The shock news of Arsenal midfielder Theo Walcott’s long term injury left Wildcard plans and midfield lineups in tatters. Fortunately the community was on hand to rally round and provide a wealth of “Hot Topics” offering advice on how best to cope with his loss. Elsewhere, we examine how the community gave Ole Gunnar Solskjær a good going over plus provide an extended Community Tournament round-up featuring some rarely covered competitions, including one featuring some of the community’s most grizzled members.
The Hottest Topics
First off, World Cup motivation was the subject of Elninorules comprehensive list of players as he questioned whether their enthusiasm for an air ticket to Brazil could translate into Fantasy Football potential? A timely topic given Adam Johnson’s flurry this weekend.
That proved a welcome distraction from Wildcard fever which continues to sweep across the community, dominating discussion. Lachyas was among the latest to pen a guide to the Winter refresh. His look at the template Wildcard team includes a step by step guide, which builds around the “essential” Luis Suarez and identifies the cheap fifth midfielder as a vital component. Elsewhere, Evs decided to focus on the midfield big guns, asking whether we can afford to “go large” in the engine room and build around the “elites” that are Mesut Ozil and Eden Hazard.
The focus wasn’t all on goals and assists. Wildcard defenders also came in for some analysis with The Sarjeant’s informed post targeting those backline custodians with the most favourable run of home matches from Gameweek 24 onwards.
Talking of defenders, Dogba put forward a rather controversial post that pondered the merits of cashing in on the meteoric rise of Everton’s right-back Seamus Coleman.
The ubers, the term used to describe Fantasy managers that favour a cheap rotating backline, were also out in force to encourage others to look at budget defensive options. This week RonH asked the simple but often overlooked question, does rotating cheap defenders actually work?
Bucking the trend, Sporting a Beergut spoke up for those Fantasy managers resenting all the Wildcard talk and looking to make the most minor of changes. His post on the use of a so-called diet-wildcard provides low-fat food for thought for those who may have been planning major surgery.
Theo Walcott’s injury has undoubtedly rocked the community over the past week, with thousands in the market for a replacement. Ozil, Hazard and Yaya Toure were, of course, amongst the safe options touted by Beavis. Although Phaze 1 stirred the pot by asking, whether Toure could possibly keep up his relentless form.
Meanwhile, Matskm focused on the Arsenal midfield in more detail, pushing folk to take advantage of their form and kind run of fixtures to come.
The week also saw Cardiff unveil their new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær with one of our Norwegian community members, Slikk, on hand to give a thorough insight of the Norwegian’s managerial credentials and style.
Finally, Spencer sparked an interesting debate about how our mini-league rivalries influence our transfer decisions. Bentekkers was also investigating mini-leagues and has been busy developing a Google Chrome extension to give managers more details about their FPL leagues. Full details and link here.
The Community Tournaments
We start with the “Long and Winding Road” (LAWR) competition and among the league leaders going into Gameweek 21 were Christina who tops the Le Corbusier – Villa Savoye league. Evs continued to lead the Cloud Nine league and Champ stood proudly at the summit of the LAWR league entitled “Voicemail Slide”. LAWR’s organisers Doosra and Ginkapo have also announced early details of their “FA Cup of Tea” tournament, involving all 128 players in their head-to-head leagues across seven rounds. The competition starts in Gameweek 25 and the draw will take place in Gameweek 23.
Evs also topped the FFS Old Farts Club, a league dedicated to the community’s “older and wiser” members, but our moderator was in second in Team Senegoal’s league, behind Beric, ahead of this weekend.
Elsewhere, DonTheSpecialOne was in the lead of the The Puffinboy Memorial Cup, the league for veteran posters and named after one of Fantasy Football Scout’s very first regulars.
Kings of Lyon’s “Who wants to be a millionaire?” League is another tournament currently in progress. Set up back in Gameweek 8, this was earmarked for all those Fantasy managers that, at the time, were placed outside of the top million Fantasy Premier League players. The aim is to see how many can breach the Top 10k mark by Gameweek 38. Ahead of Gameweek 21, 60 of the 65 entrants were safely within the top one million and six are in the top 100,000. Amy Dexter leads the league with an overall rank of around 30,000.
In Torres Magic’s Last Man Standing league, 271 remained ahead of Gameweek 21 and he’s running three mid-season leagues to join, After Xmas, Millionaire Club and January Wildcard. Details here.
Meanwhile, at last I get to mention myself in this section, as ahead of Gameweek 21, I was in the lead in the FPL section of the Ironman league, a 12-strong league for those competing in the FPL, Metro and Sky Sports games. Gigging Order topped the Metro and Sky Sports components and remains in poll position for the title.
Finally, we’ve had a request from RonH to include the FFS Moderators and Contributors league standings. His interest is timely as, going into today’s games in Gameweek 21, Athletico Timbo had taken a shock lead over high-flying Evs with a bumper Saturday score of 60 points. Evs has since brought in 33 points today and trails Timbo by just a single point after our leader brought in another 17 points in Sunday’s games. Lower down, Granville was in 16th place, seven spots ahead of his ScoutCost co-host Mark. I daren’t say too much more on this – Mark will only edit it out.