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 21 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 GW21 is Saturday 14th January 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: Sergio Aguero (Man City vs. Burnley) - 7pts
Alternative: Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace vs. Swansea) - 1pt
Wildcard: Olivier Giroud (Bournemouth vs. Arsenal) - 15pts
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), 7 (2) = 115pts
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), 1 (20) = 124pts
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), 15 (20) = 98pts
CAPTAINCY HYPE: THE ESSENTIAL PICK
Player: Alexis Sanchez
Player Price: £11.9 million
Player Selection %: 36.5%
The festive football period has come and gone in one big haze, with a lot of FPL players banking on assets from Manchester to bolster their points totals with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sergio Aguero proving to be good options for the armband. But it's a new year and it looks like priority has shifted to London for Gameweek 21. With Man United and Liverpool nullifying themselves in terms of banking on a a Captaincy pick, Arsenal, Spurs, and Chelsea, all faces fixtures with huge hopes of points returns. In the case of our community on Twitter, here's how we voted to determine an Essential choice for the first round of fixtures following the FA Cup 3rd round proper.
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
GW20: Sergio Aguero (Man City vs. Burnley) - 7pts
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
So, we're back to this? After 22 Gameweek's of Premier League football the essential pick has been a hot potato on most between between Alexis Sanchez and Sergio Aguero. With the Argentine getting the armband for Gameweek 20 with a home fixture verses Burnley, the Aguero pick nearly caught fire and burnt everyone that enabled trust with the forward. Aguero was benched and if it wasn't for going down to ten men against the Clarets, Aguero might not have seen many minutes at all (so thanks Fernandinho). Aguero ended up scoring to spare our blushes, but this whole rotation factor really isn't something that the FPL will get with Alexis Sanchez.
The Arsenal midfielder started a rousing comeback away at Bournemouth, scoring the first of 3 with an opportunistic header at the back post, and in truth from his antics on the pitch, visibly frustrated that his side hadn't won the game, shows how much Sanchez is driving his team forward. Determined and hungry for success, Sanchez looks like just a handful of players at the North London side who want their side seriously challenging. Sanchez's spirit on the pitch is what Arsenal fans need, what the players need, and what the FPL needs in a true captain.
We wouldn't write a glowing puff-piece unless it was utterly necessary. Sure, Sanchez's points have been clipped by Giroud's in recent weeks, but he's still maned FPL returns from 8 of his last 10 games, and flat out refuses to not be involved in a game. Alexis is seeing the minutes, and taking the team forward - and we mean that quite literally on the pitch. Taking free kicks and penalties, being the best FPL player this season, the Chile international is a man we can can't ignore when opposition like Swansea are thrown into question.
Winning at also struggling Crystal Palace was an almighty important victory heading into a run of fixtures that doesn't get harder in Premier League standards, whilst Arsenal's on the flip-side are favourable.
Arsenal's Next 5 Fixtures
GW21: Swansea (away)
GW22: Burnley (home)
GW23: Watford (home)
GW24: Chelsea (away)
GW25: Hull (home)
In the words of the now-infamous television villain, The Walking Dead's very own Negan, it's time to take a damn look, and feast your eyes on these fixtures. Arsenal play the creme of the crop clubs that Fantasy Premier League managers just just love to bet against. Burnley, Watofrd, and Hull, all at home is the absolute goldmine of points potential, and one we expect Sanchez to tap into, starting with Swansea. The Swans are desperately short on real match quality, something Arsenal should exploit at the Liberty. Sanchez once again is expected to be at the centre of it all, and it's time to keep things simple and put faith in the best FPL player this season.
Notes on Alexis Sanchez
Sanchez has so far managed 13 goals, 8 assists, 143 FPL points, 14 of which are bonus points.
Alexis has 20 more points than any other FPL player this season, with Alexis's 143 points 20 more than Costa's and Zlatan's 123 points.
Alexis is 4th on the list of assists this season, with the Chile international behind Phillips (9), Eriksen (9), and De Bruyne (11).
Sanchez is level with Ibrahimovic on 13 goals for the season. The pair are behind Costa (14) in the scoring charts and 2 each above Lukaku (11), Aguero (11), and Defoe (11).
Sanchez is the only outfield Arsenal player to be involved in every Premier League game for the Gunners.
Sanchez, Defoe, and Ibrahimovic have all featured 5 times in the FPL Dream Team, the highest total in the Premier League.
Alexis has averaged 7.2 points per game, more points per game than any other player.
CAPTAINCY HYPE: THE ALTERNATIVE PICK
Player: Harry Kane (Spurs)
Player Price: £10.9 million
Player Selection %: 13.8%
We switch focus in the English capital to talk about the 'other' North London club looking for Premier League glory come the end of the season, and to a striker who has been red hot since coming back from injury. If you're not sold by our glowing review of Sanchez above, there's always Spurs's own Harry Kane to rely on. With Sanchez a listed midfielder in the FPL, we thought that this week the best alternative should come in a forward position. Dele Alli misses out on this spot as there are some genuine forwards to keep an eye on for Gameweek 21, with The Hurrikane at the head of the queue for player's attention.
Spurs entertain West Brom, going into the game on a hotbed of form, claiming clean sheets, and scoring goals. It's all ticking, which is why an FPL option of theirs must surely be the main captaincy pick, right? West Brom and Tony Pulish have proven tricky customers, especially away from home this season. Have a look at their form away from home in the Premier League this season.
West Brom's Away Days
GW1: Crystal Palace 0-1 West Brom
GW4: Bournemouth 1-0 West Brom
GW6: Stoke 1-1 West Brom
GW7: Sunderland 1-1 West Brom
GW9: Liverpool 2-1 West Brom
GW11: Leicester 1-2 West Brom
GW13: Hull 1-1 West Brom
GW15: Chelsea 1-0 West Brom
GW18: Arsenal 1-0 West Brom
GW19: Southampton 1-2 West Brom
A few pitfalls in Captaincy options have all come from believing that the Baggies are pushovers, which their not. Whilst we're all expecting 3, 4, or 5 goals to be shipped because they have a midfield of Yacob and Fletcher, it's always closer, and usually a disappointment in the FPL if you bank big against them.
On one side, West Brom have only kept one clean sheet away from home this season, but on the other, they have only conceded more than one goal away from home on just one occasion, and that was during their 2-1 defeat at Anfield. The travelling side have been hard to break down, always something Spurs have found hard against sides in mid-table or lower. They registered 1-0 victories over both Crystal Palace and Sunderland at home this season, both of which Harry Kane registered a goal and an assist. Victory against Chelsea however puts Kane, Alli, and co in the drivers seat as Spurs aim to join Liverpool in a short list of sides who have beat Ben Foster more than once this season on the road.
Last season Spurs drew 1-1 at home to West Brom, with Craig Dawson scoring at both ends of the field, but with Spurs in an attacking vain, we've every faith that Kane will get his chances to improve on his goal and assist tally, leading into an interesting away day at Man City.
Spurs's Next 5 Fixtures
GW21: West Brom (home)
GW22: Man City (away)
GW23: Sunderland (away)
GW24: Middlesbrough (home)
GW25: Liverpool (away)
Notes on Harry Kane
Kane has managed 10 goals, 2 assists, and 88 FPL points this season, with 14 of those points coming as bonus points.
Kane's 88 point total is the same number as Charlie Daniels (BOU) and Wilfried Zaha (CRY).
Kane's 14 bonus points are the same number as van Dijk (SOU), Sanchez (ARS), Eriksen (TOT), and Capoue (WAT).
Kane has provided as many assists (2) this season as team-mate Vincent Janssen.
Kane has appeared i the FPL Dream Team 3 times this season, the same number as Costa (CHE) and Negredo (MID).
Kane is one of only 3 forwards in the FPL to miss a penalty this season. Kane missed during Gameweek 18's 4-0 away win at Southampton. The other offenders? Aguero has missed one, and Benteke has missed two.
CAPTAINCY HYPE: THE WILDCARD PICK
Player: Andre Gray (Burnley)
Player Price: £6.2 million
Player Selection %: 4.6%
Here's what Hype Train Chief Writer, @TheHypeTrainSam, has to say regarding Andre Gray ahead of Gameweek 21's home tie against Southampton:
A hat-trick against Sunderland is the kind of form that sees Liverpool pay £25,000,000 for a player, and four goals in three games is the kind of form that bumps up that figure with plenty of add on bonuses. At home, Burnley have made Turf Moor a fortress. Andre Gray has been the tip of the spear in recent times for Clarets and indeed his form might earn him a bigger move elsewhere in the summer. The next team set course towards Turf Moor is the coastline club Southampton who set sail following the first leg of their EFL Cup Semi-Final with Liverpool. So, the question is if whether Southampton in this moment value the league or trying to achieve their first domestic cup in a long, long time.
The last time Southampton won a trophy it was in 2010 where they lifted the Johnstones Paint Trophy, and if you look before that the last major honour was the 1976 FA Cup. We believe that Southampton won’t turn up the chance at going for glory in this moment, so the team heading to Turf Moor will be most likely be weakened to better their chances in the EFL Cup. Burnley will enjoy this dilemma for Southampton as it gives their main threat Andre Gray to continue building his form, and for his valuation to grow. Divock Origi may be a rotation risk for Liverpool so it wouldn’t be stupid betting putting your money in the Burnley forward.
Andre Gray's FPL Returns
GW2: Liverpool (home) - 1 goal, 1 assist
GW15: Bournemouth (home) - 1 assist
GW18: Middlesbrough (home) - 1 goal
GW19: Sunderland (home) - 3 goals
Gray's recent goal scoring form at home bring a good burden of hope for our past Wildcard Captains, who have now each performed in the FPL in each of the last 6 Gameweek's.
Wildcard Captaincy Successes
GW1: Nathan Redmond (Southampton vs. Watford) - 10pts
GW12: Harry Kane (Spurs vs. West Ham) - 13pts
GW13: Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea vs. Crystal Palace) - 10pts
GW15: Divock Origi (Liverpool vs. West Ham) - 9pts
GW16: Marcos Alonso (Sunderland vs. Chelsea) - 7pts
GW17: Marcos Alonso (Crystal Palace vs. Chelsea) - 6pts
GW18: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea vs. Bournemouth) - 6pts
GW19: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea vs. Stoke) - 3pts
GW20: Olivier Giroud (Bournemouth vs. Arsenal) - 15pts
Burnley's Next 5 Fixtures
GW21: Southampton (home)
GW22: Arsenal (away)
GW23: Leicester (home)
GW24: Watford (away)
GW25: Chelsea (home)
Notes on Andre Gray
Gray has managed 5 goals, 2 assists, 55 points in the FPL, with 6 of those 55 coming in the form of bonus points.
Gray has managed all 7 of his FPL returns at home this season, with no goals or assist coming away from Turf Moor.
Gray has featured in 14 Premier League games this season, completing the full 90 minutes on 8 of those 14 occasions.
With 55 points, Gray is ranked as the 18th best Forward so far this season, and with Charlie Austin (59pts) and Islam Slimani (58pts) above, there's only room for Gray to grow due to injury and the African Cup of Nations.
Gray's 55 points in the FPL is the same number as Valencia (MUN), Pieters (STK), and Gomes (WAT).
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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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