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 Hype Team providing three major considerations for the Gameweek armband. 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 3 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.
The transfer deadline for GW2 is Saturday August 27th at 11:30am.
CORE CAPTAINS: SEASON PERFORMANCE
To help track our progress throughout the 2016/17 season, below you can check how our Core Captaincy selections have done by week to week in the Fantasy Premier League.
Essential: Sergio Aguero (Man City vs. Sunderland) - 9pts
Alternative: Jamie Vardy (Hull vs. Leicester) - 2pts
Wildcard: Nathan Redmond (Southampton vs. Watford) - 10pts
Essential: Harry Kane (Spurs vs. Crystal Palace) - 5pts
Alternative: Roberto Firmino (Burnley vs. Liverpool) - 2pts
Wildcard: Fernando Llorente (Swansea vs. Hull) - 2pts
Essential Total: 9 (1), 5 (2) = 14pts Alternative Total: 2 (1), 2 (2) = 4pts
Wildcard Total: 10 (1), 2 (2) = 12pts
CORE CAPTAINCY: THE ESSENTIAL PICK
Player: Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Player Price: £11.7m +
Player Selection %: 52.5% +
It's early days in the 2016/17 Premier League season to claim that Zlatan can make it in the league (it happens with most foreign players, can they make it?) but there's little doubting the Swede's goal scoring potential. The biggest trait we have noticed from Ibra is his ability to drop deep during build up play, then to snake into the box and dominate the ball. Being early days, defenders haven't figured out how to quell Zlatan's presence in the penalty area. In addition, the visit of Southampton put light to Man United's main penalty taker, with Zlatan uprooting Wayne Rooney as the number one spot kick taker.
Hull's Jake Livermore and captain Curtis Davies are the next to try and stop Zlatan, with the home side proving to be a compact, solid unit in their opening 2 games of the season. It is going to be a long season for the home side, with the wider public believing that a spell amongst the top 4 is just a temporary blip in the record books. Momentum is in the favour of both sides, and it could very well end up blowing up in our faces - with a subdued points return in the FPL - after all it is heavily unlikely that BOTH Aguero and Zlatan will keep up their form, which currently averages at 11 points per game.
We have pitted a Core Captaincy choice against Hull for both GW1 (Vardy) and GW2 (Llorente), without an FPL return above 2 points. We have been quick to judge Hull's ability to compete in the Premier League due to ownership problems, no manager or player signings, and a depleted squad. If an in-form Man United weren't visiting, we'd have avoided Hull for a 3rd week, but Zlatan's got the Fantasy ownership and points returns that render him as our main essential for GW3.
Zlatan's got the backing of over half the FPL, is it time to deliver for a 3rd straight week? We wouldn't dare ask the man himself.
CORE CAPTAINCY: THE ALTERNATIVE PICK
Player: Eden Hazard
Player Price: £10.1m +
Player Selection %: 23.4% +
During the pre-season period, if you'd have asked us how Chelsea would have fared after 2 games, our predictions have pretty much matched our judgements about Antonio Conte's side. Chelsea still aren't the best package defensively, labouring with last season's back four, but going forward look a potent unit. Eden Hazard has seemingly rediscovered his swagger that catapulted him to being the 2014/15 Player of the Season.
Just like Zlatan, we've found out early on that penalty kick duty is back at the feet of the Belgian maverick. When Chelsea won the league there was an array of penalty decisions that went for and against Chelsea's favour, and it's likely to be the same case this season. Attempting to tackle Hazard into submission is a Burnley side who have already demonstrated that they're willing to sit deep and frustrate opposition. Home ties at the Bridge are occasionally dull, but the home side usually finds a way of breaking spirits and defensive hopes, and Hazard's the man to architect any victory.
Hazard facing Burnley was a more proposing opposition than picking Aguero again against a West Ham side that will have had their senses kicked into them after a poor performance at Stamford Bridge.
CORE CAPTAINCY: THE WILDCARD PICK
Player: Romelu Lukaku
Player Price: £9.0m
Player Selection %: TBA
It's not been the start of the season that Lukaku would have envisioned. Not featuring against Spurs on the opening day, then rushed back to action for GW2's trip to West Brom after half an hour, Lukaku could take the next step and start for the Toffees in their home fixture against Stoke... A fixture Everton lost 4-3 last season (Shaqiri scored a magnificent chip that day).
What's stopping Lukaku from taking his crown as a force to be reckoned with in the FPL? Apparently unsettled, possible looking for a bigger challenge and a return to old club Chelsea (talk about flip-flopping) or a European giant, it appears that Lukaku and his agents (the same as Pogba) have been using an extended break following Euro 2016 to talk shop about a new club. Everton recently signed Bolasie, who was going through the same thought of mind, and if Lukaku truly is settled, it raises question marks over his potential performances in the FPL.
There's another reason though. Everton are turning into the anti-Liverpool more and more, but in doing so are becoming more and more alike. Everton have 2 good full backs, Liverpool have the 1. Everton have wingers, Liverpool don't have any. Everton are looking to shore up defensively, Liverpool couldn't care less apparently. Both had or have Belgian international forwards. Liverpool sold their, but Everton will do all they can to keep theirs... But they've alternative options. Gerard Deulofeu has become a legitimate option up front, and haven't really struggled in Romelu's absence. The club has large financial clout and is in no rush to sell Lukaku. They've recently brought in £47 million for John Stones.
On the side of Lukaku is a great pedigree in the Premier League. Last season Lukaku notched in 18 goals, 7 assists, and for large parts was Everton's primary penalty taker, was a bonus points magnet (with 25), and was relatively cheap when comparing premium forward options. The £9.0 million forward is a cheaper option than Vardy and Costa, with the most favourable fixtures.
Lukaku's inclusion is our riskiest yet because there are questions marks, not only of his fitness, potential game-time, and a general sense of where he'll fit into Koeman's system, but we've no idea where Lukaku wants to be come the end of August. Everton's fixture list, if you buy into the Premier League's FDR rating, is an option not to be overlooked, and one as a FPL option for the next few Gameweek's that you take the biggest risk attached.
Uncertainty breeds chaos, no doubt.
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