FPL Captain Metric: Blank Gameweek 35

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Blank Gameweek 35 and reveal the results of our captain poll and our new captain metric – who will you choose this Gameweek?

BEFORE WE BEGIN: If you haven’t already seen, we released an article earlier introducing the new ‘Captain Metric’, which explains the concept fully and it can be viewed here > ‘The Captain Metric Explained…’

Double Gameweek 34 is still running, with Harry Kane up against Brighton tonight and Romelu Lukaku up against Bournemouth tomorrow, so we’re yet to find out exactly who wins out of the 3 key captain candidates, though Salah is currently ahead (the metric’s suggestion).

You’d have to think both Kane and Lukaku will outscore Salah’s 8 points given the fixtures, but with worrying comments made in the last few days by both Pochettino and Jose Mourinho regarding rotation, FPL managers will be fretting over the line-ups come an hour before the kick off.

My guess is both still start, but might be brought off early, as both teams prepare for their FA Cup semi-final clash against each other this weekend.

With less than 48 hours between the end of DGW34 and the start of BGW35, we’re getting in early to assess the captain candidates for BGW35 – is there anyone other than Salah we should be considering?

The results of our poll

Screen Shot 2018-04-17 at 18.26.27.png

Mohamed Salah – 62% of the votes (in progress)

Underlying attacking stats over the last 4 gameweeks where he’s been involved:

  • 38 penalty area touches
  • 15 total goal attempts.
  • 11 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 5 big chances.
  • 6 goals.
  • 1 assist.

Pierre Aubameyang – 19% of the votes (in progress)

Underlying attacking stats over the last 4 gameweeks:

  • 17 penalty area touches
  • 5 total goal attempts.
  • 5 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 1 big chances.
  • 2 goals.
  • 1 assist.

Raheem Sterling – 12% of the votes (in progress)

Underlying attacking stats over the last 4 gameweeks where he’s been involved:

  • 36 penalty area touches
  • 15 total goal attempts.
  • 11 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 6 big chances.
  • 2 goals.
  • 3 assists.

Differential captain options:

Embed from Getty Images

 

  1. Gabriel Jesus – With Agüero likely missing the remainder of the season after undergoing an arthroscopy on his knee, Gabriel Jesus is now City’s only recognised striker. Having missed a huge portion of the season and with them being out of the UCL, Jesus should be fine for starts for the rest of the season now and with their juicy fixtures, as well as 2 goals and 2 assists in his last 3 starts, Jesus is looking a shoe-in for FPL managers and stands out as a differential captain choice this weekend against Swansea.
  2. Wilfried Zaha – Not normally an asset we can trust to be consistent, but over the last 5 gameweeks he’s returned in 4/5 of them, with 3 goals and 2 assists. He’s also putting in the underlying numbers too, with 28 penalty area touches, 12 goal attempts (7 inside the box) and 3 big chances over that same period. Watford haven’t been great of late, with 4 losses and 1 draw coming in their last 5 fixtures, including 8 goals shipped to Arsenal and Liverpool. With Palace and Zaha in good form, he might just be worth a punt as a differential captain in this one, with his ownership base at just 5.4% at the time of writing.
  3. Sadio Mané – Other than Man City Vs Swansea, the fixture that stands out is of course, the Liverpool game, but WBA have actually been really solid of late, with them only conceding 6 big chances in their last 5 games. Having said that, they have conceded 9 goals in that period and Liverpool should have more than enough to score comfortably against them, provided they put out a relatively full strength team. If they do, it’s hard to look past Mané continuing the kind of form that’s seen him hit an attacking return in 6 of his last 7 games.

My view… 

Once again, as the poll suggests, Salah is likely to be heavily backed once again and I don’t think it would be wise to go against him in this one.

Having said that, with many likely on a Free Hit for BGW35, most, if not all should be having Jesus in their squads after hearing the news about Agüero, so for those, it’s a tougher decision, as Jesus has a fantastic fixture and is probably the most nailed on player out of all them now.

With them having already won the league, it casts some doubts over the line-up, but with the surgery Agüero has had, it will likely keep him out for the rest for the season, meaning Jesus is now their only recognised Striker and based on the fact he’s missed a lot of football through his injury earlier this year, I can’t imagine Pep not picking Jesus for the rest of the season, as he’ll want to be as sharp as possible for the World Cup for Brazil.

If I was on Free Hit, I’d be tempted to throw Jesus the armband, especially if you’re lower down the ranks and are looking to climb.

I don’t have that luxury and the only way I could get Jesus in, would be to sacrifice Kane and although he’s tested my patience on numerous occasions this year, he has brilliant fixtures and I plan to use my triple captain on him in DGW37.

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So for me, it’s Mohamed Salah and I’d advise those with high ranks and those who aren’t chasing in their mini-leagues to do the same, but for those who are looking to differentiate, or are on their Free Hit chip, I’d go with Gabriel Jesus.

The Captain Metric says… 

Screen Shot 2018-04-17 at 16.41.21

… Mohamed Salah.

This week, I’ve added in the ‘Anytime Goalscorer’ odds from SkyBet, as ICT Index is an unfair representation of how creative, influential and threatening Aubameyang is in comparison to the other candidates, as it’s a progressive statistic that starts at 0 and works up slowly over the course of the season, for example; Aubameyang’s current ICT Index score is only 73.1, whilst Salah’s is 413 despite Aubameyang scoring 12pts less than Salah in the last 5 Gameweeks.

So in this weeks head to head, Salah wins out 3-2 to Sterling down to him:

  • Scoring more points over the last 5 gameweeks
  • Having a better chance of scoring in his fixture in comparison to the others according to the bookies
  • Having a better xGI Delta value in comparison to the others – meaning he has over-performed to a higher standard 

Sterling actually has a slightly higher xGI value than Salah for the last 5 gameweeks, making it more difficult for him to over-perform what was expected, but the expectation was higher down to his performances in those games over that period of time.

Both Salah and Sterling were expected to get 4/5 goals and assists in that period, but as you can see from the results above, Salah is still massively over-performing, whilst Sterling is just about doing what is expected.

Aubameyang is also currently over-performing, with his expectation around 4 goals/assists in the last 5 gameweeks, but he’s managed 7 (5 goals and 2 assists) and yet it’s still not enough to beat Salah.

Salah’s incredible form continues and as long as it does, it makes it extremely difficult to go anywhere other than the magic Egyptian for the captains armband.

So, once again, the metric says Salah, the people say Salah and so do I, although as I say in the ‘my view’ section, Gabriel Jesus is an enticing option for those on Free Hit.

Stats obtained from fantasyfootballscout.co.uk 

One last word before you go! 

Screen Shot 2018-04-10 at 17.53.07.png

Nominations for the Football Blogging Awards close tomorrow at 10am!

We are bidding to make the shortlist in the category ‘Best New Football Blog’. If you feel we deserve your vote, then you can vote for us by clicking on the link, or on Twitter by following the instructions below – it’s free to vote and will take roughly 20 seconds of your time – we would appreciate it greatly >> https://www.footballbloggingawards.co.uk

 

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