Gameweek 15 & 16 Captain and Player Picks
Holly Shand from Fantasy Football Community returns with captaincy corner and her three player picks in three positions for Gameweeks 15 and 16.
With a bumper week in FPL, there’s a bumper article to take you through all the big captaincy decisions for the week ahead. There’s plenty to discuss, with a mammoth amount of games and rotation risks everywhere. Jamie Vardy is set to dominate, after scoring in his sixth straight game. Those who ventured to Liverpool players were left disappointed with Mane and Salah’s blanks. Son and Sterling were profitable differentials last weekend.
So, how can we prepare for the week ahead? The Gameweek 15 is on Tuesday evening UK time, with Gameweek 16 rolling around on Saturday. There’s barely enough time to catch our breath, which could seen an impact on gametime too for our favoured FPL assets. Teams not involved in Europe, with Leicester in mind in particular, should be less impacted by this schedule as they didn’t have a midweek game before Gameweek 14 and won’t have a midweek game after Gameweek 16. Who knows what’s in store for the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City players though! Harder games should bring less rotation and as always, you should be careful when selecting a vice captain as you never know when they might be called upon.
The shield pick is likely to be the most captained player of the week, allowing you to play safe and keep pace with the pack. The sword pick will be a less popular selection: if they perform it can shoot you up the overall rankings, but the risk from failure is higher.
Shield Pick: Jamie Vardy vs Watford (H) & Aston Villa (A)
Anytime Goalscorer Odds: 4/6 & 5/6
There’s talk of leaving the captaincy on Jamie Vardy until the end of the season and it’s easy to see why. The last time he failed to score in a game, it was the start of October and since then he’s been in sensational form. It was around this time of year four years ago when Vardy went on a run of scoring in 11 consecutive Premier League games, and looking at Leicester’s fixture run, it’s likely he will have improving that record in his sights. He will be the landslide captain pick in Gameweek 15, with a home game against Watford who have just sacked their second manager this season. Vardy has goals in each of his last three games against the Hornets. There’s even talk of deploying the Triple Captain chip, which does come with risk but can pay off outside of the Double Gameweeks. He may not keep that popularity mantle going into Gameweek 16 where he travels to Villa Park, but he could remain popular. His ownership is now the highest in the game and one thing you can be certain of is that he won’t get rotated: that is valuable information during this busy period of the season and he’s not missed a single minute for the Foxes so far this season. Will you play safe with the Shield Pick?
Sword Pick: Sadio Mane vs Everton (H) & Bournemouth (A)
Anytime Goalscorer Odds: Evens & Evens
Sadio Mane remains the next best captain choice after Vardy, with the fixtures looking promising too. It was a surprise to see him take nothing away from that home game against Brighton last weekend, which will cast a shadow over his potential with the Merseyside Derby up next. Add into the mix Alisson’s suspension and Fabinho’s injury, it could be wise to play safe in Gameweek 15. I’m more interested in giving him the captaincy come Gameweek 16, but he’s played every minute since the International Break and with Liverpool not yet qualified from their Champions League group, rotation is a slight worry at the weekend. Opponents Everton are without a clean sheet in five, notably conceding two to Norwich and Leicester. Bournemouth aren’t faring much better, having conceded seven goals in their last three. Are you going to take a risk in selecting the Sword Pick?
I share my top three players for each Gameweek, selecting one defender, one midfielder and one striker. These are players that I’m tipping for the FPL Dream Team and they could also make intriguing differential captain decisions for you to consider too.
DEF: Ben Chilwell vs Watford (H)
Leicester’s clean sheet run came to an end last weekend when they let in a goal to Everton, but the four consecutive shut-outs prior to that one demonstrate their ability defensively. Ben Chilwell’s appeal also comes from his offensive output: he has one goal and three assists already this season, and can be regularly seen storming down the left wing and popping up in the box at the crucial moment. He has a big points potential in Gameweek 15.
MID: Kevin De Bruyne vs Burnley (A)
Kevin De Bruyne has been in sensational form, grabbing two goals in two games, including that wonder-strike against Newcastle. He had the most shots of all midfielders last weekend with six, and created more big chances than anyone else, also with six. It’s another promising fixture for Manchester City as they face Burnley who have struggled against stiff opposition this season. The Clarets have conceded at home three goals to Liverpool and four goals to Chelsea. Rotation risk is minimised here with Manchester City dropping crucial points and looking lack-lustre without their creative force.
FOR: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang vs Brighton (H)
Aubameyang looked to have enjoyed himself last weekend, grabbing a brace against Norwich after struggling for many weeks. Has the departure of Emery caused this up-turn in form? Worryingly, his two goals came from his only two shots of the game and he appeared to adopt wide areas still. Alexandre Lacazette’s presence as the central striker will still impact Aubameyang, but he’s unstoppable if he can keep this goal conversion rate up. Brighton have conceded seven goals in their last four games and the Arsenal man has delivered in three of his last four.
DEF: John Lundstram vs Norwich (A)
It’s been a steady few weeks for Lundstram, with just one assist to show for his efforts since Gameweek 12. The fixture looks great though, with plenty of potential for the mythical attacking return, clean sheet and bonus points in this one. Norwich are still conceding goals for fun, letting in six in their last four games and are without a home clean sheet this season. They are also one of the sides who’ve failed to score in the most amount of games this season (5).
MID: Raheem Sterling vs Manchester United (H)
The Manchester Derby is usually a spicy affair, with Pep Guardiola’s side expected to come out on top, given their better form and home advantage. Sterling has found the back of the net once more, grabbing an important goal against Newcastle last weekend. With Aguero out of the side, he’s a crucial player for Pep and will generally be allowed more space to roam into the box: he had 13 touches in the box against Newcastle which was the highest of any midfielder. Opponents Manchester United have just one clean sheet this season.
FOR: Roberto Firmino vs Bournemouth (A)
Liverpool are expected to be in the driving seat for this fixture, with Firmino’s presence important as they try to wrap up the Premier League title before Christmas. Firmino already has four goals and four assists this season, with all of his goals coming away from Anfield. He has a great record against the Cherries, grabbing three goals and four assists from eight league appearances.
Until next time…
Find even more Fantasy Premier League Tips over on Holly’s website: Fantasy Football Community