Due to the sheer number of active players, Fantasy Premier League (FPL) is more competitive than ever, and fine margins throughout the season could play a major role in your overall rank at the end of the season.
No matter how experienced you are at FPL, you probably know that the most important player in your team is the captain, but one of the most overlooked strategies in FPL is how to use your vice-captain pick properly.
In this article, we will discuss the vice-captain pick in detail and explain why they are so important to your FPL success.
What is a vice-captain in FPL?
Your vice-captain is the player that bears the (V) symbol next to their name. Typically, your vice-captain should be the player you expect to return the second-highest points tally behind your actual captain selection for a gameweek.
The primary role of your vice-captain in FPL is to take the place of your selected captain if that player does not play at all in a given gameweek.
It’s important to understand the following four scenarios:
- Your vice-captain will only take the captain’s place if the captain you originally selected does not play a single minute in that gameweek. The vice-captain will automatically be promoted to captain for the gameweek and receive double points.
- If your captain and vice-captain do not play at all in a gameweek, there will be no double points awarded to the FPL manager for that gameweek.
- If your captain does not play at all and your vice-captain does not start but is substituted into the game, then your vice-captain will be awarded double points on his tally.
- If your captain does not start but gets substituted into the game, they will receive the double points, not the vice-captain! This applies even if the vice-captain plays a full match and your captain only plays a few seconds.
In the example above, Erling Haaland has been selected as the captain, while Harry Kane is the vice-captain for the upcoming gameweek.
If Haaland misses the match through injury or rotation, Kane will automatically become the captain of that gameweek.
How many points does a vice-captain get in FPL?
A vice-captain acts as insurance for your captaincy selection because they help ensure that you do not lose points if your chosen captain does not play.
If your selected captain does not play in a gameweek, the vice-captain receives the double points that the original captain would have received.
However, if your original captain does feature in a gameweek, even if just for a single minute, they will remain as the captain, and your vice-captain will receive their normal points tally for the gameweek.
Does the vice-captain matter in FPL?
FPL is as much about strategy as it is about having fun, and perhaps the most important strategy is choosing a captain that will deliver a good points tally which will help you improve your rank.
However, there are instances where despite all your planning, your captain still does not feature for whatever reason. With this in mind, strategising who to select as your vice-captain becomes extremely important.
A good strategy used by most seasoned FPL managers is to narrow their options down to two captaincy options for a gameweek and then decide between them which will wear the armband.
The importance of having a solid vice-captain cannot be overstated. Without a strong vice-captain, you run the risk of going an entire gameweek without your most important player, which can significantly impact your points total and overall rank at the end of the season.
Here’s a perfect example. This FPL manager vice-captained Mo Salah, and after his original captaincy pick did not play, Salah became the captain and got double points.
Due to his excellent vice-captaincy selection, this FPL manager won the Manager of the Week award thanks to a 30-point haul from Salah.
Who should I appoint as a vice-captain?
Now that you understand the importance of selecting a worthy vice-captain, here are a few tips to help you make a confident selection.
#1 Narrow down your options
It’s advisable to make it a routine of narrowing your captaincy option down to two players each week.
This makes the process much easier since you only have to decide between the two players you feel will do well instead of selecting from your entire squad.
You can do this by using player stats, form, and fixture difficulty ratings to identify the potential candidates and eliminate players that aren’t captaincy or vice-captaincy options.
#2 Pay attention to team news
The FPL game can sometimes take an hour or two to update with new information. That means if your selected captain picks up a late injury or is being rotated, it may not reflect in-game until after the transfer deadline is closed.
Keep an eye on pre-match press conferences and FPL community content. Club managers and FPL content creators often provide valuable information regarding players’ availability which may affect your decision.
If your captain or vice-captain is at risk of missing the match, it’s always better to opt for another player instead.
This will also be important when you are choosing the right time to make your transfers for your team.
#3 Your vice-captain should be a safe pick
While FPL is definitely more fun when you select a differential captain that goes on to produce a big haul, bear in mind that your vice-captain is the insurance for your side.
Once you have narrowed down your captaincy options to two players, as mentioned above, your final decision can be assisted by making your vice-captain the player who is a certain starter for the gameweek.
This way, it does not take all the fun out of the game because your captain can still be a differential pick. Plus, by selecting a vice-captain that is guaranteed to start, you are ensuring that the risk of selecting a differential player as your captain is covered if they do not start.
FPL is a game of fine margins. An overlooked decision can cost you valuable points, which will impact your rank in your mini-leagues and overall.
Selecting a strong vice-captain is one of the most commonly overlooked decisions, yet their impact on your team can be significant since they are your team’s insurance.
Take the time to consider your vice-captain each week using the tips above to ensure you avoid losing valuable double points.
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