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: Romelu Lukaku (Swansea vs. Man United) - 6pts
Alternative: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace) - 1pt
Wildcard: Steve Mounie (Huddersfield vs. Newcastle) - 1pt
Essential Total: 13 (1), 6 (2) = 19 points
Alternative Total: 12 (1), 1 (2) = 13 points
Wildcard Total: 2 (1), 1 (2) = 3 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 3: Essential
Player: Harry Kane (TOT)
Player Price: £12.5 million
Player Selection %: 29.8% (as of 23/08/2017)
The final fixture before the first international break of the season is usually filled with a litany of active wildcards from FPL players who believe that they are getting to grips with the players and formations that will see their overall rank continue to rise throughout the season. This means picking an essential captain in any team is going to be a key decision on who sticks in the mould on your team. With it being the last fixture we have stayed true with four selection at top six sides, pitting Romelu Lukaku, the essential captain from both GW1 and GW2, against Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, and a player that loves a goal against Arsenal, Sadio Mane.
With Lukaku in our eyes as a reliable favourite, and poll which once again graced over 500 votes (thank you very much for that again!) turned the tables on our essential captaincy, with Spurs's Harry Kane getting the nod ahead of three contenders who have already gotten off the mark this season.
The Hurrikane's approval for this week will of course meet obvious critics who are right in saying that the England international has a curse of being unable to score in August, and evidence of Kane's season so far only further aids that side of the argument. So far this season, Kane has been nothing but a hindrance to his FPL owners, scoring just a single point against both Newcastle away, and Chelsea at Wembley, receiving yellow cards for malicious tackles. Against Newcastle, on review of the red cards we have already seen this season, Kane could have very well been sent off for his late challenge on the now-injured central defender Florian Lejeune.
The Chelsea encounter provided a compelling tie for Spurs, and especially Kane, whose performance against Newcastle, despite not scoring, shows the promise and potential of Kane's goal scoring exploits. Hitting the post and registering 6 shots against the Magpies, it was a case of Kane being a whisker away from his first goal in the month of August. That hope of a breakthrough against Chelsea a week later at Wembley was aided by the implosion that the current Champion's suffered at home against Burnley - the side that will now relish a trip to the national stadium. Chelsea looked ripe for another battering with Cahill and Fabregas ruled out, and the club's first team squad stripped of much of its utility talent such as Ake and Chabolah, who could have come into the fixture. Chelsea though flipped the story, denying Kane from 8 opportunities at goal, with the forward hitting the post yet again against the Blues.
With a Burnley side who have just lost to West Brom travelling to Wembley, FPL players, ourselves included, are saying when will enough be enough? Kane's done everything right, except for put the ball in the net, and points on the board for players. Kane is arguably set for a massive Gameweek soon enough, and the figures on his side that it may very well be Burnley that suffer from being the first side that Harry Kane nets against this season in the Premier League.
The league has been suffering from a lack of penalty kicks and free-kick goals, and with Kane shooting on sight, it looks as if over half of the fine FPL community who have voted for Kane are willing to give him one last chance to prove himself this month as the lead captaincy figure, even though the likes of Aguero, Mane, and Lukaku, have already scored this season. For the sanity of nearly 30% of FPL players who have stuck with Kane, the forward needs to return against Burnley or suffer a mass exodus until form is a proven factor in Kane's game.
Stats and Information: Harry Kane
Harry Kanr has begun the FPL season with just 2 points from his opening 2 matches, scoring a single point against both Newcastle and Chelsea - two sides who have been a complication to Spurs in recent years.
Kane has been booked in both Premier League matches this season for late challenges on Florian Lejeune (NEW) and N'Golo Kante (CHE).
Harry Kane had eight shots against Chelsea at Wembley; the most he has recorded in a single Premier League game without scoring.
Opponents Burnley had conceded 3 goals this season, all from open play.
Kane has managed negative BPS (Bonus Points System) in both of his opening Premier League matches, netting -6 against Newcastle, and -3 against Chelsea.
Harry Kane has scored more than 20 goals in each of the last 3 Premier League season's, and is a back-to-back Golden Boot winner.
A net average of -151,094 removed Kane from their FPL squads ahead of FPL GW2 against Chelsea.
Harry Kane failed to score against Burnley last season in two victories for Spurs. In a 2-1 home victory Rose and Alli scored, and in their 2-0 away win Dier and Son got the goals.
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 3: Alternative
Player: Henrikh Mkhitaryan (MUN)
Player Price: £8.2 million
Player Selection %: 16.3% (as of 23/08/2017)
With Harry Kane sealing 50% of our essential captaincy vote, and our chosen wildcard being a forward, we saw it fit to have a midfield alternative for this week's slot. With Lukaku's ownership too high to be considered an 'alternative' captain this week, we have remained close to home and have back a fellow team mate who is making all the waves so far this season, and that of course is Armenian international Henrikh Mkhitaryan, whose name has been written so often in recent weeks and as well as in this captaincy article, we've finally managed to fluently spell his name (just about).
The Man United midfielder, who has been playing in an advanced CAM position for the opening two games, has finally found a position that provides him the freedom to attack, and be the last link before the goal. United's process from open-play appears simple: have Rashford and Lukaku split from Mkhitaryan, who then finds one of the two for a goal scoring opportunity. Four assists so far prove that Henrikh is the missing link from last season that United missed, especially for FPL players who were reliant on defensive returns, or Zlatan Ibrahimovic's inclusion. Now there's more than one midfielder who in the early part of the season is chipping in with assists and bonus points, adding a new complexion to the FPL formula.
Mkhitaryan also has the added advantage of being on a lot of set-piece free kicks, meaning his inclusion in your FPL team is slowly being realised an an essential asset to consider before his price raises even more than it already has. With the visit of Leicester, who shipped four goals away at Arsenal during their first away trip of the season, a United attacking asset is a must in your FPL team, and a definite consideration for captain.
Stats and Information: Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Mkhitaryan has opened up his FPL account with double digit returns from GW1 and GW2, with 4 assists to his name, the most by any player in the Premier League.
Mkhitaryan and Hegazi (WBA) were the first FPL players this season to see their price increase by £0.2m
Mkhitaryan has managed bonus points in both of his matches so far this season, claiming 3 (2 vs. West Ham and 1 vs. Swansea)
4 players in the #FPL have registered assists in both #PL games so far: Mkhitaryan (MUN), Mahrez (LEI), Eriksen (TOT), Calvert-Lewin (EVE).
After #FPL #GW2, 4 of the top 5 players play for Man United:
Mkhitaryan has a 90% completed pass rate made and is one of only four FPL midfielders to gain a maximum 12 points in the BPS for that metric.
Mkhitaryan has made nine key passes so far this season, more than any Man United player.
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 3: Wildcard
Player: Alvaro Morata (CHE)
Player Price: £10.0 million
Player Selection %: 8.2% (as of 23/08/2017)
From the pool of wildcard considerations this week, @HypeTrainSam has chosen to back Chelsea's Alvaro Morata with the wildcard captaincy for Gameweek 3. So far we've been unsuccessful in both of our differential captaincy picks, pinning the armband on Bournemouth's Josh King for Gameweek 1 at West Brom, and Huddersfield's Steve Mounie for Gameweek 2's home victory over Newcastle. Also in consideration for the armband tghis week from the list of ten wildcards were Crystal Palace's Christian Benteke at home to Swansea, and Watford's midfielder Richarlison at home to Brighton.
With Chelsea already scoring four goals this season, and Morata earning his full Premier League debut against Spurs at Wembley, the Spanish international looks primed to continue starting for the Blues, who next take on Everton at Stamford Bridge.
We did a puff-piece on Morata after his signature for the Blues was secured, and you can read that below now, with pretty much all of our points still valid to this day.
FPL players, both in the Draft and Fantasy modes have had to seriously consider Morata's inclusion due to his game time. After the Community Shield defeat to Arsenal, a game which Michy Batshuayi started, it started to become painfully clear that Morata would be starting the season on the bench. Antonio Conte is still referencing that Morata needs to get fitter and will be managed until he gets where he needs to be both on the training ground and in Premier League matches. We're expecting rotation and indifference in opinion for at least the first half of the season with Morata, especially when the Champions League fixtures start coming thick and fast.
Morata though performed well at Wembley against Spurs and we expect that this will tend favour for Morata starting against Everton, a side who have broken that they're no pushovers this season, only conceding once from two fixtures. The Toffees were stung late by a Raheem Sterling goal for Man City in the dying minutes of their Gameweek 2 tie at the Etihad in an eventual 1-1 draw, and we expect Everton to be hard to break down.
We're giving Morata a champions advantage this week. The Blues have been a hard nut to crack in the opening two games. Morata' whose Gameweek 1 performance against Burnley was exceptional from the bench, was then met with no returns against Spurs. Marcos Alonso ended Gameweek 1 with no points, and then managed a massive 16 points against Spurs during Gameweek 2, so we're unsure on where the pendulum will swing for Gameweek 3's home tie with Everton.
The entire point of a wildcard pick is to roll the dice with somebody that won't be favoured for the armband, and for this week Morata is the standout choice. Chelsea have been unpredictable this season, so we've our fingers crossed that Morata will make it two goals or more from successive home games.
Stats and Information: Alvaro Morata
Alvaro Morata has opened his FPL account with 12 points from 2 Premier League appearances, scoring and assisting against Burnley during Gameweek 1, a match which Morata started on the bench.
Morata's start against Chelsea at Wembley was only the 50th league start for the Spanish intentional in his career.
After two games of the season, Morata is the only midfielder or Forward to score for Chelsea. David Luiz (1) and Alonso (2) are responsible for 3/4's of Chelsea's goals so far.
Only Marcos Alonso (16) has more points on the board after two games than Morata (12) for Chelsea in the FPL.
After Gameweek 2, a total of 85,745 players have transferred Morata into their teams, whilst 54,946 players have taken Morata out of their squads.
Morata is the second most expensive player in Premier League history (as of writing), behind Man United's Paul Pogba.
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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