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Here's Our Fantasy Football Squads For The Weekend - But Can We Stop The Rot?

Here's Our Fantasy Football Squads For The Weekend - But Can We Stop The Rot?
By Gavan Casey
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You might know Donny Mahoney from his stellar work on Newstalk's Off The Ball, his writing for both the New York Times and LA Times, or his no-nonsense opinion articles and videos right here on Balls.ie - a website he co-founded.

We know him as a man whose Fantasy team scraped 25 points last weekend.

With 33 Gameweeks to go, some of the Balls team are beginning to crack beneath the weight of managerial pressure. As a now beleaguered Mark Farrelly explains in this week's podcast (which you can listen to here, or below), Sergio Aguero is breaking hearts when he should be taking names, but you just know the one weekend you don't captain him will be the weekend he goes nuclear.

We need a spark. Somebody, surely, must ignite what has been arguably the most tumultuous campaign in fantasy football history. Here's how we line out this weekend, in order of Office League position:

1) You Stay Clasie

Manager: Ricky Mooney

Manager's Thoughts:


This is the only image of my team that you need to see.

I've been hit by an injury crisis so bad that it rivals the time Man Utd started JS Park, Fletcher and Carrick in defence against Wolfsburg. Shaw and Kompany are casualties of their Champions League defeats, Courtois did his knee in TRAINING, Coleman and Rooney have niggles and team captain Clasie has yet to make an appearance this season. Rooney also has a severe case of cannot-score-itis which is far from ideal.

I may be forced to use my Wildcard much earlier than I had planned. Still top of the Office League, though! #1*

*Ricky will be deducted 4 points from his overall tally this weekend as hashtag use in non-Twitter parlance constitutes 'bringing the game into disrepute' at Balls Towers.

2) CSKAmus Coleman

Manager: Gavan Casey


Manager's Thoughts:

Who's phone is that? That's the second time it's gone off.

Of course we will [look to capitalise on Ricky's four-point deduction for frivolous hashtag use], yeah. I don't care what he says - 'universal symbol for a number long before the age of social media' - that's a nonsense. This guy is cracking up, hashtagging this, hashtagging that. This isn't an episode of Community, like. This is real life. Real life fantasy football management.

It's a matter of putting [Luke Shaw's injury] behind us now, and looking forward to Leicester, Norwich, United, West Ham, Crystal Palace, Everton, Stoke and Newcastle this weekend, because they're going to provide a stiff test for us. The boys are rearing to go, particularly Nacer Chadli who I've brought in on the off chance Spurs don't go down 2-1 to Palace at home, and out of intrigue at the idea that a man's head can measure wider than his neck.

3) Isaac Butt Gaels

Manager: Conor Neville


Manager's Thoughts:

I think, for me, the boys have done ever so well, particularly with all the injuries we're pickin' up innit?

4) ImmaculateDeflaction


Manager: Brian Reynolds


Manager's Thoughts:

My fantasy football career can best be explained by this screenshot of last week's performance...

Manager's Thoughts, cont'd:

I fear for my team, I fear for my job and wonder was the Hard Knocks-style focus on our pre-season something that I will live to regret forever.
I now keep my favourite players on the bench, closer to where I sit and stare up towards the owner's box. We were friends once. Max is now my best friend; we both admire Leeds and he has acquired some very obscure musical tastes from his time at St-Etienne - not to say I don't like the music, I just don't understand it yet, which is a lot like fantasy football for me.

5) Red Red Schwein

Manager: Mikey Traynor*

*Out of respect to his friend Luke Shaw, Mikey shied away from media duty today. He was clearly emotional during the brand new Fantasy podcast, and everybody at Balls.ie would just like to wish Mikey all the best in his recovery from Luke Shaw's injury.

6) Proposition Joes

Manager: Mark Farrelly

Manager's Thoughts:

While many may look at my record and think the team is struggling, it's actually down to the fact that I put them through a really tough pre-season.

It has left the lads a little sluggish for the first few weeks but they'll be able to storm through the rest of the league right up until the last minute of the last match in May. Come at me!

7) I'm Not Joe Kinnear

Manager: Conor O'Leary

Manager's Thoughts:

One of my most reliable players was struck down and out for the season. The boys will need to be strong in Shaw's absence. I fear for them this week.

What's clear when you analyse the lads' comments is that every single one of them bar Conor Neville has now reached a state of feverish brick-shitting and panic, and the only reason Neville can remain calm is because he truly believes that if he doesn't change his team from Gameweek 1, they'll begin to flourish under his trust. So - while 'Wee Stevie' Naismith prolonged the inevitable last weekend - in many ways, Neville's fate is already sealed.

We discuss the five-and-a-half-thousand-strong official Balls League in the new podcast episode below, and also review some of your suggestions for league forfeits - some of which were actually unbearable. We're going to make whoever finishes last in May compete the funniest forfeit we come across, so make sure to keep tweeting them at us at the hashtag '#fantasyballbag,' and we'll read them out during next week's famed Ballbag™ segment.

Good luck this weekend, folks!

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