FPL Captain Metric: Gameweek 3

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Gameweek 3 and reveal the results of our captain poll and our captain metric – who will you choose this Gameweek?

BEFORE WE BEGIN: If you haven’t already seen, we released an article last year introducing the new ‘Captain Metric’, which explains the concept fully and it can be viewed here > https://fplconnect.blog/2018/08/07/the-captain-metric-explained-2/

Well, we thought Gameweek 1 was good, but Gameweek 2 saw the average hit a massive 60pts!

In contrast to Gameweek 1, Gameweek 2 saw the top 3 captains return for their owners.

Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 15.56.38
Screenshot taken from FantasyFootballFix.com

Salah, who was captained by the majority of FPL managers (30%), returned a healthy 9 points from his 2 assists and clean sheet in the Monday night football clash with Crystal Palace. He also had numerous chances to score himself, but couldn’t find the net, contributing to him not getting any bonus.

Kane, who was backed by 16% of total FPL managers, finally ended his goal draught in August to reward those who showed him faith, but owners may have been left wanting more, as Kane could only the manage the 1 goal with a bonus point despite numerous chances missed himself, including one effort that hit the bar from 6 yards out.

Whilst the others provided solid returns, those who defiantly stepped up to the ‘Pep roulette’ table in order to captain Sergio Agüero, survived and completely smashed the house, as the little Argentine posted an explosive 20pt performance at home to a weak Huddersfield side, in an extremely impressive 6-1 victory where he bagged a hat-trick and an assist with 3 bonus points to boot.

Elsewhere, the other Liverpool forwards in Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino saw decent backing, with 4% and 5% respectively from the total FPL managers. Those who went for Mané were handsomely rewarded with a 10pt haul, whilst Firmino owners were left empty handed, as the Brazilian failed to contribute to the scoring.

This week, Agüero and Salah are likely to battle it out again for the captaincy for the majority of us, but Mané is knocking on the door, and it’s surely only a matter of time before Aubameyang starts firing, so let’s get into the good stuff.

Results of our poll 

Screen Shot 2018-08-22 at 09.11.45

Mohamed Salah – 67% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats first 2 Gameweeks:

  • 19 penalty area touches
  • 10 total goal attempts.
  • 6 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 4 big chances.
  • 1 goal.
  • 2 assists.

Sergio Agüero – 19% of the votes 

Underlying attacking stats first 2 Gameweeks:

  • 18 penalty area touches
  • 12 total goal attempts.
  • 8 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 3 big chances.
  • 3 goals.
  • 1 assist.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 11% of the votes 

Underlying attacking stats first 2 Gameweeks:

  • 3 penalty area touches
  • 5 total goal attempts.
  • 3 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 2 big chances.
  • 0 goals.
  • 0 assists.

Differential captain options

Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 16.30.42

  1. Marcos Alonso – There were a lot arguing that with Sarri coming in and changing the system to a back 4 instead of a back 3 with wing backs, that it would kill Alonso’s prospects as an expensive FPL asset, but 2 games in, 1 goal and 2 assists later, Alonso is only being beaten for total points by one man, and that’s Sadio Mané. He’s created 3 chances, registered 6 penalty area touches and has had more goal attempts than any other defender (6). If Chelsea can start tightening up at the back, then this man is going to be a must-own. Next, he faces Newcastle, so there’s a decent chance for a clean sheet and some attacking returns.
  2. Henrikh Mkhitaryan – Considering Arsenal have had to play City and Chelsea in their opening two fixtures, Mkhitaryan has posted a healthy 14pts for a £7.0m investment with his goal and assist against Chelsea. If he can do that against tough opponents, then you have to think he can produce the goods with the fixtures he’s got coming. Only Shelvey has created the number of chances (7) Mkhitaryan has and the Armenian is posting a decent goal threat too, with 8 penalty area touches and 5 goal attempts, 3 coming inside the box. West Ham look like they’re struggling to get used to everything that’s new and are looking vulnerable at the back. It’s hard to see Arsenal and Mkhitaryan not taking full advantage.
  3. Callum Wilson – Whilst Josh King has been struggling, strike partner Callum Wilson by comparison, has not. 2 goals, 1 assist and 14pts in 2 games (that includes a penalty miss), Wilson is providing extremely good returns for his owners. This is reflected in the stats, with Wilson registering more penalty area touches (20) than any other player and receiving the most amount of big chances (4), along with Salah. He’s also registered 8 goal attempts, all of which have come inside the box. At £6.1m, he’s proving a bargain and with Everton up next at home, who haven’t exactly been solid under Silva so far, it represents a decent maverick captaincy opportunity for those who aren’t into ‘playing it safe’.

The Captain Metric says…

Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 17.17.41

Mohamed Salah. 

A very tight one this week, with many of the stats being very close, but this time, no kicker needed, as Salah pips Agüero 3-2 on our highlighted relevant statistics.

Aubameyang is out in the cold in this battle, having 5 out of the 6 lowest values in comparison to the other two.

Salah wins out down to 3 things:

  1. According to the bookies (WilliamHill), he’s more likely to score in his fixture than Agüero is in his fixture. 
  2. He has a better xGI value than Agüero (higher expected goal and assist contribution) 
  3. His team (Liverpool) have created more big chances than Agüero’s (Man City)

You could argue that Man City have scored more goals than Liverpool and therefore, he should win out for ‘Team Form’, but we’ve identified ‘big chances’ as the measure because it displays the team’s ability to get the players goal scoring chances. It’s then on the player (Player form), to demonstrate his ability to put those chances away.

Either way, you can use goal scoring as a measure for ‘Team form’ and make your own decision, that’s not a problem and an acceptable way of measuring (Team form), but looking at the ‘big chances’ is how we’re choosing to measure it.

An interesting stat to note, is that whilst Salah’s expected performance (xGI) is higher than Agüero’s and he is over performing, the Argentine’s actual performance (xGI delta) is much higher than Salah’s, suggesting that at the moment, Agüero is outperforming his expected performance to a larger degree than Salah.

Another interesting stat to point out, is that whilst Wolves have conceded 4 goals, they’ve actually only conceded 1 big chance (fixture difficulty), suggesting they’ve been unlucky to concede that many goals and if you watched at the weekend, you’d have seen that 1 goal was an unfortunate own goal and the other was a long range shot from outside the box from Maddison.

My view

Last week was extremely tough for Agüero and Salah owners and this week is tough again.

Screen Shot 2018-02-06 at 13.24.12

Even on an ‘off night’, Salah managed to notch 2 assists and the goal threat was considerable, with 12 penalty area touches and 6 goal attempts which included 2 big chances.

That was against a well-organised Palace defence, so I can’t see Liverpool – who have beaten Brighton 4-0, 5-1 and 6-1 in the last 3 meetings between the teams – struggling to score goals in this one, and if they’re amongst the goals, then it’s hard to imagine Salah not getting amongst them.

I do think, despite Wolves’ defence statistically not being as bad as some might think, that City will win against them comfortably, but I can’t see them running riot whereas, Liverpool on the other hand, I can see scoring big.

So, I can’t explain, you would not understand, this is not how I am, I have become comfortably Salah.

I think Salah and Agüero are gonna have huge backing this week for the captaincy, so with regard to a differential captain, I wholeheartedly wouldn’t recommend it. If you’re looking for something different to the main two but solid, Sadio Mané would be the one I’d advocate.

Stats obtained from fantasyfootballscout.co.uk
Odds obtained from williamhill.com

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