FPL Captain Metric: Gameweek 17

We explore the best options for the Fantasy Premier League captain for Gameweek 17 and reveal the results of our captain poll and our captain metric – who will you choose this Gameweek?

BEFORE WE BEGIN: If you haven’t already seen, we released an article last year introducing the new ‘Captain Metric’, which explains the concept fully and it can be viewed here > https://fplconnect.blog/2018/08/07/the-captain-metric-explained-2/

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GW16 was a season-defining one for 13.1% of live managers, as Salah hit a hat-trick and a subsequent 21pt haul despite only providing 1 double-figure return in the previous 15 GWs.

Quite a few had opted to move Salah on before GW16, despite Bournemouth having conceded 17 big chances in the last 5 GWs before their match against Liverpool, so whilst the extent of the result was largely unexpected, the signs for a haul were there going into it – a harsh lesson learned for those who transferred him out.

The brunt of live captaincies went to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who had Huddersfield at the Emirates, but the Terriers demonstrated that they’re no push overs at the moment and put in a brave display that nearly earned them a point. In the end, it was a bit of magic from Torreira, assisted by Aubameyang, that broke the deadlock late on in the match, leaving those who captained the Gabonese international, fairly disappointed with just a 5pt return in what was a promising fixture.

14.5% of live managers opted to captain Kane away at Leicester, a team he has a very good scoring record against, but Pochettino shocked us all by benching the England forward and any hopes of a vice captain Salah were dashed when Poch brought Kane on for the last 15 minutes of the game, leaving owners disgruntled at a 1pt cameo.

Screen Shot 2018-12-11 at 14.18.13
This probably sums it up quite well. Credit to @FPL_Partridge (watch the video on his profile)

Elsewhere, Hazard demonstrated why he’s still a great asset to own, returning 2 assists from set-pieces in a very solid 2-0 win over Man City, to the delight of his owners and in particular, the 5.5% of live players who were brave enough to back the brilliant Belgian.

Looking ahead to GW17 and there is plenty of decent captain options on the cards – let’s break them down and see if we can help you choose the right man for you.

Results of our poll (in progress)

Screen Shot 2018-12-11 at 16.28.02

Harry Kane – 57% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 16 penalty area touches
  • 14 total goal attempts.
  • 8 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 3 big chances.
  • 3 goals.
  • 2 assists.

Raheem Sterling – 19% of the votes 

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks (where he’s been involved in the match):

  • 50 penalty area touches
  • 12 total goal attempts.
  • 10 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 3 big chances.
  • 4 goals.
  • 4 assists.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 17% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 20 penalty area touches
  • 15 total goal attempts.
  • 11 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 7 big chances.
  • 3 goals.
  • 2 assists.

Mohamed Salah – 7% of the votes

Underlying attacking stats the last 5 Gameweeks:

  • 35 penalty area touches
  • 14 total goal attempts.
  • 12 goal attempts inside the box.
  • 5 big chances.
  • 5 goals.
  • 1 assist.

Differential captain options

Embed from Getty Images


  1. Son Heung-Min – At least once a year, Son comes into our thoughts as an option. He’s so explosive and involved in everything Spurs do going forward and with great fixtures ahead for Spurs, he’s very much on the radar following a good run of form that has seen him score 3 and assist 2 in his last 4 games. Whilst easily passing the eye test, Son also has great underlying numbers, wracking up the most goal attempts (17) of any midfielder over the last 5 GWs. If you like Spurs’ fixtures and don’t want to shell out the big bucks for Kane, then Son’s the man and very much someone you can give the armband to this weekend if you own, as his opponents top the pile for chances conceded from their right defensive flank (33) over the last 5 GWs.
  2. Felipe Anderson – Felipe Anderson is mid-priced asset flourishing at the moment in Pellegrini’s system. He’s bagged 5 goals and 1 assist in his last 6 PL games. On set-pieces, with a decent direct free-taking ability, Felipe has a good mix of chance creation and goal threat for his price. Over the last 5 GWs, West Ham have created 15 big chances (1 more than Man City) and play a Fulham side that have conceded the same amount of big chances (15) over that same time period, conceding 11 goals, so there should be plenty of opportunity for the Brazilian winger in this one, resulting in a great differential captaincy pick.

The Captain Metric says…

Screen Shot 2018-12-11 at 13.57.51

… Raheem Sterling. 

Important Note: We have twigged the metric slightly once more. At the end of the metric, you’ll find two new relevant stats.

First one (Reliability %), basically gives us the percentage of games the player has provided a return (goal or assist) in out of the games he was available for selection (not injured) – so this includes games where the player has scored 0 because of being on the bench/rested, but not those where the player has scored 0 because he was injured or unavailable for some other reason, like personal circumstances for example. This can give us an idea of how likely the player is to return and how reliable he has been.

The second (Explosivity %), as the name suggests, gives us the percentage of games the player has ‘exploded in’, or in more accurate terms, has provided a double-figure return. In the same way as before, it can give us an idea of how likely a player is to return a double-figure haul and a clear view of how good he’s been at providing double-figure hauls in the past.


  • Player form – Raheem Sterling has scored more points than either Kane, Salah or Aubameyang in the last 5 Gameweeks.
  • Team form – Mohamed Salah’s Liverpool have created the most amount of big chances (17) in the last 5 Gameweeks in comparison to the rest of the candidates teams.
  • Fixture difficulty – Sterling’s opponents, Everton, have conceded the most amount of big chances in comparison to the others (12).
  • Likelihood of scoring – According to the bookies, Harry Kane is the most likely to score.
  • Expected goals/assists (xGI) – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has the highest expected goal involvement of the 4 candidates over the last 5 Gameweeks.
  • Home/Away Goal Conversion – Salah has the best goal conversion rate for this weekends fixtures, after bagging 5 goals from 25 goal attempts at Anfield. Both Sterling and Aubameyang have solid conversion rates for this weekend’s fixtures.
  • Reliability % – In terms of being reliable in the sense of returning when playing, Sterling is still the most reliable, with 9 returns in the 13 games (69.2%) he has played however, we have included the 3 games he’s been rested for into the calculations, as he was physically fit to play but was rested – this falls under ‘reliability’ in an FPL context, as we want to rely on our assets to play as well as return. Despite including the 3 games where he was rested, he still comes out as 56.3% reliable, which is the same as Aubameyang and Kane. Salah however, has proven the most reliable asset to date of these candidates.
  • Explosivity % – Sterling has also proved the most explosive asset up to this point, with 4 double-figure hauls in the 16 games he was physically able to play in, in comparison to Kane, who’s managed 3 in 16, Aubameyang who has managed the same and Salah who has now managed 2.

My view 

Harry Kane and co host Barcelona tonight and have a chance of qualifying in the Nou Camp, but in order to do so, they more or less have to win with Inter playing at home to PSV who are already out, so it’s going to be a very intense game, not that any other match with Barcelona isn’t intense!

This will have a mental and physical impact on the players before Burnley on Saturday, but Tues-Sat is better than Weds-Sat from a purely physical aspect and the result, will determine the mental state of mind.

Lose, and that would very likely mean they’re out of the competition, which could lead to a less motivated performance versus Burnley. Win however, and it would be a massive motivational boost for them.

Raheem Sterling is at home to Everton and will more than likely get a decent rest tomorrow when Man City host Hoffenheim at the Etihad, as they have already qualified.

Despite only actually conceding 4 goals in the last 5 GWs, Everton’s defence have been letting a fair amount of big chances in (12) and when you face Man City, those big chances are very likely going to be converted into goals.

Aubameyang looks a good option this week against a Saints side in a period of transition. The new boss Hasenhüttl, is quite an attack-minded coach, so with Saints, it might take time for them to adapt to this new approach and Arsenal and Aubameyang could take advantage this weekend.

Mohamed Salah looks like he’s now at top gear after his hat-trick against the Cherries on the weekend. He’s up against Mourinho’s United who, despite picking up their first win in 5 in the league, are still looking defensively vulnerable. Whilst the ceiling feels lower than the other options, I’d back Salah to get a return in this one.

Embed from Getty Images


For me, it comes down to Spurs’ result tonight. If they manage to qualify for the latter stages of the Champions League at Barcelona, I think they’ll be riding a huge motivational high going into their weekend clash with Burnley and I’d fancy Harry Kane for the captaincy in that context.

However, if they go out, I think they’ll be de-motivated for the Burnley game and in that context, I’d prefer to go safe with Raheem Sterling.

If you’re looking for a differential captain this weekend, then I really fancy the in-form Brazilian winger, Felipe Anderson, against a Fulham side who still haven’t figured out how to defend.

Stats obtained from members.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk
Odds obtained from williamhill.com


3 thoughts on “FPL Captain Metric: Gameweek 17

Add yours

  1. The problem that I face is that I have Auba, Kane, Sterling and hence am so confused .. Spurs did get a massive point away at Camp Mou which will be very effective in their weekend match… I am thinking of Capt Kane too !


  2. So Sterling played 90 mins during the week and Aguero/KDB are possibly available, do we still think he’s got a good chance of starting at the weekend?


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