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 22 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 GW21 is Saturday 21st 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: Sergio Aguero (Man City vs. Burnley) - 7pts
Alternative: Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace vs. Swansea) - 1pt
Wildcard: Olivier Giroud (Bournemouth vs. Arsenal) - 15pts
Essential: Alexis Sanchez (Swansea vs. Arsenal) - 11pts
Alternative: Harry Kane (Spurs vs. West Brom) - 17pts
Wildcard: Andre Gray (Burnley vs. Southampton) - 2pts
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 (20), 11 (21) = 126pts
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), 17 (21) = 141pts
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), 2 (21) = 100pts
CORE CAPTAINCY: THE ESSENTIAL PICK
Player: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
Player Price: £11.9 million
Player Selection %: 36.9%
If there's one certainty from the Premier League season so far, it's that the tide is beginning to settle. Speaking purely from an FPL perspective, the points are becoming increasingly predictable, with reliable sources from all 20 clubs glowing in recent months. From the bottom of the table with Sigurdsson and Snodgrass, to the elite in Sanchez and Ibrahimovic, there is now a settled rhythm to proceedings. It's no surprise then to see that after a weekend which saw him net against Swansea, Alexis Sanchez is right back at the top of our Gameweek 22 Captaincy poll.
The Arsenal midfielder has been stationed on the wings to help facilitate the rising form of Olivier Giroud, but points are still streaming in for FPL players. Sanchez managed all 3 bonus points, despite only gaining the one Fantasy return whilst in Wales - a single goal. Sanchez's reliability means that our 'Essential' captains have now performed for four straight Gameweek's of Premier League football...
FPL Captain Essentials: The Successes (12)
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
GW21: Alexis Sanchez (Swansea vs. Arsenal) - 11pts
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
Arsenal's Next 5 Fixtures
GW22: Burnley (home)
GW23: Watford (home)
GW24: Chelsea (away)
GW25: Hull (home)
GW26: Southampton (away)
Next up for Arsenal is the visit of Burnley, a side who is yet to register an away win all season, despite consistently dominant home performances. Burnley have triumphed against the likes of Liverpool, Everton, and Southampton at home, but there's only a couple of sides who claim claim victory at Turf Moor.
One of which is Arsenal.
The Gunners produced a 1-0 away victory, with Laurent Koscielny scoring the only goal of the game, assisted by Walcott. The halls are already decked in favouritism towards Arsenal due to the away victory, as well as the realisation that Burnley just can't get the job done on away soil.
With Giroud a doubt, there's a chance that Sanchez might regain his Forward birth against Burnley, which will help stoke the fires of a big Gameweek 22. If the obvious inclusion of Alexis isn't enough, just remember that he shares free-kick duty with Ozil, and is still on penalty kick duty. The added potential all stacks up, even with Eden Hazard's potential sniffing about against a Hull side who are now classed as a 'wildcard' unit for the next few weeks (even though we expect them to get beat at the Bridge).
It's two games at home on the spin for the Gunners on the spin, and just in time for their January surge up the table, before an inevitable slide back down to a more comfortable position. Wnger and Sanchez will hope in the short term that these fixtures will boost their charge towards Chelsea. If they fail to get anything from the next two, we can safely rule them out of title contendership.
Notes on Alexis Sanchez
Sanchez has so far managed 14 goals, 8 assists, 154 FPL points, 17 of which are bonus points.
Alexis has 24 more points than any other FPL player this season, with Alexis's 154 points 20 more than Zlatan's 130 points.
Alexis is 4th on the list of assists this season, with the Chile international behind Phillips (9), Eriksen (11), and De Bruyne (11).
Sanchez is level with Ibrahimovic and Costa on 14 goals for the season, the joint highest total in the league.
Sanchez is the only outfield Arsenal player to be involved in every Premier League game for the Gunners.
Sanchez has featured 6 times in the FPL Dream Team, the highest total from any player in the Fantasy Premier League.
Alexis has averaged 7.3 points per game, more points per game than any other player.
CORE CAPTAINCY: THE ALTERNATIVE PICK
Player: Romelu Lukaku (Everton)
Player Price: £9.6 million
Player Selection %: 25.8%
If there's one time to bank on Romelu Lukaku in the FPL, that time is now. Everton's fixtures have come in good and bad patches, and are on the up, especially at Goodison Park. Boasted by a wealth of youth and experience with the emergence of Tom Davies and Lookman, the Toffees have been looking for the future stars to be in the spotlight now. At the tip of the spear, Romelu Kukaku is finding good form, and bullied Man City's backline for the second time this season. Questions arise when comparing Lukaku to more expensive options - an FPL option that isn't even on penalties.
Who needs Aguero's bulging wealth of price in the game when Lukaku is doing the business, whilst his rival was stropping and broody during the game? The plus of Lukaku's inclusion is the added money can be used to bolster a second wealthy Forward, or an advanced midfield or defence. Away at Crystal Palace, a side that have in the past been difficult opposition for Everton, Everton will be looking to remain on the front foot in the Premier League against a side drained of confidence, even though the Eagles overcame Bolton in the FA Cup third round replay.
Romelu's stats do the talking this season, and banking on the 4th best FPL forward this season...
Lukaku's 2016/17 Stats
Premier League Appearances: 20
Bonus Points: 19
Points per match: 5.8
Times in Dream Team: 2
Total Transfers In: 2,022,477
Total Transfers Out: 1,336,541
Everton's Next 5 Fixtures
GW22: Crystal Palace (away)
GW23: Stoke (away)
GW24: Bournemouth (home)
GW25: Middlesbrough (away)
GW26: Sunderland (home)
Notes on Lukaku
Lukaku has totalled 115 FPL points this season, with 12 goals, 4 assists, and 19 bonus points to his name so far this season.
Only Costa (14), Sanchez (14), Ibrahimovic (14), and Kane (13) have scored more Premeir League goals this season as Romelu Lukaku (12).
Lukaku is the 4th most selected Forward in the FPL, with Defoe, Ibrahimovic, and Costa, all selected by more players.
The Belgian international and maanged 3 goals and an assist in his last 4 Gameweek outings, amassing 26 points in that time.
Lukaku has featured twice in the Dream Team this season, the same number of times as FPL forwards Fernando Llorente (SWA) and Olivier Giroud (ARS).
Lukaku is averaging 5.8 points per match, the 4th highest average in the Fantasy Premier League.
CORE CAPTAINCY: THE WILDCARD PICK
Player: Junior Stanislas (Bournemouth)
Player Price: £5.2 million
Player Selection %: 3.1%
Onward and upward is the trend at Bournemouth. Often captivating to watch at home, the Cherries have had some incredible home fixtures this season, edging Liverpool, and conceding a 3 goal lead against Arsenal in the space of 21 Gameweek's. The Cherries are a combination of extreme fitness, a superb organisationed playing side, a slice of luck, and a heap of natural talent. Eddie Howe is harvesting a team that many have had primed to go down now for two years, and has turned Bournemouth into a side who are now expecting a mid table finish as the bare minimum. Whilst form on the road can always be improved, and their form runs hot and cold, they look potent at home.
Our Wildcard captaincy pick for Gameweek 22, Junior Stanislas, is at the forefront of attacking options in the FPL for the Cherries. On set pieces, penalties, and some free kicks, the potential for big returns are an ever present.
With a 5th midfielder slot varying, Stanislas is our top pick to fill that space if you are looking for form, value, and Fantasy returns. Whilst Bournemouth have been look at from a defensive stance from the FPL community, Stanislas offers a true differential for sides heading into a double home tie against Watford and Palace - two teams on the slide in the Premier League.
Stanislas will be aiming to emulate some of this seasons's top performing Wildcard captains, with our form of picking the right players at the right times, growing and growing...
2016/17 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
Bournemouth's Next 5 Fixtures
GW22: Watford (home)
GW23: Crystal Palace (home)
GW24: Everton (away)
GW25: Man City (home)
GW26: West Brom (away)
Notes on Junior Stanislas
Stanislas has a total of 71 points, with 4 goals, 6 assists, and 6 bonus points, helping that tally.
Only Charlie Daniels (89 points) has more FPL points than Stanislas (71 points).
Stanislas is Bournemouth's number one penalty kick taker, having netted from the spot twice this season, once against Everton, then against Hull during GW21.
Stanislas's 4 goals in the Premier League this season is the same number as players such as Zaha, Nolito, Mata, Chadli, Pogba, Phillips, and Lanzini.
Only Callum Wilson (6 goals) has scored more than Stanislas.
Stanislas's opponents, Watford, have only kept 2 clean sheets this season away from home. Watford;s last away clean sheets came during GW8 and GW9,
Bournemouth managed a 2-2 draw with Watford in the first fixture between the two this season. On that occasion during GW7, Stanislas managed an asssit.
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.
You can follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, or visit our website here at www.thehypetrain.co.uk