No Kane, No Gain? - FPL Captain Picks & Tips: Gameweek 23

11:25am Jan 11 2018

Tottenham’s Harry Kane looks the superior captaincy option for Gameweek 23, but options elsewhere are also worth exploring

Good day to all Fantasy Premier League managers and welcome back from what has been another, dragged-out and long-winded break from FPL – it’s good to have you back with us, that’s for sure.

Without wanting to come across as negative – something just doesn’t feel right about this Gameweek 23 fixture list and I can’t put my finger on it.

I mean, is it because Salah doesn’t have an easy opponent this week which makes us want to captain him?

Maybe it’s because Hazard and Morata aren’t firing of late, so the Chelsea vs Leicester game doesn’t look as appealing as it possibly should?

Or, could it be that the most attractive game on paper for potential FPL points (United vs Stoke) will be without an in-form premium striker or midfielder to consider captaining?

Let me know your thoughts via my Twitter @FFPundits_Drew once you’ve read the article below and as always FPL bosses, may your arrows be green!

Pick 1

Harry Kane vs. Everton (H)

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After two hat-tricks in two games for Harry Kane, the hype and hope was building up an absolute treat for the Double Gameweek.

Illness struck, doubt set in, but many of us (myself included) took the plunge with our precious Triple Captain Chip, only to be left with 3 points from the Spurs man.

I don’t know about you, but the situation is still raw for me!

FPL returns this week after the FA Cup break, where Kane returned to his goal-scoring ways by netting a brace in the 3-0 win vs AFC Wimbledon.

Now over his man-flu and back to scoring goals, can we rely on him again this week against Sam Allardyce and Co?

Spurs’ Gameweek 23 opponents Everton were on a steady unbeaten run until Gameweek 21, however, come into Saturday’s game off the back of 2 league defeats – as well as being knocked out of the FA Cup by rivals Liverpool.

Having scored 7 double-digit point hauls already this season – one of which came against Everton in the reverse fixture back in Gameweek 4, for me, Kane is by far the standout captaincy option on FPL this weekend and I will be captaining him with confidence.

Pick 2

Mohamed Salah vs. Man City (H)

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This pick is another classic case of form over fixtures for me, and is something I have began to discipline myself in taking more serious this season.

Did you sell Salah when his injury was announced? Well, now it’s time to find a way to get him back in to your lineups with immediate effect, as the Egyptian is rumoured to be fit and well for the Super Sunday clash with Manchester City at Anfield.

With Philippe Coutinho now sunning himself on the Spanish coast, manager Jurgen Klopp will be relying (even more) on Salah to carry his side forward and take the fight to Manchester City.

With Vincent Kompany out injured (again), Manchester City welcomed the return of John Stones in Gameweek 22.

Stones may be the future at Manchester City, however after making a mistake in each of his last 2 appearances, Liverpool will be looking to take full advantage of any mishaps City create.

With the form Salah has shown so far this season, he has earned himself a place in the fixture-proof captaincy picks list each week for most of us, but could giving him the armband against City be a bit too far?

Personally, after missing Gameweek 22 through injury and the fixture difficulty, I favour Kane over Salah this week – BUT, for those of you who took part in #KaneExit or for whatever reason do not own Kane, Salah would be my go-to-guy this week.

Pick 3

Eden Hazard vs. Leicester (H)

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How many of you owned Hazard, found yourself sick and tired of his poor returns and let the Chelsea man go in favour of a Spurs player for the Double Gameweek?

Well, I am guilty of this too and whilst I watched Spurs stumble through their fixtures against Swansea and West Ham, Hazard’s penalty against Arsenal was a real kick in the teeth.

If it wasn’t for the Double Gameweek, I would have kept Hazard in my team, even though his impressive performances for Chelsea haven’t been converting in to solid FPL returns of late.

The players around him (Morata for example) have let the Belgian down over recent weeks by missing so many clear-cut chances, but still, with the fixture run Chelsea have, I’d love to have Hazard back in my team.

Their Gameweek 23 opponents this Saturday are Leicester City – a side who have kept only 1 clean-sheet in their last 7 premier League outings.

As a Maguire owner myself, I have become increasingly frustrated at the lack of clean-sheets Leicester are keeping – conceding 9 goals in their last 5 games.

Hazard has racked up 10 shots and made 7 key passes during his last 3 games and for me, those underlying stats suggest it’s worth sticking with him as at 8.1% ownership, he could be a great differential to own going forward.

The Gamble

Jesse Lingard vs. Stoke (H)

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Back in Gameweek 20 I backed Jesse Lingard for my gamble captain pick and he duly delivered with 2 goals and 2 bonus points vs Burnley.

Since then, his price has climbed from £6.0m to £6.3m and his ownership is up and over the 16% mark – are FPL bosses starting to realise that maybe this patch of form isn’t a fluke?

It has taken some time for many of us to pull the trigger and bring Lingard in to our teams, but his form since Gameweek 14 has been there for all to see, with 7 goals, 2 assists and 10 bonus points in 9 games.

I haven’t followed my own advice of late with Lingard due to planning for the Double Gameweek just passed, however, this week he’s coming in to my Gameweek 23 team for United’s home fixture against Stoke City.

Managerless Stoke City look terrible – no wins from their last 3 Premier League games and then knocked out of the FA Cup by League 2 side, Coventry City.

If you are looking for a differential captain this week then Lingard has both the form and the fixture and don’t let his low FPL price tag put you off giving him the armband.

BEFORE YOU GO: Be sure to join myself and the Fantasy Football Pundits, this Saturday and Sunday on Starting 11 for some daily fantasy football action.

It’s a FREE to play daily game without any player values or team budgets – simply pick YOUR best Gameweek 23 11-man-team via the iOS and Android buttons below and watch out for some cool prizes.

Thank you for reading ‘Fantasy Premier League Tips – FPL Captain Picks & Tips: Gameweek 23’ which was written and produced by @FFPundits_Drew