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The Roker Report Fantasy League - Week #5

It’s taken five weeks but we have two writers flying high and a team making a serious effort to make top spot their own. We also recommend who to pick this week so step into the The Roker Report Fantasy League.

Watford v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Leaders & High Scorers

Top of the league for a second week running are Mackem Boys, managed by Stu Howorth, on 333 points. Stu is 18 points ahead of Bryan Gilliland’s Ha’way The Lads, taking inspiration from Romelu Lukaku’s hattrick against Sunderland by making him his captain for Everton’s game against Middlesbrough. A goal and an assist from the Belgian made it a good weekend for him, further aided by Etienne Capoue and Diego Costa finding the net.

The highest scorer in the league this week Dave Hartley’s auld timers who showed no signs of ageing as they earned 87 points! A Lukaku captaincy, goals from Jamie Vardy & Capoue, a goal and an assist from Andros Townsend, two assists from Dimitri Payet, an assist from Dusan Tadic and clean sheets from Tody Alderweireld & Wes Morgan meant Dave scored points all over the pitch. A complete team performance.

Rock Bottom

Connor Strong’s Bains On Toast find themselves rooted to the bottom this week. A Zlatan Ibrahimovic assist meant Connor’s captain wasn’t wasted but after that, Philippe Coutinho was his only player of note to earn any serious points. In fact, two players in this team even managed to make it into negative points! Adnan Januzaj’s sending off plunged him into minus figures, while Adam Smith’s four goals conceded and yellow card earned him a similar fate.

The Roker Report Team

Bloody hell we were buzzing that we had one writer in the top 100 last week and now we have two! Not only that, Jim Holmes Giroud - Sandstorm are mounting a title challenge in 25th place! A goal and an assist from Kevin De Bruyne made him a great choice as captain, earning him 28 points out of his weekly total of 70. Our other Roker Reporter in the top 100 is FlyOnTheWingsOfLove who are charged by Michael Lough, another player to reap the rewards of Romelu. After that, it was just modest returns around the rest of the pitch with Virgil van Dijk bringing in 7 points, Alderweireld 6 and Nemanja Matic 5, to name a few.

Between 100th and 200th, you’ll find Carl Purvis’ Crystal Phallus and my Champagne Papy Bodji team in 122nd and 196th, respectively. We both went for Ibrahimovic as captain but we both could have scored higher if we went for another player in that game as our captain - Etienne Capoue. I also was rewarded for the Raheem revival at Manchester City but it was still a pretty average game week for both me and Carl.

Not that far behind me in 208th is Tom Atkinson’s Sunlun who had a pretty impressive week as they earned 63 points overall. Tom obviously didn’t have much faith in our defence, and who can blame him, as made Harry Kane his captain but there was also defensive solidity from Van Dijk, Ben Foster and Bacary Sagna. Just seven places below and you’ll find 50 Shades Of O’Shea, managed by Dan Parker who will be kicking himself for choosing Mesut Ozil as his captain instead of Kevin De Bruyne.

After noting that James Henchard’s Blackended Roar Mass were in decline after being an early pace setter last week, the freefall continues as they now find themselves in 249th. A collective 26 points from Ibrahimovic, Kelechi Iheanacho & Marko Arnautovic was impressive but the other eight players in James team only brought in a combined 15. Just like James, Karl Maguire was doing well a few weeks ago but Steel Panthers now just about clinging onto their place in the top 200. A misplaced captaincy was a big frustration for Karl, who opted for Zlatan over Lukaku. Even Kyle Walker, who scored 8 points, would have been a better choice for him

Down the bottom of the writers table are the usual suspect - Gavin Henderson and Simon Fenton. Vindication for Simon though as Team Simon improved enough to not be included in the strugglers section, finding himself at the dizzy height of 317th. He can mainly thank Harry Kane for that, who would have been a better choice as captain ahead of Jermain Defoe. Just 9 places ahead of Simon, is Gav’s Ice Cream Kone who had a pretty low scoring week with only 33 points. Etienne Capoue and Virgil van Dijk accounting for half his earnings.

Who To Pick This Week

If you need attackers this week then I’d be looking at players from Southampton and West Brom. Both do play away from home but they’re playing sides who are shipping goals for fun, as they travel to West Ham and Stoke, respectively. West Ham have conceded eight in their last two, so Nathan Redmond (£6m) has an excellent chance of scoring while Dusan Tadic (£7.3m) could well be the man to provide the assist. As for WBA, you could have similar combo with Nacar Chadli (£6.4m) & Solomon Rondon (£6.5m) as Tony Pulis tries to show Stoke just what they’re missing by grinding out a 1-0 win.

No team has conceded less goals than Tottenham this season with Mauricio Pochettino’s defenders only allowing the opposition in twice. Spurs boast the tightest defence in the league and I can’t see Middlesbrough causing them too many problems, when they travel to the Riverside. So if you have have some money in the bank, a Tottenham defender will be a wise investment, not just for this weekend, but for the season as a whole. Jan Vertonghen is still very reasonably priced at £5.5 million but if you have a little more you could plump for Kyle Walker at £5.8 million, who’ll probably grab you some assists as the season progresses.