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 15 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, the early Saturday kick off time has now been moved back to 12:30am, meaning the weekly FPL deadline will also be moving 15 minutes back.
The transfer deadline for GW15 is Saturday 10th December at 11:30am.
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: Alexis Sanchez (Burnley vs. Arsenal) - 3pts
Alternative: Philippe Coutinho (Swansea vs. Liverpool) - 2pts
Wildcard: Marcus Rashford (Man United vs. Stoke) - 2pts
Essential: Sergio Aguero (Man City vs. Everton) - -1pt
Alternative: Diego Costa (Chelsea vs. Leicester) - 9pts
Wildcard: Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace vs. West Ham) - -1pt
Essential: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal vs. Middlesbrough) - 3pts
Alternative: Theo Walcott (Arsenal vs. Middlesbrough) - 3pts
Wildcard: Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea vs. Watford) - 2pts
Essential: Alexis Sanchez (Sunderland vs. Arsenal) - 13pts
Alternative: Romelu Lukaku (Everton vs. West Ham) - 12pts
Wildcard: Troy Deeney (Watford vs. Hull) - 2pts
Essential: Sergio Aguero (Man City vs. Middlesbrough) - 6pts
Alternative: Charlie Austin (Hull City vs. Southampton) - 7pts
Wildcard: Wilfried Bony (West Ham vs. Stoke City) - 2pts
Essential: Sergio Aguero (Crystal Palace vs. Man City) - 2pts
Alternative: Jermain Defoe (Sunderland vs. Hull City) - 11pts
Wildcard: Harry Kane (Spurs vs. West Ham) - 13pts
Essential: Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool vs. Sunderland) - 1pt
Alternative: Diego Costa (Chelsea vs. Spurs) - 5pts
Wildcard: Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea vs. Crystal Palace) - 10pts
Essential: Harry Kane (Spurs vs. Swansea) - 13pts
Alternative: Alexis Sanchez (West Ham vs. Arsenal) - 23pts
Wildcard: Victor Anichebe (Sunderland vs. Leicester) - 2pts
Essential Total: 9 (1), 5 (2), 2 (3), 1 (4), 9 (5), 13 (6), 3 (7), -1 (8), 3 (9), 13 (10), 6 (11), 2 (12), 1 (13), 13 (14) = 79pts
Alternative Total: 2 (1), 2 (2), 11 (3), 1 (4), 12 (5), 7 (6), 2 (7), 9 (8), 3 (9), 12 (10), 7 (11), 11 (12), 5 (13), 23 (14) = 103pts
Wildcard Total: 10 (1), 2 (2), 2 (3), 2 (4), 2 (5), 2 (6), 2 (7), -1 (8), 2 (9), 2 (10), 2 (11), 13 (12), 10 (13), 2 (14) = 52pts
CORE CAPTAINCY: THE ESSENTIAL PICK
Player: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
Player Price: £11.6 million
Player Selection %: 30.4%
Last weekend Harry Kane took the plaudits as the essential captain. A home tie against Swansea was proving too alluring for FPL players, especially those without Alexis in their teams. We didn’t think it was necessary to remove Sanchez from the Captaincy article for Gameweek 14 however, as the Chile international faced a West Ham increasingly vulnerable and pressured at the back. We kept it simple last week and said that Alexis was on form, and West Ham just aren’t clicking at the London Stadium, and it would be that easy, and guess what? Our expectations were blown out of the water. A massive 23 point haul is the highest single game points registered so far this season.
In an age when Sanchez and Aguero have been vying for the top spot of captain all season, Gameweek 14 highlighted the demise of Aguero more than it did of Alexis’s continued rich form in front of goal. Aguero didn’t manage more than 2 points when he faced West Ham, whereas Alexis tore them apart single handily. Arsenal are back on form due to the out of position midfielder, and the visit of Stoke should be business as usual. Should be, but rarely ever is.
Sanchez’s Best FPL Outings:
GW3: Watford (a) – 16 points
GW5: Hull (a) – 10 points
GW6: Chelsea (h) – 14 points
GW10: Sunderland (a) – 13 points
GW13: Bournemouth (h) – 14pts
GW14: West Ham (a) – 23pts
Stoke are an assured team, playing good football of their own, and will pose a world more problems than that of West Ham, even if Stoke are the visiting side. It could be a weekend of frustration for those heralding Sanchez’s 37 points from 2 games, against a side that are defensively compact and will potentially limit the goal scoring opportunities, especially now that Alexis is a marked man after scoring his 9th, 10th, and 11th goals of the season.
Arsenal’s Next 5 Fixtures
GW15: Stoke (h)
GW16: Everton (a)
GW17: Man City (a)
GW18: West Brom (h)
GW19: Crystal Palace (h)
Notes on Sanchez
Sanchez now leads the overall points for a single player in the FPL with 110 points. Alexis has an identical goal and assist to that of Diego Costa: 11 goals and 5 assists.
Alexis is also the first person to reach 100 points this season. Last season’s top points scorer Riyad Mahrez ended the season with 240 points.
Sanchez’s 23 points acquired at West Ham is the largest single points tally of the season.
Sanchez is the second player to score a hat-trick this season. The first was Everton’s Romelu Lukaku at Sunderland.
Sanchez has played more minutes than any Arsenal midfielder this season, racking up 1178 minutes of football so far.
Sanchez has managed 37 points from his last two games, managing 14 against Bournemouth for Gameweek 13 and 23 points a weekend later at West Ham for Gameweek 14.
Only Eden Hazard (15pts) has more bonus points than Alexis Sanchez (14pts). Sanchez is also level on 14 bonus points with Kevin de Bruyne and Etienne Capoue.
CORE CAPTAINCY: THE ALTERNATIVE PICK
Player: Diego Costa (Chelsea)
Player Price: £10.8 million
Player Selection %: 47.8%
When we tread down into the Diego Costa well, it’s because it is obviously clear who should be in contention this week as captain. Without the growing myth of Sergio Aguero’s importance in the FPL, if Gameweek 15 has one lesson leading into it, it’s to go with what’s worked, and what’s reliable, and not what is erratic and ultimately problematic. The state of the FPL was highlighted ever so subtly when the once overlooked Costa, believed to be a menace to society, and a big yellow card and suspension risk, was the good boy, and the long adored Sergio Aguero, who has not reared his ugliness as much as Costa, gets sent off for a potentially career ending tackle on David Luiz. Just prior in the match Diego Costa once again marshalled the Chelsea forward line, dominating City’s centre halves, and providing a goal and an assist in quick succession to turn the tide of a game that City should have won.
Forwards: Last 5 Games
Costa (CHE): 42pts
Defoe (SUN): 41pts
Kane (TOT): 36pts
Aguero (MCI): 35pts
Benteke (CRY) 32pts
Ibrahimovic (MUN): 30pts
Negredo (MID): 23pts
Austin (SOU): 21pts
Lukaku (EVE): 18pts
Rondon (WBA): 17pts
Costa’s proven unplayable in his current form, with 11 goals and 5 assists to his name, there is no defence that has managed to halt the Spanish international entirely (perhaps beside Arsenal). The only games in which Costa hasn’t registered a goal or an assist have been against Arsenal during Gameweek 6’s 3-0 defeat, and in the Gameweek 9 4-0 victory over Man United. With Costa’s form and Chelsea’s next fixtures, there is no surprise why Diego is surging in ownership and value.
Chelsea’s Next 5 Fixtures
GW15: West Brom (h)
GW16: Sunderland (a)
GW17: Crystal Palace (a)
GW18: Bournemouth (h)
GW19: Stoke (h)
The trend of the season, much like it was last season, was the reliance of having a defender, midfielder, and forward from a team in blue at the top of the table, which played with N’Golo Kante in central midfield. The parallels between Leicester of last season, and Chelsea of this, couldn’t be clearer. Hazard and Costa are essentially an inflated duo of Mahrez and Vardy from last season. At the core of being successful in the FPL is having a spine of players to rely on every week. Two seasons ago it was Chelsea. Last season it was Leicester, and again this season it is Chelsea. Costa’s an essential from this viewpoint, as is the inclusion of Hazard and a defender.
We’re keeping it simple this week and banking on Costa, which in itself is a welcome change of view in the FPL, which less than a month ago wouldn’t consider another name other than Aguero.
Notes on Costa
Costa has 11 goals, 5 assists, 99 points, with 16 bonus points so far this season. The goal and assist tally is identical to Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez.
The only games in which Costa hasn’t registered a goal or an assist have been against Arsenal during Gameweek 6’s 3-0 defeat, and in the Gameweek 9 4-0 victory over Man United.
Costa has as many bonus points (16pts) as Sergio Aguero does at home this season.
The only player with more FPL points at this stage of the season than Costa is Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez on 110 points.
Costa has 39 FPL points more than the third placed Chelsea players, Azpilicueta and Cahill, both on 60 points.
Costa is the highest assist making forward with a total of 5. The next best in the league believe it or not is Man United’s Wayne Rooney, with 4 assists.
Costa has been in the Dream Team on 3 occasions. Only Defoe and Aguero with 4 inclusions have more appearances.
Only Defoe (1252 mins) and Deeney (1246 mins) have play more minutes than Diego Costa (1228 mins) this season.
CORE CAPTAINCY: THE WILDCARD PICK
Player: Divock Origi (Liverpool)
Player Price: £6.6 million
Player Selection %: 2.8%
Liverpool, Liverpool, oh Liverpool. On occasion the club is their own worst enemy. There’s a view and a long standing reality that the club digs its own grave on a seasonal basis, throwing away potentially title winning seasons due to losing games that they were comfortably leading. That reality reared its ugly head once again in the 4-3 away defeat against Bournemouth, a game that the Reds were at once stage leading 3-1 through goals by Mane, Origi, and Emre Can. Old habits have proven seductive however, and now there’s a small thought in many Fantasy players that Liverpool are beginning to crack, especially given their recent FPL history.
Coutinho was injured against Sunderland, a game a large section of the FPL captained that week. Firmino was then a doubt leading up to the Bournemouth game, only to play and not register a single goal or assist despite playing. Mane, who was the big winner away at Bournemouth, with a goal and an assist, picked up a knock and is now a doubt leading up to the home game against West Ham. Realistically those 3 names are pivotal to Liverpool’s success this season.
A legitimate 4th option, other than Emre Can and a returning Adam Lallana, has begun to surface in the form of Divock Origi, the Belgian forward who is now looking to score in his third consecutive Premier League match of the season. A cheaper alternative to the trio of Coutinho, Mane, and Firmino, Origi’s playing through the middle of the pitch and is currently help numb the points output for Roberto Firmino, who is operating the space on the left of midfield, aka the vacuum left behind by Coutinho. The visit of West Ham comes at an ideal time for the Anfield side to bounce back straight away from defeat, against a side who recently just conceded 5 goals against an Arsenal side that Liverpool beat on the opening day of the season.
Liverpool’s Next 5 Fixtures
GW15: West Ham (h)
GW16: Middlesbrough (a)
GW17: Everton (a)
GW18: Stoke (h)
GW19: Man City (h)
Notes on Origi
Divock has managed 22 points so far this season with 2 goals so far this season.
Origi’s 2 bonus points came in the 2-0 home victory against Sunderland.
The Belgian forward has managed 2 goals from his last 2 appearances, scoring against Sunderland in Gameweek 13, and then rounding Boruc and shooting from a very difficult angle for Gameweek 14.
Origi managed his first start of the season away at Bournemouth in the 4-3 defeat.
Origi has managed 260 minutes of football this season with 10 substitute appearances and one start.
Daniel Sturridge is expected to miss even more game time, and with knocks to Firmino and Mane, Origi appears to be a certain starter against West Ham.
Origi is yet to acquire a yellow card during his time in the Premier League.
Last season Origi managed 5 goals and an assist, and is only 3 goals off that record.
Arsenal and Liverpool have 2 of the worst 3 forward lines in the FPL. Origi is 8 points behind Arsenal’s Giroud, but the Arsenal forward is injured leading into Gameweek 15.
Liverpool’s opponents West Ham have conceded 29 goals so far this season and have conceded 4 or more goals on three occasions.
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