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: Harry Kane (Stoke 1-2 Spurs) - 1pt
Wildcard: Eden Hazard (Chelsea 1-1 West Ham) - 2pts
Essential: Romelu Lukaku (Man Utd 0-1 WBA & Bournemouth 0-2 Man Utd) - 8pts
Alternative: Harry Kane (Spurs 1-3 Man City & Brighton 1-1 Spurs) - 10pts
Wildcard: lAlexis Sanchez (Man Utd 0-1 WBA & Bournemouth 0-2 Man Utd) - 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), 8 (34) = 235 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), 10 (34) = 208 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), 2 (34) = 149 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 35: Essential
Player: Mohamed Salah (LIV)
Player Price: £10.6 million +
Player Selection %: 58.6%
We are now one day removed from Double Gameweek 34, and less than a day until we'll be in the thick of Gameweek 35. It is a period of quick turnaround and gut instinct for FPL players as the final weeks of the season pose potentially treacherous waters.
We return to the drawing board with our essential captaincy poll that pits four players who only played once during the last round of fixtures, and with an away trip to West Brom under the horizon, Mohamed Salah returns to the forefront of attention, pipping some serious competition to a 49% poll victory.
Liverpool are days away from a Champions League semi-final against AS Roma, with Salah returning to the club that parted with the potential Player of the Season. Both clubs are in the midst of battles to qualify for the competition next season, so Roma's trip to SPAL, and Liverpool's to bottom club West Brom, is a welcome time to field strong squads at the weekend.
Jurgen Klopp also confirmed in his press conference prior to the match that he will be fielding his strong side. Liverpool didn't beat the Baggies at Anfield this season, with the travelling side managing a 0-0 draw during Gameweek 17.
The previous encounter is one of only 7 times in which Mohamed Salah did not register a goal or an assist in a match this season, so there will be a few question marks, especially after WBA's Manager, Darren Moore, beat Man United 1-0 away from home during the recent Double Gameweek, and they did it the 'West Brom Way', with an organised defensive display at the back peppered with fruitful counter-attacks and set-pieces.
Liverpool could struggle to break between the lines often, with the Swansea defeat earlier on in the season bringing up the type of display that we could see, but it all depends on how Klopp goes into the game with a strong squad.
We're not ones to doubt how great Mohamed Salah has been this season, as his goal scoring exploits have put Salah on the edge of breaking a Premier League record for goals in a 38 game season. A brace against West Brom will take Salah above Alan Shearer, Robin van Persie, and Cristiano Ronaldo's 31 shared record of 31 goals in a single season.
This could be Salah's last hurrah as a captaincy option this season, with Top 6 clubs facing kind fixtures next week, before the penultimate Gameweek 37. We expect to see Salah's name here on the final day of the season when Liverpool host Brighton, but if not, it has been a pleasure to be among Salah's incredible journey this season, and we hope it ends in the silverware and awards that he craves.
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 35: Alternative
Player: Gabriel Jesus (MCI)
Player Price: £10.1 million +
Player Selection %: 10.0%
Big both our Essential and Wildcard captaincy options coming from midfield picks this weeks, it leaves the alternative captaincy slot to move up field in attack, and there's no better contender for the honour this week than Man City's Gabriel Jesus.
For at least the next few weeks, the inclusion of Gabriel Jesus seems glaringly obvious, for those with their Free Hit chips available, and those without.
Sergio Aguero announced that he had undergone knee surgery this week, though it is highly likely that the Argentine could be back in training within the next couple of weeks, but after an initial diagnosis that he would be fit in time for the final few matches of the season, it looks more likely that Aguero's season is over, and priority has switched to the World Cup in Russia this summer.
Jesus has managed 2 goals and an assist in his last 4 matches, though the Brazilian forward only appeared off the bench for 18 minutes in the 3-2 home defeat to Manchester United, which was the firs time Jesus was on the losing side whilst playing for Man City.
With Pep Guardiola, he'll likely treat Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling as the alternative central figures, with both utilised in the central attacking role without Jesus or Aguero in the squad, so there's no pressure for Pep to rotate in the few weeks to keep players fresh for the tournament in the summer.
Jesus is cheaper than the other Forward's, plays for a team that will play with the same intensity and professionalism until the end of the season, and goes up against a Swansea side who are defensively organised, but knowing full well that this fixture could runaway from them, especially as City will be heading into the fixture crowned as Premier League Champions after Man United lost 1-0 at home to West Brom.
The sails are set for Jesus to be a worth inclusion this week until the end of the season, let's just hope the final few weeks are full of promise, and not the much-maligned misery from the past few weeks and months in the world of FPL.
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 35: Wildcard
Player: Wilfried Zaha (CRY)
Player Price: £6.9 million +
Player Selection %: 6.8%
Crystal Palace’s Ivorian winger is this week’s Key Differential. The truth behind Crystal Palace is simple, Zaha is their superstar. When the winger doesn’t play they lack penetration from their attackers, as evident when Zaha was injured earlier in the season. The winger tops our list of differentials this week because he has consistently picked up fantasy points in recent fixtures, and his performance against Brighton illustrated his goal scoring prowess.
The other option to captain the differentials was Alexandre Lacazette, but there is a real distrust of Arsenal assets in Europa League weeks, and in general. When you look at captaincy options you look for players who can turn up in any fixture, and fortunately for us Wilfried Zaha is the standout player.
Utilised as a striker against Brighton, his pace and movement forces defenders back, and he also possesses the mind of a poacher too. In the summer we can see Spurs and Liverpool go in for the attacker due to his versatility and pace. For the time being Zaha remains at Palace and is their best hope of avoiding the drop down to the Championship.
Wilfried Zaha Key Stats:
Zaha has five Fantasy returns in his last five fixtures. Two assists and three goals, with the most recent haul a fourteen-point return after scoring two versus Brighton at Selhurst Park.
Crystal Palace hare unbeaten in their last two away games (Huddersfield & Bournemouth). The Eagles have scored two goals in both fixtures.
Furthermore, Palace have scored in their last nine away fixtures in the Premier League. The last time they failed to score on the road was a 0-0 draw with West Brom during GW15. They have also scored in their last six fixtures overall, last time they couldn’t score was GW28 in a 1-0 loss to Spurs.
The reverse fixture (GW17) finished: Crystal Palace 2-1 Watford. Zaha picked up an assist in the Eagles victory over the Hornets.
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