We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Gameweek 14 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/
“Premier League football is back”, “Thank god the international break is over”… well, so much for that!
The excitement of FPL coming back was met by a resoundingly average GW in which the average across the whole game was actually a healthy 50, but those in the Twitter community experienced a lot of mid 30 and 40 scores, with some getting even lower.
Success mainly came down to whether you had one of Sané or Sterling, who both registered monster hauls, leaving non-owners completely envious to the point where a % of managers were compelled to act to bring one of them in, mainly Sterling way ahead of the next deadline.
The main reason for this was that Agüero, who’s the highest owned player and was the most captained player by most live teams, wasn’t able to contribute anything to Man City’s dominant 4-0 away win at West Ham, in which Sterling, Sané and David Silva were key features of.
Salah, who’s picked up form, scored again, but once again, was unable to manage any bonus points, meaning he scored his owners an 8 point return, which is okay, but even that wasn’t enough to save some managers from a red arrow.
Both Hazard and Richarlison were backed by roughly 8-9% of managers and both were unable to find a return, though Hazard arguably should have had a penalty in the first half against Spurs after Foyth challenged him from behind and clearly didn’t make any contact with the ball.
4.7%, likely those without Salah and fancied Liverpool against Watford, backed Mané, who despite poor underlying numbers, was able to manage 2 assists and a subsequent healthy 9 point return for his owners, outscoring Salah for the 6th time this season where both have been playing, giving Salah owners food for thought again.
This week, given the imperious form of Man City and the fixture, it looks very much like the City boys will dominate the headlines, but if declared fit, I know a certain Belgian that could certainly steal the show – let’s check the numbers and see what we can find.
Results of our poll
Sergio Agüero – 38% of the votes
Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:
- 32 penalty area touches
- 17 total goal attempts.
- 14 goal attempts inside the box.
- 7 big chances.
- 3 goals.
- 2 assists.
Raheem Sterling – 31% of the votes
Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweek (where he’s been involved in the match):
- 46 penalty area touches
- 10 total goal attempts.
- 8 goal attempts inside the box.
- 3 big chances.
- 3 goals.
- 5 assists.
Eden Hazard – 26% of the votes
Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks (where he’s been involved in the match):
- 27 penalty area touches
- 14 total goal attempts.
- 8 goal attempts inside the box.
- 1 big chances.
- 1 goal.
- 2 assists.
Differential captain optionsEmbed from Getty Images
- Leroy Sané: If you can’t afford Sterling and don’t have/don’t fancy Agüero, then the explosive German winger could be the answer to your differential prayers. With Mendy out of the equation for a while, that should pave the way, at least more so than before, for Sané to provide the creativity and width that Pep wants from the left. With 4 goal and 3 assists to his name in his last 5 appearances for the Citizens, Sané is a man in red hot form. Every time he’s started a match, he has got a return, so you’re looking at both reliability AND explosivity – ingredients, along with their favourable home fixture, that make a fine recipe for any captain, let alone a differential one.
- Harry Kane: Harry Kane has been spending less time inside the penalty area in recent matches. I do believe that comes down to the fact that Alli and Eriksen haven’t featured much over that time because of injuries. Both players, Eriksen in particular, are creative and without them, the creativity naturally suffers, so I believe Kane has been dropping deeper to help with that. But now they’re both back, and after a hugely convincing win over London rivals Chelsea, I think Kane will go back to where he belongs and we’ll start to see the Kane we know and love. Even with him dropping deeper, he’s managed a return in each of his last 3 games and has registered more goal attempts (19) than any other forward in the last 5 GWs, so he is simmering, and with the North London Derby up next, a fixture he very much enjoys, I wouldn’t put it past him to haul.
The Captain Metric says…
… Raheem Sterling.
Important Note: We have twigged the metric slightly once more. At the end of the metric, you’ll find two new relevant stats.
First one (Reliability %), basically gives us the percentage of games the player has provided a return (goal or assist) in out of the games he was available for selection (not injured) – so this includes games where the player has scored 0 because of being on the bench/rested, but not those where the player has scored 0 because he was injured or unavailable for some other reason, like personal circumstances for example. This can give us an idea of how likely the player is to return and how reliable he has been.
The second (Explosivity %), as the name suggests, gives us the percentage of games the player has ‘exploded in’, or in more accurate terms, has provided a double-figure return. In the same way as before, it can give us an idea of how likely a player is to return a double-figure haul and a clear view of how good he’s been at providing double-figure hauls in the past.
- Player form – Raheem Sterling has scored more points than either Agüero or Hazard in the last 5 Gameweeks.
- Team form – Agüero and Sterling’s Manchester City have created the most amount of big chances (19) in the last 5 Gameweeks in comparison to Chelsea.
- Fixture difficulty – All of the candidates opponents have conceded the exact amount of big chances as each other (12), though Bournemouth have only conceded 6 goals in that time period, whereas Fulham have conceded 12 goals.
- Likelihood of scoring – According to the bookies, Sergio Agüero is the most likely to score.
- Expected goals/assists (xGI) – Raheem Sterling has the highest expected goal involvement of the 3 candidates over the last 5 Gameweeks.
- Home/Away Goal Conversion – Although all have favourable home goal conversion rates, Hazard just edges out Sterling by a few % as he has scored 5 goals at home from 17 shots, whereas Sterling has scored that many from 1 extra attempt. Although Agüero has scored the most (7), his conversion suffers due to the number of goal attempts being so high (38).
- Reliability % – So far, Hazard has proved to be the most reliable asset, providing a return in 8 of the 12 games he’s been available to play in comparison to Sterling and Agüero, who have both managed the same return of 8 in 13.
- Explosivity % – Hazard has also proved the most explosive asset up to this point, with 4 double-figure hauls in the 12 games he was physically able to play in, in comparison to Agüero, who’s only managed 2 in 13, and Sterling who has managed 4 too, but he was physically available for 13 games, rather than 12.
I’ve come back to this today (Friday) as we have more information to go off now with UCL games and Sarri’s pre-match Europa presser.
Nothing’s changed in terms of who I think, if they start, is the best captain option this week. It still seems pretty clear to me that if you own Raheem Sterling, that he should be the one you captain this weekend against Bournemouth.Embed from Getty Images
He’s only around 15% ownership now from 13% when I wrote this on Tuesday, so a lot of us are still unlikely to have him, including myself for this weekend’s fixture, so for those who don’t own him and aren’t transferring him in this week, who do we go for?
Well, before this weekend’s action, I would have had it on Hazard in all honesty.
Fulham fought to a spirited 3-2 victory under new manager Ranieri, but it didn’t really tell us anything we didn’t already know – nothing much changed. Under Jokanovic they were pretty decent attacking wise but awful defensively, so a 3-2 win was about right. Conceding 2 goals to a very poor attacking Southampton side though, still demonstrates that the defensive problems are still very much raw and should Hazard play, he and Chelsea should take them to the cleaners.
Sarri’s comments that Hazard “should” play against Fulham, whilst positive, simply aren’t enough for us to gamble the captaincy on when we have solid alternatives in the City players.
So this, has moved me toward Agüero, who has returned 67pts in his 7 home games so far in the Premier League – so not a bad alternative by any stretch of the imagination.
The slight irk about Agüero, is that he played 80 minutes on the weekend and then played 90 minutes 2 and a half days later against Lyon.
Although he has started the PL and UCL games so far, he has come off each time fairly early in order to preserve his fitness, and with him being quite prone to injury, it’s a slight worry that he’s just played the majority of back to back games within the space of 3 days, which City have purposefully looked to avoid.
However, the gap from Lyon to Bournemouth (3 days) is longer than the gap from Bournemouth to Watford (2 days), so you have to think if there is any rest/rotation, it would come at Watford. Either that, or he’ll look to bring him off early in both – either way, I’m backing him to start the game against the Cherries.
So, if you don’t own Sterling, I would advise putting the armband on Sergio Agüero.
I don’t think it’s a good week to go differential, with some very strong captain candidates on offer, but if you’re really fancying it, then I think Leroy Sané could be a pearl of a differential captain.