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 26 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 26: Essential Captain
Player: Mohamed Salah (LIV)
GW26 Fixture: Bournemouth (H)
Player Price: £13.6 million
Player Selection %: 50.4%
Double Gameweek 25 was a heartbreaking week for most, and a resounding success for others that picked up the right players - aka Aguero and Laporte. Gameweek 26 acts as a pallet-cleanser before another break in play due to FA Cup 5th round action, with the regular line-up of fixtures to contend with.
Captain options essentially boiled down to Aubameyang's trip to Huddersfield, or more predictable, Mo Salah at home against a side who fold when on their travels. Salah's win means his face on our graphical covers are become a permanent feature on our site.
Cherish what you have because you never know when you'll lose the magic. Love can leave you, dreams can betray you, life can leave you shortchanged and in Liverpool's case, the Premier League once again threatens to evade you.
Liverpool's blip in form, draws against Leicester (GW24) and West Ham (GW25) have returned us to days more familiar with Man City top of the pile in the Premier League yet again. The pressure is still on City to maintain a perfect record, but the reality is that Liverpool must perform.
The latter part of that statement couldn't be any truer for FPL players heading into Gameweek 26, as the masses have blindly assembled to bank on The Egpytian King against the side he scored a treble against during Gameweek 16's 4-0 rout at the Vitality against a hapless Bournemouth side.
Salah's majority victory in our polls will be the regular sight when browsing Fantasy teams across the land this weekend, though that isn't a bad thing. It's a tough week for dead-set options, leaving Mo Salah as the only real front-runner for the armband given late news that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been head deep in a toilet bowl smelling his breakfast, lunch and dinner - though don't let the FPL overlords skew your thoughts - they'd probably give a player an orange flag if they stubbed their toe on the bottom of a door and the only healing remedy are a few kisses to make it feel better.
Form heading into the Bournemouth clash at Anfield this week has taken a major blow after Salah was relatively quiet against West Ham. Liverpool were in general and have deserved to lose their last 3 matches in the league convincingly. West Ham deserved the win against Liverpool, and you could make a case for Leicester doing the same. The only difference with Bournemouth is that they lack a real spine when playing away from home.
The Cherries will concede chances, and do not waver from their attacking style. A big win for Liverpool, and a Chelsea win on Sunday, could once again flip the title discussion.
Of course Salah is the top pick. It's the right call to make, especially if there's little wiggle room in your mini-leagues.
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 26: Alternative Captain
Player: Heung-Min Son (TOT)
GW26 Fixture: Leicester (H)
Player Price: £8.7 million
Player Selection %: 17.1%
For some, the sight of Heung-Min Son is welcomed, adorned even. He's been a strong pillar of your FPL season, has carried you through the middle part of the season through to a period where you need him more than ever again. You feed of his power to produce Fantasy points and feed off the power of jammy (and somewhat unexpected returns out of the blue). Your glee knows no tethers and you rest your team high atop the fantasy mountain, laughing at all those who never put faith in a newly born icon.
Or, as most will be, you've lived your life seeing this deceitful Korean tear down your defences and bring the wrath of a thousand plagues into your homes each and every weekend. His mere sight causes you to erupt into a stench of nervous sweat and uncontrollable rage, the kind of rage that sees good people turn cruel.
As part of the latter persuasion for the entirety of this season, we have finally been submitted into the one move we didn't really think of making, but have to make, purely driven out of fear and expectation.
Son, who only missed a single game due to the Asian games, has been in magnificent form for months now. The joint 10th best player this season, level on 126 points with Chelsea's Marcos Alonso, Son has provided attacking returns in 10 his last 12 Premier League matches, managing managing a resounding 110 points in that time.
The only times Son has failed to score or assist was during a 15-minute cameo from the bench against Burnley during Gameweek 17's narrow 1-0 home win for Spurs, and then later in a 1-0 home defeat against Man United during Gameweek 22. Son then missed the 2-1 victory at Fulham during Gameweek 23 before returning from the Asian Cup with goals in back-to-back Premier League games.
History and form is on Son's side against a potentially stubborn Leicester side, and for the first time this season we'll stop doubting the inevitability of points.
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 26: Wildcard Captain
Player: Michy Batshuayi (CRY)
GW26 Fixture: West Ham (H)
Player Price: £6.5 million
Player Selection %: 0.7%
The main event of the differentials is a familiar name. The on-loan Chelsea forward once played for Marseille and was a goal scoring sensation. Chelsea then took the plunge and picked him up in 2016 and it never really got the momentum the transfer was hyped for. Overlooked by Antonio Conte as Diego Costa was the star in Chelsea’s title win, Batshuayi was famed for last minute winners from the bench.
A loan to Dortmund in 2018 was a fruitful venture with seven goals from ten games, but a subsequent loan to Valencia was a failure, and now the Belgian has landed at South London of all places. Crystal Palace isn’t exactly the French riviera, or the class of Kensington, but he is at a place that will give him the opportunity that he has craved. One thing that Michy has craved has been taken seriously, he left Ligue 1 in France to show that he could do it at a better league, he showed his class in Germany, but Spain was a miss, and he has yet to be considered a success in England.
We didn’t honestly expect Batsman to end up at Crystal Palace, especially at a time when they have all their strikers fit and healthy. The Eagles always need players of better quality than what they already have, and Batshuayi’s eight-minute cameo showed the Selhurst faithful that he has what it takes to make an impact, ironically with a last-minute contribution. There was a time at Chelsea where the Blues should have had more faith in the striker, when he was in-form and couldn’t get in the team. It is undoubted that Palace will give him his first start of the Premier League season, and it is in a game against a club where he could have ended up…West Ham.
The irony could be complete with a goal to cement that he made the right choice. The move to South London doesn’t make sense, especially with the clubs interested in signing him, which makes a great story for a player looking to step down to step up. This is a fresh start for a talented player, one that may players have activated on their watchlist.
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.
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