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 23 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 GW23 is Tuesday 31st January 2017 at 18:45pm.
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: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal vs. Burnley) - 8pts
Alternative: Romelu Lukaku (Crystal Palace vs. Everton) - 2pts
Wildcard: Junior Stanislas (Bournemouth vs. Watford) - 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), 8 (22) = 134pts
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), 2 (22) = 143pts
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), 2 (22) = 102pts
CAPTAINCY HYPE: THE ESSENTIAL PICK
Player: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Man United)
Player Price: £11.7 million
Player Selection %: 43.3%
There's just something extremely tempting about picking a Captaincy option against Hull. We at The Hype Train have made the move, sometimes without success. Gameweek 23 is stacked to the deck with premium options all at the top of their game, and when asking our Twitter populace who is the elite of the elite, and despite Sanchez, Aguero, and Kane's inclusion, it is Zlatan Ibrahimovic who stands out on top. Here's how the votes tallied.
Hull have accepted bids for Snodgrass, sold Livermore, changed manager, and show no signs that they'll be in safety come the end of the season. The trend to captain a player opposing Hull is an art that this article has adopted all season. There is no confidence in Hull, which provides great confidence for FPL players.
How have our Captains fared against Hull this season?
GW1 - Alternative: Jamie Vardy (Hull vs. Leicester) - 2pts
GW2 - Wildcard: Fernando Llorente (Swansea vs. Hull) - 2pts
GW3 - Essential: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Hull vs. Man United) - 2pts
GW4 - Wildcard: Tom Heaton (Burnley vs. Hull) - 2pts
GW6 - Alternative: Sadio Mane (Liverpool vs. Hull) - 7pts
GW10 - Wildcard: Troy Deeney (Watford vs. Hull) - 2pts
GW11 - Alternative: Charlie Austin (Hull City vs. Southampton) - 7pts
GW12 - Alternative: Jermain Defoe (Sunderland vs. Hull City) - 11pts
GW16 - Essential: Harry Kane (Spurs vs. Hull) - 2pts
GW19 - Alternative: Romelu Lukaku (Hull vs. Everton) - 2pts
Out of 10 appearances in our Captaincy articles, only 3 of our choices have been against Hull. The only two times an Essential option has been picked against Hull, the options, one of which was Zlatan Ibrahimovic away at Hull for Gameweek 3, none have been successful. In fact, we've not backed on an option against Hull since Romelu Lukaku did nothing in a 2-2 draw between Hull and Everton during Gameweek 19.
So despite the popular vote in Zlatan's favour for Gameweek 23, there are no certantites that he'll get the job done for FPL players. Man United are fresh off playing Hull in the League Cup semi-final second-leg, and will have an immediate repeat of that fixture to close out the Gameweek on Wednesday 1st February. Zlatan's the man though and this is the last best fixture for United at home, so there one last chance to parade the Swede's flag as head of your FPL team for one more week.
Man United's Next 5 Fixtures
GW23: Hull (h)
GW24: Leicester (a)
GW25: Watford (h)
GW26: Man City (a)
GW27: Bournemouth (h)
Notes on Zlatan
Zlatan has managed 14 goals, 5 assists, a total of 132 FPL points, with 24 of those points being Bonus Points.
Only Alexis Sanchez (ARS) has more points (162) than Zlatan Ibrahimovic (132).
No player has more Bonus Points this season after 22 Gameweek's than Ibrahimovic (24). The nearest challenge is Sunderland's Defoe (21).
Zlatan has played 1890 minutes of Premier League football this season, only Defoe has played more (1972).
Only three Forwards in the FPL have received 5 yellow cards this season - Ibrahimovic (MUN), Costa (CHE), and Deeney (WAT). Deeney received his 5th yellow card after Gameweek 19, meaning he didn't serve a suspension.
Zlatan has the joint most assists this season (5), which is level with Diego Costa and Wayne Rooney.
With 43.3% ownership in the FPL, Zlatan is the most selected player in the game.
CAPTAINCY HYPE: THE ALTERNATIVE PICK
Player: Dele Alli (Spurs)
Player Price: £8.8 million
Player Selection %: 25.0%
It's been a month to remember for Dele Alli in January, a month that will certainly lead the England international to the Player of the Month award. January isn't over yet though for Spurs, who entertain Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, with the aim of finishing the month unbeaten. Last time round for Spurs, they beat Sunderland 1-0 at White Hart Lane during Gameweek 5. On that occasion Deli Alli assisted Harry Kane for the only goal of the game and ended with 6 points. As the season has progressed Sunderland have maintained their relegation form, whilst Spurs have hit another level, and if their away form is to go by, they should blow Sunderland out of the water. Drawing 2-2 at Man City, and previously beating Southampton and Watford by the margin of 4-1, Spurs are free flowing and dominant on the road.
Alli ahead of all others has been irresistible on the road,. and in general, and even though he's gone through a good spell of form, we're going to take the plunge and back him whilst Alli's still red hot.
Alli's Recent Returns in the FPL
GW17, Burnley (h): 9 points (1 goal, 2 bonus)
GW18, Southampton (a): 15 points (2 goals, 3 bonus)
GW19, Watford (a): 14 points (2 goals, 1 bonus)
GW20, Chelsea (h): 15 points (2 goals, 1 yellow card, 3 bonus)
GW21, West Brom (h): 6 points (1 assist)
GW22: Man City (a): 6 points (1 goal, 1 yellow card)
When analysis what Alli is doing well in the Spurs team is rather simple. He's an additional head in the box for Spurs, alongside Kane in the box at every available opportunity. He's getting into the dangerous positions, making late runs, and seizing the right moment to strike. It's eerily similar to how Frank Lampard operated for Chelsea for many years. Lampard would ghost into the box, be in the right place at the right time, and provide another outlet other than the established forwards such as Drogba, all whilst still maintaining their industry further behind the pitch in midfield.
Spurs's Next 5 Fixtures
GW23: Sunderland (a)
GW24: Middlesbrough (h)
GW25: Liverpool (a)
GW26: Stoke (h)
GW27: Everton (h)
Alli's selection as a midfield choice offers the best alternative to a Forward pick for the week. With Zlatan, Aguero, and Kane, all likely to be popular picks, Alli is the true alternative to mainstream options, and a midfield alternative to Alexis Sanchez, who faces Watford at home. Facts, figures, and the nature of statistics, which are at the heart of the Fantasy Premier League, dictate that Alli's numbers do not lie and he's one of Gameweek 23's premium captaincy options, regarding of opposition.
Notes on Alli
Alli has scored 11 goals, provided 5 assists, and totalled 127 points, with 12 of those points being bonus points.
Alli is ranked 5th in the overall players list, with 127 points. Only Costa (129), Hazard (129), Ibrahimovic (132) and Sanchez (162) have more points than Alli.
No player made more FPL points than Dele Alli over the last 5 Gameweek's (GWs 18-22), managing 56 points, scoring or assisting in each of the last 5 games.
On Tuesday 25/01/2017, Alli's ownership was 24.9%, the 5th highest for a midfielder in the FPL Sanchez, Hazard, Capoue, and Lallana, are all selected more.
Alli has as many yellow card (4) as defensive midfield team mate, Dembele. Only Wanyama (6) has more yellows.
Alli has as many bonus points (12) as Matt Phillips (WBA) and Roberto Firmino (12).
The Spurs midfielder has the best form according to the FPL (11.2).
CAPTAINCY HYPE: THE WILDCARD PICK
Player: Mesut Ozil (ARS)
Player Price: £9.5 million
Player Selection %: 7.3%
Round up our collection of three Captaincy picks ahead of Gameweek 23 is our lowly selected Wildcard pick, and upon discovering our 10 best options ahead of the midweek games, only a few of our options stood out as captaincy worthy. Toying between the inclusion of Kevin de Bruyne, away at West Ham, and Andre Gray,who is preparing to take on Leicester at the modern day fortress of Turf Moor. In the end we chose to keep pace with London side Arsenal, and their German international Mesut Ozil. When questioning why, we had a few general thoughts that make Ozil's first appearance in our Captaincy articl an enticing one.
1) Set piece specialist - on all corners and free kicks that are not direct (he's got to fight Sanchez for those).
Going back to basics - has assisted in his last two games.
2) laying in the CAM role - The free role he played in the Champions League group stage campaign.
3) Was rested in the 5-0 FA Cup victory at Southampton - Game time assured, as Ozil's been nursed back from a small niggle.
4) Gunners finding form - Ozil and company are on a green patch of form.
5) Different option - Ozil offers another route into the Arsenal midfield if you don't have Sanchez, or can't afford Alexis's hefty price tag.
6) Ozil scord in the reverse fixture in a 3-1 victory at Vicerage Road.
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
The availability of Mesut Ozil as a wildcard is not surprising at this point of the season. This team last season Ozil had already managed 17 assists and was on the tail end of his form for the 2015/16 FPL season. It was the Sanchez show after January, and the Ozil show before it. So it is oddly refreshing that Ozil is still part of the conversation in regards to being a valid option for players to dwell on ahead of a visit from Watford.
The travelling side have been struggling for form, which has been tipped by the Italian Baldwin, Walter Mazzarri, looking visibly distressed after his Hornets got dumped out of the FA Cup by a Millwall side who are struggling not just with their league campaign, but for its existence entirely. When visiting Arsenal the script is usually set before the whistle. Arsenal will have a lot of possession, play the ball around until they squeeze the life out of Watford, and if not, the life out of a frustrated Arsenal crowd who expect better from a squad who should be dispatching sides like Watford as easily as Chelsea do.
There's every viable chance that Ozil will be instrumental for FPL players during Gameweek 23, utilising his set pieces and high passing rate as a means that will ultimately attract Fantasy points.
Notes on Ozil
Mesut Ozil has managed 5 goals, 6 assists, and 10 bonus points, totalling 96 FPL points from 19 appearances.
Ozil has as many points (6) as Liverpool left-back, and FPL midfielder, James Milner.
Ozil's 5 Pemier League goals is the same as 7 other midfielders: Pedro (CHE), Willian (CHE), McArthur (CRY), Coutinho (LIV), Sterling (MCI), Allen (STK), Eriksen (TOT), and Capoue (WAT).
The German international's 6 assists this season is the same as 5 other midfielders: Stanislas (BOU), Pedro (CHE), Coutinho (LIV), Mane (LIV), and Sigurdsson (SWA).
Ozil has as many bonus points (10), assists (6), and goals (5) as Chelsea's Pedro. The Blues midfielder is £2.5 million cheaper and is owned by just 5.9% of the FPL, compared to Ozil's 7.3%
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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