I almost stopped writing captain articles last season or at least just revert to putting down 1 line – give the armband to Suarez. It was almost like the old days when Ronaldo played in the premier league and you almost forgot where the button for the captain change was on the FPL site. Unfortunately in 2014/15 with no one outstanding individual player who can be relied on week after week then again we will have to think about the captain situation each week. However that doesn’t just affect your ongoing decisions you need to think about it for your GW1 squad.
fantasy premier league captain tips – the 2014/15 captain conundrum and your GW1 team
I can probably make a simple phrase as a guide to the captain strategy. Pick a top top player, in good form, with a good fixture. However there’s more to it and in this article we’ll look at the nuances. I’ll go through some of the thought processes to give you some ideas on picking a captain. I’ll also look at some ideas to help you in structuring your GW1 team.
Top players come from the top 4 challenging teams
Picking a team from a top 4 challenging group that plays a lower placed team is a good place to start when picking your captain. You will then have the biggest chance of goals being scored and therefore your chosen player scoring or assisting. I’m taking these top 4 challenging teams as being Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Everton, Spurs and Man Utd.
Of the top 10 goal scorers last season only Bony and Jay Rodriguez were out of those teams. Of the top 9 assisters last season only Lambert and Lallana were out of those teams.
Striker vs Midfielder
It’s a basic fact (if you don’t believe me take a look at any bookmaers scoring odds) that on any given week a striker is more likely to score than a midfielder. Out of the top 10 premier league goal scorers last season 9/10 were forwards in FPL. Thats obviously a big generalisation and on most days Ramsey is obviously going to have more chance of scoring than Carlton Cole but as an overall philiosophy it’s true. Obviously scoring isn’t everything as assists also bring in points but it’s goals that also attract the bonus points. Also the top assists amount was 14 from Steven Gerrard. 14 is a low amount to goals and 14 goals would not even get you into the top 10 goal scorers.
That’s why I personally think that when forming your forward line you should be thinking about each player or at least 2 as players that you would hand the captain’s armband too. If I had 2 players in my forward line that I would be nervous in handing the armband to then I would be questioning whether at least 1 of them should be in my team
Flat track bully vs Mr consistency
This is just a personal choice and depends how much risk you want to take with your captain choice. You may want to always go for the big haul or if your’e more conservative you want the most likely player to return either a goal or assist.
There are some players who aren’t that consistent but score heavily against low ranked opposition. I call these flat track bullies. It’s a cricket analogy for those in the US. There are others who are consistent and don’t rely on big hauls against the lower place teams.
Some can do both
The best examples of flat track bullies last year were Suarez, Rooney, Giroud as strikers and YYT and Hazard for midfielders.
I define consistency as the % of games that a player got a goal or assist. The most consistent last year were Suarez 81%, Sturridge 72% Aguero 68% and Rooney 62% as strikers. As midfielders the most consistent were YYT 66%, Gerrard 64% and Walcott 62%.
As you can see some players are in both. Suarez, Rooney and YYT were in both categories. You can see why Suarez was the natural choice. Not only did he return in virtually every game but he could score heavily against poor opposition
I will analyse these factors over the season in my captain articles.
Game time risk
Unfortunately the top players that you want to choose as potential captains are often the most rotatable. This probably isn’t so much the case in the early stages of the season but will be once the Champions League is in place. Rest on a Saturday for a game against Burnley so a player is fresh for Tuesday game against Bayern Munich is going to be a possibility. This is another reason why Suarez was such a gem last year as Liverpool weren’t in Europe and exited from the domestic cups relatively early. This meant there was no reason for him to be rested. Man Utd is in a similar position this year which will mean RVP and Rooney have the potential to be good captain options throughout the season.
Man City with 4 strikers (albeit Negredo is injured) are probably the biggest rotation risk for the Champions league. Pellegrini has also shown a desire to win the domestic cups as well, further clouding rotation. Chelsea have less rotation options but could rotate if Lukaku stays. Liverpool only really have Sturridge but if Remy signs they may rely on him to rest Sturridge. Arsenal at the moment still only have Giroud but have shown that they will rotate with Podolski and now maybe Sanchez to rest Giroud.
Rotation isn’t necessarily the end of the World as then a vice captain can kick in. However then the propensity for the player to be a late sub and then getting 1 point comes in to view. That can only be read on how that particular manager deals with rotation during the season.
Injury risk is another factor to take into account when assessing captain choice. Unfortunately clarity before a game isn’t always there and it’s a case of assessing the risk that the injury could involve a 5 minute substitution in the end or whether it involves a total rest for the game.
A players particular charcteristics
If a player doesn’t score well against poor opposition (Lukaku was an example of that last year at times) or if they ony score well at away from home for example (Hazard has had this issue in the past) these are other factors to be thought of. We cover these in the captains article each week.
Having players who take penalties and/or are heavily involved in corners and direct/indirect free kicks obviously give more chance of a return. RVP, Aguero, Hazard, Arteta, Baines, Gerrard and Adebayor are the likely penalty takes from the top 4 challenging teams. I will be doing a set piece and penalty takers table for your assistance.
Ownership and captain popularity
Again this is a personal choice relating to the amount of risk you want to take. In simple terms if you choose a captain with low ownership who isn’t going to be a popular choice and everyone else is picking a high ownership captain then you’re taking alot of risk. If yours does well and the other doesn’t then you’ll be on for a huge jump in your ranking. Conversley if your’s fails and the popular choice with high ownership succeeds then your ranking will fall off a cliff. A popular captain choice with high ownership is the safe way to proceed. Personally I believe there are a number of ways to move up the rankings without taking huge risks.
Structuring your GW1 team for captain options
This season it looks unlikely that we will be able to just give the armband to 1 player and then leave it for the season. So our captain options are something to be taken into account. I would say you want 2 if not 3 players you would give the captain armband to. I have looked to solve it in someway through RVP and Aguero. Both are big name players who will rotate home and away perfectly. Both are consistent returners (although RVP was down to 57% last season). Both also take pens. However there are negatives at the moment. Both have had injuries and long World Cups and may not even make it into my GW1 team. After that my big players are Hazard and Ramsey. I’m not wildly comfortable giving the armband to either to be honest. Hazard is too inconsistent although hopefully this year he will have pens. I’d much rather have a third option in Costa or Sturridge but I’ve gone for Remy as my 3rd if he looks like he will be nailed on for Liverpool (assuming his transfer goes through) as he is very cheap for a Liverpool striker.
The other consistent returners were Rooney, who needs his positional risk sorted before he is an option for me, YYT who could be an option, Gerrard who may get less penalties without Suarez and Walcott who’s injured. So the captain options this season are tricky at least for the GW1 selection
I hope that gave you something to think about for your GW1 team. As I said weekly captain articles will cover most of these issues. As I talk about individula players then I will cover GW1 captain options structure. Any comments positive or negative please share them
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fantasy premier league captain tips
fantasy premier league captain tips