The 2016/17 FPL season was not without its drama as the season wrapped. Josh King's last minute withdrawal away at Leicester ultimately decided the fate of the entire FPL. In our own mini-leagues a single point would ultimately determine the fate of a Head to Head league. Who is responsible for the agony and elation that we as Fantasy Premier League fanatics endure? It's that time of the season where we review the chosen few to grace our Team of the Season slots. The Hype Train evaluates the best Goalkeepers, Defenders, Midfielders, and Forwards, as well as unveiling the FPL Player of the Year, and our own personal choice as THT Player of the Year. It's time to honour those who have done a community of football statisticians proud. All aboard.
2016/17 FPL Team of the Year
What we're going to do is run down our 15 man squad that has excelled this season in the FPL. We've included 2 Goalkeepers, 5 Defenders, 5 Midfielders, and 3 Forwards.
For comparison, below is the FPL Dream Team for 2016/17, which amassed 2249 points this season, with Sanchez as the overall top points scorer with 264 points. Seven of these men have made our Team of the Season in a 3-4-3 formation. Let's get this train out of the station.
Team of the Year: Goalkeepers
Who misses out?:
de Gea (MUN), Forster (SOU), Pickford (SUN), and Jakupovic (HUL)
Tom Heaton (BUR) - The undisputed best GK of the season made the most saves and kept 10 clean sheets. Heaton was the difference between a player in the top few thousand, and one lingering 50 points further back.
Ben Foster (WBA) - Acquired 6 clean sheets and over 100 this season, Ben Foster was a mammoth in goal for West Brom this season. Form ultimately dipped, but he was a sought after option in the sticks.
Team of the Year: Defenders
Who misses out?:
Cahill (CHE), Azpilicueta (CHE), Baines (EVE), Davies (TOT) and Vertonghen (TOT)
Kyle Walker (TOT) - Struggled for minutes at the end of the season, but Walker was an absolute FPL machine for the most part. His pace created assist after assist, and he is a bonus points magnet. A worthy addition at the back ahead of his fellow club-mates.
Marcos Alonso (CHE) - Alonso and Walker were the best full backs in the league this season, with Alonso opting to play most of his minutes playing as a left forward, or springing into the penalty area at any given chance. Started as a differential, and ended as a stone-wall essential. More on Alonso later.
Gareth McAuley (WBA) - The six goal veteran, much like Heaton, was at times the deciding factor in a good Gameweek, and a great one. He offered value and form over the course of the whole season, and was a true danger man in the opposition's penalty area.
Charlie Daniels (BOU) - Bournemouth came in and out of form as they pleased, leaving an FPL headache, but on the most part Charlie Daniels was a reliable option to have in the squad, and out performed most of his FPL counterparts.
Seamus Coleman (EVE) - Before a leg-break on international duty with the Republic of Ireland, Coleman had managed 11 FPL returns from 14 matches, and would have no doubt been one of the top 5 points scoring defenders had he not got injured.
Team of the Season: Midfielders
Who misses out?:
Mane (LIV), Coutinho (LIV), Antonio (WHU), Eriksen (TOT), Son (TOT), and Zaha (CRY)
Eden Hazard (CHE) - By default of winning the league, and being an instrumental part in achieving a second league crown in three years, Eden Hazard was a man for the big occasion, both from an FPL point of view, and a real one. Deadly away from home on the break, Hazard and Costa's partnership was rekindled brilliantly this season. a no brainer for our Team of the Season.
Josh King (BOU) - Sneaking in to the midfield spaces ahead of Liverpool's excellent Sadio Mane is Bournemouth midfielder Josh King, who in truth had the FPL community eaten out of his hands. The budget option rose to attention in 2017, only being outscored by the likes of golden-boot winner Harry Kane. King's golden touch either frustrated you (because you didn't have him), or his inclusion was a deciding factor for your team.
Alexis Sanchez (ARS) - Goals, assists, bonus points, penalties, free-kicks, and a ruthless work rate. What didn't Sanchez provide this season for FPL players? He was once again a supreme Double Gameweek option, and had immaculate form at the beginning of the season, which was best personified when he cut the heart of West Ham as if it were a warm stick of butter. The FPL's best asset this season no doubt makes our team.
Dele Alli (TOT) - Slow to get going, much like Spurs's form in the Premier League, Dele Alli exploded onto the scene with goal after goal, and became an FPL option that you just couldn't ignore. Essentially playing off Kane, Alli has taken up a role further up the field for Spurs, and is reaping the rewards for his FPL faithful.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (SWA) - The instrumental Swansea midfielder looked as if he could score or assist in any game in the Premier League. Deadly in front of goal, most of the time, and ruthless with set plays, Gylfi was actually better performing against sides in the top half of the table, than he was against teams in the bottom half that defended for their lives at the 18 yard box. Sigurdsson has proven once again what a very good player he has become in the Premier League, and long may one of our favourite wildcard differentials, continue in the same manner next season.
Team of the Season: Forwards
Who misses out?:
Ibrahimovic (MUN), Defoe (SUN), Llorente (SWA), and Jesus (MCI)
Harry Kane (TOT) - The Hurrikane was the talk of the town to end the season. 8 goals from his final 3 matches was a brilliant haul, and with 29 goals and 3 injuries this season, Kane would have smashed the 31 goals set by Shearer and Suarez in the league had it not been for time on the shelf.
Romelu Lukaku (EVE) - If Kane stole the third act, it was Lukaku who was the main headline act for the Premier League's second act. Home form in 2017 was spectacular and always looked a goal threat but was dependent on what Everton side showed up to the field. Lukaku proved an essential when he was needed, and paved the way for other big guns when the Double Gameweek fixtures rolled through town.
Diego Costa (CHE) - Costa was the main man for the Premier League's first act. A wise move by players at the beginning of the season had FPL players purring over Costa and his match winning capabilities. Tailing off near the end of the season won't have FPL players forgetting how key Costa was to FPL success this season.
FPL Player of the Year
@HypeTrainPhil took to Twitter during the time when Kante was picking up his Player of the Year awards, and began running our official community focused FPL Player of the Year award. We asked who you wanted to see crowned the best player, and we received nearly a thousand responses over the course of a few weeks, to help us determine the fate of the virtual award.
Pot 1 - Hazard (28%), Costa (16%), Kane (36%), McAuley (20%)
Pot 2 - Sanchez (54%), Mane (22%), Alonso (19%), Walker (5%)
Pot 3 - Lukaku (62%), Ibrahimovic (18%), Heaton (17%), Coleman (2%)
Pot 4 - Alli (64%), Eriksen (7%), Sigurdsson (14%), King (15%)
Final Vote - Alli (19%), Lukaku (39%), Kane (12%), Sanchez (30%)
Hype Train: Player of the Year
Harry Kane (TOT), Diego Costa (CHE), Alexis Sanchez (ARS), Marcos Alonso (CHE), Dele Alli (TOT), Romelu Lukaku (EVE), Tom Heaton (BUR), Josh King (BOU)
Sadio Mane (LIV), Gylfi Sigurdsson (SWA)
Who did it boil down to?:
Sanchez or Alonso
The Hype Train 2016/17 Player of the Year Winner:
Why is Alonso the deserving winner?:
Sanchez steals the plaudits as far as FPL points matter, but in our eyes there was one unifying player who performed tremendously from his first kick of a ball against Arsenal during GW6, and that man is Chelsea full-back Marcos Alonso. Starting off a lowly selected wildcard option, it became obviously clear that Alonso prefers spending the majority of his matches occupying the left wing, and bombards into the box at every stage. 11 attacking returns in the FPL is just the tip of his success this season. Once occupying our FPL squads, there was no turning back for Alonso owners. He remained a permanent fixture in squads if you had him, whereas the price and form of Sanchez did wane greatly over the course of the season, especially as Arsenal are just a hard pill to swallow.
Chelsea's lack of rotation, and abundance of attacking threat, rendered Alonso an FPL essential every single week. You'll be hard pressed to find an edition of our Forecast whre ourselves or our guests do not bank faith with the left-wing back. Had it not been for Gary Cahill replacing John Terry after 26 minutes, and keeping a 17th clean sheet, Marcos Alonso would have finished as the top defender - not bad for a player who missed the first three games of the season, whilst only missing two games before the end of the season.
We can't praise Alonso highly enough. Like Mahrez, last years winner, this is a true story of a player from the lower leagues and divisions, really making themselves a household name, both to FPL players and football fans in general.
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