Fantasy Football Preview: Beware the grey arrow of mediocrity

Listen to Episode 5 (published 29th November) of The Hit Row Z Podcast – now on iTunes – subscribe and share!

A very uninspiring week for me with no movement in my league place.  Safely ensconced in 40th place in our league I made up 17 points on 39th place but lost 18 points to Griff Miller in 41st; two steps forward, two steps back. I was 5 points shy of the average score of 55 and therefore allowing for rounding and margins of error I think it is fair to say I am having a mediocre time of it.

With 12 weeks gone we are nearly one third of the way through the season and the pace is starting to become too much for some.  Mart Carrick managed only 11 points for his team “Rob Lee>Paul Scholes”, presumably to the delight of an easily offended Scholes.  Looking at Mart’s starting line-up it included only 4 players who featured for the full 90 minutes, two of whom managed 0 points, did Mart really get that unlucky, or has he simply given up the pretence of caring?  Apologies Mart if you were away on holiday with no wi-fi, but there is a strong possibility you have become the first faller in the HitRowZ Championship.  Gary Egan, all is not lost; simply staying the course may start to move you steadily up the table.

Mart’s example has me looking nervously over my shoulder though, at what point will I realise I am the last man on the course, pedalling less and less fruitfully and simply delaying the inevitable collection by the team car.  Why am I doing this anymore?  Is it the taking part that counts or is winning everything?  Am I Rocky IV about to come good or am I Rocky V, a mistake that should have been ended before it began?  This week has seen me clinging desperately to some sense that mediocrity has merit, honest endeavour is its own reward.

Many of you may be scoffing at my obvious clutching of straws but I think I have identified a few kindred spirits.  I’m talking about the journeymen, the try-hards, the water-carriers; those players who selflessly play for the rest of the team with no personal reward, those players who over 12 weeks of fantasy gameplay have averaged a consolation prize of 2 points a week.  A for effort, E for attainment. Welcome to the 24 club, home of the fantasy league filler.

Please pay your respects to the following members of the 24 club:

  • Scott Parker
  • Gabriel Agbonlahor
  • Razvan Rat (I confess I wasn’t sure this wasn’t a joke added to the game by EA sports)
  • Michael Turner,
  • And most of all Mile Jedinak.

This week Mile racked up a season’s best of 3 points thus making up for his only other aberration in week 1 where he scored an under-par 1.  Every minute of every game Jedinak has been on the pitch doing what he does best, and in all that time he has managed no goals, no assists and no bonus points, he has managed only 2 clean sheets, one of which was netted off against his only yellow card of the season so far.  His is the closest to a perfect game the league has to offer.

What comfort, if any, can Mile take from his hard-working, distinctly average fantasy league performance?  Well perhaps this: his ever present companion, Dean Moxey, has only got 23 points.  And sad though it is, I must accept that Mile and I are now in the same camp, that place where goalposts must be widened and expectations lowered.

I may have to come to terms with the fact that I can no longer look up to Ben Harrison in first place, but I can still find reasons to fight valiantly, to rage against the dying of the light.  By shrewdly handing the captains armband to Daniel Sturridge and watching as he single-handedly embarrasses Steve Bruce (90 minutes played, two goals scored, one assist and a bonus point) gain myself the 22 points required to leapfrog Kevin Astley and safely into 39th place.  Does anyone know the opposite of a stretch target?

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