The festive period’s rapid-fire fixture frequency forced us to constantly consider our next steps, always thinking ahead to make sure we made intelligent moves before each fantasy transfer deadline.
But the conclusion of yesterday’s Southampton-Liverpool game brought the festive period to a close, and we’ve now entered a period of calm. The eight-day gap before the next round of play finally affords us an opportunity to look back at our results and contemplate how well we’re doing.
Here’s how game-week 17 panned out for me across all three of my fantasy squads:
Here is the team I fielded for GW-17:
As you can see, it was not exactly a banner week for me. Benjamin Mendy was battered by Manchester City and ended negative on -2.5. Liverpool lost to Southampton 0-1, meaning no clean sheet for Trent Alexander-Arnold, and the right back did nothing else to compensate, so he finished at zero. Ben Mee’s match was postponed, and Matt Doherty started over Serge Aurier, so those two players laid more goose eggs for me. In all then, the total return of my entire four-man defensive corps was -2.5.
My two forwards also disappointed, Dominic Calvert-Lewin generating just a single point and Mohamed Salah going negative at -1. So we’re down to a total of -3.5 points from six players. Ouch.
Thankfully my midfield did not let me down. Bruno Fernandes, Kevin De Bruyne, Anwar El-Ghazi, Raphinha, and Bertrand Traore all hit double digits.
It wasn’t enough to prevent disaster though. My 65 points was only good enough for 155th place for the game-week (and there are only 171 teams in the league). Consequently I tumbled to #81 overall.
Here are NMA-11’s top ten for GW-17:
And the overall top ten:
There are many familiar names on the leader-boards, including staff members Stall and Chris Manfredi. so I have no excuses for my poor performance this season. The cream rises to the top.
With six additional players to cover duds in my squad, I was hoping that my NMA-17 results would be better than my dismal NMA-11 score. No such luck.
I’ve already discussed the flops from Mendy, TAA, and Mee. My other keeper, Robert Sanchez, matched Mendy’s -2.5. And like Mee, Sergio Reguilon was a DnP who returned zero. Timothy Castagne and Fabian Schar were therefore my only defensive producers, returning 9 and 5.5 respectively.
Similarly, my forwards failed me again in NMA-17 as well. Here Salah scored -1, which cancelled out DCL’s +1. Olivier Giroud was another DnP, meaning that my four forwards together generated only 4 points, all of them coming from a single source: Jamie Vardy.
With the exception of Marcus Rashford, who returned 7.5 points, my NMA-17 midfield mirrored that of my NMA-11 squad.
The result was not pretty. I finished the week on 73 points, only 8 more than my crappy NMA-11 team produced. That put me in 125th place for the week — out of 135! Considering that about a quarter of all Fantrax teams in each league were built back in GW-1 or GW-2 and then abandoned, that’s truly abysmal. The hit dropped me to 61st place overall, continuing my run of poor form in Fantrax this season.
Here are the top NMA-17 teams for GW-17:
And for the season:
Once again we see that the leader-boards are filled with familiar names, proving that the best fantasy managers find ways to prevail year-in and year-out.
As for me, my Fantrax performances over the first half of the season are yet another reason I am happy to see 2020 recede into the past, and I’m hoping that the new year brings a fresh start with a change of fortune. To that end, I’ll be investing heavily in triple-gamers for the combined GW-18 + 19 Fantrax round that will launch one week from today!
Oddly, I’m doing much better in the official game than I am in Fantrax this season, despite the fact that Fantrax is my traditional wheelhouse. Here’s how I lined up for GW-17, along with my points:
Wolves hadn’t scored more than two goals in a league game all season, but Robert Sánchez conceded three to them on Saturday, returning just one point. Neither James Justin nor Andrew Robertson kept clean sheets, and both were also shown yellow. The result: a point apiece. And Mo Salah, Ollie Watkins, and Patrick Bamford could manage only appearance points.
But Vladimir Coufal kept a clean sheet, Jamie Vardy notched an assist, Jack Grealish picked up an assist plus 2 bonus points, Tomas Soucek scored, kept a clean sheet, and won 3 bonus points, and Bruno Fernandes, my captain, scored and claimed 3 bonus points.
The final tally was 58 points, just a shade better than the game-week average of 56. That placed me 3,731,529th for the round, dropping me to 238,903rd overall on a total of 1023 points. In the NMA “BTB” league that point total sits me in 480th.
Although I had red arrows in every FPL mini-league, my GW score of 58 was enough to defeat my FPL Cup opponent, CHANGE NAME, by three points. I now move on to face opi, who scored an intimidating 81 points last week. I’ll be deploying my Free Hit chip for GW-18 and its blanks; hopefully between luck and good decisions I’ll win that head-to-head and advance to the third round of the Cup.
Here are the overall standings for the NMA “BTB” mini-league. Notable blog member CreweGuy, who runs our Fantrax Cup competitions, is in 35th with 1090.
I’ve shown you my dirty laundry, so how about sharing yours? Please tell us how your squads did in GW-17 and how you’re setting up for the wild blank, double and triple game-weeks ahead.
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