Fantasy Football Captain Picks Gameweek 2 2017/18
Welcome to Fantasy Football Captain Picks Gameweek 2. There are some fantasy players who use the ‘Perma Captain’ tactic – i.e. they decide from the start who their most productive player will be and slap the armband on him for the entire season. In recent seasons this can be argued to be a pretty good, if slightly boring tactic when you consider we have had the luxury of choosing players such as Aguero, Kane and Alexis. One game-week into the new season and the favourite for the ‘PC’ brigade is of course Romelu Lukaku after his opening weekend brace. With United looking like they are at least going to be better than last season and with many predicting another second season turnaround by Jose, Lukaku will likely be near the top of most capo polls this season. But for those who like some excitement and tactical nous there is always a choice to be made, so let’s take a walk through the weekend’s fixtures to see if we can identify the best candidate for the armband in GW2.
Go big, go early!
Romelu Lukaku (away vs Swansea)
And sure enough, here he is! It’s difficult to ignore the claims of Big Rom after an impressive preseason was followed by last week’s brace at home to the Hammers. United’s main striker looks to have settled into life at Old Trafford very easily and with the likes of Mkhitaryan, Pogba, Rashford and Martial pulling the strings to create chances for the Belgian another big scoring season seems odds-on for Lukaku. Confidence will be high around the camp as United travel to South Wales, but the Swans surprised many by coming away from Southampton with a well-earned point, when most were predicting them to get beaten. However the Welshies have never stopped United from scoring since returning to the Premier League in 2011 and will face a slightly sterner test than trying to keep out Gabbiadini and Tadic. This fixture looks ripe for another impressive showing from Lukaku, the only question is if you are willing to armband a player in the early match of the weekend!
If you managed to resist the lure of the early match, then Saturday’s 3pm kick-offs provide some decent options for the armband.
Jamie Vardy (home to Brighton)
Shades of two seasons ago as Vardy and Leicester looked great going forward at Arsenal last Friday. With many early knee-jerkers looking to take advantage of Vardy’s 8.5mln price tag. A home fixture vs Brighton will likely bring the England striker a decent chance to add to his early brace. It’s a bizarre comment to write, but it is quite likely that Brighton’s defence may actually put up a better fight than Arsenal’s, however we have all witnessed what a confident and firing Vardy can do and it would be no surprise if the toothless Fox can build on his early season tally.
Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane (home vs Palace)
Many have one, some doubled up, I haven’t yet seen a team with all three, but Liverpool coverage again looks like paying dividends, at least on the attacking front. Not much changes at Liverpool – they concede a few, they score a few and the points are shared around. The best advice is probably to stick with your choice, enjoy the inevitable points when they roll in and accept that sometimes your chosen one will be the one to miss out. Three goals at Watford provides enough evidence that Klopp’s team will continue to create and attack and they could have doubled that tally at Vicarage Road, so a home fixture vs a Crystal Palace team that was humbled at home by Huddersfield bodes well for the Three Musketeers. All three scored at Watford and had chances aplenty to score more – Mane got the ball rolling, before Firmino took advantage of his penalty duties and Salah continued his preseason form – the latter two also weighed in with an assist each. Goals and points from the trio are almost guaranteed most weeks, don’t be without one and to maximise the effect maybe they also deserve your armband?
Still not used the armband? As we enter Sunday there are just three matches left and all provide options for your captain choice. There is a maverick pick and a more traditional FPL option.
Steve Mounie (home vs Newcastle)
Along they came, the first team to be promoted from the Championship with a negative goal difference and within a week of the season starting Huddersfield’s hot new striker gets his mention in the Captain article! And fully deserved too, for Mounie destroyed Palace last weekend and this week faces a Toon side with injuries at the back and their captain, who has more hair than sense, suspended. Mounie was electric at Selhurst Park and was another who opened the season with an opening-day brace – he says his idol is Didier Drogba and we saw flashes of Drogba in Mounie’s performance. Can this form continue? Time will tell, but your captain should be the person who you believe will score you the most points in any given week and Mounie has both the form and the fixture and is clearly the main man for the Terriers.
Harry Kane (home vs Chelsea)
Spurs can’t play at Wembley. Harry Kane doesn’t score in August. Both factually correct statements, but are you seriously trying to tell me that Kane will never score in August or that Spurs won’t perform at Wembley in 19 league matches this season? Do me a favour. It would be very easy for me to mention Dele Alli and/or Christian Eriksen in this piece – and I’ll happily admit both are also decent shouts for your armband this week. After all Alli scored at Newcastle last week and notched a brace in this fixture last season, while Eriksen created both goals for Spurs last weekend. However, my pick from Spurs this week is Kane – not my favourite player by any stretch and one who I feel is slightly overrated, but stats are stats and the bloke can score goals at this level at least. He was within inches of notching a brace vs the Toon as he hit the post and was denied by the keeper late on. The margins are fractional and if one or both of those chances had gone in we’d all be raving again. Well I wouldn’t, but a lot of you lot would be Chelsea come to Wembley this weekend in a state of disarray – beaten at home by Burnley, conceding three, Cesc and Cahill sent off, Conte under so much pressure his hair extensions could fall out and if that ain’t enough Diego Costa laying into the manager from his extended holiday in Brazil. There will be no better time to play the Blues – with Cahill suspended, Kane will be confident of taking on Luiz and Rudiger at the back and if all else fails he has penalty duties to fall back on if the Blues lose their discipline once again. Time for Kane’s August curse to be exorcised? I think so.
Ah, you sneaky little excitable things – you’re fallen for the ‘I love a Monday night captain’ haven’t you?
Jesus, Sergio Aguero, Kevin de Bruyne (home to Everton)
‘Coverage is a must’, we were told. KdB was the main man to be tipped though of course Kun and Jesus had their followers, while for those that punted on Sterling or Sane, you get what you deserved you bargain hunting cheapskates. An opening match at newly promoted Brighton would surely reward those who had invested in the Sky Blues. Well Aguero owners were happy, but KdB and Jesus disappointed, at least from a FPL point of view, and Sane and Sterling owners were left wondering how to find the money to upgrade their cheap and nasty failures. So, Monday night Everton come to town with a clean sheet under their belts (they were only playing Stoke), can they keep City at bay? History suggests they have a chance – last season the fixture ended 1-1 and the season before was goalless. However, we know what City can do – Jesus and Aguero played well together at Brighton and created chances that in weeks to come when they are league match sharp they will tuck away with no bother, while KdB will always be sniffing around the box, working his magic, looking to create, and will also be on many set pieces. Enough to captain any one of the three? Probably not for me – Everton are no mugs. However, some cannot resist a Monday captain and let’s be honest, all three have the ability to fully reward their loyal owners.
Thanks for reading Fantasy Football Captain Picks Gameweek 2
The League Codes for FF247 for the 2017/18 season are as follows:
Gameweek Tracker GW2-11