FPL Captain Choices: Gameweek 15

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for GW15 and reveal the results of our captain poll, who will you choose?

The first mid-week FPL gameweek of the season was filled with what we expected – rotation.

Some were anticipated (Salah), some weren’t (Hazard), but for those that took a risk on Salah, it paid off, as the pacey Liverpool forward delivered yet another impressive haul coming off the bench to bag a brace and 2 bonus points.

Forget the Pyramids being the Egyptian representation for the seven wonders of the world, this guy is their representation.

With rotation season now in full swing, every care needs to be taken with our captain choices, as Hazard captainers experienced last night.

Elsewhere, popular choice Morata struggled to get clear-cut chances and didn’t contribute to Chelsea’s solitary goal and Kane managed a goal, but with no bonus points.

Agüero blanked and the consistent Lukaku returned just the 5pts for those that trusted him with the armband.

There was a fair split between choices in GW14 and given the fixture list, I anticipate a similar split between choices for GW15 too, with no clear outright favourite, lets see if I’m right…

Results of the Poll

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Mohamed Salah – 37% of the votes

After fighting his way onto the top 3 considered selections of our poll each week, he finally comes out on top and quite frankly, it’s been long overdue and couldn’t be more deserved.

He’s the first player in FPL this year to break the 100 point bracket, accumulating 12 goals, 3 assists and 12 bonus points in his 14 games.

He now has 8 goals and 1 assist in his last 6 games – Hazard was making his case for the man of the moment, but it has to now go to Salah and the FPL Twitter community was full of love for him yet again;

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I don’t think any of us now doubt that Salah is a fantastic captain option week in, week out, but is it as simple as ‘The Fantasy PL’ suggests? Just set it on him and forget? It might not be a bad idea at all.

They face Brighton next at Brighton and so far, they’ve been very good all things considered.

They sit 10th place and have conceded a very respectable 14 goals in their 14 games.

They have been a little more vulnerable at home than away however, as Stoke were able to demonstrate the previous week where they bagged a couple of goals, so this Liverpool team should be able to get at them better than if Brighton were going to Anfield.

The stats also back that up, with them being the 5th best team away from home for conceding big chances (9), but the 6th worst team at home for conceding big chances (12). 

Either way, they’re fairly solid, but it shows that they can be got at more so at home and given Salah’s ridiculously good form at the minute, he has to be right at the top of our consideration for the armband this week.

The only slight, niggling worry about this one again, is that Liverpool have an important UCL tie coming up against Spartak Moscow that Klopp will need Salah for, so that might result in limited game time, but Salah showed us this week what he can do with 23 minutes, so is it really that much of a worry? Probably not.

Eden Hazard – 30% of the votes

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After topping our captain poll last time out, Hazard slumped to a miserable 1 point return for his owners, after he was benched by Conte and brought on late in the game.

This hasn’t deterred owners however, more galvanised by the fact that he should be a nailed on starter for the home game against Newcastle this week.

Rafa had Newcastle very organised in the Championship, where his team kept 19 clean sheets, but this is the Premier League and it’s a big step-up, as they’re finding out.

9 goals conceded in their last 3 games doesn’t bode well for The Magpies ahead of a trip to Stamford Bridge.

They’re also 3rd worst for conceding shots inside the box (57), as well as 3rd worst for conceding big chances away from St James’ Park (14).

Before last night’s benching, Hazard had scored 45pts in his last 5 GWs, so he’s very much in form and with a nice rest behind him, there’s no reason why he can’t tear Rafa’s men apart.

If you own him, Kane, Salah, Morata and a City attacker, you’re going to find it very difficult to make a decision on the armband for this GW, as Hazard looks a banker if he starts.

Harry Kane – 26% of the votes

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Finishing 3rd out of our 3 main picks this week for the first time this season, is Harry Kane.

His solitary goal and no bonus against Leicester didn’t look too bad in the end considering all things.

Of the main captains, only Salah scored more points than him.

Spurs as a team, don’t seem to be completely at the races, but Kane still managed to get himself on the scoresheet in a typical Harry Kane performance that saw him have 6 goal attempts, 3 of them coming inside the box, as well as him creating 2 chances for his teammates, one of which should have been scored by Sissoko.

Saying that, Spurs did create more than enough chances to win that game with both Sissoko and Llorente missing sitters, and the likes of Eriksen and Alli also having easy chances, but not converting.

So whilst the results aren’t there at the moment, they are still creating chances and Kane is still playing well.

They face Watford next at Vicarage road and for all the praise heaped on Marco Silva for his work this season, one thing he can’t seem to handle, though admirable in effort, is when the ‘bigger’ teams come to town (apart from Arsenal of course where they won 2-1 sorry Arsenal fans);

  • vs Man Utd (H) – lost 4-2
  • vs Everton (A) – lost 3-2
  • vs Chelsea (A) – lost 4-2
  • vs Man City (H) – lost 6-0
  • vs Liverpool (H) – drew 3-3

That’s 20 goals conceded in those 5 games.

If we also add in the fact that Spurs are only bettered by Man City for goal attempts in the box, with Spurs having 66 in their 7 games on the road, as well as them being the 3rd best team on the road for creating big chances with 17, then it’s hard to ignore Kane here.

He’s also on pens (haven’t had one yet this season) and is a nailed-on starter with them finishing top of their UCL group.

A fair few managers in the community think that it’s not been good enough from Kane, given his valuation as the most expensive player, but I honestly think you’d be foolish to get rid of Kane given the stats, fixtures and his performances.

We seem to expect him to score 2/3 every match based on his previous exploits, because we’ve seen him do it a few games in a row, but regardless, it’s illogical to expect anyone – aside perhaps from the superhuman Messi/Ronaldo – to score 2/3 every game.

Whether you think his returns to date are good enough or not, he is a brilliant captain option this week based on the above.

Differential captain options

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  1. Morata – In live teams, he perhaps isn’t considered a ‘differential’ captain option, but amongst the entire game he will be, and given the information about Newcastle’s defending recently and away from home, Morata has to be up there again for a solid captaincy option. I watched all of the Chelsea game and they peppered the Swansea goal with attempts, but not many were that clear-cut from memory. Morata struggled in this one, there was a lack of service and he wasn’t able to pick up the spaces as well as he has done recently when Hazard is in the team. I expect that will change when Hazard is back in the side, as these two have really developed a connection between them and play off each other very well. As such, I can see Chelsea winning more comfortably and Morata making a return to the goals.
  2. Kevin de Bruyne – The world-class Belgian playmaker has gone largely under the radar in the FPL Twitter community. He’s at 21.6% ownership now and on the rise, really showing why he’s not just a brilliant footballer, but actually a brilliant FPL asset too. In the last 8 GWs, he’s picked up 4 goals and 4 assists. In the last 6 GWs, he’s fired in 15 goal attempts (3 inside the box) and has created 17 chances for his teammates. He’s starting to justify his heavy-hitting price-tag and he could be a fantastic differential captain this week against an abysmal Hammers side from a defensive standpoint.
  3. Sané – Despite Sterling’s recent exploits, I’m going for Sané again if he is declared okay from the illness that kept him out of action last night. In the 6 home games that Sané has played in the Premier League, he has scored 5 and bagged 4 assists. It’s fair to say that he likes playing at the Etihad and that’s exactly where they are playing next and against a West Ham side that just lost 4-0 to struggling Everton. The Hammers are by far the worst defensive side in the league and City are the best attacking side, surely a no-brainer if he’s declared fit?

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