Fantasy Football Insider – Gameweek 6: Blue is the colour
Everton have turned tradition on its head and have started the season in flying form, with their players reaping the benefits in Fantasy Football stakes.
Gameweek 5 review
It hasn’t been a season for miserly defensive displays or clean sheets so far, but that hasn’t stopped some individual defenders from registering some impressive scores in the first few weeks of the campaign.
That trend continued this week, with five defenders featuring in the Dream Team, although unfortunately for Fantasy managers, four of those defenders cost in excess of £5.6 million and most teams would have been unlikely to feature more than one of them.
One of those expensive defenders, Ashley Cole, was the highest-scoring player this week, his winning goal against Stoke combined with a clean sheet and a bonus point helping him to 15 points. The other three, Leighton Baines, Joleon Lescott and Rafael, all scored 11 points apiece, while the least expensive of the defensive quintet, Southampton’s Nathaniel Clyne, chipped in with nine points.
Clyne’s teammate Rickie Lambert was the next highest scorer behind Cole with 13 points, while Everton’s excellent start was reflected with the inclusion of both Marouane Fellaini (12) and Victor Anichebe (9) following their victory over Swansea. Steven Gerrard (9), Romelu Lukaku (9) and Ben Foster (7) also merit a mention for their contributions last weekend.
There was precious little change at the top of the J-League, where solidity was the order of the day and nobody in the top five could break the 70-point barrier. A new addition to the top table, Neil Cullen’s Riggins’ Rovers, came in with a very credible 69 points to leap into fifth place thanks to some strong performances from Cole, Baines and Cullen’s skipper for the weekend, Gareth Bale.
Riggins is only 16 points behind Barry McCabe’s Breffni Blues at the top, who have only two points to spare from Gavin Gingles’ Meath Lovers Pizza. Former leaders Release the Krakens, marshalled by Richard Snowden are in third, three points ahead of Stephen Ruth’s Man Red in fourth.
J-League Top 5
- Breffni Blues- Barry McCabe: 377 points
- Meath Lovers Pizza – Gavin Gingles: 375 points
- Release the Krakens – Richard Snowden: 368 points
- Man Red – Stephen Ruth: 365 points
- Riggins’ Rovers – Neil Cullen: 361 points
Blue is the colour
For years we wondered just how well Everton might have finished in the Premier League if they hadn’t gone through their traditional, tortoise-like start.
Season after season, the Blues dropped shedloads of points to end up in a lowly position by Christmas – a position that belied the quality in their squad – only to turn it around and eventually ending up pushing for a place in Europe by the end of the campaign.
It could well happen that Everton have simply reversed the process this season and they will collapse in the second half of the campaign, but that seems unlikely. With all due respect to David Moyes’ side, Everton aren’t really a team of stars, but they do have a lot of very good players, all of whom seem to be playing well at the moment.
Some may have scoffed at the figures quoted over a potential deal involving Leighton Baines and Manchester United in the summer, but the floppy haired full back has been a consistent performer for yonks now. He slipped a bit last season with only two assists, but he has reached that figure already in this campaign and in the three seasons before last he contributed 27 assists in total. He also scored nine goals over the last two seasons, not bad for a defender.
At £7.2 million he’s a bit pricey, but a manager should have room for at least one expensive man at the back and Baines isn’t a bad one to have.
Further up the pitch, a man with longer and far more brilliant hair than Baines, Marouane Fellaini (£7.2 million), has arguably been the player of the season so far. Everton have been troubled with injuries up front, but it’s almost been a blessing in disguise for Moyes (and especially for anyone with him in their team) because Fellaini is nigh on impossible to handle in an advanced role.
The Belgian already has three goals, an assist and four bonus points in five games and it would appear as if there’s plenty more of where that came from.
Moyes made a few signings in the summer, but possibly his best was securing Steven Pienaar’s permanent return to Merseyside. For whatever reason, he didn’t fit in at Spurs, but he certainly feels at home at Goodison. Excellent value at £6.7 million, the Seth Efrikan midfielder is a regular provider of assists and already has three as well as a goal to his name this season.
JOE’s Fantasy Football Picks:
Top Dollar: Luis Suarez (£9.4 million). Suarez is returning to the scene of his brilliant hat-trick last season and we think Liverpool will finally kick-start their campaign at Carrow Road this weekend.
Mid-Range: Demba Ba (£7.9 million). With three goals in his last two games, he’s in the mood at the moment. Newcastle will be incredibly dangerous when himself and Papiss Cisse are both on form at the same time.
Bargain Basement: Winston Reid (£4.8 million). Not a lot has been made of West Ham’s decent start or the fact that they’ve kept three clean sheets in five games. Reid has added a goal into the mix as well.
Irish Pick: James McClean (£6.4 million). Has played every minute so far, but hasn’t yet got himself on the scoresheet. Saturday at home to Wigan seems like a good place to start.
Captain’s Pick: Robin van Persie (£13.2 million). Man United aren’t firing on all cylinders, but their new signing certainly is. RVP has started three games so far and he’s scored five goals in those three games. He’s done well against Spurs in the past and we expect that to continue this weekend.