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The Armband: FPL Gameweek 38 Captain Rankings

Adam Zdroik

Adam writes on sports ranging from NFL and MLB to soccer and college basketball. Outside of writing, he has worked with a professional soccer team, Sporting Kansas City, and in the stats department at ESPN. He is a former Streak for the Cash winner and Michigan State graduate.

Talk about a double gameweek. Gameweek 37 was easily the highest scoring round of the season at the official fantasy Premier League game with the average points reaching 65 and the highest scorer at a ridiculous 200. The previous average high was 58 points in Gameweek 10 and the single highest score was 154 in Gameweek 16.

Even then, Diego Costa was still the most-captained player, as no one took into account that the league title wouldíve been sealed after a win on Friday for Chelsea. Costa finished with 90 minutes playedÖ and zero goals. But if you read this article, you were in good hands with the help of Gabriel Jesus, Kevin De Bruyne or Alexis Sanchez. The real kicker was if you used your triple captain on Alexis, and then it truly was a golden week. Alexis finished with three goals and one assist, equaling 27 fantasy points, cementing his spot as the top scorer for the campaign. Elsewhere, Cesar Azpilicueta was the Blues defender to use, while Philippe Coutinho did his best to outscore everyone despite having only one match. Even Olivier Giroud continued his scoring stretch and now has three goals and an assist in his last three matches.

And suddenly, we made it. Gameweek 38 wonít bring many fireworks, with only Liverpool and Arsenal having anything to play for in fourth and fifth place, respectively. With that, there could be some unfamiliar faces on the pitch, so thatíll be something to monitor, but seeing as how we canít predict what each manager will do, itís best to focus on the week like any other.

For the two aforementioned sides, the Reds have the more favorable match against Middlesbrough, while the Gunners host Everton. Yet, it canít be overlooked that the Toffees have four points from their last seven away matches and one goal in their last three overall. As for Boro, nothing good can be said about their road form with two goals in their last eight.

Given the week that Alexis had, heíll undoubtedly be one of the favorite captains, with Mesut Ozil or even a defender like Nacho Monreal drawing consideration. Itís a similar situation for the reds, with Coutinho at the top of the list and Joel Matip on the back line. Both Liverpool and Arsenal have been hard to predict for most of the season, as these matches could either end in a 4-0 rout, or come down to the final minutes for a 1-0 win.

As for the rest of the clubs playing for pride, Chelsea (v. Sunderland), Man United (v. Crystal Palace) and Man City (at Watford) have the best matchups (Man City need one point to solidify a top-four spot, but even if they lose, Arsenal need to win by at least six goals to move into the top four). With nothing to play for, itís hard to say which Chelsea players will be in the starting XI, though Michy Batshuayi could turn out to be one of the top plays. And after how the back line performed last match, Iíd stay away from them. The same can be said for the Red Devils, as theyíve only really played for the Europa League title, taking three points from their last five league matches. Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney would probably be the top choices, but does anyone want to captain them?

As for the other Manchester, Jesus and De Bruyne will be the names everyone focuses on, though I think Leroy Sane will be heard from in the finale. Watford have lost their last five matches, but four of those came away from home and theyíve only allowed one goal in their last four at Vicarage Road. Itís something to consider if you plan on fading either Arsenal or Liverpool.

For everyone else looking for true differentials, my favorite plays are Gylfi Sigurdsson (v. West Brom), Jamie Vardy (v. Bournemouth) andÖ Sam Vokes (v. West Ham). Sigurdsson is no secret, as heís been one of my go-to captains all season. Heíll look to close in form against a not-in-form West Brom, who have one point in their last seven league matches. Fernando Llorente has scored in three of his last four, so heís another Swan to consider, albeit not as trustworthy. Vardy has fallen off a bit, but thatís been due to schedule. Leicester have been much better at King Power Stadium and have won seven of their previous eight there in all competitions ahead of the Spurs match on Thursday. Vardy has four goals and three assists in his prior five home matches.

It may be a stretch to go with Vokes, but thereís no denying his form, having scored four goals in his last four starts. Iím not saying Burnley are a good side to back, but West Ham have three points in their last six matches and have allowed at least two goals in four of those.

Any of the Spurs attackers are usually a good bet, but given the short week (match on Thursday) and Hullís decent play at home, Iím staying away from Harry Kane and his crew.