This is a brand new FPL members article that looks at an in-depth captaincy analysis. New hub contributor and FPL genius Chris Tan will be guiding you through the captaincy decision. The first half is free, but a more in-depth look at the underlying numbers and Chris's conclusion is members only.
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Right, back to the article...
Gameweek 30 Recap
This week can be split into two camps - the “smashed it” side who own at least one of Sterling, Mane and Vardy (and captained them); and the “FML” side who don’t own any of them.
Who did I tip?
- Aguero (5) / Sterling (21) – I highlighted that Man City had the best home team attacking stats and Watford had the worst opposition away stats, which created a perfect storm. Not many people are fortunate (or rich) enough to have both of these so I suggested you captain whichever of the two you owned. Although 5 isn’t technically a blank, it can feel that way, however for those with Sterling, this was a massive rank boost.
- Salah (5) – similar to Aguero, his score will feel like a blank when compared to some of the other hauls achieved this week. Once again he was overshadowed by his team mates and the question is, will you automatically go for him again just because he’s Salah or will you try something different?
- Vardy (16) – I expected him to score but I also mentioned that he had a high floor and a low ceiling. It appears that I was wrong here with his two goals, an assist and max bonus. Fulham aren’t exactly a stern test, but Leicester looked very attacking, which should lead to lots of FPL returns and they appear to have been instructed to feed Vardy at every opportunity.
What did we learn?
- Clean Sheets – it can be tempting to punt on an attacking defender but this Gameweek highlighted how fragile they are and once it’s lost so are the chances of a big haul and bonus points.
- Team Attitude – at this stage of the season we’ve got teams that have something to play for (those gunning for top 4 and those trying to survive) and then we have those “on the beach” (where they don’t fancy starting their season early for the UEL or where they’re safe from relegation). This is where attractive fixtures can sometimes be misleading and a lot of emphasis should be placed on how much the team actually wants to win.
Some of us have been waiting a long time for blank Gameweek (BGW) 31, players have either built up a sufficient team or are planning to utilise their Free Hit chip. One thing I have noticed is that both versions have several similar players and it also looks like the majority are going to choose the same captain. How can you make up any ground when all your rivals have a similar team and you captain the same player?
With such a small fixture list, here are my initial thoughts:
- Bournemouth v Newcastle– Bournemouth are very good at home and even though it was Huddersfield, they look a lot more fluid with Wilson and Brooks back in the side. Newcastle are reasonably solid, but the absence of the suspended Schär, possibly Lascelles and Longstaff leaves a massive weakness in their spine.
- Burnley v Leicester– Burnley are reasonably solid at home and don’t overextend to make them vulnerable to counter attacks. I think Leicester will find them hard to break down without much space behind them. On the flipside, Leicester are still fairly leaky at the back and that should bode well for owners of Barnes.
- West Ham v Huddersfield– this looks like the plum fixture of the round and free hitters should consider someone like Arnie for this one. For those Anderson owners, he might have his first shot on target since January…
- Fulham v Liverpool – this looks to be the second best fixture of the round, Fulham keep demonstrating their inability to keep clean sheets and Liverpool have the firepower to demolish them.
- Everton v Chelsea– for the majority of their game versus Newcastle I thought I might have missed a trick with Everton. They’d defeated Cardiff, held Liverpool to a draw and were dominating Newcastle. Then reality sunk in and they reverted to type. I’d expect Chelsea to win this game but it’s quite hard to call how it will play out goal wise and some of the side may be fatigued after their UEL game.
Old Haunting Ground – do any of these picks have a good history vs their opposition?
Nobody really stands out here, with Huddersfield and Fulham fairly new to the league there isn’t much history to go off. The picks of the bunch appear to be Rondon, Perez, Vardy, Arnie and Sigurdsson.
All stats are from OPTA based on the last four home games...