Please note – any places mentioned refer to current FFUK league positions, and reference to points refer to either individual PL players or the mahoosive scores some FFUK players achieved this week!
Suffice to say it’s been a big week. I’ve been excited, even elated, exasperated, completely exhausted, and that was before I got home from my stag do and had a look at my FPL team. The busy schedule means that I’ll be doing this week’s gameweek review as Chris Galloway (12th), who led my stag do last weekend, has had an immensely busy week, starting straight back at work on Monday morning. Working week finished Chris is already on a golf weekend with James Page-Chatton (29th), Daz Russell (48th), Matt Cox (13th) and Daniel Gunner (83rd) and then he gets back, and goes straight off to Amsterdam for his second stag do in two weeks with James Coward (3rd). What was it Chris said about personal life interfering with fantasy football? Still, at least he’ll be schmoozing some FFUK A-listers while he’s away.
So, to Gameweek 34, the biggest gameweek of the season so far, and there have been some mighty big scores. A load of us wildcarded a week or so ago to give ourselves as many players as possible, and a load of people didn’t have that option available, giving some very different looking teams up and down the league. Of course, some fared better than others, in both the wildcard, and non-wildcard camps, and virtually everyone in the Top 50 used a chip of some sort. Out of the finishing Top 50 there were 33 chips played, 11 Triple Captains and 20 Bench Boosts. Strikingly though, some teams chose not to play a chip at all even though they have both available.
Anyway, personally, I was quite surprised by the power of the Triple Captain chip as I thought that Bench Boost was far more worthy. But a big factor in this was that Aguero (who knew?) hit a hat-trick on day one of the gameweek and then Sanchez smashed his 2nd and 3rd goals in on the final night of the gameweek. If Alexis and Sergio hadn’t performed quite so well then certainly the Bench Boost teams may have fared even better but they were debacled by rotations regardless. Surprisingly, even some of the teams who didn’t play a chip at all came out looking pretty fine too. And that says it all, how much more value is there in having an all round decent team than a cheeky chip…
So how did this affect the table?
Jonathan Britcher (10th) is prime example. No chips played, and wildcarded back in January. While some of us got battered by rotated Liverpool (Everton and Palace etc?) players, Jon B was sitting pretty with a frankly well-rounded team. Key picks for Jon were Antonio with 7 points and Gomes was immense with 19 points (brought in for Willian and Butland last week). Cresswell scored a decent 10 backed up with a 6 from Payet. Add to this the perfect Spurs trio contributing 6 from Toby, 15 from Alli and 13 from Kane. Jon B captained Aguero for the full benefit of his 52 points and topped it off with Ozil and Bellerin’s points. One gameweek and 146 points, no wildcard, no chips. Nice.
However, highest score of the week, and the season so far went to…
Wait for it.
Lester Deeble (2nd). Well done Lester!!! Some of us may remember how Lester dismantled his good form with a holiday in January but clearly he has been building up to this for some time now. Lester did play a chip, and bench boosted 10 double gameweek players along with Alli, Toby, Kane, Sunderland’s PVA and Leicester’s Fuchs. Solid. The combination of owning Sanchez as well as Aguero really made the difference for bench boosters this week as both of them hit 25+ points on their own. Captaining either of those two meant a minimum of 76 points from just two players. Lester backed up with Smalling’s 13 points, Rashford’s 10, plus Payet, Koscielny and Mignolet. Oh, and Lester’s faithful Watford goalkeeper turned up with 2 penalty saves in the same game to boot. That means that Lester will be difficult to beat in his claim for the prize of Best Gameweek Score of the season. 178 points. No wildcard, but bench boost played to full effect.
Please note, that both Manager of the Month and Best Gameweek score Runner Up prizes do not go the second player in the relative gameweek or month so as far as this gameweek is concerned, Marc Speer (19th – 173 points) and James Page-Chatton (29th – 169 points) who were just a whisker away from Lester, will not be receiving prizes for GW34 at least. This means that currently, Matt Cox’s 113 points is the runner up for Best Gameweek Score.
And there were so many contenders this week.
The aforementioned James Coward (3rd) has seemingly attacked from the behind with a massive Triple Captain boot this week. No wildcard played for James, but as he had Sanchez in his side, the combination with Aguero Triple Captain meant a massive total of 103 points from just two players. What a whopper! James hit 144 points so the 31 achieved from the likes of Rashford, Toby, Fernandinho etc seem meagre by comparison. As this is the first season with the chips it will be interesting to see how players manage them next season. In James’ case, the right Triple Captain far outweighed the punting of many bench boosting squads.
But you probably want to know if anyone who wildcarded in GW33 actually did well in GW34? I’m assuming you know that most of the teams who wildcarded in GW33 got seriously struck by rotations which entirely negated the GW34 Bench Boost chip? (By the way I haven’t noticed a team that wildcarded GW33 and then Triple Captained in GW34). But yes, Klopp smashed the wotsits out of us in the first game benching Mignolet, Sakho, Lovren, Coutinho, Pellegrini made changes, and Palace players seemed to play only one of the games. Same for LVG and add to that Romelu Lukaku who is basically rubbish at the moment and also didn’t play in the first match. He was such a banker. Such a banker. Such a bloody banker.
There are actually so many players worth a mention this week that, well, some of them can only get a mention; Duncan Hannigan (25th – 165 points), Jamie Stewart (163 points), John Harper (7th – 151 points); in fact, only 6 players in the Top 50 failed to hit 100 points this week, and I’m sure my dissecting their failures isn’t useful so we’ll leave them alone… But I will mention Richard Green (53rd – 150 points) who had a massive week and is currently 7th for the month of April after some seriously good performances across three gameweeks.
So that leaves only one player to mention.
Sam Blake (1st) took the top spot at the end of the gameweek after some serious battling. A number of people held the top spot glory for a day or so through the week, but it was the canny Sanchez Triple Captain that took Sam to the summit at the last hurdle that took him to the lead the league for the first time this season. Again, a balanced team without a wildcard (or a bench boost), Sam triple captained Sanchez along with back up from Aguero, Kane, Rashford, Toby, Koscielny, Payet… And he had Alli on the bench too. Fair play. 153 points and Sam Blake takes pole position going into the final four gameweeks.
There are still prizes to be won, it’s never too late, never give up, and at worst case, if you finish above your best mate, your brother, or just one place above where you are now, surely that is worth more than gold. If that fails, just come join us at the end of season knees up and have a laugh with a load of other blokes who love fantasy football.
So that’s it. Or is it? Gameweek 35 starts in a matter of hours and straight after that I’m off to gatecrash James Coward’s stag do. Get ready for me boys. I’m coming. I hope you are too.
Best of luck to one and all, not long to go now…