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: Harry Kane (Spurs 5-1 Stoke) - 12pts
Alternative: Eden Hazard (West Ham 1-0 Chelsea) - 2pts
Wildcard: Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool 1-1 Everton) - 1pt
Essential: Harry Kane (Spurs 2-0 Brighton) - 2pts
Alternative: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool 0-0 West Brom) - 3pts
Wildcard: Alexis Sanchez (West Ham 0-0 Arsenal) - 3pts
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), 12 (16), 2 (17) = 85 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), 2 (16), 3 (17) = 117 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), 1 (16), 3 (17) = 70 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 18: Essential
Player: Eden Hazard (CHE)
Player Price: £10.9 million +
Player Selection %: 15.4%
Another weekend, another captaincy dilemma. Gameweek 18, ahead of any other so far this season in out opinion, has been the pinnacle of Fantasy players debating their picks. But why is that?
We pitted four heavy-hitting options in our captaincy poll, and Chelsea's Eden Hazard came out on top with the win and a small majority. Hazard's win doesn't tell the full tale of why this weekend is difficult to pin who is worthy of the armband.
Captaincy Dilemmas: Gameweek 18
Sergio Aguero (MCI): Rotation
Gabriel Jesus (MCI): Rotation
Raheem Sterling (MCI): Rotation
Leroy Sane (MCI): Rotation
Harry Kane (TOT): Playing Man City and is a constant captaincy disappointment
Romelu Lukaku (MUN): Decent fixtures, but massively out of form
Alexandre Lacazette (ARS): Rotation and substituted early in most games
Mohamed Salah (LIV): Concerns about rotation despite being prolific
Alvaro Morata (CHE): Missed the Huddersfield game. Concerns about minutes
Eden Hazard (CHE): An element of rotation and needing to play with Morata to maximise his points potential
We're not being harsh in saying this, but the options above have, on the most part, being the go-to captaincy picks this season - and we are being generous by including Lacazette in this list.
There are more questions than ever as there is a lack of concrete captaincy picks to bank on, with Chelsea offering the best route to goals this weekend against a Southampton side who has just shipped four goals against Leicester.
Take it from an Eden Hazard owner though, who has captained him twice to little avail, there is a growing frustration with Hazard's price tag and Fantasy output. However, that's well popular consensus lies this week, and we are powerless to pick the essential captain, otherwise we might have just banked on Nick Pope collecting some save points and bonus for a Burnley side that is red hot right now.
Most FPL players will flip-flop between Salah and Hazard this weekend, as the poll suggests, but just have in mind that Salah owners dominate Hazard's ownership, so there will be a massive sway in favour of Salah, purely down to his superior following.
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 18: Alternative
Player: Jamie Vardy (LEI)
Player Price: £8.7 million +
Player Selection %: 18.2%
Blue is the colour this week, with the two most recent Premier League Champions boasting representation in our Gameweek 18 captaincy article, and it has had to be this way this week by force, rather than by nature.
Leicester have been the form side in the league as of late, with Claude Puel steering the club into the top half of the table after a torrid start to the season under Craig Shakespeare.
Half the battle has been getting Riyad Mahrez back on form, but we're not looking at him as a captaincy choice this weekend, rather Jamie Vardy is on our radar.
Leicester have scored 18 goals in 10 matches, with Vardy scoring against Everton and Spurs, both at home, with both being so easy on the eye to watch.
Striking when you least expect, Vardy has only scored twice since Gameweek 7, but a home tie against Crystal Palace is the perfect occasion to regain his shooting boots.
Our gut says Vardy, our heart says Mahrez, but there's a little Roy shaped demon inside our minds telling us Benteke.
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 18: Wildcard
Player: Alexis Sanchez (ARS)
Player Price: £11.8 million
Player Selection %: 3.0%
After a disappointing return to the London Stadium, the Chilean was frustrated a renewed defensive effort by the Hammers. David Moyes nullified the blistering pace of the South American forward and manoeuvred a risky fixture into a result. We believe now we were too early to select Sanchez as a captaincy option, it was a justifiable choice against West Ham considering what happened last year, but with Newcastle at home this week it is another opportunity to trust faith in the maverick midfielder.
Alexis Sanchez has four returns from his last six games (7, 11, 8, 1, 5). The 1pt week was the loss to Manchester United.
Arsenal have won three of their last six Premier League games (W3, D1, L1).
Newcastle have only won one game away from home this season, a 1-0 win over Swansea in gameweek four.
Gameweek nine was the last time that Newcastle won a game, a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.
Arsenal beat Newcastle twice during their last Premier League campaign.
Arsenal have beaten Newcastle in their last nine encounters, keeping five clean sheets from those fixtures. There was even a ten-goal thriller in 2012 that saw the Gunners beat the Toon at the Emirates 7-3.
Arsenal’s next five fixtures:
GW18: Newcastle (H)
GW19: Liverpool (H)
GW20: Crystal Palace (A)
GW21: West Brom (A)
GW22: Chelsea (H)
We will repeat the same message about Alexis that we had for GW17: Alexis Sanchez is a worthwhile investment over the Christmas period, and his extreme levels of fitness means that he is in contention to play these games without disruption.
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