Have you at last finished tinkering with your game-week 1 lineup and locked in your final 15-man squad? If the answer is yes, then congratulations! But don’t be too satisfied with yourself; you’re not quite done yet.
You still need to decide who will wear your captain’s armband — that little magic charm that doubles the fantasy returns of its bearer (or even triples them, when you play that chip).
This is not a decision to be taken lightly, so to help you get it right our staffers are sharing the logic behind their own captain choices for GW-1. Behold their wisdom below.
David: Mo Salah
The most explosive attacker in the EPL faces a team that spent last season in the Championship. This is the stuff that fantasy dreams are made of, so much so that I actually expect to see some FPL managers spend their Triple Captain chip on him in the first game of the season.
Admittedly though, Mo is an obvious choice and will probably be the most popular captain pick for this weekend, so naming him didn’t really require much courage or cleverness on my part. For those of you who want to zig while the rest of us zag, then I offer up Callum Wilson as a differential for the armband. He takes pens but is also plenty lethal from open play, and Newcastle’s home tie with newly-promoted Forest is nearly as tasty as Salah’s fixture.
Paul: Mo Salah
We all know how lethal Mo Salah is and how he is Mr. Reliable when it comes to FPL. Salah may split the spoils with ‘Pool’s newer attackers, but he’s still the go-to-guy for Klopp, who relies on him in the big moments. Liverpool will be looking to make a real statement and newly-promoted Fulham is the perfect opportunity to do this. Salah is proven and has produced returns on opening day in each of his five seasons at Liverpool (7 goals, 2 assists).
PPQ: Son Heung-Min
I wanted to say Harry Kane, but he’s traditionally a slow starter. Last season Son scored against Man City in GW-1. He also ended the season on a run of 6 goals in 5 games. Spurs get a home fixture against Southampton, who struggled at the end of last season. Conte’s team will be looking to continue their attacking success from a year ago start the season, and Son is a major factor as scorer and set-up man. I expect big points in week one.
Guy: Jamie Vardy
I agree with David above when he says that Mo Salah is likely to be the most popular captain pick overall, and going with him is probably the sensible choice. But I don’t like picking against newly-promoted teams in the first week because they often play above themselves, so I’m tempted to look elsewhere. The Tottenham players appeal, since Southampton are always capable of conceding a few, but I am going with Vardy.
Although Brentford have David Raya in goal, they have lost their other outstanding player in Christian Eriksen, and I fear for them this season. After a much better-than-expected season last time around (pretty much everybody tipped them for relegation), this time they could suffer from second season syndrome. Vardy will be on penalties too, and while I’d be happier if he was already on a scoring streak, at 4.8% ownership if he does score big you could find yourself very nicely placed if you captain him. But I stress: this is an outside bet!
Stall: Harry Kane
It’s hard to tip against Mo having scored on the opening weekend every year for Liverpool. I’m sure he will be the most popular choice but I prefer the home fixture and opponent for Kane.
A year ago Harry’s mind was all over the place after the Euros and possible transfer to Manchester City. This year we have a content and happy striker who believes in the new Tottenham project. He also has had a full summer break and preseason to go with that. He ended the last season looking like the prime Kane but looks even sharper preseason.
Southampton have been one of the leagues hot and cold sides, as likely to get walloped 9-0 as they are to spring an upset. Predicting them is a dangerous game then, but I fancy the Saints to get out of the wrong side of the bed and Spurs to hit the ground running with a multiple-goal win.
whoscored.com tells me Spurs have 6 wins in their last 7 league home games. Saints have lost 4 in a row and conceded at least 12 goals in their last 14 away games. That all bodes well for Kane.
James: Son Heung-Min
I have already gone out on a limb and said previously I'd be backing Son early doors with my ‘top midfielders’ article and I'm going to follow through with that choice here. Mo Salah is an obvious choice, but I think Conte will have Spurs ready to go from the first whistle this season. Between that, Spurs’ favorable first few fixtures, and the fact that I do not like to bet against newly-promoted teams in the first couple of weeks means Son takes it over Salah for me.
Chris: Son Heung-Min
Salah is an outstanding option at newly promoted Fulham, but Liverpool are on the road and the Cottagers surely will do everything they can to take the air out of the ball for as long as possible. With Spurs being in London for the visit of relegation-fodder Southampton, the choice is between Kane and Son for me. Kane has the advantage of being on penalties, but Son has the advantage of being a midfielder, which helped Son outperform Kane last season significantly in FPL scoring with both playing about the same number of minutes. So for me the near-coin toss goes to Son.
Ali: Harry Kane
Mo Salah facing a newly-promoted Fulham side is such a tempting move for the armband, but it’s the Kane-Conte duo that has me looking at Kane. Under the Italian gaffer the England captain was relentless last season, and after completing the famous ‘42’ sprint rally during the preseason, Kane’s fitness level should be through the roof right now. Regardless, the home advantage and his previous record is what ticks the box for me; the deadly striker has scored 11 goals against Southampton plus eight assists, which is the most he has netted against any team during his career. The majority of fantasy managers may decide to go with Salah or Son, but the case for King Kane is strong too. Good luck to everybody!
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