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 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 GW1 is Saturday 11th February 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: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal vs. Burnley) - 8pts
Alternative: Romelu Lukaku (Crystal Palace vs. Everton) - 2pts
Wildcard: Junior Stanislas (Bournemouth vs. Watford) - 2pts
Essential: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Man United vs. Hull) - 2pts
Alternative: Dele Alli (Sunderland vs. Spurs) - 3pts
Wildcard: Mesut Ozil (Arsenal vs. Watford) - 2pts
Essential: Harry Kane (Spurs vs. Middlesbrough) - 6pts
Alternative: Romelu Lukaku (Everton vs. Bournemouth) - 21pts
Wildcard: Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace vs. Sunderland) - 0pts
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), 2 (23), 6 (24) = 142pts
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), 3 (23), 21 (24) = 167pts
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), 2 (23), 0 (24) = 104pts
CAPTAINCY HYPE: THE ESSENTIAL PICK
Player: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
Player Price: £11.8 million
Player Selection %: 35.7%
Another Gamweeek provides another opportunity to review the usefulness of Alexis Sanchez in the FPL. Gameweek 24's 3-1 defeat at Chelsea was rough for the 35% plus ownership on Sanchez, but it was a shared pain for the millions that was kind of expected the Arsenal midfielder to do away at the eventual Champions of England. Here's how Sanchez lined up against our other contenders for the upcoming Gameweek 25.
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
GW23 - Essential: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Man United vs. Hull) - 2pts
Arsenal's Next 5 Fixtures
GW25: Hull (home)
GW26: NOT PLAYING
GW27: Liverpool (away)
GW28: Leicester (home)
GW29: West Brom (away)
It's likely Hull will follow the similar format that they took at United, and Arsenal will be Arsenal, and the Arsenal it could be is the same one that struggled to break down Middlesbrough, Watford, West Brom, and Burnley at home.
Nevertheless, if in doubt, Sanchez has probably deserve at least one more captaincy before a run of disruptive games in the FPL.
Notes on Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez has 168 points after 24 Gameweek's this season, having featured in every game. Sanchez has managed 15 goals, 9 assists, and 18 bonus points.
Sanchez has 23 points more than his nearest competitor in the FPL, Eden Hazard (145pts).
With 15 Premier Goals so far this season, Sanchez is the top scoring midfielder, ahead of Spurs's Delli Alli, who has 11.
In Arsenal's previous encounter with Hull, Sanchez scored twice and missed a penalty, earning 10 points in the process.
Sanchez has scored more goals (15) and has more assists (9) than any other Arsenal player.
Alexis has featured in the FPL Dream Team on 6 occasions, level with Sunderland's Jermain Defoe.
Sanchez has an average of 7pts per game, and is surrounded by new January transfers in the top 5. The nearest competitor who has played more than 5 league games is Marcos Alonso (CHE), who is averaging 6.3 points per game.
CAPTAINCY HYPE: THE ALTERNATIVE PICK
Player: Diego Csta (CHE)
Player Price: £10.5 million
Player Selection %: 34.1%
Captain Sanchez, the ever reliable source of FPL inspirations this season might have won the day yet again in our polling, but this Gameweek has a wealth of premium options that are a source of potential to be tapped into. One such Fantasy source is Chelsea forward Diego Costa. The inclusion of Costa follows our trend to pick the selected essential from our weekly polling, and perhaps as we've stated on our social media accounts, we believe Costa is probably the man to back this Gameweek.
Trying to stop Costa, Hazard, and an impressive Chelsea side is Tom Heaton and Burnley's rugged home form, but on occasion against the big sides, Burnley have dropped the ball (even if they deserved better from the matches). Arsenal crushed their resolve with a last minute goal by Laurent Koscielny in a close 1-0 encounter at Turf Moor, which was then followed by a defeat to Man City, a game which saw Aguero score two from close range, albeit with a slice of fortune. This fixture might follow a similar suit of form that might see Burnley's home formula crushed again.
On so many occasions this season Costa has taken a game by the horns and made something happen. He did it against West Brom, bullying FPL favourite Gareth McAuley of the ball, and powering into the roof of the net. His killer instinct was also the difference away at Crystal Palace when he converted a header from an Azpilicueta cross in a 1-0 victory. A similar situation occurred when visiting Boro at the Riverside, stabbing home the only meaningful chance at goal.. His bullishness as a player saw the Spanish forward score in both fixtures against Hull, and help propel his side to a dominant performance at the Etihad.
The fixture at Burnley away has that cautious feeling that narrow path will be visited again. So often in crunch moments when you've got to fight for the points, Costa raises his game head and shoulders above his team and opponents. WWe don't envision that he'll be the most popular captaincy option this week, with players not wanting to captain against Tom Heaton in a clash situation, but we believe Chelsea are more potent than Arsenal, and that could have big dividends on the outcome of Gameweek 25.
Chelsea's Next 5 Fixtures
GW25: Burnley (a)
GW26: Swansea (h)
GW27: West Ham (a)
GW28: Watford (h) - Potentially rearranged due to FA Cup 6th round commitments.
GW29: Stoke (a)
The inclusion of Costa is one topic has has been brought up because he'll potentially miss Gameweek 28 due to the FA Cup 6th round. Looking at Costa's fixtures, Chelsea have some very favourable fixtures and we would not suggesting taking the Chelsea forward out of your team under any circumstance. He's one of the players that we'd like to see on the bench without a fixture, because his immediete fixtures are irresistable, and due to Man City, Arsenal, and Man United, all missing Gameweek 26, Costa is perhaps the most senior member of the FPL roster that is an essential captaincy option.
Notes on Costa
Costa has maanged 15 goals, 7 assists, and 137 points in the FPL, with 19 of those points being bonus.
Costa has appeared in 22 Premier League games this season, missing GW18's 3-0 victory over Bournemouth due to suspension, and GW21's 3-0 victory over Leicester due to being unsettled over a potential move to China (and a slight injury if you believe Conte).
Costa is level with Sanchez and Ibrahimovic on 15 goals in the premier League.
With 19 bonus points, 3 Forwards in the FPL have more - Zlatan, Lukaku, and Defoe.
Costa's highest price in the FPL was during Gameweek 17's 1-0 victory at Crystal Palace, when the Chelsea forward was priced at £11.0 million.
Costa managed 12 goals and 7 assists last season, and with 15 goals and 7 assists, the Spanish forward has already beaten that record this season from 22 league appearances.
CAPTAINCY HYPE: THE WILDCARD PICK
Player: Gabriel Jesus (MCI)
Player Price: £9.2 million
Player Selection %: 7.6%
If we were to ask you in August that a South American forward playing his trade at Man City had just scored 3 goals and claimed an assist in his last two matches, and is an FPL darling, you'd have bit our hands off that the answer to the question was Sergio Aguero. For years now it's been Aguero this, and Aguero that, to the point that his infactuation by Fantasy Premier League became blinding. In our Team of the Season article last year, he was placed in the Team of the Year ahead of Romelu Lukaku. Lukaku had a fine seasons in an average Everton squad, whereas Aguero had a few big performances near the end of the season. Now if we'd ask you this time who gets the nod of approval, it'd be Lukaku.
Aguero's fall from grace has finally been cemented with the arrival of Gabriel Jesus, the City forward who has scored 3 goals and bagged an assist in his last two matches. Taking over the Mantle of Aguero, albeit on a temporary basis, Jesus is starting in the summit of an attacking Man City unite that's scored 8 goals in their last 3 Premier League outings.
Ahead of Gameweek 25 Gabriel Jesus was a popular pick amongst the FPL community in regards to being a captaincy option, and he is the perfect wildcard pick due to his ownership percentage that puts him in prime real estate in our Weekly Wildcard differentials article. Jesus is the standout pick for the weekend ahead, and faces a Bournemouth side that recently just leaked six goals away at Everton, which is a perfect platform for Jesus to improve on his double digit returns in consecutive Gameweek's.
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
Jesus's FPL Returns
GW22 (Spurs, home): 1 point (9 minutes played as a sub in a 2-2 draw, scored a goal that was ruled as offside)
GW23 (West Ham, away): 11 points (1 goal, 1 assist, and 3 bonus points in a 4-0 victory)
GW24 (Swansea, home): 13 points (2 goals and 3 bonus points in a 2-1 victory)
Man City's Next 5 Fixtures
GW25: Bournemouth (away)
GW26: NOT PLAYING
GW27: Sunderland (away)
GW28: Stoke (home) - Potentially rearranged due to FA Cup 6th round commitments.
GW29: Liverpool (home)
There is a grave warning to be had with Gabriel Jesus's inclusion in the FPL over the short to medium term. He's been a fantastic inclusion to have, but with a strong possibility that he'll be missing both Gameweek 26 and 28, FPL managers are poised with a headache. Jesus's price range is similar to that of Romelu Lukaku at Everton and should perhaps be the option to pick in the time that Jesus isn't playing. As a differential option, Jesus's selection hovers around the 8% margin and is a perfect chance for those daring enough to pull rank in their Fantasy leagues.
Jesus has uprooted Aguero and the way things are going, he's going to retain that position. Pep likes a forward player in the build of a Roberto Firmino, essentially a utility attacker that can strafe from side to side and cause a problem with high intensity chasing and hurrying. Aguero is slightly different in his approach and is more a positional forward, who makes quick and decisive runs, possessing a wide finishing array which makes him deadly from any position. What's seen Aguero fall to the wasteside in recent weeks is a fresh impetus on young forwards such as Jesus, Sterling, and Sane, essentially off the leash, supported by Silva and De Bruyne. What Aguero is lacking in the Man City formula is the tenacity that Jesus is providing. We're not saying it's better, it's just different.
A player such as Aguero will not remain on the bench for the rest of the season, that's a given, but even with Aguero playing, Jesus could be joining him in the attack on the left forward slot, so there appears to be a minimal chance that Pep will take away his Brazilian star when he's red hot. We're just wary of the disclaimer that follows Man City around for FPL players... Do not trust them, City will eventually let you known when you most need them. They're the kings of rotation and frustration, which puts their Fantasy stock at a much lower level than that of an Arsenal or a Chelsea, who have predictable lineups each and every week.
Notes on Gabriel Jesus
Gabriel Jesus has scored 3 goals, made 1 assist, and has 25 points, with 6 bonus points.
Jesus's price in the FPL started at £9.0 million and now now risen to £9.2 million
Jesus has picked up double digit returns from both his starts in the FPL. Additionally, Jesus has picked up maximum bonus points from both his starts.
Jesus had 16,017 FPL players for GW23, and a greatly improved 207,777 players who had their the plunge with the Bazilian for GW24.
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