FPL Captain Metric: Gameweek 21

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Gameweek 21 and reveal the results of our captain poll and our new captain metric – who will you choose this FPL Gameweek?

BRAND NEW METRIC EXPLAINED: This article (hit the link) explains the concept and working fully >> https://fplconnect.blog/2018/08/07/the-captain-metric-explained-2/

Results of the Poll

With almost 2,000 votes, the winner of our captain poll was Gundogan with 34.4% of votes.

The following underlying statistics are taken from FantasyFootballHub.co.uk. 

Heung-Min Son

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 GWs (games where he was out injured/rested not included):

  • 5 appearances
  • 20 penalty box touches
  • 2 big chances created
  • 6 big chances
  • 1 goal
  • 2 assists

Mo Salah

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 GWs (games where he was out injured/rested not included):

  • 1 appearances
  • 57 penalty box touches
  • 1 big chance created
  • 3 big chances
  • 0 goals
  • 0 assists

Ilkay Gundogan

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 GWs (games where he was out injured/rested not included):

  • 6 appearances
  • 25 penalty box touches
  • 1 big chance created
  • 5 big chances
  • 6 goals
  • 0 assists

Raheem Sterling

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 GWs (games where he was out injured/rested not included):

  • 6 appearances
  • 53 penalty box touches
  • 3 big chances created
  • 3 big chances
  • 2 goals
  • 3 assists

Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 GWs (games where he was out injured/rested not included):

  • 3 appearances
  • 10 penalty box touches
  • 0 big chances created
  • 1 big chance
  • 0 goals
  • 0 assists

Captain Metric

The winner of this weeks Captain Metric is Heung-Min Son.

Important notes: Individual bias (IB), highlights how balanced their score is between team and individual form. A score below 50% suggests the team has contributed the most weight to their score, while a score above 50% shows individual performances that outweigh that of the team.

Individual total has now been adjusted to account for other KPIs that can help identify a strong captaincy candidate. These include FPL points (as usual), xGI (expected goal involvement), penalty box touches, big chances, big chances created). These metrics have been adjusted so each metric carries similar weight to the overall individual score.

Metric results explained

The metric results show that Heung-Min Son, Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling are the top three statistical choices for captaincy in Gameweek 21.

With injuries to strong captaincy candidates Kevin De Bruyne and Harry Kane, and a worrying loss of form for Mo Salah, the captaincy dilemma is much more open this week. Heung-Min Son wins based on our statistical captaincy model, but there is certainly more to consider this week than the data.

The first thing to note is the worry that Heung-Min Son will be less of a desirable captaincy option with the likely absence of Harry Kane.

In early January, the duo equalled a record which had stood for more than 25 years, combining to score 13 Premier League goals (one assisting and the other scoring). Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton were the only previous pair to assist each other so many times in a season, during Blackburn’s title-winning campaign in 1994-95.

Therefore, many are worrying that without the in-form Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son may struggle. However, as excellently produced by Ben Crellin on Twitter, Heung-Min Son was very successful last season without Harry Kane.

Therefore, if you own the dynamic Spurs midfielder, he should still be considered a very good captaincy option.

As you can see in the above image, despite a drop in form, Bruno Fernandes is continuing to post some very good numbers, with the highest xA per 90 from the most popular captaincy picks.

Ilkay Gundogan also continues to post fantastic numbers, and rather than topping the charts for key passes and xA, the Man City midfielder is a direct goal threat, with the second highest number of shots and second highest xG per 90 of 0.55.

Perhaps the most impressive numbers here are Sadio Mane‘s, who appears to continue to go under the radar with less than 2% expected ownership in the top 100k.

In fact, Mane has the most touches in the penalty area, the second highest xA per 90 and a very decent xG per 90 of 0.45. If you own him, he is a brilliant captaincy option this week.

Lastly, in the image below you can see a visual representation of each of the teams in reference to their xA against and their average xG for.

Source: https://twitter.com/FplRover

Who has the poorest defence?

The below table is taking from Fantasy Football Hub for GW15-GW20, ordered from the highest xGC (expected goals conceded) to the lowest xGC.

Despite playing one more game than the teams around them, Newcastle look like the stand-out team in the Premier League to target. They have the second worst xGC, and also have conceded the most big chances (20 big chances conceded in 20 games).

They have conceded the second most shots in the box, and as a result I believe that Calvert-Lewin is very viable option this week.

West Ham continue to post some of the most impressive defensive numbers in the league, with the third lowest xGC at 4.7, and the third lowest big chances conceded at 5. Therefore, the stats suggest that perhaps there are better options than Salah and Mane for this week.

The winner of the metric this week (Heung-Min Son) faces a trip to Brighton. Despite posting very average underlying numbers for their defence, Brighton are managing to keep out many big teams in recent weeks, and have certainly not been the whipping boys at any stage.

Since the end of November, they have managed to limit Liverpool, Arsenal, Leeds and Man City to 1 goal or less, and you would imagine that without the in-form Harry Kane Spurs may struggle to break them down. Spurs may have too much for Brighton, but do not expect a goal-fest.

Finally, whilst Man City versus Sheffield United has the potential to be a massacre, Sheffield United’s defensive stats are not as bad as their league position suggests. In fact, for every single defensive metric, Sheffield United sit in the top half of the table.

As well, as you can see in the image below, their previous three games have all been very tight. Man City have kept clean sheets in all three but failed to score more than 2 goals. Perhaps Cancelo is a better option than Gundogan or Sterling this week.

My view

Despite Man City having the ideal fixture this week, I am not completely convinced that they the match will be a massacre. I think if I owned Sterling I would probably captain him, but I wouldn’t expect more than one or two returns. Perhaps Cancelo/Dias/Stones are the best options for this match-up.

Heung-Min Son was the winner of the metric this week, and he probably remains the stand out option. However, Brighton’s strong defence coupled with the absence of Harry Kane will put many off.

I personally believe that this is one of the best weeks of the year to take a punt on your captain. Apart from Heung-Min Son (and maybe Bruno) it is unlikely that any of the players will have an expected ownership of over 100%.

If you’re looking for a differential pick, I like the look of the following players:

  1. Calvert-Lewin against a poor Newcastle defence
  2. Harvey Barnes countering against an offensive Leeds team
  3. Joao Cancelo against a goal-shy Sheffield United team

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