Leaders & High Scorers
After being dethroned a few weeks ago, Stu Howarth is back in first place. Mackem Boy lead Laying Down The Laws by one point and Stu's lads scored well all over the pitch. Clean sheets from Jordan Pickford and Gareth McAuley, goals from Diego Costa and Etienne Capoue and two assists from Heung-Min Son meant it was sheer consistency that put Mackem Boys on top.
You have to go all the way down to 236th to find the top scorer of week 12, Nick Bland's Moyes Toys. It was Moyes boys Nick can thank as well as Patrick van Aanholt, Lamine Kone and Jermain Defoe made huge contributions to his weekly haul of 79 points. An assist from captain Kevin De Bruyne saw some nice double points in the midfield and further significant points were scored by Costa, Capoue and Virgil van Dijk.
Down The Bottom
No change at the foot of the table with Moyes Red n White still propping things up. Mathew Hone didn't have too bad a week, in fairness, scoring 51 points but that just emphasises just how much work he has to do if such a high score isn't moving him anywhere. If Defoe and Costa keep up their form it will help things and Mathew's midfield is certainly a dangerous one with likes of Coutinho and Son, maybe solidifying the defence will give him that much needed boost.
It doesn't look like Kier Bradwell is paying his team much attention seen as his team had suspended and injured players in there this week. It led to All You Need Is Love only scoring 21 points, proving how crucial it is to keep on top of which players are available. Zlatan Ibrahimovic isn't going to score you any points while he's serving a suspension and Erik Lamela won't be doing anything for you with a knackered hip.
The Roker Report Team
Jim Holmes title ambitions seem a distant memory now as he once again fell down a few positions. Giroud - Standstorm are just clinging on to a top 50 place, in 46th after a bog standard week where Jim only achieved the weekly average of 40 points. Joy from Jordan Pickford, Gareth McAuley and Diego Costa kept things from being a total disaster though. It doesn’t get any better for our other high flyer either as Micky Lough's FlyOnTheWingsOfLove only brought in 30 points, which saw them slide down to 80th. Two solid centre halves, Gary Cahill and Virgil van Dijk, equated for half of those points but the attackers failed to inspire.
Better news for James Henchard though, his team shot up the table into 97th! The Blackended Roar Mass captaincy went to the boy Defoe, a great choice given his goal & assist and the 22 points from him were a third of James' total. The only thing The Henchman may be disappointed with was he played his bench boost in a week his subs didn't perform.
Outside of the top 100, there was frustration for Dan Parker's 50 Shades Of O'Shea even though he scored above the average. 49 points still saw a few teams leapfrog him, if only he'd taken the plunge on Defoe and made him captain, rather than just have him as vice-captain, he may not be in 130th. It was a similar story for my team too, Champagne Papy Bodji scored above 40 but it wasn't enough to make any progress up the table. Foster, Costa and Capoue were my only real earners, as two of my defenders didn't even play! Nightmare. I'm currently residing in 139th.
There seems to be two mini leagues emerging in the Roker Report league, with there being a big gap between half of the Roker Report writers. You need to look all the way down to 222th to find our next writer's team, Tom Atkinson's Sunlun. A good week for Tom though, doing well in defence through Virigil van Dijk, Charlie Daniels and Nathaniel Clyne. Crystal Phallus are only 4 places behind Tom, as goals from Capoue and Costa and double dutch clean sheets from Van Dijk & Van Aanholt gave Carl Purvis a nice boost.
After a poor start, Team Simon seem to be levelling out now as they moved up the table again and now sit in 237th place. Mr Fenton was another who had Defoe as captain and our favourite New Monkey fan also did the business for him in goal. Harry Kane's brace was the cherry on top of this 66 points earning cake and Simon will be eyeing up the top 200. Gav won't getting there any time soon though as clings onto his place in the top 300. Capoue and Coleman scored 19 points for Ice Cream Kone but the rest of the team only earned a combined 16. With Aguero and Lukaku up front though, you'd expect fortunes to improve as the weeks go on.
Steel Panthers had some good scores from Costa, Alonso and McAuley but that's where it ended really. Only six points from four midfielders meant Karl Maguire only earned 35 points and falling down a few places was inevitable. It's not going well for Karl at the minute, with his team 300th and lowest ranked Roker Reporter.
Who To Pick This Week
A midfielder who is going somewhat under the radar is West Brom's Matt Phillips. With 53 points earned in total, he's a good option if you want a midfielder but don't have much money to spend. Not a bad week to select him either as WBA travel to Hull, so you'd expect Phillips to be creating and getting chances himself. Not many players have him in their teams either, only appearing in 1% of the total squads.
The two sides with the worst form face each other on Saturday - Swansea vs. Crystal Palace. Both teams have been awful defensively so there's goals in this game for both sides. You could pick up Gylfi Sigurdsson if you have a decent wedge to play with or Leroy Fer if your finances are a bit tighter. If you opt for Palace players, Wilfried Zaha is still quite cheap at £5.3M and even if he has reportedly lost faith in his manager, he's still capable of hurting Swansea.
It's quite astonishing that Juan Mata's price tag has stayed as low as it has, given he's been carrying Manchester United lately. What's more baffling is why he's only been selected by just over 2% of the managers. Definitely one to draft in for this week if you can. Playing against a dodgy West Ham defence, I think Mata will have a very enjoyable Sunday afternoon and he can be yours for £7.4M.