For Mr Brightside, this season’s Fantasy Football competition has all been about consistency, and so he proved again as 2016 kicked-off to lead home the Ladbrokes Life quintet.
Currently in second-place in the race for bragging rights among his peers, Brightside racked up the 10th haul of 50+ points in a row over the weekend just gone, to keep the pressure on Generous John out in front.
The decision to hand Sergio Aguero the captain’s armband paid off with the Manchester City man netting the winner over Watford on Sunday, while Willian (13 points), Aaron Cresswell (nine) and Toby Alderweireld (eight) all added to the cause.
A return of 64 points closed the gap to John out in front to just 16 with a long way to go in the competition.
As for the leader, it was a dismal week with his 41 point total the lowest of the five.
Leaving Alderweireld on the bench in favour of Scott Dann (zero points) didn’t help and were it not for two players it could have been a whole lot worse.
A goal, clean sheet and a handful of bonus points saw Laurent Koscielny bring in 15 points, while captain Romelu Lukaku also reached double figures.
Those two were the only member of John’s starting XI that scored more than three points, as he just scrambled a score better than average.
It was a mixed bag for the remaining bunch too as Lukaku and Alderweireld were joined by Petr Cech (10 points) and Hector Bellerin (six points) to help The Professor avoid a poor score, as he totted up 45 points.
The Gut Truster fared far better though, with no fewer than seven of his players adding six points or more to the team’s total.
That result means that he moves to within 90 points of top-spot as the league becomes a very open contest.
While those four look to still have a chance, it looks a lost cause for The Believer, who may even be struggling to do what his name entails.
A 42 point return sees his position at the bottom of the pile solidified, as his team took a very safety-first approach.
Three cleans sheets and an assists from his defenders and goalkeeper were all he had to shout about with his midfield and striking options failing to deliver.
Jamie Vardy’s four points was the only return of more than two from the front-seven, and that was because he was given the captain’s armband this week,
Much more will have to be done if The Believer is to lift himself out of the wooden spoon spot.
He would do well to take note of Scott Stanley who continues to hold top-spot in the Ladbrokes Life League with a return of 52 points.
‘Stans Army’ are putting in a bold show as the fantasy manager stakes his claim for the £100 free bet on offer to the winner at the end of the season.
It could have been slightly better for the man at the top though, as Riyad Mahrez had a rare bad game, missing a penalty, which meant Stanley’s captain returned just two points.
With Willian, Cesar Azpilicueta and Yaya Toure in his side, the armband may have been better placed elsewhere, as the leader looks to fight off the two-pronged attack from Howard Clark in the positions behind.
The managers get a week off now as the FA Cup takes centre stage, but when Premier League football returns in just under a fortnight’s time the January transfer window could mean the teams battling it out look rather different as they battle for that big prize.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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