Captain Corner: Gameweek 9
Picking a Fantasy Premier League captain is becoming more of a minefield by the Gameweek. It’s very difficult to anticipate which players might score the highest points in any given match but I guess that’s the appeal of the game.
Gameweek 8 was no different in this respect as Junior Stanislas (21) finished as the highest point scorer overall. Two goals and two assists as well as the inevitable maximum bonus points elevated the winger up the rankings. Since his first start in Gameweek four the Cherries midfielder has been threatening a big score as he had already picked up a goal and assist. Despite his heroics, Stanislas is still in less than 2% of FPL teams but a big factor in that may be that Bournemouth face up to Spurs next.
Behind Stanislas was another unlikely selection in Maarten Stekelenburg (17) as the Everton keeper was an unlikely saviour for the Toffees thanks to two penalty saves from both Kevin De Bruyne and Aguero. Following close behind was man of the moment Joe Allen (16) who found himself on the score sheet for the third consecutive game as he scored a brace against Sunderland. With an ownership of less than 6% still the midfielder could be a route to help propel you up the ranks if he continues his current form.
Another surprise candidate in Holebas (15) followed behind as he finally delivered on what his underlying stats had threatened with his second goal of the season to add to a very welcome clean sheet.
Rounding off the top five were a pair of players who actually did hold some captain potential and a look around Twitter presented some very happy managers who selected them. Walcott and Austin (both 15) scored a brace for their respective teams and highlighted their excellent current form.
Two of our team backed Chaz Austin last week so FPLMad and OysteinWalle89 picked up his big score. Coach kept some dignity with his pick of Sanchez who at least managed an assist but poor old FPLOwl was very unfortunate when his pick of Son was rested to the bench for Spurs in preparation for their midweek champions league game. Unfortunately no table this week but it will be back for Gameweek 10. Currently Oysteinwalle89 is top with 36 points from three selections with an average of 12 points per player.
Four more writers get another shot this week so let’s find out who our team are backing for the armband this week.
Looking through the fixtures two games spring out. Arsenal at home to Middlesbrough and Liverpool at home to West Brom. There are other options, like a Payet led West Ham hosting Sunderland but the choice must come from those first two games for me. The question is who. An, arguably, unprecedented 10 midfielders are viable captain options from the two home teams in these fixtures and choosing which one(s) will score the points each week is a trick in itself. We’ve recently seen the rise of Theo Walcott, joining Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil (fresh off a midweek hatrick), and even the Ox and Iwobi. Liverpool on the other hand have Firmino, mane, Coutinho, Lallana, Milner, and at a stretch, Henderson.
So who to choose? I think this week, where I personally own 3 of those aforementioned 10/11, I’m going to let money talk. It’s the week of the big hitters and my most expensive midfielder will be the choice. Alexis Sanchez has explosion but has also added a nice drip feed of points this season too with a few assists. He’s playing Middlesbrough who have not looked amazing or as tight as people initially had thought, and Arsenal, frankly are on form. I Can’t see past him so this week my captain is Alexis Sanchez!
There is one player that stands out when I look at the stats this week and that man is playing in a team due a convincing win. In the last 4 games, Manchester City have conceded 10 goals so they have massive defensive issues. How can Pep mitigate that? By scoring more than they concede. In the last 4 games, this man has created 16 chances for his team, no one beats that total, he has also had 8 shots on target and 21 total attempts, more than any other player in his position. Even Theo Walcott, the games most inform player, doesn’t come close to these stats which indicates to me, this man is due! Who am I talking about? You guessed yet? It’s the Ginger Prince, Kevin De Bruyne.
Normally I tend to advise to stay away from teams who’ve had a midweek European fixture to contend with when choosing a captain. However, and even though I’ve been pretty impressed by Middlesbrough’s defensive unit (in spite of their poor run of form), I don’t see how you can leave Arsenal alone this Gameweek.
They didn’t have to travel, they obliterated their opponents without conceding, and all their big players played well. I’m tempted to back the class and form in Mezut Ozil, but I’m opting for Alexis Sanchez this week. He’s due a huge return, and I think it’s incoming this weekend. Playing up front, no fitness concerns, playing in a team full of confidence and scoring at will…it’s a straightforward pick this week.
Tough choice this week. Agüero is always an option, but this week I’ll go with someone else. Southampton won’t be easy and also we don’t know if he really is 100% fit right now. Looking at form and fixture Lukaku could easily score some goals, but Burnley have been pretty tight at the back in the last couple of home games. That leaves me with the two top contenders for this week’s armband. Walcott and Sanchez. Arsenal play Middlesbrough at home, who lost 4 out of their last 5 games and both, Walcott and Sanchez are in great form. Walcott scored 4 goals and assisted 1 in the last 4 games, while Sanchez scored 3 goals and assisted 2. Also their underlining stats are pretty similar so it really is a coin toss between this two. As such, I’ll go with Alexis Sanchez this week. I have a gut feeling that it’s time for Sanchez to shine and score big this week. The only stat between the two that is really noticeably is that Sanchez has created more chances created with 19 to Walcott’s 9 which I believe is an indicator of a better all around performance.
So, three votes for Arsenal’s main man up top, Alexis Sanchez while Matty opts for De Bruyne. As we’ve seen recently though there are no guarantees in FPL and player value or popularity does not always bring high FPL points.
Don’t let us be the only ones to have a say though, tell us who you will be selecting either by commenting below or speaking to any of us on Twitter.
Good luck to you all for Gameweek 9.
FPL Academy Team