Captain Sensible

Who are the best FPL captain options for Blank Gameweek 18?

Fantasy Premier League managers face a difficult choice for the Blank Gameweek 18 captaincy.

Even before Monday’s fixture rearrangements for Spurs, Fulham and Aston Villa, differentiating between Kevin De Bruyne (£11.7m) and Bruno Fernandes (£11.3m) was proving challenging for many.

Now that Harry Kane (£11.0m) and Son Heung-min (£9.8m) have been handed a favourable home fixture against underprepared opposition the debate has been thrown wide open.

More than ever, Fantasy managers need some help with the armband, which is where the Captain Sensible article comes in.

As always, we will look into the best options’ underlying statistics, comparing them against the defensive data of their upcoming opponents using the Fantasy Football Scout Premium Members Area.

CAPTAIN POLL

Poll results before Spurs’ Aston Villa fixture was replaced with hosting Fulham

Captain poll results after Monday’s fixture rearrangements

KEY MATCHES

Manchester City v Brighton and Hove Albion

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3,604 Comments Post a Comment
  1. camarozz
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    Anyone not using a chip and going with 6 or 7 fro gw18?

    Wats ur team like if that's the case?

    I still don't know wat to do and have been burying my head in the sand since last gw 🙁

    1. SomeoneKnows
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      My original team had Cancelo, Stones, KDB, Bruno, Son & Kane and I still decided to FH in order bring additional 5 players...

    2. T88MYE
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Me!!

    3. NateDogsCats
        1 month, 20 days ago

        Holding Dias
        Bruno KDB Gundogan
        Kane Wood Brewster

        It's not great by any means but at this stage I think I'm just going to go for it and see how things go, I can see myself using FH and not faring out massively better or having players rested or out unexpectedly so I'm just going to hope this week doesn't destroy me

      • jdogg
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        Im tempted to go
        Stones taylor(hopefully)
        Son bruno kdb
        Wilson kane

        But consensus is to free hit that team.dunno if im being stubborn as id planned for 9/10 without free hit.then villa and dcl happened to ruin it for me.x

      • jdp219
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        Was going to go without a chip, and then Villa rescheduled.

      • MASTER ROSHI
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        Holding Stones Dier
        KDB Son Bruno Anguissa
        Wilson

        for a -4

        Struggled to decide too, having a few of the main big hitters helps

        1. camarozz
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          Yeah the villa game means I lose Martinez/Grealish but have Kane/Son/Bruno plus getting Kdb and have 2fts.
          Just don't have the head for a WC or FH team tbh at the moment.

        2. Eastman
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          Cancelo Stones Mitchell?
          KDB Bruno Son Stephens?
          Kane (c)
          -4 Saving fh as fixtures not that appealing bar City and Spurs

      • T88MYE
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        I’m currently

        DDG
        Dias, Dier, Stones
        KDB, Bruno, Son

      • doher.ty
          1 month, 20 days ago

          I was going to go in with 7 but decided to FH to get people like Kane, KDB, and some Arsenal in.

        • Sun Jihai
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          Atm I have:

          Cancelo Dier Mitchell
          KDB Bruno Son Saka
          Kane Brewster

          Annoying as I had 11 planned before the Villa news
          May still hit FH

        • SMOOTH
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          had 11 this week with potentially 10 dgw next week. now have 10 this week. no chips being used

          cancello dias holding mitchell
          kdb fernandes rashford son saka
          brewster

          martinez steer robertson adams bamford

          next week son to salah gives me 10 DGW.

        • Buck The Trent
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          Stones Holding
          Kdb Bruno Son Saka
          Kane

          Probably a -4 to add 2 more players (who will also play in DGW)

        • FPLGeezer
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          I considered taking a hit to get KDB and Cancelo in. So then I'd field

          Cancelo Dias Mitchell

          Bruno KDB (c) Rashford

          Brewster Kane

          However worry about not owing Son and looking at my cash money leagues most managers will be using free hit. So going with the free hit and try get a big rank jump

        • Boly Would
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          I'm going with 8. I'd want 7 of them in a FH team anyway;
          Dias AWB Mitchell
          KDB Son Bruno Saka
          Kane

        • T88MYE
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          Would the FH be more use for 19 if Leeds & Southampton is off.. or perhaps later in the season?

        • snow pea in repose
            1 month, 20 days ago

            Planning on 6 playing in GW18 and FH in GW19...

            1. camarozz
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 20 days ago

              Thanks for all replies. Might just go with wat I have and save chips.

          • Bushwhacker
            • 1 Year
            1 month, 20 days ago

            Have 7 . . . just think the FH is going to be worth more in double or triple game weeks that are coming. Also have most of the heavy hitters for now, missing Son could hurt.

          • Hotdogs for Tea
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 20 days ago

            on this at the moment
            Reguilon, Wan-Bis, Kilman
            Neto, Son, KdB, Bruno
            Kane, Wellbeck

            will probably do a -8 to get de Gea and City defender (blank & double)

        • HD7
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          Is Stones with a chance of being rotated?
          Wondering basically
          Stones Tierney or Dias Holding?
          (Have Cancelo starting.)

          1. Warby84
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 20 days ago

            Tierney the form defender on eye test..

          2. doher.ty
              1 month, 20 days ago

              Stones was rested so would think he should get the start.

              Think Stones and Tierney will do fine

              1. HD7
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 20 days ago

                Thanks

          3. Roman9SK
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            1 month, 20 days ago

            tierney + gundogan vs dias + saka ???

            1. Tony Moon
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 11 Years
              1 month, 20 days ago

              DS. Close though.

            2. OptimusBlack
              • 7 Years
              1 month, 20 days ago

              TG

            3. Ragabolly
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 11 Years
              1 month, 20 days ago

              TG

          4. WolfTheJack
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 20 days ago

            After a bit of help?
            Here’s my team for GW18. It’s not a full 11 but it’s not far off so I’m against FHing, and will WC for 19 anyway

            Guaita
            Holding Tierney Keane Cancelo
            Sterling Son Dendoncker
            DCL Kane
            (Martinez Vardy Dallas Harrison Podence)

            I’ve got no FTs and 0.5 ITB...is it worth taking a -4 to replace Vardy for another striker for one week only? And if so, who?

            1. Yes Ndidi
              • 1 Year
              1 month, 20 days ago

              Only really Laca, as far as I can see. Could he repay the -4? He's halfway there if he just turns up. I think I would in your situation.

            2. WolfTheJack
              • 4 Years
              1 month, 19 days ago

              Thanks

          5. mr messi
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            1 month, 20 days ago

            Do I need Lacazette or will Wilson do?

            Which is better

            A. Lloris Cancelo Wilson or
            B. Leno Shaw Laca

            I have Stones

            1. The Wizard of Ozil
              • 11 Years
              1 month, 20 days ago

              A

          6. CrouchDown
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 20 days ago

            How’s this FH team?

            Darlow

            Tierney Cancelo Dier

            KDB(C) Son Bruno Saka

            Kane Wilson Martial

            Subs: Forster, ESR Mitchell Douglas

            1. doher.ty
                1 month, 20 days ago

                Is Martial risky? I have him in my regular team but not my FH. Was concerned over his minutes!

                1. Spg76
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 4 Years
                  1 month, 20 days ago

                  I’ve gone for Martial in FH. Now I’m worried. He’s not in the FH template

                  1. Marcin the Pole
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 5 Years
                    1 month, 20 days ago

                    Me too. But will probably bottle it tomorrow and go Lacazette instead. Can't be sure Cavani won't start.

                  2. doher.ty
                      1 month, 20 days ago

                      I legitimately transferred him in a few weeks ago with plans to keep him for the blank. I decided to FH instead and have gone Laca instead. Might not be the right move but Cavani is a scare.

                      1. Bushwhacker
                        • 1 Year
                        1 month, 20 days ago

                        OGS's comments on Cavani definitely point toward him starting. He's had a rest, why would you not?

              • Gemma817
                  1 month, 20 days ago

                  Rashford and Kane or Bruno and Laca for BGW18?

                  1. doher.ty
                      1 month, 20 days ago

                      That’s a tough one. Depends who you want to captain. I’ve got Kane and Bruno and captaining Kane.

                      1. Gemma817
                          1 month, 20 days ago

                          I wanna captain Son or KDB tbh

                          1. doher.ty
                              1 month, 20 days ago

                              I would punt on Bruno and Laca - Bruno has proven to be the most explosive.

                              I have 3 of the 4 - no Rash.

                      2. gonzalocampos
                        • 5 Years
                        1 month, 20 days ago

                        1) Neto on a 3-5-2
                        2) Wilson on a 3-4-3

                        Team Neto
                        Lloris
                        Cancelo - Dias - Tierney
                        Bruno - KDB(C) - Son - Saka - NETO
                        Lacazzette - Kane

                        Team Wilson
                        Cancelo - Dias - Tierney
                        Bruno - KDB(C) - Son - Saka
                        Lacazzette - Kane - WILSON

                        1. jdp219
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 4 Years
                          1 month, 20 days ago

                          #2

                        2. Whiskerz
                          • 7 Years
                          1 month, 20 days ago

                          2

                        3. Hansel
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 10 Years
                          1 month, 20 days ago

                          Those are the options I’m choosing between too! Neto gives a slightly better bench too but just a straight pick I guess Wilson

                      3. jdp219
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 4 Years
                        1 month, 20 days ago

                        Tinkered with the FH again. How about this one?

                        Darlow
                        Cancelo, Stones, Tierney
                        KDB, Son, Bruno, Saka
                        Kane, Wilson, Laca
                        (4.0; Burke, Kilman, Mitchell)

                      4. Graham Zusi's Hair is …
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 10 Years
                        1 month, 20 days ago

                        its a bummer there are no 3.9 goalkeepers. ruining my FH team.

                        1. doher.ty
                            1 month, 20 days ago

                            Very specific

                        2. GW17 Review
                          BigManBakar
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 7 Years
                          1 month, 20 days ago

                          The Review: GW 17

                          Hi everyone, welcome to the latest edition of “The Review” where I look at Free Hit and the upcoming blank GW18 in detail:

                          (Data taken from FFScout with consent)

                          Before beginning, I’d like to mention that me, LateRiser and Zophar have started a Patreon page for our YouTube channel The FPL Wire. Your support is completely voluntary, and our work continues to be free. Link here:

                          https://www.patreon.com/thefplwire

                          Q: Which players do I pick for my Free Hit squad?

                          Down below, I discuss each fixture individually highlighting the players that should be picked for the Free Hit:

                          - Sheffield United vs Newcastle:

                          The toughest fixture to call this week by far and ideally, I’d keep players from both these teams to a minimum for my free-hit squad.

                          Sheffield United are third bottom for big chances conceded at home all season. At the same time, Newcastle United are second worst for most big chances away from home all season. We can see a fixture where a poor home defence up against a poor away attack so it’s a very hard game to call.

                          Callum Wilson seems an obvious shout. I analyze him here:

                          Wilson Home v Away 20/21
                          Mins per shot inside the box 51 v 52
                          Mins per big chance 90 v 131

                          As we can see from the analysis above, Callum Wilson is not the most appealing of assets to own this week as the quality of chances he gets away from home significantly decreases due to Newcastle’s defensive approach. Almost 70% of Wilson’s big chances this season have come at home.

                          Karl Darlow is the player who could also bring some points to your team considering that his baseline BPS is the lowest in the entire Newcastle squad - which would mean he could rack up some bonus points with a clean sheet and a couple of saves. However, with Dubravka back to full fitness, Darlow’s starting position isn’t as assured hence the smart play would be to avoid both as you’d hate to end up with ten starting players on a Free Hit.

                          - Manchester City vs Brighton:

                          I’ll be starting off with the Man City back line. The top three picks are obviously Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias and John Stones.
                          Cancelo has been fairly impressive and his stats pretty much prove that over the past four GW’s:

                          Mins per chance created: 135
                          Mins per big chance created: 135
                          Mins per touch in the final third: 3.55
                          Mins per baseline bonus: 5.2

                          Cancelo has been playing a fairly advanced role and likes to get into the final third. Hence it is no surprise that he is joint top for the most number of big chances created for defenders over the past four GWs and ranked third, following Tierney and Dallas, for penalty area touches.

                          On the other hand, Stones and Dias have started eight games together in which City have won seven and drawn one, having conceded just one goal in eight games so doubling up on the Man City defence is a safe option. Dias and Stones might have an outside chance for a goal too, given that Brighton have conceded the second highest number of set piece goals this season after Leeds.

                          However, because of Cancelo’s explosive potential, he’d be the first defender I choose on the Free Hit. Although doubling up on Man City’s defence on the Free Hit might be a safe move, the upside lies in going with two attackers. The Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling (pending fitness) double up would be fairly low owned and if they do well, it could prove to be an explosive differential.

                          Next, I will talk about the City maestro, Kevin De Bruyne. KDB has the highest number of big chances created in the entire league as of now, which is something you’d associate with someone of his class. He has a higher xG this season compared to last season and his underlying numbers suggest a significant increase in goal threat:

                          De Bruyne (19/20) vs De Bruyne (20/21)
                          Mins per shot inside the box: 68.2 vs 65.6
                          Mins per big chance: 466.3 vs 131.1
                          Mins per big chance created: 84.8 vs 102
                          Mins per chance created: 20.6 vs 27.8

                          KDB’s stats show how attacking he has been but what is most interesting is that his conversion rate has dropped from 13% to 6% this season and that’s why we haven’t been seeing as many FPL points from him as his underlying numbers suggest. But in my opinion, it might only be a matter of time.

                          I’ll now look at a comparison between KDB and Sterling for home games this season, as Man City’s next 3 games are at home:

                          KDB (home games 20/21) vs Sterling (home games 20/21)
                          Mins per chance created: 31.76 vs 67.5
                          Mins per big chance created: 77.14 vs 180
                          Mins per shot in the box: 54 vs 45
                          Mins per big chance: 135 vs 77.14

                          Sterling outshines KDB for goal threat here, as he by far and away has accumulated the highest number of big chances at home of all Man City players. However, when I look at their numbers over recent times:

                          KDB vs Sterling last 6 GWs
                          Mins per chance created: 28 v 60
                          Mins per big chance created: 67 v 180
                          Mins per shot in the box: 45 v 49
                          Mins per big chance: 89 v 90
                          Mins per baseline bps: 6.6 v 11

                          It can be seen that KDB seems to be matching Sterling for goal threat of late and hence due to better chance creation and bonus accumulation numbers, he would be my pick of the two if I was picking one City attacker.

                          - Arsenal vs Crystal Palace:

                          Arsenal have been very impressive over the last three GWs. During this run, they have recorded the highest xG (6.95), scored the most amount of goals (8), recorded the highest shots on target (22) and created the highest amount of big chances (9) in the league.

                          Lacazette has recorded the greatest number of big chances over the past four GWs in the entire league. He has scored a goal in each of his last three league appearances and it is no surprise given that during this spell he is averaging nearly three shots inside the box and significantly two big chances per game.

                          Arsenal will now be facing a defensively prone Crystal Palace defence who are worst for big chances conceded and xG conceded over the last four GWs so the stars are aligned in Arsenal's favor. Here I run a comparison between two of their in-form budget midfielders:

                          Smith-Rowe vs Saka (Last Two GWs)
                          Shots inside the box: 1 vs 6
                          Big chances: 0 v 1
                          Chances created: 4 v 4
                          Big chances created: 1 v 1
                          Penalty area touches: 5 v 11

                          Saka clearly seems to be justifying the premium over Smith Rowe at the moment. It’s also worth mentioning that Saka is top among midfielders for shots inside the box over the last two GWs and his average position has been very advanced and closest to Lacazette during this run.

                          I would also like to take the opportunity to point out Kieran Tierney’s stats here. For the past four GWs, he is second among defenders for chances created and penalty area touches. Only the Liverpool full backs have enjoyed more touches than him in the final third during this spell too, which shows that Tierney has the potential to deliver points at both ends of the pitch.

                          - Burnley vs Man United:

                          Bruno Fernandes is an automatic selection and I have discussed more about him in the captaincy section later. Doubling up on Man United attack seems a great idea, as they are top for xG over the past four GWs and have created the highest number of big chances away from home all season.

                          Now I’d like to talk about Marcus Rashford and the gulf in his home and away numbers:

                          Rashford (Home) vs Rashford (Away)
                          Mins per shot inside the box: 86.7 vs 30.8
                          Mins per big chance: 780 vs 58.5
                          Mins per big chance created: 780 vs 585
                          Mins per chance created: 111.4 vs 45

                          The difference couldn’t be more apparent. Rashford has managed to score in each of his last two away fixtures vs Burnley and it looks as if that run might continue. I’d imagine that for most FPL managers on Free Hit, the straight comparison would be between Son and Rashford. Hence, based on their upcoming fixtures, I compare their numbers:

                          Son (Home) vs Rashford (Away)

                          Mins per shot inside the box: 109.7 vs 30.8
                          Mins per big chance: 164.5 vs 58.5
                          Mins per big chance created: 219.3 vs 585
                          Mins per chance created: 36.6 vs 45

                          Granted that Son is an elite finisher, but the difference in numbers is telling. Rashford could be a great differential over Son this week.
                          The likes of Luke Shaw (top among defenders for chances created past 4 GWs) and Alex Telles (6 chances created in the first 30 mins of the cup game) are posting good numbers but who plays left back against Burnley is anyone’s guess pending Shaw’s fitness. I think that other than that, Man United’s defenders carry a low ceiling so I would probably be avoiding Man United defence on Free Hit.

                          Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani could do well given Man United’s attacking stats but you’d be a brave man to punt on either.

                          - Spurs vs Fulham:

                          Fulham defensive stats GW 1-9 v 10-15
                          Shots in the box conceded per game: 8.2 v 6.7
                          Big chances conceded per game: 2.3 v 2

                          Above I highlight the improvements that Fulham have made in their defence. During GW 10-15, Fulham played Man City, Liverpool, Leicester and Southampton yet we saw their numbers get better which is a testament to a change in Scott Parker’s approach. FPL managers take note, Fulham are not the walkover they once were so points galore with the Son + Kane double up may not be as obvious as most FPL managers are anticipating. A Spurs attacker should definitely be on the menu for GW18 though, here I look at which one to get:

                          Son (Home 20/21) vs Kane (Home 20/21)
                          Mins per shot inside the box: 109.7 vs 32.6
                          Mins per big chance: 164.5 vs 119.5
                          Mins per big chance created: 219.3 vs 143.4
                          Mins per chance created: 36.6 vs 79.7

                          Generally, I tend to favor Son as my FPL asset of choice but Kane’s numbers at home seem far better – he is also top for expected assists and involvement over home fixtures played this season. Kane is also the bookie favorites to score this week, and that too by a distance.
                          Investing in a Spurs defender or Lloris could also be a good idea given that Spurs are second favorites for a clean sheet according to the bookies this GW.

                          At this point, I’d also like to mention that given the Spurs v Villa postponement, it makes sense to hold onto your Aston Villa assets as of now as they are likely to have a double GW 19 followed by possibly another double GW in GW 20. Alternatively, Villa could even have a triple GW in GW 19 so hold your horses with Villa’s assets!

                          - Wolves vs Everton:

                          Wolves defence (Home) v Wolves defence (Away)
                          Shots inside the box conceded per game 5.75 v 8.78
                          Big chances conceded per game 1.25 v 2.11

                          The numbers couldn’t be any more different! I say that because Wolves are in the top 3 for xG conceded in home games all season, while simultaneously they are in the bottom 2 for xG conceded in all away games so the disparity is huge.

                          Saiss might be an asset to own considering the defensive solidity of Wolves at home. Out of all defenders in the league he is second best for shots inside the box despite the fact that he has missed five GWs. If I was to own a Wolves defender, it would be him.

                          This will be a tough game for Everton. They will be missing their star-man Dominic Calvert Lewin. His numbers have taken a turn for the worse which is a cause for concern for his owners:

                          DCL GW 1-11 v DCL GW 12-17
                          Mins per shot in the box 31.29 v 54.63
                          Mins per big chance 69.28 v 145.67

                          As shown in the analysis above, DCL’s attacking threat has reduced and he is accumulating less chances than he was in the early stages of the season. DCL has been averaging less than four points per game over the past seven GWs and with the news of a hamstring injury, patience of even the loyalest of his owners might finally run out.

                          Pedro Neto could be a nice differential in this fixture considering the fact that he is in the top three midfielders for shots inside the box over the last two GWs. Wolves have only failed to score just once in the league all season and with set pieces in his locker, almost everything will go through Neto particularly given the absence of Jimenez and Podence.

                          Q: How to decide whether to Free Hit, Wildcard or to go chip-less this week? Is bench boosting in GW19 still a viable strategy?

                          As always, this is a very team specific question which is very hard for me to generalize and answer. I would say the bare minimum threshold not to Free Hit is perhaps seven playable players in GW18 without a hit, the significant majority of which should ideally be the ones I have highlighted in my analysis above.

                          Having said that, I think with the announcement of Spurs v Fulham, this GW can carry deceptive upside which might not be as apparent but I think Man City, Man United and Spurs all have winnable games on paper and possess the potential to go big. I was always in the GW29 Free Hit camp and I still hold the opinion that using the Free Hit till then could still be the optimal approach given that it allows one to wildcard in GW 25 with a clear strategy, completely ignoring spending transfers on the lesser teams and pretending as if the blanks GW29 don’t exist. But this Spurs v Fulham game has my head in a spin, and I wonder whether those who field 11 this GW via the Free Hit could accumulate significant advantage over those who are fielding seven to eight players with hits accounted for. In my head, I will be working out the opportunity cost over the next 18 hours or so.
                          Wildcarding in GW18 could be a decent option too, given that Spurs, Man United and Man City all not only give a solid base to your team for the next two GWs, but have decent fixtures after the double GW too. Leeds and West Ham assets could act as decent bench fillers for the time being to feature in time for GW19. However, in my opinion the wildcard should be kept till longer if possible as there is still a large part of the season to go and if you have the opportunity to fix your team with a few hits spread here and there, I’d prefer that over wildcarding.

                          I will reiterate I don’t like the idea of bench boosting in GW19 given the COVID situation, as there is too much uncertainty and precedents of late postponements being set.

                          Q: Some frequently asked questions about the Free Hit:

                          (courtesy Who Got The Assist)

                          *Do I get my rolled transfers back if I Free Hit?
                          No.

                          *Does free hit wipe out point hits I have already taken?
                          Yes.

                          *Will my confirmed transfers before I Free Hit be in my team after this week?
                          No.

                          *Will I have to pay a higher price for a player I bought on a free hit (if they’ve risen)?
                          Yes.

                          *Do players in my team get affected, before I free hit, get affected by price rise/falls?
                          Yes.

                          *What if FPL is paused during my free hit being active?
                          We don’t know.

                          *I have 2 free transfers. How many will I have next GW should I decide to activate the Free Hit this GW?
                          1.

                          Q: Who is the best captaincy option this week?

                          Having already highlighted the improvement in Fulham’s defensive numbers of late, the standout options for me remain Kevin De Bruyne and Bruno Fernandes. I run a comparison over De Bruyne’s home and Fernandes’ away numbers this season, based on their respective fixtures this week:

                          KDB Home v Bruno Away (20/21)
                          Mins per chance created: 32 v 26
                          Mins per big chance created: 77 v 71
                          Mins per shot in the box: 54 v 52
                          Mins per big chance: 135 v 82

                          Looking at this, it seems as if Bruno is running KDB close for captaincy this week. In fact, Bruno’s away numbers in isolation are slightly better than KDB’s home numbers. But there is more to it than meets the eye. A very important factor is that with the inclusion of Pogba in the Man United team (which could be the case vs Burnley depending on his injury), Fernandes’ numbers seem to significantly drop off:

                          Bruno with Pogba starting v Bruno without Pogba starting (20/21)
                          Mins per chance created: 24.7 v 25.5
                          Mins per big chance created: 230.3 v 87.3
                          Mins per shot inside the box: 115.2 v 38.2
                          Mins per big chance: 172.8 v 76.4

                          KDB’s numbers at home far outweigh those of Bruno when he plays next to Pogba. Hence, I think that the smart play is to back De Bruyne for more FPL points this week – the bookies have them down as favorites to 2.5+ goals so the ceiling is clearly there! Man City’s attacking form is back too, as they now stand best for big chances created over the past 4 GWs.

                          Q: Was Liverpool’s failure against Southampton a temporary blip or is it cause for concern? What does it mean for Salah?

                          I run a comparison between Liverpool's away numbers this season and their away numbers last season to analyze the variance in away form:

                          Liverpool (Away 20/21) vs Liverpool (Away 19/20)

                          Shots inside the box per game: 8.78 vs 9.89
                          Big chances per game: 2.78 vs 2.52

                          Interestingly, attacking-wise Liverpool have dropped off a bit in terms of the shots inside the box this season but have been able to create chances of slightly better quality. This tells me that there is not much to read into the myth that away from home Liverpool have not been creating chances this season – as they are still averaging around three big chances per game. Now when I look at their defence:

                          Liverpool (Away 19/20) vs Liverpool (Away 20/21)

                          Shots inside the box conceded per game: 6.05 vs 5.44
                          Big chances conceded per game: 1.95 vs 2.33

                          Again there's not much difference between the numbers, as Liverpool seem to be conceding more or less the same amount of shots inside the box. What's concerning though is that Liverpool are conceding around ∼2.33 big chances per game away from home. Clean sheets will be hard to come by if they continue at this rate.

                          Salah (Away 20/21) vs Salah (Away 19/20)

                          Mins per shot inside the box: 42.35 vs 26.12
                          Mins per big chance: 90 vs 130.6

                          The same trend as witnessed with the Liverpool attack above follows here. Salah is getting shots in the box with a lower frequency but the quality of chances has significantly improved. Again, this counters the myth that Salah is a worse asset away from home this season.

                          This FINALLY brings me to the end of the article. I would like to thank my dear friends @urboihamza (Twitter) and @SFK7 (Twitter) for helping me compile what I think is one of my favorite pieces ever. It would be nice if you could offer them some encouragement too (follows/feedback appreciated!).

                          If you are looking to follow my work, follow me at:

                          Twitter: https://twitter.com/bigmanbakar

                          Instagram: http://instagram.com/bigmanbakar

                          YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtIPFexB6PLKNNl0XH3SKKw

                          I await your feedback with anticipation!

                          1. doher.ty
                              1 month, 20 days ago

                              I’m sure this is a nice read but it’s not for me. Way too long.

                              1. The VAR Team
                                • 1 Year
                                1 month, 20 days ago

                                I'm sure you're a nice guy but you're not for me.

                                1. doher.ty
                                    1 month, 20 days ago

                                    Salty. This coming from VAR lol

                                2. Mr. O'Connell
                                  • 8 Years
                                  1 month, 20 days ago

                                  Back in your box

                                  1. doher.ty
                                      1 month, 20 days ago

                                      I upvoted the post, simmer.

                                  2. Original - Wolves Ay We
                                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                    • 5 Years
                                    1 month, 19 days ago

                                    Just ignore the stats and read each summary. Finishes faster.

                                3. ItOnlyTook9Years
                                  • 5 Years
                                  1 month, 20 days ago

                                  Is this available in a different format? Quite hard to read as a comment

                                  1. asquishypotato
                                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                    • 7 Years
                                    1 month, 19 days ago

                                    You can follow his Twitter or copy and paste to format to your choice.

                                4. snow pea in repose
                                    1 month, 20 days ago

                                    Sir, your work is invaluable... Thank-you...

                                  • Camzy
                                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                    • 10 Years
                                    1 month, 20 days ago

                                    Nice review this week.

                                    However, I will continue to protest your use of home/away stats with such small sample sizes. I will not be captaining a player away because in the last 6 games he's scored accrued 0.65 more xG than at home.

                                    What's more important is general team stats, overall form going into a fixture, and how the teams themselves match-up. I think there's further analysis to be done on the sort of chances Wolves have been producing that has them 3rd in xG - why is that? Are they underperforming? Who's the one to get?

                                    How about Arsenal? What has been the cause of the uptick in form? More Saka shots? Lacazette better finishing? Where can we identify advantages and opportunities from overall team performance?

                                    I love analysis like Palace have conceded 10 more chances from the left than from the right. This suggests that Aubameyang could be on for a nice haul. Or Brighton's weakness from set pieces. Insight about the key areas to target.

                                    But overall, great stuff as always. Thanks Bigman.

                                    1. Sanchit
                                      • 5 Years
                                      1 month, 19 days ago

                                      This.
                                      Stats with such small sample sizes simply do not make sense.
                                      Also, People need to understand what spurious correlations are.

                                      The fact the Martial scored against Burnley in the last 3 years does not increase his chance of scoring this week!

                                  • thewakka
                                      1 month, 19 days ago

                                      No mention of Zaha? Arsenal may have a good attack but not a given CS

                                    • tuvok
                                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                      • 2 Years
                                      1 month, 19 days ago

                                      Thanks! Great review as always! One comment in defence of Wilson: he has returned in 5 of his 7 away games so far this season, and so many of Newcastle’s goals go through him. I think he’s a great pick.

                                    • insertcomedyname
                                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                      • 3 Years
                                      1 month, 19 days ago

                                      Thanks very much for taking the time to do this

                                  • SomeoneKnows
                                    • 4 Years
                                    1 month, 20 days ago

                                    XXX (Forster*)
                                    Cancelo, Tierney, XXX (Clark, Douglas*)
                                    KDB, Bruno, Son, Rashford, Smith Rowe
                                    Kane, Lacazette

                                    A) Lloris + Stones
                                    B) DDG + Stones
                                    C) DDG + Dier
                                    D) DDG + Saiss

                                    1. Karhumies
                                      • 8 Years
                                      1 month, 19 days ago

                                      A

                                  • The VAR Team
                                    • 1 Year
                                    1 month, 20 days ago

                                    Rate my FH team? 🙂

                                    Lloris
                                    Cancelo Stones Saiss
                                    KDB Bruno Son Rashford Saka
                                    Kane Wilson
                                    (4.0 Kilman Mitchell Davies)

                                    1. doher.ty
                                        1 month, 20 days ago

                                        Not for me

                                        1. The VAR Team
                                          • 1 Year
                                          1 month, 20 days ago

                                          Haha, team value too low I'm sure 😉

                                          1. doher.ty
                                              1 month, 20 days ago

                                              Nah, just team Kim.

                                      • _Ninja_
                                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                        • 10 Years
                                        1 month, 20 days ago

                                        On a FH, which one?

                                        A . AWB
                                        B. Tierney

                                        1. The VAR Team
                                          • 1 Year
                                          1 month, 20 days ago

                                          B

                                        2. waldo666
                                          • 10 Years
                                          1 month, 20 days ago

                                          A

                                        3. OptimusBlack
                                          • 7 Years
                                          1 month, 20 days ago

                                          B

                                      • Disturbed
                                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                        • 7 Years
                                        1 month, 20 days ago

                                        Thoughts on this fh draft folks? Think Gundogan starts and could be a nice differential pick.

                                        Leno
                                        Maguire stones coady
                                        Kdb Bruno rashford son gundogan
                                        Kane Laca

                                        Forster Mitchell xxxx xxxx

                                        1. The VAR Team
                                          • 1 Year
                                          1 month, 20 days ago

                                          i'd go Saka over gundogan but looks fine

                                          1. Disturbed
                                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                            • 7 Years
                                            1 month, 20 days ago

                                            Thanks

                                      • cnewman7
                                        • 6 Years
                                        1 month, 20 days ago

                                        FH this or hold?

                                        Cancelo Dias
                                        KDB (c) Bruno Son Rashford
                                        Wood

                                        *Martinez Steer Coufal Dallas Justin Soucek Bamford Adams

                                        1. The VAR Team
                                          • 1 Year
                                          1 month, 20 days ago

                                          Tough! Think I'd hold

                                      • andymck
                                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                        • 4 Years
                                        1 month, 20 days ago

                                        FH team, think i've figured it out?

                                        DDG (Button)
                                        Cancelo Dier Tierney (Fernandez)
                                        Kdb Fernandes Son Foden Saka
                                        Kane Laca (Vassilev)

                                        Only unsure about Foden and whether double city def would be a better choice.

                                        1. Whiskerz
                                          • 7 Years
                                          1 month, 20 days ago

                                          Safer, not necessarily better.

                                      • Whiskerz
                                        • 7 Years
                                        1 month, 20 days ago

                                        I'm sure everyone is sick of rating fh teams, but here's another to cast your eye over, if you please.

                                        Leno
                                        Tierney. Cancello. Stones
                                        Son. KDB. Rashford. Bruno. Saka
                                        Kane. Wilson
                                        4.0. Clark. Mitchell. Brewster

                                        0.1itb

                                        1. The VAR Team
                                          • 1 Year
                                          1 month, 20 days ago

                                          Similar to mine. Only worry is double Gunners defence. Think Palace will score

                                        2. mr messi
                                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                          • 10 Years
                                          1 month, 20 days ago

                                          No interest in Laca?

                                      • Gun gun
                                        • 4 Years
                                        1 month, 20 days ago

                                        Capt kane or kdb?

                                      • Dexters Laboratory
                                          1 month, 20 days ago

                                          Best 10.2m Def combination
                                          A. Stones & Dier
                                          B. AWB & Shaw
                                          C. Stones & Shaw
                                          D. Other

                                        • HD7
                                          • 3 Years
                                          1 month, 20 days ago

                                          Lloris
                                          Cancelo Stones Tierney
                                          KDB Bruno Son Saka
                                          Kane Laca Wilson

                                          Bench: Mctom, Mitchell

                                          Biggest Q is I guess Laca or Rashford?

                                          1. waldo666
                                            • 10 Years
                                            1 month, 20 days ago

                                            Rashford

                                        • Shark Team
                                          • 3 Years
                                          1 month, 20 days ago

                                          Would you do any of the following moves?
                                          A) Son to Rashford
                                          B) Saka to Gundogan (Dias to Maguire)
                                          C) Wilson to Neto/Gundogan

                                        • Gabbiadini
                                          • 3 Years
                                          1 month, 20 days ago

                                          Anyonthink should Southampton and Leeds be postponed it will be to the midweek and still in gw19?

                                          1. _Ninja_
                                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                            • 10 Years
                                            1 month, 20 days ago

                                            No, it would be later in the season

                                            1. Gabbiadini
                                              • 3 Years
                                              1 month, 20 days ago

                                              Cheers

                                        • Gun gun
                                          • 4 Years
                                          1 month, 20 days ago

                                          Darlow
                                          Tierney awb stones
                                          Son bruno gundo kdb saka
                                          Kane wilson

                                          Subs dubravka alderweireld brewster mitchel
                                          Gtg?

                                          1. Tsparkes10
                                            • 2 Years
                                            1 month, 20 days ago

                                            Looks good. I think we’ll score though

                                        • Labile
                                          • 2 Years
                                          1 month, 20 days ago

                                          Anyone considering FH in 19?
                                          This squad good?

                                          Fabianksi
                                          Cresswell Cancelo Stones
                                          Salah Bruno KDB Saka Pulisic
                                          Vardy Antonio

                                          1. Tsparkes10
                                            • 2 Years
                                            1 month, 20 days ago

                                            Is that with or without the FH?

                                        • Tsparkes10
                                          • 2 Years
                                          1 month, 20 days ago

                                          thoughts on this FH?

                                          Lloris
                                          Tierney Cancelo AWB
                                          Son Bruno Gundogan KDB
                                          Laca Kane Wilson
                                          (4.0, Smithrowe, Kilman, Mitchell)

                                        • Bring the Cavalry
                                          • 4 Years
                                          1 month, 20 days ago

                                          Only have 7 players but they include
                                          Cancelo Dias
                                          Bruno KDB Son alzate
                                          Kane

                                          Got most of the big hitters covered is it worth free hitting?

                                        • Fernandito
                                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                          • 2 Years
                                          1 month, 20 days ago

                                          Thoughts lads? Lacazette needed?

                                          Lloris
                                          Dias Tierney Stones
                                          Son Kdb Bruno Rashford Smith Rowe
                                          Wilson Kane

                                          Steer Brewster Ampadu Mitchell

                                          1. Tsparkes10
                                            • 2 Years
                                            1 month, 20 days ago

                                            Love it. Very similar to mine. Stones, Rash, Smithrowe vs AWB, Gundo, Laca is an interesting one

                                        • boroie
                                          • 2 Years
                                          1 month, 20 days ago

                                          Who would you rather have in your team:

                                          A - Foden
                                          B - Wilson

                                          1. George Agdgdgwngo
                                            • 11 Years
                                            1 month, 20 days ago

                                            Wilson

                                          2. Jambot
                                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                            • 10 Years
                                            1 month, 20 days ago

                                            Wilson

                                        • George Agdgdgwngo
                                          • 11 Years
                                          1 month, 20 days ago

                                          Would u take a 4 point hit to get rid of Lewis for awb?