The Armband: FPL Gameweek 34 Captain Rankings
The Armband: FPL Gameweek 34 Captain Rankings

This article is part of our The Armband series.

Gameweek 33 may have been exciting in real life (namely the Manchester derby), but in fantasy Premier League it was anything but exciting. The average points scored in FPL was just 32, "beating" the previous low by nine, which was set a few weeks ago. Needless to say, you weren't alone in having a down week. My top captain plays weren't much better even though Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang managed to score, with Danny Welbeck leading the Gunners' attack. Taking Riyad Mahrez over Jamie Vardy also backfired, while Harry Kane scoreless despite his claims he knocked the second one in.

On the surface, Gameweek 34 should be a little easier in terms of finding a captain, only because eight clubs play twice. The best news for fans may be that there are Premier League matches from Saturday to Thursday, six consecutive days. And so, it makes the most sense to look at those teams for the armband even though Liverpool (v. Bournemouth) and Arsenal (at Newcastle) have decent matchups. And given how Liverpool's lineup looked last league match, there's no reason to trust them this weekend.

The club most fantasy bosses will be salivating over has to be Manchester United with a home match against West Brom and then a trip to Bournemouth. In terms of form, it doesn't get any better, as those teams have a combined seven points from their last 12 matches. Alexis Sanchez has gotten comfortable with a goal and three assists in the last two matches, and that means he'll be one of the favorites for the armband. While he only has one shot on goal in his last four starts, he has 12 chances created over that period. That's reason enough to take him over Paul Pogba, who decided to show up in the Manchester derby. As for Romelu Lukaku, he didn't take a shot last match, but he had four goals and two assists in his previous five starts. As the front man against weaker back lines, expect plenty of opportunities for the Belgian. The true contrarian play would be to ignore the attackers and go with Antonio Valencia in hopes of two clean sheets. Considering United have one clean sheet from their last six matches, that will be difficult to trust.

Unfortunately, none of the other double gameweek options truly stand out, though Spurs (v. Man City, at Brighton), Chelsea (at Southampton, at Burnley) and Leicester (at Burnley, v. Southampton) are all in good spots. Burnley are at home for both of theirs, but unless you really like Chris Wood, there are better choices.

Of course, I don't know if anyone should captain a Chelsea player at the moment given how they've performed. Eden Hazard hasn't made the score sheet in his last five starts, with two shots on goal and 17 chances created in that period. Willian hasn't done so in his last three, with three shots on goal and seven chances created over those matches.

Spurs are the much better choice, though Kane hasn't found the back of the net since February. At this point, Eriksen has turned into a better option, with three goals and an assist in his last three starts. That all depends on if you want to miss the Kane hat trick or not. For those looking to make a move, Dele Alli is worth a look after picking up three goals and four assists in his last five starts. The worry is that he has five shots on goal and 11 chances created in that period, meaning he's been impossibly efficient.

Leicester have a couple nice matches, though the trip to Burnley is worrisome since there have only been 24 total goals in 15 home matches for the Clarets this season. It's the same situation with the home match against Brighton, as they've allowed just 19 away goals in 15 matches. Mahrez's production has dipped in recent performances so he'll be harder to trust, while Vardy is the master of scoring one goal and nothing more. He has scored in seven of his last nine starts, with four of those coming on the road. Both can be useful for the armband, but it'll be tough to take them over a player from Man United or Spurs.

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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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