Welcome to the first gameweek (GW) review of this season. RELAX. Welcome back to all those who have been involved before and a warm welcome to those who are new to FFUK this season – hopefully by now you have acquainted yourself with this site. Everything you need is here, if you want to know about pretty much any aspect of FFUK check out the relevant pages in the menu and all the articles are on the homepage.
First up a bit of housekeeping before I delve into GW1.
Our numbers are up. Record numbers in fact. Big round of applause to all our agents! At the time of writing we have 229 players in the FFUK league. That is 31 more players than last season’s 198, meaning £310 more in the total prize kitty (subject to full monies being paid in to the agents). If you have already paid your £10 then thank you, if you are yet to settle then please arrange payment ASAP so we can confirm the prize money for the season.
Pete has worked his magic with all the new entrants, assigning them to the appropriate agent. There is now just 1 UNKNOWN FFUKer in the league – RYAN WHITE. Do you know Ryan? We want to know him. If you know where Ryan is, please contact us. We need his email and we need his entry fee. He’s a wanted man.
After each GW there will be a review, usually by me, sometimes by Pete, more often than not on a Tuesday, we need to know where we are (well some of us do). I try not to let my own weekly performance influence the tone of the review but sometimes that proves very difficult. There were too many weeks last season where I found myself trying to think of songs with brutal, disaster, or misery in them. Oh yeah there will always be a song of some description with the review. I’ll try and keep it a bit more light-hearted this season though, and bear in mind some song links will definitely be more tenuous than others. But, it gives you something to listen to and handily, these songs go into a Spotify season playlist (more on this very soon). This week it’s RELAX by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, a bit of a camp classic this one!
Also, we now have several fantastic article posters on the team to bring you all the other fantasy thinking you can think of (football), but if you have something you want to say and are keen to write a post on the site then get in touch. So RELAX everyone it’s just GW1, and however it has been for you remember it is a marathon and not a sprint.
We have so much to look forward to… unless you find yourself down on Page 5 in which case then you can panic.
GW1 is an interesting phenomenon, with so much hope and expectation. Inevitably it often disappoints, many seasons we have seen the big guns take their time to get up to speed. But this was not one of those years. There were goals, 13 (thirteen) in the first 2 games in fact. Arsenal and Leicester opened the season on Friday night with a stunner. Watford and Liverpool then continued the trend with the Saturday lunchtime kick-off which was lower in quality but right up there in terms of excitement. The best league in the world is back. The Big Guns (mostly) came out to play. Out of the top 9 captain picks in the league only 3 didn’t provide attacking returns (Jesus, Kane, KDB). In addition many of the popular picks were also in the points. This all meant that there were some rather impressive scores posted.
Incredibly there are now over 4.3 million players in the Official FPL game this season. The average is always a useful barometer of how our fantasy teams are performing, you do not want to be scoring below average too often as this is a surefire way of sliding down the table. As you can see from the above graphic GW1 saw an average of 58 points in the overall game (and quite a few early chips too which is a surprise).
This season the FFUK stat-monkeys have been hard at work and I can reveal another regular new feature… The FFUK AVERAGE for GW1 is 60.69, or 61 if we round it up. I always knew we were good but that stat proves it. 3 points better on average. FFUKing well done guys! With any luck we will now be able to keep an eye on how we are doing compared to the main league as the season unfolds.
Without further ado here is the current FFUK Top 50 after GW1:
In the interest of fairness lets start at the top and work our way down. And don’t worry Matt Reid (202nd) we will get to you eventually.
New season. New leader. New entrant to the league. Tom Newman (1st) tops the table after the first round of games. His seriously impressive score of 94 was achieved with Captain Lukaku (2 x 13), Firmino (12), Eriksen (12) and Pogba (8) providing the attacking returns with Foster (7), Bertrand (8), Dawson (6), Cedric (6) & Kompany (6) supplying plenty of defensive reinforcement. Well played Tom.
Nick Verardi (2nd) ran him very close with 93 points and already looks one to watch. Nick also captained Lukaku, and he wasnt alone, 90 FFUKers gave the new Man Utd frontman the armband. The next most popular was Kane with 36 captainers*.
How long until we see another GW this season with those kind of numbers for a captain?
Former champ Allan Tomkins (3rd) is well placed with 86 points ahead of Vincent Kibler (T4th) and John Gordon (T4th) with 85. Lucky Lester Deeble (T6th) and Natalie McKenna (T6th), (incidentally one of 4 ladies we have in the league this season), are both in fine early form with 83. The trio of James Prebble (T8th), Chris Reynolds (T8th) and Sean Griffin (T8th) make up the rest of the Top 10 having all scored 82. Seriously impressive scoring and all will be feeling rather good about their start to the season. We salute you. The chasing pack will all be after your spot now!
Another stat that stands out is the star player. Ahmed Hegazi (15) has already risen in price by to 4.6 after earning a clean sheet, goal and max bonus in a 1-0 win against Bournemouth much to the delight of all those who owned WBA defensive assets. The 6ft 5in centre back looks a perfect pick and the constant Evans injuries plus the fact that GMac is about 58 means he should play regularly. West Brom and Pulis are a match made in heaven and the big man Hegazi looks purpose built for that team, I am slightly surprised they don’t have more centre backs really, you can never have enough in a Pulis side. I know Neil Stewart (13th) was delighted to see Hegazi’s points roll in. Was anyone else canny enough to select the Egyptian giant early? Are you sizing him up for your team?
Its tough at the top but its even tougher at the bottom. I wont discuss Neil Gordon (205th) as he has already had a start he wont want reminding about, but he may take some solace in that there are some big names down there at the bottom with him.
Big names like Matt Reid (202nd) who, I am hearing on the FFUK grapevine, has pushed the wildcard button at the first opportunity to address his startling early season form. This is the man who finished 3rd last season. Matt probably won’t have time to read this review as he concentrates on selecting a whole new team. The big 3 up front didn’t work out too well this week but which one or two do you downgrade? We assume Jon Walters is a season keeper though 😉 It’s a tightrope that I am glad I don’t have to traverse for at least a couple of weeks. But once it is done, it is out of the way and no longer a temptation. Just remember Matt you can’t wildcard every week. Another man who won’t want to see his name down there is Jake Walker (T202nd) who has made an early transfer to rectify the situation. His team looks solid but a Kane captaincy was at the heart of his problems.
The Cooper household wont be a particularly happy one either this week. Ryan Cooper (220th) and Jamie Cooper (221st) both find themselves at the wrong end of the table after both captaining Jesus (1). Jamie also had Fabregas (-1) but Ryan went one better and used his triple captain chip on Jesus. Ouch.
Propping up the whole table is Tom Shurville (228th) who is another with a Fabregas (-1) problem as well as a goalkeeper one by the look of things. His captain Lacazette (6 x 2) did ok. The rest of his team didn’t so much. Let’s leave it there and Tom – Please use Scott “the Phoenix” Volker (59th) as your inspiration, he had a horrendous GW1 last season and still finished in the upper echelons when it mattered most, at the end of the season.
Finally we come to the brand NEW FFUK – CONTS LEAGUE and what will become a regular feature of these GW reviews. EVICTION TIME! Like the Premier League, this competition started with a bang. On Sunday WhatsApp regulars Duncan Hannigan, Fordy, Matt Reid and Neil Gordon all found themselves at the wrong end of the table going into the final pair of games. Unfortunately for Liverpool fan Neil he was unable to bring himself to own any Man United players so the 4-0 demolition of West Ham did him no favours at all. This combined with his Kane captaincy, means Mr Neil Gordon has the dubious honour of being the first FFUKer to be evicted from the Contributors League. Please be kind to him 😉
Now 37 FFUKers remain and 37 GW’s remain in this most brutal of mini-leagues. You can see where this is going – don’t be the lowest scorer in GW2 otherwise you will be next to go!
Thanks for reading FFUKers, and until next week… RELAX!
Wow that is a lot of Lukakus!
*Stats above courtesy of our very own “Statto” Steve Cronin (37th) who, some may have noticed, is using a zx spectrum this week as his usual laptop had been taken in for inspection at the local police station (it wasn’t but it sounds more interesting than it was being repaired). Steve will be, at least, partly responsible if I get any stats wrong at this point of the season. These wonderful stats are based on the full FFUK league (or 222 in this weeks case as the FPL website creaked under the pressure of GW1). There is a lot more to come from our stat-men and normal service will be resumed once Steve clears his name 😉