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: Eden Hazard (Chelsea 1-0 Southampton) - 6pts
Alternative: Jamie Vardy (Leicester 0-3 Crystal Palace) - 2pts
Wildcard: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle) - 3pts
Essential: Raheem Sterling (Man City 4-0 Bournemouth) - 13pts
Alternative: Jamie Vardy (Arsenal 3-3 Liverpool) - 10pts
Wildcard: Charlie Austin (Southampton 1-1 Huddersfield) - 6pts
Essential: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool 5-0 Swansea) - 9pts
Alternative: Sergio Aguero (Newcastle 0-1 Man City) - 2pts
Wildcard: Charlie Austin (Crystal Palace 2-3 Arsenal) - 2pts
Essential: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool 2-1 Swansea) - 14pts
Alternative: Alvaro Morata (Chelsea 5-0 Stoke) - 2pts
Wildcard: Alexis Sanchez (West Brom 1-1 Arsenal) - 5pts
Essential: Harry Kane (Swansea 0-2 Spurs & Spurs 1-1 West Ham) - 3pts
Alternative: Alvaro Morata (Man City 3-1 Watford) - 6pts
Wildcard: Sadio Mane (Burnley 1-2 Liverpool) - 8pts
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), 6 (18), 13 (19), 9 (20), 14 (21), 1, 2 (22) = 130 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), 2 (18), 10 (19), 2 (20), 2 (21), 6 (22) = 139 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), 3 (18), 8 (19), 2 (20), 5 (21), 8 (22) = 96 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 23: Essential
Player: Harry Kane (TOT)
Player Price: £12.9 million
Player Selection %: 45.3%
After an exhausting month of Premier League football, we were very glad for the FPL to disappear for one week. The FA Cup was refreshing as it allowed Fantasy players to take a step back from their teams, and to take cover in a blitz of Gameweek's that had us (and probably millions more) shelled of points, purpose, and enjoyment.
Attempting to get back into the swing of things, our essential captaincy poll saw Harry Kane battle out against Mo Salah, Jese Lingard, and Alvaro Morata. We decided to omit Sergio Aguero from the poll given Liverpool's good defensive form at home, and opted to use Romelu Lukaku in a different capacity this week in the captaincy article.
That left us with a predictable route to our captaincy pick this week, with Harry Kane winning, yet again, despite blanking... again.
For FPL players, the Double Gameweek was most likely a bust if you had Englishman Harry Kane in your squads. Kane featured from the bench against Swansea at a soaked Liberty Stadium during Gameweek 22's first encounter, before Kane followed up a single point performance with just two points against West Ham at home.
Fantasy players do not take solace in wonder goals, and even though the 1-1 encounter at Wembley, which saw Obiang and Son score screamers, what ultimately matters is the points on the board, no matter how they go in.
Kane's 'essential' tag was his own undoing during Gameweek 22, and it was instrumental in securing his status this week as the 'go to' guy again.
Spurs host an Everton side who have been well-marshalled defensively under Big Sam's management. Under the Wembley arch it could be yet another shining example of Spurs struggling to build momentum against a lower ranked club in the Premier League, with Kane frustrating yet again.
Of Kane's 18 league goals this season, 10 have been scored away from home, with the Forward only netting in 4 of his 11 home matches this season. Aside from Southampton and Stoke, who were there for the taking, Kane's only home goals have been registered against West Brom and Liverpool, at a time when both teams were struggling - and we're being kind here, The Baggies have struggled all season and Liverpool can't defend.
On the positive note, Kane does have a 'big match' in him. Kane has scored in 9 of his 21 appearances this season, scoring a brace or more on 7 occasions, with solitary goals against West Brom (GW13) and Leicester (GW14) being the exception.
One such brace was at Goodison Park in a 3-0 whitewash during Gameweek 4, but as already mentioned Everton's early season problems have long been eradicated.
Kane's tendancy to leave FPL players frustrated will long continue if his goal-scoring habits continue. There's a sense that you 'HAVE' to captain The Hurrikane, even though stats show there's more than a 50% chance he is not scoring in a league match (and goals what are important here, as Kane has only provided 1 assist this season).
We're just back off two weeks of silence during the transfer window and we're thinking that regarding this week, it is not a week to doubt. Big clubs entertain one another and on the surface it is going to be a lo-scoring week, so Kane's selection might make a huge dent on whether or not your arrow is red or green this week.
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 23: Alternative
Player: Romelu Lukaku (MUN)
Player Price: £11.3 million
Player Selection %: 22.6%
Cast your mind back to the start of the Premier League season, all the way back to August when Romelu Lukaku was the new prodigal force in the Premier League.
Big Rom scored 7 goals in his open 7 games, and it looked almost certain that The Belgian forward's move to a Champions League club had granted him safe passage to regular 20+ goal campaigns.
Now we're not so sure (well, at least under current management).
Since Gameweek 7, Lukaku's only goals have come against Newcastle (GW14), Bournemouth (GW17), and West Brom (GW18), the latter goals being finely struck headed goals.
Despite the facts not favouring Lukaku, with his FPL ownership dropping by just south of 60% since Gameweek 7, we quite fancy Lukaku this week.
Gameweek 23 offers a lot of what @HypeTrainSam is calling 'redundant fixtures'. It is smaller club against smaller club, and a host of matches that on the whole do not weigh large on the FPL community. This was always going to be the case with Liverpool hosting Man City, and of the remaining clubs playing Spurs host Everton and Chelsea host Leicester in tricky ties.
Man United have the quote 'easiest' fixture this weekend, hosting a Stoke side without a Manager after finally ridding Mark Hughes from the club - with most FPL pundits predicting Hughes being the first Manager of the season to be sacked.this season.
Lukaku's got the perfect opportunity to take ownership of his goal tally this weekend with Stoke visiting, and we expect that Man United, despite being a defensively astute team on most occasions, will have too much ammunition in the chamber for Lukaku not to be the most understated player pick of the week.
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 23: Wildcard
Player: Wilfried Zaha (CRY)
Player Price: £6.9 million
Player Selection %: 5.6%
We are going to be honest, there are so few differential options this gameweek of captaincy relevancy due to tightly contested fixture list, so the truth is: Zaha is the best option of any differential this Gameweek. The Ivorian winger is at home to Burnley who are struggling for their defenders to be fit in time for the weekend, and the Clarets have stammered of recent, having not won in their last five games (W, D3, L2). The suspicion that Burnley are currently a winning team, and therefore the favourite in this match, are currently untrue.
Crystal Palace have picked up more points in the last five games than Burnley, and also scored more goals. Burnley have kept two clean sheets, but at the expense of their attacking edge, resulting in two 0-0 results against Brighton and Huddersfield, both away from home. Zaha is playing in a fixture where Burnley are there for the taking, and that is a great piece of optimism if you are looking for an inspired midfield option ahead of this gameweek. You might also be looking to drop down Coutinho and invest elsewhere in your fantasy team, and if so, replacing the departed Brazilian for Zaha would be an astute pick. Everyone is talking Man United this gameweek, how to put in Jesse Lingard.
The attention on the England midfielder has taken the limelight away from Zaha, further enforcing his differential status ahead of this weekend.
Wilfried Zaha’s Key Stats:
Zaha has four goals and three assists this season.
Zaha has produced three assists in his last four home games.
Zaha’s price makes him affordable at £6.9mil compared to other premium options.
Crystal Palace have lost only one game since a 1-0 loss to Spurs at Wembley in GW11. The game they lost was to Arsenal in GW20, of which Zaha picked up an assist.
The 0-0 draw against Manchester City during GW21 was the first time in seven games that the Eagles did not score at home. More impressively Crystal Palace scored exactly two goals in every one of them games.
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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