Fantasy Premier League: Captain Picks for Matchweek 17
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 on a goal -- preferably scoring. The midweek fixtures were not kind to us. Both Diego Costa and Harry Kane were held off the scoresheet, while their respective teams won.
Who should you be looking to captain this week?
While Harry let us down on Wednesday, he did still have an all right game, providing three key passes to go along with his two shots. The Spurs offense was just running through Christian Eriksen that day. Kane is still a top choice for this weekend's slate, largely due to his matchup.
Burnley has been having a rough go on the road, as they've allowed 16 goals in their first seven road games, only scoring one goal for themselves. They have the league's worst possession, averaging only 41%. They also allow the second-most shots per game (19.6). Unfortunately for the Clarets, Tottenham takes the second-most shots per game (18.0). Tottenham spends the fourth-most time in their opposition's third (31%), while Burnley spends the third-most time in their own third (31%). It's very likely that most of the game will be taking place in Burnley's third on Sunday. Tottenham hold the best odds to win this weekend (-450), and it would be very surprising not to see this a multi-goal blowout.
There haven't been many transfers in or out among strikers this week, partially due to the midweek games, and probably also due to the form of certain midfielders (Lallana and Eriksen). Kane's currently been added by 17,000 managers, making him the eighth-most added forward for this week. His ownership is now up to 20%. It's a little surprising that Kane isn't on more rosters, but given his streaky recent form, it seems managers are being cautious with him. He's got great odds to score (-187), and this will probably be Tottenham's easiest match of the entire season. If Kane fails to score on Sunday we may need to worry.
Although Costa also went goalless on Wednesday, there is almost no cause for concern here. He played the whole game and had three shots, one on target, and a key pass. Given his form this season, it's purely a blip. This Saturday, Chelsea visits Crystal Palace, in what should be a lopsided match.
Palace have been hemorrhaging goals lately, having allowed two or more goals in seven of their last eight games. They've allowed three or more goals in five of those eight. Chelsea have good odds to win (-175), but even that feels a little low. Chelsea are on a 10-game win streak, and are just in a different class than Palace. Chelsea take the fifth-most shots per game (15.6), with 63% of them coming within the 18-yard box, the second-best figure in the league. Palace, oddly enough, allow 63% of their opponent's shots from within their 18-yard box, which is the third-worst. Diego should have multiple opportunities to score from close.
Wednesday was only the third time this season that Costa had no goals or assists in a game. He's scored a total of 12 goals and 5 assists in the 16 games this season. It's amazing consistency and makes him a safe captain choice week-in, week-out.
He's favored to score again this week (-125) and is the fourth-most transferred-in forward (+29,000). He's still the most owned player on the FPL site, currently on 53.3% of teams. There is a lot to like when picking Diego as captain: consistency, matchup, and popularity. If Tottenham was playing almost anyone else, Costa would be the top pick this week.
Like with the midweek fixtures, there are two clear-cut captain choices this week (Kane and Costa). This next tier is made up of quite a few players, with the two stand-outs being Alexis and Zlatan. We give the edge to Alexis, but Zlatan is close behind. Unlike the choices above, Alexis did score during the week, netting one goal on two shots, with three key passes.
You might think playing a strong possession team like Man City would hurt Alexis' value, but this is exactly the sort of game where he thrives. Man City are one of few teams that won't park the bus against Arsenal. This game should be one of the most exciting to watch this weekend, with a lot of scoring chances due to both teams having shaky defenses at the moment.
There are good odds that over 2.5 goals are scored this match (-153), although Arsenal are not favored to win (+250). The other positive is that Man City allows the highest percentage of shots within their six-yard box (9%), and while Arsenal are below average when it comes to generating shots within their opponent's six, they do lead the league for shots within their opponent's 18-yard box (66%).
Alexis has been in great form lately. He's scored six goals and two assists in his last four games. He's the third-highest owned midfielder (36.0%), and he has been added by another 33,000 managers this week. He is the most likely goalscorer in this game (+120), and as we've said before, his ability to generate assists helps bring up his expected floor. It's not difficult to imagine Alexis with the top performance of the three in this article, but that is certainly not the expected outcome. If you have Kane or Costa in your lineups, you should be picking them as captain, not anyone else.