Who Are The Leaders & High Scorers?
Apologies if your team did well in the midweek round of games and you thought you’d be getting featured here. But, you know, I have a job and that and therefore only a finite amount of time to write about fictional soccer.
Things have changed at the top of the league since last weekend and it’s a familiar face in first place. Nakhon Ratchasima have made a return to leading proceedings after a weekend where they were also the highest scorer. A total of 86 points were scored by Adam Woodward and it was the Sunderland defence where his star men were. A clean sheet for Jordan Pickford and Patrick van Aanholt, added to the Dutchman’s goal, meant it was a rare occasion of someone doing well from Sunderland players, who weren’t Jermain Defoe. The fact that it was defenders makes it all the more shocking.
It wasn’t just those two players who scored highly for Adam’s high scoring table toppers though. Up front he had goals from Diego Costa and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a couple from the midfield via Joe Allen and Sadio Mane and another clean sheet from Marcos Alonso. Adam’s team are only top by a point and with games coming thick and fast over Christmas, it could all change.
Who Is Down At The Bottom?
Oh come on man, Anthony. I’m sick of seeing you at the bottom. Your team, Clamiddlesbrough, have a silly name but you can’t anchor yourself to the bottom of the league and still think it’s fine to be frivolous. I know you keep having decent weeks but there’s a lot of work for you to do so you have to do better than “decent.”
It won’t be decency that gets Sunderland out of the relegation battle. No, it’ll be acts of total bastardy and flashes of flair. BUT, if Costa, Rose, Alonso &and Sterling keep having weeks like this, you’ll find your way off the bottom.
Then again, I said similar things last week, and look where we are now.
An honourable mention to Joshua Kell’s Resinlegs FC who managed to score 30 points despite having seven players in his squad either injured or suspended. Start paying attention, Josh. Even though it’s highly unlikely that you’re reading this.
How Are The Roker Report Team Doing?
Jim Holmes will never not be in 7th place. There’s no point in trying to get Giroud - Sandstorm any higher, because they seem to live in 7th. 7th is their home. An assist coupled with a clean sheet for Cesar Azpilicueta made him Jim’s leading light, with high totals also brought in by Sadio Mane and Jordan Pickford.
50 Shades Of O’Shea are continuing their surge up the table, as Dan Parker scored 68 points this past weekend and went up to 44th. One of many Van Aanholt beneficiaries, Dan also got 10 points from his captain, Jermain Defoe, making PVA’s goal. It was another left back brining in big points in this team too, this time through Danny Rose’s goal against Burnley.
Micky Lough has climbed back into the top 100. FlyOnTheWingsOfLove now reside in 97th and they can mainly thank Zlatan, Gary Cahill, Dele Ali & Danny Rose for that. If only Micky hadn’t given Lukaku the armband and he may have got his team into a more comfortable position in the top century of teams.
The rest of us look pretty crap in comparison and you need to get your binoculars out to find the next writers team. That team would be Tom Atkinson’s Sunlun, all the way down in 166th. It wasn’t a week to remember for our stateside exile, with none of his strikers scoring and only Mane doing anything of note in the midfield. Some consolation in the defence though, a pair of Nathan’s (Clyne & Ake) combining to score 15 points. in 182nd, Blackended Roar Mass aren’t too far behind and, you’ve guessed it, Patrick van Aanholt was James Henchard’s best player in Gameweek 17. James used his triple captain on Jermain Defoe which also brought in a canny 15 points and was certainly better than when I used mine on the same player last week.
I recovered from my appalling display last weekend by almost getting Champagne Papy Bodji back in the top 200. I made a sensible choice by giving Diego Costa the captaincy and a goal from Raheem Sterling was nice to see after he’d been useless for me over the last few weeks. Carl Purvis is only 10 points behind my team, in 211th, and he also played it safe by instilling Costa as captain. More goals for Crystal Phallus came from Mane and Walcott, while Lamine Kone kept things tight at the back.
Three Sunderland players in the Team Simon squad and they were the only ones to bring in any significant scores. Jordan Pickford & Lamine Kone would have been marginally better shouts for captain than Jermain Defoe but none of them could make up for Simon having a poor weekend and slipping to 259th. It was a similar story for Karl Maguire, as Steel Panthers scored only just above the weekly average and fell to 265th. Players such as Costa, Alonso, Sanchez & Walker provided consistency but there was no big scorer for Karl and, in this particular Gameweek, that’s fatal.
Still bottom of us all though, is Gav. All the way, way, way, way, way down in 319th. Ice Cream Kone had Pickford on the bench for gods sake man. I know David De Gea only scored two less but when you’re that low down, you need every point you can get. A Gary Cahill clean sheet was as good as it got here and that says everything.
Who To Pick Next Week
Diego Costa is suspended for Chelsea’s Boxing Day game at home to Bournemouth, so many of us will be looking to make a changes up front. Salomon Rondon has been pretty consistent for West Bromwich Albion this season and even though Tony Pulis’ side travel to Arsenal, there still could be joy for the Albion centre forward. Even if you’re not looking to replace Costa and need an affordable reinforcement up front, Rondon could be your man for just £6.6M.
Middlesbrough have only won once away from home all season. We all know who that was against and, given our form at the time, that isn’t a particularly big achievement. They go to Burnley on Boxing Day, a team who are making their home a fortress. So it would be a good time to draft in Tom Heaton (£4.8M) or add a cheap attacking dynamic to your midfield with Jeff Hendrick (£5.4M).
With Jamie Vardy suspended (at the time of writing, at least) it could be worth looking at Leonardo Ulloa after he came on and scored in Leicester’s valiant 2-2 draw away to Stoke. At home to an Everton side who have quite the penchant for conceding, Ulloa could be in for a belated Christmas present or two and he’s a player who could score you points where other players haven’t, since he’s only been selected by 0.2% of managers.