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
CAPTAINCY HYPE: 2017/18 SEASON PERFORMANCE
In each Captaincy Hype article we track our progress throughout the 2017/18 FPL season. Below you can check how our Captaincy selections have performed by week to week in the Fantasy Premier League.
Essential: Romelu Lukaku (Man United vs. West Ham) - 13pts
Alternative: Roberto Firmino (Watford vs. Liverpool) - 12pts
Wildcard: Josh King (West Brom vs. Bournemouth) - 2pts
Essential Total: 13 (1) = 13 points
Alternative Total: 12 (1) = 12 points
Wildcard Total: 2 (1) = 2 points
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 2: Essential
Player: Romelu Lukaku (MUN)
Player Price: £11.6 million
Player Selection %: 51.9% (as of 16/08/2017)
With Gameweek 1 now long in the history books, FPL players are looking towards a second weekend of Premier League action and asking questions over their captaincy. Last week Man United forward Romelu Lukaku steamrolled his way to become our captaincy essential, and after a two goal haul against West Ham on the first Sunday of the season, expectations are high for a repeat performance for a Swansea side sat sat deep and absorbed 29 shots from a Southampton side who simply couldn't put the ball in the back of the net.
Gameweek 2's essential captaincy poll has 3 familiar faces from the first poll, with Alexandre Lacazette (ARS) and Sergio Aguero (MCI) retaining their spots for top captaincy billing alongside Lukaku. The only chance sees Harry Kane drop down to make room for Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino, who scored and assisted during Gameweek 1's 3-3 draw at Watford. We'd omitted Kane due to facing superior competition at a new home at Wembley, even though a weakened Chelsea team must surely be tempting for some to put faith the Kane's goal scoring abilities. With Firmino facing a Crystal Palace side brushed aside by a Huddersfield squad that play in the same manner as the Liverpool team, the Brazilian is a safe bet for consideration.
Of course though, due to Lukaku's dominant performance against West Ham, there was only ever really going to be one winner of our captaincy poll ahead of Gameweek 2.
With Lukaku locked and loaded for a second straight Gameweek, Lukaku has seen his FPL ownership breach the 50% mark, and has seen his price rise to £11.6 million. With Lukaku amongst those on bandwagon transfer the thought of not backing the Belgian forward for the away trip to Swansea, even if just as a squad member, could set your team a mile behind if he keeps up his scoring form.
FPL bandwagons exist to latch onto momentum of points for in-form players. They don't always work, but in the case of Lukaku, who is back by over half of the game's populace, it is imperative to at least hold ground with your mini-league rivals, which is exactly why Lukaku has become a necessity. Last season both Aguero and Ibrahimovic started strongly, and now it is Aguero and now another United who has done the same.
Swansea should offer another Saturday of goals in the Premier League. Lucky not to concede double figures against Southampton, United should brush aside the Welsh side, just as they did last season in a 3-0 victory. For Gameweek 2, Lukaku picks himself as the essential captain, and it will be what the majority of players do again this weekend.
Stats and Information: Romelu Lukaku
Lukaku opened his FPL account with 13 points against West Ham, with 2 goals and all 3 bonus points.
The haul of 13 points by Lukaku puts him joint top of the Forwards rankings, level with Jamie Vardy (LEI) and Sam Vokes (BUR).
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 now scored in 10 of his last 11 appearances against West Ham. His brace against the Hammers was the first time in which the Belgian has scored more than one goal in a single game against the London club.
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 2: Alternative
Player: Mohamed Salah (LIV)
Player Price: £9.1 million
Player Selection %: 27.2% (as of 16/08/2017)
Liverpool have won their first game of the season after a 2-1 victory against Hoffenheim in the first-leg of their Champions League qualifying round. The Reds fielded an unchanged starting eleven from their 3-3 draw at Watford, which meant the dynamic trio up top (Firmino, Mane, Salah), all featured. Though none got on the score sheet, the attacking movement from Salah and Mane in particular caused robust German opposition problems all night long. We waited until the dust settled on Liverpool's first European outing of the season before earmarking Mo Salah in our alternative captaincy slot for Gameweek 2.
With Liverpool picking up no injuries, it is all systems go for their first fixture at Anfield this season, a ground of so much hope and promise for the club, as well as most importantly goals, lots and lots of goals, to entice FPL players in their thousands to think about their attacking assets as captaincy material. Salah is this week's prime candidate having already been amongst the goals, and offers a midfield alternative for the armband to the heavily popular Romelu Lukaku.
Mo Salah is our first midfield choice to be a captaincy option this season, and with Liverpool attacking options we highly doubt that it will be Salah, or Liverpool's last, inclusion in this alternative spot. FPL players have once again come to terms that midfielders and forwards from the Merseyside club are an essential asset to FPL players when in-form, with Salah adding to the equation. Both the Egyptian and Sadio Mane look dangerous in attacking areas and it's likely that each week they'll take turns in the spotlight. This week Salah takes the limelight for a goal and an assist on his second Premier League debut.
Out of the two Salah is more likely to be in the box and at the end of a cross or a pass. Mane, like he did against Watford, will start from outside the box, and work his way into a scoring position. Salah, even more so than Firmino, will already be in that scoring position. Salah could have easily opened his account in the first half against Watford, but toed a shot over the bar from point blank range.
This delicious combination on the wings should profit Liverpool again against a Crystal Palace side that have not come to terms with their new 3-4-3 system under Frank de Boer. Outclassed and outplayed by Huddersfield, it should be of note that Liverpool will play in a similar fashion to that of the newly promoted side, so we expect a repeat performance from Liverpool, and some scathing post-match reaction towards Palace's new Manager.
Stats and Information: Mo Salah
Mo Salah opened his FPL account for the 2017/18 season with a goal and an assist away at Watford, also managing 1 bonus point on his league debut for Liverpool.
There was only one penalty kick during Gameweek 1, and it was Mo Salah who won it after being taken down in the area by Watford goalkeeper, Heurelho Gomes. Roberto Firmino scored the resulting spot kick.
874,608 FPL players put faith in Salah for the opening Gameweek of the season.
With 26.2% ownership (as of 14/08/2017), Salah is the most selected Liverpool player in the FPL. Only Kevin De Bruyne (MCI) and Dele Alli (TOT) are selected more.
Mo Salah's price rose from £9.0m to £9.1m on Tuesday 15th August 2017.
Salah has previously been part of two seasons in the Premier League for Chelsea, which was during the 2013/14 and 2014/15 season's. In those campaigns the Egyptian managed just 34 points, with 2 goals and 1 assist to his name during the 2013/14 campaign.
Last season at Roma, Salah scored 15 goals and assisted 11 times in the Italian Serie A, and picked up just 2 yellow cards.
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 2: Wildcard
Player: Steve Mounie (HUD)
Player Price: £6.0 million (expected to rise to £6.1 million by GW2's deadline)
Player Selection %: 3.0% (as of 16/08/2017)
Dream debuts in the Premier League have affected all of our captaincy selections this week. If it was a good weekend for both Lukaku and Salah, imagine how it must have felt to be Huddersfield's Steve Mounie, a player who will now go down in the annuals of Huddersfield's history as their first legitimate goal-scorer in the Premier League. More to the point, imagine being part of the 0.6% of FPL players to bank on the former Montpellier man to be one of the standout performers last weekend.
We've been hyping Mounie to be a stand-out performer for some time, and featured last week in our Weekly Wildcard differentials articles. Now, not only does Mounie feature again in our differentials list against a Newcastle side devoid of two key defensive players in Paul Dummett and Florian Lejeune, but he does so in a captaincy position.
Huddersfield's first home game of the season is televised and it could be an inspired choice ahead of the likes of Salah and Lukaku to prize the armband to Mounie in hopes of another free-flowing and goal hungry Huddersfield performance.
Our Pre-Season Speculation over Steve Mounie
Lastly on the docket is Huddersfield's record signing, and a player that we here at the Hype Train are seriously putting onto our watchlist's for the beginning of the season. Steve Mounie isn't a name most in the Premier League circle will know, but if you follow France's Ligue 1 at all, you'll know that Mounie is a proven goal-scorer, who was only one goal shy of matching the in-form Mario Balotelli's goal haul. Mounie is the latest Montpellier striker to make the move to the Premier League (yes, that's the club Arsenal's Olivier Giroud once played for), and Huddersfield fans are also purring over his potential to lead the line next season.
The Benin forward always has a taste for goal, netting in three consecutive pre-season friendlies for Town, and at 6ft 3inches, the tall striker is also pacey and powerful, a perfect combination for a potentially prolific Premier League forward. Will Mounie start though? Kachunga isn't a worry for his position (as he's going to be playing on the right), and neither will Nahki Wells, but Laurent Depoitre, a record signing from Porto befor Mooy and Mounie were announced at the club, will do everything in his power to dethrone a potential starter. That said, Mounie is a record signing and is a proven scorer in a top European league, and we expect that to translate to starts at the beginning of the season.
Our money sticks with Mounie. He's an underrated choice for your 3rd forward position. With fixtures on his side, the powerful forward might gatecrash Gameweek 1 with a shock. Huddersfield are the unknown, and if they're to shock a global audience on the opening weekend, and beat Crystal Palace, Mounie will be part of the equation that does it.
Stats and Information: Steve Mounie
Steve Mounie opened his FPL account for the 2017/18 season with 12 points, scoring twice away at Crystal Palace, and managing all 3 bonus points, though he was booked on his league debut.
Steve Mounie's FPL ownership at the start of Gameweek 1 was 0.6%
Just 27,779 FPL players had Mounie in their Gameweek 1 squads.
Last season for Ligue 1 side Montpellier, Mounie made 35 appearances (3 as a substitute with 2830 minutes played), scoring 14 goals, assisting 3 times, and obtaining 4 yellow and 1 red cards.
No Huddersfield player in the FPL is yet to reach 5% player ownership.
3 forwards scores braces away from home during Gameweek 1; Leicester's Jamie Vardy, Burnley's Sam Vokes, and Huddersfield's Steve Mounie.
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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