Gameweek 12 saw plenty of drama at the bottom of the table, as Huddersfield’s fortune has finally turned a corner thanks to Danny and Nicky Cowley, Reading’s new man in charge secured a winning start to his tenure, Stoke made it 2 unlikely wins from 2 and Wigan ended Nottingham Forest’s 10-game unbeaten run in the Sunday fixture.
Meanwhile, it isn’t such pleasant reading for Middlesbrough, Hull or Barnsley; all of whom have slipped down in the table.
Top Point Scorers
The top two points scorers – Preston’s Daniel Johnson and Fulham’s Tom Cairney – both blanked but remain the top two.
Hot on their heels is QPR’s talisman Eberechi Eze, who hit 13 points with 2 goals (both penalties) and 3 bonus points. His haul takes him to 68 points for the season.
Cairney’s Fulham teammate Ivan Cavaleiro also blanked as he slips to fourth place behind Eze on 64 points, with Huddersfield forward Karlan Grant moving level on points after he notched his seventh goal of the campaign.
Also scoring was Brentofrd’s Ollie Watkins who netted his 8th goal of the season to move up to sixth place ahead of Fulham’s Aleksander Mitrovic, who also blanked and received a -1 for a yellow card.
Three new entrants make up the final 3 spots of the top 10, with all three netting their fifth goals of the season for their club.
Hull’s Jarrod Bowen moves into seventh place. Meanwhile, Blackburn’s Bradley Dack scored and assisted and Charlton’s Conor Gallagher also gained a clean sheet point to move into tenth position.
Dropping out of the top ten are Swansea’s Borja Gonzalez Tomas, teammate Freddie Woodman and West Brom’s Matheus Pereira.
A Resurgent Huddersfield Under The Cowleys
Huddersfield are now unbeaten in the last 4 after just 1 point from their first 8 games. The Cowley brothers have adapted to life in the Championship with ease.
It was super sub Juninho Bacuna (£5.0) who levelled the game to 2-2 against Blackburn to secure a point. The midfielder has scored 3 goals off the bench in Huddersfield’s last 3 games.
Wide man Adama Diakhaby (£7.0) is also a rejuvenated player under the Cowleys. He has notched 3 assists in his last 3 games after making the transition from super sub to starter.
The question now is whether Bacuna, like Diakhaby, can force his way into the starting 11. Midfielder Jonathan Hogg (£4.5) is 1 booking away from a suspension and on-loan Chelsea man Trevoh Chalobah (£5.0) is out of form under the management. Both could make way as the new management continues to figure out their optimal starting 11.
Reading’s New Man In Charge
There was controversy around the Madejski Stadium last Monday as Reading appointed Technical Director Mark Bowen as their new manager. As Technical Director, it was Bowen’s role to handle applicants for the vacant managerial position. The fact that the post has been given to him has naturally raised eyebrows.
The Royals welcomed on form Preston and things looked set to finish 0-0, however, a winner deep into stoppage time meant all 3 points remained at Reading and saw them move out of the relegation zone.
Bowen stuck with the 3-5-2 formation that the Royals have used predominantly so far this season, so from a Championship Fantasy perspective, the Reading prospects remain much as they were.
What does remain to be seen is how Bowen adapts to management. His side will travel to QPR on Tuesday evening.
Giant Killers Stoke
Stoke’s defeat to Huddersfield in Gameweek 11 left them the only team in the division without a win and rooted to the bottom of the Championship with a tough run of fixtures ahead of them.
Four days later they travelled to top of the table Swansea, and came away with all 3 points after a 2-1 victory. They welcomed Fulham to the Potteries on Saturday and emerged with a 2-0 win that lifts them off the bottom of the table.
It will certainly ease the pressure on manager Nathan Jones, although they still remain 2 points from safety.
Forward Lee Gregory (£7.5) has been pivotal in the turnaround, with a goal, assist and 3 bonus points. Sam Clucas (£6.0) has also impressed.
They travel to Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday evening.
Pressure On Middlesbrough
After narrowly missing out on the play-offs last season, ‘Boro would be expecting to go one better this time around.
Star man Britt Assombalonga (£11.0) has only found the net 4 times, with fellow forward Ashley Fletcher (£8.5) scoring just once, although assisting 3 times.
In a season of few highlights, midfielder Patrick McNair has contributed 2 goals and 2 assists and comes in at a highly reasonable £4.5.
Woodgate was upbeat after the West Brom game, claiming he thought they deserved a win despite enjoying only 33% possession. However, currently in 21st place, his side will drop into the relegation zone if they lose to Huddersfield on Wednesday.
It seems barely a week goes by that we don’t praise QPR’s Eze. The forward ran riot at Hull, who simply could not handle him, as he won and converted 2 penalties to make it 6 goals for the season.
With forwards Nahki Wells (£9.5) and Jordan Hugill (£8.5) being so highly selected by Championship Fantasy Managers early on in the season, it’s now Eze who finds himself as the most popular pick.
The rotation of the lone man up front has frustrated many managers, with Wells not completing a full 90 minutes since Gameweek 5 and Hugill not even making it 30 minutes from the subs bench in the last 2 games.
Despite this, all 3 forwards have 6 goals to their name, with Eze having 2 assists to Wells’ 1 and none for Hugill. Another significant factor is penalties, which are so far going to Eze.
The problem with premium picks is that you expect weekly returns, and what we have seen so far is an inconsistency with the top clubs and their assets.
Swansea have lost to Stoke and drawn with Barnsley over the last two gameweeks. With both clubs in the relegation zone, it was two games the Swans were expected to win. Borja was benched in the last game, as was popular defender Connor Roberts (£5.5), although Andre Ayew (£7.5) has scored 3 in 3 and collected 4 bonus points along the way.
Fulham’s stock was at an all-time high, with Cairney, Cavaleiro, Mitrovic and defender Joe Bryan (£6.5) all being drafted in. But it was Stoke again who pulled off the win to leave Fulham assets with no goals, assists or clean sheets.
Leeds’ season has been summed up more by a failure to capitalise on highly impressive match statistics rather than inconsistency, and it is no surprise that their form has dipped as talisman Pablo Hernandez (£11.5) has been injured since Gameweek 8.
Forward Patrick Bamford (£9.5) has blanked in the last 7 gameweeks, yet still remains the Yorkshiremen’s third highest points scorer behind keeper Kiko Casilla (£5.5) and defender Ben White (£5.0).
Current form players Jarrod Bowen, Bradley Dack and Karlan Grant haven’t been drafted in all that much. With all their prices over the £10.5 mark, it’s hard to accommodate them without reshuffling current squads to free up the funds.
Instead it has been Conor Gallagher who has been highly transferred in, as Charlton prove their early season run of form was not beginners luck.
Gameweek 2 of the second round of mini-seasons saw many changes in all four divisions.
In Division One, MUMBOJUMBO retains his lead, with Dack, Bowen, Gallagher and Grant all helping them to 53 gameweek points and 125 for the season to go 3 points clear of Spooky.
ZlatkoGaboric goes top in Division 2 thanks to Gallagher, Dack and Eze helping them to 119 for the season to go 5 clear of Devilsweep in second place.
Division 3 has Vandelay 8 clear at the top, with double Leeds clean sheets from Casilla and White, as well as Swansea’s Rodon (£4.5) (being subbed before the Swans conceded) and 2 assists and 2 bonus points from Brentford’s Said Benrahma (£10.5).
It’s tight at the top of Division 4 with 7 teams all on 100 points and over. Plankorama leads them with 110, despite only 34 gameweek points.
We again have midweek action which kicks off with 7 games on Tuesday evening and continues with 5 on Wednesday evening.
Will it again be the bottom sides making the headlines with another week of upturned results or will the teams at the top return to winning ways?
Gameweek 13 kicks off at 7:45pm, so you have less than 48 hours to decide upon your transfers, substitutions and captaincies.