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How Did You Do in EPL Game-Week 28?

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Did you somehow manage to avoid the carnage, or do you need to join in the group hug following a brutal return for most fantasy managers?

Jamie Vardy - Leicester City - Carabao Cup Round of 16
Jamie Vardy being on the sidelines with injury was the nail in the coffin for many fantasy managers.
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Let’s run down some factors that could theoretically combine for a horrifically bad game week if they all happened to come together in a recipe for disaster (and what actually happened in GW28 in parentheses):

  1. Less than a full fixture list. (Four teams blanked, or in other words 16 of the 20 teams played. Highly selected stars such as Kevin de Bruyne, Sergio Aguero, John Lundstram and Jack Grealish did not feature.)
  2. Some big stars unexpectedly didn’t start. (Jamie Vardy did not play due to last-minute injury news, and Danny Ings surprisingly merely came on as a second half substitute. On top of that, Tammy Abraham and Anthony Martial also did not play at all, though at least there was advance warning for them.)
  3. A rash of upsets where top teams with high fantasy investment shockingly came up short. (1st place Liverpool lost 3-0 at 19th place Watford, 3rd place Leicester lost 1-0 at last place Norwich, and 4th place Chelsea drew 16th place Bournemouth 2-2. As part of that, highly selected stars such as Sadio Mane, Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino, James Maddison, Ayoze Perez and Mason Mount failed to get a goal or assist, while the likes of Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson, Kasper Schmeichel, Ricardo Pereira, Caglar Soyuncu and Ben Chilwell couldn’t keep a clean sheet).

Getting to a full XI was a daunting task even before the game week started due to the limited schedule. Then the unexpected line-ups and shocking results made the week even worse. We endured Game of Thrones scale carnage, with most of us left helplessly torched by dragon’s fire.

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OFFICIAL FPL

The average global score in FPL was 26 points. That is not a misprint. 26 points! The previous low this season was 36 points in Week 8. So if you didn’t score well, don’t despair, you have an awful lot of company.

Who needs a hug?

Managers had a choice to make before the game week: be patient and wait for future double game weeks, or go ahead and use a chip to assemble a strong XI. For the managers who did burn a chip but still didn’t score well, the gut punch landed on a sour stomach.

The top 10 teams in the NMA “Beat the Bloggers” FPL league (not for the game week, but rather for the season to date) put forth a high of 46 and a low of 17. These are our best and brightest, so that tells you how tough of a game week it was!

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TOP FIVE NMA “BTB” TEAMS, SEASON TO DATE

  1. Sons of Ali (45 points in GW28, 1,739 points for the season)
  2. GBarnesUtd (32 / 1,707)
  3. Ollywandelindoff (46 / 1,706)
  4. Harrow Massive (33 / 1,704)
  5. No Pukki No Party (45 / 1,702)

Sons of Ali was able to get to 49 points before a -4 point penalty, netting 45 points for the week. The team was highlighted by Nick Pope (10 points), Bruno Fernandes (10), Raul Jimenez (7), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (7) and Jamaal Lascelles (6). With Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish, and Jack O’Connell stashed on the bench, Sons of Ali looks poised for good returns the rest of the way!

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PLAYERS WHO DID PERFORM WELL

There were still 16 teams playing, and no shortage of goals, assists and clean sheets from players in those squads. How did so many fantasy managers endure such horrible returns? Well, for the answer to that question, let’s take a look at the FPL “Dream Team.” The best performing line-up gave us:

  • Goalkeeper Vicente Guaita (selected by 2% of FPL managers)
  • Defenders Marcos Alonso (3%), Jamal Lewis (0%), Matt Doherty (6%), and Maximillian Aarons (1%)
  • Midfielders Ismaila Sarr (1%), Michail Antonio (1%), Bruno Fernandes (12%), and Pablo Fornals (0%)
  • Forwards Diogo Jota (6%) and Troy Deeney (2%)

When there’s only one player in the “Dream Team” who was selected by double digit percentages of FPL managers, it’s obvious that we were in a world of pain.

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MY FPL TEAM

As for myself, I went into the week certain that I would patiently not use any of my remaining chips (I used my triple captain chip in DGW24), but instead would do what it took to get to a XI taking points penalties. I recently planned to be able to do so with just one penalty for -4. Unfortunately, that task grew even more daunting recently with the injury to Martial and the starter-to-bench downgrade for Sergio Rico, which came on top of earlier starter-to-bench downgrades for Martin Kelly and Matt Ritchie. So I went painfully bold and took a -12 penalty to make four changes (including my one free transfer). [Normally I hate taking point penalties due to extra hits, as previously I’ve been disciplined in only taking a -4 hit in GW10 and GW18, but there are exceptions to the rule, notably during blank weeks.]

I dropped Martial, Kelly, Rico and Ritchie, adding Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes, Leicester defender Ricardo Pereira, Burnley defender Ben Mee, and Newcastle defender Jamaal Lascelles. (My toughest decision was choosing Pereira over similarly-priced Wolves defender Matt Doherty — who earned 12 points thanks to a goal and assist, so that didn’t turn out well!) I would have been better off keeping Ritchie who surprisingly started and got the same 6 points that Lascelles did, as Lascelles cost me 4 points with the penalty. But all in all, my four changes for a -12 penalty worked out well since they ended up scoring 23 combined, leaving me with +11 in that regard. For a game week trying to navigate a lot of blanks, I’ll take that.

Take a look at my team. It was pretty much all about Nick Pope (10 points), Fernandes (10 points), Raul Jimenez (7 points), Lascelles (6 points) and Mee (5 points), especially since my captaincy of Salah did not do well (again in that regard, I had loads of company!)

I didn’t use any chips and thankfully scored a fairly respectable 37 points (49 less the -12 penalty) for the game week, leaving me at 1,640 points for the season (#26,724 worldwide) with three chips still in my pocket (bench boost, free hit and wildcard). I plan on burning bright in the upcoming double game weeks, which should ideally pay off nicely.

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FANTRAX

The Fantrax NMA-11 league had a single team (JDFI) who managed 100 points, and only one more who cracked 90: Thurber Thrashers FC who returned 92.

TOP FIVE NMA-11 SCORES IN WEEK 28:

  1. JDFI (100 points)
  2. Thurber Thrashers (92)
  3. Team Baziu (85)
  4. Viduka’s bar and grill (83)
  5. (tie) Team Addisbuna, Team nikarg, Team tampatonz, and Whithy Dragons (81 points)

JDFI powered to the top score for the week thanks to wondrous performances from Marcos Alonso (25 points), Bruno Fernandes (20 points), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (19 points), and Diogo Jota (18 points). Brilliantly done, JDFI!

For the season so far, it’s a neck-and-neck race as all teams in the top five are between 2,800 and 2,825 points. Hall_of_Fame leads the way, followed by Team JC United1, Team Colecole, Sparta FC and JDFI.

For many Fantrax fantasy managers, it wasn’t about chips as it was with FPL, instead the big decision surrounded whether to hang onto discounted blanks such as Kevin de Bruyne and Jack Grealish.

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MY TEAM

The only zero I took was KDB, so I felt good about that. (Hey, I would have held onto Grealish, but I didn’t have him at a big discount.) But unfortunately, my 57 point return was only good for a tie at #36 for the week, which saw me lose in the NMA Blog Cup to CaliforniaDreamin who comfortably beat me with 72 points. Bravo to CaliforniaDreamin! Although it’s extra painful losing to a team with that name considering I live in the Golden state.

I did well with Bruno Fernandes (20 points) and Dominic Calvert-Lewin (19), but was doomed by horrible returns from Alisson (-7), Sadio Mane (1) and Mo Salah (1). That’s what happens when Liverpool unexpectedly craps the bed! For some comfort, I rank #12 in the NMA-11 league with 2646 points. Of course, it’s disappointing ranking #12 overall yet failing to make it to the round of 32. C’est la vie, that’s the crapshoot of a round robin tournament.

Be sure to check out CreweGuy’s FanPost when the dust settles to see the results from the Round of 64 in Week 28 and thus who is still alive in the Blog Cup as the Round of 32 approaches in Week 30. Congratulations and good luck going forward to those who have made it this far!

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[NOTE: Fantasy points and some other information used in this article came from the official Premier League fantasy and Fantrax sites.]

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How did your fantasy teams perform in what was a painful Week 28 for many? What are your prospects looking ahead? Take the poll and share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Poll

How many points did you score in FPL for Week 28?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    0-9
    (2 votes)
  • 4%
    10-19
    (1 vote)
  • 17%
    20-29
    (4 votes)
  • 47%
    30-39
    (11 votes)
  • 8%
    40-49
    (2 votes)
  • 13%
    50+
    (3 votes)
23 votes total Vote Now