Gameweek 22 came to a close after a bore 0-0 draw between West Brom and Everton. Not that I'm going to complain with autosub Wisdom coming in to bolster my points tally by 6 points. How did the league shape up?
Not really much to say here. Actually, I would say that Nish and the rest should just give this one up as a lost cause, but this is not true. If you read my last article, we're considering enforced trades which has the capacity to turn the league upside down. More info on that in the coming days.
Head to Head:
Nishit's Dodger's stayed 3 points ahead of my Sprezzature, but it was oh so close! Beating out Ravi's Uganda! by a single point. It was an interesting accumulation of points by those two. Nishit relied heavily on Captain Costa to get him a massive 32 points while Ravi, other than standout man Santi Cazorla, had plenty of guys who pulled their weight (7 of his team pulled in between 5 and 7 points). Ultimately though, Kompany and Mata laying a couple of eggs was enough to give Nishit victory (and by extension, leave me chasing him still).
Not much contest elsewhere. 'Falcao save me FC' relying on a 9 point difference (no thanks to Falcao, thank you very much) to get past 'Drafting...' (somebody needs to tell Rishi that the draft is complete and he can rename his team...).
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That's it for Gameweek 22. I've decided to release weekly 'hidden gem' players, which I'll begin doing this Thursday. Players that are not selected by anyone but might be in prime position to get their owner some points.
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Picture is of my captain for the week Andy Carroll. Didn't expect the Swans to lose 5-0 but Hazard didn't do anything anyway so no biggie (courtesy of The Telegraph).
Note - I've linked our 2 leagues up on the main menu bar and, if requested, will link a copy of our spreadsheet as well (which you can feel free to duplicate and/or comment on).
I started playing fantasy football back when I was in secondary school - about ten years now? Give or take... In all this time I, and many others, have noticed an inevitable pattern. By the time the season is halfway through, every team has a squad that is 75% identical. Between your mini-league of friends, between every person's fifteen man squad, all players will, without fail, be derived from a pool of about thirty players (maybe about forty if you stretch it).
Think about it. Take last season (2012-2013) as an example. Less than 15 games in, the vast majority of players had most of the following: Robin Van Persie, Juan Mata, Gareth Bale, Luis Suarez, Michu (what is his first name anyway?), Cazorla, Walcott, Benteke, Lukaku, Baines, Ivanovic, Begovic etc. About the only variation between teams came in the defensive department - an area where most players choose to field only three defenders anyway (something else that can be improved upon).
And it takes away from the enjoyment of fantasy football!* You have Van Persie in your team so you get excited when he scores. But wait, every one of your rivals has him as well except that one guy who hates him so much so you're not really gaining any sort of advantage over the field. And in fact, some have him captain so are earning double points from him... Hmmm... Maybe you should be rooting against him? Seems counterintuitive.
Today marked the end of the Texans season, a few months in which we started off 11-1 but ended up finishing 13-3. A fantastic record nonetheless, the Patriots were too much too handle. The other teams remaining in the race to the Super Bowl are the 49ers, Ravens, and Falcons. Despite the fact that the Texans didn't make it to the Divisional Playoffs, we had our best season to date and it was pretty badass to watch. The journey the Texans franchise has made in the past few years from laughingstock of the NFL to Super Bowl contenders (at times) has been completely unexpected. A team effort, it should be credited mainly to two players: Arian Foster and J.J. Watt.
Arian Foster: You can never have too much class.
Arian Foster is one of the most amazing people in sports in my opinion. Whether it's his humor off the field ("No, you can't have my hat") or class on it, he just seems like a great person. Oh, and he's an above-average incredible athlete. Coming from literally nowhere, this hidden undrafted gem has transformed the Texans franchise. He has become one of the top-5 (even higher) Running Backs in the league. Yet Foster has not let it get to his head. He doesn't ramble off to reporters of how he should get paid more. His TD celebration remains the simple gesture of Namaste. You always see NFL players, hell even college players (read: Johnny Manziel), getting way too carried away with their fame. That's why I love Arian Foster: he's not that type of person. He's a down-to-earth guy because - according to his Twitter - "I am an aspiring human being. I don't take life too serious, none of us make it out alive. Understand the universe, you'll understand me. #namaste!" Respect.
JJ Watt: Dream Big. Work Hard. Stay Humble.