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?

GW33 results

GW33 was the lowest scoring week for our prediction methods so far – and by some margin. Nevertheless, it was a significant one. Tipster @Buffrey007 came top of the pile, mainly thanks to his Alli punt. After being ousted for one week, this put The Tipsters back into first place. The Algorithm falls to 3rd, while The Poll remains in 2nd place. It’s very tight at the top of the pile and all to play for as we head into the bumper double week.  

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

GW34 FPL Captains

The Algorithm

After a great recent run of picks, GW33 was not a good one for The Algorithm as it slips to 3rd with a score of just 4.1. I’m sure our resident stats wizard and creator of The Algorithm, Carl, will be hopeful of a bounceback this time around. With two favourable fixtures, The Algortithm is strongly backing Manchester United assets:

  1. Sanchez: Expected points – 11.4pts
  2. Kane: Expected points – 10.1pts
  3. Lukaku: Expected points – 10.0pts

Bench player: Pogba (9.5pts)


The Bookies

Bottom of the pile, but only five points adrift, The Bookies will be hopeful of a comeback. Unfortunately, despite searching far and wide for anytime goalscoring odds for the second round of matches, I can’t find them. I have taken a stab at what I expect these to be around (in brackets) and added these to this weekend’s odds. This is obviously a very rough guide and will be reviewed next week when its officially priced up. 

  1. Kane – odds: 1.85 & (1.6)
  2. Lukaku  – odds: 1.70 & (1.9)
  3. Vardy odds: 2.45 & (1.9)

Bench player: Martial: 2.00 & (2.4)

The Poll

The Poll remains firmly in contention in 2nd place, just 1.5 points behind the Tipsters. With such a big points offering available for the bumper double, could it take the lead for the first time this week?

40% of the community fancy big-hitting Belgium forward Lukaku to take full advantage of two plumb ties against weak looking opposition. Kane comes a close 2nd, with Sanchez edging Vardy to the bench.

The Tipster

The Tipster’s only spent one week off the top spot. This time around, our resident punster, MJ (@FPLFanatix), gives his top picks for the crucial double gameweek.

Who are your top three picks and why?

My first captaincy pick for DGW34 is a DGW hero from the last two seasons, Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean had an outrageous last season in Arsenal colours with 24 goals and 11 assists. He has been a DGW star with a 25+ FPL points returns in each of the last two seasons. Alexis has had an underwhelming season this time around, but that is also due to the injury at the start of the season and the transfer saga surrounding him. Alexis had a slow start to his United career but has come into some cracking form recently with a goal and 4 assists in the last 4 PL games. In terms of FPL form, he is top of the charts currently along with Salah at 12.0 points per game. With a terrific performance including 2 assists vs fierce rivals Manchester City, I fully expect Sanchez to finish his season strongly. With the kindest set of fixtures in DGW 34 (WBA at home and BOU away), Alexis can be a strong captaincy option for DGW34. Sanchez also has an extremely slender ownership of 3.3% making one of our favourite DGW players an exciting differential this time around

Second up is the Golden Boot lad, Harry Kane. When he is fit, he always is a strong contender for captaincy. Such is the reputation of the young fellow. 4th consecutive season with 20+ goals is an outrageous record especially at an age of 24. Harry Kane recently came back from injury but with 20 minutes vs Chelsea and a full game vs Stoke, he seems well and truly back. Harry will be hungry to win the third consecutive golden boot but is 4 goals behind Salah currently and will be determined to chase down the Egyptian. Spurs have appealed to the PL for the goal (currently awarded to Eriksen) to be given to Kane, just shows how badly Kane wants the golden boot. They also have a DGW in GW34 with City at Wembley and then travelling to Falmer Stadium to face the Seagulls. Not the best set of fixtures, but with Spurs in good form and Harry eyeing to be top scorer yet again, he can perform very well in DGW34 and is a very good captaincy contender

Lastly, is another pick from Manchester United, the Belgian striker – Romelu Lukaku. Popularly known as a “flat track” bully, Lukaku has two easy matchups in the form of West Brom and Bournemouth in DGW34. With 15 goals and 7 assists after his summer move to Manchester United, he has not set the world alight but has had a decent first season. His recent form though is good, with only just one blank in his last 5 PL games. In the same time, Lukaku has notched 3 goals and an assist (including a goal and an assist vs last year’s leaders Chelsea) and comes into DGW34 on the back of a good run. With Pogba and Sanchez both coming into form, Lukaku may be on the receiving end of some very good chances in this gameweek and can end up getting a really good score. Lukaku is also one of the good captaincy options this week if you cannot afford Sanchez and Kane in your teams.

Bench player: Riyad Mahrez


Summary Table

GW34The AlgorithmThe BookiesThe PollThe Tipsters
Current Total113.3116.65115.4115.1
Pick 1 (100%)Sanchez (2)Kane (10)Lukaku (8)Sanchez (2)
Pick 2 (85%)Kane (8.5)Lukaku (6.8)Kane (8.5)Kane (8.5)
Pick 3 (70%)Lukaku (5.6)Vardy (5.6)Sanchez (1.4)Lukaku (5.6)
GW34 total16.122.417.916.1

For the first time ever, two of our prediction methods – The Algorithm and The Tipsters are backing the exact same top three in the same order (although they have different bench picks). The Odds are the only ones to diverge from top three picks Kane, Lukaku and Sanchez – with Vardy coming in as their 3rd place pick.

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