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FPL champion's tips: Don’t take risks with captaincy

The Scout 29 May 2021
Mohamed Salah, Liverpool, and Harry Kane, Spurs

The Scout assesses the armband choices that helped Michael Coone to Fantasy glory

The Scout analyses the strategies of 2020/21 Fantasy Premier League champion Michael Coone, so other managers can learn from the best.

Trust proven players

The decision to captain Mohamed Salah against Leeds United in the opening Gameweek of the season was a sign of what was to come for the FPL winner.

Coone gained 40 points from the Egyptian’s hat-trick in Liverpool’s 4-3 win at Anfield, starting an impressive run of armband returns. 

The Irish manager earned double-figure hauls from his captain in 12 of the opening 14 Gameweeks, with both those blanks coming from Kevin De Bruyne.

The Belgian was among a select group who Coone relied upon with the captaincy all season. 

“I kept relatively safe with my captains and stuck with the big-hitters,” Coone says. “I had Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah quite often.

“If you try and go too differential, it’s obviously high-risk, high-reward but I felt it was more prudent throughout the year to stick to the reliable high-scorers.”

Coone’s captain picks
No. of GWs as captain Player
11 Kane, Salah
4 De Bruyne, Fernandes
3 Mane
2 Gundogan
1 Aubameyang, Bamford, Son

Indeed, Coone named only nine different players as his captain on his way to winning FPL. 

Golden Boot rivals Kane and Salah were his favoured armband picks, each getting the captaincy in 11 Gameweeks.

Focus on fixture and form

Perhaps surprisingly, Coone named Bruno Fernandes, the most-owned and top-scoring player in 2020/21 Fantasy, as his captain on just four occasions. 

But as he explains, the Manchester United playmaker’s popularity was simply not a factor in decisions about the armband.

“Fernandes was always under consideration but I try not to let ownership influence me," Coone says. "I try and pick who has the best fixture and who has the best form. 

“I had a shortlist each week of four big-hitters and each game I would consider which one of them would likely be the best scorer that week.”

Keeping faith in his policy and avoiding risks certainly paid off.

Coone earned 668 points, which was 24.9 per cent of his total, from the armband alone on his way to the title.

Also in this series

Part 1: Captain Mane makes Irish Liverpool fan FPL champion
Part 2: FPL champion: It came down to the last kick
Part 3: FPL champion's tips: Look for value in defence early on
Part 5: FPL champion's tips: Plan ahead with transfers

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