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 GW28 is Saturday 11th March 2017 at 14:00pm.
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: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal vs. Hull) - 15pts
Alternative: Diego Costa (Burnley vs. Chelsea) - 2pts
Wildcard: Gabriel Jesus (Bournemouth vs. Man City) - 1pt
Essential: Romelu Lukaku (Everton vs. Sunderland) - 6pts
Alternative: Sadio Mane (Leicester vs. Liverpool) - 2pts
Wildcard: Troy Deeney (Watford vs. West Ham) - 9pts
Essential: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Man United vs. Bournemouth) - -1pts
Alternative: Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea vs. Burnley) - 5pts
Wildcard: Manolo Gabbiadini (Watford vs. Southampton) - 5pts
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), 15 (25), 6 (26), -1 (27) = 162pts
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), 2 (25), 2 (26), 5 (27) = 176pts
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), 1 (25), 9 (26), 5 (27) = 119pts
CAPTAINCY HYPE: THE ESSENTIAL PICK
Player: Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
Player Price: £9.5 million
Player Selection %: 18.3%
Only by miracle is it we're talking about Liverpool featuring in Gameweek 28's round of fixtures. Burnley's FA Cup defeat against non-league Lincoln City was the shock of the round, and it opened the door for a 4th fixture to take place during GW28. What isn't so miraculous is that Sadio Mane has stormed to the top of the captaincy picks ahead of the upcoming Gameweek. Liverpool's winger has been in grand form in front of the Anfield faithful and has an opportunity to show opponents Burnley what the Clarets missed out on in their original Gameweek 2 fixture, which Burnley won 2-0.
See below how Mane stacked up against his FPL competition this week...
Mane if anything is a wildcard in this fixture because we don't know how to rate the winger against one of the best organised defences in the Premier League, but what we know is that left-back Ward is going to have a challenge to stop Mane and Clyne, much like he struggled against Swansea's Narsingh.
Liverpool's Next 5 Fixtures
GW28: Burnley (h)
GW29: Man City (a)
GW30: Everton (h)
GW31: Bournemouth (h)
GW32: Stoke (a)
In a condensed Gameweek of just four fixtures, we were probably going to include Mane in the list of Essential picks, regardless of opposition. Mane delivers at home, and tore Spurs and Arsenal to pieces, and if this can be transferred when taking on sides that reorganise defensively, Mane could be in for another massive week at home, and perhaps the sway of West Brom's defence at Goodison is making you think twice about Lukaku in that premium position.
If we were betting men, we'd predict Liverpool to win the fixture by 2 or 3 goals without reply, but it may be closer than that. If Liverpool are to win, much like he has been this season, Mane will be the key to success on both fronts: fantasy and reality.
Notes on Sadio Mane
So far this season Mane has 12 goals, 7 assists, 147 FPL points, with 4 of those points being bonus points.
James Milner, Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mane, each have 14 bonus points this season.
Mane has 29 points at home in the FPL in his last 2 games at Anfield, compared to just 4 points away from home.
Mane is averaging 6.1 points per match so far this season, which is representative of 24 matches this season.
The Liverpool winger has appeared in the FPL Dream Team on 4 occasions, with Firmino (5) appearing more.
With 18.£% selection, Mane is the most highly selected Liverpool player in the FPL.
CAPTAINCY HYPE: THE ALTERNATIVE PICK
Player: Romelu Lukaku (Everton)
Player Price: £10.0 million
Player Selection %: 34.8%
For Gameweek 26's Captaincy Hype article Romelu Lukaku featured in the titular position of Essential pick ahead of a home game against Sunderland, whilst Liverpool's Sadio Mane was in the Alternative slot for an away trip to struggling Leicester when Claudio Ranieri was still Manager. On that occasion Lukaku did the business, notching a goal and 6 FPL points, whilst Mane suffered as Leicester binned their only successful manager, and immediately profited from Craig Shakespeare, as the Liverpool winger managed 2 points in a 3-1 loss at the King Power.
Now the roles have reversed and it is Lukaku who finds himself seated behind his rival Red, despite continuing his vain of good form with an away goal at White Hart Lane in Everton's 3-2 defeat. West Brom are coming to Merseyside for Gameweek 28, pitting Lukaku against one of his earlier employers, whilst at least in the short term it is looking rosy for owners of the Belgian in the FPL.
Everton's Next 5 Fixtures
GW28: West Brom (h)
GW29: Hull (h)
GW30: Liverpool (a)
GW31: Man United (a)
GW32: Leicester (h)
Two home games against the Baggies and Hull are enticing, especially for those who have been planning for this shortened Gameweek, as you can trust your Everton FPL assets the week after they entertain West Brom. The inclusion of Lukaku in our Captaincy article is perhaps self-explanatory given that 12 teams do not feature and Everton are in a good position to perform well yet again. West Brom will give Everton a good game, but in general Tony Pulis's side have struggled against the Toffees, and earlier this season lost 2-1, a game Lukaku came off the bench for without affect.
Form alone, with six goals in his last 4 Premier League outings, and a near 40% ownership selection justifies Lukaku's inclusion as a possible captain. Most of your friends in mini-leagues will captain the Belgian, so he could be used as a tool to keep pace with your league rivals. It's the safe bet, but masses will flock for Lukaku, so it'll be a wise movve to keep your foot on the front, unless of course you have Mane, and then you're probably bettter off picking our Gameweek 28 essential.
Notes on Romelu Lukaku
The Belgian forward has 18 goals, 4 assists, and 154 FPL points this season, with 22 bonus points.
Lukaku has the same number of FPL points (154) as Chelsea forward Diego Costa, with both forwards sharing the top spot.
Costa and Lukaku also share the same number of bonus points, 22. Additionally, both have featured in the FPL Dream Team of the Gameweek 3 times.
Lukaku has not scored in 3 consecutive games this season, but has managed to score in back-to-back games on 4 occasions.
Last time out against West Brom, Lukaku managed just a single FPL point, only playing 53 minutes of the Gameweek 2 fixture.
Lukaku is currently averaging 5.9 points per match, which is representative of the 26 fixtures he's participated in so far this season.
CAPTAINCY HYPE: THE WILDCARD PICK
Player: Fernando Llorente (Swansea)
Player Price: £6.4 million +
Player Selection %: 8.6%
Here's the insight of Hype Train Chief Writer, @TheHypeTrainSam, regarding Swansea's main man up top, Fernando Llorente, ahead of Gameweek 28's visit to relegation threatened Hull:
Fernando Llorente doesn't feel like a differential option heading into this fixture, his rise from obscurity since the arrival of Paul Clement has seen the rise of a legitimate FPL option in your attacking line (at a budget price too!). Hitting a double against Burnley with two thumping headers was an indicator of his irreplaceable status coming into this shortened gameweek, with Hull shipping goals against Leicester and Swansea's general good form it could be another high scoring week for the Spaniard. Surely Paul Clement has been one of the best management appointments this season and getting the best out of an out-and-out goal scorer was the Englishman's priority, and after hitting thirteen points last week we are happy to include him again in this week’s picks.
Swansea's Next 5 Fixtures
GW28: Hull (a)
GW29: Bournemouth (a)
GW30: Middlesbrough (h)
GW31: Spurs (h)
GW32: West Ham (a)
Notes on Fernando Llorente
The Spanish forward has tallied 11 goals, 2 assists, and 104 FPL points, with 14 bonus points to his name.
Llorente has completed the full 90 minutes in 12/24 Premier League appearances this season, a total of half.
With 14 bonus points to his name so far this season, Llorente has more than fellow Swan, Gylfi Sigurdsson, who has 13 bonus points.
11 goals this season for Llorente means that he is ranked 7th in the Premier League on the scoring charts for FPL forwards.
Last time out against Hull during GW2, Llorente played the full 90 minutes in a 2-0 home defeat, and gained 2 FPL points.
Llorente has the same number of FPL points as Crystal Palace winger, Wilfried Zaha, wo also scored during Gameweek 27.
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