Welcome to the GW20 REVIEW – STILL STANDING
The end of the year is upon us and that means a time of reflection. As fantasy managers we are put through this emotional rollercoaster on a weekly basis, and often we don’t get time to look back or say what is important.
How has 2018 been for you? Are you STILL STANDING?
It wasn’t long ago that we were crowning Jamie Stewart (37th) our FFUK league champion for 2017/18 along with his unprecedented treble of prizes for winning MOTM and the H2H league. Daron Russell (38th) was our very first King of the CONTS. In the cups Sam Breen (28th) won the Challenge Cup whilst Paul Browne (180th) won the FFUK Cup. Since then we almost won the World Cup and have now embarked on another season and we wait to see who will be the winners this season.
For a while it looked like City would walk the league but they have lost the plot in recent weeks and now we must prepare ourselves for the inevitable nightmare of a Liverpool side winning the Premier League. Man Utd are back apparently too. See I told you a lot can change in a year.
This week’s tune is STILL STANDING by Children of Zeus from their 2nd album “The Story So Far….” released earlier this year, well worth a listen if you like this sort of thing.
As we can see the main this week was all set to be Roberto Firmino (17) after his hatrick in the drubbing of Arsenal but then we almost forgot that Man Utd are now back after beating Cardiff and Huddersfield they went and smashed Bournemouth this week. Has a new manager ever had a better run of fixtures to get him started? Still, at the end of the day, you can only beat what is in front of you and other cliches.
Paul Pogba (18) was the man for Manchester United. He has shown glimpses of his ability at Old Trafford but this was the best display I have seen since his return and also from an FPL POV this was the further forward I have seen him play. The price rise sites have gone into overdrive now and are struggling to keep up with the amount of managers bringing in the POG. I have done the same and if nothing else will enjoy the price rises. Kudos to anyone who got him in early as many of you did.
Elsewhere Liverpool’s talisman Salah (12) once again scored well as did the Chelsea pair of Luiz (12) and Kante (10) who combined to score the only goal vs Palace. Rashford (11) also got a goal and assist for Utd but can he keep his spot now Lukaku (5) is back.
A couple of bargains scored really well. With all these premium picks coming to the fore we need some cheaper options. How about Cardiff’s midfield gem Victor Camarasa (10) playing OOP and on pens and will set you back just 4.6 of your hard earned funds. Maybe you need a keeper, you could do a lot worse than his team mate Neil Etheridge (15) who saved his 3rd penalty of the season. If nothing else he is good for save points and he only costs 4.5. Maybe you prefer a bit of Willy, if so try Boly (10) from Wolves at 4.6 or perhaps you prefer a Ream (7) of Fulham. Bargains galore.
Let’s now see how this all affected the FFUK league…
Before we get to the league table this week I am delighted to announce the Manager of the Month for December. Congratulations to Neill Goodwin (7th) who, with 427, won the most points in December. It was close. So close in the end as Dean Collins (10th) finished just 1 point back on 426. Fair play to Neill who actually used his Free Hit chip to score 67 points
The Manager of the Month page on this site has now been updated with all the winners so far this season.
In the league Lawrence Sprigings (1st) keeps his place at the top but has just a 17 point lead over Mark Storrar (2nd). Former champ Nick Johns (3rd) climbs up after scoring 79 points which could have been more if his vice Pogba (18) and captain Salah (2 x 12) had been the other way round.
Dean Collins (10th) did exactly that, 1 of 14 who captained Pogba (2 x 18) for a mammoth 95 points which top scored this week in the whole league almost top spot for the month. Congratulations Dean! David Luiz (12), Salah (12), Rashford (11) and Aguero (5) did the rest.
Next best was way back on 81 points but that still would have pleased everyone else except for Dean. Well played to Liz Colman (22nd) who, like 36 of the league gave the armband to Salah (2 x 12) but she also had Pogba (18) (a common theme amongst those that did well this week), Rashford (11), Jiminez (8) and Kane (6) all returning.
At the other end of the scale please spare a thought for Jamie Cooper (22nd) who low scored this week with just 23 scored. Proving that even in the top echelons of the league a nightmare week can happen so easily. Where did all go wrong for Jamie? Perhaps his captain pick of Lingard (2 x 2) was a bit too brave but the rest of his team did him no favours at all with only Martial (5) returning any points and that was just a measly assist. Better luck next year Jamie!
Speaking of which it’s time for an eviction in the CONTS mini league.
Another fast and furious gameweek gone but fortunately Statto Steve was on hand to give the WhatsApp group the latest situation ahead of the final game of the gameweek. Several FFUKers were under pressure not least reigning league champ Jamie Stewart stuck back on 22 with Begovic (1), Lingard (2) and Rashford (11) left to play. Would that be enough? Statto Steve was himself the next one in the firing line sitting on with Rash (11), Martial (5) and Shaw (2) to play so he was safe. Jamie had no such comfort he was frantically hoping one of Alex Sadlier, Mark Turnbull or Leafy might suffer but they all survived thanks to Rash or Pogba (18). It wasn’t to be for Jamie and is yet another example of the cutthroat nature of this league. Last season’s league champ scored 36, the 3rd worst score in the whole FFUK league and has now gone. Evicted by yours truly, not something I thought I would be saying this side of the New Year. Chin up JDS and you can now focus on the league, you are still handily placed and who wouldn’t bet on someone of your calibre making a late dash for those prize spots.
22 now remain.
Beware FFUKers its another double eviction next week as we discover our final 20. I say next week. I mean tomorrow. Frightening.
Into injury time once more and its the Cups that dominate our thinking. Watch out for more on the FPL cup from our very own FPL cup specialist Bakes.
But here at FFUK we have our own cups to consider. Pete will be in touch very soon with a full roundup of all the December ties as well as the draw for all of January’s ties in the FFUK Cup and the Milk Plate.
In my own tie against Mark Ford (14th) I eventually triumphed by 47 points and am now looking forward to another tie next month. Mark was up in 3rd place before December but a bad run this month and maybe one or two many hits. If he had bought in Pogba it may have been different but it’s too late for all that now. Well played tho Fordy and I am confident you can now concentrate on the FFUK league and get into those prize positions once more.
If you missed it Pete and I did Xmas message at the bottom of the last review. Still seems sort of apt.
Other than that you are fully up to date. Happy New Year to all in the FFUK league and I hope you have a great night tonight, whatever you are up to, and then on the other side we look forward to the rest of the season. Do you have any FPL resolutions?
As usual thanks for reading, look after yourself and each FFUKer!