Our captaincy article is back to help you choose the right captain for game week 22. This year we are using data from the RMT Bot and our experience to make our recommendations.
Rate My Team Opti-Bot picks
Unsurprisingly the top bot pick this week is……. Alexis Sanchez. This does feel like a been there done it, déjà vu pick because we always seem to start with the Chilean. But yet again the fixture computer has been kind to Alexis this week. A home game with Burnley should offer the Arsenal man a chance to add to his goals tally and further cement his place as the top point scorer so far in FPL. The bot has a projected average point return of 6.8 across the many simulations run, with goals expected in more than half of the projections (0.56). According to the bot Sanchez scores 1 goal in 32% of simulations, 2 goals in 9.6% and 3 goals in 0.6%.
After so many weeks of writing about why Sanchez is a great captaincy pick I’m not sure there is much more that can be added to that this week. I would imagine he will be the most captained player in the game this weekend so I think it comes down to mini-league strategy; captain Sanchez if you’re looking to consolidate a lead but if you’re chasing then read on and see why someone else might prove to be a shrewd “differential”.
2nd on the bot pick list this week is again rather unsurprisingly Zlatan Ibrahimović. The Manchester United striker is in red hot form cat the moment with 10 goals and 4 assists in his last 10 games and scored last time out to earn United a point against rivals Liverpool. This weekend sees United travel to Stoke, which may not prove to be an easy game but given the teams form in general and Zlatan’s in particular a United win is very much a possibility.
The bot has produced the following numbers for the big man this week; average predicted point’s return- 6.27, 1 goal scored in 29.4% of simulations, 2 goals in 13.8% and 3 goals in 2.8%. Stoke have recently struggled to stop the bigger name teams from scoring; Liverpool hit 4, Chelsea 4 and Arsenal 3 so goals for United should be on the cards this weekend and in reality Zlatan is likely to be involved in them whether it’s by actually scoring them or assisting them. Definitely a good and reliable captain pick this week.
I’ve decided to do something a little different this week as I fancy a change (and the bot already pinched my 2 preferred captain choices anyway). Below I will briefly look at some potential differential captains for you to consider.
Quality finish from Lukaku to give Everton a 1-0 lead against Manchester City pic.twitter.com/bVWoxYARuv
— ㅤMarco (@MerseysideMarco) January 15, 2017
The Everton hitman has been in great form recently notching 5 goals and 1 assists in his last 7 games and is now about to enter a prime run of fixtures with only 1 game rated as higher than 2 on the fpl difficulty tracker. Owned by 26% of fpl players at this point, Lukaku is hardly a differential but if you own him he could be a differential captain pick to help you chase down any mini league leaders who don’t have him.
Likely to be a popular pick this week due to Chelsea’s prime home fixture against a poor Hull side. One thing in Hazard’s favour this weekend is Hull’s uncanny ability to give away penalties- I believe the one they conceded to Bournemouth last weekend was the 10th they have conceded this season already. Chelsea have to be considered strong favourites this weekend to continue their recent good form and while Hazard’s own form has been steady rather than spectacular I quite fancy this weekend to be one where he returns well for those who have kept faith in him.
This is one of those picks that I think could definitely be classed as “shrewd”, the French forward has been in great scoring form in recent weeks with 4 goals and 2 assists in his last 4 game weeks. This weekend he has the same great home fixture as the ultra-popular Sanchez but interestingly has outscored the Chilean in both goals and fpl points over the last 4 weeks. Giroud’s presence in the team sees Sanchez pushed out wider which seems to restrict his effectiveness as a goal scorer. If you fancy going for a bit of an educated punt this week then picking Giroud over Sanchez for captaincy could be a very clever and sneaky decision.
Coutinho, Firmino, Lallana… I really am not sure which one I would pick out of the 3 but in summary if you own one of these player they are potentially a sound pick for fpl this week. The trouble is we can never be quite sure which one is going to cause the major damage. Picking a Liverpool player definitely comes with a “buyer beware” tag before giving them the armband. I would expect a resounding Liverpool victory over a Swansea side that tends to fold at the smallest sign of pressure but the real trick is knowing which player is going to do the most damage. I personally wouldn’t give the armband to my Liverpool player simply for that reason.