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 35 preview

April 28, 2017

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

An island of single gameweek calm in between the double gameweek madness and a week in which we might see a lot of wildcarding, bearing in mind you can’t wildcard and chip at the same time. Arsenal and Southampton have two consecutive double gameweeks coming up. Gameweek 37 has five extra games with all of the top six playing twice. Good luck figuring all that out.

Southampton could be worth investing in ahead of time given they’ve got Hull at home this weekend. Hull’s resurgence has been built on a strong home record. Away, they’re a slightly less threatening proposition. Their last away point came back in January. Southampton come in relatively cheap. Three of their regular back four come in at under £5 million and those of us that have persevered with Manolo Gabbiadini may finally see some attacking returns for only £6.4 million.

We’ll know our April manager of the month after this weekend. Here’s the table…

up Hucking Fell
P Hawkins
86 356
same Shoelace Untied
Caroline Strong
82 349
up Aquamar 15
Noel Driver
74 327
down Kebab Eaters Utd
Paul Howard
41 324
up The Craggy Islanders
Adrian Roche
77 321

Realistically, there may only be two teams in it. Shoelace could add to their cup win, whereas Hucking Fell normally pick up at least one prize per season. Watch out for Aquamar though.

Gameweek 29 results

March 20, 2017

same Aquamar 15
Noel Driver
72 1658
up When Harry met Alli
Trevor Gordon
80 1612
down Hedgehog Corpse FC
Nick Smith
66 1602
same The Craggy Islanders
Adrian Roche
64 1590
same Biscuitmen
Chris Morton
62 1580
up FC Caligula
Ajay Supeda
90 1567
down Kebab Eaters Utd
Paul Howard
72 1567
down RICO UNITED
JASON REACHER
71 1564
down To Elland Back
Alan Hardy
75 1557
10  up Edgbaston
Micheal Dinneen
75 1541
11  down Uriah Rennie 2nd XI
Neil Greenwood
64 1540
12  up Joey Bosa
Paul Bentz
78 1531
13  up Atlético Chappers
Richard Chapman
66 1530
14  up Neil Madrid
Neil Strong
71 1520
15  up Upper Bullens
Andy Taylor
62 1519
16  up Go Buffoons Go
Jitesh Lakhani
67 1517
17  down greenyteamy
adam greenwood
37 1516
18  down Rip Roaring Reds
Sean Whyton
60 1516
19  down Cooksters
Peter Cook
47 1515
20  up Yeboah’s Right Foot
Paul Murray
72 1514
21  up Your Ad Here
Matthew Hopkins
67 1514
22  down INIT FC
Mustafa khan
62 1509
23  down 4 Fuchs Ake
Jason Earwicker
40 1507
24  up romeoshondavan
Rob Hewer
65 1473
25  down Jeff Lamp’s Porsche
David Spinks
63 1470
26  up Have a little dink
Ian Williams
83 1457
27  down QUEEN OF THE NORTH
DORINE REACHER
57 1455
28  down nO fucHs given
Paul Callaghan
62 1455
29  down RG XV
Ryan Garoghan
52 1446
30  down Jarvis FC
Matt Jarvis
47 1436
31  down 30:19
Darren Lavelle
47 1435
32  up Shoelace Untied
Caroline Strong
97 1429
33  up Release The Hounds
Paul Mitchell
47 1417
34  down Hucking Fell
P Hawkins
45 1413
35  down Golden Boys
Stephanie Cripps
29 1406
36  up jetty city
scott mcgow
80 1401
37  same I am not Zlatan
Colin Goulding
57 1394
38  up Ciderheads
Darren Pope
72 1385
39  down Crazy Legs XI
David Caldicott
22 1372
40  same FTM
Stu Smith
48 1360
41  same Pudding And Pie
John Seacroft
59 1359
42  same Bakerlona
Stuart Baker
52 1339
43  up Dj daz
darren frankland
69 1321
44  down Real Jorvik
Simon Brown
39 1295
45  up Pepe Le Blue
DEAN CRIPPS
39 1290
46  down Big White Chiefs
david frankland
38 1289
47  same Bermie Utd
Glen Davies
53 1268
48  up bazza 28 united
laura barrett
65 1240
49  down Pretty Schitty City
Alex Michaluk
29 1230
50  same Bish Bosh Goal
Simon Purnell
51 1209
51  up Jarv88
Paul Jarvis
51 1142
52  down Racing Club Skegness
Andrew Swift
22 1141
53  same DJ’s Trail Blazers
Danian Jones
40 1111

 

Shoelace Untied are the Buckets Cup champions. They have triumphed 97-72 over league leaders, Aquamar, who quite frankly didn’t have a chance against a team taking hits for fun and dropping the triple captain in for good measure. In the last three gameweeks Shoelace have made six, eight and eight transfers at the cost of 76 points. Aquamar’s challenge for the league has worked against them, although I imagine that not playing their wildcard or any chips will have much higher financial benefits in the long run. Their still respectable 72 point total maintains a healthy 46 point lead ahead of the chasing pack.

It was another Lukaku week. Everybody in the world handed him the armband to the tune of 32 points. Shoelace squeezed 48 points out of the Everton striker. Arguably, 33 of those points came in added time. Lukaku had contributed an assist before bagging a brace in the final moments of the game, nabbing the top bonus marks in the process. Shoelace’s final total was enough to earn them the highest weekly score accolade as well.

Despite taking the mega hits, Shoelace have actually managed to improve their league position. That’s probably a combination of making some very good transfer choices and the teams around them just not giving a shit anymore. Which is a shame, because if anything they’ve proved that by being out of the race for the league title doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out of the hunt for prizes.

Coming up on the outside, and winning the March manager of the month award are FC Caligula. Last years champs have also climbed to sixth and in contention for a league prize. It might be the first time they’ve appeared in the top 10 all year. Cold this be a late challenge? They’re still holding a wildcard and all of their chips.

 

Player of the week – Criag Dawson – 17 points. Arsenal doomed.

Bargain of the week – Benik Afobe – 12 points. Two wins and safe(ish) in mid table.

Donkey of the week – Phil Bardsley – -2 points. His yearly donkey.

Goal of the week – Jesse Lingard. 

Gameweek 29 preview

March 17, 2017

West Brom 12:30 Arsenal
Crystal Palace 15:00 Watford
Everton 15:00 Hull
Stoke 15:00 Chelsea
Sunderland 15:00 Burnley
West Ham 15:00 Leicester
Bournemouth 17:30 Swansea
Middlesbrough 12:00 Man Utd
Spurs 14:15 Southampton
Man City 16:30 Liverpool

It’s back to the comfort of a regular 10 match gameweek, by the end of which we’ll know the winners of this season’s Buckets Cup. Shoelace Untied play league leaders, Aquamar. There may be 34 places separating them in the league, but Shoelace, over the duration of the cup, have outscored Aquamar in three of the five gameweeks. Their aggregate scores fall in favour of Aquamar 316-302, but it’s a close run thing.

For the semi final Shoelace decided to take as many hits as possible to get out the best possible team. It worked – to a degree. It was far from the best team performance, but it was enough to get them into the final, and strangely, even saw them climb the league. The same tactic might be a bit easier to implement this week with a full schedule and a full roster of players to choose from. The league has clearly escaped them, so taking the full whack of a 60 point hit is irrelevant. Maybe it’s even bench boost week for Shoelace? Aquamar have a full set of chips and wildcards at their disposal. With their team clearly set up for last week’s reduced fixture list, they may need to turn to their wildcard to get back on track.

Remember, a wildcard and a chip can’t be played in the same week, so those of you waiting to draft in players to play a bench boost or triple captain need to think about doing it beforehand. Another future gameweek has been reduced to allow for the FA Cup semi finals. Gameweek 34, as it stands, is down to just six fixtures, although I believe there is scope for some of those fixtures to be played within the same gameweek, either on Tuesday or Wednesday night. Hopefully some of these cancelled fixtures will get there rescheduled dates soon.

It may only be mid March, but the international break brings the month to a close this week. Ordinarily I’d post a mini table showing the monthly contenders. Trust me, there are about 30 teams in it, so I won’t bother. Aquamar and Shoelace are in contention. They could be on for double success this week.

Gameweek 28 results

March 13, 2017

same Aquamar 15
Noel Driver
63 1586
up Hedgehog Corpse FC
Nick Smith
32 1540
up When Harry met Alli
Trevor Gordon
40 1536
down The Craggy Islanders
Adrian Roche
29 1530
same Biscuitmen
Chris Morton
34 1522
same Kebab Eaters Utd
Paul Howard
45 1499
up RICO UNITED
JASON REACHER
59 1493
up To Elland Back
Alan Hardy
34 1482
down Uriah Rennie 2nd XI
Neil Greenwood
35 1480
10  down greenyteamy
adam greenwood
28 1479
11  up FC Caligula
Ajay Supeda
63 1477
12  down 4 Fuchs Ake
Jason Earwicker
24 1471
13  up Edgbaston
Micheal Dinneen
46 1470
14  down Cooksters
Peter Cook
23 1468
15  down Atlético Chappers
Richard Chapman
32 1468
16  up Upper Bullens
Andy Taylor
45 1457
17  down Rip Roaring Reds
Sean Whyton
25 1456
18  up INIT FC
Mustafa khan
41 1455
19  up Joey Bosa
Paul Bentz
36 1453
20  up Go Buffoons Go
Jitesh Lakhani
63 1450
21  down Neil Madrid
Neil Strong
31 1449
22  down Your Ad Here
Matthew Hopkins
38 1447
23  down Yeboah’s Right Foot
Paul Murray
20 1442
24  up Jeff Lamp’s Porsche
David Spinks
50 1411
25  down romeoshondavan
Rob Hewer
40 1408
26  up QUEEN OF THE NORTH
DORINE REACHER
39 1398
27  down nO fucHs given
Paul Callaghan
27 1397
28  down RG XV
Ryan Garoghan
22 1394
29  down Jarvis FC
Matt Jarvis
25 1393
30  down 30:19
Darren Lavelle
11 1388
31  up Golden Boys
Stephanie Cripps
19 1377
32  up Have a little dink
Ian Williams
39 1374
33  down Hucking Fell
P Hawkins
11 1372
34  same Release The Hounds
Paul Mitchell
24 1370
35  up Shoelace Untied
Caroline Strong
47 1360
36  down Crazy Legs XI
David Caldicott
3 1350
37  same I am not Zlatan
Colin Goulding
27 1337
38  up jetty city
scott mcgow
37 1325
39  up Ciderheads
Darren Pope
35 1313
40  down FTM
Stu Smith
24 1312
41  up Pudding And Pie
John Seacroft
29 1300
42  down Bakerlona
Stuart Baker
12 1287
43  same Real Jorvik
Simon Brown
1 1256
44  up Dj daz
darren frankland
9 1252
45  up Big White Chiefs
david frankland
31 1251
46  down Pepe Le Blue
DEAN CRIPPS
7 1251
47  same Bermie Utd
Glen Davies
2 1215
48  same Pretty Schitty City
Alex Michaluk
3 1201
49  same bazza 28 united
laura barrett
45 1187
50  same Bish Bosh Goal
Simon Purnell
29 1158
51  same Racing Club Skegness
Andrew Swift
14 1119
52  same Jarv88
Paul Jarvis
8 1091
53  same DJ’s Trail Blazers
Danian Jones
14 1071

 

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.

Goal of the week – Emre Can. Can he?

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