P90 Points scored per 90 minutes at home/away based on this week's opponents QG%Percentage of games played where the player scored 6 or more points xPct The percentage of his team's goals a player has accounted for, multiplied by the expected goals for this weekRating Based on the player's rankings in the other three categories.
After a couple of down weeks in these parts thanks to less interesting commitments, we're finally back with a proper captain preview. In truth, you probably don't need any advice these days though. I expected a toss up between Van Persie and Rooney though the data favors the Arsenal man quite strongly.
It's tough to argue really, given that Van Persie is averaging more points per game and has notched more quality games while facing a team with an equally mediocre defence as Rooney. Oh, and he has 7 goals and 4 assists over the past 6 gameweeks.
Playing devils advocate, Rooney is of course in pretty sensational form himself, adding 7 goals of his own over his past 6 gameweeks. According to ESPN, Van Persie has added 24 shots, 13 on target over those past 6 gameweeks compared to Rooney's 25-18 so there is at least some hope there than Rooney could enjoy the edge in any given week. You could also factor in that over the past 5 home starts, Rooney has added an astonishing 36-17 shots including 6 converted into goals.
Other than the shot data, the odds say to go with Van Persie, though it wouldn't be surprising for Rooney to have a big game of his own. The problem for me is that Rooney carries just a large of a following (34%) as Van Persie (38%) so you aren't really gaining any differentiation bonus by going for the United man as your skipper. For that reason, Van Persie will get my armband this week.
If you're desperately in need of a differentiation option then you could do worse than a couple of undervalued midfielders in red hot form. Valencia is still held by just 5% of managers but has been as good as anyone over his past 6-8 games, while Sigurdsson (held by just 3% of managers) has been equally as impressive, with three double digit games over the past 6 gameweeks. I'd be thrilled to own either for this week and probably the remainder of the season, but it would be extremely difficult to captain either of them ahead of Van Persie, despite the desire to differentiate. The upside is clearly there but consider that Sigurdsson has 4 games with 3 points or less in just 9 games, while Van Persie has just 6 in the last 22 games. Valencia has a higher ceiling than the Swansea playmaker, but he too carries significant risk, not even being guaranteed to start the game if Nani is fit once again.
This looks like one of those weeks where your big decision is how to use your free transfer rather than who to captain. Don't overthink this guys, Van Persie and Rooney are just too good to ignore.
For a few transfer ideas, I penned a somewhat lengthy piece on rotation options over at Fantasy Football Scout, so check that out if you have a spare couple of minutes (okay maybe more than a couple). Thanks for your patience while the updates have been a bit slow, they should be more plentiful and timely for the remainder of the year.