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.

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Gameweek 10 results

November 1, 2016

up Uriah Rennie 2nd XI
Neil Greenwood
94 585
up nO fucHs given
Paul Callaghan
79 568
down Neil Madrid
Neil Strong
54 566
down QUEEN OF THE NORTH
DORINE REACHER
68 563
down Aquamar 15
Noel Driver
62 555
up Kebab Eaters Utd
Paul Howard
82 551
up The Craggy Islanders
Adrian Roche
95 550
down When Harry met Alli
Trevor Gordon
75 545
same To Elland Back
Alan Hardy
71 539
10  same 4 Fuchs Ake
Jason Earwicker
72 535
11  up Rip Roaring Reds
Sean Whyton
78 534
12  up 30:19
Darren Lavelle
85 533
13  down Yeboah’s Right Foot
Paul Murray
71 531
14  down RICO UNITED
JASON REACHER
66 523
15  same Hedgehog Corpse FC
Nick Smith
73 518
16  up INIT FC
Mustafa khan
84 516
17  up Edgbaston
Micheal Dinneen
84 510
18  same Go Buffoons Go
Jitesh Lakhani
66 505
19  up Atlético Chappers
Richard Chapman
89 502
20  down Joey Bosa
Paul Bentz
29 500
21  down Biscuitmen
Chris Morton
55 497
22  up Cooksters
Peter Cook
81 495
23  down greenyteamy
adam greenwood
50 494
24  down Your Ad Here
Matthew Hopkins
71 494
25  up Jeff Lamp’s Porsche
David Spinks
82 487
26  down Release The Hounds
Paul Mitchell
61 484
27  up FC Caligula
Ajay Supeda
76 483
28  down Crazy Legs XI
David Caldicott
70 483
29  same Ciderheads
Darren Pope
76 481
30  down Golden Boys
Stephanie Cripps
62 480
31  up RG XV
Ryan Garoghan
72 470
32  same FTM
Stu Smith
72 470
33  up romeoshondavan
Rob Hewer
77 466
34  down Real Jorvik
Simon Brown
62 464
35  up Upper Bullens
Andy Taylor
79 460
36  up Hucking Fell
P Hawkins
74 456
37  up Racing Club Skegness
Andrew Swift
81 451
38  down Jarvis FC
Matt Jarvis
58 450
39  up Bakerlona
Stuart Baker
83 447
40  down Pretty Schitty City
Alex Michaluk
36 433
41  up Shoelace Untied
Caroline Strong
86 433
42  up Have a little dink
Ian Williams
73 425
43  same Bish Bosh Goal
Simon Purnell
59 424
44  down jetty city
scott mcgow
48 419
45  down Big White Chiefs
david frankland
43 413
46  up I am not Zlatan
Colin Goulding
62 407
47  up Pepe Le Blue
DEAN CRIPPS
59 403
48  down Bermie Utd
Glen Davies
32 398
49  same DJ’s Trail Blazers
Danian Jones
54 391
50  same bazza 28 united
laura barrett
52 386
51  up Dj daz
darren frankland
56 368
52  down Jarv88
Paul Jarvis
33 353
53  same Pudding And Pie
John Seacroft
49 352

 

A disastrous week for Neil Madrid. They fell completely out of contention for the October manager of the month award and relinquished their lead at the top, scoring a comparatively low 54 points compared to the majority of their pace-setting rivals who finished the weekend posting scores in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

Most notably, Uriah’s, who jumped from 5th to 1st with 94 points – a score that wins them the October manager of the month award.

up Uriah Rennie 2nd XI
Neil Greenwood
94 193
down Yeboah’s Right Foot
Paul Murray
71 191
up Cooksters
Peter Cook
81 186
up Racing Club Skegness
Andrew Swift
81 185
up Atlético Chappers
Richard Chapman
89 181

 

And The Craggy Islanders, who are the top scoring team of the week with 95 points – which is also the highest weekly score of the season so far.

Roughly one in forty of all the managers in the game dispensed of Sergio Aguero in the last fortnight. That suggests at least one of us did too. Most leading Buckets managers held on to him it seems, although not many were prepared to offer him the captain’s armband. Uriah’s did, and it was this decision that boosted their score more than any other. Add to that an almost complete set of clean sheets, two assists and two goals out of the midfield and another double figure score courtesy of Romelu Lukaku. Lukaku was the key to the Islanders’ success, collecting 24 points as captain, backed up by Aguero’s 16 point haul. Tom Heaton, who is established as the number one keeper in the game, Alexis Sanchez and the in-form number 10, Joe Allen, added double figure amounts.

 

Player of the week – Ilkay Gundogan – 18 points. One to watch – a regular starter now?

Bargain of the week – James McArthur – 15 points. Palace’s best performer by a mile.

Donkey of the week – Craig Dawson – -1 points. The pricier of those defenders on the receiving end of a four goal defeat.

Goal of the week – Sergio Aguero (his second goal). He’s finished.

 

Gameweek 8 preview

October 13, 2016

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

It appears most players have returned with a clean bill of health from their international travails, although there’s always a question mark over those flying further afield. Alexis Sanchez and Philippe Coutinho were rested on their return from South America last time and I guess it could happen again. Some teams can afford the luxury of dropping key players with plenty in reserve. That might be a particular annoyance to Sanchez owners with a home tie against Swansea this weekend and the potential for him to fill his boots. Serio Aguero was mid-suspension during the last international break. It’ll be interesting to see how Guardiola approaches the situation. And he did allegedly pick up an injury in Argentina’s first match against Peru, yet still played in their second against Paraguay. Kelechi Iheanacho looks more than a capable stand in these days, although he has been to Zambia and back himself in the last week.

The more serious injury concerns happened within the England squad. Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana are the in form English players of the moment. Neither played either international. Lallana was injured in Liverpool’s last game and Sterling pulled out of the squad. If you believe internet reports, it doesn’t look promising for either player, although Lallana does have a few extra days to prove his fitness. Tom Heaton was also withdrawn after the first qualifier. The competitions leading keeper picked up a ‘minor’ calf injury and is listed as 75% fit. God knows what that really means.

Stoke’s luck could be about to change. Despite the worst goal difference in the league, having scored the least and with only West Ham conceding more, their run of fixtures into December all look eminently winnable. They play seven consecutive games against teams in the bottom half of the table, starting at home against Sunderland this weekend. They’ve yet to keep a clean sheet, but crucially have stopped shipping threes and fours. Shay Given bore the brunt of their worst performances and was replaced by Lee Grant, who in the last two games has accumulated 7 points. He’s another £4 million reserve keeper with almost guaranteed game time. That is until Jack Butland returns – and that appears to be some time in mid November. He keeps a Premier League clean sheet one in every three games. Stoke could be mid table by Christmas.

Gameweek 1 preview

August 8, 2016

Hull v Leicester

Burnley v Swansea

Crystal Palace v West Brom

Everton v Spurs

Middlesbrough v Stoke

Southampton v Watford

Man City v Sunderland

Bournemouth v Man Utd

Arsenal v Liverpool

Chelsea v West Ham

 

Welcome. We’ve quite a few newcomers to our league this season – and I’m pleased to say that most of the people who played last year have come along for the ride again. Of the 16 available prizes in 2015-2016, 11 were won by new managers. As I write, I still haven’t decided as to whether I’m going to introduce a manager of the week award. I think once I know how many people we have, I’ll test the water with you all again. I’d like to do it – I think it’d make it interesting – but I don’t want to reduce the league winning prize pot by too much. Another option might be to increase the prizes for manager of the month, so you’re at least getting your entry fee back. The prize breakdown will be calculated in due course. Keep checking the ‘Prize Money’ link for details. As usual the ‘Buckets Cup’ link provides you with all info on the knockout competition, which will probably start in late February/early March. Your ‘Roll of Honour’ link lists all the weekly and monthly winners, as well a the highest scoring players from each round.

The game hasn’t changed from last season. The site’s had a revamp in line with the new branding for the Premier League. We’ve still got two wildcards to utilise – one for each half of the season. The point scoring remains the same and you still get your one free transfer per week – two if you go for a week without making one. Those pesky chips are loitering around just underneath your team line up. Don’t play them by accident as it seems many people managed to do last season. Wait for those double gameweeks to kick in in the last two months.

Watch out though for the new Friday night kick offs – the first of which is on August 19th. That’s gameweek two. That means your team will have to be in by 7pm – on the Friday. Gone are those Saturday mornings sat in your pants mulling over the match previews on the internet. You’ll just have to hope for the best.

And so to deciding that all important starting line up. Getting points on the board early is key. It doesn’t take long for that pool of worthwhile players to start dwindling. Pretty soon we’ll all be picking the same team. There’s a lot to consider. Frisking the first batch of fixtures may help you determine who is in line for a good start to the campaign, but pre-season performance – (good, bad, any at all?), Euro 16 fatigue, new players, impending transfers, unwanted players – all play a part.

So here’s a theory for the opening weeks – avoid Arsenal and go all out Burnley.

The Gunners go into the season with a threadbare defence. None of their first choice centre halves are fit enough to play against Liverpool. Per Mertesacker and Gabriel are long term injured and Laurent Koscielny is still on his jollies. The Arsenal players involved in the latter stages of Euro 2016 seem to be getting a bit too much time off. Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil look unlikely to figure as well. Liverpool thumped Barcelona in pre-season with starring performances from Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino. The £10 million you might have put aside for Ozil might be better spent on one of those two. They’re notoriously flaky in their opening fixtures too. Just one win in their last six attempts doesn’t bode well. Leicester, Southampton and Chelsea follow in a tricky opening month and a half.

Burnley, however, could get off to a flier. They have four home games in their first six. Three of those are against Swansea, Hull and Watford – just the kind of teams that they’ll need to beat at home if they are to survive. In their last season in the Premier League, despite their relegation, Tom Heaton amassed 150 points, enough to rank him as the best value keeper. It happens every season – don’t dismiss the keepers of the relegation favourites. They’ve always got more saves to make and  often stack up the bonus marks. Check Heurelho Gomes in 2015-2016. They’ve also got Andre Gray. Gray is the most popular player from the promoted teams  – owned by nearly 12% of managers across the game. And with good reason – he scored 23 goals last season, and has nine in six in pre-season.

There are others with favourable starts. Lets ignore the big boys for this week. West Brom, Middlesbrough and Everton may be worth looking at. West Brom are without a game against one of the traditional big six until gameweek 8. Pulis teams are usually reliable from a defensive point of view, and so mainstays Jonny Evans, Gareth MacAuley, Craig Dawson and Ben Foster could be worth some early investment.

Everton should shore up considerably at the back now with Ronald Koeman in charge. His Southampton team went six games without conceding in the middle part of last season. The John Stones money looks like it’s being spent well – Ashley Williams is in and Yannick Bolasie might follow. Other than their tricky opener against Spurs, games against West Brom, Stoke, Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Bournemouth follow, with chances of points up top and at the back.

Middlesbrough wait until gameweek six before they meet a title challenger. Stoke, Sunderland, West Brom, Palace and Everton offer good clean sheet and goalscoring potential. They had the stingiest defence in the Championship last season, conceding only eight at home, and keeping 22 clean sheets. They’ve upgraded their keeper for the Premier League, and many managers will be tempted by a £4.5 million purchase of Victor Valdes. Ditto the £6.5 million you’ll need to pick up Alvaro Negredo at the other end of the pitch.

 

1 Neil Madrid Neil Strong 57 2,175
2 Pescara Rangers Stewart Pope 45 2,123
3 Hedgehog Corpse FC Nick Smith 33 2,114
4 NaboombuDirtyYellows Andrew Swift 57 2,112
5 Shoelace Untied Caroline Strong 36 2,061
6 RayCrawfordsCrackers Rob Hewer 44 2,051
7 Bermie Utd Glen Davies 63 2,049
8 Uriah Rennie 2nd XI Neil Greenwood 45 2,045
9 Gaalatcticos Colin Goulding 53 2,039
10 * Your Ad Here * Matthew Hopkins 44 2,037
11 Van Damme United P Hawkins 42 2,021
12 Paris Spinks Germain David Spinks 52 2,003
13 Upper Bullens Andy Taylor 26 1,993
14 Ciderheads Darren Pope 33 1,966
15 Who R U DEAN CRIPPS 45 1,953
16 Accrington Rudyard Ian Williams 41 1,939
17 Pretty Schitty City Alex Michaluk 47 1,903
18 Rip Roaring Reds Sean Whyton 50 1,901
19 Biscuitmen Chris Morton 33 1,881
20 The Mindless Morons John Seacroft 59 1,876
21 Panza Grande XI Stuart Baker 47 1,837
22 Get to the choppa Mark Bromham 40 1,834
23 Real Jorvik FC Simon Brown 45 1,830
24 Release The Hounds Paul Mitchell 45 1,788
25 Luxembourg United Simon Smallbone 32 1,758
26 No Recognized Plan Paul Bentz 41 1,744
27 Sportingabiggerwig Alex Ritchie 39 1,723
28 Crazylegs XI David Caldicott 32 1,617
29 Jordie’s Giants Jordan Raper 21 1,357

 

A  typically ridiculous last day of the season. Some teams scored lots of goals. Some players scored lots of points, most of whom are nowhere near anyone’s fantasy squads. Of the players who made the weekly dream team line up, only Santi Cazorla appears among the season’s top points scorers. The last Arsenal payer you want scoring a hat trick is Theo Walcott – but he did – and from warming the bench and the treatment table all season has potentially played himself into contention for an FA Cup final start.

Our last weekly winners are Bermie United. Fittingly, their 63 points also secured the May manager of the month award. They didn’t make any transfers this week – they didn’t need to – they’ve been on a steady rise for the last couple of weeks. They’ve climbed 200,000 places in the overall game since gameweek 34, and finish in 7th overall.

1 Bermie Utd Glen Davies 63 279
2 Paris Spinks Germain David Spinks 52 263
3 NaboombuDirtyYellows Andrew Swift 57 262
4 Neil Madrid Neil Strong 57 235
5 Release The Hounds Paul Mitchell 45 231
6 Gaalatcticos Colin Goulding 53 229

 

In the race for the title, Neil Madrid hit a steady 57 points to secure the trophy with room to spare. The battle for the runners up spot went to Pescara who leapfrogged Hedgehog Corpse. Hedgehog nearly slipped to fourth behind Naboombu’s, who would have pinched third had they made Moussa Sissoko or Phil Jones their captain. But who in their right mind would have done that?

Player of the week – Theo Walcott – 20 points. Only his fourth start of the season

Bargain of the week – Mame Biram Diouf – 16 points. Finishes as Stoke’s top scoring player.

Donkey of the week – Marouane Fellaini – -2 points. Trying his hardest to keep Hull up.

Goal of the week – Jack Wilshere. Screamer. 1m46s.

 

 

Eden Hazard finishes as top player. He played every game, and pretty much every minute, scoring more bonus points than anybody else by some distance, yet interestingly never picked up a player of the week award. The best bargain player by some distance was Harry Kane. He’ll still only set you back £6 million. It did get as high as £6.5 but has dropped after a quiet few weeks. Burnley keeper, Tom Heaton, is the best value for money player. Ten clean sheets might be unprecedented by a relegated keeper. This includes three in his last three games – since they were relegated. Heaton is also one of six keepers to have saved more than one penalty this season. He also comes in at fourth in the overall saves table behind Fabianski, Adrian and Rob Green. Proving again that the more shots you’re likely to have to save – the better fantasy keeper you are.

Alexis Sanchez’s value increased the most over the season – by £1.1 million. Harry Kane’s had got to a £1.5 million increase before his recent slump. Hazard’s had increased to £1.4 million only two weeks ago. He played at the weekend, but most managers had shipped him out after reading the reports of his wonky wisdom teeth. Nathaniel Clyne and Stewart Downing had both increased in value by £1.2 million at various points of the season. Southampton, on the whole, offered up the best value for money players. Had you ignored the early season pundit predictions that they’d struggle, and picked three of Clyne, Ryan Bertrand, Jose Fonte, Fraser Forster or Graziano Pelle, you’d have got off to a blinding start. Don’t expect them to be so cheap next season.

RayCrawfordsCrackers unsurprisingly tinkered their way to the most manager of the week awards this season. They finished the week with the highest score six times, one less that the record they set last year. Shoelace were the only team to take more than one monthly award, winning the prize in October and March. The player of the week awards were much more evenly spread than last year. I’d be surprised if anyone beat Luis Suarez’s record of five from last season. Harry Kane finished as the highest scorer on three occassions.

Yannick Bolasie hit the highest weekly score of 24 points in gameweek 32 – a hat trick, an assist and all bonus marks against Sunderland. In gamweek 31 Christian Beneteke equalled the highest score up until that point with 23 points – a total that had already been achieved by Dusan Tadic in gameweek 8 – also against Sunderland. Also in gameweek 31, Charlie Austin bagged 21 points – our highest bargain player score. Unsurprisingly, gameweek 31produced our highest team score – 119 points by Pescara – who had both Benteke (c) and Austin in their team. Sergio Aguero and Sadio Mane, in gameweeks 36 and 37 respectively also posted 23 point weekly scores.

Sunderland’s Santiago Vergini hit the depths with a -4 weekly score in their 8-0 drubbing at the hands of Southampton. This included a cracking og that would easily be up for goal of the season, had it not been for the fact he volleyed it into the roof of his own net. Hull and Everton served up the most donkeys with four each. Kyle Naughton was our only double donkey this season whilst playing for Spurs. He now plays for Swansea.

Team of the season

  • GK – Lukasz Fabianski – Swansea City – 151 points
  • DR – Branislav Ivanovic – Chelsea – 171 points
  • DL – Ryan Bertrand – Southampton – 140 points
  • DC – John Terry – Chelsea – 170 points
  • DC – Phil Jagielka – Everton – 142 points
  • MR – Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal – 207 points
  • ML – Eden Hazard – Chelsea – 233 points
  • CM – David Silva – Manchester City – 191 points
  • CM – Santi Cazorla – Arsenal – 168 points
  • AT – Sergio Aguero – Manchester City – 216 points
  • AT – Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspur – 191 points

Bargains of the season (with season starting value)

  • GK – Tom Heaton – Burnley – 150 points – £4.5 million
  • DR – Nathaniel Clyne – Southampton – 142 points – £5 million
  • DL – Neil Taylor – Swansea City – 109 points – £4.5 million
  • DC – Joleon Lescott – West Bromwich Albion – 127 points – £5 million
  • DC – Ashley Williams – Swansea City – 118 points – £5 million
  • MR – Nacer Chadli – Tottenham Hotspur – 160 points – £6 million
  • ML – Stewart Downing – West Ham United – 160 points – £5.5 million
  • MC – Gylfi Sigurdsson – Swansea City – 154 points – £6 million
  • MC – Ki Sung-Yeung – Swansea City – 129 points – £5 million
  • AT – Charlie Austin –  Queens Park Rangers – 176 points – £6 million
  • AT – Graziano Pelle – Southampton – 149 points – £7.5 million

 

That’s it. Seventy odd days till we start again. Check the Roll of Honour and Prize Money links for full season breakdown. I’ll be in touch with the winners regarding payment of prize money over the next few days.

Well done everyone.

 

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