5 points as their double gameweekers contributed a useful 53 points towards their final 74 point total.
Player of the week – David De Gea – 17 points. Double gameweek goalie coming out on top.
Bargain of the week – Marc Pugh – 16 points. Single gameweek midfielder runs him close.
Donkey of the week – Oumar Niasse – -2 points. Unlucky – this card has now been rescinded.
It was a gameweek, in all honesty, we could probably have done without. One we’re glad to see the back off. The last thing you want when you’ve taken hits over the approaching weeks to get a team ready for a reduced gameweek is a load of injuries, rotation and non-entities picking up the big scores.
Romelu Lukaku was the most captained player and that worked. The Everton striker picked up a goal and an assist and helped a lot of teams to a good starting total of 24 points with the armband. Sadio Mane was the most transferred in player. His two points left those opting for him as their captain with enough to cover a hit. Only half the regular Everton defence made it through 90 minutes and Fernando Lllorente, another popular transfer-in and captain choice didn’t even last a half.
Josh King was the player we all needed. And a few of us had the foresight to opt for the Bournemouth man. His 18 points helped two of our three highest scoring teams to their finishing total. Go Buffoons Go, FC Caligula and Aquamar all reached 63 points. GBG and Caligula enlisted King into their midfield. GBG scored five goals and take the weekly recognition.
Aquamar probably won’t care about that – they reached the cup final where they will play Shoeleace Untied. Both have a guaranteed prize. It’s our first year of offering the losing finalists a cash prize, so congratulations to both teams.
Player of the week – Josh King – 18 points. Could have been more had he not missed a penalty.
Bargain of the week – Oumar Niasse – 12 points. Who?
Donkey of the week – Craig Dawson – 0 points. West Brom the failing team of the week.
02 Feb 19:45 Arsenal v Southampton
02 Feb 19:45 Leicester v Liverpool
02 Feb 19:45 Norwich v Spurs
02 Feb 19:45 Sunderland v Man City
02 Feb 19:45 West Ham v Aston Villa
02 Feb 20:00 Crystal Palace v Bournemouth
02 Feb 20:00 Man Utd v Stoke
02 Feb 20:00 West Brom v Swansea
03 Feb 19:45 Everton v Newcastle
03 Feb 19:45 Watford v Chelsea
February begins with the end of the transfer window and some midweekers. It ends with our first reduced gameweek. Only 16 teams will compete in gameweek 27 due to the Rumbelows Cup Final between City and Liverpool. As well as the finalists, Newcastle and Everton miss a week. As yet, those games are unscheduled, but look out for some upcoming double gameweeks – probably sometime in March or April.
You may have noticed Sergio piling on the pounds again. It hasn’t taken long, but there has been a rush on the Argentinian since his return to the starting XI. And with good reason if you look at the stats for his last four appearances. For a player that’s only completed four 90 minute appearances in the league all season, it shows how highly thought of among fantasy managers he is. His value to has increased by half a million from it’s original starting price. There’s a good chance he’ll add to his goals total against a Sunderland side who haven’t kept a clean sheet since November.
And you can afford it. Well you’ve got a good chance if you’ve got Kevin De Bruyne in your team. The Belgian looks set to miss at least two months of the season after picking up a knee injury in the Milk Cup semi final victory over Everton last week. A little bit of tinkering is required to make way for Aguero, but in this season of the bargain, your cheaper midfield options are plentiful.
All of the new signings have been assigned prices. The most expensive signing will actually cost you £13 million less than his real life fee. Gianelli Umbula suffers from being a holding midfielder, so is unlikely to feature too highly on many fantasy radars. Oumar Niasse will cost you £7 million, but will probably only play second fiddle to Romelu Lukaku at Everton. Seydou Doumbia may be an instant starter in place of the misfiring Aleksander Mitrovic at Newcastle. A flying start could cement a place in his new team’s line up and could be a tempter in fantasy world. Leroy Fer posted good returns for a £5 million midfielder in his QPR days. His 25 yarders found the target a little more regularly than Andros Townsend’s – another who could make an instant first team appearance in black and white. Another likely starter could be Wahbi Khazri. He could be the attacking midfielder Sunderland have needed since the season started. Alexandre Pato will probably have to work his way into the Chelsea starting XI. Can you see him being anything other than an expensive gamble who’ll be back in Brazil in August? And Emmanuel Adebayor could go either way. Surely his experience is a better bet than the group of third choice strikers Palace are relying on at the moment?
All of these moves were outshone by the news that Pep Guardiola will succeed Manuel Pellegrini as City manager from next season. It’ll be interesting to see how the FPL administration deal with the pricing of Lionel Messi when he rocks up in August.