Leaders & High Scorers
The appropriately named Tiptopoftheleague went to the top this week with 93 points being enough to displace Stu Howarth's Mackem Boys.
Managing the new leaders is David Tipling and he, along with many others, will have been tipping his hat at the sight of Alexis Sanchez's hattrick. Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Christian Eriksen also brought in big scores, so it didn't matter when his defenders returned a combined two points.
It was a very high scoring week, with many teams reaching the 80's and 90's in their weekly totals, but no one brought in as many points as Paul Heaney. The Sanddancers racked up 110 points and there’s no prizes for guessing who earned 46 of those. Costa, Hazard and Jermain Defoe also grabbed goals but there were further points earned in defence. Clean sheets from Ben Gibson and Jan Vertonghen saw them score a combined 14 and Jonny Evans got on the score sheet from West Brom, seeing him bring 9 in. A very good overall week for Paul's team.
Down The Bottom
There has been no change in last place - Anthony Bunney's Clamiddlesbrough still prop up the table. It was quite an unlucky weekend for Anthony, in fairness, with a couple of his players being forced off injured during their games. It meant Yannick Bolasie and Pedro couldn't make as a big an impact as they'd like but there was some joy when Diego Costa hit the back of the net for Chelsea. If only he'd given Costa the captaincy, as it was very much wasted on Roberto Firmino who only scored 4 after having his points doubled.
They're not the only team getting slated though. The worst performance this week was from All You Need Is Love, scoring 22 points in a week where the average was 50. Let's get the positive out of the way early - Zlatan as captain was a decent shout, bringing in 14 points on his own. After that though, dear me. Two players with 0. Two with 2. Three single points. Even two in minus figures.
Keir Bradwell will be furious that Thibaut Courtois was his second highest scorer with 3. If Keir hasn't played his wildcard, it might be time to.
The Roker Report Team
Remember when Jim Holmes had a bit of wobble a few weeks ago? It's a good job we never doubted him because Giroud - Sandstorm are up to 7th! Another manager to have Sanchez wearing the armband and he earned over half of Jim's weekly total of 91 points. Callum Wilson and Diego Costa did the business up front, so Sergio Aguero's nightmare afternoon was nothing more than a minor inconvenience.
In fairly close proximity we find Blackended Roar Mass and 50 Shades Of O'Shea. James Henchard's Mass are 110th, moving up this week and they can mainly thank Jermain Defoe for that. Spurs also did James a good turn, with Kyle Walker and Hueng-Min Son in his team and Jonny Evans' goal gave him the 9 points he needed to score above the weekly average. As for Dan Parker’s 50 Shades, they matched the weekly average but a different choice of captain would have made this a much better week. Dan had Defoe, Son and Ozil, all of whom scored high, but he opted for Firmino, saw a good opportunity go begging and slipped to 114th.
Micky Lough fell 22 places last week and it got even worse for FlyOnTheWingsOfLove this time out. It was less a fall, more an avalanche with Micky's team going from 102nd to 158th in Gameweek 14! Two strikers who scored, Defoe and Ibrahimovic, but it was Lukaku who Micky had as captain. Cruel. Funny, but still cruel. There were also four players in this team scoring 0, so 9 from Dele Ali and 6 from Danny Rose couldn't really arrest the slide. This is Alan Pardew-esque stuff from FOTWL and they'll have to hope that, just like Pards, they turn it around.
I took a gamble that didn't pay off this week and it saw me move down a few places to 171st. I thought I'd be clever and hope Marcos Alonso kept a clean sheet and got a goal and/or assist, potentially making him a shrewd choice as captain. He got the assist but that only saw him score 12 and, considering the rest of my teams performance, I needed more than that. Champagne Papy Bodji had joy through a couple more Chelsea players, Hazard and Costa, while Kyle Walker being part of a Tottenham defence that kept Swansea out saw him score 7 points. Not terrible, but not great either.
Moving into our mini league just outside the top 200 and Tom Atkinson's Sunlun have moved into touching distance of breaking out of it. They're in 213th and a good week in midfield was the main factor in them moving up the table. Ozil (captain), Mane, Hazard and Son all scoring high for Tom. Not far behind in 220th is Crystal Phallus who had a poor outing, scoring a lowly 34 points. A different captain would have given Carl Purvis a boost, since Aguero went into minus figures this week. A better choice would have been either Mane or Costa, who scored 11 and 12 respectively.
It was a canny little week for Simon Fenton's Team Simon, soaring 20 places up the table to 228th. Defoe, Kane and Eriksen were the boys as they collectively scored 49 points but bit more defensive solidity would have been nice for Si. None of his defenders kept clean sheet, but still a good weekly total of 65 points. Karl Maguire managed to move up a few positions last week but that form proved to be temporary, with Steel Panthers falling out of the top 300 in 312th. Another team that would have benefited from a change of captaincy due to Aguero being the man tasked with earning double points. Costa, Alonso and Rose did well but it was low totals from everyone else in Karl’s ranks.
It was a nightmare of a week for Gav, scoring just 30 points which pushed Ice Cream Kone down to 321st, only 8 places from the bottom. The downfall came from Gav playing his "all out attack" card, which moved high scorer Jonny Evans onto the bench. Only Mesut Ozil scored any significant points in the 5 man midfield and it was the same for Jermain Defoe in the front three.
When asked for a response on such a dreadful week Gav said "I don't even know what all out attack means, I just picked it because I'm thick as f*ck."
We agree, Gav. We agree.
Who To Pick This Week
Well, the recommendations for last week were all pretty astute, with all three recommended players getting on the score sheet.
So, even though my team aren't doing very well, you better listen to me.
That being said, I'm going to give Sunderland the kiss of death by recommending Jermain Defoe and Victor Anichebe. Many of us will be transferring Sergio Aguero out this week, given his 4 match ban, so use your cash windfall wisely. Defoe is the second best striker in the game this season and, for a striker, he's fairly cheap at £7.7M. If you need to be a bit more stingy with your cash though, Big Vic is only £4.7M and has only been chosen by just over 4% of managers. With The Lads travelling to a Swansea team leaking goals all over the shop, you'd expect Defoe and Cheebs to be getting plenty of chances. Maybe it's time rely on Sunderland players to bag you some points.
You can also use your Aguero money to shore up the defence, if you have more than one transfer to play with. If you do have money to burn, use it and get Chelsea defenders in as soon as possible. Antonio Conte's side aren't conceding many and the likes of Marcos Alonso (£6.2M) and David Luiz (£6.1M) aren't bad shouts for goals/assists either. They take on West Bromwich Albion at home on Saturday and, despite The Baggies good form, you'd still expect Chelsea to keep them out.
Liverpool will be wanting to put the horror of their collapse against Bournemouth behind them, when they take on a desperate West Ham United. I'm surprised Adam Lallana is still only £7M given how well he's performed this season and not many managers have taken the plunge on him either. The England international has only been selected by 7.6% of us, so you'd certainly be earning points where others aren't if he does well against The Hammers.