Fantasy Football Captain Picks Gameweek 18 2017/18
Welcome to Fantasy Football Captain Picks Gameweek 18. Ok hands up, who’s up for a Premier league winter break? Anyone? No me either. Managers (Premier league ones that is) always seem more vocal around this time of year, bemoaning the hectic festive schedule; it’s like they didn’t bother to check their fixtures at the start of the season, or maybe they did and just figured they’d moan about it at a later date.
Whilst it seems crazy to have so many fixtures crammed into such a short space of time, I for one would not have it any other way. Imagine if every Christmas, the Premier league closed down for business for three to four weeks over the festivities? No FPL for a whole month? (cold shudder) It doesn’t bare thinking about really.
For the more dedicated (obsessive) FPL managers among us, the festive period is a time of reflection, fresh resolutions and let’s face it opportunities. Fixtures come thick and fast, those of us on the ball have the chance to climb the ranks, the more ‘casual’ players miss deadlines or simply don’t realise there are matches on full stop. GW17 is done. GW18 comes in a matter of days, no need to panic, you’re cooler than that. Sit back, relax, and have a leisurely read of this week’s contenders for your captain’s armband.
David Silva (Tottenham, Home)
In the midst of GW16 I had an epiphany; it’s not FPL that brings so much misery and joy to my day-to-day life, it’s actually my captain pick. After weeks of getting it wrong I went with Harry Kane, deciding it was his last chance (again). Thankfully he repaid my faith, turning a potentially grim gameweek into something that bordered on acceptable. Normality and misery returned in GW17, Harry once again got my armband and we all know how that turned out.
This week I suggest you give Harry the week off and turn your attention to his opposition, in particular their captain, David Silva. With 4 goals, 7bps and 33 points in the last 3 game weeks, Silva is the current ‘must have’ City player. Cast aside by the masses in recent weeks, he’s currently the most ‘transferred in’ player of the game week (99k and counting). Seemingly immune to rest or rotation, Silva is now the 3rd highest scorer in the game on 102 points and sits just 1 point behind second placed teammate Kevin De Bruyne. We may never know who will lead the line for City from one week to the next, but in David Silva, perhaps we once again have a reliable captain pick at Manchester City? *
* Rosco cannot be held responsible for rest and rotation, other midfielders are available, please gamble responsibly.
Mo Salah (Bournemouth, Away)
It’s inevitable that Mo gets a mention, does a bear s…. anyway, you get the gist. My main issue is, what else can I say that hasn’t been said before? Well, this week he was crowned BBC African footballer of the year, former teammate Didier Drogba, who won the award in 2009, says ‘he’s becoming a boss and a leader’, hard to argue with that. Salah is having quite the year; credited with single-handedly carrying Egypt to the World Cup, he’s a national hero, they even re-named his old school after him, next on the list is a pyramid.
Bournemouth have only kept 2 clean sheets in 8 home matches this season. Liverpool have scored 20 of their 34 goals on the road this season. Put those stats together and this match is heading one way and one way only. I’d qualify this with some Salah based stats, but Kop did such a great job in the GW17 captains article (saves me a job, cheers kop) I’ll summarise by saying he has 13 goals and only Harry Kane has more attempts on goal and shots on Target.
Each game-week I deliberate which player to put the armband on, when it ends, I’m left with the feeling that, it may be safer if I simply follow the mantra ‘Always stick with Salah’.
Eden Hazard (Southampton, Home)
We’re not yet at the halfway point of the season and there’s already talk of the title race being over. Manchester City’s victory at Old Trafford in GW16 underlined their credentials as Champions elect, which could have wider implications in both fantasy and the real world. Chelsea sit 14 points behind the leaders with Antonio Conte proclaiming this week it’s “impossible” that his side can retain their Premier League title. If Chelsea fail to satisfy Eden Hazard’s ambitions, will he once more cast a longing gaze to Estadio Santiago Bernabéu? Who knows, but If Eden does have ambitions beyond Stamford Bridge, we as FPL managers may just be the beneficiaries as he looks to impress his potential new suitors.
Hazard sits second in the form table behind Mo Salah; 18 and 15 point returns in game-weeks 12 and 15 have boosted his ownership to 15.4%. Whilst 3 points in GW17 may have been disappointing for his FPL managers, Hazard was at his brilliant best, taking home man of the match (despite trying to give it away to William). Hazard was withdrawn after 68 minutes in GW17, which should alleviate fears he’ll be rested for the Southampton game; who haven’t kept a clean sheet on the road since GW5.
Antonio Conte may have written off Chelsea’s title challenge, but it seems Hazard may not have got the memo and is playing to the beat of his own triumphant drum, let’s hope that those fellas in Madrid are watching…..
Alexis Sanchez (Newcastle, Home)
I debated long and hard about the inclusion of Alexis Sanchez this week. Firstly, because a mere 2.8% of us have him and his opposition this game-week are my team (sob). In the end, I decided that just because most of us don’t have him, that doesn’t mean he’s not worthy of inclusion; and as for Newcastle? Well the less I say about them the better at present. Come January, Alexis will be able to sign a pre-contract agreement with a foreign based club, everyone thought he would leave in the summer and it won’t be a surprise if Manchester City come calling again (more Pep rotation anyone!?) As with Hazard, this uncertainty could actually make Sanchez a great FPL asset as he looks to put himself in the shop window (budge-up Eden).
I’ve been a Newcastle season ticket holder for over 25 (often painful) years, I would’ve served less for murder. Mike Ashley (for now) has my money, in return he supplies me my regular fix of sub-standard football and the awful Sports Direct logo. Such is life. I’ll not turn this into a rant. We’ve been pretty woeful of late; one win and one clean-sheet away from St James’ this season, and that was way back in GW4. We’ve conceded 14 goals in our 8 away fixtures, come GW19 it wouldn’t surprise me if that figure was closer or even surpass the 20 mark.
Sanchez may not be on many peoples radar following Arsenal’s 0-0 draw with Hammers, but heading into GW17 he had 31 points in his last 5 games, and his opposition this week are really rather bad. At £11.8m he’s not cheap, but with big money forwards suffering from lack of form/rotation/injury, maybe now is the right time to shuffle the pack. Sanchez could go big in any given match; I’ve seen enough of Newcastle to know this could be that week.
Wayne Rooney (Swansea, Home)
Wayne Rooney gets the final spot in this week’s picks. I’m not long back from watching Wazza score the only goal in a game that condemned Newcastle to their 7th defeat in the last 8 games. Admittedly it was handed to him on a plate, but Rooney was in the right place at the right time to add more misery to my gameweek. Everton’s resurgence under Sam Allardyce has coincided with something of a renaissance for Wayne Rooney; 5 goals, an assist and 7bps, Rooney now has 36 points in his last 4 games.
Everton face a Swansea team who’ve failed to keep a clean sheet on the road since GW5 and sit bottom of the league. More than 89,000 have brought Rooney in this week, you can bet there’ll be more than a few of those handing Wayne their captains armband. Monday night football. Wayne Rooney as captain. I’m feeling all nostalgic.
Thanks for reading, good luck this game week, I hope your arrows are of the green variety with tinsel on.
Thanks for reading Fantasy Football Captain Picks Gameweek 18
This article was written by Rosco, follow him on twitter or at the Joselu fan page.
The League Codes for FF247 for the 2017/18 season are as follows:
Gameweek Tracker GW18-22
This includes all of the festive fixtures. This will be your best friend at Christmas. Take a screenshot and save it somewhere on your phone…