DGW-34 finally concluded with the Man United vs Chelsea game on Thursday, and this was very significant in the Fantrax NMA-11 Cup, with players from these teams being the majority of players among the remaining fantasy squads.
As usual with any double game-week, there was good value to be found in single-gamers, but as a general rule those with plenty of double-gamers did better. Finding the high-scoring players and avoiding the flops was quite difficult this week, with several promising stars disappointing.
If you chose Bruno Fernandes in particular you could feel quite aggrieved, since he missed a penalty in his first game, resulting in a negative overall weekend score from which he crept into only moderate positive territory midweek. It could have been so much better! Picking Harry Maguire for the apparently secure double game, only to find he was injured and didn’t play at all would have been even worse. Havertz and Mount both played most of both matches, but they didn’t rack up the points. Havertz in particular was guilty of a couple of glaring misses. At least if you went for Reece James, although he missed one game, he scored well in the other.
For the first time in our cup competition, it could be said that all Cup matches went to form, with the three ‘Premier League’ teams all overcoming lower-league opposition, and the other tie saw a ‘Championship’ team defeat a ‘League 1’ team.
Since there were only four matches, lets look in detail at how each one went.
The Motley Crewe (aka. Southampton) 134 : Team Chris_Manfredi (aka. Fulham) 133
This amazingly close game featured my own team (The Motley Crewe) and fellow blog author Chris’ (Team Chris_Manfredi). It was decided only as a result of late overnight updates. At the final whistle of the Man United v Chelsea match, Chris appeared to be several points up, but this reduced first to 1.5 points and then 0.5 points, and overnight switched to a very slender 1 point gap favoring my team. Despite appearances, I don’t have a hotline to the folks at Opta who supply all the stats, but I am grateful to them for somehow finding something extra for Alonso!
Although the scores were very close, this was actually a relatively low-quality tie, with only one other remaining team scoring fewer points. So for the second round in a row my team wins the ‘Most fortunate team of the round’ award for the lowest winning score.
The more I look at the two teams, the more surprised I am about the result. We shared only four players. My team had only six double-gamers, while Chris’ had eight. Seven of his players scored double figures or better, while only six of mine did. I chose Son who for considerable expense managed only two points, and I also splashed out $5 more on Mendy at keeper than Dubravka for exactly the same resturn.
But I had Alonso’s 23 points, which was just enough to make up for Son’s disappointing score, and so The Motley Crewe staggers into the next round.
DISCO ARGYLE (aka. Brentford) 155.5: OGZ Hall Of Fame (aka. Birmingham City) 146
This game wasn’t quite as close, but was much higher scoring. This time the losers scored the highest losing score of the round so they are the unluckiest team of the round.
It’s often the case when only two teams make up a double week that Fantrax sides look similar — In this match-up nine players were common to both teams. So in the end it came down to Thiago Silva and Bruno Fernandes vs Mason Mount and Harry Kane. Despite Bruno’s penalty miss, he ended on the winning side here, so the in-form Disco Argyle moves smoothly into the semifinals.
183168 (aka. Man City) 162 : Team ivangyc (aka. Oxford United) 136
183168, last year’s league champion and the current league leader had another stellar week, notching the second highest score in the league overall to move 62.5 points clear. Their lower-league opponent had no answer and can count themselves unlucky to have come up against the juggernaut.
The secret to a good score is of course picking the right players, and 183168 picked only two single-gamers Eriksen and Bruno Guimarães at a total cost of only a little over 4$, for a handy 33 points. 183168 also picked three excellent defensive scorers in Alex Telles, Marcus Alonso and Reece James. It will take a lot to stop this team; it is just so consistent.
Team ivangyc didn’t do a lot wrong, picking eight double-gamers and having decent scores throughout. They’ve obviously held VvD from the start of the season, so he looks pretty attractive at a price of $4.00, but it didn’t work out this week.
Team DavidBrian (aka. Coventry City) 148 : Team redstoglory (aka. Charlton Athletic) 130.5
This match featured two teams who were less into the double-gamers, 5 against 3. Both opted for double Newcastle defensive assets in Dubravka, who worked out OK and Krafth who didn’t (only 4.5 points despite the clean sheet). They also shared some good points-scoring options in Alonso, Eriksen, Bruno G and Dejan Kulusevski. But Salah and Son didn’t do much for Team Redstoglory, while blog manager David had Ronaldo who ended up putting him comfortably clear.
The four remaining teams are all currently positioned in the top 15 of the league, so clearly there are no easy ties left. The draw has worked out like this:
- Team DavidBrian vs The Motley Crewe
- 183168 vs DISCO ARGYLE
DISCO ARGYLE has the unenviable task of trying to defeat the all-conquering 183168, while my own The Motley Crewe needs to up its game as it comes up against another blog author in Team DavidBrian.
These games will take place in GW-36, which runs from May 7th to the 12th. This is a healthy double game week featuring plenty of teams, but it will have the ever-present risk of rotation as EPL teams start to prioritize other competitions (or just start to look at other player options with their season dwindling to a close).
Did you make it to the quarter-finals? If so, how did you fare? If you made it into the last four, we’d love to hear from you in the comments - you should be proud of yourself! And which of you who were eliminated earlier would’a could’a should’a beaten most of this week’s winners? Please log in and share in the comments.