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 19 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 19: Essential Captain
Player: Harry Kane (TOT)
GW19 Fixture: Bournemouth (H)
Player Price: £12.5m +
Player Selection %: 30.0%
Happy holidays from all of us over here at Hype Train HQ. We hope you're settling into the holiday season, and like us, looking forward to the football festivities starting on Boxing Day. A bumper round of games brings with it captaincy expectations for FPL players across the world... And boy has our expectations changed since Sunday evening.
A rampant Spurs victory against Everton changed what was going to almost certainly be a clear win for Mohamed Salah in a home game against Newcastle. Harry Kane's 2 goals and assist (one massively controversial assist) in Spurs's 6-2 win saw a last minute shift ahead of the midway point of the season.
In political turns, imagine one political party being 10 points ahead in all of the polls, and then at the very last there is an event or a moment that leads to an 11-point swing and the shadow party squeezes in with exactly 50% of the vote. THat's what has happened here with Kane.
On the subject of strong and stable, there's certainly no room for debate about Kane's value right now for Fantasy players. Aside from a blip in a 2-0 away win at Leicester, in which Kane started as a substitute, it's been nothing but goals and assists for the England captain...
What is interesting to note with Harry Kane this week is the history against Bournemouth that makes this tie an unknown variable. During Bournemouth's first season in the Premier League in the 2015/16, Kane scored 5 goals in 2 league games against the Cherries, scoring a hat-trick at Vitality Stadium during Gameweek 10.
The following season, Kane scored in the home fixture at White Hart Lane, with the Englishman netting once in a 4-0 win. Kane missed the away fixture through injury.
Last season, Kane failed to score against Bournemouth, suggesting some serious regression against The Cherries. Gameweek 30 last season was a turning point for Kane in Spurs's 4-1 away win - if you don't remember it, Kane was forced off after 34 minutes after twisting his ankle in a challenge with Asmir Begovic.
To some (ourselves included at times), Kane was rushed back from injury just two weeks later and the effects of the ankle knock appeared to have him look majorly fatigued during England's run to the semi-finals of the World Cup, and to start the season. There's even still suggestion that Kane is fatigued by some corners of the FPL Community, and a large swathe of armchair pundits.
Bournemouth have becoming a tricky team for Kane to managed, so it will genuinely be interesting to see how a fully fit, and in-form Harry Kane will take to the challenge at Wembley, against an Eddie Howe side that is providing erratic with their form, shape, like a cold tap that suddenly scolds.
On a general level, Kane is the popular pick and with FPL Cup players wary of their place, it may be a safe route that many (myself included) will take this week. Plus, with just 3 in 10 owning the 11-goal Forward, here's no better time to capitalise on Kane's potential, especially with Son Heung-Min in red hot form too before his upcoming departure to the Asian Cup in January.
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 19: Alternative Captain
Player: Marcus Rashford (MUN)
GW19 Fixture: Huddersfield (H)
Player Price: £7.0 million +
Player Selection %: 14.2%
As you'll see below with our Wildcard selection, Gameweek 19 is providing to be a week with a deep roster of Forward's to choose from, which at times has proven a rarity this season, and we continue our captaincy lowdown with an attacker who has been let off the shackles in the wake of Jose Mourinho's departure at Man United.
We would hardly class Marcus Rashford as a differential - the Englishman (with nationality proving to be a strong theme this week) is owned by nearly 15.0% of FPL players, which perfectly classes him as an alternative pick to the highly selected essentials. You go down the list of top-heavy midfielders and forwards, you'll not find anyone like a Rashford or Martial this week that has unlimited potential.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær started Rashford as United's lone attacker in United's 5-1 demolition of Cardiff, and we're expecting the atmosphere at Old Trafford to be electric with Ole's arrival at the club. Rashford played 75 minutes against Cardiff and will likely retain his place in United's attack with Romelu Lukaku still missing on compassionate leave.
Huddersfield visiting is the perfect antidote for a good Boxing Day feast for United with David Wagner's side currently nursing a 5-game losing streak, conceding 9 goals, including leaking 3 against a rejuvenated Southampton side. The stakes are the same this week, with a freshened side with a new Manager playing Huddersfield.
It's becoming harder to talk ourselves out of potentially punting the armband on Rashford, given that the ceiling for a big Fantasy return is massive. Rashford managed 14 points against Fulham recently, so he knows where the net is at Old Trafford.
There's no time like the now to pounce on the hype of United's attacking players, and with Rashford you're looking at the perfect Callum Wilson mid-range attacking option.
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 19: Wildcard Captain
Player: Danny Ings (SOU)
GW19 Fixture: West Ham (H)
Player Price: £5.5m +
Player Selection %: 6.5%
We couldn’t be happier with the on-loan Liverpool forward now, we selected him as our differential captain last week and he scored a vital goal in Southampton’s win against Huddersfield by winning a penalty and then converting it.
We said last week that the new manager is a fan of Danny Ings and couldn’t be luckier to have a player that fits his philosophy at the club, and with his minutes managed against the Terriers this was designed to keep him sharp for the congested festive period. West Ham who travel to St Mary's have unravelled themselves once again by proving they still have a soft underbelly following their surprising not-so-surprising defeat to Watford.
Form for West Ham is simply on or off like a water tap, it is either there or it isn’t. Southampton have been developing some form of their own which should worry Manuel Pellegrini who must be wondering how he can stop Ings who has been working the channels for Southampton efficiently. We can’t trust a West Ham asset right, but we can continue trusting Danny Ings who is proving he has a bright future at the Saints. Also we find it ironic picking a Saint as our differential at this time of year.
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.