Leaders & High Scorers
There is no displacing Mackem Boys, managed by Stu Howarth, at the top of the table. I'm writing about Stu's team so much I feel like I'm starting know how his mind works, I feel like I know exactly what his every move is. Or maybe he's just a lucky bastard and I'm the sucker who has to write about him. Diego Costa wore the armband, getting a goal and an assist. That meant he brought in just under half of Stu's 50 points this week, as Hueng-min Son and Theo Walcott kept things ticking over.
Consistency was key for Mark Green, whose FC Lola team were the week's high scorers on 70 points. There was no major standout performer for Mark and he even saw captain Zlatan fall short, earning him only 2 points. But Romelu Lukaku, Willian & Dimitri Payet all scored, Virgil van Dijk, Toby Alderweireld & Thibaut Courtois all kept clean sheets and Dele Alli even bagged himself 8 points for Spurs excellent performance. It proves that sometimes teamwork, does indeed make the dream work. If the dream is being featured in the Roker Report Fantasy League article, that is.
Special mention to our own Micky Lough as well, he was just pipped to being this week's highest scorer by just one point! FlyOnTheWingsOfLove can mainly thank Chelsea and Tottenham for their high weekly total as Danny Rose, Alli, Alderweireld, Gary Cahill and Nemanja Matic combined to bring home 35 points. The captaincy of Lukaku and Van Dijk's clean sheet topped things off nicely. A great week for Micky, who now resides in 80th place.
Down The Bottom
Moyes In The Hood have managed to climb off the bottom of the league by one point, which I'm sure has delighted Andy Scott. Dwelling at the bottom of the table now are Connor Strong's Baines On Toast, after a measly return of 24 points where all bar one of his players earned 3 or less. Some strong players are in Connor's side but the likes of Sergio Aguero, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Philippe Coutinho let him down by not impacting their respective matches.
I unfortunately have to include our editor Gav in the losers section this week. It's only fair after including one of the writers in the high scorers section, anyway. Ice Cream Kone were also let down by Aguero, along with Raheem Sterling, Eden Hazard and Mesut Ozil. I'm guessing Gav didn't have much faith in Sunderland against West Brom either, as he included Solomon Rondon and Darren Fletcher but, fortunately, both players only earned two points a piece.
The Roker Report Team
With Micky being this weeks high scorer and Jim Holmes continuing to surge up the table, you'd think it would be a good week for us all, wouldn't you? Sad fact is, those two put the rest of us to shame and Gav's performance was more reflective on the writers as a whole. Giroud - Sandstorm moved up four places to 15th though and the 54 points Jim scored were mainly through a deadly strike force of Lukaku and Costa. There there was also defensive solidity though, as Kyle Walker and Hector Bellerin kept their oppositions at bay.
Both joint 122nd this week are Carl Purvis and James Henchard with Crystal Phallus and Blackended Roar Mass, meaning it's only two Roker Reporters in the top 100 after this round of matches. It was an unspectacular week for Carl's Crystals, who achieved below average weekly score of 41 points with Van Dijk and Troy Deeney being his most impressive players, scoring 9 each. James fared slightly better, scoring 48, mainly through defenders. Patrick Van Aanholt's goal, added to clean sheets from Alderweireld, Walker & Nacho Monreal meant it was just the forwards letting James down. Although Dimitri Payet did earn a welcome 10 points.
I'm still managing to bumble around the lower reaches of the top 200 and my Champagne Papy Bodji side actually moved up a few places to 174th. I can thank Lukaku and Costa for that, Jordan Pickford making a few saves didn't do any harm either. Hooray for our shit defending! If you look ten places below me, you'll find 50 Shades Of O'Shea, managed by Dan Parker. Dan's lads were largely inspired by Roberto Firmino getting on the score sheet for Liverpool and Christian Benteke bagging one for Palace meant his strikers didn't draw a blank. Rounding off the top 200 with a flourish is Tom Atkinson's Sunlun, with a very respectable 59 points. Another Payet and Van Dijk benefactor, Tom was also quite astute in picking Troy Deeney as his captain which brought in 18 points.
Look at Simon Fenton, the leagues former whipping boy, now flying high at 255th! Team Simon scored 62 points with Laurent Koscienly's conversational last minute winner giving him a much welcome boost. If only Simon hadn't done what none of us should ever do - put our faith in Sunderland, as he wasted his captaincy on Jermain Defoe. Extra fury for Simon for Defoe's two missed sitters. Karl Maguire needs to take a long hard look at himself as the board at Steel Panthers are probably considering his future with them free falling down the division. It was a poor effort from The Panthers this week, Lukaku and Walker being his only real earners.
Who To Pick Next Week
As always with international weeks, it's best to not make your transfers straight away as you never know who is going to come back injured or knackered. So bookmark this piece and come back in a week.
Are you back? That was a good international break wasn't it? I certainly didn't foresee England going two goals behind to Malta, until Gareth Southgate subbed himself on and scored a brace to make it 2-2. Shame about that missed penalty to win the game though, another one to haunt him 20 years after Euro 96. Anyway, moving on.
The big game of next weekend is on Monday night when Liverpool host Manchester United. We've all seen how fragile United have been lately and I'd expect Liverpool to grab a couple of goals against them. Philippe Coutinho is still a good buy at £8.2M but James Milner has earned just as many points this season (43) and is a lot cheaper at £6.6M. Four goals and one assist from Milner shows just how much he's contributed to Jurgen Klopp's side so far this season and he also takes the penalties. No matter what, it's always good to have a penalty taker in there.
I went through Tottenham Hotspur players last week and their victory against Manchester City is further evidence that one or two players from them will be good buys this season. Hueng-Min Son's price has stayed reasonable at £7.6M, despite his great form and less than 10% of managers have picked him. I've also just noticed that Erik Lamela is available for less than £7M too, an absolute steal for a player of his calibre at a top club. Spurs will travel to West Brom next weekend, a game they should win comfortably if they're to mount another title challenge.
West Ham have been rubbish this season but haven't struggled for goals. In their next two games, they take on two teams who haven't kept clean sheets all season - Crystal Palace & Sunderland. So even though they may not win these games (and I certainly hope they won't win the second) they'll still create chances. There's only been two players West Ham have been able to rely on this season and they're Michail Antonio and Dimitri Payet, with Antonio being the more reasonably priced at £7.3M. Due to the decent fee, it means he's been picked by a higher amount of players than Payet and he also often plays in more defensive areas so, if you have the capital, it may be best to go for the French international. You'll also have a good chance of cashing in from those incredible free kicks.