This double-game week offers an array of captaincy options, but I believe a lot of hype around certain players or fixtures is misplaced and shouldn't be considered.

In addition, this round of FPL tips is proving to be even more difficult as some of the better assets are struggling for fitness, or they won't return from international duty until late.

FPL Points Predictor Tool

FPL GW29 Captain Picks:

  • Solly March, Kaoru Mitoma or Alexis Mac Allister

  • Marcus Rashford or Bruno Fernandes

  • James Maddison

  • Kieran Trippier

Solly March, Kaoru Mitoma or Alexis Mac Allister

The Seagulls dominate this week's captaincy considerations with two very appealing fixtures. I might even go as far as to say that Brighton are the best of the bunch with Brentford at home before going to the Vitality Stadium three days later.

The Bees don't travel well, with only four clean sheets from 13 matches, conceding 20, while only Everton have more goals against than Bournemouth since the restart (22), although performances at home have been slightly improved.

That said, there has been just one clean sheet in the last five. Form and data back the call, but which player to plump for is the perennial discussion point.

Looking at the underlying data, Argentine Alexis Mac Allister appears to be the standout pick with the highest xG, most shots in the box and the best-predicted points of the trio, although Kaoru Mitoma has the better points output per 90.

The projected data makes Mac Allister joint best for points, with Solly March and Mitoma not too far behind. 

March is given a 77 per cent chance of returning, and I like this pick as the in-form 28-year-old has not been involved in the recent internationals, while Mac Allister played 50 minutes in Argentina during the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, Mitoma managed just under an hour in Japan on Tuesday.  

Marcus Rashford or Bruno Fernandes

The red-hot winger is the most popular captaincy pick, with over two-fifths of the community giving Marcus Rashford the armband.

However, with concerns over his fitness, I'd be a little wary as he was still working individually, without the ball, on Tuesday, and he may not be 100 per cent so consider that when making any fantasy premier league transfers

Ideally, though, he is the pick over Bruno, given his incredible form since returning from Qatar. Rashford has accumulated the joint most FPL points during this period (94), and he has the second most goal involvements (12).

But that injury means Fernandes must be a consideration, and the Portuguese star hasn't been too shabby either, racking up 9.1 xGI (3rd) and 38 Key Passes (2nd) with 11 Big Chances Created (1st).

Bruno is rated No.1 for predicted points due to his excellent form, which has seen a 5.92 FPL point average (per 90) from his twelve matches. 

But I'm still unsure about which captaincy option is best! With a tricky trip to St James' Park and Brentford soon after, neither Rashford nor Fernandes floats my boat, and I prefer to back Brighton, if I'm honest. 

Despite a slight downturn, The Magpies still have the best defence in the league, and although Brentford struggle on the road, they are no pushovers.

However, for the record, and if you fancy taking your chances, Rashford (73%) and Bruno (78%) are highly fancied to return.

James Maddison

On paper, the Foxes have the most appealing fixtures of the round, with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, before entertaining Aston Villa at the King Power.

Therefore, it's only fitting that we consider one possible option, although given their poor form, this one is only for the more maverick among you… James Maddison.

The Leicester talisman is in the Top 5 for captaincy picks, but the data goes against this call, and while he may be worth a one-week punt, I would advise against giving him the armband. 

Roy Hodgson will take the reins for the second time at Palace following the departure of Patrick Vieira, and the home crowd will be pumped.

The 75-year-old is likely to adopt a conservative approach, ensuring his defence remains tight and playing on the counter as the Eagles look for their first win of 2023. Under the stewardship of Vieira, the side sat eleventh for goals against, but now, they will become even tougher to break down.

And then, Villa, who are unbeaten in four, will arrive full of confidence with only one goal conceded during that period. 
Since the turn of the year, Leicester have underperformed their xG (13.01), with their 12-goal output placing them in the bottom half. Maddison isn't pulling up any trees, as ongoing injury issues hamper his ability to train fully.

The England international sits outside the Top 20 across several key metrics: FPL Points, Assists and Goal Involvements, although he does make it for Big Chances Created and Key Passes.  

Kieran Trippier

The left-back continues to attract interest, given his strong clean-sheet potential and attacking prowess, but this isn't an exciting pick.

Newcastle could line up against a weakened Manchester United side on Sunday, with the added incentive of revenge following their Carabao Cup final defeat. Then, it's off to West Ham, who are struggling to score. 

Back-to-back shutouts are a real possibility. West Ham are languishing in the bottom half for goals scored (24), having underperformed their xG by a massive 8.49 goals, and even the arrival of January signing Danny Ings has failed to ignite the Hammers' attack.

Manchester United should provide a sterner test - fourth-best goals output and fifth-best xG across their 12 games post-World Cup - but the absence of Christian Eriksen and Casemiro, plus the doubts over Marcus Rashford, leaves the visitors a little light in critical areas.
Kieran Trippier makes the Top 10 for predicted points, and his defensive appeal is backed by favourable odds for a return (81%), which is the highest of the round.

Best FPL Tips For Gameweek 29:

Ben Dinnery is the founder of Premier Injuries, a website used to track and record injury data for the British Premier League.

Described by The Telegraph as the “country’s leading data injury analyst,” Ben provides statistic insight and data to a host of broadsheet outlets and some of the world’s leading media organisations.

A regular contributor on talkSPORT radio and BBC Radio 5 Live, Ben’s data is published globally through his work with Sky Sports, NBC Sports and ESPN plus a host of other leading media broadcasters.