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 16 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: 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 16: Essential Captain
Player: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ARS)
GW16 Fixture: Huddersfield (H)
Player Price: £11.3 million +
Player Selection %: 31.1%
It's definitely hitting crunch time of the season when Fantasy sports journalists begin a new Gameweek article less than 24 hours after the end of the last rounds of games. Time and Premier League matches have come and gone just like that over the past month, with FPL players not being given the luxury of much time between crucial decisions such as captaincy.
Adding fuel to the fire in recent weeks, Sergio Aguero's injury has opened up two different paths of consideration, with Harry Kane (TOT) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ARS) coming into the spotlight ahead of a good run of fixtures for both players over the festive period.
Gameweek 15 saw Harry Kane claim our essential captaincy spot for the first time, and there's another first ahead of Gameweek 16, with Aubameyang the overwhelming favourite for the armband with Huddersfield at home quickly on the horizon. Auba's victory of 55% is a dominant one, with the England captain stuttering behind on 21%, with Salah (14%) and Sterling (10%) making up the final quarter of the vote.
Gameweek 15 did not go to plan for Auba's 30% ownership, with the Forward in neither of Arsenal's goals in a vibrant 2-2 draw at Man United. A brace against Spurs in the North London derby in a 4-2 win for The Gunners stole a lot of positive attention that Harry Kane has been garnering in the FPL Community, especially due to an inferior price than the Englishman. The short term move to Auba didn't work if you banked on him with the armband against Man United, but patience looks set to be rewarded after a blip at Old Trafford.
Huddersfield have kept 3 clean sheets this season against all 3 of last seasons' promoted sides - Cardiff (GW3), Fulham (GW11) and Wolves (GW13) - with their only away clean sheet coming against Wolves. Writing appears on the wall then that Arsenal will inevtiably score against Huddersfield, especially considering that they've conceded against every team they've come up against that was involved in the 2017/18 season.
Believe it or not though, Huddersfield have kept more clean sheets than Arsenal, with home victories against Everton (GW6) and Watford (GW7) Arsenal's only shut-outs so far this campaign. David Wagner's side have only failed to score in 1 of 7 away matches, a 3-0 defeat at Watford during Gameweek 10, which all points to an incredibly open and entertaining affair this weekend.
Unai Emery's time in charge has seen the former Sevilla Head Coach get the rub of the green, with Arsenal undefeated since a 3-2 defeat at Chelsea during Gameweek 2 - a game in which Arsenal should have won.
Aubameyang's been a vocal point this season, whether in off the left-wing, off from the bench as a substitute, or starting in a central role. For once, the popular vote on our poll is one that we actually agree with heading into this round of fixtures. No doubt any non-Auba players will have envy this week, though Alexandre Lacazette owners most likely won't be too fussed about Auba if they have Harry Kane in their ranks as both bases will be covered.
The only slight doubt would be Unai Emery's habit to rotate players, but with a dead-rubber Europa League on Thursday, we think Emery plays the best version of his team this weekend, and that of course includes both Aubameyang Lacazette.
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 16: Alternative Captain
Player: Richarlison (EVE)
GW16 Fixture: Watford (H)
Player Price: £7.1 million +
Player Selection %: 32.5%
Part and parcel of being a group of avid FPL players that have many friends that ask us about the game is seeing some teams that you'd never wish on your worse enemies. Teams without key men each Gameweek, with irrational decision making - mostly down to casuals not knowing how bonus points are amassed, or the impact of players playing in each position. My point here is that a work-friend showed me her team, and besides Aubameyang the options were not there for any genuine captaincy contenders, and by default one player was the VC.
In general, what we're finding this week is that Richarlison is everyone's favourite Vice Captaincy pick, though given some potentially tricky fixtures elsewhere in the league, is there an argument that the Brazilian is the perfect option if you don't have Aubameyang or Kane (god forbid)?
You'd almost forget that Richarlison was a Watford player last season given how his form faded after Marco Silva, another Everton employee facing his old club, left The Hornets. It's going to be a big weekend for Silva and Richarlison this weekend, so from a purely cosmic point-of-view, a Richarlison goal against his old club is just written in the stars, right? The same could also be said about Gerard Deulofeu returning to his former club this weekend to balance the scales of destiny.
Richarlison's home form this season has been good, with a 10 point haul against Newcastle a relief to his 32.5% ownership - given the climate of the game his stock wouldn't have held up if he had blanked in back-to-back home fixtures against The Toon and Cardiff.
Looking to the future, with Man City (A) and Spurs (H) in the immediate future, Silva will field his strongest team viewing this game as must-win against a side who also claim a spot in the top-half of the table. The fixture is at Goodison Park is also held on a Monday, giving both sides ample rest after the midweek round of games.
This Gameweek might be the last chance we discuss Richarlison given some tough fixtures ahead, so we're giving the Brazilian a moment in the spotlight to further justify his price-tag against his former side.
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 16: Wildcard Captain
Player: Salomon Rondon (NEW)
GW16 Fixture: Wolves (H)
Player Price: £5.8 million
Player Selection %: 2.1%
Tis’ the season to be reminded of all the great differentials that are currently out there during rotation season. One thing is for sure, and that is a team in the bottom half of the table will not rotate a goal scoring forward. Rafa Benitez has finally got the big Venezuelan ticking for the Toon and has been instrumental for the Tyneside club in recent weeks. All three of his goals for the Toon this season have come in the last four weeks, and the third once last week away to Everton with a powerful finish past Pickford.
Rondón has started the last five games from the off and is now looking like the real deal in the short term. Games against Wolves, Huddersfield, and Fulham should make Rafa a happy man if they can take points from clubs that either got promoted last season, and one that looks likely to go down this year.
Rondón is a forward who is more influential at home than he is away from home, it just happened he was more effective at Goodison Park than he is at St James Park. Combined, the striker had three shots against Everton and Burnley on the road, but against Bournemouth and West Ham he had fifteen shots on familiar soil. He is getting the chances, and if he can be as clinical as he was against Everton then it would be an astute and not-so surprising pick for your team this week.
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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