PROBING THE TOP TEN – PART 2

For Part 1, which discusses the current Top Ten, click here

This was written across the Gameweeks 25 and 26 so apologies for any slight discrepancies. There was only one mover after Gameweek 26 as Yabah Turnbull was replaced by Mark Tarbox in the Top Ten. But anyway.

 

The Best of the Rest 

There are a number of players who have been in and around the Top Ten for a significant period, they may have been in and out, but generally they are there or thereabouts.

 

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Mark Tarbox was 14th in the league at the time of writing, but now you will see he is in 10th place. Certainly someone who I’d describe as a bit of a maverick, Mark has profited from repeatedly captaining Ozil when everyone else is picking the wrong one out of Aguero and Kane. How about this for a stat? Mark has captained Ozil 9 times since gameweek 15, that’s 9 out of 12 weeks (and one gameweek Ozil didn’t play). Everyone thinks Mark’s mental, but he’s not; his bullish captain decision has contributed heavily to his current position. Over that period, 11 matches, Ozil has blanked 5 times, almost 50% of the time, which doesn’t sound great. But conversely, that means Mark’s captain choice is successful more than half the time. I think my rate is about 1 in 3 or 4… Its certainly an argument for keeping the armband on the same player every week.

Matt Cox (13th) has arguably enjoyed more cup success than league success this season but Matt has been in the Top Ten for 8 weeks across the season and currently sits in 13th place which is not too shabby at all. Coxy has his wildcard and a couple of chips still in the bank and is just a week away from a place in the FFUK semi-finals. Will a chip come out for Gameweek 27?

Nick Wilkins (16th) is another who’s been licking round the edges of the Top Ten bowl for most of the season. Back in October Nick got as high as 2nd in the league but has since settled in the Top 20.

Steven Powton’s COYS (26th) have had a rough ride. Steven enjoyed Top Ten success back in September but has been a bit up and down since then. Looking at this team it is difficult to fault and he is a player with a full deck of chips at his disposal. The gap to 10th place is currently 60 points so a high finish may be a big ask, but anything can happen.

Finally Jonathan Britcher (now 14th) has always been up in the Top 20, and  early in the season enjoyed 8 weeks in the Top Ten with a highest place of 3rd. We’ll have to see if Britcher can fight away the challengers in the coming months.

Did I forget anyone?

Oh yes, I did. Let’s have a look at the fallers.

 

The Fallers 

It’s a funny thing, this season particularly, being in a position to banter with blokes you’ve never met before, but surely that is part of the beauty of football. So while I feel bad doing it, I’m sure it’s only right to poke a bit at those that have had a fall from grace, I’m sure they will enjoy it.

Duncan Hannigan (12th) was one of the people that inspired me to write this article, it just happened that the same gameweek Duncan mentioned it he experienced a catastrophe and dropped out of the Top Ten after some 14 weeks in the mix. Oh dear. Yes, Duncan who was Number One back in Gameweek 10 was amongst the worst scorers in Gameweek 24 meaning that he dropped from 9th to 17th in the league. This was a week when everyone else was scoring 50s or 60s, even 70s and 80s, while Duncan only managed 35 points. Duncan quickly remedied this with a very natty wildcard, as the worst score in Gameweek 24, Duncan was the second highest score in the Top 50 the following week. I wouldn’t begin to write off Duncan for a second and especially as there is a long way to go.

Vivaek Venkat’s current league position (29th) feels like a bit of a misnomer to me. This is a player who had sustained Top Ten success for 13 weeks but has been slipping recently. Vivaek has an unorthodox approach, always with a differential or two in the side, and playing a 3-5-2 formation for most of the season. This has worked very well, and Vivaek has been as high as 2nd in the league. Vivaek has won prizes with FFUK before and is certainly not one to rule out.

A quick mention to John Gordon (101st) who was top of the league for a couple of weeks early on and was in the Top Ten for some time. Now out of the Top 100 it may be that John is already strategizing for next season.

And to JPC.

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James Page-Chatton (27th) blazed trails for what seemed like forever at the start of the season. Top of the league for 2 weeks and in the Top Ten for a further 7 weeks, JPC’s team was so good that for weeks James put all his scoring players on his bench. His best bench score of 43 points is crazy, that’s an ok week on its own, but James has also benched 25 points, 20 points, 20 points and so on. Prior to the downturn James was hitting among the best weekly scores so no one can say what changed really. Chris might argue something to do with balance, that just having too many good players in the squad makes selection difficult, but this season doesn’t seem to be a season for Victor Wanyamas on the bench.

Don’t worry, it’s almost done, just time to mention some of the one hit wonders.

 

One Hit Wonders!  

You may detect my excitement as I am about to mention the prowess of both Chris and myself but first a mention to Paul Monger (47th). Paul was in the Top Ten a couple of times across the Autumn months but has since slipped right down to the latter places of the Page 1.

Now, I may have omitted one or two players but in the most part, the Top Ten has been pretty consolidated all season. Turnbull, Glicher, Baker, Packham, Kelly and Hannigan have been in there for most of the season. The risers have entered and even consolidated, and some of the fallers have fallen too far. The best of the rest are guaranteed to stake their claims over the coming weeks and I could not be more excited to see how it all pans out. Which brings me to…

Me

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Peter Cronin (18th) is gutted that he didn’t photograph the league table back in Gameweek 13. Yes, for one glorious week I was in the Top Ten, when I rose as high as 8th. Shame it went awry almost instantly and left me grappling for a sense of perspective around 20th place where I have been almost ever since. Last week I realised that I had lost focus of the big prize, which is not the league, the cup, the Best Month, or the Best Gameweek. The big prize for me, is beating Chris.

Chris Galloway (22nd) has been a place or two in front or behind me for the entire season. I am desperate to just shake him off. I don’t think we copy eachother, if anything, we actively don’t. Early in the season Chris refused to put Vardy in his team because I had him. I complimented this by not putting Lukaku in my team because Chris had him. Between us we seem to have done ok but not really smashed it. Chris was in the Top Ten for two weeks, Gameweeks 9 and 14. Nothing compares to this battle. It’s like Stoke City versus… the other team in Stoke. Port Vale. No. Hmm. Maybe that’s not right. Sheffield United v Sheffield Wednesday? It’s definitely not like Man Utd v Man City and not at all like Everton v Liverpool. Oh I don’t know.

Chris, like a little squirrel, still has all his chips, and a wildcard, and is one of only 7 players in the Top 50 to be in that position. Unfortunately for Chris I have thrown away all hope of league success in favour of simply beating him, so he may find that if he doesn’t keep his eye on the ball he’ll backheel it straight to my feet. It’s been a big season for both of us so far and I think it will get bigger; navigating the form, the injuries and the transfers will be key. But I’m watching Chris. Chris is a squirrel. I am a hawk. Do hawks eat squirrels? Squirrels have nuts. Who knows who will win.

As always best of luck to one and all for the season!

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