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CAPTAINCY HYPE 2018/19: FPL Gameweek 23

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 23 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


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 23: Essential Captain

Player: Mohamed Salah (LIV)

Position: Midfielder

GW23 Fixture: Crystal Palace (H)

Player Price: £13.4 million +

Player Selection %: 47.7%

The Egyptian King has now won 9 of our 23 captaincy polls this season, a figure which is more than a third of the season to date. This measure of victory is making it very, very easy for Fantasy sports journalists around the world to just hype up players with stats and insight to back up a rather predictable decision.

It also makes it easy to put the foot off the gas this week in terms of reporting, meaning you don’t have to worry about your choices at a belated Xmas party in the heart of London on a Thursday night. My own personal experience this week has been so relaxed from an FPL perspective as it truly feels like we’re all living through a uniform motion about captaining Salah this week.

The three members of the The Hype Train all elected for Salah as our pick for captain this week, as did our guest @ArrowFPL.

Failure to return against Man City and Man United in Liverpool’s last 6 games are the only low points for Salah in an otherwise perfect run of form, with 5 returns of 10+ returns in his last 7 outings.

Matters on the pitch also remain potentially uncomplicated this weekend, with Crystal Palace visiting Merseyside. Palace lost their home encounter 2-0 against The Reds, with Salah providing both assists on that night for a customary 8 Fantasy points.

Consistency to deliver at the highest level is making this game a glide this season, even at an inflated £13.4 million figure, though such reliance is why the 14 goals and 8 assists so far this season from 22 appearances has made Africa’s best footballer an absolute essential.

Even for the sake of this article, there’s no denying what is so painstakingly obvious. Mo is the guy this week. If you have him, unless you play a sick game of roulette with your captaincy picks, you’ll be backing on Salah’s fortunes this weekend.


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 23: Alternative Captain

Player: Marcus Rashford

Position: Forward

GW23 Fixture: Brighton (H)

Player Price: £7.5 million +

Player Selection %: 34.1%

When weighing up alternatives to Mohamed Salah this week, you don’t have to look further than a trip down the road to Manchester to find an attack that is in fine form ahead of a home game against a Brighton side who often find a way to fold under pressure under the lights of another team.

The options we considered this in this precarious role were quite simple. Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford internally fought for our affections, but with midfield coverage already seized by the presence of Mohamed Salah, we relayed what we believe will be the case this weekend – Marcus Rashford will be your vice captain.

If Marcus Rashford was priced at 10 million or more in the FPL, he'd have probably won our captaincy poll. Exclusivity can sometimes pervert logic, but in truth there's no better form attacker right now than the England international.


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 23: Wildcard Captain

Player: Salomon Rondon (NEW)

Position: Forward

GW23 Fixture: Cardiff (H)

Player Price: £5.7 million

Player Selection %: 3.2%

When we think about what a key differential is, it is a combination of a few factors. The first is the fixture, and Newcastle at home against Cardiff has potential for the Venezuelan. This is a relegation six pointer between the teams currently placed at 17th and 18th. Newcastle need to come out of the games sprinting, this isn’t a case of sitting back and holding firm. Newcastle have been doing that to no real success, and against the Bluebirds it may be a case that they throw caution to the wind. This fixture is a must win for Rafa Benitez’s team, and it would be a massive, massive waste if they at least didn’t put up a decent fight against a team that should considered for relegation over them.

The second factor is the pedigree, and Rondón is a purebred striker. You know exactly what you get from the burley forward who is quick on his feet. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the forward was on the scoresheet in this fixture and has returned in our differentials before in this very type of fixture.

The final and concluding factor is that you look for obscurity. Returns can come out of nowhere, people will overlook this because Man City are playing Huddersfield, or Man United host Brighton, and Liverpool are having Palace visit Anfield. Most people won’t trust Newcastle, they just don’t. They’ll think to themselves that will be a ‘great idea’, but never act on it, why? Because they have an idea.

The point on the differentials is to back the obscure, and if you look at the weekly dream team it isn’t made up of the likes of Kane, Aguero, Aubameyang, Salah, Alonso, Alisson, Robertson, and Rashford every single time. Maybe one or two make it, but you’ll find that it is those great ideas that take up the mantle. Suddenly that great idea is now regret, because that opportunity is gone. Hopefully Rondón causes nothing but regret for our benefit.

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.

You can follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube channel, or visit our website here at

All aboard.


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