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CAPTAINCY HYPE 2016/17: FPL Gameweek 9

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 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 9 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 GW9 is Saturday October 22nd at 11:30am.


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: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Hull vs. Man United) - 2pts

Alternative: Eden Hazard (Chelsea vs. Burnley) - 11pts

Wildcard: Romelu Lukaku (Everton vs. Stoke) - 2pts


Essential: Eden Hazard (Swansea vs. Chelsea) - 1pt

Alternative: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal vs. Southampton) - 1pt

Wildcard: Tom Heaton (Burnley vs. Hull) - 2pts


Essential: Harry Kane (Spurs vs. Sunderland) - 9pts

Alternative: Romelu Lukaku (Everton vs. Middlesbrough) - 12pts

Wildcard: Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace vs. Stoke) - 2pts


Essential: Sergio Aguero (Swansea vs. Man City) - 13pts

Alternative: Sadio Mane (Liverpool vs. Hull) - 7pts

Wildcard: Troy Deeney (Burnley vs. Watford) - 2pts


Essential: Alexis Sanchez (Burnley vs. Arsenal) - 3pts

Alternative: Philippe Coutinho (Swansea vs. Liverpool) - 2pts

Wildcard: Marcus Rashford (Man United vs. Stoke) - 2pts


Essential: Sergio Aguero (Man City vs. Everton) - -1pt

Alternative: Diego Costa (Chelsea vs. Leicester) - 9pts

Wildcard: Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace vs. West Ham) - -1pt


Essential Total: 9 (1), 5 (2), 2 (3), 1 (4), 9 (5), 13 (6), 3 (7), -1 (8) = 41pts Alternative Total: 2 (1), 2 (2), 11 (3), 1 (4), 12 (5), 7 (6), 2 (7), 9 (8) = 46pts

Wildcard Total: 10 (1), 2 (2), 2 (3), 2 (4), 2 (5), 2 (6), 2 (7), -1 (8) = 21pts



Player: Alexis Sanchez

Position: Midfield

Player Price: £11.3 million

Player Selection %: 23.7%

The cruel fate of our Captaincy article wielded a fiery vengeance for FPL Gameweek 8, as Sergio Aguero stole the acclaim as the essential pick, with a last minute poll victory by 1% over Alexis Sanchez. It is the worst decision our Twitter voters have made all season, banking on Aguero in a Gameweek that the Argentine forward usually excels in. Gameweek 8 in the past has been kind to Aguero, with 5 goals against an eventually relegated Newcastle side, and 4 goals in the previous season on the same weekend equivalent. Our decision to reverse our decision, which originally rested with Alexis Sanchez, cost us a 5 points return, and ended with Aguero registering a negative points total after having a penalty saved. Our Chief Writer, Sam Austin, has bemoaned Aguero for years, isn’t probably going to change his tune on the Argentine any time soon, believing there to be a wealth of better alternatives, at a more affordable price.

This week the same mistake isn’t going to be made twice. Arsenal arguably have a more favourable fixture with the visit of Middlesbrough, whereas Man City entertain a Southampton squad in European action, taking on an Inter Milan side which a large portion of its fans are revolting against its captain, Mauro Icardi. Southampton don’t look vulnerable and will pose a good battle for Man City, just like Everton did, whilst Middlesbrough looked desperately short against a Watford side, who on the day were also lacking in ideas with the exception of a Jose Holebas wonder strike.

Arsenal’s Fixtures

GW9: Middlesbrough (h)

GW10: Sunderland (a)

GW11: Spurs (h)

GW12: Man United (a)

GW13: Bournemouth (h)

GW14: West Ham (a)

GW15: Stoke (h)

GW16: Everton (a)

GW17: Man City (a)

GW18: West Brom (h)

GW19: Crystal Palace (h)

The mistake won’t be made twice on the spin. Sanchez, owned by a superior 23.7% of the FPL takes the essential spot from Theo Walcott, as he’s more likely to be banked on with the armband, and with good reason. Middlesbrough have only kept one clean sheet all season, in a 0-0 draw against West Brom, and are looking fragile both on the road and at home. With just a sole victory away at Sunderland, the struggle looks to be real for Middlesbrough heading into a busy period before Christmas that’ll define how they’re perceived come January with the inevitable “they’re going down” talk. Against an Arsenal side unbeaten since an opening day defeat to Liverpool, it’s only sensible, and right, to believe Boro will be in for another long afternoon when they travel to the Emirates.

Alexis hasn’t scored in 2 games, but his form dictates that he’ll strike big in every third game. Still operating as the man up top pulling strings, and potentially still on penalties (who knows at this point with Arsenal – they’ve had 3 spot kick takers so far this season). This week the captaincy choices are simple (but whenever are they, really?), until a players potential crumbles. Arsenal for once, is an assured side worthy of captaincy debate.

Notes on Sanchez

Sanchez is still rooted on 4 goals this season, after failing to score in his last 2 games against Burnley and Swansea. In those 2 games, Sanchez has 8 points, with 1 assist.

Alexis is yet to receive a yellow card this season. He’s been booked 5 times in the 2 seasons prior, as many times as Walcott has been booked in his entire Premier League career.

The Chilean midfielder has scored 33 goals for Arsenal in the league, scoring no less than 13 in one season.

In the FPL, Sanchez is just 1 point behind Theo Walcott, and our the top 2 points scorers in the league.

Sanchez has 6 bonus points so far this season, 3 each during Gameweek 3 and Gameweek 6. By the law of this stat, is it destiny that Sanchez will get the 3 again?

Alexis is £3.5 million more expensive than Theo Walcott, with Sanchez priced at £11.3 million and Walcott at £7.8 million.

Sanchez has assisted 4 times in the Premier League so far this season. 3 of those 4 assists have been for Mesut Ozil.


Player: Theo Walcott

Position: Midfield

Player Price: £7.9 million +

Player Selection %: 12.8%

Theo’s rise in the FPL is actually something rather unexpected given that the midfielder has seen a lot of time on the side-lines, which has resulted in a lot of missed game time, and ill form, in an Arsenal side for years has struggled to get into gear at the right time. In this sense, Walcott is a personification of Arsenal’s fortunes in recent years, of a team with endless potential which ultimately falter at the finish line. Currently that viewpoint of the Gunners is a winning streak in the league, with lots of viable FPL options in midfield, and there is no better symbol of Arsenal’s good form than Walcott’s status as the top FPL player heading into the ninth Gameweek.

Walcott is following a similar path to that of the 2 previous winners of the Player of the Month award by the Premier League – Sterling (MCI) and Son (TOT) – 2 rapid wingers that are scoring freely and entertaining more than just their clubs own personal fan base. Form dictates that in the next two games, the duo of Alexis and Walcott could be among the top points scorers again, barring any type of injury in European competition.

Walcott takes the second spot despite having one more point than Sanchez, due to a lower ownership, and a bigger gamble over rotation and position. Walcott’s being operating as a wide player, who is taking every chance to storm into the box and be the central figure for the club. With Bellerin on the right hand side it means Walcott has the freedom to operate wherever he pleases in the Arsenal attack, which for the past few weeks has been an affective support to Alexis Sanchez. For the same reasons as with Sanchez, Walcott has been selected. It was very hard to leave out a Liverpool midfielder option this week, but giving Arsenal’s recent form, and a home tie in the FPL to salivate over, it is the right time to bank on 2 players from the same team for our Captaincy picks.

Arsenal’s Fixtures

GW9: Middlesbrough (h)

GW10: Sunderland (a)

GW11: Spurs (h)

GW12: Man United (a)

GW13: Bournemouth (h)

GW14: West Ham (a)

GW15: Stoke (h)

GW16: Everton (a)

GW17: Man City (a)

GW18: West Brom (h)

GW19: Crystal Palace (h)

There will be a lot of puff pieces by the FPL community this week, praising Arsenal in the FPL, and the statistics (as you’ll see below) help further the cause of their inclusion. The only thought we’d like to transfer is that as good as Arsenal have been, there are definite alternatives to keep in consideration. Liverpool face a good fixture at home to West Brom, whilst Spurs visit a Bournemouth side who they beat comfortably on 2 occasions last season. Diego Costa is in contention for a captaincy place against Man United, but with the League Cup tie 3 days later, we’re under the impression that Costa might deliberately get a yellow card so he doesn’t miss a minute in the Premier League.

Notes on Walcott

With 55 points after the first 8 games of the season, Walcott is the top player in the entire FPL.

Last season Walcott only managed 85 points, and is only 30 points behind his entire tally from last season.

Walcott has scored 5 goals in each of the last 3 seasons, and has already matched that tally for this season.

Last season Walcott didn’t manage a single bonus point. In 2014/15 he only managed 3 bonus points. This season, Walcott is already on 4 bonus, beating his tally from the previous two seasons.

Walcott has also already matched his entire attacking returns from last season – 5 goals and 3 assists.

Theo has played 701 minutes of football this season after 8 games, featuring in all 8 games so far. In 2014/15 Walcott only played 447 minutes of football, and in 2013/14, just 860 minutes.

Sanchez is not the only person to miss a penalty for Arsenal this season, with Walcott having a penalty saved by Mignolet on the opening day of the season.

On Monday 17/10/2016, Walcott’s ownership was at 12.4% and was priced at £7.8 million.

Walcott has only ever been booked 5 times in the Premier League. 3 of those bookings came in the 2012/13 season. The Englishman hasn’t been booked since the sole booking he received in the 2013/14 season.

Walcott has had a positive in each week in regards to transfers in and out. From 5/8 Gameweek’s so far, over 100,000 (six digits) have drafted Walcott into their teams.

Despite having the tag of being a player who gets subbed a lot, Walcott has completed 90 minutes on 6/8 occasions this season.


Player: Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea)

Position: Midfield

Player Price: £7.2 million

Player Selection %: 3.3%

Our Gameweek wildcard selections for captaincy took an even darker turn during GW8 when our pick Christian Benteke missed a penalty, and gained a yellow card in an eventual 1-0 loss to West Ham. The negative points tally obtained by Benteke was not the only one last week, with Aguero matching Bentekkers lowly form. What it did for our wildcard captains was further push the idea that the clear captaincy pick is never really that clear. Nathan Redmond remains as our sole performer, with Redmond reminding us of his exploits with a goal during GW8 at home to Burnley.

It’s a new week, and new momentum however, and upon evaluating and deciding between our 10 differential picks for GW9, we were tossing and turning over giving the captaincy armband to Gylfi Sigurdsson or Charlie Austin. Glyfi is at home to a Watford team who picked up their first clean sheet of the season away at Boro, a luxury that might be short lived given Watford’s apparent inability to do a shut-out against a team with any real attacking impetus. Swansea have been just that, and were very unfortunate to lose at Arsenal. The Swans looked dangerous in attack under Bob Bradley – who by the way, looks like an ageing drama teacher on the touchline, clad in black – and now face a run of fixtures in the Premier League in which FPL players will consider rotating the likes of Sigurdsson until a clear run of games starting against Sunderland during GW15.

Swansea’s Fixtures

GW9: Watford (h)

GW10: Stoke (a)

GW11: Man United (h)

GW12: Everton (a)

GW13: Crystal Palace (h)

GW14: Spurs (a)

GW15: Sunderland (h)

GW16: West Brom (a)

GW17: Middlesbrough (a)

GW18: West Ham (h)

GW19: Bournemouth (h)

We eventually opted for Glyfi, not because Charlie Austin is going to The Etihad to face Man City – the side in sky blue can’t defend – we ultimately opted for the Iceland midfielder because of his new position in the False 9, the central figure in Swansea’s attack. Just like Austin, Gylfi is on penalties, but Sigurdsson has the added advantage of being locked on for a full 90 minutes of action without the threat of a Europa League hangover, as well as being the primary set piece taker. Southampton travel to Inter Milan for a stellar, and richly deserved, tie in Italy.

Jose Holebas might have stolen the show at Middlesbrough, but with Bob Bradleys first home game, The Swans are looking for Gylfi to star in a leading role, and we believe he’ll deliver, finally breaking the curse of our wildcard captaincy selections.

Notes on Sigurdsson

Only Leroy Fer (39) has more points than Gylfi Sigurdsson (31) in the FPL.

In Bob Bradley’s first game in charge, Gylfi was played in the ‘False 9’ position – aka the lone forward with attacking support from the wings.

Sigurdsson has managed 2 goals and 1 assist this season, with 4 bonus points coming from the 3 games Glyfi returned in.

At the time of writing on Wednesday, Sigurdsson’s FPL selection percentage was 3.3%

A net average of -7,931 transferred Gylfi out of their teams for Swansea’s trip to Arsenal. The Iceland international scored and finished with 9 points in GW8.

In 3/5 seasons prior to the 2016/17 season, Sigurdsson has managed more goals than assists. Currently this season Siggy has more goals than assists.

Sigurdsson has completed the full 90 minutes in his last 4 Premier League outings.

Gylfi’s 2 goals this season have come against Arsenal and Chelsea. Big game player?

Want to know more about The Hype Train?

The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015 specialising in the Fantasy Premier League (#FPL), providing beautiful graphics and weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb ranking tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review movies, television, live music, festivals, and any relevant topic in the public eye.

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All aboard.


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