Selecting the right captain is always an important aspect of Fantasy Premier League management but it is even more integral this season with so many premium assets to pick from.
Of the six most expensive players in the game – discounting Kevin De Bruyne who didn’t play – five of them (Mo Salah, Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, Sadio Mane and Romelu Lukaku) delivered attacking returns in Gameweek 4, with Harry Kane the only one to blank.
This season, we will analyse the five best captaincy options each week and as ever, there are a few usual suspects featured in this article ahead of Gameweek 5. Plenty of managers are likely to target Liverpool’s game against Crystal Palace at Anfield, even though Patrick Vieira’s side impressed against Spurs, while Ronaldo is set to be comfortably the most bought player for the second gameweek running.
Those who like to live on the wild side when making their armband choices may be inclined to look to Friday night’s clash between Newcastle and Leeds instead, or else take a calculated gamble on a Manchester City attacker at home against Southampton.
If you would like to cast your vote on the best captain each gameweek, head over to our dedicated fantasy football Facebook page to have your say.
Mo Salah (Liverpool)
Mo Salah has been a consistent source of FPL points throughout his time at Liverpool and rose to second in this season’s top-scorers chart at the weekend. Only two players – Sadio Mane and the suspended Michail Antonio – have registered more attempts on goal than Salah so far. Marc Guehi and Joachim Andersen have the makings of a solid defensive partnership for Crystal Palace but they will be far more tested by Salah, Jota and Mane than they were by Kane and co last weekend.
Price: £12.5m Points: 38 Gameweek 5 fixture: Crystal Palace
Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd)
Ronaldo was signed by over two million managers ahead of his second Manchester United debut and he didn’t disappoint, scoring twice in a 4-1 win over Newcastle to register a 13 point haul. In theory, West Ham should make his life more difficult considering they rank fifth in the division for expected goals against – a metric that indicates the quality of a goalscoring chance a team concedes – in the division. Nevertheless, the Hammers are yet to face a team with the attacking depth and talent that United possess.
Price: £12.5m Points: 13 Gameweek 5 fixture: West Ham (a)
Patrick Bamford (Leeds)
Although Leeds have been blown away by both Manchester United and Liverpool in the opening weeks, they showed spirit to come from 1-0 and 2-1 down to take a point against Everton and salvage a late draw in their meeting with Burnley. Patrick Bamford was Leeds’ goalscorer at Turf Moor and could be a good captaincy option this weekend considering he is up against a Newcastle defence that has conceded three goals per game this season.
Price: £7.9m Points: 16 Gameweek 5 fixture: Newcastle (a)
Ferran Torres (Man City)
Southampton at home looks to be a plum fixture for Manchester City on paper but, as ever, captaining one of their players is subject to the whim of Pep Guardiola. In fairness to Pep, he has been extremely consistent in his team selection of late, naming an unchanged line-up in three consecutive Premier League games for the first time ever. Ferran Torres has led the line in each of them and is top amongst City’s players for shots (13), shots inside the box (10) and expected goals (2.15).
Price: £7.2m Points: 26 Gameweek 5 fixture: Southampton (h)
Differential: Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
Mane was not a popular man in FPL circles at the weekend as he continually fluffed gilt-edged chances to score after being teed up by his more popular teammates, Salah and Jota. Eventually, with his 10th effort of the game, Mane got his goal, much to his considerable relief. Mane is only owned by 2.7 per cent of managers at the time of writing and, if he can come close to matching that shot volume against Crystal Palace, he should bring in plenty of FPL points.
Price: £11.9m Points: 24 Gameweek 5 fixture: Crystal Palace (h)