Fantasy Premier League Nightmares – Etienne Capoue


Etienne Capoue is edging his name into Fantasy Premier League folklore. The 28 year old is better known for his defensive capabilities rather than for his attacking returns. Yet, he continues to deliver at the other end of the pitch for Watford this season (4 goals and 1 assist).

Capoue has given fantasy managers nightmares in the opening 5 weeks of the season. Most managers have benched him and his impressive 44 points during these weeks, expecting his goalscoring exploits to ease off. His goalscoring however, has not eased off in the slightest. His latest goal coming in the 3-1 demolition of Manchester United.


Will it ever end?

Capoue has now scored 4 goals this season, against Southampton (A), Chelsea (H), West Ham (A) and Manchester United (H). Valuing 5.0 at the moment, he seems absolute Fantasy Premier League gold but what do the underlying stats suggest?

Well, what makes his goalscoring exploits all the more unusual, is that he has only mustered 5 shots in the box in the opening 5 fixtures of the season. That is 1 attempt per game. Those 5 shots however, have returned 4 goals, that’s an incredible conversion rate of 80%.

Added to this, he did not score a single goal for Watford last season. It must be remembered though, that current Watford manager, Walter Mazzarri, is playing Capoue in a more advanced role than he played under previous manager, Quique Flores.

Great run of fixtures

All one’s fantasy football intuition suggests, that his current returns are unsustainable and that the goals will start to dry up. As a fantasy football manager however, now is the best time to play him as he has a great run of fixtures. His next 5 fixtures are, Burnley (A), Bournemouth (H), Middlesbrough (A), Swansea (A), and Hull (H).

With a run of fixtures like that and a current average points hall per game of 8.8, it would seem madness to not give Capoue a run in your side. Although, the underlying stats show he might not be as valuable as it seems.

We have seen stranger things in the Fantasy Premier League seasons, Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy and Delli Alli provided great budget options last year. Harry Kane the season before that but, the underlying stats with all these players were far more convincing than they are with Capoue.

None the less, he seems to be arriving in the box at the perfect moment, akin to a certain, Frank Lampard. In no way am I suggesting Capoue is the next Frank Lampard but he most certainly will be in my Fantasy Premier League side over the next few weeks. Don’t be surprised though, if the goal returns dry up sooner rather than later.

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