Fantasy Premier League: Captain Picks for Matchweek 11
If you are going to win your leagues on the Premier League's official fantasy website, it's imperative to pick the right captain. That's why we'll be detailing the top captain choices for your teams each and every matchweek.
You'll construct a roster of 15 players with a £100 million salary -- two keepers, five defenders, five midfielders and three forwards -- and choose a starting XI each week.
A key part of the process is selecting your captain and vice captain. Your captain will have his points doubled for the week, and your vice captain's points will double in case your captain doesn't play.
As usual, an acceptable game for our captain is either scoring or assisting one goal, preferably scoring. This past week, our captains exploded, scoring a combined four goals and two assists!
This weekend should feature a lot of exciting soccer. The best game on the slate is probably Arsenal versus Tottenham, the North London derby. Two bitter rivals battling at the top of the premier league table -- what more could you want?
There is also Chelsea versus Everton, two teams without any distractions from European football, who are respectively in fourth and sixth place. My last choice for match of the week would be Swansea versus Manchester United. United is on a terrible run of form, and Mourinho is banned for this match. In the month of October, United took 85 shots in Premier League matches but only scored once. If there was ever a good time to play United, it's now.
But who should you be looking to roster at captain this week?
Agüero rewarded all of his patient owners with an amazing multi-point game last weekend. It appears to be the norm for Agüero this season, as he has only scored in four of his eight matches but scored two goals in three out of those four. Agüero was the Man of the Match according to WhoScored.com, getting a perfect 10 of 10 rating on their site. He earned it by taking five shots, two on target, along with providing two key passes. This led to him scoring two goals and assisting another in City's four-nil take-down of West Brom. He followed that up with another good game against Barcelona in City's midweek Champions League match, taking five shots and assisting a goal.
Middlesbrough comes to town this week, and while you think they may be an easy opponent for City, you'd be wrong. Boro has only allowed 11 goals this season, ranking them seventh in that category. In fact, they haven't conceded more than one goal since September, a run which includes two clean sheets (at Arsenal, versus Bournemouth). That being said, they do spend the third most time in their own third, at 31%. City continue to lead the league in the possession metric (60.7) and take the fourth most shots per game (17.2). The oddsmakers think that City are just too strong for Boro to hold out against, giving Manchester the best odds to win on the weekend's slate (-450).
While Agüero hasn't shown the week-to-week consistency that we usually like in our captains, he certainly puts up big fantasy numbers when he does score. In the four games he's scored, he's received the maximum bonus points, resulting in him earning nine or more fantasy points. When your captain can put up 20 or more points (remember the captain's points are doubled), that goes a long way to ensuring a top score that week. It should come as no surprise then, that Agüero is currently the favorite to score in this match (-162.5).
I'd imagine most of the owners who transferred Agüero out last week feel pretty foolish now. He has been transferred in by 107,000 managers this week, bringing his ownership up to 44.8%. That keeps him as the most owned player in fantasy right now, as well as the most expensive. The only downside to Agüero this week is that he played 90 minutes on Tuesday against Barcelona, so it's possible he gets subbed early if City have a big lead. That isn't giving me any pause in selecting him as captain this week. He really is head and shoulders above anyone else on this slate. The only excuse for not captaining him is because you don't have him in your lineup and you aren't able to transfer him in this week.
The first of our two new faces this week is Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool. Coutinho had a great outing last week at Crystal Palace. He led the team with four shots, three on target, as well as four key passes, which created two assists. This earned him the Man of the Match honors on WhoScored.com, with a rating of 9.25.
Coutinho and Liverpool have another easy matchup this week, when Watford come to visit. Watford currently has the fifth worst possession (45.3%) and they spend the third most time in their own third (31%). They also have the second worst disciplinary record, as they've received 26 yellow cards and one red card this season. This is important because it can lead to dangerous free kicks, penalties, or man advantages. Liverpool, on the other hand, own the second best possession numbers this season (58.0%) and take the second most shots per game (18.2). Given the relative difference in strength between these two teams, they have been given the second best odds to win this week (-350).
Coutinho has been in a great run of form lately, scoring twice and assisting five times in his past six games. He's registered a goal or an assist in four of his past six as well. While he isn't as much of a lock to score this week (+110), he does have a safer floor that the other two guys in this article due to his assist potential. Liverpool have scored at least two goals in six of their past seven, and I don't see any reason why it shouldn't be seven of the past eight after this weekend.
Coutinho is currently the second-most transferred-in player this week, which shouldn't surprise you given his recent form, along with his upcoming fixtures. He's been added by 161,000 managers this week and is the most owned midfielder on the site, at 43.1%. Liverpool isn't in any European competitions, so Coutinho should be fresh for this weekend's match and does provide an interesting pivot for owners who can't afford to roster Agüero.
Charlie rounds out our choices for the week and is the cheapest player that we've recommended to captain this season. He was held scoreless last week but has been in a decent run of form and faces one of the worst teams in the league, Hull. Last week, Southampton lost at home nil-two to Chelsea, but they are a much stronger defensive team. Austin finished with the second best rating on Southampton, 6.85, after leading the team with three shots and seven headers won.
Hull haven't won a game in eight games and only drew one game in that stretch. They allow the most shots (21.8 per game), and they spend the highest percentage of time in their own third (37%). They've got the sixth worst possession in the league (45.7%), and they currently have the second lowest team rating on WhoScored.com (6.6). They've also allowed the most goals in the league (23). We shouldn't be surprised to see Southampton with the best odds to win of all the road teams this week (-142).
While Austin did blank last week, he does have four goals in his past six starts with Southampton. Those four goals came over three games, the other three he was held scoreless (at Leicester, at Manchester City, versus Chelsea). This shows that, against weaker competition, Austin is a good bet to score, and it doesn't get much weaker than Hull. He's got the best odds to score in this game (+125), but I don't agree with the oddsmakers' hesitation in Charlie scoring this week.
Austin's been added 75,000 times this week, bringing him up to 12.9% ownership. That might not seem like a lot, but that makes him the sixth most owned forward right now. Charlie only played 31 minutes midweek during their match against Inter, so he shouldn't need to be rested this weekend. The appeal to Austin this week is to make up ground on your opponents. You are banking on Agüero being held off the scoresheet and Austin scoring a goal or two. This is definitely a risky play, but if your fantasy team doesn't have Agüero or Coutinho on it by now, you probably are accustomed to risky plays.