The breakneck speed of the recent festive schedule has afforded us little time to roll out many regulars but as the schedule finally begins to ease, we take a look at the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) game, analysing the goings-on at the top of the Scout League and the hectic transfer activity, as winter wildcards are activated:
Scout League Standings
T.I. reclaims top spot in the Scout League after an 80 point haul in Gameweek 21. Handing Robin Van Persie the armband earned 32 points, while Edin Dzeko, Raheem Sterling, Theo Walcott, David Silva and Leighton Baines all produced. T.I. is now up to second in the overall standings on 1348 points and, intriguingly, has already activated his winter wildcard.
Kevin Travers climbs to second after racking up 72 points last time out. He also captained Van Persie at Wigan, while Silva was joined by Dimitar Berbatov and Luis Suarez in picking up the points. Kevin is eighth in the rankings, with 1330 points accrued.
Former world number one Iyad Zahlan has recovered after a temporary festive blip. Back up to third in the Scout League, he picked up 83 points in Gameweek 21, albeit with a four point hit. A front three of Van Persie, Suarez and Berbatov delivered 40 points between them, while captain Marouane Fellaini and Joey O’Brien both produced double figure hauls. Iyad move back up the ranking to 16th overall, on 1324 points.
M.P. slips down to fourth after a 59 point Gameweek 21 haul, despite handing Van Persie the armband. Rafael, Walcott and Jason Puncheon were his other main men.
Eddie McGeever completes the top five. He sits on 1319 points, level with M.P, having returned 77 points last time out. Yet another one to captain Van Persie, he also saw Suarez, Walcott, Sterling and Fellaini chip in with attacking returns and moves to 20th overall.
The performances of our top five helped Fantasy Football Scout hold onto top spot in the Best Leagues. We are 14.8 points ahead of our nearest rival, while the FFS Members league has moved up to fourth overall.
For the contributors, Mark has hit top spot for the first time this season. Nine of his XI produced for a Gameweek 21 haul of 96 points, with captain Van Persie joined by Dzeko, Berbatov, Silva, Fellaini, Walcott, O’Brien, Glen Johnson and Ryan Nelsen – he now nestles inside the top 3,000.
Joey O’Brien has proven the most popular pick after his 15 point haul for West Ham against Norwich. The full-back was subbed off just prior to the Canaries scoring at Upton Park and with a goal and maximum bonus also accrued , he has earned over 71,000 new owners ahead of the Hammers’ double Gameweek 23.
Elsewhere at the back, Manchester duo Pablo Zabaleta and Patrice Evra have both earned a place in 26,000 new teams. Ian Harte’s cut-price appeal has seen over 20,000 draft in the 3.8 priced Reading left-back, while Russell Martin and Kieran Gibbs have each received over 16,000 new owners. Between the sticks, Asmir Begovic (21,000), Simon Mignolet and Adam Federici (both 17,000) have picked up plenty of attention.
Midfield reinforcements have been a priority. Marouane Fellaini (71,000) and Gareth Bale (38,000) have picked up plenty transfers in after their respective suspensions, while Theo Walcott’s new forward role has persuaded over 53,000 Fantasy managers to pick him up prior to the Gunners’ double Gameweek 23. Michu’s return from a brief ankle injury has him on the radar of over 23,000 new suitors, while 17,000 have snapped up West Ham’s Mark Noble for the double.
Up top, Luis Suarez, with back-to-back doubles, leads the way for transfers in. Over 65,000 have grabbed the in-form Liverpool forward – he is some distance ahead of Robin Van Persie (38,000) and Demba Ba (34,000), with many perhaps anticipating the latter’s move to Chelsea. Rickie Lambert has been subject to 31,000 trades in – he moved up to sixth top scoring forward over the festive spell, while Dimitar Berbatov’s return to form has persuaded over 26,000 to climb aboard the Bulgarian’s bandwagon.
In terms of transfers out, Carlos Tevez (73,000) is head and shoulders above any other player. With one goal since Gameweek 12 and 14 minutes game time over the last two matches, Tevez is now back down to his original price of 9.0, having risen as high as 9.9 earlier in the season. Jermain Defoe has been sold by 44,000 Fantasy managers after producing one goal in his last six, while current Chelsea forward Fernando Torres (38,000) and possible incoming rival Demba Ba (40,000) have been sent packing by many, with Rafa Benitez’s rotation likely to be detrimental to both players’ prospects.
Yaya Toure’s upcoming African Cup of Nations duties have seen 47,000 sell on the Ivorian, while Eden Hazard continues to slip in popularity – one goal and two assists under Benitez has prompted 38,000 to call time on his services. Somewhat bizarrely, Santi Cazorla (28,000) and Kevin Nolan (25,000) have also seen significant sales, despite both bracing themselves for a double.
Similarly, Per Mertesacker (23,000) and Jussi Jaaskelainen (13,000) have been transferred out, while injuries to Petr Cech and Jose Enrique have seen them both exit over 22,000 teams.