Take a punt on Wayne Rooney? - FPL Captain Tips & Pick: Gameweek 18
Posted by @FFPundits_Drew
11:55am Dec 15 2017
Tottenham’s Harry Kane is excluded from this weeks captaincy picks, as we look towards Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City for alternatives
As the doors to Gameweek 17 slammed shut on Wednesday evening, we swiftly shifted our attention to the Gameweek 18 schedule, with less than 72 hours to ready our teams and decide our transfers.
However, with Gameweek 18 comes a huge shift amongst the FPL community, as we appear to have fallen out of love with Harry Kane this week, with our attention turning towards the likes of Eden Hazard and Mohamed Salah.
That said, could Harry Kane be the ultimate captaincy differential in Gameweek 18?
He’s still owned by 40%+ of us and only 50K have transferred him out this week, yet only 4% of the vote is for Kane on our Gameweek 18 Captains Poll.
And if we’re all avoiding Kane as captain against Manchester City, who else should we be looking at? I’m glad you asked.
Well, once again, @FFPundits_Drew returns with his Top 3 captain picks in order of personal preference, and a cheeky differential for those of you looking to make up ground in your mini-leagues.
As always, I wish you all the very best of luck for Gameweek 18 and hope that my selections below give you plenty of food for thought.
Eden Hazard vs. Southampton (H)
Two goals vs Newcastle and Eden Hazard was the new must own player, with Fantasy Premier League bosses were tearing holes in their teams trying to find a place for the Belgian wizard.
What happened next has been typically Hazard over the last couple of seasons – he disappears, returning 2 blanks in his last 2 Gameweeks.
Although, let’s try not to focus only on those FPL returns as against Huddersfield in Gameweek 17, Hazard was brilliant – the focal point in every Chelsea attack and continues to be key to all of their attacking play.
As a Hazard owner myself, I feel your frustration – however if you own him, stick with him and make him your captain again this week.
The visitors to Stamford Bridge this weekend are Southampton, who on Wednesday were completely dismantled by Leicester City in a 1-4 home defeat.
Having been subbed off by Antonio Conte on the 68th minutes, this leads us to believe he is nailed on to start this Saturday.
He has form, he has the fixture and he has all my hopes in one big basket for Gameweek 18 – so, come on Eden, let’s see another one of those double-digit returns.
Mohamed Salah vs. Bournemouth (A)
We were expecting those Merseyside Derby frustrations to be taken out on Wednesday night vs West Brom, where I doubled up on Liverpool assets. I read on Twitter that some of you tripled up!
Alas, it was not to be, as Mo Salah produced his first blank since Gameweek 8.
Well, that incredible form doesn’t disappear overnight and with the Egyptian 2nd place in our Gameweek 18 Captains Poll with 26%, it looks like he’s not lost your faith this week.
I wouldn’t let a 1 week blank worry you, as Salah’s underlying stats continue to impress with a high number of goal attempts and touches in the penalty box.
Their opponents Bournemouth are without a win in their last 5 games, giving Liverpool and Salah the perfect opportunity to get back to winning ways under the floodlights at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
There isn’t much I can say about Salah that you don’t already know; with 14 goals and 4 assists in the Premier League this season, as well as 15 bonus points, you would have every right to captain him every single week.
Kevin De Bruyne vs. Spurs (H)
You will see the phase ‘form over fixtures’ thrown around a lot on Twitter – well, for this reason, Man City’s midfield maestro Kevin De Bruyne makes his way into our Captaincy Picks for Gameweek 18.
I owned De Bruyne at the start of the season, however in that ‘quarterback’ role I felt, at the time, his value just wasn’t worth a place in my line-up. Oh how I regret that now.
Since then, with the injury to Benjamin Mendy, Manchester City’s formation had to be altered, leading to De Bruyne taking up a more attacking, central position which has caused opposition defence’s utter chaos and misery.
With 4 goals in his last 7 Premier League games, as well as 8 assists and 13 bonus points to his name already this season, I personally don’t see City’s match-up against Spurs anything to be put off by.
I expect Manchester City to continue their record-breaking run in the Premier League and have too much fire-power for the Spurs defence to contain, resulting in a comfortable home win for Pep & Co, I believe.
Safe from rotation and key to that Manchester City attack, I can see De Bruyne rewarding the 22%+ of Fantasy Premier League managers who entrust him with that captain’s armband in Gameweek 18.
Wayne Rooney vs. Swansea (H)
It’s been an incredible turn around by Everton of late, and since the appointment of Sam Allardyce, the Toffees have sprung back in to life winning 3 and drawing 1 of their last 4 Premier League outings.
A pivotal player within that change in form has been Wayne Rooney, who has scored 5 goals over that 4 game period and shows no signs of slowing down.
Now sitting on 9 goals for the season, equal with both Romelu Lukaku and Alvaro Morata, a home fixture vs Swansea City is the perfect opportunity to crack on and add to that impressive tally.
Swansea are now propping up the Premier League table, with only 1 win from their last 8 games and looking more like the Premier League whipping boys as the Gameweeks go by.
During a period of rotation across Premier League lineups, Wayne Rooney offers FPL managers a nailed on starter, he’s on penalty taking duty and appears to have hit a purple patch of scoring form.
If you are ditching the likes of Niasse, Abraham and Wilson from your squads this week, the Everton forward should be (seriously) considered at just £7.5m.
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