We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Blank Gameweek 36 and reveal the results of our captain poll and our new captain metric – who will you choose this FPL Gameweek?
Article written by FPL Rover.
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
Due to an ongoing gameweek there will be no metric calculation for gameweek 36.
At the time of writing there are still three triple gameweek 35 fixtures to play, which means there is incomplete data to produce the metric. With that in mind, the article will have a different twist this week as we look ahead to the main captaincy candidates for blank gameweek 36.
The metric winner for TGW35, Mason Greenwood, has rewarded managers with two goals and still has one fixture to play. Big congratulations to those who gave him the armband!
Bruno and Salah, who also scored well on the metric, have also both returned and will be eyeing up more as they face each other on Thursday evening.
As we cast an eye towards blank gameweek 36, Man Utd, Leicester, Chelsea and Arsenal will all be without a fixture due to the FA Cup final. This means the pool of potential captains has been reduced with popular options like Bruno, Greenwood and Iheanacho all missing out. Lets take a look at some of the main captaincy contenders to consider in BGW36.
Who are the main contenders?
Please note the all data in the article is based on gameweeks 30 to 34.
We begin the discussion with Mo Salah, who will arguably be the most captained player in BGW36.
The Liverpool midfielder been picking up consistent returns recently, although failing to turn them into hauls despite being presented with plenty of opportunities. His fixture against recently relegated West Brom add to his appeal this week as Liverpool continue their (ambitious) pursuit of Champions League football next season.
Salah has been producing some consistent underlying numbers in attack; a trend that has been evident for a number of weeks now. He is currently ranked 1st for big chances (6) and is in the top four for xG (2.78), shots (17) and penalty box touches (35). No doubt he will be disappointed with just the three goals to his name.
Salah is rightly one of the best captaincy candidates this week given his form and fixture both catch the eye, while you feel he will ‘go big’ at least once more this season providing he maintains his underlying data. Creatively he has not been great, but with one eye on the golden boot it is easy to see why he’s trying to score the goals himself.
What a season Harry Kane is having despite Spurs’ struggles. His recent form suggests things aren’t quite going his way with back-to-back 2 pointers, but he doesn’t tend to endure too many lean spells.
Spurs play Wolves in BGW36, a team who are arguably ‘on the beach’ having secured a mid table finish. Spurs themselves still have plenty to play for so this could be a nice fixture to target.
The underlying data is really positive for Kane; the Spurs forward is ranked 1st for big chances (6, joint with Salah) and shots (21), while he is 2nd for both goals (4) and xG (4.00). These are the kind of numbers you would expect from a player of his quality, and, like Salah, you feel there’s another big score to come this season.
The appeal might not be as strong as Salah for this week, but there’s a very good chance Kane bounces back this week if Spurs put on a half decent attacking display against Wolves.
Son and Bale have taken the pressure off recently, but that should only be a good thing as it will provide Kane with more support in and around the box. He will also have benefitted from more rest than Salah going into the gameweek, assuming Salah plays on Thursday against Man Utd.
This is one for the ‘fixtures over form’ camp! Since his ridiculous run of scoring at the start of the season, Calvert-Lewin (DCL) has struggled to produce consistently; as have Everton who find themselves in 8th having looked like competing for Champions League places before Christmas.
However, if we include his first game in TGW35, where he netted Everton’s only goal in victory over West Ham, he has scored in back-to-back games. With arguably the easiest fixture on paper in Sheffield United this weekend, is DCL a strong captaincy contender?
Having missed a couple of games through injury recently, his underlying stats are much weaker than many of the performing players in the league right now. Despite this, DCL has had 4 big chances fall his way which puts him 6th in the league. The concern here is that he is only getting 2.7 penalty box touches and 2 shots per 90 which highlights the struggles for Everton offensively.
Regardless of how he gets on against Villa on Thursday, DCL goes into BGW36 with some big chances and a couple of goals to his name. You would expect Everton to be on the front foot against Sheff Utd and Calvert-Lewin will be the main focal point of the attacking play. Not a bad captain shout if you’re looking to target a fixture.
The second Spurs option to consider for captaincy this week is Heung-Min Son. Another player who thrived in the opening weeks but struggled thereafter, Son seems to be enjoying more freedom under caretaker boss Ryan Mason. Just looking at Spurs’ average positions in their most recent game vs Leeds (below) shows Son as the most forward player in the side, even more advanced than Kane.
Son, who is getting more penalty box touches than Kane, is showing signs of form in the underlying data. He is in the top 10 players for FPL points (32), goals (3) and penalty box touches (27), but his standout stat is key passes (12) which places him 3rd in the league. Son is becoming more of an influence in Spurs’ attacking play and could rival Kane for FPL points in the closing weeks.
The captaincy article series has been very quiet on the Man City front for a good while now; their quest for Champions League glory has forced Pep’s hand even more with rotation making it difficult to back them for our FPL teams. To keep his key players fresh for the UCL final, we are likely to see a stronger side against Newcastle this week and Mahrez has really impressed recently.
As you can see, the stats don’t really support a case for his inclusion, but this may be a chance worth taking to make up ground on your rivals.
Mahrez has typically done well against teams who sit back and allow him to carry the ball into the area; Newcastle are unlikely to press high despite their recent form which could bring the Algerian into game. We can never truly guess which team Pep will put out, but this could be a high risk, high reward opportunity at the back end of the season.
At this stage of the season our own ambitious are likely to dictate our approach to transfers and captaincy. Those who want to make up ground will feel a higher risk transfer or captaincy could help fire them up the ranks with only three gameweeks left. I would place myself in the ‘risk taking’ camp which makes the captaincy decision all the more difficult.
Given the blanks ruling out several captaincy options this week, the chance of picking up Salah as a differential captain will be very slim. On paper he ticks all the boxes; returns (although could have had more), strong underlying data and a great fixture. Any other week he would be nailed down as my captain, but I need to take a chance on somebody else in order to gain rank.
The player I’m looking to captain this week is Calvert-Lewin, who may not have the form but certainly has the fixture in Sheffield United. Hopefully he passes the eye test on Thursday evening against Villa; another return in that game will all but certainly lock him in as my captain this week.
Please note this is only my personal view and the article itself should have provided a more balanced view on the options. Everton’s lack of goals is a major concern when it comes to captaining one of their players, but anything can happen when playing one of the worst defensive teams in the league.
The main takeaway for this week is to captain a player that suits your situation. There are plenty of really good options around so there’s no need to worry about going against the ‘popular’ pick; trust your gut and, most importantly, have some fun!