The Armband: FPL Gameweek 8 Captain Analysis
The Armband: FPL Gameweek 8 Captain Analysis

This article is part of our The Armband series.

Clean sheets have taken over the Premier League (there were 14 in the last two weeks) and that usually means good things for the favorites because they are usually the ones who win those matches. As it turned out, there were no surprises in Gameweek 7, and that includes Man United falling 3-1 to West Ham. Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero were all top captain options and all found the back of the net, which is as good as it gets. Sure, Harry Maguire and two Wolves defenders performed better than most forwards, but as said last week, reaching six fantasy points is the goal for your FPL captain.

Conveniently, there's less time to ponder which players you want to give the armband to in Gameweek 8 as Brighton and West Ham play Friday. If you want to get everything out of the way before the weekend, captaining Marko Arnautovic could be one of the better differential moves, as he already has four goals and Brighton have allowed the third-most shots in the league.

Of course, there are better options, though I won't be looking at Liverpool or Man City in their Sunday fixture. Not only is Mohamed Salah off his game, but it's a bit risky to give the armband to Aguero or Sterling in this spot. That's why Kane is the No. 1 option for captaincy with three goals and seven shots in his last two league starts. As for Cardiff, they're allowing more than two goals per match and almost half of their shots allowed (88) were on goal (41), which means Kane will surely have a couple looks on target. Even without Christian Eriksen, it's hard to fade Kane in this spot. This is also a great matchup for Kieran Trippier because not only has he made the score sheet in four of seven matches, but Cardiff only have four goals this season.

There aren't many other players who stand out, especially with Man United's recent issues, as they have the second-most favorable match of the top teams at home against Newcastle. Romelu Lukaku has two shots on target in his last four starts, so there's little reason to back him and that's how I feel about the rest of the team. I'd be more comfortable with Arsenal and Chelsea away to Fulham and Southampton, respectively.

Arsenal's goal scorers continue to be hard to predict, not only between Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but Mesut Ozil also found the back of the net against Watford. I still have Lacazette as the top Gunner with two goals and two assists in four starts, but Eden Hazard is ahead of them all. He's on a torrid pace with six league goals in five starts to go with 11 chances created. Southampton have also allowed two goals in each of their last two home matches, which were against Leicester and Brighton. The Blues are on a nice run, but Hazard is the only one who's performed at a consistent rate, with Olivier Giroud no better than Alvaro Morata in terms of fantasy.

Similar to previous weeks, there isn't a matchup that is better than the rest if you're looking for a differential. Crystal Palace are home against a feisty Wolves side that is allowing fewer than one goal per match, while Leicester and Everton face off in a battle of mid-tier clubs. At the least, Jamie Vardy is always a good bet at home and has nine shots in the last two matches. Everton are hard to predict, but they've allowed the sixth-fewest shots on goals (28), two behind Leicester. It's a similar matchup between Watford and Bournemouth in that neither side has a big advantage.

Burnley at home is a sneaky place to turn since Huddersfield have allowed 10 goals in three away matches. Johann Berg Gudmundsson is the ultimate differential because while he has one goal and two assists in the last two matches, he's not getting that many opportunities. He has just three shots on goal and three chances created in his last three starts, but as Burnley's main set-piece taker, he could find himself on the score sheet again.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.
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