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CORE CAPTAINCY 2016/17: FPL Gameweek 1

Picking a Captain in the Fantasy Premier League is among the most important 38 decisions any person will make throughout the course of the season. There's a lot of self-help out there for FPL enthusiasts, with our own Antarct!cans FC providing his three major considerations for the armband Gameweek. We'll be detailing the Essential choice for captain, a popular alternative that's pushing the consensus, and a Wildcard pick to add to the chaos. Strap in tightly, it's time to lose your marbles. All aboard.

Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek Deadline

For the 2016/17 Premier League season, the FPL deadline will be one hour before the commencement of the week's first game. The Premier League website lists each FPL deadline, you can always ask on social media, and you can also view a real time countdown on our Weekly Hype page.

In a change from last season, the early Saturday kick off time has now been moved back to 12:30am, meaning the weekly FPL deadline will also be moving 15 minutes back.

The transfer deadline for GW1 is Saturday August 13th at 11:30am.

CORE CAPTAINCY: THE ESSENTIAL PICK

Player: Sergio Aguero (Man City)

Position: Forward

Player Price: £13.0 million

Player Selection %: 40.1%

The never ending circus regarding Sergio Aguero won’t end until the Forward who managed 24 goals last season leaves the league. Aguero’s fandom, especially with Fantasy players, is almost an iconic feature of the game, but sometimes the hype isn’t worth it. Aguero only scored in 15 Premier League matches season, went on two big dips of form, and was out injured for a couple of months. Captaincy potential is solidified by Aguero’s return on a single day, bagging a brace or more on 8 occasions last season. There is an adage that at any week, at any time, The Kun can strike big, and FPL players are willing to risk five weeks of nothingness with an inflated price-tag just to have one big return.

Sunderland is the optimum opponent for Aguero heading into GW1’s fixture (for reasons you’ll see below) but it is worth noting that Sunderland head into this fixture, just like Man City, as unknown entities. Both squads have new managers, players, and ideas to incorporate, so there is a question mark to be had with Aguero’s inclusion as the top pick, as Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez line-up a fixture against Hull that is making the lips wet with anticipation.

Aguero’s notorious for starting a season strong, having scored in 4 of the last 5 opening games, and just about nabs our pick for ‘thee’ man of the week.

Notes on Aguero

- Fit in pre-season friendlies. Been amongst the scorers as usual.

- Has many assist providers with the likes of Silva, Nolito, Bruyne, Sterling & Navas.

- Pep likes to be amongst the top scorers of the league so does Aguero.

- Man City has won all past 5 clashes with Sunderland, also now Big Sam has departed as their manager.

- Aguero is Man City's penalty taker.

- Europe around the corner might provide the platform for Kelechi to perform, rather than Aguero. Rotation might not be an issue.

CORE CAPTAINCY: THE ALTERNATIVE PICK

Player: Jamie Vardy (Leicester)

Position: Forward

Player Price: £10.0 million

Player Selection %: 21.1%

Pick up a newspaper, read a lot of online news sources, and buy into the hype that this season is turning into a slogged contest between the Manchester clubs, you’d hardly remember that Leicester are Champions of England. It’s been difficult living in a world of dominated media content that focuses more on the media fanfare and personality of Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba, than the realistic notion that Leicester are still the team to beat in the Premier League. The loss of Kante to Chelsea will indeed have an impact on Leicester, but the Foxes were winning games comfortably before he arrived, and it’s likely the Foxes will put up an admirable fight, even if nobody is expecting them to finish at the summit this time next May.

Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have the added bonus of playing what appears to be one of the weakest opening day squads that we can remember. Hull’s transformation from jubilant play-off winners to a club hollowed out by managerial unrest, player exits, an injury crisis, and a fan revolt, will mean that the tradition of the Champions never losing on the opening day is likely to continue.

Vardy’s inclusion as a captaincy option is being massively overlooked by the powerhouse appeal of Sergio Aguero, but we’re under the impression that those daring enough to have a captain play right off the bat might be rewarded the most this coming Gameweek. The English Forward has an array of talent surrounding him, including Mahrez and new signing Musa. Vardy is still on penalty kick duty to keep on par with Aguero.

The inclusion of Vardy as captain is a nod to the past, and the potential future. Remember, he’s playing the club that he shot down in Arsenal, and with their defence also decimated, Vardy could really start the new season with a bang and remind everybody who the standard bearer in the Premier League is.

Notes on Vardy

- Stats from last season: 24 goals, 6 times hit the woodwork, 115 shots with majority of them coming from inside the box.

- They play against Hull City who hardly have just over XI players plus no manager yet.

- Leicester have added firepower up top with the arrival of Ahmed Musa.

- The Champions have never lost on the opening day.

- Unlike with Man City and Aguero who face a new manager in Moyes and Sunderland, Vardy faces a team that look destined for relegation before a ball is even kicked.

- Vardy is Leicester's main penalty taker, and won 7 penalties himself last season.

- Vardy will do anything to improve or hold on to his goal tally this season.

CORE CAPTAINCY: THE WILDCARD PICK

Player: Nathan Redmond (Southampton)

Position: Midfielder

Player Price: £6.0 million

Player Selection %: 4.2%

Southampton have done it again. Mass upheaval, a manager departing for supposed ‘greener’ pastures, and players reinforcing the idea that loyalty means nothing in modern day football. Mane has notably left for Liverpool (and looks really, really, good supported by Coutinho, Firmino, Clyne, and Wijnaldum), with the Saints replacement an England international hopeful that’s just suffered relegation for the second season out of three with Norwich.

Nathan Redmond’s inclusion as a potential captain could wield the biggest differential points to start off the season. Likely to start up top with Shane Long against a Watford side seemingly already written off, Redmond is a clinical finisher and will partner Long in a rapid attack that is sure to lay Watford at siege for the most of the game.

As our wildcard pick for captain, there are always risks. Jay Rodriguez and Charlie Austin recently started an Under-23s match, most likely for match fitness, and could easily rotate with Redmond for the game. Question marks linger because of price and opponent, but with everybody seemingly banking on Aguero and Zlatan for GW1, Redmond could catch both of them with their trousers down.

Notes on Redmond

- Puel considers that he has striker potential and has been playing him upfront with Long.

- One of the best OOP players at just 6mn price tag.

- Scoring goals consistently this pre-season.

- Southampton are a better team than Norwich, so you'd almost expect an upgrade on the 6 goals and 4 assists Redmond managed last season.

- TSB just 4.2%. Rising potential, possibly this year's Mahrez?

- One good week will see Redmond's price soar. Faces competition from Long, Tadic, and Austin in a Forward position.

- Watford have been active again in the market and could be vulnerable on the opening day. Last season the Hornets opened with a 2-2 draw away at Everton.

- On a general note, how many times do players score on their debut? The gut feeling is overwhelmingly positive with Redmond.

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