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The Roker Report Fantasy League: Week #10

The strikers are back on form, there’s a new team at the top and someone scored more than one hundred points - welcome to The Roker Report Fantasy League!

Manchester United v Burnley - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Leaders & High Scorers

It’s all change at the top, and we have a new leader!

After weeks of dominance, Stu Howarth’s Mackem Boys have fallen down to third place and it’s Nakhon Ratchasima in first place. Adam Woodward’s men had been in second for a couple of weeks now, so seeing them on top isn’t a huge surprise. It was a high scoring week, with the average score being 58 points, but Adam was above that by bringing in 66 - almost half of which were earned by captain Sergio Aguero. Diego Costa, Yannick Bolaise and Daley Blind also scored well, now let’s see if Adam’s team can consolidate their position.

I said it was a high scoring week so it’s fitting that this is the week our highest scorer brings in more than 100 points. Well done to Tildo (#cheeky) managed by Tom Huntley who racked up 107 points this week. Tom had all the superstars of gameweek 10 - the unbeatable Tom Heaton? Check. The return to goalscoring form from Sergio Aguero? Yup. Costa & Hazard continuing to prove their doubters from last season wrong? Aye. Romelu Lukaku being the scourge of West Ham once more? Believe it. Erm, George Friend? Sure, why not! I could go on, but I won’t. A superb week from Tom, he’s now in 7th place.

Down The Bottom

There’s changes at the bottom as well after Neale Bulbeck’s Fireballs got fired up and fired themselves off the bottom. That was bad news for Stephen Oduro & United FC who have to prop up the table despite a pretty healthy week. If Stephen’s team brings in totals like this every week, he wont be on the bottom for long as he earned 77 points. It was poor showings from previous weeks that allowed players scoring less than United FC to leapfrog them and Stephen will have to remind himself that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Well, if sitting in front of a computer and sorting out your team during your Friday lunch break can be considered a type of marathon, that is.

The Roker Report Team

The breaks have been put on for Giroud - Sandstorm’s progression up the table as Jim Holmes’ team falls out of the top 10 and into 16th. In a high scoring week, it was bad timing for Jim’s team to have an off day, scoring 13 points below the average. Costa and Alexis Sanchez meant it wasn’t a total disaster but Jim will be looking at his back four, none of whom kept a clean sheet. It was a similar story for Micky Lough’s FlyOnTheWingsOfLove too, who moved down from 25th to 41st despite bringing in 58 points. Lukaku as captain and Ross Barkley in midfield meant Everton brought in the majority of Micky’s points but leaving Jermain Defoe on the bench instead of Zlatan cost him a further 7. Unlucky.

Jim & Micky are still the only writers gracing the top 100 but James Henchard & Blackended Roar Mass aren’t far off now, climbing 16 places to 109th. Just like Micky had Everton to thank, James had both of Manchester City’s goalscorers, Sergio Aguero & Ilkay Gundogan, raking in some serious gains. 72 points was a very strong total from The Mass and, away from the City attackers, there were points all over the pitch with Jermain Defoe’s penalty, Ashley Williams clean sheet and Philippe Coutinho assist’s.

My Champagne Papy Bodji team were another to move up the table with the likes of Aguero, Costa, Hazard and Coutinhio being the main protagonists. I had a gamble that didn’t pay off though, opting to chose Etienne Capoue as my captain given Watford were at home to Hull. No real points were earned from that one though, if only I’d played it safe. Dan Parker didn’t make that mistake though, giving the armband to Aguero who played a big part in 50 Shades Of O’Shea climbing 22 places up the ladder and into 162nd. No real big earners after that for Dan but the rest of his team brought in solid, if unspectacular totals, with John Stones’ clean sheet and goals from Defoe & Roberto Firmino.

Just like I expected Watford to do a number on Hull, so did Tom Atkinson. Troy Deeney was Sunlun’s captain this week but only 4 points from him and 2 from fellow striker Charlie Austin meant it was a tough week. Lukaku restored some pride to the front line and so did Hazard but a mere 46 points scored meant Tom fell down to 196th. A different story for Crystal Phallus though who were unlucky not to get back into the top 200, after a gameweek total of 61 points. Manchester City did the business at both ends for Carl Purvis, Aguero doing the scoring and John Stones kept the opposition out. Low scores from Ibrahimovic & Deeney meant the other forwards didn’t do as well as Carl would have liked but you can always rely on Philippe Coutinho at the moment, his assists adding a further 8 points.

An amazing effort from Gav this week as 87 points has him in touching distance of the top 200. Bear in mind that Gav joined a week late and it makes Ice Cream Kone’s progress even more remarkable. A top front line of Aguero (C) and Lukaku contributed to over half of Gav’s weekly earnings and defensive solidity brought in clean sheet points from David de Gea, Ben Gibson and Jose Holebas. A brace of assists from Joe Allen and one from Mesut Ozil put the icing on the Ice Cream Kone cake.

I think we can sum up Team Simon for this week by just pointing out he had Lamine Kone & Jordan Pickford in his side. Even though both strikers, Jermain Defoe & Ahmed Musa, got on the scoresheet along with Ross Barkley it wasn’t enough to move Simon Fenton up the table and his lads are now 262nd. Ending on a positive, Steel Panthers have finally stopped the rot and moved up a few places! Karl Maguire’s powerful forward line of Aguero, Costa and Lukaku tells it’s own story and maybe this team can now start living up to it’s potential. Maybe transfer out the injured Robert Snodgrass though, Karl.

Who To Pick This Week

If you want to add some attacking bite to your midfield, want a big name but are still on a budget then look no further than Ilkey Gundogan. I’m sure many have there eye on the former Dortmund man after his brace at the Hawthorns but you can’t really say no at £5.5M. Manchester City play at home to Middlesbrough this Saturday and you’d still expect Pep’s charges to win comfortably, despite Boro just coming off the back of a win and clean sheet at home to Bournemouth. It may be worth waiting until after City have played in the Champions League before bringing in Gundogan as a start may mean he’s on the bench on Saturday or he could, of course, get injured.

If you’re needing affordable dependability this weekend, you could do much worse than going for a player from Southampton. Away to Hull, you only have to look at both teams goal differences to see what the likely outcome will be, +1 for the visitors and -15 for the home side. Most of Saints games have been narrow encounters this season so the likes of Jose Fonte, Virgil van Dijk & Ryan Bertrand (all £5.4M) should be quite comfortable in keeping the meek Hull attack at bay. If you’re confident that Claude Puel’s side will rack up a few goals then you can still snap up Nathan Redmond for a mere £6M, or Charlie Austin for just £6.6M.

The big game of the weekend is the North London derby at The Emirates Stadium. Most players in this game don’t need to be recommended and many of us already have our quota of Arsenal and/or Spurs players. One player who may worth be taking a gamble on though is Vincent Janssen, who got his first Premier League goal last time out against Leicester City and given the great attacking players surrounding him in the Tottenham team, the goals and assists could start flowing. Given Harry Kane’s fitness, Janssen should start this game and he’s only been picked by 1.3% of players, so this is great chance to earn points where others don’t. If you want a new striker, a one who plays for a team at the top of the league but your budget can’t stretch to the likes of Costa, Aguero and Lukaku, then this could be the time to take a punt on the £7.7M Janssen.