Picking a Captain in the Fantasy Premier League is among the most important 38 decisions any person will make throughout the course of the season. There's a lot of self-help out there for FPL enthusiasts, with our Hype Team providing three major considerations for the armband Gameweek. We'll be detailing the Essential choice for captain, a popular alternative that's pushing the consensus, and a Wildcard pick to add to the chaos. Strap in tightly, it's time to lose your marbles. All aboard.
Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek 7 Deadline
For the 2016/17 Premier League season, the FPL deadline will be one hour before the commencement of the week's first game. The Premier League website lists each FPL deadline, you can always ask on social media, and you can also view a real time countdown on our Weekly Hype page.
In a change from last season, Friday nights games are going to more common in the 2016/17 season. The third listed game is between Everton and Crystal Palace at 8pm.
The transfer deadline for GW2 is Friday September 30th at 19:00pm.
CORE CAPTAINS: SEASON PERFORMANCE
To help track our progress throughout the 2016/17 season, below you can check how our Core Captaincy selections have done by week to week in the Fantasy Premier League.
Essential: Sergio Aguero (Man City vs. Sunderland) - 9pts
Alternative: Jamie Vardy (Hull vs. Leicester) - 2pts
Wildcard: Nathan Redmond (Southampton vs. Watford) - 10pts
Essential: Harry Kane (Spurs vs. Crystal Palace) - 5pts
Alternative: Roberto Firmino (Burnley vs. Liverpool) - 2pts
Wildcard: Fernando Llorente (Swansea vs. Hull) - 2pts
Essential: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Hull vs. Man United) - 2pts
Alternative: Eden Hazard (Chelsea vs. Burnley) - 11pts
Wildcard: Romelu Lukaku (Everton vs. Stoke) - 2pts
Essential: Eden Hazard (Swansea vs. Chelsea) - 1pt
Alternative: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal vs. Southampton) - 1pt
Wildcard: Tom Heaton (Burnley vs. Hull) - 2pts
Essential: Harry Kane (Spurs vs. Sunderland) - 9pts
Alternative: Romelu Lukaku (Everton vs. Middlesbrough) - 12pts
Wildcard: Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace vs. Stoke) - 2pts
Essential: Sergio Aguero (Swansea vs. Man City) - 13pts
Alternative: Sadio Mane (Liverpool vs. Hull) - 7pts
Wildcard: Troy Deeney (Burnley vs. Watford) - 2pts
Essential Total: 9 (1), 5 (2), 2 (3), 1 (4), 9 (5), 13 (6) = 39pts
Alternative Total: 2 (1), 2 (2), 11 (3), 1 (4), 12 (5), 7 (6) = 35pts
Wildcard Total: 10 (1), 2 (2), 2 (3), 2 (4), 2 (5), 2 (6) = 20pts
CORE CAPTAINCY: THE ESSENTIAL PICK
Player: Alexis Sanchez
Player Price: £11.1 million +
Player Selection %: 17%
After a testing start to the season, where we were very dismissive of Arsenal players from an FPL point of view, The Gunners have begun picking up steam with a rich vein of form that usually follows the side through until the Xmas period, before an eventually injury ridden side concedes their chance at winning the big one in March. Right now the FPL is purring over Alexis Sanchez’s role at the London club as an out of position midfielder playing his trade up front.
Managing double figures from his last 2 appearances, the tide has turned in Alexis’s favour, and now faces a run or irresistible fixtures that are primed for Sanchez to be an FPL essential. At this point in time the Chilean talent is owned by less than 20% of the FPL, with real room to grow in price, points, and for a short time will be a differential playmaker for teams that can afford the most expensive midfielder in the game.
We don’t have to dig deep with our Sanchez selection, the sheer fact that he beat Aguero, Costa, and Ibrahimovic as our top pick tells the tale alone. There’s only one warning with our main man for the week, and that’s the fact that Burnley are picking up form at home, having disposed of an in-form duo Liverpool and Watford with a 2-0 score line in the first 6 games. With a forward role, being in-form, and the potential of penalty kicks, it’s a safe bet that Sanchez will continue to have those who don’t have him, rue over his exclusion.
GW7: Burnley (a)
GW8: Swansea (h)
GW9: Middlesbrough (h)
GW10: Sunderland (a)
GW11: Spurs (h)
GW12: Man United (a)
GW13: Bournemouth (h)
GW14: West Ham (a)
GW15: Stoke (h)
GW16: Everton (a)
Notes on Sanchez
Alexis scored 13 goals and assisted 5 times last season. Sanchez already has 4 goals this season from 6 games, with 3 assists.
2 of Alexis’s 3 assists this season have been for a Mesut Ozil goal. Ozil’s goals have come against Watford and Chelsea.
Heading into GW7, Alexis commanded 16.3% FPL ownership, with 7 midfielders ahead of him in the ownership ranks.
It appears Alexis is the first choice penalty taker for Arsenal in the league, even though he has missed all 3 penalties for the Gunners in the league. Faces competition from Cazorla for spot kick duty.
Alexis is the most expensive midfielder in the FPL, currently valued at £11.1 million. This price is set to rise again before GW7.
Sanchez is only behind De Bruyne on points for midfielders. A now injured KDB is one shy of 50 on 49, with Sanchez 3 behind on 46.
Alexis is one of 6 midfielders currently on 6 bonus points. Only KDB (9) and Capoue (11) have more.
Alexis has started 5/6 league games this season, and has been subbed just the once, during GW6’s 3-0 home win against Chelsea. Alexis didn’t start the GW4 outing against Southampton at home.
A net transfer worth of 25,827 took Sanchez out after GW5’s benched performance against Southampton. Sanchez has managed 24 points in the 2 Gameweek’s since.
CORE CAPTAINCY: THE ALTERNATIVE PICK
Player: Philippe Coutinho
Player Price: £8.2 million
Player Selection %: 31.1%
It is no mistake that another Liverpool midfielder makes the list of Core Captains for FPL GW6. Firmino and Mane have already featured in the role as ‘alternative’ captain, with the Reds midfield options becoming a necessity, and you know what, it doesn’t matter which one you choose. They best fit the bill in this role because they are consistently an alternative to the popular choice for any Gameweek. Points are spread out, with the squad struggling to pin one kingpin for goals and assists. What is established in the LFC squad is the roles that the midfielders play.
Firmino is the brawn and bustle of the frontline, putting himself across the frontline, and is the initial point of Liverpool’s pressing game.
Milner is the penalty taker and advanced full back essentially playing midfield.
Mane is the opportunist, the first option in the box for any attack and the player to drive defences back to the edge of their box.
Henderson is the deepest lying midfielder, spraying the ball across the channels, attempting to dictate play.
Wijnaldum is the drifter, a more compact box to box player, who will glide into the box unopposed to mop up first and second balls.
Lallana is the ball player, the trickster, and an all-round performer that is reaping the rewards of his own endeavour.
Coutinho is the secret weapon, opened up when the squad is occupied, often striking from distance and dead ball situations, or providing the killer pass to a teammate.
GW7: Swansea (a)
GW8: Man Unted (h)
GW9: West Brom (h)
GW10: Crystal Palace (a)
GW11: Watford (h)
GW12: Southampton (a)
GW13: Sunderland (h)
GW14: Bournemouth (a)
GW15: West Ham (h)
GW16: Middlesbrough (a)
GW17: Everton (a)
GW18: Stoke (h)
GW19: Man City (h)
There’s a lot more to the squad that just a few stray observations, and though Henderson and Wijnaldum will struggle to become options, there is a case for all 4 – Lallana, Coutinho, Mane, and Firmino. For GW7 the honour goes to Coutinho are another great haul against Hull. Swansea are conceding at home, as well as scoring, and will be an accumulator favourite to lose this weekend. Klopp’s only defeat of the season came when Coutinho and Mane were injury risks against Burnley.
Choice as captain this week also furthers that statistics that have Coutinho and Sanchez as the 2 highest scoring, fit midfielders. With KDB injured, Coutinho is only behind Sanchez in the midfielder point’s rankings. It could be another weekend to savour for Liverpool in the league, and managers on their fantasy pages.
As an additional bonus, Mane’s selection as alternative captain for FPL GW6 broke the curse that Hull has had in this weekly article. At the 4th attempt Hull managed to finally drop their guard and let one of our picks gain points.
Notes on Coutinho
Coutinho is Liverpool’ primary set piece taker, taking corners, and direct free kicks.
The Brazilian midfielder is Liverpool’s top point’s scorer in the FPL, with 41pts.
Liverpool have amassed more midfielder points (210) than any other side in the Premier League this season.
From our observations, Coutinho is the most likely midfielder to have his time on the pitch managed. This means he runs a slightly higher risk or rotation and early substitution. The same applies with Lallana, as the pair are also primed for defensive responsibility.
Coutinho’s 30% plus ownership is the highest record percentage the midfielder has ever managed in the FPL. He is also the second most owned midfielder in the FPL. Only Capoue is owned by more players.
Coutinho has completed 90 minutes of football in the Premier League just once this season, which came during GW2’s 2-0 loss at Burnley.
Coutinho has 3 goals and 3 assists to his name, including 6 bonus points.
Coutinho has started 5/6 league games this season, with the Brazilian coming off the bench for Liverpool’s first game of the season at home to Leicester, which the Reds won 4-1.
CORE CAPTAINCY: THE WILDCARD PICK
Player: Marcus Rashford
Player Price: £6.9 million +
Player Selection %: 7.7%
Our Wildcard Core Captaincy selections have become a poisoned challis. Each week in our Weekly Wildcards article we pick a lowly selected player from each game, but since GW1, which saw Nathan Redmond score on his Southampton debut against Watford, our record is 2-2-2-2-2. Troy Deeney is the latest inclusion to see his hopes dashed with a defeat to Burnley. It’s been a difficult ride for the Wildcards going up against the likes of Aguero and in-form Liverpool midfielders, but surely this is the week where history changes.
Marcus Rashford is in form, has a habit of breaking records and scoring on any debut, and is going up against a Stoke side that have so far this season been absolutely woeful. A draw against West Brom at home is no surprise, the Baggies don’t often put teams to the sword (West Ham is obviously an oddity). Stoke have conceded 13 goals in their last 4 Premier League outings, and after an inspiring and dominating victory over the Champions League, profiting from set pieces in particular, Rashford could be the wildcard captain to break the duck again… It may be the only time we trust a Man United in the coming weeks, with a fixture list that will challenge how good Mourinho has actually made Man United.
Man United’s Fixtures
GW7: Stoke (h)
GW8: Liverpool (a)
GW9: Chelsea (a)
GW10: Burnley (h)
GW11: Swansea (a)
GW12: Arsenal (h)
GW13: West Ham (h)
GW14: Everton (a)
GW15: Spurs (h)
GW16: Crystal Palace (a)
GW17: West Brom (a)
GW18: Sunderland (h)
GW19: Middlesbrough (h)
Operating from a wide position, making his way into the box, Rashford has scored 3 goals that in truth have been handed to him on a platter. Taps in against Leicester and Hull were also met with the bounce of a lucky deflection from a Watford player to draw the Reds level on the day (before losing convincingly at Vicarage Road). The tale with Rashford is that he’s making the most of being an opportunist, getting into the danger zone at every possible occasion. As long as Rashford keeps doing this, the goal tallies will continue to mount.
With a healthy price, and a healthy goal tally, as our Wildcard pick there is also the unknown of the Europa League to contend with. Should Rashford play, minutes might be shaved at the weekend. Regardless, we are banking on Rashford to continue his form heading to a potential England senior call up in the absence of the injured Harry Kane.
Notes on Rashford
Rashford has completed 90 minutes of Premier League just one this season, against Watford during GW5.
The Englishman has scored 3 goals from his last 4 Premier League appearances.
All 3 of Rashford’s goals have been inside the 6 yard box.
Rashford is the lowest scoring Man United forward so far this season, with 17 points. Rooney is second on 19 points, with Zlatan leading the way on 36 points.
20 forwards in the FPL have managed more points than Rashford so far this season.
Could the Europa League be a hindrance this Gameweek for Rashford’s FPL point’s potential? United play Ukrainian side Zorya Luhansk at Old Trafford on Thursday.
The last time united played in the Europa League, they lost the following Premier League game. United lost 3-1 to Watford, a game Marcus Rashford scored in.
Rashford is on no set pieces in the United squad, and is operating in a wider position, drifting into the box. He’s essentially playing the role Theo Walcott is playing for Arsenal. Marko Arnautovic played this role last season for Stoke.
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