FPL Dugout Champions League – The knockout rounds


For half of you, this is where the dream ends, for the other 16 managers the dream can live on! The group stages of the FPL Dugout Champions League as its namesake always throws up a few shocks, a few drubbings and of course many talking points over the course of its six gameweeks.

Before we delve into the possible last sixteen teams through, let’s look through the group stages and see those that have fallen and see if that gives us any insight of the ones to avoid in the latter stages.

Group A

Straight away this group shows that no side can be underestimated in this tournament as group favourite JW crashes out to become the first of two sides to exit the tournament whilst not registering a point. Form maybe temporary but Cooky’s pedigree shone and a group win will delight the fans. Ceres stands up for form as he continued his excellent form and grab the second spot in the group. Martino’s wildcard failed to make an impact and he will hope for a better campaign next time around.

Group B

Once again the pundit has been proved wrong and an early exit for Aaron which will give much optimism to the FPL Dugout fraternity. With all four sides tied on 6 points with 2 rounds to play, Geordie Ash and Stunes rose at the back post to nod home in the 90th minute with Stunes taking the group win on the head to head record. Geordie Ash will prove one to avoid for the latter stages as his active wildcard will ensure a strong side for the upcoming weeks. One season too early for Goalzz but in a different group could of grabbed the headlines.

Group C

The festive season is well and truly over for Meshari and from being the undoubted favourite has been shown the exit door. As predicted Alastair qualifies as group winner in Meshari’s place and Tom B with his lavishly priced squad produced the goods and earned that second spot. Ajay can be pleased to have handed Mesh the wooden spoon and will take this experience into next year’s tournament.

Group D

Despite having a 1m+ rank Bivash made light work of group D racking up an impressive 5 wins and finishing ahead of FPL regular Shiva and new boy Kyle. Current Champions League title holder Fauzan sneaks through to the latter stages and again will be a very dangerous opponent despite not coming to the FPL Dugout chatroom all that often.

Group E

Hand Sleno the calculator! The last minute addition of the Luis Suarez assist handed Villa Simon a last gasp draw against group winner Ben. Three teams tied on ten points and head to head results now the deciding factor it was indeed Villa Simon who was handed the exit door with only four points against his rivals whilst Ben (7) and Alyssa (6) qualify on that record. Sean can at least know he was the best American in the competition but will have to learn footballers do not wear shoulder pads and lycra leggings, next year Sean!

Group F

Biggest shock of the whole tournament right here in this group, not that Sleno hand picked his group or the fact that he fluked 6 wins against his opponents, no it’s Luke Daw Champions League group qualifier! Against all odds he has put his name up with the elite. Tom D will be disappointed in his performance as a sub 3k position before the group started has been overturned by someone over 1 million places below him in the league structure. Jason with 8 prior green arrows will also feel hard done by. That’s fantasy football and these two qualifiers could be tricky opponents for very different reasons.

Group G

#LuckyKevo’s dream of winning the Champions League is now over and some costly results has proved his downfall. A draw against Bryan and a match day 6 defeat in the derby against Steve has robbed Kev of becoming one of the best 16 managers in the game. Konig brushed all aside with a 15 point haul and Bryan’s crucial win against Kevo after their opening round draw was enough to ensure a better head to head record and qualification. Despite Steve not qualifying the fact that he robbed Kev the chance of qualification must surely offer some crumbs of comfort.

Group H

In probably the tightest group from the outset one man stood tallest against the rest. Marco, six wins from six, the first name in the hat for the latter stages and the best goal difference of any side. Tony’s experience shone through and after two opening match defeats resurrected his team and now along with Geordie Ash has an active Wildcard for the latter stages. Another one to avoid I feel. Dom was another victim of the head to head rule and Wayne joins JW in the 0 point club!

That’s the groups put to bed for another year. Kevo you can stop reading now as the rest doesn’t apply to you. I think there was a good mix of surprises, shocks and big names in the hat to provide us with a thrilling knock out stage.

I have provided here some basic analysis on the sixteen teams left in the competition and you can gauge yourselves what you want from it.

As we saw from the groups we had two 1m+ ranked qualifiers whereas some sub 3k ranked managers were shown the exit door. Are they the teams we desire, or is form the key? There is a manager who qualified for the last 16, is in the top 120k but achieved 0 green arrows in the last 6 gameweeks.

Most of us are aware of the FPL Dugout regulars and their managing style but if we can learn some things about the lesser known managers, surely that’s the key.

Group A

Manager Points GW 31 points Diff Pos GW 31 position Change Team value GW 31 team value Change Green arrows (last 6) WC status
Cooky 1,349 1,703 354 422,634 204,459 218,175 104.3 105.1 0.8 3 Played
Ceres 1,358 1,683 325 375,569 270,930 104,639 106.1 107.3 0.8 5 Played

Group B

Manager Points GW 31 points Diff Pos GW 31 position Change Team value GW 31 team value Change Green arrows (last 6) WC status
Stunes 1,485 1,838 363 20,342 8,856 11,486 108.2 109.9 1.7 5 Played
Geord 1,427 1,780 353 109,327 46,605 62,722 104.3 105.7 1.4 4 Active

Group C

Manager Points GW 31 points Diff Pos GW 31 position Change Team value GW 31 team value Change Green arrows (last 6) WC status
Alastair 1,490 1,810 320 17,119 21,268 -4,149 108.2 108.9 0.7 3 Played
Tom B 1,423 1,721 298 119,617 154,422 -34,805 108.8 109.8 1.0 2 Played

Group D

Manager Points GW 31 points Diff Pos GW 31 position Change Team value GW 31 team value Change Green arrows (last 6) WC status
Bivash 1,180 1,520 340 1,369,338 1,030,112 339,226 105.7 106.9 1.2 6 Played
Fauzan 1,391 1,684 293 225,250 267,056 -41,806 105.3 107.2 1.9 2 Played

Group E

Manager Points GW 31 points Diff Pos GW 31 position Change Team value GW 31 team value Change Green arrows (last 6) WC status
Ben 1,396 1,694 298 205,107 231,913 -26,806 102.7 104.4 1.7 2 Played
Alyssa 1,459 1,736 277 46,947 117,765 -70,818 107.4 108.3 0.9 0 Played

Group F

Manager Points GW 31 points Diff Pos GW 31 position Change Team value GW 31 team value Change Green arrows (last 6) WC status
Sleno 1,440 1,779 339 79,345 47,597 31,748 106.5 106.5 0.0 5 Played
Luke 1,229 1,519 290 1,105,073 1,035,660 69,413 103.1 103.7 0.6 3 Played

Group G

Manager Points GW 31 points Diff Pos GW 31 position Change Team value GW 31 team value Change Green arrows (last 6) WC status
Konig 1,463 1,800 337 42,047 27,959 14,088 109.2 111.2 2.0 3 Played
Bryan 1,481 1,786 305 23,448 40,013 -16,565 105.8 105.7 -0.1 3 Played

Group H

Manager Points GW 31 points Diff Pos GW 31 position Change Team value GW 31 team value Change Green arrows (last 6) WC status
Marco 1,430 1,783 353 102,000 43,415 58,585 108.5 110.5 2.0 5 Played
Tony 1,444 1,751 307 71,439 88,261 -16,822 105.3 104.6 -0.7 2 Active

Total Averages: 1,403 / 1,724 / 322 / 270,913 / 227,268 / 43,644 / 106.2 / 107.2 / 1.0 / 3.3

Much to ponder from what we see here. Looking at the total averages for each column indicates where each manager is above and below the average of the other 15 managers. Whatever deciding factor that makes you think an opponent is strong or weak is of your own choosing. Geordie Ash and Tony have active wildcards, Stunes scored an impressive 363 points in the last 6 gameweeks and Bivash has risen 339,226 places and only has 2 red arrows since he started playing back in gameweek 4.

So who’s left and what odds of them winning?

Cooky

Looking at Cooky’s season it will be a tough ask for him to win this year’s crown. 3 green arrows and 3 reds means he’s been hovering around the 2-400k mark for pretty much all season. That’s not to say he can’t trouble a few managers as his record this season shows his consistency. Improvement will be needed and a good draw required for him to be in the latter rounds.

Ceres

Ceres has been slowly on the up and 13 green arrows in 14 gameweeks has shown a tremendous run if not spectacular rises each time. Bony and Clyne have been slowly climbing the fantasy football pyramid and the team that will be known by many of FPL Dugout yesteryear. Certainly capable of providing a giant killing but whether this can be achieved more than once remains to be seen.

Stunes

Top scorer from the group stages with a massive 363, Stunes should be one to avoid when the live draw hits our screens. In excellent form and last two seasons finishes of 10 and 5k he has the pedigree to be in it for the long haul. After dumping out FPL Dugout League Champion Aaron he will have no fears of a big name tie in the last sixteen.

Geordie Ash

The head honcho of @fplhints has qualified and it’s no mystery to those that know him why. A fearless competitor who is never scared to go for the big punt and is happy to tell the world about it on his blog. Having finished 110th 2 seasons ago and steadily climbing the ladder this time around, Ash may be hitting form just at the right time and an active wildcard will set him up for the long haul. Definitely a big hitter and has a great chance of adding some silverware to his 2012 league winners crown.

Alastair

A dark horse in this competition, Alastair from his gameweek rank and overall finishes show he can mix it with the big boys. After 3 disastrous red arrows in a row he seems to have steadied the ship with two 4 point hits and the green arrows have returned. Slowly rising through the ranks but seems to have steadied around the 20k mark. Having dumped Meshari out of the group he will have no problems coming up against one of the FPL Dugout fraternity.

Tom B

Like Alastair removing Meshari from the group was a major coup, however as he enters the latter stages and better managers I think Tom will find it tough. 4 red arrows in the last 6 gameweeks and over 25k places lost, his side look like they could leek plenty of points unless Tom can stand up and be counted.

Bivash

Despite starting in gameweek 4 Bivash has been on an incredible run of green arrows with all but two going in the right direction. Scoring 340 points in the last 6 weeks shows some pretty consistent form. I’m not sure how his rank would fair had he started in gameweek 1 and not known the bandwagons that had formed. Has the potential to cause a shock but whether he can rumble the big boys we don’t know, a potential future winner in the making?

Fauzan

Speaking of winners look no further than the FPL Dugout Champions League Champion. Sneaking into the latter stages Fauzan has an uncanny ability to grind out a result. His group stage record of -28 points and 4 red arrows in six only justify his true champion ability to ground out a result. Der Panzer is on a bit of a slump at the moment so whoever draws him in the next round will have to act fast to get this manager out. Otherwise he could be a hard act to shift!

Ben

A last minute Luis Suarez assist nearly robbed Ben of the group stage win. A late change in the points ensured Ben a match day 6 draw with Villa Simon which meant three teams all tied on ten points. Luckily for Ben a head to head record which bettered Villa Simon’s and Alyssa’s was enough to see him qualify. With only 2 green arrows in 6 and falling down the football ladder the odds are firmly stacked against him, but fantasy football is a funny old game.

Alyssa

Another manager in the congestion of group E qualification was Alyssa Rania. A Champions League veteran of many campaigns, will need all her know how to salvage her season as 7 red arrows in a row isn’t great form by anyone’s standards. Surely a green arrow is just around the corner and with a good draw you just never know. An overall 117k rank is one many managers would swap places with!

Sleno

The gamesmaster once again shows his quality and record of 6 and 0 is as good as anyone. With a points difference of +81 not the best in the group stages but I fully expect Sleno to pick himself a plum tie in the next round. Another manager who has an uncanny way of getting lucky Sleno, but 10 green arrows in the last twelve puts him firmly in the favourites’ category. Hopefully some late nights and long shifts are ahead and the inevitable rash transfers should follow.

Luke

When the seeds were drawn I must admit I was a little surprised to see Luke receive top billing. Credit given where credit is due to knock out Tom D who is 6.5k overall now is some achievement for Luke and there will be a few ties out there that are certainly winnable. His fearless transfer stance has the potential to upset even the biggest pick. If Benteke does well then so will Luke.

Konig

Another sleeping giant here, after ensuring the early exit of Kevo, Konig has steadied his ship at around the 23k rank, which stands him in good stead for the challenges ahead. 15 points in the group stages and an extra 2.0m earned in team revenue over those six weeks will help provide Konig all the players he needs for a successful campaign.

Bryan

Another head to head record qualifier Bryan lies in the potential winners’ box. A rank of 40k and a one good week, one bad week record for the group stages is not ideal but if Bryan can find a bit more consistency, he will be a tough nut to crack. His finishes over recent seasons suggests he’s nearly at his virtual ceiling with his rank but continuing the theme a decent draw could see Bryan move through the rounds.

Marco

With the best record in qualifying with 6 wins and 0 defeats and a goal difference of +111 the group turned into a bit of a stroll. Showing pretty consistent form for the last few months with 15 green arrows in 17 gameweeks it’s all looking good for Marco. I am very capable of having a shocker though and hope to avoid this in the last 8 gameweeks. I’ve had a pretty shoddy record in these tournaments so not expecting much but everyone loves a cup run don’t they!

Tony

Another qualifier with an active wildcard along with Geordie Ash. This may of come at just the right time for Tony. 4 red arrows in the group stages leaves him struggling for a bit of form. Potentially 11 double gameweek players could fire him back into the big time and could be a very tricky opponent because of this for anyone that gets him out the hat.

As we await Sleno’s video draw the gameweeks are not going to let up, if you can keep your head whilst all around you are losing theirs, there just may be a chance of reaching the quarter finals…