Studs Up Skippers – GW9

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*MASSIVE thanks to Ben (‘Bio Eden Hazard’) for filling in here. He is a long time reader and has had great success in FPL! Baysie is away for the next month or so, so for the time being Ben will be doing our captaincy research. For the record, I fully agree with this top 3!!!

After an eventful international break and a pile of injuries, it’s time to go back to our beloved FPL. Picking a captain was supposed to be so easy: Aguero was going to be the perma-captain and we wouldn’t have to worry about who to give the armband. That was until Sergio collapsed…AGAIN. However captain choices being less obvious provides the perfect opportunity to make up ground in your league, so cheer up!

The Contenders

GW9 kicks off with Spurs challenging Liverpool at White Hart Lane. I would stay away from both teams as they have proven too unreliable for my liking. They’re inconsistent in terms of collective performances as well as individual players…Yes I’m looking at you Eriksen and Coutinho! I was expecting more managers to trade Sturridge in for Aguero this week, as the latter is the only “pricy” striker to look somewhat dangerous, unlike Rooney and Costa. As much as I like Sturridge, I would still wait a bit until Klopp stabilizes the team before I invest (let alone captain). Further to that point, Liverpool’s fixtures are horrendous.

Chelsea players are to be avoided, even though they play Aston Villa at home… I don’t think this requires much explanation. Jose is playing with fire yet again, we’ll see if he ends up burning his beloved Chelsea to the ground like he did with Real Madrid. The recent Diego Simeone rumors will surely put some more pressure on the Portuguese diva, no matter what he says in press conferences. Keep an eye on Hazard though, he might be on the way to getting some form back. He’s somehow scraping cheap assists and deflections!

Crystal Palace against West Ham could be a very pleasant game with two teams playing an attacking brand of football. Nevertheless if there are solid options within the heavy hitters, I’m always reluctant to captain a “midpricer. That’s just me though, Payet has been fantastic so far (home and away) so he would be my pick of the bunch. I know some of you (someone especially) like Cabaye, but he is too dangerous a pick for me.

If I had to captain someone in the West Brom-Sunderland game, it would certainly be a West Brom defender. We all know Tony Pulis’ style by now, chances of clean sheets are high. Captaining a defender is considered a sin in my religion though. Pass.

Andre Ayew might be a good shout as Swansea entertains Stoke, a team which earned its first clean sheet of the season last GW. Once again I’m reluctant to go as far as captaining him though…

I don’t think any of us would captain a player from either Newcastle or Norwich, so let’s go straight to the top 3!

Top 3

1.     Kevin De Bruyne

With both Aguero and Silva missing, it’s up to young Kevin de Bruyne (ok and Sterling too) to carry City on his back. They play Bournemouth at home, a team which has conceded 8 goals in its last 3 away games. Meanwhile De Bruyne has been fantastic, scoring 3 times and notching 2 assists in its first 4 games in the EPL. He even bagged another 2 goals and 1 assist with Belgium during the international break. Interestingly enough, those 2 goals were scored from 2 direct free kicks, which may give him more set piece duties with City as a result (especially with Aguero, Silva and Yaya Toure out). My only concern is that City’s team is absolutely riddled with injuries, which could impact their dominance. Speaking of which, I decided to innovate and do a pros & cons summary of my captain picks. Here it is for KDB:

The pros: Great form, midfielder with an advanced position in a top scoring team, potential set pieces duty, great fixture, home game
The cons: Played a lot of games in the last few weeks, City might be less of a beast without Silva, Aguero and Yaya Toure

2.     Alexis Sanchez

Sanchez is for sure the strongest contender along with KDB. If I refer to a popular FPL website’s poll, the 2 players combined will likely make up about 50% of captains. The Chilean’s form has been fantastic: 5 goals in 2 EPL games and a complete thrashing of Man United in the process (with help from Ozil and Walcott). He also scored 3 goals with Chile during the break…that’s an amazing 8 goals in 4 matches. An away game to Watford is an enticing prospect, although Watford have been fairly solid at home, conceding only 1 goal in their last 3 games. Furthermore Sanchez will likely be coming back from South America shortly before the game and could be a bit tired. Walcott could be a sneaky punt if you own him. He seems ahead of Giroud now and is a nice differential if you are lagging behind, although Sanchez seems like a much safer choice.

The pros: Great form, midfielder (Basically a forward) with an advanced position in a top scoring team, good fixture
The cons: Played a lot of games in the last few weeks and coming back from South America a few days before the game. Watford held it together at home recently. Although Arsenal destroyed United last GW, they have been puzzling this year to say the least. Which side will we see next weekend?

3.     Sadio Mane

Southampton has been super impressive lately and Mane has been key to their success. Scoring twice and assisting 3 times in the last 3 games, the Senegalese has been building up his confidence after a disappointing start. A game at home against Leicester is always good for attacking returns too! I know that some (most?) of you will prefer Graziano Pelle, who is the in-form striker of the hour (even scoring with Italy during the break) but I’m going to back Mane here. Don’t get me wrong, the big Italian is a very good option, as he seems to have improved this season, but he has shown a tendency to go through goal droughts last year (mind you I transferred him in for Aguero). For that very reason I think Sadio is worth the risk. The reward being that, as a midfielder he’s more likely to get bonus points if he scores attacking returns. Finally, he’s a nice differential (only 7.2% ownership) if he scores big! By the way, despite the great run of form, I wouldn’t captain a Leicester player away to Southampton.

The pros: Great form, midfielder with an advanced position in a fairly attacking team, good fixture, home game, differential
The cons: Less reliable than Sanchez or De Bruyne (although the latter is quite new to the EPL), has been a bit clumsy in front of goal.

The punt

Everton-Man United is an interesting one. Everton looks solid this year and United well… Is still a work in progress (yet they sit third!). Lukaku looked very powerful against Liverpool. He’s not the most consistent player there is, but he oddly seems to do better against stronger opponents. Therefore I’m going to back him up against the Red Devils. If they don’t get their act together in defense, he could do a lot of damage! Although Mata has been involved in almost every goal scored and Martial has made a hell of a start, United is not consistent enough to offer us a good captain pick in my opinion. Not away to Everton at least.

The pros: Good run of form despite tough fixtures, lone striker, United’s defense was just ridiculous against Arsenal last GW, home game
The cons: United have been on and off but they also have put on some good defensive performances this year, Lukaku is notoriously inconsistent (I’m sure some of you have sworn an oath not to captain him ever again)

Thanks guys. Hope this has helped!

28 comments on “Studs Up Skippers – GW9

    • Bio Eden Hazard

      Someone likes to gamble:) I hear you mate, it’s a big risk though when you have KDB playing Bournemouth at home and Sanchez playing Watford. The good thing for you is that they could both be more tired than Cabaye

  1. brandonpietie

    Great stuff Bio.

    I would normally follow but I’m going COMPLETELY left field here! Villa is poor at the back. Costa back from suspension with a point to prove… I have a feeling this is the week Chelsea comes right, and Costa (and Hazard) find some form.

    You may have guessed it… but my armband goes to Costa.

    • Bio Eden Hazard

      Cheers mate!! That’s a sensible bet. To be honest, with Aston Villa at home, a Chelsea player could have been the punt of the week. I just personally put more trust in form than fixtures…

      • brandonpietie

        I hear you… Sitting comfortably in some leagues right now, so can take the gamble… We could maybe guess who will be captains this week… Going against the grain lol

  2. Ryan

    I’m still tossing up between ‘The Punt’ Lukaku and Sanchez this week.
    I think Sanchez is the better option but am just concerned about how tired he might be.
    Anyone got some thoughts?

  3. mbisdamans

    For the first time in FPL history I am carrying a lot of money in the bank from a lack of high priced options. Mid-pricers all the way. Sanchez for me this week. Think he will be tired after internationals but has been in and around the goal action more than any other player I have seen. Lets hope he prods one in. Also hoping Brakley puts in a stormer on the back of a confident England performance.

  4. Carlos

    Good stuff mate. De Bruyne for me. Hard to fight the form and Bournemouth at home. Though feeling happy I have all top 3 skipper options in my team 🙂

  5. jamessammut1991

    I love me a bit of Cabaye. And if I had him… I still wouldn’t captain him. KDB is the one. Young, knocking it in at will for Belgium (and assisting in his spare time). And he’ll still be on a high from Belgium being #1 in the world and qualifying for Euro’s.

    If Kompany’s back in too, City all of a sudden have that spine complete once again meaning more space for KDB to get forward without worrying about the back door.

  6. jamessammut1991

    I’ve got Sturridge, Kolarov and now the SPUD BARKLEY to fix up. Wtf do I do?!?! …still going to manage 75 points though with De Bruyne captain too! 😉

    • Bio Eden Hazard

      Wait for Sturridge news before you trade him out. Kolarov should be back in 2 weeks. Barkley may have to go depending on who your midfielders are.

      • jamessammut1991

        Butland
        Evans Bellerin Alderweireld Kolarov Targett
        KDB Barkley Sanchez Payet Mahrez
        Sturridge Gomis Vardy

        I’m going Barkley > my man crush Cabaye… and wait out Sturridge and Kolarov

        Hoping Gomis can find some form v Stoke on Monday night! Few goals would be great.

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