FPL Captain Metric: Gameweek 16

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Gameweek 16 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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Despite Pep stating that he wasn’t sure on Agüero’s fitness, and then M.E.N reporting before the deadline that he wasn’t with the squad that travelled to Vicarage Road, he was still the top captained player of all the live teams. He didn’t play, along with Raheem Sterling (captained by 14% of live teams), which meant vice captains, again, came into action for the second GW in a row.

It was fairly evenly split elsewhere. Salah picked up the next highest with 16.5%, but he was rather surprisingly benched at Turf Moor. Owners might have been a bit miffed that he was subbed on, but right at the last, he managed to assist Shaqiri’s goal to at least give them something to cheer about.

Kane was the next highest backed with 15% and he turned in a lovely 12pt haul, after bagging a goal, an assist and maximum bonus, to his owners’ delight.

Another set of owners that will be very pleased, especially the 4.5% that backed him with the armband, will be that of Callum Wilson, who keeps making a mockery of his price-tag after netting another double-figure haul – his 3rd of the season – taking his total tally up to an impressive 8 goals and 8 assists.

After his impressive 16pt haul the previous GW, Aubameyang was the top transferred in player for GW15 and saw some decent backing (5%) for the captaincy, despite a relatively tough fixture on paper. They were quite unlucky not to get anything from their new man, as he saw David De Gea pull off 2 very good saves to deny him, leaving him with just 2pts.

With ownership levels drastically changing amongst the premium assets, the captaincy will likely see similarly even splits to that of GW15. With upsides and downsides to all choices, let’s see if we can help provide the clarity you need to pick your man!

Results of our poll 

Screenshot 2018-12-06 at 19.01.23.png

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 51% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 15 penalty area touches
  • 14 total goal attempts.
  • 9 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 5 big chances.
  • 3 goals.
  • 1 assist.

Harry Kane – 29% of the votes 

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 21 penalty area touches
  • 22 total goal attempts.
  • 13 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 5 big chances.
  • 4 goals.
  • 2 assists.

Mohamed Salah – 13% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 33 penalty area touches
  • 13 total goal attempts.
  • 10 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 3 big chances.
  • 2 goals.
  • 1 assist.

Raheem Sterling 

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

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

Differential captain options

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  1. Alexandre Lacazette – Considering he’s had an injury, Lacazette hasn’t been doing too badly over the last 5 GWs. Where he was able to play, he has scored 2 and assisted one. In this time, he boats an impressive 37.5% goal conversion rate, but this is down to the fact that he hasn’t been having too many goal attempts (8, 7 coming inside the box). After a substantial rest, it is thought that Lacazette is in line to start up front against Huddersfield at the Emirates. If he does, it’s hard to see him not getting something, as he has an impressive record of 14 goals and 6 assists in his 24 games there since moving from Lyon.
  2. Richarlison – Another one who’s done well at home is the young Brazilian – scoring 4 in his 6 games at Goodison park, collecting 43pts from those 6 games. Watford started the season very well under Gracia and quite solid in defence too, but recently, the cracks are starting to appear. 4 losses and 1 draw in their last 5 doesn’t make great reading, especially when they’ve played Newcastle, Southampton and Leicester in that time – all games they’re capable of getting results from. In addition, both Marco Silva and Richarlison face their former club, which always adds a certain extra motivation, as they’ll both be eager to get one over on their old team.

The Captain Metric says…

Screen Shot 2018-12-06 at 14.41.52

… 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, Salah or Aubameyang in the last 5 Gameweeks.
  • Team form – Sterling’s Man City have created the most amount of big chances (18) in the last 5 Gameweeks in comparison to the rest of the candidates teams.
  • Fixture difficulty – Salah’s opponents, Bournemouth, have conceded the most amount of big chances in comparison to the others (17).
  • Likelihood of scoring – According to the bookies, Aubameyang is the most likely to score.
  • Expected goals/assists (xGI) – Raheem Sterling has the highest expected goal involvement of the 4 candidates over the last 5 Gameweeks.
  • Home/Away Goal Conversion – Aubameyang has the best goal conversion rate for this weekends fixtures, after bagging 5 goals from 16 goal attempts at the Emirates. Both Sterling and Kane have a decent 20% goal conversion rate on the road.
  • Reliability % – In terms of being reliable in the sense of returning when playing, Sterling is the most reliable, with 9 returns in the 12 games (75%) he has played however, we have included the 3 games he’s been rested for into the calculations, as he was physically fit to play but was rested – this falls under ‘reliability’ in an FPL context, as we want to rely on our assets to play as well as return. Despite including the 3 games where he was rested, he still comes out as 60% reliable, which was the joint highest along with Kane and Salah.
  • Explosivity % – Sterling has also proved the most explosive asset up to this point, with 4 double-figure hauls in the 15 games he was physically able to play in, in comparison to Kane, who’s managed 3 in 15, Aubameyang who has managed the same and Salah who has only managed 1 so far from his 15 games.

My view 

If we could be sure that Aubameyang was guaranteed to start, then I would be advocating it went on him because of his form and the fixture.

He has a fantastic conversion rate so far this season of 37% in general and 31.3% at home. Not only that, but he boasts the best ‘goals per min’ ratio (goal every 104 mins) of any player in the Premier League.

The bookies also fancy him to be the most likely to score, but given that Lacazette only played 45 minutes against United, it’s likely that he comes in to start on the weekend up front and that either pushes Aubameyang out to the left, or him to the bench, given that he’s played back to 90mins in the space of 3 days.

Having said that, the two times he has been benched in the Premier League, he came on and scored a brace in both, so even if you did go with him and he was benched, it’s certainly not the end of the world.

Bournemouth’s defensive stats are tempting when looking at Salah, but his away form is the major concern for me.

Kane has really picked up form and is also tempting, but Leicester, under Puel, are starting to look a little better in terms of their defensive organisation – the fact they’ve conceded the fewest big chances (5) of any side in the last 5 GWs is testament to that.

I would never rule Kane out of scoring against anyone, but feel the ceiling for him isn’t very high in this one.

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I personally fancy a fresh Raheem Sterling against a fairly frail Chelsea, given his propensity to return when he starts and how explosive he can be.

Alonso hasn’t looked great defensively of late, and if Matt Doherty can get the better of him, then Sterling can certainly tear the Spaniard to shreds.

In terms of a differential captain, I don’t expect Sterling would get too much of a backing numbers wise (expect less than 10% at least) with the other options available, so he’d be a fantastic differential captain this GW with a lot focusing on Arsenal, but if you’re looking at that fixture too, then Alexandre Lacazette has to be your man if you don’t own Aubameyang or are worried about him starting.

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

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