Here he comes, looking like a bag of money in his white tuxedo and black bowtie, it’s co-commissioner Our Man at the Valley, with the first recap of the 2012-13 Backpost EPL fantasy season.
Take it away, sir:
We’re back!!! The second season of the Backpost EPL Fantasy game began this past weekend—though with Euro 2012 and the Olympics taking up most of the offseason, it might seem like we’ve never been away.
This season we’ve got 13 entrants in the BPFL, joined by an Average team to fill out the head-to-head fixtures. Most of our entrants are returning from last year, including our defending champion—the Wonder from Down Under—Rise* of FC Hammer.
There were and still are lots of player movement to keep track of, as the transfer window in the EPL remains open until the end of the month. The prolific Robin Van Persie moved to Manchester United from Arsenal last week, setting up a potentially lethal strike force with Wayne Rooney. Tottenham have been shedding players right and left and some good values abound.
And there are lots of new players worth keeping track of, too. Not many of us would have heard of Michu (18 points) or Mladen Petric (16 points) before Saturday. And while we might have heard of Eden Hazard, it’s unlikely we would have anticipated the five assists he was credited with in the opening gameweek (these include two for drawing penalties).
There were lots of emphatic opening-week victories in the Premier League, and a few came from unlikely sources. Swansea, with a new manager and missing two of their key midfielders from last season, nonetheless pumped in five goals at QPR. Fulham, missing their best player from last term, put five past Norwich. West Brom, facing a Liverpool team with loads of new players and a new high-profile manager, ran out 3-0 winners against the Reds. Everton defended so deeply over the last 30 minutes that they had to turn on the floodlights at Anfield, but still came out on top against Manchester United.
My co-commissioner, MGlo, who manages Old27M, and I will be bringing you updates every other week throughout the season. His optimism concerning the new season was buoyed by the return to the EPL of two of his old Fantasy favorites, Kevin Nolan of West Ham and Ian Harte of Reading. Inexplicably, Nolan and his 10 points remained on Old27M’s bench, though a strong performance by a host of players in Chelsea’s victory over Reading gave Old27M an opening-week victory and hope of a maiden Top 10 finish.
Unlike last season, the EPL website seems to have made it through the first week unscathed. There was a slight hiccup on Friday when the site was down for a few minutes. That was around the time I took Nathan Dyer out of my provisional squad and replaced him with Joe Allen—a move that cost me 14 points.
Otherwise, there don’t seem to be any new rules in the game and the front page of the website is a lot clearer than it was last season in terms of the status of the game.
In addition to my co-commissioner’s BPFL win, there were opening-week victories for Rise* of FC Hammer, Clever and Witty, Marskansas, Colorado Keeper, Average, and myself.
My Disgruntled Numpties trailed The Losers 39-6 after Saturday’s games. That was enough to push me back into my MLS shell for another six weeks (I’m dominating the Backpost MLS division). But with a slew of Chelsea goal-scorers and their extra game this past week, I was able to overcome the deficit and win 85-49.
Performance of the Week: Led by Branislav Ivanovic and his 24 points, my Disgruntled Numpties took the honor this week with 85 points.
Asleep at the Wheel: This is a new accolade this year, a dubious honor that will be given, only occasionally, we hope. Its aim is to throw a spotlight on a manager who isn’t paying the strictest attention to his team. Our inaugural winner is Prison Mike, whose original squad of 15 included five players who clocked 13 minutes or fewer in the opening gameweek (that total doesn’t include Sergio Aguero; the Argentine exited his game after 13 minutes due to injury, but at least was a starter.) Is it too early to use your wildcard, Mike?
Thank you, OMATV. We’re looking forward to a great season, and we have it on good authority that Prison Mike was scaring kids straight last week, and had to neglect his BPFL team. Won’t happen again, he says.