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: Romelu Lukaku (Man United vs. Crystal Palace) - 6pts
Alternative: Dele Alli (Huddersfield vs. Spurs) - 2pts
Wildcard: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal vs. Brighton) - 6pts
Essential: Harry Kane (Spurs vs. Bournemouth) - 2pts
Alternative: Jamie Vardy (Leicester vs. West Brom) - 2pts
Wildcard: Raheem Sterling (Man City vs. Stoke) - 15pts
Essential: Gabriel Jesus (Man City vs. Burnley) - 1pt
Alternative: Eden Hazard (Chelsea vs. Watford) - 5pts
Wildcard: Tammy Abraham (Swansea vs. Leicester) - 2pts
Essential: Sergio Aguero (West Brom vs. Man City) - 0pts
Alternative: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool vs. Huddersfield) - 4pts
Wildcard: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal vs. Swansea) - 2pts
Essential: Sergio Aguero (Spurs vs. Crystal Palace) - 2pts
Alternative: Mohamed Salah (West Ham vs. Liverpool) - 15pts
Wildcard: Riyad Mahrez (Stoke vs. Leicester) - 7pts
Essential Total: 13 (1), 6 (2), 2 (3), 6 (4), 2 (5), 11 (6), 6 (7), 2 (8), 1 (9), 0 (10), 2 (11) = 51 points
Alternative Total: 12 (1), 1 (2), 5 (3), 6 (4), 6 (5), 13 (6), 2 (7), 2 (8), 5 (9), 4 (10), 15 (11) = 71 points
Wildcard Total: 2 (1), 1 (2), 12 (3), 1 (4), 1 (5), 0 (6), 6 (7), 15 (8), 2 (9), 2 (10), 6 (11) = 49 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 12: Essential
Player: Romelu Lukaku (MUN)
Player Price: £11.5 million
Player Selection %: 48.0%
Every season we couldn't be more relieved to be done with the international football scene. This break more so than ever. Terrible matches. 0-0 results everywhere. Injuries, and overwhelming boredom. Fortunately, at long last we're in the thick of the FPL season as of this weekend, with players choosing between premium forwards yet again as our essential captaincy option.
With a certain Egyptian featuring for a third consecutive week in the alternative slot, we've left the essential spot to the highly talked about Forward's. That left the highly-selected foursome of Kane, Lukaku, Morata, and Aguero up for discussion.
Ultimately Romelu Lukaku, who has not scored in any of his last 5 Premier League appearances, won the day, with a 6% margin victory over his FPL rivals with a home fixture against Newcastle to content with.
In truth, the poll reflects the potential diversity of options ahead of Gameweek 12, with the winner banking just 34% of the poll. We also have to take into account that voters weren't given any alternatives, and there was no Mohamed Salah in the poll.
In terms of our thoughts on Lukaku, the Hype Team are confident that Lukaku is a good option, but less confident about the Belgian's form. Newcastle know how to defend, and could provide a defensive wall to limit Lukaku's potential. Paul Pogba's potential return could aid Lukaku, like it did in the opening five fixtures.
Perhaps most prominent when considering Lukaku is the feud that exists with Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez. We are expecting a tight affair between two tactical sides that will cherish a victory.
For Forward's in general, we are in very dark days. No one is keeping up form or consistency, something that was highlight in our Power Rankings article this week, which seriously struggled picking five credible FPL Forward's ahead of football this weekend.
Who were in the FOR Power Rankings last week?
1) Harry Kane (TOT) – rising from 3rd to 1st
2) Romelu Lukaku (MUN) – non-mover
3) Gabriel Jesus (MCI) rising from 1st to 3rd
4) Sergio Aguero (MCI) – new entry
5) Wayne Rooney (EVE) – new entry
Who are in the Power 5 heading into Gameweek 12?
1) Glenn Murray (BHA) – new entry
2) Sergio Aguero (MCI) – rising from 4th to 2nd
3) Alvaro Morata (CHE) – new entry
4) Harry Kane (TOT) – falling from 1st to 4th
5) Romelu Lukaku (MUN) – falling from 2nd to 5th
It has been rather underwhelming for Forward’s and their fortunes recently, meaning the pack is shuffled once again, with a surprise new entry climbing right to the top of the table.
Brighton’s Glenn Murray has been the only Forward in the FPL to maintain and kind of form for more than one to two weeks, so we’re letting Murray have his moment in the sun at the top of the Power Rankings – and his inclusion at the summit is warranted. Murray has scored four goals in his last three matches, collecting 27pts for ownership that currently sits at just 2%. Murray’s trifecta of goals are his first of the season, and with Stoke on the horizon for Monday night’s fixture, hopes are high once again for Murray and Brighton.
Now comes the minefield of Forward’s who are playing hot potato with their FPL potential on a weekly basis, stretching across the entire game…
Sergio Aguero sits in second place, despite playing only two of the last five games. The Argentine forward has scored in both games he has played, first against Burnley in a 3-0 win, and then again in the 3-1 victory over Arsenal. 15pts is a decent return, despite the rotation bug hitting Man City’s two Forward’s hard in recent weeks.
Chelsea’s Alvaro Morata has been in and out of the Power Rankings this season due to poor form and injury, but signs are there that Morata is back on the up. The Forward finished 90 minutes for only the third time this season in the 1-0 victory against Man United, a game which Morata scored the only goal. Morata also assisted Eden Hazard in the 1-0 win at Bournemouth, and with a clean run of fixtures on the horizon, there is no reason to doubt Morata’s potential.
In fourth place is Harry Kane, who has either been the bane of FPL players this season, or a raving success. Kane managed 59pts between Gameweek’s 4 and 9, scoring all eight of his goals in four games (with braces against Everton, West Ham, Huddersfield, and Liverpool). Since then, Kane missed the 1-0 defeat at Man United, before FPL players captained Kane in mass in the 1-0 home win over Crystal Palace during GW11, playing 76 minutes before being substituted, the shortest game time Kane has managed all season. Kane of course, has dropped several places in the Power Rankings this week.
Romelu Lukaku rounds off the Power Rankings this week, cursed by the reality that he just can’t find the net against ‘better’ teams. Lukaku has gone four games without a goal in the Premier League, but did provide assists in GW9 and GW10, which is enough to hang onto a place in the Power Rankings – mostly because there isn’t any suitable Forward in form to take his place. Fixtures at home against Newcastle (GW11) and Brighton (GW12) might put focus back onto Lukaku.
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 12: Alternative
Player: Mohamed Salah (LIV)
Player Price: £9.4 million +
Player Selection %: 41.5%
Liverpool supporters bemoaned when Salah signed, not for the quality of the player, but for the price. A rumoured record buy for a player who flourished in Italy's top league, a player who previously had a bad experience with Chelsea, a really questionable buy in many ways given the risks of the money involved. Flash forward five months and the only thing you hear about Salah is that he was an absolute bargain, and right now Liverpool's best attacking outlet. Myths of about his impact in the Premier League have been squashed after a blistering start to life at Anfield. Eleven games in and the Egyptian has seven goals and three assists, and in his last fixture he netted twice to burst the Hammers bubble before the international break.
The new 'King of Egypt' who inspired his nation to the World Cup finals next summer in Russia is an undervalued captain option, and that is because of the torrid run of form Liverpool has against it's primary transfer list on the South Cost, Southampton. Five fixtures, no wins, and two goalless draws have epitomised a bad run of fortune for the Reds.
Liverpool vs. Southampton: H2H Record - Last 5 Fixtures
20/03/2016: Southampton 3-2 Liverpool (Premier League)
19/11/2016: Southampton 0-0 Liverpool (Premier League)
11/01/2017: Southampton 1-0 Liverpool (League Cup, Semi-Final)
25/11/2017: Liverpool 0-1 Southamtpon (League Cup, Semi-Final)
07/05/2017: Liverpool 0-0 Southampton (Premier League)
Naturally you would look at this run with pessimism, Liverpool very well could repeat their form against Southampton which is off-putting for fantasy managers, especially with Lukaku (MUN) and Morata (CHE) in fixtures against out-of-form teams. Harry Kane might even be considered with his positive record against Arsenal an encouraging sign. But, going purely off of form Salah is the top option and unlike the previous five encounters the Saint's didn't have to contend with the Egyptian, he is a real wildcard in this match as the visiting defence has to contend with him, Mane, and Coutinho.
Even more promise comes out of the change of system deployed by Jurgen Klopp, and on the team-sheets Salah is the furthest man forward at all times for Liverpool, effectively playing as a striker instead of a midfielder. With pace to burn he is the target for balls to cut defences open along with Mane, as demonstrated in his first counter-attack goal against West Ham where he was the one to spearhead the counter-offensive.
Mohamed Salah: Key Stats / Facts:
1. Salah has 10 attacking returns from 11 games in the Premier League (7 goals, 3 assists)
2. Salah is rested after not being called into action by Egypt during the international break.
3. Salah has started 10/11 Premier League games so far, the only exception was the Crystal Palace fixture in gameweek two when most the squad was rotated.
4. Form is in Salah's favour with three consecutive FPL returns.
5. Liverpool are unbeaten in their last three games in all competitions, having won their their last two Premier League games against Huddersfield and West Ham.
6. Liverpool are currently unbeaten at Anfield in the Premier League in 2017/18.
7. The Reds have also only concede one goal at Anfield so far this season, this was delivered by Scott Arfield of Burnley in GW5.
8. Southampton have only had a consecutive result of any type once this season, this occurred during GW6 and GW7 with two losses. Southampton have been consistently inconsistent.
9. Southampton have recorded four clean sheets this season, the same as Liverpool.
There are so many variables that have changed since the last time these teams have faced, including a new managers for Southampton, so it is hard to see a similar result rear its head. We believe that the case for Salah rests in the notion that Liverpool could surprise a few people; and it would be foolish to overlook Salah's potential, and good form, just because of Southampton have had a recent good record against their hosts.
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 12: Wildcard
Player: Glenn Murray (BHA)
Player Price: £5.8 million
Player Selection %: 2.6%
Brighton have done well to make do without a 'marquee' striker so far this season, they have been competitive in Chris Houghton's first season in the Premier League with the Seagulls, and Murray has been looked to for goals. Crystal Palace and Bournemouth supporters will tell you that Glenn Murray works in simple ways by putting himself in goal scoring opportunities, a target, a threat to aim for, and he is always looking to be at the end of a cross. Stoke, visiting Brighton this weekend, are going through the motions and Brighton are the in-form team playing under the lights on Monday night, so expect even more differential wizardry from an FPL stalwart.
For our most recent Power Ranking article for the Fantasy Football Hub here is what @HypeTrainRob said about Glenn Murray, and he is his biggest fan mind you:
"It has been rather underwhelming for Forward’s and their fortunes recently, meaning the pack is shuffled once again, with a surprise new entry climbing right to the top of the table.
Brighton’s Glenn Murray has been the only Forward in the FPL to maintain and kind of form for more than one to two weeks, so we’re letting Murray have his moment in the sun at the top of the Power Rankings – and his inclusion at the summit is warranted. Murray has scored four goals in his last three matches, collecting 27pts for ownership that currently sits at just 2%. Murray’s trifecta of goals are his first of the season, and with Stoke on the horizon for Monday night’s fixture, hopes are high once again for Murray and Brighton."
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.
As well as providing FPL articles on our website, we are a founding Contributor to the new Fantasy Football Hub, where you can find more unique articles, including weekly Power Rankings, from The Hype Team. You can support us and read exclusive members only content for just £2 per-month by clicking here.
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.
You can follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, or visit our website here at www.thehypetrain.co.uk