Picking a Captain to double down on in the Fantasy Premier League is the most important question asked ahead of each of the 38 Gameweek's in the Premier League season. There's a lot of self-help out there for FPL enthusiasts, with our Hype Team providing three major considerations for the armband for each and every 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. Captaincy can make of break a Gameweek so 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
Gameweek 1: Essential Consideration
The first week of the season is always the hardest. You've got to pick a group of 15 players that you're completely unsure of, because of transfers, new managers, promoted clubs, placing pieces of the jigsaw early on is always a losing battle. It's perhaps best to start off with the consideration for Captain. For Gameweek 1 we have gone exclusively with Forwards to build from the front, with our Alternative and Wildcard picks also reflecting this.
CAPTAINCY HYPE: THE ESSENTIAL PICK
Our Essential picks for captain are selected each and every week on our main Twitter account, @RealHypeTrain, with four highly selected FPL options battling it out for alpha status amongst fellow FPL players.
Gameweek 1: Essential
Player: Romelu Lukaku (MUN)
Player Price: £11.5 million
Player Selection %: 48.6% (as of 08/08/2017)
With the foursome of Harry Kane, Alexandre Lacazette, Sergio Aguero, and Romelu Lukaku, vying for our top spot of captaincy for the opening weekend of the season, it is perhaps no surprise the the most selected player in the FPL, who has an exceptional scoring record against GW1 opponents, West Ham, should march to a convincing victory in our Twitter poll. Romelu Lukaku boasted a majority on his way to becoming the first essential of the season.
Man United have a fast and powerful forward line for the upcoming season, one that's also young, and with favourable fixtures in the opening games. The Belgian has already opened his account, against Real Madrid of all teams, so there is growing anticipation that Lukaku may be the man to back come Gameweek 1. West Ham fear Lukaku, with nearly a dozen goals in 10 games against the London side, with Lukaku only failing to find the net against the Hammers in a 0-0 draw at the London Stadium.
In regards to set-pieces, we'd be mightily surprised if Lukaku isn't commanding penalty kicks, as well as being in contention for some free-kicks. Both points are potentially interested to FPL players.
With Harry Kane pushing Lukaku for essential contention this week, the popularity and fixture for Man United's new premium forward has been too much to overlook.
Stats and Information: Romelu Lukaku
Lukaku's move to Man United was undisclosed, but is rumoured to be £75 million with a further £15 million in additional fees depending on appearances, goals, and trophies, with the Manchester club.
Last season was Lukaku's first 20+ goal season in the Premier League. Lukaku was runner-up in the race for the golden boot, with 25 goals, pipped on the final day by 26 goal Harry Kane.
Lukaku has scored in 9 of his last 10 appearances against West Ham. His last encounter against the Hammers with Everton resulted in a 0-0 draw at the London Stadium.
At the age of 24, Lukaku has 10+ goals in each of his five seasons in the Premier League, and a total of 53 goals.
Lukaku managed 221 FPL points last season, the 5th highest tally in the game, and was the 2nd top scoring Forward, behind Kane (224pts).
Last season Lukaku scored twice against top six opposition, against Man City (GW8) and Arsenal (GW38).
CAPTAINCY HYPE: THE ALTERNATIVE PICK
Our Alternative selection for captain typically commands a smaller FPL ownership percentage, but can be reserved for The Hype Train's own gut instincts on who could be captaincy inspiration.
Gameweek 1: Alternative
Player: Roberto Firmino (LIV)
Player Price: £8.5 million
Player Selection %: 18.6% (as of 08/08/2017)
Another season means another interesting case of Liverpool's credentials. Fans of the Merseyside club have endured a frustrating summer, with transfer activity driving many of the fanbase over the edge, with long, and mostly fruitless negotiations. Mo Salah is the only high profile name through the door, but that was a move that took months to complete and unveil. Dominic Solanke's arrival has been a low-key affair, but the England Under-20 World Cup winner has delightfully surprised fans of his capabilities throughout the pre-season campaign. Onto a darker note, there is uncertainty right now at the club with Philippe Coutinho's future potentially up in the air, with Barcelona sniffing around the Brazilian magician. A deal for Naby Keita looked promising, before RB Leipzig and their billions played hardball and refused to sell. To top the lot, the never-ending Virgil van Dijk summer saga continues to roll on, with the Netherlands international finally handing in a transfer request at Southampton, just days after Jurgen Klopp said that he was currently happy with his defensive options.
Right now the club are juggling with the heartstrings of FPL players, with all of the above impacting on player selection for the Reds on the opening day of the season. The rays of light in Liverpool's squad appear to be the attacking trio of Sadio Mane, who is now fully fit, new signing Salah who had an eye for goal in pre-season, and leading the line is Roberto Firmino.
Pre-season was extremely profitable for the club, both on and off the field of play, with Firmino registering 3 goals and 4 assists, more than any other player in the Reds camp. Liverpool haven't changed the way they played during pre-season, still deplying the 4-3-3 system, with Firmino the tip of the spear.
In Fantasy terms players are beginning to consider the newly classified Forward as the best approach to cover Liverpool's multitude of attacking talent, especially as a 3rd Forward. With Liverpool you know the goals are coming, and with Watford and Crystal Palace first up for the Reds, it could be a goal-heavy few weeks. There's also the slight temptation of penalty kick duty for Firmino, though we except James Milner to retain his spot-kick duty from last season.
His status as a Forward hasn't receded interest in Firmino, it's done the opposite and galvanised potential FPL support. Firmino's cheaper than his club-mates and we believe that a Liverpool attacking option is a must-have for the opening weeks of the season. Our gut is telling us that Firmino, as of writing, could be the one to back at the start of the season.
Stats and Information: Roberto Firmino
For the 2017/18 season, Firmino has been reclassified as a Forward, having been a Midfielder for the 2016/17 season.
Last season, Firmino managed 11 goals and 11 assists, with 17 bonus points.
Firmino's 11 assists last season was the most by any Liverpool player. Had Firmino been a Forward last season, his 11 assists would have ranked joint top with Chelsea's Diego Costa, who also managed 11 assists.
Firmino was Liverpool's top player in the FPL last season with 180 points. The Brazilian beat fellow countryman Philippe Coutinho by 9 points, with Coutinho finishing with 171 points.
Priced at £8.5 million, Firmino is priced as the joint 10th most expensive Forward with Leicester's Jamie Vardy.
CAPTAINCY HYPE: THE WILDCARD PICK
Our Wildcard selection is one of the ten differential picks that is featured in our Weekly Wildcards article. This captaincy selection has a very small percentage of owners in the FPL, and is our left field option.
Gameweek 1: Wildcard
Player: Josh King (BOU)
Player Price: £7.5 million
Player Selection %: 5.4% (as of 08/08/2017)
Josh King ultimately proved to be an FPL sensation last season, ending the 2016/17 season with 16 goals and 3 assists in a mightily impressive 2017. Bournemouth midfield assets were all but non-existent last season, and might very well be this season amongst FPL players, except for a spell when Junior Stanlislas was considered, before King took Stanislas's place due to injury and cementing himself as a player not to be forgotten by the FPL community. We here at The Hype Train are massive fans of the Bournemouth player, who like alternative captaincy selection, Roberto Firmino, has been reclassified as a Forward for the upcoming season.
King's selection comes as he is one of the ten inclusions in our Weekly Wildcards article, which focuses on weekly differentials that might prove to be the hidden gems in any given Gameweek. With ownership just above 5%, partly due to a potential injury niggle ahead of a visit to West Brom, King's inclusion has been overlooked by a vast majority of the game, despite having mouth watering ties against a Baggies side that has struggled for form over the pre-season period, and against a Watford side that is transitioning with a new manager in Marco Silva.
With West Brom defensive assets fancied, we have curbed the trend and have fancied the penalty-taking King to be one of the assets who helps deflate the first Gameweek with a goal. King was among the form players to end the season and he and the Cherries will hope to pick up where they left off, and that's with their talisman back on the score-sheet.
You can read @HypeTrainSam's full differential article, featuring more insight and analysis regarding Josh King, on our website right now. Just click on the below.
Stats and Information: Josh King
For the 2017/18 season, King has been reclassified as a Forward, having been a Midfielder for the 2016/17 season.
At Bournemouth King plays as a second striker behind either Benik Afobe or Jermain Defoe in a 4-4-1-1 formation.
Priced at £7.5 million, King is priced as the joint 15th most expensive forward, priced on the same band as Wayne Rooney (EVE), Fernando Llorente (SWA), Marcus Rashford (MUN), and Danny Welbeck (ARS).
Josh King managed 178 points in the FPL last season, with was just 2 short of Roberto Firmino (180), with King ranked 11th overall.
Last season, Josh King scored 16 goals, assisted 3 times, and managed 17 bonus points.
Josh King has only been booked twice in the Premier League over two seasons.
King ended last season with a £6.2 million price tag, which means his value has been rocketed by £1.3 million for the 2017/18 season.
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, live sport, and professional wrestling.
The Hype Train were nominated and shortlisted for the 'Best Football Blog 2016' by the Football Bloggers Association at their annual Football Blogging Awards (The FBA's), with the final presentation held at Old Trafford in Manchester.
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