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 4-0 West Ham) - 13pts
Alternative: Roberto Firmino (Watford 3-3 Liverpool) - 12pts
Wildcard: Josh King (West Brom 1-0 Bournemouth) - 2pts
Essential: Romelu Lukaku (Swansea 0-4 Man Utnited) - 6pts
Alternative: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool 1-0 Crystal Palace) - 1pt
Wildcard: Steve Mounie (Huddersfield 1-0 Newcastle) - 1pt
Essential: Harry Kane (Spurs 1-1 Burnley) - 2pts
Alternative: Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Man United 2-0 Leicester) - 5pts
Wildcard: Alvaro Morata (Chelsea 2-0 Everton) - 12pts
Essential: Romelu Lukaku (Stoke 2-2 Man United) - 6pts
Alternative: Alvaro Morata (Leicester 1-2 Chelsea) - 6pts
Wildcard: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal 3-0 Bournemouth) - 1pt
Essential: Harry Kane (Spurs 0-0 Swansea) - 2pts
Alternative: Gabriel Jesus (Watford 0-6 Man City) - 6pts
Wildcard: Eden Hazard (Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal) - 1pt
Essential: Sergio Aguero (Man City 5-0 Crystal Palace) - 11pts
Alternative: Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal 2-0 West Brom) - 13pts
Wildcard: Benjamin Mendy (Man City 5-0 Crystal Palace) - 0pts
Essential: Romelu Lukaku (Man United 4-0 Crystal Palace) - 6pts
Alternative: Dele Alli (Huddersfield 0-4 Spurs) - 2pts
Wildcard: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal 2-0 Brighton) - 6pts
Essential: Harry Kane (Spurs 1-0 Bournemouth) - 2pts
Alternative: Jamie Vardy (Leicester 1-1 West Brom) - 2pts
Wildcard: Raheem Sterling (Man City 7-2 Stoke) - 15pts
Essential: Gabriel Jesus (Man City 3-0 Burnley) - 1pt
Alternative: Eden Hazard (Chelsea 4-2 Watford) - 5pts
Wildcard: Tammy Abraham (Swansea 1-2 Leicester) - 2pts
Essential: Sergio Aguero (West Brom 2-3 Man City) - 0pts
Alternative: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool 3-0 Huddersfield) - 4pts
Wildcard: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal 2-1 Swansea) - 2pts
Essential: Sergio Aguero (Spurs 1-0 Crystal Palace) - 2pts
Alternative: Mohamed Salah (West Ham 1-4 Liverpool) - 15pts
Wildcard: Riyad Mahrez (Stoke 2-2 Leicester) - 7pts
Essential: Romelu Lukaku (Man United 4-1 Newcastle) - 6pts
Alternative: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool 3-0 Southampton) - 16pts
Wildcard: Glenn Murray (Brighton 2-2 Stoke) - 1pt
Essential: Harry Kane (Spurs 1-1 West Brom) - 8pts
Alternative: Gabriel Jesus (Huddersfield 1-2 Man City) - 4pts
Wildcard: Callum Wilson (Swansea 0-0 Bournemouth) - 2pts
Essential: Alvaro Morata (Chelsea 1-0 Swansea) - 1pt
Alternative: Mohamed Salah (Stoke 0-3 Liverpool) - 13pts
Wildcard: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal 5-0 Huddersfield) - 8pts
Essential: Mohamed Salah (Brighton 1-5 Liverpool) - 5pts
Alternative: Alvaro Morata (Chelsea 3-1 Newcastle) - 8pts
Wildcard: Riyad Mahrez (Leicester 1-0 Burnley) - 6pts
Essential Total: 13 (1), 6 (2), 2 (3), 6 (4), 2 (5), 11 (6), 6 (7), 2 (8), 1 (9), 0 (10), 2 (11), 6 (12), 8 (13), 1 (14), 5 (15) = 71 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), 16 (12), 4 (13), 13 (14), 8 (15) = 112 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), 1 (12), 2 (13), 8 (14), 6 (15) = 66 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 16: Essential
Player: Harry Kane (TOT)
Player Price: £12.8 million
Player Selection %: 37.4%
We're just a mere few hours away from waking up in the morning, setting our Fantasy line-ups, and regretting our captaincy decisions come Saturday night. It's part of the process by now with die-hard FPL players - watching your squad fifteen tear your hopes and aspirations for the season wide apart, or for the lucky few, a round of games to savour as a captaincy pick and a strong squad for the week rises the ranks much to the demise of the rivals who loathe your existence.
It's Friday evening and our eyes are half shut. We're tired, exhausted from the long, hard grind of the day, and with heavy eyes we sit rooted behind our desks absolutely dreading the idea of writing another puff-piece about Harry Kane and the entire 'will he, won't he' argument.
The long the week went on, the strong Kane's position in our poll became. Solidified by his Champions League omission against APOEL, a side that would struggle in the EFL Championship on their day, the storm of expectation rises from under the Hurrikane's feet once more.
Despite being in fine goal-scoring form the likes of Morata and Salah were overlooked, whilst Lukaku's addition was novelty, purely based on his massive FPL ownership, which of course leads to captaincy selections every week regardless.
Kane's appeal as captain is strengthened, not reduced, immediately after not scoring. The expectation for goals is 'next week' if Kane does not find the net, which goes against the logic of banking an in-form captain, and that's partly because Spurs aren't logical by any means this season.
Spurs's Last 5 Premier League Results
GW11: Spurs 1-0 Crystal Palace
GW12: Arsenal 2-0 Spurs
GW13: Spurs 1-1 West Brom
GW14: Leicester 2-1 Spurs
GW15: Watford 1-1 Spurs
Kane scored in the draw with West Brom, and in the defeat against Leicester, to end a three game drought without scoring in the league.
The English forward has scored 10 goals in the Premier League this season, scoring in 6 of his 14 matches, but overall Spurs and Kane have flatlined in recent weeks.
Results have been poor. Performances have been dwindling, and the squad is lacking energy. Teams are camping at the edge of their boxes, and it is working. Leicester just defenders, as did Watford and West Brom, and they all got points from their encounter with Spurs.
The popular pick hints at Kane, but our gut instinct is a little bit more reserved - we think that it is the easy pick, with Spurs expecting to breeze past a Stoke side with the second worst defensive record in the league.
In reality, Spurs struggle to score many goals at home unless Dejan Lovren and Alberto Moreno come to town, and it could be another tight affair at Wembley with goal scoring chances at a premium.
Conversely, Kane is the 'one' player who could turn it on at any given time and guide his FPL players up the tables with a green arrow, the only problem is pinning down when Kane will turn up to matches.
Kane's been a thorn in the side or a blessing this season, and when we've needed him most, he has left our teams reeling and our hearts crushed. Kane strikes best when we're least expecting it.
Let's just hope these weary eyed writers have egg on their faces and Kane boards a hype train of positivity with a few goals to help aid the winter blues, not only for Spurs, but for the FPL masses who could use some charity with the armband right about now.
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 16: Alternative
Player: Eden Hazard (CHE)
Player Price: £10.8 million
Player Selection %: 13.8%
Only a few short weeks ago nobody in the FPL community believed in the name of Eden Hazard. Staggering along as a differential option for most of the season we extensively covered the Belgian’s rise from lowly differential to essential asset, and the stats alone should be enough to convince you that Hazard has returned on the forefront of your minds.
Fixture History (West Ham vs. Chelsea)
04 Mar 2015: West Ham United 0-1 Chelsea (Hazard scored)
24 Oct 2015: West Ham United 2-1 Chelsea
19 Mar 2016: Chelsea 2-2 West Ham United
15 Aug 2016: Chelsea 2-1 West Ham United (Hazard scored)
06 Mar 2017: West Ham United 1-2 Chelsea (Hazard scored)
All of Eden Hazards attacking returns (5 goals, 3 assists) have occurred in the past seven gameweeks.
61pts of Hazard’s 68pts have occurred in the last seven weeks, averaging 8.7pts her game.
Eden Hazard has picked up maximum bonus four times this season, and when he does pick up bonus it has always been the three points. Statistically, Hazard either gets all three bonus points, or none at all.
West Ham’s last league win occurred in gameweek seven with a 1-0 win over Swansea City, courtesy of a ninetieth minute Sakho goal.
West Ham kept only three clean sheets this whole season, and none since their last victory in the league against Swansea.
West Ham have lost four of their last four games.
West Ham have won their only two games this season, both at the London Stadium.
Chelsea have won three out of the last five league encounters against the Hammers (W3, D1, L1).
West Ham have the worst goal difference of any team in the Premier League going into this weekend.
Meanwhile, Chelsea have won six of their last seven games, and in the process, have picked up four clean sheets in those fixtures.
David Moyes got Sunderland relegated last season.
Chelsea’s Upcoming Fixtures
GW16: West Ham (A)
GW17: Huddersfield (A)
GW18: Southampton (H)
GW19: Everton (A)
GW20: Brighton (H)
GW21: Stoke (H)
GW22: Arsenal (A)
GW23: Leicester (H)
GW24: Brighton (A)
GW25: Bournemouth (H)
GW26: Watford (A)
GW27: West Brom (H)
Not only is Hazard an option for this week, you could bank on him all the way to gameweek twenty-seven, and then the Blues face the Manchester clubs in consecutive games. Unlike the ghost-ship Harry Kane who dips in and out of existence at his choosing, Eden Hazard is a raging storm that can blow your head-to-head opponents away.
We firmly hold the belief that the alternative captain is always the safer bet because normally they are the smart picks, and after looking at the reading going into this game you should always look at where the points will be, and not what you hope. Take the Liverpool fixture when the Reds travelled to West Ham, you knew that they would terrorise their defence and hit them hard on the break, and it happened.
Harry Kane has a favourable fixture at home for sure, you expect him to perform, but in this gameweek it is a perfect storm for Eden Hazard to dwarf the unstable HurriKane. The hoodoo behind Wembley still exists in the background, and in foresight Stoke provide a much more tasking challenge to Spurs, than the Hammers do for Chelsea.
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 16: Wildcard
Player: Philippe Coutinho (LIV)
Player Price: £8.9 million
Player Selection %: 9.5%
After a turbulent rocky period in September and October the Reds have figured out how to accommodate all of their attacking players into the same team, and have even improved defensively. The unifying factor between the midfield and attack is that of Philippe Coutinho, the highly sought-after Brazilian whose reputation is increasing with every game. Liverpool have entered a mean streak where they are scoring for fun, and with Salah, Mane, and Firmino ahead of Coutinho it is a dream attack which has see Liverpool blow teams away. West Ham were beaten by four, Huddersfield for three, and most recently in the Champions League the Reds scored seven at home against Spartak Moscow.
Quickly turning games into exhibition matches the biggest indicator of Liverpool's development is in Coutinho, who is weaving passes and taking shots from anywhere...and scoring them. When Liverpool need that creative spark, they find it in their little Brazilian who is pulling all the strings on Merseyside. Going into the first Merseyside Derby of the season Phil Jagielka and Michael Keane must be praying for a plague to hit Liverpool's Melwood training facility, no team would like to be playing Liverpool's 'Fab Four' which are all in form. Coutinho, Mane, Firmino, and Salah are proving themselves to be a dynamic force to be reckoned; freely scoring goals whilst Man City are starting to labour to scrappy wins with late goals.
The fixture with Everton at Anfield should be an ironclad victory for Liverpool, it is a fixture they dominate. There are a lot of grey areas in the FPL for gameweek sixteen and due to Everton's recent upturn in form after wins over West Ham and Huddersfield you might think that this would be a tighter affair, but in context Everton have just beaten the two teams who are struggling for any sort of form in the league at this stage of the season. Liverpool have the attack to trouble Everton for ninety minutes, and a shaky defence that can only pick up clean sheets against teams without any presence in attack, so despite the recent form all the indicators point towards a convincing Liverpool win.
Coutinho's Key Stats:
Liverpool are currently unbeaten at home this season (W4, D3, L0).
Liverpool have only conceded two goals at Anfield this season (Burnley's Arfield & Chelsea's Willian).
Liverpool go into this fixture having beaten Spartak Moscow 7-0 at Anfield.
Coutinho scored a hat-trick in that very 7-0 win.
Coutinho has four double digit FPL returns from eight league starts.
Coutinho's last Premier League game saw him register four attacking returns: three assists, and one goal. The Brazilian was the top scoring player of GW15.
Everton have not beaten Liverpool in any competitive game since October 2010 when they beat the Reds 2-0 in the Premier League.
Coutinho scored in the last league encounter between the rivals at Anfield, the Reds dominated in a 3-1 win.
Sadio Mane scored in both Merseyside Derby's in the 2016/17 season.
Everton have not won an away league game yet this season (W0, D3, L4).
Liverpool are going into this fixture having lost only one of their last ten games (W6, D3, L1), and in their last five games alone they have four wins and a draw (at Anfield to Chelsea).
Having already taken the podium four times as one of our best differential picks, the Brazilian is a lock for GW16. Coutinho already has a place in the differential team of the season and we aren't even halfway through the season. Coutinho should be an essential for this gameweek.
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.
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