With three game weeks extremely close together over the Christmas period, Fantasy Premier League players will need to be on the ball more than ever.
About 18 hours separate two game weeks, which doesn’t give us much time to make any necessary changes but, if you’re paying attention, you should be able to take advantage of those that aren’t.
Picking the right captain going in to the busy festive fixture schedule is vital, and it pays to do your research and weed out those with favourite fixtures across the three relevant game weeks.
So, with that in mind, we’ve picked out five players you should be looking to give the armband to between now and 2017.
Alexis Sanchez has been incredible for Arsenal this season, netting 12 goals and assisting a further eight, leaving him with a huge 127 FPL points after just 17 game weeks – he returned just 167 FPL points for the entire 15/16 season.
The midfielder has been preferred as a striker this season, which has paid dividends with his points return, and he faces West Brom (H), Crystal Palace (H) and Bournemouth (A) over the festive period.
He is selected by 36.7% of FPL teams, which means you’re not going to get an edge over your mates with him in your side but, given his form this season, Sanchez remains a player you cannot afford to leave out.
Moreover, giving him the armband over the next few fixtures will almost guarantee you a good points return. A complete no brainer.
Like Sanchez, Kevin De Bruyne has been in incredible form for his club this season. The Man City midfielder has provided a league high 11 assists already this season, while the Belgium international has also found the net on two occasions.
With fixtures against Hull (A), Liverpool (A) and Burnley (H) over the festive period, De Bruyne should be well up there when it comes to high FPL points returns.
De Bruyne also goes in to the festive fixture schedule in good form. Two assists in his last two outings, having gone three games without making a positive contribution, means he is well placed to continue such creative influence as Man City attempt to catch Chelsea at the top of the Premier League.
This one is a bit of a differential, but more and more FPL players are beginning to get on the Divock Origi bandwagon with every passing game week.
Philippe Coutinho’s injury gave the Belgium international his chance to get an extended run of Premier League games under his belt, and he hasn’t disappointed.
With four goals and one assist in the five games since he got his chance to impress, Origi can be considered as one of the form strikers going in to the festive period.
Only 9% of FPL teams own him, which means not everyone appears to be convinced he can sustain his current vein of form, and perhaps even believe he’ll be back on the bench the moment Coutinho is fit again.
However, at just £6.8m, Origi represents a cheap option in attack and will enable you to spend a bit more on either another striker or, even better, a midfielder, which is where most of the value currently is in FPL this season.
Liverpool face Stoke (H), Man City (H) and Sunderland (A) over the next few weeks, and expect Origi to be amongst the goals at some point between now and mid-January.
Islam Slimani has been a solid signing for Leicester City so far this season, but that doesn’t mean to say he has reached his peak capabilities. There is definitely more to come from the Algerian.
Jamie Vardy’s red card appeal was unsuccessful, which means he now faces a three match ban, so Slimani is expected to be handed a lead role in the Foxes’ attack over the festive period.
All eyes will be on Slimani to deliver the goods and lead Leicester’s charge up the Premier League table after an underwhelming defence of their title thus far.
Slimani has four goals and three assists to his name so far and is currently averaging 5.8 FPL points per 90 minutes played. His points potential has been limited by the fact he rarely completes 90 minutes – he has only played a full game three times this season – but, if Vardy is unavailable, then Slimani’s playing time will increase as a result.
Leicester face Everton (H), West Ham (H) and Middlesbrough (A) over the next couple of weeks, which make for pretty encouraging reading for FPL players looking for a striker – who is only owned by 1% of FPL teams – to help boost their festive FPL points return.
Finally, it’s Swansea’s Fernando Llorente. The Spaniard has been somewhat inconsistent for Bob Bradley’s struggling side this season, but his price tag of just £6.3m makes him an intriguing option.
He has five goals and two assists to his name from 14 Premier League outings and he is currently averaging 5.1 FPL points per 90 minutes played.
Swansea have back-to-back home fixtures with West Ham and Bournemouth respectively, before they kick-off 2017 with a trip to Crystal Palace. All three fixtures represent the perfect opportunity for Llorente to get amongst the goals and help Swansea start climbing away from the drop zone.
With two home games out of the three, the striker also represents a good choice for the armband. He goes in to the festive period in form – rated at 6.6 by Fantasy Premier League – and is an option you shouldn’t write off just yet.