FPL Captain Metric: Gameweek 26

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Gameweek 26 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/

Screen Shot 2019-02-07 at 14.43.49

Last Gameweek was all about Manchester City and who out of Sergio Agüero, Leroy Sané and Raheem Sterling had the potential to hit the biggest in the first Double Gameweek of this season, and my word did Agüero take that by storm!

I don’t think anyone could have predicted it to go down the way it went down. Most were expecting Gabriel Jesus to see at least 1 game, or a decent amount of substitute minutes in both and that Leroy Sané would likely be the best of the three for minutes when in fact, it turned out to be the opposite, as Pep dialled up the roulette wheel to 1000.

Pep ended up benching Sané in the first game and not even using him for a 0 and then started him versus Everton, to which Sané played pretty poorly and Pep brought him off for Sterling JUST before the hour mark to deprive owners of 2 extra points – dirty stuff from Pep.

So Sané ended up with a devastating 1 point, whilst Agüero hit Arsenal for a hat-trick in the first game to the delight of those who backed him with the captaincy, especially those who used their triple captain chip, giving them a whopping 51pts after 1 game from 1 player! He went on to start against Everton in the second match, but was unable to get involved before getting removed for Jesus in the second half, giving him a 19pt return, 57pts if you triple captained!

Those who backed Sterling did well too, as his 2 assists and 2 bonus in the Arsenal game gave him 10pts, with the additional 1pt from his sub appearance v Everton, that gave his backers a nice 11pt return, 33 if you triple captained him.

The most backed overall however, was still Mo Salah, with nearly 1.5m opting for him (likely a lot of dead teams doing so) over a City asset, but he was unable to help Liverpool to a win and subsequently blanked.

With some solid fixtures in GW26 for popular assets as well as Salah now blanking in 3 of his last 5 games in the PL, it will be interesting to see if he still dominates the polls, the stats and the metric this week – let’s find out!

Results of our poll (in progress)

Screen Shot 2019-02-07 at 17.54.37

Mohamed Salah – 67% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 40 penalty area touches
  • 12 total goal attempts.
  • 9 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 4 big chances.
  • 3 goals.
  • 0 assists.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 22% of the votes 

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks (includes 2x sub appearances):

  • 26 penalty area touches
  • 15 total goal attempts.
  • 13 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 7 big chances.
  • 2 goals.
  • 2 assists.

Marcus Rashford – 7% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 27 penalty area touches
  • 26 total goal attempts.
  • 16 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 5 big chances.
  • 4 goals.
  • 1 assist.

Other highly owned considerations

Paul Pogba 

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 26 penalty area touches
  • 23 total goal attempts.
  • 15 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 3 big chances.
  • 2 goals.
  • 2 assists.

Sergio Agüero

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 31 penalty area touches
  • 12 total goal attempts.
  • 10 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 4 big chances.
  • 4 goals.
  • 1 assist.

The Captain Metric says…

Screen Shot 2019-02-07 at 14.18.44

… Mohamed Salah. 

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 – Marcus Rashford has scored more points than Aubameyang and Salah in the last 5 Gameweeks.
  • Team form – Aubameyang’s Arsenal have created the most amount of big chances (18) in the last 5 Gameweeks in comparison to Manchester United and Liverpool.
  • Fixture difficulty – Marcus Rashford’s opponents Fulham, have conceded the most amount of big chances (19) in comparison to Salah and Aubameyang’s opponents.
  • Likelihood of scoring – According to the bookies, Mohamed Salah is the most likely to score.
  • Expected goals/assists (xGI) – Aubameyang has the highest expected goal involvement of the 3 candidates over the last 5 Gameweeks.
  • Home/Away Goal Conversion – Mohamed Salah has the best goal conversion rate for this weekends fixtures, after bagging 9 goals from 36 goal attempts at Anfield.
  • Reliability % – Mohamed Salah is the most reliable asset, with him returning in 15 of his 25 matches, whilst Aubameyang has returned in 12 of his 23 matches. Rashford is the least reliable, with 11 returns in his 22 matches where he was available to play.
  • Explosivity % – Mohamed Salah has returned the most amount of double-figure hauls with 7 in his 25 matches. Aubameyang has 5 in his 25 matches and Rashford has 3 in his 22 matches.

My view 

There are plenty of viable options this Gameweek, but with 5 goals in his last 3 appearances versus Bournemouth, it’s very tough to go anywhere other than Mo Salah.

Having said that, his and Liverpool’s recent form hasn’t been great. Liverpool have won just 2 in their last 6 matches in all competitions and Mo Salah’s underlying stats aren’t as enticing as they have been – both of which have led to him blanking in 3 of his last 5 matches.

Aubameyang has also blanked in 3 of his last 5 matches and Arsenal’s overall form has been dodgy too, with 3 wins and 3 losses in their last 6 in all competitions however, they have created the most amount of big chances (18) of any team over the last 5 games and Huddersfield have conceded 15 big chances in that time.

Aubameyang tends to be quite reliable in terms of his returns when it comes to weaker opposition, with all 5 of his last 5 returns coming against teams in the lower half of the table.

Manchester United assets Rashford and Pogba should also have a say with them facing Fulham in the early kick off, a team that have conceded the most amount of big chances (19) in the last 5 games of any team. Both have great underlying stats and are in good form and should be up for some serious consideration.

I wouldn’t bet against any of these assets doing well and I think all of them will get a return however, I do think Howe’s expansive game against this Liverpool side is too dangerous – the 16 goals Liverpool have scored in their last 5 meetings between the two goes to show that and Salah has played a big role in their destruction.

Embed from Getty Images

 

So for me, I think Mo Salah has the highest ceiling, so I will be choosing him as my captain, but I also fancy Aubameyang to get a haul against Huddersfield.

I haven’t listed any differential captains this week because I believe both Rashford and Pogba are great options if you want to be a little different with your captain, given that Salah and Aubameyang will likely be the most popular choices.

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

keep-calm-and-thanks-for-reading-7

 

 

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