Selecting an FPL captain is a critical decision that can either make or break your game-week. And never is this choice more consequential than in a double game-week.
If you are vacillating between a single-game superstar and a player poised for two bites of the cherry — or if you really have no idea what to do — there’s no need to despair. To help guide you through your decision, our staffers share their thoughts and plans for the DGW-28 amrband below.
For instance, from Aston Villa (SOU, lee) I might look at players like Matty Cash (£5.1), Jacob Ramsey (£4.8), or Ollie Watkins (£7.5). Leeds (lei, AVL) is in flux right now, having just replaced Marcelo Bielsa with Jesse Marsch, but Raphinha (£6.5) is class and seems certain to serve as the centerpiece of the attack under any manager. From Newcastle (BHA, sou) I’d eye players like Matt Targett (£4.7), Joe Willock (£5.7), Ryan Fraser (£5.3) or, if he’s healthy, Allan Saint-Maximin (£6.8). Watford (ARS, wol) presents us with options like Ismaila Sarr (£5.7) and Emmanuel Dennis (£6.1). Raúl Jiménez (£7.5) is the obvious name from Wolves, although their defenders and even José Sá (£5.3) are worthy of consideration too.
But among the clubs with double-game weeks, I like Southampton (avl, NEW) the best. Tino Livramento (£4.4), Jan Bednarek (£4.4), Armando Broja (£5.5), and Che Adams (£6.9) all look poised to prosper this week. My favorite Saint, though, is James Ward-Prowse (£6.5). The 27 year-old Englishman hogs all set pieces, including PKs — an important factor for me in a double game-week. He’s an FPL bonus-point magnet, returning fewer than three points only once since GW-16. Crucially, he’s also 100% nailed-on if fit; after all, a DGW is only meaningful if a player actually plays twice. Finally, among the other confirmed double-gamers, only Sá and Dennis have returned more total points. But I am reluctant to captain a GK, and Dennis has gone cold after his torrid season start. I therefore plan to put the armband on JWP this week.
There is a caveat, however. If Chelsea or Norwich wins their FA Cup matches this week, their March 19th EPL tie will be pulled forward to next Thursday, creating a DGW-28 for both teams. Norwich is unlikely to get past Liverpool tomorrow, but Chelsea faces Championship side Luton Town, so I expect the Blues to advance.
If they do, Chelsea would be away to Burnley and home to Norwich in GW-28. The Clarets and the Canaries are the two worst offenses in the league, so defensive assets like Edouard Mendy (£6.1) and Antonio Rudiger (£6.1) would become armband candidates.
And then of course, there is always single-gamer Mo Salah (£13.1), who always seems to punish those who forget the very simple rule that we should always just captain Mo.
That said, I still don’t think I will veer away from JWP this week.
I think I’ve gotten just about every captain wrong where I haven’t picked Mo Salah, so I’m thinking about going with Mo even though he’s not playing (a zero would have been better than the week I picked DGW Dennis as captain and he lost points).
My choice is down to three people, plus waiting on Chelsea.
- Raphinha is high on my list. He’s capable of big games. Will he be getting a new manager bump? Or will Leeds defend much more making him less valuable going forward? Plus, he’s already in my squad.
- James Ward Prowse is a model of consistency. He’s going to play both matches. He’s capable of assists and goals over the two games. He feels the safe pick, if not the one with the highest potential.
- Philippe Coutinho has not been as a consistent as I had hoped. But he still has two goals plus two assists in his six games, and all but one goal came in one game. Will just one of the two games be a big one? If so, he’s the guy to go with. Right now, I’m leaning toward him.
- Chelsea player.
My captain choices have been either Salah = good or someone else = indifferent to bad (thank you Dennis for the -8), so any week where I am veering away from Salah doesn’t fill me with any confidence. But a single game against West Ham surely isn’t the best match-up. I wouldn’t be surprised if he does OK, but I can’t see that being a rout.
The already-published double-gamers are not straightforward, but there is a strong chance that Chelsea v Norwich will be added, which will happen if either side progresses in the FA cup on Wednesday. Norwich is away to Liverpool, so that doesn’t seem very likely, but it would be a major upset for Luton Town to prevail over Chelsea.
So if Chelsea vs Norwich is added to the DGW mix, then I’d strongly consider a Chelsea player — away to Burnley and home to Norwich suggests possible clean sheets and one chance at least of very good scoring. But who definitely plays twice? Mendy will surely. With Chilwell injured, Alonso has a strong chance. Mount is back, and I like him, but recovering from injury may mean he gets some rest. Havertz is in form and would be a major differential (and gamble) at only 3.1% ownership.
Of the definite double-gamers (Newcastle, Villa, Leeds, Southampton, Watford and Wolves), who is best-placed?
Wolves have two nice-looking home games, it is possible to see two clean sheets there, but they are a bit inconsistent and not generally high-scoring, so a defender or keeper perhaps.
Leeds is under a new manager, therefore difficult to call — Perhaps he will tighten up a bit, but that undermines Raphina who is otherwise the best fantasy prospect.
Newcastle has a good home fixture against out-of-form Brighton plus an away game against in-form Southampton. Maybe there is some value there, but the Magpies don’t tend to be high-scoring, so is a defensive option better?
Aston Villa is a bit out of form but has some players who can go big. With one game against Leeds I would have quite fancied them — but now I’m less sure with the new manager.
Watford just doesn’t appeal — Perhaps the recent Dennis captaincy debacle has left a bad taste, plus the Hornets just don’t seem to be scoring many goals.
Southampton is in form and doing well at both ends of the pitch, so I think I’m plumping for them. There are a few candidates, including Adams in good form, but I’m going with JWP; he always has a chance of a set-piece goal or a penalty, and provides assists too.
I like Wolves’ fixtures but wonder if the defeats to Arsenal and West Ham convinced them that the Champions League challenge is gone — How they react will be important. On the positive front, they still have also-ran European tournaments to chase, and some of those players are very much in the shop window for the summer. On the negative front, they could be in a cycle of poorer form on the backs of those defeats.
Bruno Lage took the rare decision to make multiple changes to his starting 11 on Sunday. That choice makes me think that we can be much more secure in thinking he makes few changes to the starting 11 in the double week.
Jose Sa is the joint highest scoring goal keeper in FPL and has three double-digit returns this season. Boring to pick a keeper as captain, but in a week when we cannot be sure who plays twice, he offers a secure option.
For the gambler, I will suggest an old favorite. Assuming Chelsea plays twice and he gets a rest himself in that Luton fixture, I will go with that old fantasy master Marcos Alonso. He hasn't been the same fantasy gem so far this season, but in 17 starts he still has had two double digit scores. Facing Burnley and Norwich he must have a cracking chance of at least one clean sheet. And against sides that Chelsea will dominate in possession, he will also play in the final third for a large part of both games. If we are to have one final monster FPL score from Marcos, then GW-28 is the best chance.
With no obvious choice, I think I’m going to play it safe and look at selecting a DGW player in Che Adams, holding Salah, Jimenez and Coutinho in reserve. Adams is in great form at the moment, with three goals plus an assist in his last four matches, so I don’t have any reason not to back him with reasonable fixtures against Aston Villa and Newcastle. Both opponents are very much in their early stages of progress. Sometimes you have to keep it simple, and I think with the double this makes sense. Adams has low ownership (under 5%), so he could be a good way to claw up some rankings.
A double game-week is usually a week where managers have multiple obvious captain picks choices but this one looks to be the opposite. The lack of double game-week for the bigger teams means we need to find a player from a slightly weaker team that is hard to trust. Managers who backed either Weghorst or Pope with the captain’s armband in GW-27 are currently praying for some sort of extra points in the Clarets second fixture as neither rewarded managers with points in the first match of their mini-double.
Having considered the players from teams who have a double game-week, I will still be sticking with captain Mo Salah. Liverpool comes into the West Ham fixture in high spirits having won the League Cup last week. The thought of also staying close to Man City should see the Reds all fired up. Therefore, captain Mo Salah it is for game-week 28. Caveat: Liverpool plays an FA Cup match against Norwich on Wednesday.
I have had terrible luck whenever I decide to move the captain’s armband from Mo Salah, which is why I would still rather have him as my captain.
DGW-28 doesn’t have top teams playing (though Chelsea could change that shortly), which is why captain-worthy players are limited. I may edge slightly towards Aston Villa’s Coutinho, but even he has slowed down (and so has his team as well), and then, the rest of the teams participating don’t really have a stand-out option to choose from.
Perhaps Chelsea can open up ideas of exploring someone like Edouard Mendy or even Marcos Alonso/Reece James. There isn’t much clarity about their attacking abilities, just reliance on their defensive attributes. This can only be considered once the Blues produce the win expected against Luton Town in the FA Cup.
So Chelsea is the only team I would explore, but even then, no player really matches up to the level Mo Salah is at right now. The Egyptian forward has been world-class pretty much the entire season. So why take the captain’s armband off him then? Mo Salah to the rescue, once again!
Are you placing the armband on a double-gamer this week? Or will you loyally obey the “Just captain Mo” rule? Please take our poll and then share your thoughts in the comments!
The best DGW-28 FPL captain is:
This poll is closed
Mo Salah (duh!)
Other; specify in Comments