Leicester striker Kelechi Iheanacho

Fantasy Football tips and advice: Transfers and captains for Gameweek 31

Premier League Fantasy Football expert Tom Carnduff has his tips and advice for the latest gameweek, including the best transfers to make and captains to choose.

With all 20 Premier League teams now having less than ten games remaining of the season, it is a crucial stage of the fantasy football campaign and the time to make significant changes to alter positions in mini-leagues.

The title is all-but-decided while the relegation picture is becoming clearer. But the fantasy season is set to go down to the very last kick.

Points gained now will prove to be important on final day.

Last week's column provided two goalscorers with Mason Mount striking for Chelsea and Jesse Lingard finding the net for West Ham. However, not all points can be found in attackers - the defence remains just as important.

For Gameweek 31, we have three transfer suggestions, although a maximum of two are recommended based on free transfers, with individual team needs a factor. The same goes for captaincy choices - split into safer and riskier selections.

Should I transfer in Conor Coady?

  • Position: Defender
  • Sky cost: 8.1
  • FPL cost: 4.8

Conor Coady wasn't a player who I gave much consideration to for fantasy football inclusion. However, recent attacking performances and Wolves' fixture list means that this week may be a good time to bring him in.

The centre-back didn't pose a serious attacking threat before scoring in defeat at Manchester City. That came as a result of a tweak to Wolves' set-pieces and Coady now going forward for them. That goal was also the start of a four-game run where he posted at least one shot in each.

There are also the games coming up. While Wolves haven't enjoyed the best of seasons by recent standards, there is potential that they finish the season fairly strongly. Wolves take on Fulham this week before games against Sheffield United, Burnley and West Brom.

Sky players may also want to note how Wolves play on Friday night, while they are just one of two games taking place on the Saturday of Gameweek 32.

His selection rate is low enough to make him a differential player at this point of the campaign. He's in 9.01% of Sky teams and that figure drops to 5.5% on FPL.

Should I transfer in Marcos Alonso?

  • Position: Defender
  • Sky cost: 8.8
  • FPL cost: 5.7

I know it's going to be a tough sell to try and argue for including a defender who conceded five in their last Premier League outing, but hear me out.

Chelsea 2-5 West Brom was a freak result; seemingly common in the Premier League this season. Chelsea bounced back in great fashion with a 2-0 win over Porto in the Champions League. Ben Chilwell got a goal in that game, which gives hope to Marcos Alonso's inclusion on Saturday.

Alonso has been a player brought back into the mix under Thomas Tuchel. The wing-back provides a threat in attack and it's easy to see why the new head coach wants him involved.

There is also added importance to Chelsea's European campaign considering how far they are and the side of the bracket they are on. The Blues will avoid Bayern, Dortmund, Manchester City and PSG until the final - they have to take the opportunity presented to them.

With this weekend coming between the two Champions League legs, we could see rotation from the English teams involved because of the packed schedule. Even with a 2-0 lead, Porto proved to be no pushovers and a league game against Palace provides the opportunity to bring in fresh legs.

This is where Alonso comes in and he may take up the left wing-back role. His last four Premier League starts have brought a huge 12 shots, with eight key passes coming across the same period.

Chelsea have a good chance of another clean sheet here and Alonso may well get a goal himself. It's points that a lot of other players won't have - he's in 2.9% of FPL teams and 1.57% of Sky teams.

Should I transfer in Kelechi Iheanacho?

  • Position: Forward
  • Sky cost: 8.4
  • FPL cost: 5.8

Given Kelechi Iheanacho's form, it's a surprise to see his selection rate as low as it still is. He's in 4.9% of FPL teams, while the figure is a remarkable 0.63% on Sky. His performances throughout March have, for whatever reason, not convinced the majority of players to include him.

Maybe it's the risk factor but it's the time of the season where risk is required if you are behind others in any mini-leagues. All 20 teams have now entered single figures for games remaining in the Premier League and Leicester's upcoming games look good.

They do face a tricky test at West Ham, but Iheanacho is still worth bringing in given the Hammers' recent defensive showings. They have conceded six goals across their last three games while Leicester have scored eight over the same period.

Iheanacho won the Player of the Month award for March, his performances were just that good. The forward scored five goals in his three games - that included a hat-trick in the 5-0 demolition of Sheffield United.

His strike partner, Jamie Vardy, is the preferred option for most fantasy football players but he's on a six-game run without a goal. It's hardly affected his selection rate either - it remains a high 18.7% on FPL and 18.32% on Sky.

All eyes are on Vardy when it comes to Leicester goals and Iheanacho remains overlooked. His form has been great, and we can expect more goals with games against West Brom, Crystal Palace, Southampton and Newcastle to come after this weekend.

Who should I captain in Gameweek 31?

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne

It's an interesting set of fixtures with Saturday providing more potential for points that Sunday. The latter gives us games that could go either way while Saturday has three teams who are odds-on for victory.

The concern as well is those Champions League games, with Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool all still in their ties. The leads aren't comfortable ones while Liverpool will remain optimistic that they can find a way to come back at home to Real Madrid. That could mean changes.

A brave choice would be Marcos Alonso, with a decent vice captain in place in case he isn't involved. Popular choices such as Bruno Fernandes and Harry Kane are up against each other this weekend, and likely to be the only Sunday choices available for most Sky players.

Kelechi Iheanacho is the other bold pick. His selection rate remains so low that a goal will bring a significant amount of points that others won't have in their teams. If you're chasing in a mini-league, the Leicester striker is the one to go for.

However, playing it safe would see a Fernandes or Kane pick, while Kevin De Bruyne is worth siding with even if City go for rotation ahead of their second leg clash with Dortmund.

Targeting Arsenal attackers may also be a good move as they go to Sheffield United. They need a reaction following a disappointing defeat to Liverpool and one of their forwards, whether that be Alexandre Lacazette or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, look good captaincy options.

Fantasy Premier League tips: Gameweek 31 captain picks

Safer options

  • Kevin De Bruyne; Bruno Fernandes; Harry Kane

Alternative options

  • Kelechi Iheanacho; Marcos Alonso; Alexandre Lacazette

Sky Fantasy Football tips: Gameweek 31 captain picks

Friday options

  • Conor Coady; Pedro Neto

Saturday options

  • Kevin De Bruyne; Mohamed Salah; Marcos Alonso

Sunday options

  • Alexandre Lacazette; Kelechi Iheanacho; Harry Kane; Bruno Fernandes

Monday options

  • Dominic Calvert-Lewin; Danny Ings

Listen: Fantasy Football podcast

Tom Carnduff, Billy Lumsden and Aidan Smith sit down to discuss all things Sky Sports Fantasy Football as we enter the final part of the season.

Every team has nine or fewer games to play, how will this affect fantasy football strategy for the remainder of the campaign?

It's Gameweek 31, does Wolves' fixture on Friday night present a good chance to bring in one of their defenders? Or should Arsenal be in focus as they look to get their league campaign back on track.

Is a heavy defeat good for Chelsea in terms of fantasy football selection? And should we stick with Leeds' attacking players even with a tough run of fixtures coming up?

All that and more discussed.


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