CAPTAINCY HYPE 2017/18: FPL Gameweek 34
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: Sergio Aguero (Man City 3-0 West Brom) - 6pts
Alternative: Roberto Firmino (Huddersfield 0-3 Liverpool) - 8pts
Wildcard: Eden Hazard (Chelsea 0-3 Bournemouth) - 2pts
Essential: Sergio Aguero (Burnley 1-1 Man City) - 2pts
Alternative: Anthony Martial (Man United 2-0 Huddersfield) - 1pt
Wildcard: Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace 1-1 Newcastle) - 5pts
Essential: Mohamed Salah (Southampton 0-2 Liverpool) - 13pts
Alternative: Harry Kane (Spurs 1-0 Arsenal) - 6pts
Wildcard: Alexis Sanchez (Newcastle 1-0 Man United) - 2pts
Essential: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool 4-1 West Ham) - 10pts
Alternative: Jamie Vardy (Leicester 1-1 Stoke) - 2pts
Wildcard: Sadio Mane (Liverpool 4-1 West Ham) - 7pts
Essential: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool 2-0 Newcastle) - 8pts
Alternative: Harry Kane (Spurs 2-0 Huddersfield) - 5pts
Wildcard: Alexis Sanchez (Crystal Palace 2-3 Man United) - 5pts
Essential: Harry Kane (Bournemouth 1-4 Spurs) - 1pt
Alternative: Riyad Mahrez (West Brom 1-4 Leicester) - 11pts
Wildcard: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal 3-0 Watford) - 9pts
Essential: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool 5-0 Watford) - 29pts
Alternative: Steve Mounie (Huddersfield 0-2 Crystal Palace) - 2pts
Wildcard: Cenk Tosun (Stoke 1-2 Everton) - 13pts
Essential: Mohamed Salah (Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool) - 7pts
Alternative: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal 3-0 Stoke) - 13pts
Wildcard: Ashley Barnes (West Brom 1-2 Burnley) - 6pts
Essential: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal 3-2 Southampton) - 6pts
Alternative: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Stoke 1-2 Spurs) - 1pt
Wildcard: Eden Hazard (Chelsea 1-1 West Ham) - 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), 6 (25), 2 (26), 13 (27), 10 (28), 8 (29), 1 (30), 29 (31), 7 (32), 6 (33) = 227 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), 8 (25), 1 (26), 6 (27), 2 (28), 5 (29), 11 (30), 2 (31), 13 (32), 1 (33) = 198 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), 2 (25), 5 (26), 2 (27), 7 (28), 5 (29), 9 (30), 13 (31), 6 (32), 2 (33) = 147 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 34: Essential
Player: Romelu Lukaku (MUN)
Player Price: £11.6 million +
Player Selection %: 29.3%
Gameweek 34 has always been the time of year that Double Gameweek fixtures come to fruition, and months of planning and strategy pays off for patient players who look to utilise their chips for the final few weeks of the season. At the head of the table is of course the discussion about captaincy, and we put what we believe to be the 4 players at the forefront of Gameweek 34's attention, with one pick from Spurs, Man United, Leicester, and Chelsea, featuring.
Heading into the weekend we expected Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku to be neck and neck this week, and that was the case, with Lukaku currently leading our poll, which you can vote on below if you've yet to make up your mind.
Man United head into Gameweek 34 having proved a point in the Manchester derby last weekend, coming back from 2-0 down in the opening 45 minutes, to leave The Etihad with a 3-2 victory. The win ensured that City wouldn't win the Premier League against their rivals on home territory.
If you're one to view confidence as a precursor for what's to come in football, then Man United head into a Double Gameweek with so much potential on the board, given that their fixtures are heavily favourable.
A home encounter with West Brom in the 4pm Sunday game is up first, before travelling to Bournemouth on Wednesday evening.
The major considerations for FPL teams from Man United are David de Gea in goal, Alexis Sanchez or Paul Pogba in midfield, and Romelu Lukaku up top.
Lukaku's appeal is that he is virtually ensured of playing every minute in Jose Mourinho's system. The attacking trio behind him are the ones likely to rotate, though we expect Alexis Sanchez to feature in both games.
The big question regarding Lukaku though is can he hit the heights in a Double Gameweek against favourable opposition?
The Belgian Forward has 4 goals and 2 assists from his last 7 Premier League matches, with home goals against Huddersfield (GW26), Chelsea (GW28), and Swansea (GW32), as well as a goal away at Crystal Palace (GW29).
Man United beat Bournemouth 1-0 at home during Gameweek 17, before registering a 2-1 win away at West Brom a week later for Gameweek 18. Lukaku scored in both fixtures, registering 5pts against Bournemouth, and 8pts against West Brom.
The groundwork has been laid with Lukaku's past form, and he deserves his place as top billing this Gameweek, ahead of Harry Kane who has a tricky home fixture against Man City to contend with, before a trip to Brighton.
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 34: Alternative
Player: Harry Kane (TOT)
Player Price: £12.9 million +
Player Selection %: 30.6%
The likelihood of having both Kane and Lukaku in your FPL teams this weekend is unlikely if you want to find a balance between defence and attack. @HypeTrainRob has opted for both, but pays the price by having no premium or reliable defensive assets ahead of Gameweek 34.
Vardy is a likely alternative in the second Forward slot this weekend, but this puts Kane and Lukaku at odds for captaincy, which makes them the true alternatives to one another this weekend when picking a captain. As you can see with our captaincy poll above, Kane is pushing Lukaku somewhat, so he is certainly in the minds of players heading into the weekend.
This isn't Spurs's first Double Gameweek of the season. Spurs played twice during Gameweek 22, visiting Swansea in a 2-0 win, before drawing 1-1 at home to West Ham. Harry Kane went into the first of the matches against Swansea as an injury doubt, and only started on the bench before making a 22 minute cameo. Kane then played the full 90 minutes against West Ham, with no luck in front of goal.
A few months later, and Kane is in a similar position coming back from injury ahead of a Double Gameweeek. The England Forward played the full 90 minutes against Stoke, and even had a goal ruled out in favour of Chrstian Eriksen, a decision which Kane is protesting as he desperately tries to claw ground back at Mohamed Salah's 29 goals this season.
Kane's DGW34 sees him face Champions elect, Man City, at Wembley, before travelling to a well organised Brighton side, in the second fixture of the week. Kane goes into the round of fixtures enduring his worst run in the FPL this season with just 3 points from his last 3 matches, but we're not ruling out Kane's potential, and is of course in our minds in the captaincy conversation.
Spurs have the FA Cup to contend with still this season, but Kane's main objective is another Golden Boot in the Premier League. Can he catch Salah? We're not sure. Do we think he is the answer with the armband this week? We're also not sure, but Kane has a habit of striking when you least expect him to, and had a toxic relationship with FPL players to begin the season when he would blank in a favourable fixture at home, before turning up when we would lose faith the next week.
This week is about faith with Kane, and if he comes through most FPL players will be reneweing their vows with The Hurrikane through until the end of the season.
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 34: Wildcard
Player: Alexis Sanchez (MUN)
Player Price: £11.5 million +
Player Selection %: 3.4%
For the final portion of our captaincy article this week we return to Manchester with another one of their attacking talents, as Alexis Sanchez has made the cut as captain for @HypeTrainSam's weekly differentials. We here at Hype Train HQ different have to think twice about Sanchez's inclusion as Wildcard Captain ahead of Double Gameweek 34, as the Chilean has a history of performing when the spotlight is on him in the end of season fixtures.
It's a new club for Alexis, which of course is a potential concern. Sanchez helped make Arsenal tick, especially when Double Gameweek's rolled about, managing goals against Stoke (A) and Sunderland (H) during Gameweek 37.
Sanchez is occupying the left-wing for Man United, and is on set-piece duty for the Red Devils, which should include penalty kicks should any be awarded.
Form is also a massive position for Alexis heading into DGW34, managing 24 FPL points from his last 2 fixtures against Swansea (GW32) and Man City (GW33), which is exactly the territory we'd love to see the Midfielder in come the end of the Gameweek with fixtures against relegation bound West Brom (H) and an inconsistent Bournemouth (A) on the menu.
Sanchez was at the heart of United's final 2 goals at the Etihad, assisting Paul Pogba's second goal, and providing the cross for Chris Smalling's winner.
In an Arsenal shirt this season, Sanchez made a 15 minute substitute appearance against Bournemouth during Gameweek 4, before providing his first attacking return of the season in the form of an assist against West Brom during a 2-0 home win for Arsenal during Gameweek 7.
Sanchez then made his penultimate appearance for Arsenal in a 1-1 draw away from home for Arsenal, assisting a James McClean own goal. Sanchez was still in the Arsenal squad for their away trip to Bournemouth, but was not part of the squad during a 2-1 defeat to The Cherries on the south coast.
There will be higher hopes for Alexis Sanchez this week as he has started the last 8 Premier League matches for Man United, and goes into the contests against West Brom and Bournemouth full of confidence and form with 1 goal and 3 assists from his last 2 appearances.
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.