The midweek action from the Sky Bet Championship again showcased what a highly competitive league it is.
In fact, it provided four 1-1 draws and four 1-0 wins in a run of evenly contested games. However, it was Cardiff and Fulham who both won by a 3 goal margin, and Huddersfield who marked their first win of the season. WBA, meanwhile, slumped to their first defeat.
Top Point Scorers
|Johnson||Preston||Midfield||£7.5||71||Cairney||Fulham||Midfield||£8.5||67||Watkins||Brentford||Forward||£9.5||58||Borja||Swansea||Forward||£7.0||57||Mitrovic||Fulham||Forward||£12.5||56||Cavaleiro||Fulham||Midfield||£9.0||54||Bryan||Fulham||Defender||£6.5||54||Bowen||Hull||Forward||£11.5||52||Woodman||Swansea||Goalkeeper||£5.0||52||van der Hoorn||Swansea||Defender||£5.0||51|
It was a huge week for Fulham owners, as they now have four players inside the top ten. Moving from 4th to 2nd place is Tom Cairney. Having bagged 2 goals, a clean sheet and 2 bonus points, the midfielder saw a huge 15-point haul. It was his best week of the season and the third week in a row that he’s hit double figures.
Also netting twice was Aleksander Mitrovic, who also bagged 3 bonus points for a 13-point week.
Entering the top ten for the first time is defender Joe Bryan, who notched 10 points from an assist, clean sheet and 1 bonus point after last week’s 15 points.
Ivan Cavaleiro was an unused substitute to frustrate Championship Fantasy managers, but his freshness will certainly be an asset going into this weekend’s home clash against Charlton.
The other six players inside the top ten also blanked, including Daniel Johnson, whose Preston side are now unbeaten in seven, Brentford’s Ollie Watkins, Hull City’s Jarrod Bowen and Swansea trio Borja Gonzalez Tomas, Freddie Woodman and Mike van der Hoorn.
Fulham’s Unsung Hero
Fulham Captain Tom Cairney’s two goals moved him to 5 for the season with 3 assists and 10 bonus points as the Cottagers romped home to a 4-1 win over Reading. Their night was made easier by the dismissal of influential midfielder John Swift (£6.5), who was given his marching orders after just 20 minutes. He also dropped outside the top ten points scorers and will miss the weekend away game at Bristol City.
Cairney saw both goals assisted by Stefan Johansen (£7.5), with the two other goals scored by Aleksander Mitrovic assisted by Joe Bryan and Anthony Knockaert (£9.5).
So much has been written about the forward three in Mitrovic, Cavaleiro and Knockaert, but Cairney’s influence cannot be underestimated in the Fulham lineup. He’s outscored and assisted Knockaert, outscored Cavaleiro and has more bonus points than both.
Forest are now 9 games unbeaten, having lost only once this season in an opening day defeat to WBA.
Despite only 38% possession against a resilient Blackburn side, Joe Lolley’s (£10.5) equaliser for Sabri Lamouchi’s side moves them to third in the table. It was his 3rd goal of the season to go alongside his 1 assist, 3 clean sheets and 6 bonus points.
He sits second for points for Forest on 43 behind forward Lewis Grabban (£10.0) on 49, thanks to 5 goals, 1 assist and 7 bonus points.
At the back they have 3 clean sheets from the 10 games so far, where Joe Worrall is the budget pick, having played every minute so far and coming in at a price of £4.0.
Garry Monk’s First Defeat
Having taken 7 points from his first three games after wins over Huddersfield and Middlesbrough and a draw with Fulham, Garry Monk’s unbeaten start to his managerial reign at Sheffield Wednesday came to an end with a 1-0 defeat to Hull City.
Substitute Tom Eaves (£8.0), with his first goal for the club, kept all 3 points at the KCOM Stadium in a game the Owls might’ve felt they should have won.
Forward Steven Fletcher (£9.5) was ruled out with a minor ankle injury, with midfield trio Barry Bannan (£7.5), Adam Reach (£8.0) and Kadeem Harris (£6.5) being a constant threat in midfield and creating plenty of chances. It’s easy to see how they put 4 past Middlesbrough in game week 10.
The Owls entertain Wigan on Saturday.
Top v Top, Bottom v Bottom
As expected, it was a tight game at Elland Road as Leeds hosted WBA, claiming a 1-0 victory to go top of the Championship and resigning Slaven Bilic’s men to their first defeat of the campaign.
It was left back Ezgjan Alioski (£8.0), a midfielder playing left back, who netted the only goal of the game, where forward Patrick Bamford (£9.5) put in a man of the match display, showing how vital he is to the Leeds attack despite not scoring himself in six games.
At the bottom it was a scrappy affair as Stoke hosted Huddersfield, who were also separated by a single goal. The substitutes Juninho Bacuna (£5.0) and Adama Diakhaby (£7.0) combined well for an 82nd minute winner. The defeat leaves Stoke 3 points adrift in bottom place as pressure mounts on manager Nathan Jones.
Cardiff City Defensive Assets
Cardiff are now 7 games unbeaten after a 3-0 win over QPR on Wednesday night, but with 4 draws in their last 6, they are still only 10th in the league table.
QPR have been an in-form team, but dropped forward Nahki Wells (£9.5) to the bench for a 4-2-3-1 formation with Jordan Hugill (£8.5) preferred as the lone man up front.
The danger from Cardiff lies heavily in set piece situations, and it paid off again, as the centre back pairing combined from a Lee Tomlin (£4.5) free-kick.
Aden Flint assisted Sean Morrison for the first goal to highlight the threat both defenders pose, and this is highlighted in their £6.5 price tags. They both sit at the top of Cardiff’s point scorers with 48 and 43.
We have highlighted in previous articles the full-back pairing of Lee Peltier (£4.5) and Joe Bennett (£5.0). The duo are old school style defenders rather than roving wingbacks, so their threat is not as great as the centre backs. This is yet again highlighted in their prices, with no goals or assists for either.
Despite putting in the performances, Leeds forward Patrick Bamford failed to find the net yet again, and Charlton’s Lyle Taylor’s (£9.5) long injury lay off is seeing many managers transfer him out also.
Coming in are Fulham’s Cairney and Preston’s Daniel Johnson, as well as more premium defenders getting a look in. Bryan, Flint and Morrison, all £6.5, are moving Championship Fantasy manager’s budget to the back and away from the forwards.
Gameweek 10 marked the end of Mini Season 1, and so promotions and relegations are afoot.
Due to the midweek action, we only have 48 hours to prepare for Mini Season 2, which starts on Friday night as Birmingham take on Middlesbrough.
Remember, all points are reset at the start of the new Mini Season so it is a clean slate for everyone. Whether you are newly promoted, freshly relegated or somewhere in between, it’s all to play for as the new season kicks off.