WELCOME TO THE
COME BACK TO WHAT YOU KNOW (SLOWLY)
A monumental week in the Premier League as finally fans were allowed back into grounds, if a little slowly, and just for a moment things returned to a more familiar normal…
Liverpool kept a clean sheet in front the Kopp, United had a controversial refereeing decision go their way and West Ham well, after a great start without fans, lost at home in front of them. So, like I said, normal.
The highlight of the fixtures, and I use the term highlight carefully, was the classic North London showdown between Arsenal and Spurs, where we were treated to the “full Mourinho” experience. That hard to endure combination of dogged defending and excellent counter attacking. It might not be pretty but after 11 games they are top of the league and flying high with the joint best goal difference and the leagues best attack. A year since Son (13) scored his goal of the season last year against Burnley saw him again start the party with another wonder goal, and brought his combination with fellow strike partner Kane (12) to 17 goals for the season.
As those of you who know me will attest, I do like my stats, and so just to put that into perspective, the 17 goals that Son and Kane have combined together for are 7 more than the entire Arsenal team have scored all season… Is that a taxi for Arteta I hear outside?
But this is fantasy, and we should be wary of the dreaded “empty” statistics (Don’t get me started on shots stats!) and throw away statements we so often hear in the pub for the fantasy they really are. Such as the all time classic – “we just need to sign a 20 goal a season striker” for instance.
In the last 5 seasons of the premier league only once did 5 players achieve this in one season and that in 2016/17. In the last two seasons only 4 players per season have managed this and you all know who they are (OK, it’s Vardy, Aubameyang, Sterling and Ings last year and Auba, Salah, Mane and Aguero before that). Even 15 goals a season is impressive in the Premier League (Hazard only achieved this twice and never scored more than 16 and Kevin De Bruyne has only scored 10 or more goals once in all his time in the league!). So when we look for that new superstar fantasy striker we might want to lower our expectations somewhat.
Then there is the equally important… “He scores from set pieces” line – last year only 4% of free kicks were scored, which is pretty much the average. This year it is only 2% and Southampton’s Ward-Prowse (5) has half of them, he is only owned by 13.8% of teams by the way.
OK, Back to the review of quite the game week in our league. Things are really getting close and this game week has come down to getting that very difficult captain choice right again.
Some, like me, went for the obvious call of Fernandes (6) who had a double digit return in every one of his last four home games… only for him to start on the bench and register merely an assist. Others went for the potential of KDB (14), a player who hadn’t scored more than 6 points in his last 7 FPL games and frankly, was a great bit of bravery. At least we were in the right city I guess.
Steve Cronin (The Hurrikanes – 63) is fighting it out at the top of the league and is still top despite recording the lowest game week score in the top 10, all the more impressively as he still hasn’t used any of his chips. Unlike the rest of the top 10 teams who have all used their wildcards at least. The almost aptly named now Pathetico Madrid (Clayton Deakin – 75) went down the brave / crazy path of bench boosting this week and is pushing for that top spot with Sean Colohan’s Coolers FC (92 – with a 4 point hit)
The chasing pack (I refer to us all as “chasing” but as ACDC once said, it’s a long way to the top”) have been pulling out all the stops this week. 4 teams in the top 50 played their Free Hit chip, most probably because of the Villa v Newcastle game being called off, 44% of the league captained KDB (14), 14% Salah (14), 12% Fernandes (6) and 10% of us went for Vardy (8) who left it late to get a return for his managers.
The brightest start of the week went to Tom Henshall (Control Alt De Laet) with his massive hall of 107pts! Most notably here is the benefit of the auto sub which put Zaha (18) into the team instead of Costa (0 – Leeds). The fantasy gods are smiling on you Tom, play the lottery this week eh?
Finally, If you feel like you want to compare your performance with the others in the league, and we all know it’s never fun to compare your performances, then here are a few pieces of info you might find useful.
- The average score this game week in the league was 74
- The top three most owned players are Calvert Lewin (84% owned), Fernandes (72%) and Chilwell (70%)
- Harry Kane is only owned by 42% of teams in the league and KDB just 44%
- Delap of the Gods is still my fav team name in the league
- Mitchell (44% and 15pts in total) of Crystal Palace is third highest owned defender in the league!
- If you are looking for a transfer – only 12% of teams in the league have Zaha
Lastly, and well done for making it this far, the conts league is still moving and we have to say goodbye this GW to Lewis Bell (50) and Richard Willis Hutchinson (54) who are the unlucky evictees.
That’s all there is for this review, so enjoy the league, have fun and always pick Salah!
Harvey Smith (106th)