Holly Shand from Fantasy Football Community returns to the site with her 2019/20 Fantasy Premier League captain guide. Will Mo Salah be the early season front runner once more?
Getting the captaincy right is so important in Fantasy Premier League. I can certainly owe me success last season of finishing in the top 10k to getting those decisions correct week in, week out. I managed a total of 646 captain points, contributing 26.92% to my overall points total. This comprised 27 captaincy returns out of a possible 38 gameweeks, including hat-tricks from Salah, Aguero and Sterling. It was a run of 12 straight successes at the start of the season that catapulted me into the top 2k early on. So, how should you approach captaincy in the season ahead?
If we start by looking at the opening four gameweeks, it’s probably a good time to play if safe in terms of captaincy by selecting some premium players from high profile teams. Us FPL managers are lucky that Liverpool and Manchester City have a reasonable opening schedule.
It’s important to forecast the captaincy options for those opening fixtures and make sure that you have at least two decent options in your Gameweek 1 FPL side. Playing safe and going for popular captain picks at the start of the season is a wise idea. It allows managers to keep pace with the pack and stay within the running during those early weeks. Selecting premium players with a proven Premier League pedigree, from steady sides is the key to captaincy success.
The opening weeks should be relatively straightforward to navigate from a captaincy perspective. Liverpool face promoted Norwich and Spurs face promoted Villa in Gameweek 1. In Gameweek 2, Spurs facing Manchester City is a tough one, and then in Gameweek 3 Arsenal face Liverpool. Manchester City against Bournemouth in Gameweek 3 and Brighton in Gameweek 4 provide intriguing captaincy targets. Here’s a list of the most favourable fixtures:
- Gameweek 1: Liverpool vs Norwich, Manchester City vs West Ham, Spurs vs Aston Villa
- Gameweek 2: Arsenal vs Burnley, Liverpool vs Southampton
- Gameweek 3: Chelsea vs Norwich, Manchester City vs Bournemouth
- Gameweek 4: Manchester City vs Brighton, Liverpool vs Burnley
On this list, it’s Manchester City and Liverpool assets who feature regularly, and captaincy could be kept exclusively with their players for the opening four gameweeks.
Taking fitness and involvement in International competitions over the summer, it looks like Mohammed Salah and Raheem Sterling are the key fantasy acquisitions for Gameweek 1. Sadio Mane returned late from the African Cup of Nations, Kevin De Bruyne hasn’t played much football in the last year and Sergio Aguero had a busy summer at the Copa America. In terms of ownership, it’s Salah and Sterling who are currently most popular out of most of the high-profile captaincy options.
I would imagine that Mo Salah will be the most popular captain option in Gameweek 1, for the season opener against newly-promoted Norwich. The Canaries are an attacking team that will leave big spaces in wide areas for the Egyptian to exploit. Salah could be a permanent captain for all four of the opening games, with even that home game against Arsenal looking reasonable from an attacking perspective.
I’ll be writing a captaincy article on FPL Bet every gameweek, including the highly popular Shield and Sword picks. I’ll also be showcasing my “Top 3” players of the week, who in themselves will also be popular captaincy selections for the week ahead.
Shield Pick – likely to be the highest captained of the gameweek and a high ownership player. If they succeed, you keep pace with managers around you. If they blank, you won’t lose too much ground on rivals.
Sword Pick – likely to be a less popular captain option with a lower ownership. If they succeed, you can expect a big jump in overall rank. A blank could lead to a significant fall, especially if the shield prevails.
Until next time…
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