Captain Sensible

Who are the best captain options for FPL Gameweek 31+?

Fantasy Premier League managers are faced with a perplexing captaincy decision for Gameweek 31+.

With Manchester City playing Chelsea, and Liverpool preparing for the mean defence of Crystal Palace, there is no standout candidate.

But this is the sort of Gameweek that Fantasy Football Scout readers relish. The lack of a comfortably popular captain provides Fantasy managers with an excellent opportunity to capitalise on how widely spread the armbands will be in Gameweek 31+.

To identify the best options to do this, we have looked at every key option’s recent form as well as the weaknesses (or not) of their upcoming opponents.

As this article uses data from the Fantasy Football Scout Members Area, only those with a valid subscription can access it in full.

Captain Poll

The dilemma of the Gameweek 31+ captaincy is reflected perfectly in the results of our latest poll.

As you can see from the image above, no option has streaked ahead of the rest of the pack, indicating the massive opportunity Fantasy managers have to make real ground on their opponents.

Bruno Fernandes (£8.7m) is the man who tops the pile but not by much. 19.7% of the voters handed their support to the Manchester United midfielder, who continued his pre-lockdown form in the Gameweek 30+ draw with Spurs, scoring a second-half penalty.

Since joining the Red Devils, Fernandes has been involved in six of his team’s nine goals, averaging 7.8 points per game.

Throw penalties into the mix, plus a Sheffield United defence short of key personnel, and things look good for Fernandes. Dean Henderson (£5.3m) is ineligible to face his parent club, John Egan (£4.6m) is suspended following his Double Gameweek 30+ red card and Jack O’Connell (£4.6m) still a fitness doubt.

Despite the potential low-hanging fruit from this game, the interest in captaining Marcus Rashford (£8.9m) is comparatively low, just 4.9% backing the Manchester United forward for the armband in Gameweek 31+.

Despite missing out on Double Gameweek 30+ entirely, Mohamed Salah (£12.7m) sits second in the captain poll for the upcoming round of action.

15.3% have handed their backing to the Egyptian as Crystal Palace head to Anfield. His home form was certainly in fine fettle when lockdown struck the Premier League. Salah found the net in five of his last six Anfield outings, scoring six times, assisting once and averaging 8.7 points per game in that run.

However, Liverpool’s attacking assets will have to compete with a stubborn Crystal Palace defence midweek. The Eagles have now kept four clean sheets in a row. There may be some hope for Salah owners behind that statistic though. Those clean sheets kept by Roy Hodgson’s men between Gameweeks 27 and 30+ were recorded against Newcastle (home), Brighton (away), Watford (home) and Bournemouth (away) – hardly the same level of quality on offer at Liverpool. 

Raúl Jiménez (£8.2m) is fortunate enough to be the next forward to face Bournemouth, who looked exceptionally poor in their Double Gameweek 30+ defeat to Crystal Palace.

Their defence has been in poor shape both before and after lockdown, conceding at least twice in five of their last six and with just one clean sheet on the road since Gameweek 11.

By contrast, Jiménez has been the right kind of consistent. The Mexican’s goal at West Ham was his third in the last four Gameweeks, and sixth in the last eight.

Meanwhile, the Wolves forward has become increasingly reliable against the lesser sides in 2019/20. 12 of his 20 attacking returns this season have come against those outside the traditional ‘big six’.

Son Heung-min (£9.7m) heads up the differential options with 8.7% backing in the captaincy poll. 

The South Korean was in an excellent scoring groove before his Gameweek 26 injury, netting four times in the three matches before then.

Of course, he was occupying the centre-forward role vacated by the now-fit Harry Kane (£10.8m) at the time, but facing West Ham in Gameweek 31+ is certainly a favourable fixture. David Moyes men have kept just one clean sheet since Gameweek 21, conceding at least twice in six of their last eight. Furthermore, even though the Hammers are well-known for upping their game against their local rivals, they have conceded 1.8 goals per match against London opposition this season, more than their overall average for the entire season (1.7 goals conceded per game).

8.2% of our voters must have been pleased with what they saw of Jamie Vardy (£9.7m) against Watford, as they have picked him out as the best captain candidate for Gameweek 31+. The midweek round of action pits him against the Brighton defence, that has kept just one clean sheet on the road since Gameweek 7. But the question remains over whether Vardy can recapture his earlier season form. His two goals against Aston Villa in Gameweek 29, remain his only strikes since Gameweek 19.

Sadio Mané (£12.5m) remains a part of the discussion with his 6.2% backing and relatively decent form since return from injury pre-lockdown. While he could not carve out anything for his Double Gameweek 30+ owners, the Senegalese international still averages 6.2 points per game since returning to action in Gameweek 26. But, like Salah, he still has to contest with Hodgson’s well-organised Palace defence midweek.

Kevin De Bruyne‘s (£10.6m) Double Gameweek 30+ double-figure haul is enough to convince 6.1% of our voters to captain him despite a tricky (on paper anyway) meeting with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. But no FPL midfielder has more attacking returns against ‘big-six’ opposition than De Bruyne, his total of eight coming from four goals and four assists in seven matches.

Harvey Barnes (£6.2m), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.0m), Richarlison (£8.3m), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£6.5m) and Sergio Aguero (£11.8m) are the only other options with more than 1% backing for Gameweek 31+.

Player statistics – Last four matches

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2,965 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Cruz88
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    If chasing would you punt on Traore > Richarlison for a -4? Even though Wolves play Bou?

    1. Holmes
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Since there is a chance of Traore starting, I wouldn't do that move

  2. EL tridente
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Who to captain?
    A) Son
    B) Salah
    C) Vardy
    D) TAA
    E) Jimmy

    1. Eddie - Back to Square Owen
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Good question, someone should take a poll. 😉

  3. Goodbye Horses
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Jimenez edging it for (c), surely?

    1. ⚔★Vibudh★⚔
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      He's mine atm

    2. kysersosa
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      I think he's. safe option with a lower ceiling. Classic conundrum!

    3. butt0n1
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      I am with you!

  4. Gooner97
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    What to do with this lot?

    Leno* Reina*
    TAA Lunds Targett Saiss Egan*
    KDB Mount Grealish Traore Saka
    Jimenez Auba Kun*

    1FT, 1.4ITB, WC available, FH available

    1. Fit_to_drop
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Use one of your chips and come back with a team

    2. BNMC
        1 month, 16 days ago

        I think the fact that there are so many captaincy options this GW could work to the advantage of those playing FH or WC this week.

        Since there's no one big standout, having as many of the popular choices as possible could spread the risk of you captaining the "wrong" one. I won't be surprised if there's an even or close to even distribution of captains among the most popular captaincy options, at least within the top 10k or active managers.

        It's also for this reason I'm going without KDB this week. I just think that while his ownership is high, his EO won't be anywhere near someone like Salah, Mane, Jimenez, or a Man Utd player on the basis of them having better fixtures and potential rotation fears with KDB.

      • Camzy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        I'm surprised by how few people are getting Salah + Mane. This is still Liverpool we're talking about and they have nothing else to play for. Might as well field as strong a side as they can while they have competitive matches to play.

        On another note, in two weeks time I'll likely pick Mahrez back up. City looking free flowing and he's looked in good form and in Pep's good graces.

        1. POLSKA GOLA
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          This was my plan to swap KDB for Mane + Salah double up but with other attacking options I chose (Son, Bruno, Rashford, Jimi) I can no longer afford it

        2. denial
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          What are your thoughts on captain this week? Bruno looks great option with SHU defensive problems.

          1. Camzy
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            He does look good.

            But I'm gonna cap a Pool player. It's probably gonna be Salah. Him or TAA.

        3. JamTart
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Sums up my thoughts nicely. Mane and Salah will still score highly. I guess if you aren't going to captain them then a case could be made. Mahrez will likely be in my team either replacing Son or Mane after the liverpool match.

        4. Jafooli
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Too expensive for both.....means big concessions elsewhere

      • ⚔★Vibudh★⚔
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        On WC, Choose 1 of these
        A) Patricio and Martinez as keepers, rotate James Justin and Lascelles in defence
        B) Pope as set and forget keeper, rotate AWB with Lascelles.

        1. FPL_DON
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Toughest keeper decision i've ever had, Burnley not in good shape so Pat probably

      • thepirates
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        On WC:

        Martinez (3.9)
        Doherty - Taa - Lacelles
        KDB - Son - Bruno (C) - Salah (Vc)
        DCL - Jimenez - Rashford
        Bench: kiko, guendouzi, 3,9

        Would appriciate Your thoughts!!

        1. Bubz
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Nice

      • Jafooli
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Does Greenwood cover Rashford? Even just a wee bit? Can’t afford Rashy, can afford Greeny.

        1. BNMC
            1 month, 16 days ago

            I don't like the "covering" mentality, to be honest. But you get what you pay for with Greenwood.

          • TheDragon
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            I really don’t think so

            Is he even likely to play now Pogba Martial and Rashford are fit?

          • InvertedWinger
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Hmm i dont think so but Rashford without pens/alternate pens is an interesting one. Any preference between Rashford and Martial if you could have either?

            I do prefer Nketiah over Greenwood fwiw

            1. Jafooli
              • 8 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              Rashford for me over Martial

          • DA Minnion
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            I'm on Rashford but not overly convinced about him. It's herd mentality on here. Greenwood will get minutes .

          • ⚔★Vibudh★⚔
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Nketiah covered Auba in the DGW 🙂

            1. Jafooli
              • 8 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              Exactly my thinking....

          • Eddie - Back to Square Owen
            • 7 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            He's a punt in my WC at moment, not sure If I'll start him though.

            1. Jafooli
              • 8 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              Yeah, first on my bench, but means playing Saka - could be worse I suppose...

        2. Stupendous
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          1 Ederson Traore Vardy

          Or

          2 Dubravka Son and DCL?

          ON WC

          1. JBG
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            2

        3. FPL_DON
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Final dilemma, please help:
          A) Aurier
          B) Maguire

          Thanks a lot in advance!

          1. InvertedWinger
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Mag

        4. Right In The Stanchion
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Anyone else considering Kane over Rashford as an Aguero replacement?

            Could haul tonight v abysmal West Ham

          • Ed
            • 9 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Anyone tempted to go KDB captain?

            Can see City putting a few goals past Chelsea

            1. Christina.
              • 10 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              sold him

              1. Goodbye Horses
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 2 Years
                1 month, 16 days ago

                Different.

            2. fish&chips
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 10 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              I'm thinking about it. Between him and son for me

          • dezille
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            A) Pope, Simpson (3rd bench)
            B) Martinez, Saiss (Lascelles, Holgate being the other defenders)

          • Rishi Sehgal
              1 month, 16 days ago

              Hello FF Community. Thoughts on my team please (0.6 itb, 1FT)

              Pope
              TAA Boly AWB
              Salah Brunooo Alli KDB
              Jiminez Rashford DCL

              I'm currently 200k and want to finish under 50k so should I do KDB & Boly to Richarlison & Doherty?

              1. kysersosa
                • 5 Years
                1 month, 16 days ago

                I think so. im currently 22k and looking to push on. I think you have to bear in mind Man city play 3 games in 1 week, (Newcastle in FA cup and their 3rd game is Liverpool). KDB likely to feature in prep games, but could have his minutes managed.

                I would suggest AWB to Ritchie for 2-3 weeks, then back to a Man U defender.

                1. Rishi Sehgal
                    1 month, 16 days ago

                    I already have Fernandez as Newcastle cover and I'm not keen on doubling up on them. You're right about KDB tho but I think he might be rested for the FA Cup game so that he plays against Chelsea and Liverpool

              2. kysersosa
                • 5 Years
                1 month, 16 days ago

                Managers, TIA

                Would rather have:

                A) Jimenez and Lascelles + 0.2
                or
                B) Jota and Ritchie + 0.9

                Rest not my team:

                Pope (Button)
                TAA, Doherty, *, Taylor, Cahill
                Richarlison, Mane, Barnes, Son, Fernandes
                *, Rashford Nketiah

                Im leaning towards B as it affords me a little bit more flexibility. Ritchie can easily become a MANU defender in 2-3 GW's.

              3. fylde2022
                • 5 Years
                1 month, 16 days ago

                Why is everyone shipping Mahrez?
                Is it his fixtures?

                1. kysersosa
                  • 5 Years
                  1 month, 16 days ago

                  Ficture and congestion. Lilley selling to enable Bruno or son or Martial

                2. Goodbye Horses
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 2 Years
                  1 month, 16 days ago

                  That he's started twice already, albeit hour long excursions.

              4. MosF94
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 1 Year
                1 month, 16 days ago

                Think I'm set on this WC team (0.0 itb):

                Martinez (Button)
                TAA, Doherty, Maguire (Aurier, Lascelles)
                KDB, Son, Alli, Fernandes (Guendouzi)
                Vardy, Rashford, Jimenez

                gtg?

                1. Rishi Sehgal
                    1 month, 16 days ago

                    Too much of Spurs i reckon. Think you could drop Alli for Richarlison and upgrade martinez

                    1. MosF94
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 1 Year
                      1 month, 16 days ago

                      I love their fixtures, whereas I'm a bit meh on Everton's (after this week) - triple Spurs is questionable, but that's why it's a differential! And both Son and Alli have demonstrable FPL pedigree

                  • Fit_to_drop
                      1 month, 16 days ago

                      Yeah, i have that team but Ive a better keeper (Patricio) and you have Maguire over my Lascelles.

                    • Fit_to_drop
                        1 month, 16 days ago

                        Sorry, you have Son as well as Alli. Didnt spot that. Agree with other poster. Too much Spurs. They are not THAT good. Two is plenty. I just have the one.

                    • thomashl
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 3 Years
                      1 month, 16 days ago

                      As a playing 5th mid:

                      A) Saint-Maximin
                      B) Traore

                      1. Fit_to_drop
                          1 month, 16 days ago

                          A for me. Will see more pitch time and there attacking outlets are fewer.

                      2. Niho992
                        • 2 Years
                        1 month, 16 days ago

                        I can have this team with 2 transfers(-4)

                        Nyland
                        Lascelles-TAA-Boly
                        Salah(C)-Mount-Grealish-Bruno-KdB
                        Vardy-Jimenez

                        Leno-Baldock-Nketiah-Lundstram

                        Would you use FH or to save for last GW. I dont have 2nd WC.

                      3. Chip Butty
                        • 9 Years
                        1 month, 16 days ago

                        First stab at WC team. Any good?

                        Patricio (Button)
                        TAA Laporte AWB Saiss (Lascelles)
                        Mane Richarlison Fernandes (Foden) (Saka)
                        Vardy Jimenez DCL

                        1. FPL_DON
                          • 5 Years
                          1 month, 16 days ago

                          Decent, I wouldn't have laporte though

                        2. The Road to Turfdom
                          • 4 Years
                          1 month, 16 days ago

                          Laporte's next two fixtures aren't great and he looks likely to be rotated - prefer Doherty. Otherwise like it

                      4. Chucky
                        • 6 Years
                        1 month, 16 days ago

                        All set for yet another 100+ GW... 😀

                        Pope
                        Aurier VVD Doherty
                        Salah KDB Bruno Bergwijn
                        Rashy Jimmy DCL

                        Martinez Saka Lascelles Taylor 0.3

                        1. TheDragon
                          • 2 Years
                          1 month, 16 days ago

                          Any reason you specifically aren’t going for TAA?

                          1. Chucky
                            • 6 Years
                            1 month, 16 days ago

                            funds and stubbornness

                            1. TheDragon
                              • 2 Years
                              1 month, 16 days ago

                              Salah-> Guendouzi not give you the funds?

                              1. TheDragon
                                • 2 Years
                                1 month, 16 days ago

                                Saka!!!! Obviously not Salah!

                              2. Chucky
                                • 6 Years
                                1 month, 16 days ago

                                can fit him in if I want to...

                        2. Jafooli
                          • 8 Years
                          1 month, 16 days ago

                          Awesome team....but get TAA....

                          1. Chucky
                            • 6 Years
                            1 month, 16 days ago

                            will survive without him just as I have done all season 😉

                            1. Jafooli
                              • 8 Years
                              1 month, 16 days ago

                              GL Chucklly....

                              1. Chucky
                                • 6 Years
                                1 month, 16 days ago

                                just borught TAA in for VVD... 😀 now nothing can stop me from finishing inside top 10k...

                      5. Would Ed Woodward
                        • 1 Year
                        1 month, 16 days ago

                        G2G? I know I'm hedging with Pope and Masina.

                        Pope
                        TAA Doherty Masina
                        Salah Son Bruno Martial
                        Vardy D(C)L Jota

                        Leno Saka Taylor Stevens

                        1. TheDragon
                          • 2 Years
                          1 month, 16 days ago

                          DCL captain is ‘brave’....!

                          Presume you have no FTs? Looks good to me though

                          1. Would Ed Woodward
                            • 1 Year
                            1 month, 16 days ago

                            Did KDB > Son with my FT, scary. Really not sure about captain but DCL gets a lot of chances and got nothing to lose.

                        2. Ragnar Lothbrok
                          • 4 Years
                          1 month, 16 days ago

                          Yeah nice, just ashame no Jimi I'd say

                          1. Would Ed Woodward
                            • 1 Year
                            1 month, 16 days ago

                            Yeah, very much so, no way to get him for Jota.

                            1. Ragnar Lothbrok
                              • 4 Years
                              1 month, 16 days ago

                              Or pulisic over Martial?

                              1. Would Ed Woodward
                                • 1 Year
                                1 month, 16 days ago

                                This isn't a WC team but I like the Utd double up with the fixtures.

                        3. Ragnar Lothbrok
                          • 4 Years
                          1 month, 16 days ago

                          Downgrade Salah to KDB and son to bergjwin?

                      6. Mikha In A Tutu
                        • 2 Years
                        1 month, 16 days ago

                        RMT:
                        Pope, Button
                        TAA, Lascelles, Saiss, Taylor, Robinson
                        Fernandes, Son, Mané, KDB, Saint-Maximin
                        Jimenez, Ings, DCL
                        G2G?

                      7. cescpistols111
                        • 5 Years
                        1 month, 16 days ago

                        4 spots left to fill on FH, 26.9 ITB.

                        Pope Stekelenburg
                        Robbo Doherty xxxx J.Robinson Kilman
                        Salah Son xxxx xxxx Guendouzi
                        Rashford Jimenez xxxx

                        1. Wirbelwind
                          • 2 Years
                          1 month, 16 days ago

                          Robbo instead of TAA due to price?

                      8. thomashl
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 3 Years
                        1 month, 16 days ago

                        Any love for Ederson as GK for the rest of the season?

                        1. Wirbelwind
                          • 2 Years
                          1 month, 16 days ago

                          Considered it, think it's a good option if you have cash spare.

                        2. tokara
                          • 5 Years
                          1 month, 16 days ago

                          Next two games nahh

                      9. Ragnar Lothbrok
                        • 4 Years
                        1 month, 16 days ago

                        Question; why is DCL in so many teams? I know he had a good run of form, but are people not put off by his fixtures? They're ok but not that generous

                        1. Wirbelwind
                          • 2 Years
                          1 month, 16 days ago

                          vs norwich is a very good fixture
                          Currently have both DCL and Richarlison in my WC but I'm thinking that may be overbetting it

                          1. Ragnar Lothbrok
                            • 4 Years
                            1 month, 16 days ago

                            I hear ya

                      10. DA Minnion
                        • 8 Years
                        1 month, 16 days ago

                        A.Saiss and Vardy or
                        B.Doherty and Rashford
                        Have Bruno as utd cover if that matters.

                        1. Ragnar Lothbrok
                          • 4 Years
                          1 month, 16 days ago

                          B for me. Doherty every time, business end too

                      11. Atimis
                        • 3 Years
                        1 month, 16 days ago

                        Changes to this WC Team?

                        DDG/Martin
                        TAA/Doherty/Lascelles,Holgate/Kiko
                        Salah/Son/KDB/BrunoF/Guendouzi
                        Rash/Jim/DCL

                        0.0ITB.

                        1. TheDragon
                          • 2 Years
                          1 month, 16 days ago

                          It is in my opinion the perfect t template team (I’m about £2m off it though)

                        2. Ragnar Lothbrok
                          • 4 Years
                          1 month, 16 days ago

                          Decent

                      12. Barnes Owl
                        • 2 Years
                        1 month, 16 days ago

                        WC dilemma - 1st and 3rd on bench for the next 2/3 GWs

                        A) ASM & Kiko
                        B) Traore & Simpson

                        1. Cahill
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 10 Years
                          1 month, 16 days ago

                          a

                        2. iL PiStOlErO
                          • 1 Year
                          1 month, 16 days ago

                          B

                        3. Barnes Owl
                          • 2 Years
                          1 month, 16 days ago

                          Thanks both, any other votes?

                        4. Don Kloppeone
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 3 Years
                          1 month, 16 days ago

                          A

                        5. TIME TO VARTY
                          • 1 Year
                          1 month, 16 days ago

                          A

                        6. WALOR
                          • 11 Years
                          1 month, 16 days ago

                          Traore for me