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Fantasy Football Captain Picks

Captain Picks Gameweek 16

GW16 is fast approaching and it will soon be time for one of the biggest decisions of your fantasy week – who is the best Captain Pick for your team. Due to the continuing good form of a number of players the picks have become somewhat predictable as of late but don’t blame us, blame the players! We are working hard to try and find new ways to interpret our data for the most informative way of helping you make that crucial decision.

Normally we look at who is in-form, and it’s quite apparent which players we need to look at this week. As a result, we are going to try and take a closer look at the opposition of our 5 picks and subsequently the chances that our in-form players have of scoring big points against them.

The five picks this week are once again then fairly route one; Luis Suarez, Sergio Aguero, Wayne Rooney, Romelu Lukaku, and Eden Hazard.

Our first scatter plot shows the average amount of shots each team has per game, against the average amount of shots per goal scored. We have used data from the last 6 matches for each team to keep it current and help us to look at recent form. Average (Avg) shots per game was calculated by simply dividing the total amount of shots over the period by how many games the team played, in this case 6. Avg shots per goal scored was calculated by dividing the total amount of shots over the period by the amount of goals scored.

Attacking effectiveness


We can see that far out to the right Liverpool, Manchester City, and Tottenham take a considerably larger amount of shots per game than the others. However, it’s easy to notice that Tottenham take a considerably higher Avg shots per goal scored. By comparing these two variables we can look at the effectiveness of a team’s attack. It’s worth noting where Chelsea, Everton, and Manchester United also appear for our Captain’s Picks teams.

An on-going debate within our community is whether fixture difficulty should alter your choice when deciding on who to captain. The following scatter plot looks at the average amount of shots a team faces per game, against the average amount of shots faced per goal conceded. Similarly, the last 6 games data was used. The Avg shots faced per game was calculated by dividing the total amount of shots faced over the period by 6. Avg shots faced per goal conceded was calculated by dividing the total amount of shots faced over the period by the amount of goals conceded.

Defensive effectiveness


Arsenal are clearly the most effective team defensively, whilst having the lowest Avg shots faced per game, they also boast the highest Avg shots faced per goal conceded. This could be due to not allowing many clear-cut chances to their opposition if they somehow manage to get a shot away. Conversely, we can see that the likes of Fulham, Norwich, and Sunderland all face a lot of shots on average per game. Sunderland, however, have a higher Avg shots faced per goal conceded than Fulham, showing they potentially offer less significant chances to their opposition or their opposition do not take their chances.

Below we take a look at the Avg shots per game of our 5 Captain’s Picks (calculated the same way as teams), plotted against the Avg shots faced per goal conceded of their opposition for this game-week.


Suarez and Aguero take the highest Avg shots per game, with a stark difference in the Avg shots faced per goal conceded of their opposition though, it’s a tricky choice to make. Lukaku faces Fulham who offer a considerably lesser challenge for the Belgian to score, but he also takes under half the Avg amount of shots to that of Aguero and Suarez. Hazard looks an outside option, although playing Crystal Palace its worth looking at his Avg shots per game and his oppositions defensive effectiveness. Rooney’s return sees him sitting in the middle of our other 4 picks.

What does this mean? Well, there’s a lot to consider here. The quality of the shots taken against the teams is not accounted for by simply using ‘shots faced’ or ‘shots taken’. This data can be used to supplement our opinions though and possibly bring forth ideas that had not previously been looked at. For example the defensive effectiveness of Crystal Palace, and the fact that although Southampton’s Avg shots faced per game is very low, they’ve conceded an awful lot.



Liv v WhamSuarez is away to Tottenham this game-week, and from the chart above looks as though he is the best option. A point to consider though, is that Gerrard is now out injured and he was generally the in-form player (see Kickdex) alongside Suarez at Liverpool driving them to success. It took them a while to open up West Ham but, regardless, Suarez delivered another great week. Tottenham’s stats could also be skewed due to the abnormal 0-6 defeat to Manchester City which is included in the data, and this should be taken into consideration.


AgueroThis match pits the two most clinical teams in the league together. The whole home/away fixture debate is best seen with Manchester City. They have been impressive at home, but face Arsenal this weekend who are regarded as the most defensively effective side in the league over the period we’ve looked at. Not only have they the lowest Avg shots per game, but the highest Avg shots faced per goal conceded values. Aguero has proven that he can score at any point of a game though and with Silva returning we could see an increased number of chances for the Argentinian.


Eden Hazard, ChelseaChelsea have struggled without a clinical striker this season but Hazard has proved to be effective cover. He could apply some serious pressure on his opponents Crystal Palace this weekend after they (CPL) have had favourable fixtures for 5 of the previous 6. Palace have kept 4 clean sheets in the last 6 games and their defensive effectiveness could be tested to the limit away from home against Chelsea.


Photo 10-12-2013 01 14 16Playing for arguably one of the most in-form teams in the league at the moment (see Kickdex), Lukaku could see his Avg amount of shots per game increase significantly as his run of hard fixtures finally starts to ease up. He has still delivered in the previous weeks, starved of chances (Avg shots per game) he still managed to score 3 and assist 2 in his last 6 games. With a fixture against Fulham he has one of the most favourable of the weekend in terms of oppositions Avg shots faced per goal conceded, and it could be a very long afternoon for the travelling Fulham side.


RooneyDespite United’s struggles, 8 goals and 7 assists already this season highlights the form of Rooney. Villa are not playing that well and with injuries to Vlaar and Luna at the back, expect Rooney to continue his great form especially if RvP plays alongside him. United’s comparability to the likes of Norwich and Stoke in terms of Avg shots per game and Avg shots per goal scored highlights the trouble they are having, yet Rooney still manages to find something from the little they do manage to muster. Rooney has scored 8 goals in his last 10 league games against Villa, but they have all come in braces.

Worthy mentions that could be considered although not included in this article are; Loic Remy, Olivier Giroud, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, Yaya Toure, and Jay Rodriguez.

In the coming weeks we will be working on the data above and providing you with an even better analysis. A home/away comparison is being looked at, as is the representation of the data in diagrams.

Following our analysis of the 5 Captain’s Picks for GW16, we would love to hear your views below on who you are going for and why. Will it be any of our 5 or someone different?

Good luck to you all this game-week.

This article was written by flingy (Sean).

Don’t forget to cast your vote on our Captain’s Poll below

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  1. 55
    Milk and Busquets says:

    Just a quick one because from this side of the year it’s hard to judge the deadline.. To captain Suarez, Rooney or Kun? I’m hinging between Suarez or Rooney..

    • 55.1
      Milk and Busquets says:

      World not year -_-

    • 55.2
      Demsie says:

      Hi Milky,

      I’m in the same dilemma mate.. I have all 3. If it helps though we have just over 26 hours until the deadline so set a timer on your phone or whatever.

      I can make a case for all 3. Suarez is just in pure form and can score from any situation imo. Kun is also on form but to a lesser extent imo, City normally play better at home though ans he scored 2 against Urd earlier in season. He does perform in big games. Roo, as been conbsistent throughout the season points-wise whether RVP is tyhere or not, but he will play deeper now he’s back. Still capable of a brace as Cookie says.

      The armband is currently on Suarez at the min but it could change.

      I also have the added distraction of knowing that my main rival is capping suarez (same as every week).. so do I stick.. or twist ???

      • James101 says:

        re your rival

        unless it was the last week and you had a solid lead, or other advantages, i’d always say ignore what he/she does.

        i’m personally considering (in this order of preference)

        1. Suarez / Lukaku
        2. Kun / Haz

  2. 56
    CynicalSteve says:

    Cookie, who would captain out of Lukaku, Suarez and Aguero?

  3. 57
    flingy says:

    To those wondering if Luis Suarez and Liverpool will struggle due to the absence of Stevie G, here’s how the little Brazilian maestro has been doing over the last 6 weeks:
    – He has had 28 attempts at goal, second only to Aguero and Suarez.
    – He has created the same amount of chances as Hazard, whilst only 3 fewer than Gerrard had done.
    – He has the 6th highest amount of touches in the final third of the pitch.

    I made the straight swap of Gerrard out for Coutinho earlier in the week, I’m pretty confident that Liverpool will not suffer too much and Coutinho could hit a run of luck as he hasn’t recently.

  4. 58
    Drexl says:

    With possible capt picks of roonet, suarez, roney, lukaku and hazard prob the faves, this week especially could see some seperation from all those with similar teams…..who you going with guys?

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