Who Are The Leaders & High Scorers?
Just like Chelsea have made the Premier League top spot their own, Shane Warnes Flipper are doing the same in the RR Fantasy League. A good spine was key to Jonathan Glover’s men staying in first place, with Gareth McAuley getting a goal from the back, Christian Eriksen creating two goals and captain Romelu Lukaku finding the net. One minor disappointment though - Fernando Llorente was sat on the bench, meaning the leaders missed out on a further 7 points due to the Swansea frontman’s equaliser against Chelsea.
The high scorer prize is shared this week and it features one of our writer's teams! Jim Holmes has been far and away the best fantasy manager from the RR team and 96 points this week moved him up to 8th. If you’re going to play your triple captain, you better play it on someone who is going to score a hattrick, which is exactly what Giroud - Sandstorm did, as Harry Kane brought in 60 points on his own. McAuley added a further 10, so as long as the rest of Jim’s lads kept things ticking over, he was always in for a good week.
Jim wasn’t the only one scoring 96 though, he has to share that honour with the maturely named Fatbellywobblebottom. No, this team isn’t managed by Wahbi Khazri, it’s controlled by David Aust, who also had Kane banging in the goals but not as captain, unfortunately. Three Everton defenders meant three clean sheets, while Seamus Coleman also managed an assist and Spurs’ Kyle Walker also kept Stoke out. Coutinho, Alli & Pedro added further goals, giving David a thoroughly good team performance.
Who Is Down The Bottom?
Wow. Just, wow. As the kids like to say - I just can’t even. Three teams scored less than 10 points this weekend! You’ve got Jacks Superstars (bit liberal with the use of the word “superstars” there, Jack) who scored 9 and when I saw that, I thought it couldn’t get any worse. How wrong I was because I hadn’t spotted Jon Mason’s Wearside Warriors yet. With a litany of injured players, players who’ve left the division and ones who simply weren’t playing due to League Cup Final based postponements, he managed to bring in 7.
However, it does get worse. The linchpin of this feature, Keir Bradwell’s All You Need Is Love, are still bottom after scoring 2. Two! Only one player featured for Keir (Thibaut Courtois) and brought in 100% of his points. Exceptionally awful.
How Are The Roker Report Writers Getting On?
Despite none of us reaching the heights Jim did this week, a few of us made a decent go of it. 57 points was enough to take Dan Parker’s 50 Shades Of O’Shea up to 29th, with Eriksen & Coleman the stand out players. Diego Costa finding the net meant he was a good choice as captain and breaking into the top 20 looks a real possibility for Dan. Someone who wont be progressing so much though, is Micky Lough, whose FlyOnTheWingsOfLove side still has Branislav Ivanovic at the back - and I’m not saying anything else on them until that’s altered.
A fairly mediocre week for my team saw them fall three places to 152nd. A score of 51 would be decent most weeks but because Champagne Papy Bodji don’t have Harry Kane in their ranks, they were always going to suffer. Still, goals from Costa, McAuley and captain Lukaku meant it wasn’t a total disaster of a week. I can’t say the same for Karl Maguire though, as Steel Panthers went from 159th to 190th and it was that pesky League Cup Final that caused him bother. He’ll get those fixtures back though, so he’ll have to hope the likes of Zlatan & Sanchez even this week out for him.
Continuing a bit of a slide, Tom Atkinson’s Sunlun dropped out of the top 200 and now find themselves 205th. They can count themselves pretty unlucky though with a few good returns from the likes of Eriksen, Hazard, Costa, Baines and Ashley Williams but, as previously mentioned, this was a week where teams needed that little bit extra. There doesn’t seem to be any issues for Gav finding that extra flair though, after Ice Cream Kone continued their surge up the table. They’re reminding me of when Leicester stayed up under Nigel Pearson but I’m not sure if Gav is an ostrich or not, so it’s not a direct comparison. Kane’s hattrick and Gareth McAuley’s goal contributed 40 points to his haul of 77, putting his team in 210th.
There could be a similar revival on the cards for Blackened Roar Mass too. A whopping 80 points were gained by James Henchard in Gameweek 26, moving his lot up to 241st, and, unsurprisingly, Harry Kane was involved. There were other key contributions though, such as Patrick van Aanholt’s goal and clean sheet, while Pedro, Eriksen & Alli all scored highly from midfield.
It doesn’t look like Team Simon are going to turn their fortunes around any time soon though, as they slipped to 256th because you’re not going to score points from Dimitri Payet, when he now plays for Marseille. It could be Simon Fenton who falls into last place in the writers mini-league too, especially if Carl Purvis keeps up his form. Scoring dead on the average of 45 points, it was enough to move Crystal Phallus to 281st place, with Eriksen & Lukaku taking most of the plaudits.
Who Should I Pick Next Week?
Since the arrival of Paul Clement, Swansea look rejuvenated and Fernando Llorente has benefited immensely from his teams new lease of life. Llorente wasn’t doing too badly earlier in the season, in fairness, but Clement has the Swans playing more to his strengths and a goal last weekend against Chelsea was a testimony to that, as Gylfi Sigurdsson popped the ball perfectly onto his bonce. Facing a Burnley side who we all know don’t fare too well away from Turf Moor, Llorente is a great shout at £6.2M.
I’ve said it a few times this season but how is Juan Mata so cheap?! Only £7.2M and he’s scored almost 90 points! With Manchester United coming off the back of winning The League Cup, you’d expect them to have plenty of momentum behind them when they play Bournemouth at Old Trafford. The form of Eddie Howe’s Cherries is terrible at the moment and, should he start, you’d expect Mata to have a very enjoyable afternoon.
It’s often wise to have strikers in your team who are facing the likes of Hull, Sunderland & Crystal Palace, due to their terrible defensive records, but what about at the other end? Which teams just can’t seem to score? Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last few weeks, you’ll know the answer to that is Middlesbrough. As well as struggling to score, Boro are also pretty terrible away from home so even though they’re travelling to a Stoke side reeling off the back of a 4-0 defeat, it still has the potential to be a difficult afternoon for Karanka & Co. The Potters defence has value all across it, with top points scorer Erik Pieters priced at £4.6M and Bruno Martins Indi only a tad more expensive at £4.9M.