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The Roker Report Fantasy League - Week #9

Great defences! Underwhelming front lines! Welcome to the Roker Report Fantasy League!

Chelsea v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Leaders & High Scorers

There have been no changes in the top two, with Mackem Boys still top and Nakhon Ratchasima in second. Stu Howarth’s league leaders have a 13 point lead and can mainly thank Sadio Mane’s goal and assist and Hector Bellerin’s clean sheet for keeping him in first place. The same players also were part of Adam Woodward’s team, in second, with further gains taken from Kyle Walker and Yannick Bolasie.

Behind Stu and Adam though is Roker Report writer Jim Holmes! Giroud - Sandstorm broke into the top 10 last week and they have to be considered as title challengers. It wasn't a great week for Jim’s forward line but his three defenders (Walker, Bellerin and Kyle Naughton) earned a combined 22 points with Bolasie and Mane’s performances rounding things off nicely.

Completing the top four are Jonas Bergkvist’s Vardycansmyd who were the highest scorers this week with 68 points. Jonas played his triple captain and Sunderland’s latest downfall was his gain, as he took 21 points from Dimitri Payet. Clean sheets from Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal, Hector Bellerin and Petr Cech with a goal from Christian Fuchs saw a high amount of points gained in defence as well.

Down The Bottom

A huge score of 62 points was enough to lift Andy Scott and Moyes In The Hood off the foot of the table. The theme of strong defences continued as unblemished tallies for Hugo Lloris, Laurent Koscielny and Bellerin kept things in check at the back. It wasn’t too bad up front either, as Kelechi Iheanacho and Romelu Lukaku got a goal and an assist respectively.

Second bottom last week and now it’s rock bottom for Fireballs, managed by Neale Bulbeck. A lowly score of 27 points meant this was always on the cards as Walker and Koscielny were his only players to score more than two points. Like many managers, Neale will be hoping for Sergio Aguero to find his shooting boots soon or he may even decide to cash in on him.

The Roker Report Team

Michael Lough’s progress has continued as he moves up to 25th in the table this week. FlyOnTheWingsOfLove will certainly have their eye on Jim in the quest to come top out of the Roker Report writers. A good overall return for Micky this week, scoring 55 points, it was spearheaded by Gary Cahill’s goal and clean sheet, while his captain, Romelu Lukaku, didn’t do badly either as his doubled points jumped up to 10.

Precisely 100 places below is where you begin to find the rest of us, starting with James Henchard’s Blackended Roar Mass. The Mass fell 13 positions this week after a fairly low total of 36 points, as James was one of many to put faith in Aguero as his captain only to see him return 2 points. Decent points were gained from Payet, Monreal and Walker but this was still an uninspiring week for James. For my boys though, we had a decent points total but it could have been so much better had my strikers scored. Champagne Papy Bodji scored 50 points with goals in midfield (Hazard & Coutinho) a goal at the back (Gareth McAuley), clean sheets (Walker & Zuniga) so everything was shaping up nicely. Then Aguero & Costa brought in a combined total of 4 points. Excellent. Still, I climbed 35 places so it’s all progress.

Not far behind my lot are Sunlun as Tom Atkinson manages to have his team scoring higher than their namesakes. 40 points was slightly below the weekly average but Tom did move up the table to 163rd and whilst his team had goals and assist in them, they still conceded too much. Bournemouth’s Charlie Daniels being his only player to keep a clean sheet. Dan Parker was another manager who saw his team fall below the average this week, as 50 Shades Of O’Shea dropped down to 184th. Roberto Firmino was Dan’s only scorer in his midfield & attack but Bellerin & Courtois’ lack of goals conceded kept the points ticking over.

Carl Purvis slid down to 227th with a weekly earning of 32 points in gameweek 9. It’s not too much of a surprise for Crystal Phallus, as big players such as Aguero and Zlatan let him down. Simon Francis clean sheet in the Bournemouth defence restored some pride but things just didn’t work out for Carl this week. Creeping up on him and rising by 44 places to 248th are Team Simon. Fenton’s lads got joy where most other players didn’t, as goals from Ahmed Musa and N’Golo Kante gave him a combined 16 points. If Sunderland had showed some competence and not conceded that late winner, it would have been even better for Simon as Lamine Kone & Jordan Pickford only ended up scoring 2 points apiece.

Gavin Henderson is clinging onto his top 300 place with Ice Cream Kone falling 3 places to 292nd. It was a bit of a nightmare week for Gav as he transferred out Iheanacho and Hazard, denying him some much needed extra points. Still, he did have a goal scorer with Nathan Redmond and clean sheets were picked up by Jan Vertonghen and Jose Holebas. Just forget about those Manchester United players in the back line, eh Gav?

The Steel Panthers slide continues and Karl Maguire is now the lowest place writer in 302nd position. A goal from Gareth McAuley and a clean sheet from Kyle Walker was the only area’s Karl scored any real points and it wasn’t enough to stop the free fall. He’ll need to likes of Arguero, Costa and Lukaku to start picking up major points soon or things could get even worse.

Who To Pick This Week

Bournemouth have certainly hit some good form lately and this weekend they travel to Middlesbrough. Although Aitor Karanka’s men got an excellent result away to Arsenal this past week, I’d still back Eddie Howe’s well drilled defence to keep a side that have struggled for goals at bay. Artur Boruc is the second best keeper in the game so far this season and you could pick him up for £4.6M but there’s bargains to be had all over the Cherries defence. With respective scores of 38, 38 and 37, Charlie Daniels, Adam Smith & Steve Cook are great value, with Daniels being the most expensive at only £5M.

I said this last week and it pains me to say it again, mainly because it’s so obvious, but draft in players playing against Sunderland if you can. Arsenal will look to get back to their dangerous, high scoring selves after being frustrated by Middlesbrough so David Moyes defence could be perfect fodder. Don’t expect a bargain in the Arsenal team of course, but Theo Walcott’s price isn’t too bad at £8.1M and he’s been the highest Arsenal points scorer with 58.

After some early momentum, Hull City seem to have ran out of steam and can’t stop conceding goals. They’re away to Watford and I think The Hornets will outclass them in all areas of the pitch. I’ve mentioned Etienne Capoue in previous gameweeks and he’s still dirt cheap at £5.2M despite bringing in 53 points. He’s in a lot of people teams though, being selected by over 40% of managers, so expect fellow players to match those points. Elsewhere in the team, Troy Deeney is still a decent shout at £7.1M if you need a striker and Jose Holebas has barely been selected by anyone (5.3%) and is pretty cheap at £4.6M.