GW15 saw the inevitable happen. After last weeks FFUK the Music – Jamie Vardy Special, the most in form striker in the league stopped scoring (Goals that is, he still managed an assist)! Luckily for Leicester his wingman stepped up and bagged a hat-trick. Riyad Mahrez is the most owned player in the game and the highest scoring. The former Le Havre winger rewarded his 61.6% ownership with 21 points, his best score of the season, his 7th double figure haul & with 10 goals and 6 assists already the Algerian looks like a must have considering his price. In fact has anyone not got him in their side? If you are one of those, console yourself that there were 128,000 managers overall who had him on their bench in FPL and missed out on his points. The fixtures stiffen imminently for the Foxes but only a fool would bet against further attacking returns for either of Leicester’s danger men.
Elsewhere in the Premier League, Stoke-alona humbled a lacklustre City side, Swansea look doomed and Watford continue their remarkable run outclassing a toothless Norwich. Tony Pulis’ WBA side held off Spurs, who remain unbeaten in 14 games! Remi Garde’s remodelled Villa managed a point against Southampton who look to have gone off the boil, whilst Man Utd & West Ham served up a bore draw. Newcastle obviously listened to Alan Shearer’s recent criticism and, inspired by Giorginio Wijnaldum, managed to beat Klopp’s Liverpool side, only the 2nd loss since his arrival. Lukaku’s late goal salvaged a draw at home against Palace after the Eagles had gone ahead through Scott Dann who loves scoring in Merseyside. Oh yeah, and Bournemouth won.
The 2nd best FPL scoring player (after Mahrez) this week was Marco Arnautovic, playing up front with Bojan & Shaquiri, all 3 of them made City’s big money signings look very average indeed. The Austrian’s 2 goals took him to 5 for the season so far but it could easily have been more as the 2-0 scoreline perhaps flattered City who’s most dangerous player was their left back Kolarov.
Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo are both firmly in the top 5 scoring fwds for the season. A quite remarkable feat and they continue to put the high priced forwards to shame. Ighalo has now scored 25 goals in 2015 meaning the Nigerian international is the top scorer across all 4 leagues in the country.
At the back there were more clean sheets around this week and those managers with defenders from Stoke, Man Utd, West Ham, Leicester, Watford, Bournemouth & even Newcastle were rewarded with clean sheet points.
What does this all mean for the FFUK league?
Toby Glicher (1st) remains at the summit with 71 points, he obviously read my review last week and decided to bring an Arsenal player in, luckily for him he went for Aaron Ramsay who managed to score his 1st goal of the season, along with an assist and the inevitable 3 bonus. The former Cardiff man gave us a timely reminder of the sort of form we got used to a couple of seasons ago. When you’re at the top its decisions like this that make the difference and leave the rest trailing in your wake. Bravo Toby.
The only manager in the top 10 to beat Toby’s GW score was Yabah Turnbull (10th) who continued his own incredible recent form with 82 points (top GW scorer this week), his returns were nicely spread around his team with Vardy, Ighalo, Lukaku & Ozil (c) all getting attacking points, Yabah’s luck was in as Mahrez came off the bench replacing the injured Coutinho, whilst at the same time Darmian, Toby & Gomes all managed defensive returns.
However it wasnt such a profitable GW for James Page Chatton (6th) who managed just 35 points from his first XI, the lowest weekly score on page 1, yet he had 42 points sitting on his bench. Another squad that tests the Depth Vs Balance argument theory. However, there is no arguing his squad looks strong going forward but the question remains… will James select the correct starting XI next week?
Paul Monger (11th) saw his recent formidable run of form halted with just 46 points scored this week, Paul will be ruing his decision to go with KDB (c).
On the other side of the coin, further down the first page, we find Robert Browne (28th) who managed a whopping 81 points, thanks to his selection of Mahrez (c) along with Dann autosubbing for Coutinho.
Neil Gordon (35th), Dan Calabrese (36th) & Andy Craig (37th) all amassed 77 points this week but it was perhaps Dan who caught the eye with his inspired decision to bring in Arnautovic just a week before. Look out for who Dan brings in this week? Can he repeat the magic?
Graeme Letts (50th) sneaks onto Page 1 with 64 points despite going for Willian (c), perhaps the safer pick of Ozil would have made more sense, but its a lot easier to make these decisions in hindsight.
As we look forward to GW16, there are plenty of European games in the next few days to help/cloud our decision making process. My teams’s rear guard needs attention and with that I must go off on a Champions League defensive scouting mission.
Wish me luck.