Gameweek 3 Captain & Player Picks
Holly Shand from Fantasy Football Community returns with captaincy corner and her three player picks in three positions for Gameweek 3.
Gameweek 2 certainly set the cat among the pigeons! Now squads are being ripped up and wildcards are activating everywhere to fit in the likes of Sadio Mane, Kevin De Bruyne and Teemu Pukki in our FPL teams. Mohammed Salah provided many FPL managers with their first captaincy blank of the season, but the Sword pick delivered once more. Holly’s Hopefuls in the midfield and forward categories managed an attacking return apiece.
The run in to Gameweek 3 is quiet, with just Wolves involved midweek in their Europa League game. After Gameweek 3, those Premier League sides not involved in European tournaments this season have EFL Cup action. Each club faces a game against an opponent in a lower league, so it shouldn’t have an impact on Gameweek 3 performances, which is good news for us fantasy managers. There’s favourable games for Manchester City, Manchester United and Spurs, but Liverpool face a tricky match-up against fellow table toppers Arsenal.
The shield pick is likely to be the most captained player of the week, allowing you to play safe and keep pace with the pack. The sword pick will be a less popular selection: if they perform it can shoot you up the overall rankings, but the risk from failure is higher.
Shield Pick: Raheem Sterling vs Bournemouth (A)
Anytime Goalscorer Odds: 5/6
It’s difficult to look past Sterling for captaincy this week. He is the leading FPL points scorer after the opening two gameweeks, with 26 points and he’s now surpassed Salah as the highest owned attacking player in the game. With four goals from two starts, plus a number of minutes as the central striker, he’s an intriguing option. He’s scored more goals against Bournemouth than any other opponent he’s faced in his career: 10 goals and 2 assists from 8 appearances are mightily impressive numbers. Bournemouth have conceded in each of their opening games and Manchester City are far tougher opponents than promoted sides Sheffield United and Aston Villa. City lead the xG charts for the season, with Bournemouth fifth highest for xGA. This game is only going to go one way and Raheem will be right at the heart of the action. Will you play safe with the Shield Pick?
Sword Pick: Harry Kane vs Newcastle (H)
Anytime Goalscorer Odds: 1/2
While many managers will be looking to Sterling as the obvious captain, those that also own Harry Kane could have a huge decision to make this weekend. If Pukki can score a hat-trick against that Newcastle defence, surely the sky is the limit for Kane? He started the season with a brace against Aston Villa and given the quality of the opposition last weekend, he can be forgiven for his Gameweek 2 blank. Newcastle look like the can be the whipping boys this season, with fantasy managers already considering the “always captain against Newcastle” strategy. His record against the Magpies is unremarkable, with 3 goals from 7 games, but their defence is looking particularly frail now and there’s always the lure of penalties too. I own both Sterling and Kane, and I’m leaning towards giving Kane the armband. Are you going to take a risk in selecting the Sword Pick?
I share my top three players for each Gameweek, selecting one defender, one midfielder and one striker. These are players that I’m tipping for the FPL Dream Team and they could also make intriguing differential captain decisions for you to consider too.
DEF: Jordan Pickford vs Aston Villa (A)
Everton are the only Premier League side to keep a clean sheet in their opening two Premier League game and they’ll be looking to make it three this weekend against an Aston Villa side who’ve scored just two goals so far. Pickford has made four saves and collected a bonus point already. He’s got a great penalty save record too, if he happens to face a spot kick. Aston Villa sit fifth for shots on goal this season, with 29, giving Pickford plenty of opportunity to amass some save points in this fixture too. Could he be the hero of the Friday Night Football?
MID: Mohammed Salah vs Arsenal (H)
Sterling and Mane may have pipped Salah to the headlines for Gameweek 2, but he shouldn’t be overlooked this weekend. The fixture against a traditional top six side may dissuade many from putting their faith in him, but there’s bags of potential in this game. We know from last season that Arsenal were poor on the road, with this fixture ending 5-1 and 4-0 in the favour of Liverpool in the last two seasons. Mo was instrumental in both of those games, and while playing at Liverpool he’s managed three goals and two assists from four appearances against Arsenal. With the potential for penalties too, Salah could be a great option this weekend and shouldn’t be far from our captaincy thoughts either.
FOR: Marcus Rashford vs Crystal Palace (H)
Rashford is among a small group of players who has scored in both of the opening gameweeks and he could be an excellent selection again this weekend. Crystal Palace have looked poor and uninterested in their opening games, they have limited options in defence and Rashford has the capability to deliver another big score at Old Trafford. His positioning on the wing hasn’t dented his fantasy appeal and with Pogba missing a penalty in Gameweek 2, he could make spot kicks his own too. Many managers are plumping for Martial at his budget price, but the move for Rashford could pay dividends over the course of the season.
Until next time…
Find even more Fantasy Premier League Tips over on Holly’s website: Fantasy Football Community