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.
Bournemouth 15:00 Middlesbrough Hull 15:00 Watford Swansea 15:00 Stoke West Ham 15:00 Everton Burnley 14:15 Man Utd Liverpool 16:30 Crystal Palace Chelsea 19:45 Southampton Arsenal 19:45 Leicester Middlesbrough 19:45 Sunderland Crystal Palace 20:00 Spurs Man City 20:00 Man Utd
It just doesn’t seem right not handing the captaincy to a player in a team playing twice during a double gameweek. That is unless it’s the worst double gameweek of all time. This one.
Palace are virtually safe and have two fixtures against much better teams with much more to play for. Spurs are taking teams apart at the moment. Two consecutive 4-0 victories could quite easily become three by 10pm on Wednesday. Christian Benteke is one of the most infuriating and belligerent FPL strikers of all time. Despite being in double figures for goals, he’s nowhere on the bonus table. Part of the skill of picking up bonuses is being able to pass and dribble – Benteke knows how to do neither. In Novemeber he went on a three week spree accumulating 28 points. It took him 15 more gameweeks to score the same total.
Middlesbrough can’t score. Don’t score. Probably won’t score. Even against Sunderland. They’ve only won four games. Their last victory was in December. Although they do like a 0-0. So bringing in a couple of Boro defenders could be worthwhile. No, not really – next week they play Manchester City. The week after its Chelsea. Don’t lumber yourself with Middlesbrough defenders.
Manchester United – surely rich pickings there for a double gameweek. Not necessarily. Progressing in the Europa League after extra time is the second worst thing that could have happened. The worst being the likely season ending injury to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who had made his way into many teams already ahead of this week. Even if neither of those things had happened, it’s likely their star man would have only played one game. United are rotating wildly at the moment, and will have to again. Who knows who could take the field against Burnley.
So you might as well pick Harry Kane or Romelu Lukaku. Or Phil Jagielka. This could be one of those double gameweeks in which a single gameweeker records the highest score. It’s a dilemma. I imagine most managers will have taken a look at the GW37 double gameweek and decided that was the one to wildcard for, so it’ll be interesting to see how many of us have actually been bothered to indulge this week’s fixtures.
Hull v Everton Burnley v Sunderland Chelsea v Stoke Leicester v West Ham Man Utd v Middlesbrough Southampton v West Brom Swansea v Bournemouth Liverpool v Man City Watford v Spurs Arsenal v Crystal Palace
Nobody knows what day it is but this is essentially a normal weekend of matches, although it does start with one of those one off Friday evening affairs. The rest of the weekend sees seven matches on Saturday, followed by the first two matches of 2017 on Sunday afternoon. It’s also the half way stage and the final round of games to determine the December manager of the month. We also get access to our second wildcard after this round of games, so if you haven’t played your first one, now’s the time.
Chelsea look certainties to record their 13th straight victory, and don’t be surprised if it comes with another clean sheet. The shut out is so inevitable that there’s even a case for implementing a three defender combo. It pretty much guarantees you at least 18 points at the moment. And why not hand the armband to one of them? We shouldn’t forget Thibaut Courtois, who at £5.8 million comes in a good half a million cheaper than his defender colleagues. The drawback being he’s not having very many saves to make and so bonuses are at an absolute minimum.
Three Chelsea defenders releases cash you may have invested in Costa or Hazard to spend on other striking options. Zlatan looks good for more goals at home against Middlesbrough and a certain Argentinian comes back into contention across town. Aguero’s price has dropped to £12.8 million. In his absence, City have managed to record three straight victories and have even managed two clean sheets in that run. He’ll undoubtedly regain his place, but it’ll still be a squeeze to fit him in, particularly if you’ve retained Diego Costa and invested in Zlatan in the mean time. Although, if you have that wildcard, then why not give it a go?
Joey Bosa lead the way this week with an impressive-for-the-post-Christmas-fixtures type score of 96 points. They almost produced a full house, and were potentially on for the highest weekly score of the season until Jose Fonte and Jan Vertonghen let the side down. They managed only a solitary point between them in the final fixture of the gameweek. Still, 96 points is enough to see Joey climb eight places into the top 20.
They, and most other managers with him in their squad, went with possibly the most obvious captain choice of the season. Zlatan didn’t disappoint, adding 30 points with the armband. That captain choice appeared to be the difference between those managers scoring up in the 60s and 70s and those struggling in the 30s and 40s.
Neither of our leading pair made that choice and the gap at the top has been closed as a result. The Craggy Islanders and Yeboah’s Right Foot managed only 52 and 44 respectively. Every other team in the top 15 outscored them both. Aquamar in particular, with 86 points, hauled Yeboah’s back to within one point. Aquamar have also put themselves in contention for the December manager of the month, along with Cooksters, who race to the top of the monthly pile, last years champs, FC Caligula, and one or two others bubbling under…
Watford v Crystal Palace Arsenal v West Brom Burnley v Middlesbrough Chelsea v Bournemouth Leicester v Everton Man Utd v Sunderland Swansea v West Ham Hull v Man City Liverpool v Stoke Southampton v Spurs
It’s the Boxing Day fixtures. Or at least eight of them are. We’ve 30 games taking place over a 10 day period encompassing three gameweeks. The only day between the 26th December and 4th January without a Premier League game is the 29th December.
Two of those three gameweeks will complete December. The current manager of the month table looks like this…
Not all that different from the actual league table with our top two seemingly fighting it out for the £60 prize. Might be even worth playing a chip. An Ibrahimovic hat trick against Sunderland on a triple captain could bring someone into contention.
He’s the man most likely, particularly this weekend with Diego Costa suspended. He fell way off the radar following a five week run up to gameweek 11 where he didn’t register a single goal or assist and picked up two bookings. He was dropping out of teams at an average rate of 200,000 a week in the worldwide game. And when Aguero picked up his suspension only 73,000 took the punt on bringing him back in. That’s 73,000 in comparison to 317,000 opting for Harry Kane. Ibrahimovic has outscored Kane 25-6 in that time. That’s potentially a 40+ point swing if you factor in captain picks.
And now that Costa is out for a game, is it worth considering bringing him in to replace the Chelsea man? Well, it depends when and for how much you bought Costa. Those who have had him since the early days might not fancy the hit. It’s only a week and given Costa’s form, dispensing of his services might not be worth it in the long run. I doubt even the most disciplined of managers would be able to simply kick Costa out for a week and then instantly replace him once the ban is over. What if Ibrahimovic scores that hat trick?
There may be another way. Those 317,00 cursing Harry Kane’s sudden dip in form have a ready made way in. Kane should have filled his boots at home to Burnley and Hull. Four points from those two games isn’t good enough. Also note that United’s fixtures up to FA Cup week are also much more favourable.