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: Alexis Sanchez (Man Utd 0-1 WBA & Bournemouth 0-2 Man Utd) - 2pts
Essential: Mohamed Salah (West Brom 2-2 Liverpool) - 7pts
Alternative: Gabriel Jesus (Man City 5-0 Swansea) - 7pts
Wildcard: Wilfried Zaha (Watford 0-0 Crystal Palace) - 2pts
Essential: Harry Kane (Spurs 2-0 Watford) - 6pts
Alternative: Raheem Sterling (West Ham 1-4 Man City) - 11pts
Wildcard: Ashley Barnes (Burnley 0-0 Brighton) - 2pts
Essential: Harry Kane (West Brom 1-0 Spurs & Spurs 1-0 Newcastle) - 8pts
Alternative: Gabriel Jesus (Man City 0-0 Huddersfield & Man City 3-1 Brighton) - 4pts
Wildcard: Alexis Sanchez (Brighton 1-0 Man Utd & West Ham 0-0 Man Utd) - 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), 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), 7 (35), 6 (36), 8 (37) = 256 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), 7 (35), 11 (36), 4 (37) = 230 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), 2 (35), 2 (36), 3 (37) = 156 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 38: Essential
Player: Mohamed Salah (LIV)
Player Price: £10.5 million
Player Selection %: 55.7%
Gameweek 38: Alternative
Player: Harry Kane (TOT)
Player Price: £13.1 million
Player Selection %: 37.6%
The last edition of our captaincy article will be easy this season. No polls. No messing around. We're going to end the season the way the majority of the season has gone.
Player of the Season, Mohamed Salah, has been a revelation this season and gets an encore as the essential captaincy pick. 31 goals and 11 assists this season is a tremendous haul of points, and we'll be cheering the King of Egypt on in breaking the 295 points record set by Luis Suarez in the 2013/14 season.
Lurking in the shadows, and needing 5 goals or more on final day to usurp Mohamed Salah as the Golden Boot winner this season, Harry Kane gets the final alternative slot this season and goes up against a Leicester side already on their holidays ahead of a Leicester game at home.
Realistically, unless you've already phoned in your captaincy pick for the week, it'll be Salah and Kane that get the armband this week, and it's the right call on a Gameweek with a lot of traditional last day rotation issues.
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 38: Wildcard
Player: Virgil van Dijk
Player Price: £5.7 million
Player Selection %: 7.2%
Mohamad Salah, Harry Kane, Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang? All solid captaincy options to round out the season. For the duration of the season the differential captains have consisted primarily of midfielders and forwards, but not once we have opted for a defender. Marcos Alonso was once the differential captain a long time ago, but since then the Spaniard has been a premium option after scoring goal after goal.
As it is the last day, and we want to select an ‘out there’ option to be captain, there is sound logic behind the madness of considering captaining the Dutchman. Liverpool are fighting for a place in the top four to finish their Premier League campaign, as well as prepare for their Champions League final in Kiev. The Reds won’t be coasting, or sitting back during the encounter with Brighton, it will be one final stand to ensure they play in Europe’s elite competition next season.
Manchester United will be rotating, Man City have already wrapped up the league, Arsenal have nothing to fight for, Chelsea visit a place they struggle to win at, and Spurs also have nothing left to fight for having already wrapped up a place in the top four. Liverpool though, they have it all to fight for. A lazy or slack performance won’t do, they are in the driving seat and need to be on their a-game. Virgil has made a sizeable difference to the Liverpool defence since his world record transfer from Southampton, and the form at Anfield is a testament to Klopp’s improvement of their recent fortunes. Virgil isn’t a crazy pick, there is a lot of common sense when you read into the stats for the Dutchman.
Virgil van Dijk Key Stats:
Virgil has three returns in his last five games, two of which occurred at Anfield against Stoke and Bournemouth.
Liverpool have three clean sheets in their last five games.
Virgil has played every minute since GW26 against Spurs. In twelve games Virgil has a fifty percent return rate, collecting six returns. Four of those returns took place on home soil.
Liverpool have kept sixteen clean sheets this season, joint third best, tied with Chelsea and Spurs. The only teams with better records both come from Manchester.
The previous encounter between the Reds and Seagulls finished: Brighton 1-5 Liverpool
Liverpool have not lost consecutive games in the Premier League, and from these five losses the Reds have bounced back quickly and have four wins and a draw in following fixtures.
Liverpool are undefeated at Anfield this season (W11, D7, L0).
However, Liverpool are winless in their last three Premier League fixtures, albeit these games took place around heavy rotation following Champions League semi-finals.
Brighton have also been in patchy form recently and have only won one game in their last eight (W1, D3, L4).
Brighton have only won twice away from home this season, with the last of these wins coming at Swansea during GW11. The Seagulls prefer home comforts.
Liverpool were in the same scenario last season searching for Champions League football, in 2016/17 they beat Middlesbrough 3-0 to secure a top four finish.
It’s the final day of the year, so why not go bold and back a legitimate option for your captaincy this week? Virgil ticks every box for a potential return, and with Liverpool motivated to finish the season with a place in the top four they have everything to play for. Mohamad Salah is too easy of a captaincy option, the boldest players in the FPL community should consider Virgil instead.
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