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 Utnited) - 6pts
Alternative: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace) - 1pt
Wildcard: Steve Mounie (Huddersfield vs. Newcastle) - 1pt
Essential: Harry Kane (Spurs vs. Burnley) - 2pts
Alternative: Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Man United vs. Leicester) - 5pts
Wildcard: Alvaro Morata (Chelsea vs. Everton) - 12pts
Essential: Romelu Lukaku (Stoke vs. Man United) - 6pts
Alternative: Alvaro Morata (Leicester vs. Chelsea) - 6pts
Wildcard: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal vs. Bournemouth) - 1pt
Essential: Harry Kane (Spurs vs. Swansea) - 2pts
Alternative: Gabriel Jesus (Watford vs. Man City) - 6pts
Wildcard: Eden Hazard (Chelsea vs. Arsenal) - 1pt
Essential: Sergio Aguero (Man City vs. Crystal Palace) - 11pts
Alternative: Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal vs. West Brom) - 13pts
Wildcard: Benjamin Mendy (Man City vs. Crystal Palace) - 0pts
Essential Total: 13 (1), 6 (2), 2 (3), 6 (4), 2 (5), 11 (6) = 40 points
Alternative Total: 12 (1), 1 (2), 5 (3), 6 (4), 6 (5), 13 (6) = 43 points
Wildcard Total: 2 (1), 1 (2), 12 (3), 1 (4), 1 (5), 0 (6) = 17 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 7: Essential
Player: Romelu Lukaku (MUN)
Player Price: £11.7 million
Player Selection %: 58.0%
Ahead of Gameweek 7, the last round of Premier League fixtures before the second international break of the season, we put four in-form forwards in our essential captaincy poll, and they were the same four which featured from Gameweek 6's edition. Harry Kane, Alvaro Morata, Sergio Aguero, and Romelu Lukaku, all scored during the sixth round of games, so we felt to keep the captaincy conversation around these four highly selected individuals. Below is how our FPL community voted ahead of the seventh round of games, which kicks off with Spurs travelling to Huddersfield.
Unsurprisingly so, Romelu Lukaku stormed to a majority victory this week, with a home game against Crystal Palace on the horizon. Harry Kane, who has scored a brace of away goals in consecutive away games, was the only real competition for Lukaku this week, and this trend in the polls each week suggests that FPL players need both so rotate the armband on a weekly basis.
Lukaku's victory also highlights what we suggests might be the case last week with captaincy trends, that players will bank against Crystal Palace no matter what. Last week Aguero's essential captaincy win was expected, as was Lukaku's. Next week for Gameweek 8, Morata is in pole-position for a run at the armband, when Chelsea visit Crystal Palace.
Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Morata were always going to struggle for an outright victory this week, with the two cash-rich clubs meeting one another at Stamford Bridge. Morata, who was seen limping after a 2-1 victory in the Champions League over Atletico Madrid, has been declared fit by Antonio Conte, but it's not good news for Sergio Aguero. The Argentine forward, who like Morata and Lukaku has six Premier League goals this season, has been ruled out due to injury after breaking a rib in a car-crash whilst attending a concert in Amsterdam.
Aguero's injury has had a positive impact on Romelu Lukaku's FPL ownership, which has seen a spike of roughly 3.5% over the past week. This activity and rise in Lukaku owners is due to wildcard activation and the unfortunate injury to Aguero.
There's much to look forward to this weekend with Lukaku and Man United, with Crystal Palace visiting. Yet to score, and having conceded 13 goals from their opening 6 Premier League matches, shipping 5 in their last outing to Man City, it really is looking doom and gloom for a club who sacked Frank de Boer after just four league games, replacing the Dutchman with a manager who on his last outing with England, held his resignation letter in his pocket expecting England to lose to Iceland at Euro 2016.
Crystal Palace will be without Christian Benteke, Wilfried Zaha, James Tomkins, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, and United's loan player, Tim Fosu-Mensah, to worsen their doubt over the weekend. The only question mark might arise with Mamadou Sakho's influence in the match. The powerful centre-half can go toe-to-toe with Lukaku's physicality and pace, and might be ordered to mark the Belgian forward out of the game.
Lukaku's stats at home are impressive this season though. Scoring in 4-0 victories against West Ham and Everton, as well as missing a penalty against Leicester, goals look a certainty with Lukaku right now, having bagged 10 in his last 9 appearances in all competition.
We're expecting more of the same, and so are most of everyone, so safe points this week might be with Lukaku and Man United.
Stats and Information: Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku has started the season with 6 goals, 1 assist, 8 bonus points, and 44 FPL points from 6 appearances.
Lukaku is one of three forwards who are top of the goal scoring charts with 6 goals, being joined by Sergio Aguero (MCI) and Alvaro Morata (CHE).
Lukaku has played the maximum 540 minutes of Premier League football this season from 6 matches.
Lukaku has scored 10 goals in 9 appearances in all competitions for Man United this season.
Lukaku missed the first penalty kick of the season, having his spot-kick saved by Kasper Schmeichel during Gameweek 3's 2-0 home victory, which ended in a zero point week for Lukaku.
Lukaku, Morata, Aguero, and David Silva, have each amassed 8 bonus points, which is the most by any players in the FPL this season.
6/8 of Lukaku's bonus points this season have come at home, both in 4-0 victories (over West Ham and Everton).
Heading into Gamewweek 7, Lukaku is still the most selected player in the FPL, and has seen his ownership rise by 3.5% over the past week, rising back to 58%.
Lukaku has never been booked more than 3 times in a single season, and has never been sent-off. The Belgian forward managed his first booking of the season during Man United's 1-0 away win at Southampton during Gameweek 6.
Eight players have been in the FPL Dream Team twice, including Romelu Lukaku, who is the only Man United player to do so.
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 7: Alternative
Player: Dele Alli (TOT)
Player Price: £9.5 million
Player Selection %: 29.8%
With Alexis Sanchez taking the Wildcard Captaincy this week, we had a toss up between doubling down on Arsenal assets and banking on Alexandre Lacazette yet again, or putting our eggs in more baskets. Ultimately deciding to look in another match for points, the obvious conclusion takes us to Huddersfield's encounter with Spurs, the fixture that opens Gameweek 7.
With Romelu Lukaku the most highly selected forward, odds are that FPL players who avoided Harry Kane for the Belgian, will have Dele Alli in their FPL squads. An alternative pick to Kane has beaten out pressure by Lacazette to land a role in our captaincy article this week.
Alli heads into the game at Huddersfield with nothing to lose. Suspended (a word becoming synonymous with Alli in the game in recent months) for England's first of two World Cup qualifiers, due to raising his middle finger at Kyle Walker when last in an England shirt, Alli will be looking for another 90 minutes of action to help his cause.
Alli's actions for England, and for Spurs in the Champions League, is the ideal script for FPL players, with the midfielder fully focused on Premier League football for this early part of the season.
Alli has been lagging behind midfielder Christian Eriksen for the attention of FPL players, but has 2 goals and 2 assists to his name this season, and looks to be the goal-threat at Wembley in league matches, having scored Spurs's only goal there so far (against Burnley).
Alli's brace of assists against West Ham during Gameweek 6, were his first of the season, and with another away day on the horizon, all eyes are on Alli and Kane ahead of the trip to newly-promoted Huddersfield. Christian Eriksen has been struggling with illness this week, so the demands for goals and assists this weekend will have been burdened on Kane and Alli in training.
It could be another profitable Spurs performance this weekend, but standing between them is a stubborn Huddersfield defence, who have managed 4 clean sheets from 6 matches this season.
Stats and Information: Dele Alli
Dele Alli has started the season with 2 goals, 2 assists, 2 bonus bonus, and 33 FPL points after six games.
Alli's 33 points is the 7th most in the midfielder's charts, with Sane (34) and Gross (35) ahead of the England international.
Alli's 2 bonus points came at Wembley during Gameweek 3's 1-1 draw with Burnley.
Alli's goal against Burnley at Wembley is the only that a Spurs player has scored in the Premier League. The only other goal was Michy Batshuayi's own goal during Chelsea's 2-1 victory in Gameweek 2.
Alli's brace of assists against West Ham during Gameweek 6 was his first assists of the season.
In the FPL, Alli's price is yet to rise or fall, with Christian Eriksen the riser, who is priced at £9.7 million.
Alli has played the full 90 minutes of Premier League football in the last five matches.
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 7: Wildcard
Player: Alexis Sanchez (ARS)
Player Price: £11.9 million
Player Selection %: 2.5%
Key Differential: Alexis Sanchez (ARS)
Arsene Wenger confirmed that Welbeck starts over Sanchez if he is fit, now fortunately for Sanchez the England international is always injured and struggling for fitness, and on the cusp of the seventh Gameweek of the season Welbeck looks likely to continue recovery on his latest injury, freeing up the Chilean to start a consecutive league game after his appearance against West Brom.
During the 2-0 home victory over West Brom, it was clear just how much Arsenal missed Sanchez; he linked up play, had defenders stepping back, and he also made the assist for Lacazette's first goal from a free kick that rebounded off the bar. Undoubtedly, Sanchez is still Arsenal's best attacking option and should be playing every game.
Up next for the Gunners is Brighton, and this is the type of fixture that Arsene's team thrive in picking up easy wins. Sanchez. Despite not being on penalty kick duty, there is still value in Sanchez being on free kicks and other set pieces. Lacazette may not get the ninety minutes which leaves Sanchez to mop up any penalty opportunities if the Frenchman is off the pitch.
The other notable differential you could select from Arsenal is Laurent Koscielny:
Laurent Koscielny (ARS, DEF, £6.0mil, 1.1% ownership).
Stats and Information: Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez has started the season with 9 points from 4 appearances, with the one assist to his name.
Alexis's first FPL return of the season, an assist against West Brom during Gameweek 6, came on his first home start in the Premier League this season.
With 9 points from 4 matches, Sanchez is ranked joint 12th in Arsenal's squad, level with Mesut Ozil.
A total of 87,767 FPL players have draft Sanchez into their squads at some point this season.
Alexis has only scored once this season, in the Europa League against German side FC Cologne.
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.
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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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