Have you ever wondered what the best method is for selecting a captain? Is it an FPL prediction algorithm? Is it to look at anytime goal scoring odds? Is it to pick the top player in the polls? Or is it to listen to the wise words of FPL tipsters?

This series is all about putting these captaincy selection methods to the test.

How does it work?

We’ll be taking the top three picks according to an FPL algorithm, bookies anytime goalscoring odds, the captaincy poll and those of a special guest.

Each pick will be weighted so that the top pick receives 100% of their points, 2nd 85% and 3rd 70%. Each prediction method will also have one bench pick in case any of their top three doesn’t start. A running tally will be kept to find out that all-important question – which one is the best?

GW32 results

When I started this series I honestly had no idea which prediction method would come out on top (which was the reason for doing it). As we progress, each week throws in picks I wouldn’t have considered. The interesting thing is that more often than not, they come in. This has meant a continually evolving leaderboard and this week is no different. Despite three impressive picks from @FPL_Heisenberg, The Tipsters fall from 1st to 3rd. This was largely due to The Algorithm being the only one to pick out Sanchez for his 14 point haul. The Poll remains 2nd as Aubameyang’s 13 points nudge it above The Tipsters for the first time.

GW32The AlgorithmThe BookiesThe PollThe Tipsters
Grand Total93.186.7589.2588.7
Pick 1 (100%)Salah (7)Salah (7)Salah (7)Salah (7)
Pick 2 (85%)Sanchez (11.9)Aubameyang (11.05)Aubameyang (11.05)Lukaku (6.8)
Pick 3 (70%)Aubameyang (9.1)Jesus (5.6)Lukaku (5.6)Aubameyang (9.1)
GW32 total2823.6523.6522.9

GW32 FPL Captains

The Algorithm

Leaping to the top of the pile last week, The Algorithm is proving that it shouldn’t be overlooked when helping select players and captains. This week’s picks are as follows:

  1. Salah: Expected points – 6.3pts
  2. Kane: Expected points – 5.9pts
  3. Hazard: Expected points – 5.6pts

Bench player: Alonso (5.4pts)

Salah is once again favoured by The Algorithm’s mathematical modelling. Back from injury and up against a dodgy looking Stoke outfit, Kane comes a close 2nd. Similar to its Sanchez pick last time out, The Algorithm favours another big hitting midfielder who could be considered slightly out of form in Hazard.

With Salah facing a potential knock – that could see him rested for the 2nd leg of their Champions League quarter-finals – bench players could well come into contention this week. If called upon, Alonso looks like a good back up option for The Algorithm.

The Bookies

The Bookies have been performing solidly in recent weeks, but remain bottom of the pile. This week they favour a fit-again Kane with Aubameyang coming in 2nd. Surprisingly, Salah only makes third place, with Son back up in case of injury.

  1. Kane – odds: 1.67
  2. Aubameyang  – odds: 1.70
  3. Salah odds: 1.75

Bench player: Son: 1.95

The Poll

I have no idea which prediction method will be top of the pile come the end of the season, but if I had to put my life savings on one it would be The Poll. The cumulative wealth of knowledge from the FPL community often has an uncanny way of finding the right picks.

This time around, Aubameyang claims over 50% of the votes, displacing usual poll favourite Salah. Kane comes a close 3rd (his lowest position from all prediction methods). Mahrez finds his way to the bench in the event that dropout.

The Tipster

The Tipster’s find themselves knocked off the top spot for the first time this season. Fortunately for them, they have recruited a top manager and creator of the Sky Fantasy Football podcast Mark Edworthy. You can find him on Twitter @Buffrey007.

Who are your top three picks and why?

The fact we’ve suddenly been presented with a wealth of frontline options after the majority of the season looking a little sparse is very exciting for FPL. With three premium forward options and at least another three in the mid to low price range makes it a bit more variable as to who people have in their front lines.

My first pick is probably someone who is causing a fair bit of a headache amongst any an FPL manager right now. HARRY KANE. Quite frankly I’m in the camp of, if fit and playing you want him. It also turns out I’m in the “If he’s playing Stoke you captain him” camp and that’s why he’s my first pick this week. His quicker than expected return from injury may be a headache to some but it’s a blessing to Spurs and I’m sure he, himself, will be looking at keeping that Golden boot for a third consecutive season. He’s got a lot to do but Stoke is a great place to start, as its versus a team that in his last 4 games against them has seen him score every game netting 8 goals.

Second up, is PE Aubamayang. The Gabon international is cup-tied and already complaining about not getting enough game time. A brace last time out and a home game versus Southampton who surrendered toothlessly to West Ham last week suggest there could be a lot of opportunities for ‘Auba’. The only real concern is if there is enough creativity for him as he is a pure striker and finisher, and not as much of a creator, but the likely recall of Miki and Ozil should give him enough ammunition to bag at least a goal.

A fair few options for the third choice, with some decent games, but I’m breaking one of the main restricted tipping rules and going for another player for Spurs. Dele Alli is off the back of a lovely brace versus Chelsea and looks back on form, and he’s always been a bit of streaky player as I fondly remember from Christmas 2016. I really think Spurs will be too good for Stoke who are imploding a bit and are looking more and more destined for the drop every week. Alli has still contributed to a goal in about 50% of his Premier League games he’d ever played in and has scored four in his last four versus Stoke. Confidence will be high and I’m expecting Spurs to rip through Stoke who after the second goal will drop heads and be pummelled.

  1. Kane
  2. Aubamayang
  3. Alli

Bench player: Mahrez

Summary Table

GW33The AlgorithmThe BookiesThe PollThe Tipsters
Current Total97.294.2597.599
Pick 1 (100%)Kane (1)Kane (1)Aubameyang (6)Kane (1)
Pick 2 (85%)Hazard (1.7)Aubameyang (5.1)Kane (.85)Aubameyang (5.1)
Pick 3 (70%)Alonso (1.4)Son (1.4)Mahrez (1.4)Alli (4.2)
GW33 Total4.17.58.2510.3

For the first time in a while, Salah doesn’t hold a monopoly on the top spot of the prediction methods, with Tipster Mark not even selecting him in his top three. Instead, fit again Kane and an in-form Aubameyang take centre stage this week, which also sees differential picks Hazard and Alli making their first appearance in the series. I’ll finish off with a poll for the community:



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