FPL Captain Metric: Gameweek 15

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Gameweek 15 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/

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At home to Bournemouth, Agüero was the highest captained player with nearly 1.8m (33% overall) managers going with the Argentine, only for him to be left out of the match day squad through a knock, if you are to believe Mr Rotation, Pep Guardiola.

That meant that the rest of the above came into action as vice captains for those who went with Sergio.

Both Salah and Mané were unable to find a way through a well organised Everton side having said that, owners of Sadio Mané in particular will be disappointed he wasn’t able to convert 1 of 3 very good opportunities that he had to score, 2 set up by Salah.

Both Kane and Hazard were able to produce modest 6pt returns for their owners, whilst the clear winners were those that backed Aubameyang, who exploded in the North-London derby with 2 goals and 1 assist, resulting in a massive 16pt haul.

This week, the captaincy decision might prove pivotal, as there are numerous good options on offer – let’s dive in and assess the candidates!

Results of our poll 

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Harry Kane – 47% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 17 penalty area touches
  • 20 total goal attempts.
  • 10 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 4 big chances.
  • 3 goals.
  • 1 assist.

Mohamed Salah – 27% of the votes 

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 32 penalty area touches
  • 15 total goal attempts.
  • 9 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 4 big chances.
  • 3 goals.
  • 2 assists.

Raheem Sterling – 17% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 54 penalty area touches
  • 12 total goal attempts.
  • 10 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 4 big chances.
  • 4 goals.
  • 5 assists.

Sergio Agüero – 9% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks (where he’s been involved in the match):

  • 32 penalty area touches
  • 17 total goal attempts.
  • 14 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 7 big chances.
  • 3 goals.
  • 2 assists.

Differential captain options

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  1. Callum Wilson – Not too many assets have proven better value than Wilson this season. He’s been smashing the underlying numbers all season and the tougher fixtures don’t seem to deter him, after netting in the hardest possible fixture at the home of the champions. No forward has had more penalty area touches (38) and only Rondon can match him for shots inside the box (14) over the last 5 GWs. Bournemouth have been solid all season, especially at home, so with Huddersfield up next, who have conceded 14 goals in 6 away games so far this season, it’s hard to see Wilson not getting amongst the goals in this one.
  2. Marko Arnautovic – Whilst Felipe Anderson has outshone Arnie in the last 4 GWs, Arnie still remains West Ham’s talisman. He is at the heart of everything they do going forward, even if it sometimes isn’t rewarded with a goal or assist. He makes them tick and has returned solidly for his price so far, but with great fixtures ahead, owners will want him to really pick it up and I back him to do just that. The underlying numbers suggest he’s been unlucky not to have more returns than he does, with 35 pen area touches, 13 shots (9 inside the box) and 4 big chances over the last 5 GWs, yet only 1 goal in that time. But with a home game against Cardiff up next, a team that have conceded 17 big chances in their last 5 games, Arnie could prove a powerful differential.

The Captain Metric says…

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… 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.

Breakdown:

  • Player form – Raheem Sterling has scored more points than either Kane or Salah in the last 5 Gameweeks.
  • Team form – Salah’s Liverpool have created the most amount of big chances (18) in the last 5 Gameweeks in comparison to Man City.
  • Fixture difficulty – Salah’s opponents Burnley have conceded the most amount of big chances in comparison to the others (16), though Kane’s opponents Southampton, have conceded 12 goals despite only allowing 7 big chances.
  • Likelihood of scoring – According to the bookies, Harry Kane 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 – Despite Kane having the home fixture, Sterling has the best goal conversation rate for the fixtures this weekend. He’s scored 2 from 10 goal attempts from his 6 games away from home. Kane has only scored 2 of his 8 goals at home this year from 18 goal attempts in his 5 home matches.
  • Reliability % – So far, Sterling has proved to be the most reliable asset, providing a return in 9 of the 12 games he’s been available to play, in comparison to Kane and Salah, who have both managed the same return of 8 in 14.
  • Explosivity % – Sterling 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 Kane, who’s only managed 2 in 14, and Salah who has only managed 1 so far from his 14 games.

My view 

I personally think GW15 is the time for a safe captain pick.

Although the public reason for Agüero missing out of the match-day squad against Bournemouth was that he had a knock, he was back in training the day later – I think Pep just likes to keep his opponents guessing, AND, unfortunately, us FPL managers too.

So with him being rested (that’s what I think anyway) and D.Silva also being benched, Pep roulette has appeared to have begun and given that Sterling has already sat out of a couple of games this season, I think there’s a risk going with him, but if he was assured of a start for this one, you wouldn’t need our captain metric to determine that he’d be the best choice again.

That’s not me saying I think he will be benched/left out of the squad to clarify, I’m just preaching caution here when there are good and safer alternatives – for me, going with one of Kane or Salah seem the sensible options this week.

Both have solid fixtures and both are in decent form, Salah arguably looking the stronger, at least on the eye. He looks a good option for their match against Burnley, who have conceded 12 goals and 16 big chances in their 6 home games so far this season.

Kane still appears to be dropping deeper and still doesn’t look quite 100% sharp, but he’s not far off and still the joint second highest goalscorer in the league and they play a Southampton side up next who are now currently manager-less, after sacking Mark Hughes.

He’s also scored 6 and assisted 2 in his last 5 appearances against the Saints, with this fixture last year throwing up a hat-trick for Kane.

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I’m favouring Harry Kane. I have a gut-feeling he’s going to score big in this one, but that’s just my personal feeling. Those without Kane, I would advise putting it on Mohamed Salah.

In terms of a differential, I fancy Callum Wilson to continue his brilliant form.

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

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