Fantasy Premier League – GW3 Captaincy
Written by: FPLijah
Captaincy is the single most important aspect of Fantasy Premier League. A captaincy failure will, more often than not, ruin your gameweek, to the point of a red arrow. A good captaincy return can improve an average week into one that is amazing, or change your gameweek from bad to somewhat decent, as we’ve seen throughout the history of FPL and more so in the 2021/22 Fantasy Premier League Season.
The captaincy decision for Gameweek 3 is trickier than it has been for the first two gameweeks, with strong template options being at the forefront for most teams (Salah and Haaland, for instance). Gameweek 3, however, has four very decent options; some could even argue up to 6 great options, namely: Salah, Jesus, Kane, Haaland, De Bruyne, and Son.
I’m not going to go on and bore you to death with a million options, but instead, this article will focus on the four best options for captaincy, in my opinion, who are Salah, Jesus, Kane, and Haaland. If you’ve followed me on Twitter or watched my Team Selection video on YouTube, you’d know that this season, beyond the eye-test, fixtures, and gut feel, I’ve decided to look at the underlying stats and basically go stats-heavy in helping you when it comes to transfers and captaincy (more so, captaincy). Below is a graphic taken from my GW3 Team Selection video on YouTube.
Green = 1st
Yellow = 2nd
Orange = 3rd
Red = 4th
The first thing that I want to look at is the fixtures for each of our four options above, and for me, the Bournemouth fixture is a bit of a standout fixture, with Jesus in form. Man United is listed in Green above, because Salah scored five goals against them last season in 2 games (I didn’t captain him for the game he scored the hattrick in = Havertz Gate), and Manchester United are also quite horrible at the moment, lacking in form, confidence and there’s quite a bit of off-field drama as well. I do think the likes of Kane and Haaland are great shouts for our armband as well, and it’s why I’ve compared the stats above.
Jesus comes out top on almost every single Stat and if he isn’t top, he is very close to being top, except for expected assists. The big 1 for me is the penalty area touches, where Jesus is clear of anyone by some distance. An intriguing 1 is the xGI Delta, which basically tells us how clinical a player is or if they’re overperforming or underperforming, and it shows that Jesus has been clinical, with Salah underperforming a touch by being in the negative.
My heart says go for Salah, since he has a great record against Man United and Liverpool need a win. It also helps that Man United are in a bit of a crisis mode at present, but that could mean that they defend quite deep, not giving Salah any spce. Another aspect is that Liverpool play on Monday, with Arsenal playing on Saturday so it’s another long wait again if you captain a player that is playing early and he blanks or underperformed before ‘The Kings’ plays – however, Jesus is up there in terms of stats and the fixture. The final aspect is that there is a small chance that the Man United and Liverpool fixture could get called off or postponed due to planned riots that may happen from the Manchester United fans, which I’ve already seen circulating on social media. Even if you do captain Salah, make sure your vice-captain is on a non-Liverpool player (or Manchester United player).
Surely, Kane and Haaland will have a say as well in GW3. Whether you own Kane or Haaland, I suggest you stick and not switch players using a free transfer. If on a wildcard, I can see some merit in going for Kane over Haaland, as the fixtures turn quite nicely for Spurs and as the talisman, Harry Kane will very likely be involved in the goals. His confidence will be sky high after scoring the equalizer in Spurs’ 2-2 draw against Chelsea, in the 96th minute. Wolves at home is a great fixture, but if you are superstitious, we often have this saying, “Never back the early kick-off, unless it’s Mo Salah.”
Haaland only managed 8 touches in total in GW2 (2 of which, were passes), which was shocking. He did get himself an assist with 1 of his 2 passes, and should have 100% scored a goal, had Phil Foden not been selfish, by not passing the ball to him, which would’ve been a tap-in goal, into an open net. Foden was then subbed of at half-time, despite having an electric first half, scoring 1 and assisting another. The only indication we can take from that substitution (since it wasn’t an injury), is that Pep Guardiola took Foden off due to being selfish. This essentially indicates how focal Haaland is, and he has been getting into amazing positions. Newcastle away isn’t as easy as it once may have been for Manchester City, but I’d still back Haaland to score.
As the template is quite strong at present amongst FPL managers, it’s quite easy to say that most managers own 3 out of the 4 FPL assets discussed in this article. Look at the stats, but go with your gut! Captaincy is huge, so you really want to nail this early on, and since the points are so close in overall rank, a swing in captaincy will be massive with regard to your overall rank and mini-league position. Rank is still irrelevant at this stage if we’re being honest. It’s just far too early in the season. Around GW8, we could start to look at rank due to a slightly wider spread in points and the likeliness of wildcards being in play. Focus on trying to get as many points as you can, and in saying that, captaincy is the biggest part in achieving that.
Look out for more articles by myself (FPLijah). Key Notes and Lessons Taken from GW2 is another article for Gameweek 3, which I am sure that you will find entertaining and helpful, as I go through every game from GW2, discussing key events and players worth noting.
If you have any questions regarding your team or strategy or for more information regarding all things Fantasy Premier League, as well as maximum interaction, follow/subscribe to FPLijah on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Reddit.