In the first few weeks one did feel that this season is going to be all about Manchester United and Manchester City with both the teams starting with big home wins and important away wins.Tottenham,Chelsea,Liverpool and Arsenal all started on a wrong note raising questions about their investments or lack of it during the summer transfer window.
Newcastle and Swansea stood out amongst the rest of the teams in the table.
As we went along we did see teams moving up and you may call most of the teams a "one man show" with performances like RVP for Arsenal , Ba for Newcastle or a few stood out like Sturridge/mata for Chelsea , Suarez/Adam for Liverpool, VDV/Adebayor/Bale for Tottenham ,Graham/Sinclair for Swansea.
In recent times,we saw teams like Sunderland ,who were heavily influenced with Martin O Neal, move up against the odds and others like Wigan,Everton and Aston Villa pull up a few surprises as they moved out from the relegation zone.
And some teams like Blackburn,Bolton and QPR still have lots to do to avoid the drop.
Some unforgotten results this season include the Man United's 8-2 win over Arsenal, 6-1 loss against Man City, Tottenham losing to Man Utd 0-3 and Mancity 1-5 early on in the season.More recently Sunderland winning against Man City 1-0 , Blackburn's win against Man Utd 3-2 and Aston Villa winning against Chelsea 3-1. Newcastle winning against man Utd 3-0 has already raised some questions around about the direction at which Man Utd are heading.
Fantasy Football has fortunately been more about players than how teams have faired and a weekend has been all about points from 11 picks from all over the place.This has been some season where player picks are concerned.Most of us have stuck to 5-6 players for most of the 20 games.We did see the picks evolve and gain some good averages along the way.Therefore holding on to them at good discounts for most of this period.
Lets take a look at the top 5 picks who have been a part of a very successful first half of this season.
1. RVP:If there was one pick which was worth every penny was RVP. You could not have any doubts before a matchday if you had him in your side and did he dissapoint? not at all.Was a bargain at around 21.xx
( Top scorer with 17 goals till now with an average of 17.2 pts per game)
2. Aguero : Right from the first game where he scored a few, assisted and lots of shots on target against Swansea started it all and has been an asset all through out. He has been bought at great bargains through out and all those purchase prices have been a good discount to have him in your side.
( 14 goals and 12.71 pts per game)
3. Adebayor : The surprise package in a way as we didnt expect him to do as well as he has done uptill now.He wasnt as good at Arsenal for some reason but this year has got most of us fantasy managers holding on to him right from Week 1.
(9 goals with an average of 11.91 pts per game)
4. BA : Who could have predicted this man being amongst the top scorers uptill midway of the season.Bought in as a free transfer by Newcastle and has he not impressed?Unbelievable skill and hunger for goals i must say.
( 15 goals with an average of 12.42 per game)
5. Rooney : Most of his stats dont reflect the poor form of late but he did start the season on such a high note that the only place he could go from there is downwards.Nevertheless he is in our top 5 picks for keeping Man Utd in the top 2 spots till the new year period, a landmark which is of most important to the manager.
( 13 goals with an average of 13.44 pts per game)
1. Dempsey : You got to give him credit for the fact that he isnt playing around with the best quality players in his team, yet he does well and single handedly stands out with his consistency.He has the highest shots on target by a midfielder and as many times you would have picked him, he wouldnt let you down.
( 6 goals, 4 assists, 31 shots on target and an average of 10.05 pts per game)
2.VDV : He has been on a different level this season and playing behind Adebaor has given him alot more opportunity to play a much more attacking role.Apart from his injuries he has been a consistent performer and a matchwinner.
(7 goals, 3 assists, 28 shots on target and an avarage of 9.3 pts per game)
3.Silva : Undoubtedly the star of the season till now.Never doubted his skills but this year having a more free role in midfield has gives us an opportunity to see what this guy can really do.Most of us have had him for the entire season till now and has paid rich dividends
( 5 goals,10 assists , 20 shots on target and avg of 9.43 pts per game)
4.Bale : He did start slow in the early part of the season but once he hit form he hasnt looked back.Goals and assists come naturaly with the way he plays and his speed is something which we rarely get to see.
(7 goals, 6 assists, 20 shots on target and an average of 11.18 pts per game)
5.Lampard : This was a tough choice between Lampard and Nani both having their good and bad times on the pitch but when you do look at the fewer opportunities Lampard has got this season due to him coming on as a sub in alot of games he has made the most of it.He is the highest goal scorer from all the midfielders including the ones i mentioned above
( 8 goals,4 assists , 15 shots on target and an average of 8.15 per game)
1.Vermaelen : Did miss the first few games due to an injury which he was recovering from the last season.But what an impact he has had to the Arsenal side since he has come on. We do keep giving RVP the credit for that but its also the players like Verm who offer so much more that just defending.
( 3 goals,1 assist, 7 shots on target and an average of 8.63 pts per game)
2. A Williams : Swansea have one of the best home records this season losing just once to Man Utd 0-1.Their first 4 home games were very impressive with all clean sheets.Williams has been very impressive all through out and does make it to our top 5 defenders
(9 clean sheets,24 shots blocked, a goal and an assist with an average pts of 6.73)
3. L.Baines : He hasnt been at his best but even with an average performance keeps up with the numbers.Well FF is all about numbers ,isnt it.He averages better that Lampard for a fact.
(3 goals ,4 shots on target and a healthy average of 8.63 pts per game)
4. Kompany : Rock solid in defence and leads the ManCity team with alot of self respect.He is consistent in defence and makes it tough for alot of forwards to play freely upfront.Although he doesnt take much of the limelight on him , he continues to do his business.
( 8 clean sheets,2 goals and an average of 6.74 pts per game)
5. Steven Taylor :Has been unfortunate to be sidelined due to injury but taking Newcastle upto top 3 uptill last few weeks has been a remarkable achievement.Taylor has been a part of 14 games till now and has been a rock solid factor in their defence.
( Avg of 6.71 pts per game)
1. DDG : The reason i would put him on top of this list is that its his first season in the premier league, he took over from a legend VDS and he has impressed for "most"of this period. The media has jumped on him for his mistakes and lately has been a No. 2 keeper for Man Utd.However at his age you need to motivate and appreciate the good. Most of us bought him at 5.xx and he has been a remarkable investment.
(56 saves and an average of 9.55 pts per game)
2. Vorm : The best keeper this season for me.Playing in a newly promoted side isnt easy and the way he has performed this season, i could see him walk in any of the top sides as a No. 1 keeper.He has played an important role in keeping Swansea's home record intact.
( 76 saves and an average of 8.18pts per game)
3. Hart : Well you could say that he didnt need to work that hard in comparison to other keepers playing with weaker defenses but he has been an improved player and rightfully earning a No. 1 spot for England.He has made some spectacular saves and continues to impress.
( 60 saves and an average of 9.05 per game)
4. Friedel : At his age many keepers would have not made it so far, but he has been an inspiration in the Tottenham side. They have not had a decent keeper for the last few season and thats what would keep them away from the top 4.But this year their defence is rock solid all thanks to this guy.
(74 saves and an average of 9.47 pts per game)
Well thats the best of the lot we have for now.Apart from the above there have been some great performance and some of us can argue that some players have outperformed their values better than the ones mentioned above.
We could write about the best bargains uptill now as well , but we could leave that for some other day.
Who has been your pick of the season uptill now? Do let us know
AM ( Insight Fantasy EPL)