2015/16 FPL SEASON ANALYSIS: Phil Jones's "SweatyMongoose FC"
The 2015/16 Premier League season is over, culminating in one of the biggest sporting shocks in team sport. Leicester City's rise from nothing into something, from chumps to champs, has filtered its way into every crack and drain of life as we know it. In the FPL the Foxes dominated player selection, and were consistently the top performing players throughout the season. In our debut season as pundits The Hype Team was treated to a whirlwind of an FPL season, and each member of our team will take his time to describe his season, as a whole and on a personal level. Second up to bat, our "SweatyMongoose" Phile Jones picks his Team of the Season and provides analysis for his childhood club, the mighty Blues from Chelsea.
About The Hype Team
The Hype Team are the three founding members of the The Hype Train that run its social media accounts, constantly update the website, and do extensive research into the Fantasy Premier League. The expertise we provide in a wide and expansive FPL community is providing cutting edge statistics, up to date developments, beautiful graphics, and picking weekly wildcard 'differential' players. We pride ourselves on our unique, colourful branding, and our persistent endeavour to not just scream to the rooftops the obvious in our realm of fantasy football.
The 2015/16 season was the first for the Hype Train, and we'll be back for seconds in the 2016/17 FPL season.
Face Facts: Team of the Season
By The Hype Train's mythical SweatyMongoose, Phil Jones
The 2015/16 FPL Season promised so much for all, with exciting new ‘Chips’ and a multitude of fresh faces, but of course none of this matters unless you have the right squad at the right time. There were undoubtedly many disappointing performances and under achievers, but that’s a conversation for another day, here are the stars that carried the FPL torch in style for SweatyMongoose FC to end the season with a rank of around 40K after a disastrous first ten FL GWs. Goalkeeper: Petr Cech Just Missing Out: Simon Mignolet (best of a bad bunch)
This is possibly the most difficult choice, due to inconsistency and injuries throughout the FPL in this position. Starting with Costel Pantillimon (aka 3 Point Panti) and ending with a rotation of eventual non-starters (Simon Mignolet and Joel Robles) this was clearly not my strong suit.
Petr Cech was my go to guy and offered periods of consistent Clean Sheets and large hauls of save points to earn his place in my XI. The Golden Glove winner might not have helped Arsenal win the league but has certainly steadied the ship at the back. Defenders: Cesar Azpilicueta, Christian Fuchs, Hector Bellerin Just Missing Out: Aaron Cresswell, Chris Smalling, Scott Dann
The crème de la crème of FPL defenders has to be Hector Bellerin. Offering both defensive and offensive points on a regular basis (resulting in the FPL highest BPS score: 871). Surely being one of the first names on the team sheet every week made him and FPL essential, Debuchy who?
The Premier League cannot be won without a solid defence, something that is further reiterated in the FPL. Christian Fuchs was the pick of what developed into a 15 clean sheet Leicester side. An additional four assists and being Ranked First for Bonus points amongst defenders guarantees his place. One of the most under rated players of this season but not under our radar. A surprise third choice completes the back line in Cesar Azpilicueta. The Chelsea Left/Right back had a tough season in the PL, however Five assists, Two goals and Eight Clean sheets have put his foot in the door. Midfielders: Riyad Mahrez, Dimitri Payet, Dele Alli, Alexis Sanchez Just Missing Out: Mesut Ozil, Dusan Tadic, Andros Townsend
Midfield was a position of class and beauty during this enthralling campaign. Three players in particular found the spotlight almost every week with eye catching skills, Beckham-esque Free Kicks and wonder goals.
First on the list and my FPL player of the season is of course Riyad Mahrez. Bar a couple of missed penalties (on both occasions I captained him) the Algerian maestro had a near perfect season, totalling an FPL high of 240 points. At just 5.5 million, owning this man was a must with 62% acquiring his services. Benching him during his best Gameweek was an FPL low for Sweatymongoose FC, a mistake that was never made again.
Dimitri Payet might be a late bloomer in his career but he’s certainly a household name thanks to nine goals and thirteen assists. It is easily forgotten that these figures were achieved while he was injured for eight weeks of the season, no wonder bubble blowers can’t get enough of him. Set pieces became a speciality, and in particular Free Kicks, with five finding the back of the net.
Dele Alli has had his name floating around the lower leagues for a couple of years now and at last got his chance at the highest level. Priced at just 5.0million with returns of ten goals and twelve assists he could arguably be considered the best value player of the year. The only concern at times was the young man’s temperament, however by only racking up seven yellow cards and somewhat miraculously avoiding ever taking an early bath FPL points were rarely affected. Just pipping Mesut Ozil into the XI is fellow gunner Alexis Sanchez. While Mesut created an incredible nineteen assists, Alexis totalled thirteen goals despite a spell of nine weeks on the sidelines. As one of only a few players that is routinely viewed as a captaincy option, regardless of opposition, he proved an asset on numerous occasions. While both of Wenger’s star players deserve a place, Alexis had the edge due to captaincy impact. Forwards: Jamie Vardy, Sergio Aguero, Odion Ighalo Just Missing Out: Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku
Shocked as I know most will be, the HurriKane has not been given the honour of a place in my TOTS. While it might seem harsh, here is my rationale.
Joint top points scorer (within the Forwards category) Jamie Vardy had a breakout season and was ever present in my XI since 2014. His points and Player Value speak for themselves. By creating pure chaos with pace and direct attacks on goal, defences were left clueless on how to stop him, while also being stretched to cover Mahrez.
FPL Favorite Sergio Aguero earned his place without producing regular returns but with two gargantuan gameweeks that left managers without him drifting into mid rank abyss. Having been scorned by Sergio in 2014/15’s campaign, fear of not having him played a decisive factor. Thankfully this payed off in a big way, with 2 five goal gameweeks. Price, normally a headache factor, was not, with so many budget options available that owning Sergio didn't damage squad talent.
Odion Ighalo impressed in pre-season and so much that I was encouraged to take the plunge early in his ascension, the Nigerian International proved to be an ultimate differential with points to match the heavy hitters, thus no Harry Kane. Having faded drastically in the latter stages he could have missed out, but his early season impact is not forgotten and is rewarded as such.
Chelsea Season Analysis
by a lifelong Chelsea fan before the money.
Blue was the colour, but Chelsea were not the team. This was outcome very few could have predicted following an outstanding 2014/15 campaign under Jose ‘the special one’ Mourinho. With most Pundits backing the Blues as title favourites pre-season. With no outstanding performers and forgettable league and cup runs it came as no surprise when Roman finally cut ties with Jose, perhaps for good this time. In came Guus Hiddink who, as always, brought stability and structure back to the bridge. With little of the season left to salvage the team focus turned to re-creating 2014/15 form. While Chelsea fans will be thouroghly disappointed with this season they can at least have claim to impacting the eventual title winning team after satisfyingly squashing Spurs dreams.
Starting at the back, an area the blues are known for being dominant, and with Belgian stopper Thibaut Courtois. Being sent off in the season opener followed by a lengthy injury was just the start of Chelsea woes. The Belgian displayed very little of the confident presence of the previous year and once returned from injury faced a series of rotations with back up Begovic. JT and Ivan were torn apart in the early stages by pacey forwards, perhaps age has finally caught up with them. Kurt Zouma showed signs of promise and will surely be a regular for years to come, however an unusual injury left him rehab-ing from mid-season. Cesar Azpilicueta offered the only consistent performances both in the PL and in FPL terms as discussed in my TOTS and for those reasons is my Chelsea FC Player of the year.
What a contrast twelve months made to the performances of Eden Hazard. Last years Player of the year had a season to forget on the whole, with only a few glimpses of the player we knew. However, form started to return in the final matches with a superb solo run through a beleaguered Liverpool side and a goal worth of deciding any trophy against Spurs. With the midfield being rotated frequently it is hard to pick out many excellent, or even satisfactory, performers for the year. The only name that comes to mind is Brazilian maestro Willian, who finally looks settled into the club after a couple of average seasons. Willian was able to produce regular returns and often ran the show for Chelsea. An abundance of attacking midfeilders at the club made first team opportunities difficult to come by and this may have affected the success of players such as Pedro, Oscar, Kenedy and Loftus-Cheek. The latter two offering hope for youth development. Fabregas and Matic were unstoppable during the 2014/15 title run but were often well off the pace and even looked unfit to play at times. Not forgetting an endless list of loanees due to return. Anyone remember Cuadrado? The Columbian has just won a Serie A title with Juventus.
Falcao? Why? After a season at United that left fans scratching their heads at the imposter they had signed. So, naturally he came to the bridge and on the bench or in the Physio room rehabbing is where he stayed. There is no doubt the man was once a dominant, and perhaps even the greatest, striker in the world, but I cannot remember a worse signing in my 25 years as a Chelsea fan. Diego Costa did his thing and managed 12 goals for the year. Supsensions and injuries are always a concern and it would be no surprise to see a new big name striker appear come August. Another hopeful youth player is Bertrand Traore, a man I have followed since the 2013 Asia pre-season tour. Impressing on every appearance in his Chelsea career might give him a push into regular first team plans.
Without the added squad pressure of European football, Antonio Conte has the chance to build a team focused on the PL. With departures and big name arrivals expected we can be sure tenth place will not be accepted by Mr. Abramovich again. With so much change coming with the new season it is impossible to do more than speculate but with that brings even more intrigue and attention to the PL. Celery, Celery..
A Thank You from The Hype Train
This first season for us as a team has been a rewarding experience. We've grown from nothing into a growing part of a vast FPL community. We've not the exposure of some other wonderful FPL sites and social media accounts, but we are confident that if we stay true to our values of quality and differential expertise, there is no bar too high for The Hype Train. Throughout the season we believe that we provided some of the best written, graphically appealing fantasy football articles that you'll find on the world wide web. We even had a brief period as guest writers for the heavily popular Fantasy Football Pundits (@FFPundits).
In our first year alone our Twitter account has 1400+ followers, and since May 2015 we have amassed more than 1 million unique views. Our ad-free website has been visited by 5,000 unique visitors, and above all else we have enjoyed speaking to the many FPL addicts and football enthusiasts that interact with us. Our Hype Team always has room to grow, so if you are a football or review writer looking for some decent exposure, get in touch with us today. We're not hard too find, and friendly on the eyes.
So thanks for those who have boarded our vision, and we look forward to growing even more next season, with old and new faces alike.