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: Harry Kane (Spurs 4-0 Everton) - 13pts
Alternative: Romelu Lukaku (Man United 3-0 Stoke) - 5pts
Wildcard: Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace 1-0 Burnley) - 3pts
Essential: Mohamed Salah (Swansea 1-0 Liverpool) - 2pts
Alternative: Raheem Sterling (Man City 3-1 Newcastle) - 5pts
Wildcard: Cenk Tosun (Everton 1-1 West Brom) - 2pts
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), 13 (23), 2 (24) = 145 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), 5 (23), 5 (24) = 149 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), 3 (23), 2 (24) = 101 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 25: Essential
Player: Sergio Aguero (MCI)
Player Price: £11.9 million
Player Selection %: 28.0%
The FA Cup's time in the spotlight in January has come and past for another weekend, with FPL players not made to wait for their next fix of Fantasy Football. Cup games are barely in the rear-view mirror and we're already rapidly approaching Gameweek 25, with the season flashing by with intensified speeds.
Ahead of GW25, we put a one day poll out on our Twitter account to pretty much tell us what we already knew in regards to our essential captaincy for the week. Mo Salah, Harry Kane, and Romelu Lukaku, squared off against Sergio Aguero, fresh off scoring a hatr-trick against Newcastle, with the outcome of this week's captain a lock in the polls.
If you watched Man City's home victory over Newcastle you sat in one of two camps in regards to Aguero. His 28% of owners cheered loudly as he bagged another half-batch of goals against lowly Newcastle, or you sat as part of the 72% screaming in anger and rage that the first goal was not an Aguero goal. There's little a journalist with blood-red rage can do about the outcome, though one must point the finger at the decision makers, and in particularly the 'Official FPL' Twitter account, who showed no consistency with their reporting of the ghost goal.
That said, let's not take any of the shine away from Aguero's performance, which has rightfully put the Argentine in red-hot form ahead of a trip by West Brom, another club that Aguero has a habit of scoring against.
Man City have won their last 12 Premier League games against Man City, with a 0-0 encounter on Boxing Day in 2011 acting as the last time a Baggies side has managed a point or more against City. You have to go back to 2008 to when West Brom last beat City in the league, which of course was at the very early stages of Man City's financial power in the league.
As for Aguero, he's played each of the last 8 league games, scoring in 4 fixtures against Swansea (GW17), Bournemouth (GW19), Watford (GW22), and Newcastle (GW24).
The treble against Newcastle was his second this season, following a hat-trick in the GW5 decimation of Watford at Vicarage Road.
Aguero didn't feature in the 3-2 victory at West Brom during Gameweek 10, but expectations are exceedingly high with Aguero, who has seen his ownership greatly bolstered due to the 'Kanexit' movement, with players believing Spurs's fixture list will put an end to Kane's prolific nature in front of goal.
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 25: Alternative
Player: Roberto Firmino (LIV)
Player Price: £9.2 million
Player Selection %: 40.1%
Liverpool fans have not had the smoothest week on planet earth since beating Man City 4-3 at Anfield during Gameweek 23. Travelling to Swansea for GW24, Liverpool were comfortably beaten 1-0 (yes, Swansea deserved their victory), before being swept away in the FA Cup 4th round at home to West Brom (and yes you guessed it, West Brom were fully deserving of their win).
Liverpool's passionate fans are calling for reinforcements after selling Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona, and even with van Dijk's arrival at a mouthwatering £75 million, the club are well into the black when it comes to money in the bank from player sales just in the past 12 months. There is mounting pressure on the ownership group, FSG, to invest some money into the first team squad, with Liverpool almost appearing reluctant to reinforce unless the player fit is 100% right.
Recently the club also allowed Daniel Sturridge to leave on loan to West Brom, depleting their Forward line even more, and with Roberto Firmino, Danny Ings, and Dominic Solanke as the attackers at the club, there is concern that with the Champions League back on the horizon, Liverpool's season will quickly fade away.
This leads into our alternative pick for captaincy ahead of Gameweek 25, Bobby Firmino. The Brazilian was in the spotlight for missing a penalty in the defeat at home to West Brom, with expectations of goals further mounting on his shoulders after Sturridge's departure.
Firmino has provided blanks in 3 of his last 4 FPL outings, failing to score or assist against Leicester (GW21), Burnley (GW22), and Swansea (GW24). Firmino's only goal and assist combo came during the brilliant 4-3 victory over Man City at Anfield.
Liverpool travel to Huddersfield tonight in the 8pm kick-off, a fixture which Liverpool comfortably won 3-0. Liverpool beat Swansea 5-0 at home, so the previous scores at Anfield mean very, very little when a travelling Liverpool side hit the road. In should be noted though that Firmino did score in the 3-0 victory.
We're sounding quite doom and gloom right now, but the reality is that there are very few clear captaincy choices. Eden Hazard features as our last captaincy pick, spearheading the differentials this week, and Sergio Aguero provides Man City coverage.
Spurs and Man United play each other, potentially nullifying Kane and Lukaku as potential options to bank on with your FPL teams, and Arsenal's options in the FPL are pretty much redundant right now, except for the inclusion of a defender, so they don't cut the mustard with the armband.
That leaves Liverpool's visit to Huddersfield as the next best solution, and we think that it may be Firmino that takes the headlights this week alongside Mohamed Salah, if Liverpool are to get back on track.
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 25: Wildcard
Player: Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Player Price: £10.6 million
Player Selection %: 8.1%
Last but not least, we move onto our wildcard captaincy pick, and with some strong contenders in consideration this week who have low ownership, none boast more potential than Chelsea's Eden Hazard, with the Blues welcoming Bournemouth to Stamford Bridge for Gameweek 25.
Here we are again, selecting Chelsea’s Belgian golden boy as the differential captain. How very typical of Eden Hazard to start scoring big points again in the FPL when his status drops to differential. Hazard, who in the last four weeks has two double-digit returns has found a new lease of life without Alvaro Morata in the Blues team.
The problem with watching Chelsea with Morata is that the Blues tend to ride their luck with the Spaniard in the team with the 3-5-2 formation that is increasingly hard to watch as a neutral. Clogging the midfield doesn’t make sense at Chelsea when you have Kante unable to do what he does best, it also means there is less support for wing-backs, and we still aren’t sure what Tiémoué Bakayoko does for Chelsea since his move from Monaco in the summer.
Morata’s recent injury means that Chelsea have returned to the 3-4-3 formation where everyone knows their position, how they need to play, and how to be effective. The other formation does now allow that, and Hazard is better in a three, than a two. Usually marked out of the game and left isolated when just paired with Morata stifles the Belgian, but with support there is better openings for Hazard to make more decisive runs and key passes.
The easy truth is that Antonio Conte was wrong to mess with a proven formula, and now that it has made a comeback there is no surprise to see Chelsea pick up form.
Eden Hazard Key Stats:
Eden Hazard (112) is Chelsea’s third placed points scorer in the Fantasy Premier League. Marcos Alonso (137) and Cesar Azpilicueta (127) are the only players to have scored more points than the Belgian.
Hazard has eight goals and four assists so far, this season. The Belgian has two goals and one assist in his last three games.
Chelsea are undefeated in the Premier League since Gameweek Sixteen, when the lost to West Ham 1-0 at the London Stadium.
Chelsea have six clean sheets from their last eight games, and two in their last three games. The Blues have also kept four consecutive clean sheets at home.
Chelsea have scored in six of their last eight games. The Blues have scored two or more goals in a game in five of their last eight games.
The only concern for Hazard is his minutes, the midfielder has only completed ninety minutes on six occasions this season. Additionally, the Belgian has only completed eight minutes, or more, on three separate occasions.
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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