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The Roker Report Fantasy League: Week #11 - Hazard Signs!

It’s been another high scoring week, there’s a new player at the top of the table and most of our writers did terribly. Welcome to The Roker Report Fantasy League!

Chelsea v Everton - Premier League Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Leaders & High Scorers

We had a new leader last week and it’s all change again in week 11 - Nakhon Ratchasima went top of the pile in the last round but Adam Woodward’s team have plummeted to 6th. This gave Oliver Crosby’s Olivers Army the chance to swoop in and claim top spot, earning a strong 74 points this gameweek. In a high scoring week, it was always going to be attackers that brought the majority points, for most teams and Crosby’s lads proved that. The captaincy was well placed with Philippe Coutinho donning the armband, a goal and assist from him, and Jermain Defoe mirrored that. Chelsea’s rout of Everton rounded off the table toppers fantastic week, Diego Costa & Eden Hazard returning 9 & 19 points respectively.

Playing their triple captain was a big factor in NQuinn'sDiscopants being this week's highest scorer, as Louis Mitchell’s side brought home 93 points. The tripled points were scored through Sergio Aguero’s goal against Middlesbrough but putting the captaincy on any of the strikers would have worked, with Defoe & Costa also in the forward line. You can extend that to the midfield as well, Hazard, Coutinho & Roberto Firmino making up three quarters of the players in the middle. So no let downs from Louis big name attackers and he can bask in those lovely 93 points.

Down The Bottom

A new leader and new team propping things up. Diego Costa aside, no one really scored highly for Mathew Hone and Moyes Red n White. Even though it was a high scoring weekend in fantasy football, Mathew suffered some bad luck with Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku & Ilkay Gundogan failing to impact there games. No need to worry too much there though, those players should start performing soon but perhaps some changes are needed elsewhere to toughen the team up.

There was praise for Gav last week since he was bravely fighting his way up the table, so it’s only right that he gets brought back down to earth this week. 29 points! In week where everyone got loads of points! Pathetic. Although Sergio Aguero did well as captain, that was where the good news ended. It’s better to sum up Ice Cream Kone by pointing out that Jose Holebas went into negative points with -2. No clean sheets in defence, no goals in the midfield and only one goal in the team at all. A week to forget.

The Roker Report Team

What’s happening to Jim Holmes! Giroud - Sandstorm were flirting with first place and now they’re out of the top 20, in 27th. That’s two weeks running they’ve scored below the average and if a title challenge is to be the ambition, he’ll need his defenders to start keeping clean sheets and the likes of Joe Allen to get back to that scintillating form. So we turn to FlyOnTheWingsOfLove & Micky Lough to try and restore some pride to the ranks but, after a misplaced captaincy, they’ve fallen 13 places to 54th. The three strikers for FOTWOL were Defoe, Lukaku & Ibrahimovic and Lukaku’s lack of goals will have had Micky banging his head against the wall, as his captain did nothing.

Outside of the top 100 are three writers teams separated by just 5 points. Progress was made by 50 Shades Of O’Shea, Dan Parker’s team, as well as my mob - Champagne Papy Bodji. In 127th & 130th, respectively, both of us scored 12 points each from our captain - Sergio Aguero. Defoe & Firmino were Dan’s other main earners, where as I profited from Costa, Hazard & Coutinho.

Both me and Dan will be feeling pretty pleased with ourselves for moving up the table but James Henchard will be disappointed, as Blackended Roar Mass plummeted to 147th after being 109th last week. Just like Micky, James will be frustrated at making the wrong striker his captain after Aguero & Charlie Austin got goals but neither had the chance of scoring those precious double points. That faith was put in Wilfried Bony, who failed to get on the scoresheet away to West Ham, and Coutinho’s fine performance for Liverpool wasn’t enough for The Mass to amass enough points to break into the double figures places.

That cluster of three teams are still harbouring dreams of making it into double figures but Tom Atkinson & Carl Purvis are having to set their sights a little lower. In 223rd, Sunlun were another team to score below the average total as Eden Hazard was Tom’s only big earner. There was yet another low scoring captain in this team, with Troy Deeney only bringing in 4 points, but a converted penalty from Charlie Austin, added to a Mesut Ozil assist, still gave stateside Tom something to smile about. Not far behind are Crystal Phallus, as goals from Costa, Aguero & Coutinho wasn’t enough to keep Carl’s side from falling a few rungs down the ladder. A defence that leaked goals all over the shop played a big part in that, Fraser Forster & Virgil van Dijk the main culprits in Southampton’s capitulation away to Hull.

Even the further we go down in the writers table, things don’t get much better. Team Simon were another to lose ground, sliding to 268th. Both strikers, Jermain Defoe & Harry Kane, brought in decent totals due to converting penalties but Defoe’s assist also meant he was a great choice for captain. There wasn’t much to write home after that though, Jordan Pickford being Simon’s next best scorer with only 4. It seems that Karl Maguire’s progression last week may have been a false dawn as Steel Panthers reverted to type. To be fair, 54 points was 2 above the average, so Karl is pretty unlucky to fall to 278th and I do feel pretty bad for recommending that he get rid of the “injured” Robert Snodgrass, as he came off the bench and scored. Sorry, Karl! Still, Lallana & Coutinho did the business in midfield, while Aguero & Costa settled things up front.

Who To Pick Next Week

It’s the usual disclaimer - Don’t rush in and make your transfers now, wait until everyone returns from international duty. You just know if you pick someone now, they’ll get crocked in a meaningless friendly.

Crystal Palace are in a terrible run of form at the moment and it could be an awful time for them to come up against Manchester City. It may be obvious to suggest some of Pep Guardiola’s charges but there’s still some real value for money in the City side. John Stones is becoming a main stay in the defence and his price is still reasonable (in fantasy land, that is) at £5M. Good potential for a clean sheet here and given Palace’s vulnerabilities on set pieces, he isn’t a bad shout for a goal either.

I think it’ll be a similar story when Swansea travel to Everton, with the home side eager to put the disappointment of that heavy defeat at Stamford Bridge behind them. Even though he’s scored 39 points so far this season, Yannick Bolasie is still only £6.1M. Bizarrely, not many people have selected him, having only been snapped up by 6.4% players, so a high potential of goals and assists here could see you score where your competitors don’t.

Dare I say it? Is it safe to recommend Sunderland players? I hate putting my faith in The Lads when it comes to this, given they get more than enough of that in the real world. I’m not saying we’ll beat Hull City but I can’t see us not scoring at least once and you can always rely on Jermain Defoe. It’s crazy how the boy Defoe has scored 61 points in a side struggling so much and he’ll probably keep to that trend through out the season, whatever Sunderland’s failings may be. He’s not cheap at £7.3M though so, if you’re on a budget and maybe want someone just as cover, why not go for his new strike partner - Victor Anichebe? You probably shouldn’t do that but I’ll respect you so much if you take that gamble.