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 20 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 GW20 is Monday 2nd January 2017 at 11:30am.
CAPTAINCY HYPE: 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: 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: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal vs. Middlesbrough) - 3pts
Alternative: Theo Walcott (Arsenal vs. Middlesbrough) - 3pts
Wildcard: Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea vs. Watford) - 2pts
Essential: Alexis Sanchez (Sunderland vs. Arsenal) - 13pts
Alternative: Romelu Lukaku (Everton vs. West Ham) - 12pts
Wildcard: Troy Deeney (Watford vs. Hull) - 2pts
Essential: Sergio Aguero (Man City vs. Middlesbrough) - 6pts
Alternative: Charlie Austin (Hull City vs. Southampton) - 7pts
Wildcard: Wilfried Bony (West Ham vs. Stoke City) - 2pts
Essential: Sergio Aguero (Crystal Palace vs. Man City) - 2pts
Alternative: Jermain Defoe (Sunderland vs. Hull City) - 11pts
Wildcard: Harry Kane (Spurs vs. West Ham) - 13pts
Essential: Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool vs. Sunderland) - 1pt
Alternative: Diego Costa (Chelsea vs. Spurs) - 5pts
Wildcard: Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea vs. Crystal Palace) - 10pts
Essential: Harry Kane (Spurs vs. Swansea) - 13pts
Alternative: Alexis Sanchez (West Ham vs. Arsenal) - 23pts
Wildcard: Victor Anichebe (Sunderland vs. Leicester) - 2pts
Essential: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal vs. Stoke) - 5pts
Alternative: Diego Costa (Chelsea vs. West Brom) - 8pts
Wildcard: Divock Origi (Liverpool vs. West Ham) - 9pts
Essential: Harry Kane (Spurs vs. Hull) - 2pts
Alternative: Diego Costa (Sunderland vs. Chelsea) - 2pts
Wildcard: Marcos Alonso (Sunderland vs. Chelsea) - 7pts
Essential: Harry Kane (Spurs vs. Burnley) - 2pts
Alternative: Diego Costa (Crystal Palace vs. Chelsea) - 6pts
Wildcard: Marcos Alonso (Crystal Palace vs. Chelsea) - 6pts
Essential: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Man United vs. Sunderland) - 15pts
Alternative: Sadio Mane (Liverpool vs. Stoke) - 2pts
Wildcard: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea vs. Bournemouth) - 6pts
Essential: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Man United vs. Middlesbrough) - 5pts
Alternative: Romelu Lukaku (Hull vs. Everton) - 2pts
Wildcard: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea vs. Stoke) - 3pts
Essential Total: 9 (1), 5 (2), 2 (3), 1 (4), 9 (5), 13 (6), 3 (7), -1 (8), 3 (9), 13 (10), 6 (11), 2 (12), 1 (13), 13 (14), 5 (15), 2 (16), 2 (17), 15 (18), 5 (19) = 108pts
Alternative Total: 2 (1), 2 (2), 11 (3), 1 (4), 12 (5), 7 (6), 2 (7), 9 (8), 3 (9), 12 (10), 7 (11), 11 (12), 5 (13), 23 (14), 8 (15), 2 (16), 6 (17), 2 (18), 2 (19) = 123pts
Wildcard Total: 10 (1), 2 (2), 2 (3), 2 (4), 2 (5), 2 (6), 2 (7), -1 (8), 2 (9), 2 (10), 2 (11), 13 (12), 10 (13), 2 (14), 9 (15), 7 (16), 6 (17), 6 (18), 3 (19) = 83pts
CORE CAPTAINCY: THE ESSENTIAL PICK
Player: Sergio Aguero (Man City)
Player Price: £12.8 million
Player Selection %: 19.2%
It's a new year, but it looks like players in the Fantasy Premier League have reverted back to old tricks. We've had a string of good successes in our Captaincy articles, and the first man with the armband for 2017 is an Argentine forward recently back from a 4 match suspension which he acquired against Chelsea for a scissor kick on David Luiz in the dying minutes of City losing 3-1 to the team sitting pretty at the top of the table. Sergio Aguero doesn't need an introduction, and this is the 6th time he's featured in the top billing as 'essential' captain. Aguero and City face Burnley at home for Gameweek 20, and here's the competition the Forward was up against for the New Years round of games in the Premier League.
FPL Captain Essentials: The Successes (10)
GW1: Sergio Aguero (Man City vs. Sunderland) – 9pts
GW2: Harry Kane (Spurs vs. Crystal Palace) - 5pts
GW5: Harry Kane (Spurs vs. Sunderland) - 9pts
GW6: Sergio Aguero (Swansea vs. Man City) - 13pts
GW10: Alexis Sanchez (Sunderland vs. Arsenal) - 13pts
GW11: Sergio Aguero (Man City vs. Middlesbrough) - 6pts
GW14: Harry Kane (Spurs vs. Swansea) - 13pts
GW15: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal vs. Stoke) - 5pts
GW18: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Man United vs. Sunderland) - 15pts
GW19: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Man United vs. Middlesbrough) - 5pts
FPL Captain Essentials: The Failures (9)
GW3: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Hull vs. Man United) – 2pts
GW4: Eden Hazard (Swansea vs. Chelsea) – 1pt
GW7: Alexis Sanchez (Burnley vs. Arsenal) – 3pts
GW8: Sergio Aguero (Man City vs. Everton) – -1pt
GW9: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal vs. Middlesbrough) – 3pts
GW12: Sergio Aguero (Crystal Palace vs. Man City) – 2pts
GW13: Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool vs. Sunderland) – 1pt
GW16: Harry Kane (Spurs vs. Hull) – 2pts
GW17: Harry Kane (Spurs vs. Burnley) – 2pts
How does Aguero factor into the Captaincy trend for this season? All of our essential picks are picked via social media polling on Twitter, so the top pick is always the popular pick. On 5/19 occasions this season Aguero's been the main man to back, but as seen below, he's not always been reliable.
Aguero's Captaincy Appearances (3 successes, 2 failures)
GW1 Essential: Sergio Aguero (Man City vs. Sunderland) - 9pts
GW6 Essential: Sergio Aguero (Swansea vs. Man City) - 13pts
GW8 Essential: Sergio Aguero (Man City vs. Everton) - -1pt
GW11 Essential: Sergio Aguero (Man City vs. Middlesbrough) - 6pts
GW12 Essential: Sergio Aguero (Crystal Palace vs. Man City) - 2pts
Aguero has this very strange affinity with the FPL, one that if you joined just a few years ago, is hard to understand. He's a legitimate goalscorer, usually scoring 20+ goals in a season, but he goes on long barren spells and is injury prone (especially around the international footballing period). But myth aside, what is his role this season? We ask this because it seems to be a very frustrating season for Aguero and Man City. What else could you describe Aguero's season as? Kicking and screaming at David Luiz is hardly becoming of a true Premier League great, but his popularity, even when Kane is hot on form (as is Costa and Zlatan), has not waned, all because the masses believe he's due a five goal Gameweek.
Can Aguero achieve big points returns? He's scored his 10 goals in 6 games, all against opposition that are lingering in the bottom half, but as we've been pointing away, Aguero's form is best away from the Etihad when he's more room to venture. When teams are sitting in at the Etihad, Aguero has struggled. Here's who the Argentine has scored against this season, and hey, wouldn't this season come full circle is Aguero scored against the side he recently just scored twice against?
Aguero's Premier League Goals
GW1 - Sunderland (home): 1 goal
GW2 - Stoke (away): 2 goals
GW6 - Swansea (away): 2 goals
GW10 - West Brom (away): 2 goals, 1 assist
GW11 - Middlesbrough (home): 1 goal
GW13 - Burnley (away): 2 goals
Man City's Next 5 Fixtures
GW20: Burnley (home)
GW21: Everton (away)
GW22: Spurs (home)
GW23: West Ham (away)
GW24: Swansea (away)
Notes on Aguero
This season Aguero has managed 10 goals, 2 assists, with 16 bonus points and a total of 76 points.
Aguero has missed 6 games this season, meaning he's featured in 13/19 games. Of those 13 games, Aguero's completed 90 minutes on 7 occasions.
The Argentine is still the 5th most selected forward in the FPL - only Ibrahimovic, Costa, Lukaku, and Defoe, are selected by more. This means Aguero's been owned more than Harry Kane, despite the 4 game suspension.
With 3 yellows and a red card this season, Aguero has already equalled his worst card accumulation since moving to the Premier League. This is the only season Aguero has seen red.
At the half way mark of the season, Aguero is ranked 37th in the overall player rankings. Aguero has the same points this season as Pedro and Pogba.
Aguero has scored as many goals this season (10) as Kane and Lukaku.
Aguero has scored in 6 games this season.
CORE CAPTAINCY: THE ALTERNATIVE PICK
Player: Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace)
Player Price: £7.6 million
Player Selection %: 9.2%
Crystal Palace have a new manager and a new impetus, and under Big Sam, should realistically find a fine vein of form between now and the end of the season to see out the season. But questions are being asked. Palace had the worst record of any Premier League club in 2016 and there's no guarantees that the players will be any different unless there's a lot of change. In his post match conference Big Sam even stated that his side won't get up to top gear until the end of the season.
One feature that the team will be built around is Christian Benteke. The summer signing from Liverpool has settled in with 8 goals, and if they want to stay up, like with Sunderland and Defoe, they'll be reliable on Benteke's goals.
Crystal Palace are heading into a row of green fixtures, and now is the only time of the season to bank on them as FPL options. These next 10 fixtures will determine Palace's status in the Premier League, as there are no certainties with beating any of the top 6 sides in the final few games, with the game between 6th and 7th growing by the week. See below and make what you will of Palace's fixture list.
Crystal Palace's Next 10 Fixtures
GW20: Swansea (h)
GW21: West Ham (a)
GW22: Everton (h)
GW23: Bournemouth (a)
GW24: Sunderland (h)
GW25: Stoke (a)
GW26: Middlesbrough (h)
GW27: West Brom (a)
GW28: Spurs (h)
GW29: Watford (h)
Opponents Swansea are the main reason we've backed the Belgian. We paid close attention to the game and we were shocked by how little Swansea cared about their own survival hopes. At 1-0 down to Bournemouth the Swans were walking around the pitch, not putting their bodies on the line, not even sprinting. If Palace turn up even slightly pumped for the fixture, they should run away with the game, and why wouldn't they? It's hard to feel sorry for Swansea when they've changed their managers around so often, and in reality this is what happens when you get rid of Garry Monk and Ashley Williams.
Benteke should capitalise on Swansea's poor form and kick on up the table, making the Palace forward a potential option heading into this favouralbe run of fixtures.
Notes on Benteke
Benteke has managed 8 goals and a single assist this season, with 6 bonus points and an overall total of 67 points.
As well as being the 9th best FPL forward, Benteke is the 9th most owned, with 9.2% ownership.
Divock Origi (9.5%) is selected by more than Benteke.
With 1499 minutes under his belt, only 7 forwards have played more football than the Belgian this season - which is exactly what he wanted, right?
Benteke was lingering on 4 yellow cards heading into the Arsenal game, but will now not be suspended as the yellow card ban is now extended to 10 games now that we're into the second half of the season.
The last time we picked Aguero and Benteke in the Captaincy Hype article, they both managed a whopping -1 point, with both missing penalties.
CORE CAPTAINCY: THE WILDCARD PICK
Player: Olivier Giroud (Arsenal)
Player Price: £8.5 million
Player Selection %: 2.0%
Here's what Hype Train Chief Writer, @TheHypeTrainSam, has said about Giroud heading into Gameweek 19's away fixture at Bournemouth:
The highlighted player for this week is the Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud, the striker has scored in the last two games for the Gunners with two starts, and after the most incredible scorpion kick goal against Crystal Palace he is in fine form and confidence. Giroud offers the Gunner a physical presence in the box and has proved to be the difference against teams that are stubborn and difficult to break down. Sanchez is better at implementing the quick passing, counter attack play that has seen him flourish when in the number nine role, but that isn’t always the case and you do need someone who can make something out of nothing like Giroud has proven in the last two weeks with a cracking header and the goal of the season scorpion kick in the past two games.
Giroud will retain his place against Bournemouth who we suspect will put men behind the ball like they did against Spurs earlier on in the season, so having the physical presence of Giroud will need to be called upon again. Arsenal following this fixture also have Swansea, Burnley, and Watford in the following three fixtures so it might be worth playing the long game with Giroud as these are teams where his services will be needed to break down these teams.
Arsenal's Next 5 Fixtures
GW20: Bournemouth (away)
GW21: Swansea (away)
GW22: Burnley (home)
GW23: Watford (home)
GW24: Chelsea (a)
Our Gameweek 20 Weekly Wildcards
MID/LEI: Víctor Valdés, Goalkeeper, £4.5mil, 5.7% ownership.
EVE/SOU: Leighton Baines, Defender, £5.4mil, 6.4% ownership.
MCI/BUR: David Silva, Midfielder, £8.7mil, 2.2% ownership.
SUN/LIV: Ragnar Klavan, Defender, £4.6mil, 0.8% ownership.
WBA/HUL: Chris Brunt, Defender, £5.0mil, 2.1% ownership.
WHU/MUN: Andy Carroll, Forward, £6.2mil, 3.1% ownership.
BOU/ARS: Olivier Giroud, Forward, £8.5mil, 2.0% ownership.
CRY/SWA: Andros Townsend, Midfielder, £5.9mil, 2.1% ownership.
STK/WAT: Erik Pieters, Defender, £4.5mil, 5.1% ownership.
TOT/CHE: Dele Alli, Midfielder, £8.2mil, 7.5% ownership.
Notes on Giroud
Giroud's managed 48 points this season in the FPL, with 5 goals and an assist to his name.
Giroud's managed 9 bonus points this season, managing the minimum of 2 bonus points on the 4 occasions Giroud's received additional points.
Giroud has scored 48 of Arsenal's 56 Forward points this season.
Giroud's tally of 5 goals is the same as Callum Wilson, Andre Gray, Jamie Vardy, Islam Slimani, and Alvaro Negredo.
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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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