A game week where the big names were relatively quiet as some new potentials present themselves. The bottom of the Championship remains as it has been whereas order has been restored at the top.
Top Point Scorers
|Johnson||Preston||Midfield||£7.5||53||Cavaleiro||Fulham||Midfield||£9.0||48||Borja||Swansea||Forward||£7.0||45||Taylor||Charlton||Forward||£9.5||43||Walton||Blackburn||Goalkeeper||£4.5||43||Williams||Blackburn||Defender||£4.5||41||van der Hoorn||Swansea||Defender||£5.0||41||Mitrovic||Fulham||Forward||£12.5||40||Bowen||Hull||Forward||£11.5||40||Eze||QPR||Midfield||£8.0||40|
It was a slow week for the top hitters, as Daniel Johnson, Borja Gonzalez Tomas, Mike van der Hoorn and Aleksander Mitrovic all blanked, while Lyle Taylor missed out through injury.
Ivan Cavaleiro moved from 4th to 2nd place for points as his assist made it 5 points for the week. Blackburn’s Christian Walton replaced Swansea’s Freddie Woodman as the only goalkeeper in the top ten as his fourth clean sheet of the season sent him up to 5th spot with 43 points.
Joining him is teammate Derrick Williams, who claimed his 2nd goal of the season, the clean sheet and 2 bonus points to put him 6th place.
Hull City’s Jarrod Bowen netted his 4th of the season and claimed 1 bonus point, while QPR Talisman Eberechi Eze scored, assisted and gained 2 bonus points to put him inside the top ten for the first time.
Battle of the New Managers
Sunday’s first kick-off came at the John Smiths Stadium where Huddersfield took on local Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday, in a game where both teams had new men leading the team for the first time.
Huddersfield managed to prize away the highly rated managerial duo Danny and Nicky Cowley from Lincoln City, while Sheffield Wednesday appointed Garry Monk over the International Break.
It was Wednesday who came out winners with a 2-0 victory, but how do the new managers affect our Championship Fantasy thoughts?
The Cowleys opted for a 4-3-3 due to the absence of injured midfielder Alex Pritchard (£8.5), which would have allowed them to use their favoured 4-2-3-1 formation. When Pritchard returns to fitness, you would expect the 4-2-3-1 to return, a formation that is more suited to the Terriers.
While Monk prefers a 4-4-2 formation, he stuck with the 4-2-3-1 that has been used during the season so far with Lee Bullen in charge, with only 2 changes in personnel from the previous game, with Moses Odubajo (£5.0) replacing Liam Palmer (£4.5) at right back, with Palmer moving to the left side of defence, replacing Morgan Fox (£4.5).
Meanwhile Jacob Murphy (£7.0) replaced Fernando Forestieri (£9.0), who starts his six-game suspension on racism charges, in the forward midfield three.
Hull City’s Wide Men
Hull City and Wigan Athletic currently sit 20th and 21st in the Championship table after a 2-2 draw at the weekend, so you’d be forgiven for thinking the Fantasy assets would be few during the fixture.
On the contrary, as in previous gameweeks we have spoken about the highly-rated Jarrod Bowen, who netted the first goal for Hull. It took him to 4 for the season to go along with 1 assist and 10 bonus points.
Scoring the second Hull goal was his partner on the other wing, the Polish Kamil Grosicki (£9.5), whose terrific free-kick took him to 2 goals, 1 assist and 7 bonus points for the season, making up his 33 points.
To illustrate how much Hull rely on the duo, both forwards Tom Eaves (£8.0) and Josh Magennis (£6.5) have neither scored, assisted or picked up a single bonus point so far this season, scoring 9 and 2 points to Bowen’s 40 and Grosicki’s 33.
Last week we highlighted Swansea’s fortune to be going into the International Break top of the table when statistically Leeds United were far superior over the course of the season so far. It was perhaps little surprise that the South Wales club went down to a 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest, having just 1 shot on target from 9 and creating no clear-cut chances despite having over 63% possession.
Forest, on the other hand, enjoyed 14 shots, 2 of which on target and creating 3 clear-cut chances despite only having less than 37% possession.
Compare this to Leeds, who beat Barnsley 2-0, who had 21 shots, with 7 on target and 3 clear-cut chances with over 66% possession.
They both sit level on 16 points, with Leeds ahead on goal difference.
Leeds kick-off the weekend with a lunchtime game at home to Derby County, while Swansea travel to Bristol City for a 3 pm start.
The Last Unbeaten Side
Take a bow West Bromwich Albion, who remain the last side to go unbeaten so far this season after a 1-1 draw away to Fulham.
You would expect Slaven Bilic’s side to sit a lot higher than the 6th place they find themselves in, having won only 3, the least amount of the top 9, and drawn 4, the most in the top 15.
They have yet to keep a clean sheet this season with midfielder Matt Phillips (£8.0) being their top points scorer with 28, consisting of 2 goals, 1 assist and 3 bonus points.
They have a home game against Huddersfield in the only game not to take place on Saturday.
Queens Park Rangers
Three straight wins moves the London club up to 7th in the league table after a 3-2 win at home to Luton Town.
England U-21 International Eze sits at the top of the points board with 40, build-up of 3 goals, 2 assists and 8 bonus points. On-loan forward duo Jordan Hugill (£8.5) and Nahki Wells (£9.5) sit second and third in the table, with Hugill scoring 5 and gaining 5 bonus points, whereas Wells has 3 goals, 1 assist and 5 bonus points.
Like WBA, QPR have yet to keep a clean sheet this season, so their forward threat could be a good option if you are looking for lower owned, cheaper picks.
Leeds Talisman Pablo Hernandez (£11.5) is frustrating many a Championship Fantasy manager, as he blanked for a second week running, with both his goals and all 5 bonus points coming in the first two gameweeks. Also, cause for concern was the penalty Leeds were awarded being taken by Mateusz Klich (£9.0) rather than Hernandez.
As the top-priced midfielder, it is an easy transfer out, with everyone else in the position being affordable.
The transfer to Preston’s Daniel Johnson (£7.5) will save you £4.0 to spend elsewhere, or the mentioned Eze, Klich or Grosicki, who all had good game weeks.
Fantasy Divisions Leaders
With the first Mini Season underway, with 4 Leagues in operation, you now have up to and including game week 10 to try and achieve promotion, avoid relegation, or remain in your current league.
In Division 1 Flaytop and Lister are joint first with 59 points, despite having Mitrovic and Borja captained, both sides enjoyed success from Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday assets.
Division 2 also has two teams tied at top spot, with Spooky and Swallowhat on 61. Both sides saw captaincy returns in Bowen and Martyn Waghorn alongside Sheffield Wednesday defensive players.
Division 3 has an outright leader in TeelXp on 61 points who had the foresight to captain Bradley Dack and go 5 at the back, resulting in 3 clean sheets, as well as one for the goalkeeper.
A clear leader also in Division 4 with FPLGeneral on 61 points, after returns from 6 of the 11, with captain Hernandez blanking.
After 5 goals in 7 games but a blank last week, do we stick with Fulham’s Mitrovic as captain or has Cavaleiro done enough to win captaincy?
Can we afford to ignore Daniel Johnson, who sits at the top of the points scorers despite a blanked game week?
The choice, as always, is yours…