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FPL champion's tips: Don't fear differential captains

The Scout 3 Jun 2022
Norwich City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

2021/22 winner Jamie Pigott reveals how his armband strategy helped to deliver the title

The Scout analyses the strategies of 2021/22 Fantasy Premier League champion Jamie Pigott, so other managers can learn from the best.

How to select a captain

The US winner's armband decisions helped Pigott to a record-breaking 2,844 points in 2021/22.

Of that total, 770 points were from Pigott's captain picks. That equates to 27.1 per cent, bettering the 24.9 per cent of 2020/21 champion Michael Coone.

"I look at statistics and how teams have played, how individuals have played over the last couple of weeks," Pigott says.

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"Who is getting into good positions, who is getting chances in the box, and touches in the box. Who is recording the best statistics for expected goals, expected assists and expected goal involvement."

Different picks

Pigott's armband tactics not only delivered huge hauls over the campaign, they also proved consistent.

The Tottenham Hotspur fan's captains produced scores of 20+ points on 17 occasions, blanking 11 times. 

In a season packed with Double Gameweeks, Pigott took advantage of the busy schedule by selecting 15 different captains over the campaign. 

The champion's most popular pick was Mohamed Salah, handing the armband to the Liverpool star in 11 Gameweeks. 

FPL winner's most-selected captains
Player GWs captained
Mohamed Salah 11
Harry Kane 7
Son Heung-min 4
Bruno Fernandes 3
Raheem Sterling/Michail Antonio 2

However, having entrusted Salah with his captaincy in nine of the first 17 Gameweeks, Pigott would captain him only twice in the subsequent 21 rounds of fixtures.

Spurs' improved form under Antonio Conte, combined with their push for a top-four finish, influenced Pigott’s late-season thinking.

Look for differential options

He handed the armband to Harry Kane or Son Heung-min in seven of the final 15 Gameweeks.

"If I was only picking the top captaincy option, it would have been Salah the whole time," Pigott says. "But I look for opportunity to be a little bit different and catch a differential who maybe wasn't the top option.

"It's fun to know that everybody has this other captain but you can gain on them if you pick a bit of a differential and go for somebody else who has good data, and a good chance at potentially doing some damage, and getting some returns.

"I didn't really stray too far and wild in my captaincy picks. Most of the time I was picking either Salah or one of the top five captaincy options for that week."

By researching the fixtures and pinpointing form players who face poor opponents, Pigott’s decision to often overlook the obvious, most-owned captain picks was a recipe for success.

Also in this series

Part 1: How to build an opening squad
Part 2: Look for early value
Part 3: Be flexible with your chips
Part 5: Why I took only 10 hits

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