Leaders & High Scorers
Oliver’s Army have been hovering around the upper echelons all season, so Oliver Crosby will be delighted to see his mob take first place this week. He may not have given his highest points scorer, Romelu Lukaku, the captaincy but Diego Costa donning the armband still made a big contribution to his weekly score of 64 points.
There was bad news for Stu Howarth as the leagues most consistent player plummeted to 8th, so Mackem Boys have some work to do if they want to keep challenging the cream of the crop.
Another team with Costa as their captain was Heslop’s Heroes. David Heslop used his triple captain option on the Chelsea frontman, a key reason on Dave being the week's highest scorer. 81 points earns him the plaudits, with Sadio Mane, Wilfied Zaha, Romelu Lukaku and David De Gea also scoring highly. Heroes indeed.
Down The Bottom & Low Scorers
For the third week running Clamiddlesbrough are bottom of the pile. 40 points scored wasn’t bad from Anthony Bunney and he’s only 4 points off the team above him, so he’ll be hoping for a change after the round of midweek games. He’ll get there soon if Costa and Lukaku keep up their form in front of goal, I’m sure.
While we’re being forgiving towards Anthony, we’re certainly not doing the same for Astro Felines. I mean, 15 points. Come on! It was a travesty in defence with two players scoring zeros (Jason Denayer and John Stones) and three just scoring just one each (Jordan Pickford, Kyle Walker and Danny Rose). It obviously didn’t get any better at the other end of the pitch with Jermain Defoe, Shinji Okazaki and Troy Deeney all drawing blanks. The best performer in the week's worst team was Eden Hazard, scoring a measly three.
The Roker Report Team
Staying exactly where he was last week, Jim Holmes’ Giroud Sandstorm hold firm in 7th. The midfield trio were all on song for Jim, with Alexis Sanchez, Robert Snodgrass and Sadio Mane all combining to earn 28 points. Leaving Sergio Aguero in raised an eyebrow for me though, unless Jim had a few injuries to deal with and is letting Aguero bide in his team until he’s served his suspension. I hope that’s the case, at least.
You’ve got to look a long way down to find the next writer, all the way down to 100th, to be precise. 50 Shades Of O’Shea shifted up there due to the work of Costa, Zaha and Mesut Ozil, as Dan Parker scored 60 overall and will be looking to establish himself in the top century of teams. Also moving up was Micky Lough’s FlyOnTheWingsOfLove, as they went up to 125th via good showings at both ends of the pitch. Romelu Lukaku as captain was a fine choice, while Gary Cahill, Virgil van Dijk and David De Gea did the business at the back.
Despite some high scores in the midfield, it was a poor weekend for Blackended Roar Mass. Theo Walcott and Dimitri Payet’s goals brought in 16 points but the rest of James Henchard’s men only collectively earned a further 17. They slip to 143rd. You wont catch Tom Atkinson being disappointed in his charges this week though, after Sunlun scored 64 points and leapt to 180th. A goal from Mesut Ozil meant the captaincy was well utilised, while Lukaku and Van Dijk also brought in significant totals.
Lovely stuff from Carl Purvis as well, jumping up 22 places to 198th. Crystal Phallus were consistent all across the park and can thank Southampton for keeping a clean sheet against Middlesbrough, since Ben Foster and Van Dijk were part of Carl’s defence. The stars in the middle were Mane & Walcott, with Costa and Lukaku leading the charge up front. If only the captaincy hadn’t been given to Defoe (there’s more heartache on that one to come) then it would been even better.
I hate myself. My team did terribly and I fell out of the top 200, to 208th. To make matters worse for Champagne Papy Bodji, I put my faith in Jermain Defoe and didn’t just make him my captain - I played my triple captain. So that compounded my post match misery quite nicely. That leaves Steel Panthers not far behind me, in 226th. They were struggling a few weeks ago but Karl Maguire is turning things around and the progression will continue if his team all put in displays like this. The main scorers for Karl were Costa, Lukaku, Sanchez and Snodgrass, with Lallana, Alonso and De Gea also doing well.
It was comforting to see Team Simon also do just a bad, as I did. There was only one goal in Simon Fenton’s side, from Dimitri Payet, and Virgil Van Dijk was the only other player to score above 2 points. It’s hardly a surprise that Simon’s lads move down to 242nd. It could be worse for all of us though, we could be Gav. Ice Cream Kone are 317th but they did have a pretty good week, scoring 50 points. Gav is another who’ll be hailing Lukaku, Ozil and De Gea but Gary Cahill also scored a nice 7 points.
Who To Pick This Week
A midweek round of fixtures always catches people out, so make sure you get your team sorted in time!
Scoring twice against Everton, Watford’s Stefano Okaka may be in confident mood against Manchester City’s leaky defence. Okaka is fairly cheap at £5.3M and if you have a little more to spend you can bring in Troy Deeny £6.8M if you fancy him instead. Watford may not beat Manchester City but, at the moment, you can certainly see them bagging a goal or two.
Burnley have been good at home this season but it’s a totally different story for them away from Turf Moor. They don’t score many and they’ve shipped goals. So you can look to West Ham for both defenders and attackers in the midweek games. Defenders may not be good long term shouts from The Hammers but Winston Reid will see you through this week if you have £5M to spare. Down the other end, you can of course splash the cash on Dimitri Payet (£9.1M) or opt for Michail Antonio (£6.7M) if your budget is a bit tighter.
On a similar note, look at any of Tottenham’s regulars as they host Hull. If Spurs play like they did against Swansea, they’ll create a lot of chances while making sure the visitors don’t harm them. I’ve recommended him a lot but I still think Hueng-Min Son is a bargain at £7.3M and not many managers are taking the plunge on him, being selected by only 7.6%. It’s a good game if you want to make a goalkeeping alternation too, with Hugo Lloris available at £5.5M.