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 30 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 30: Essential Captain
Player: Sergio Aguero (MCI)
GW30 Fixture: Watford (H)
Player Price: £11.8 million
Player Selection %: 40.4%
Gameweek 30 marks the beginning of the end of the season in many ways. Everything starts to go downhill in your 30's (apparently), and for FPL players they rapidly lose their hair and sanity as a week-to-week strategy of chips and Double Gameweek's begins to raise their blood pressure until the middle of May.
This weekend marks the last 'normal' Gameweek of the season in many ways. Most weeks until the end of the season will either be a Blank or a Double. Captaincy contenders are there or there about, with Sergio Aguero claiming a narrow majority victory, with a downturn in Mo Salah's form enough to push the Argentine's essential tag over the line this week, with the Argentine winning the latest tug of war between the two battling captaincy choices this season.
Home comforts away Man City this week, starting with Watford in Saturday's evening, and then following up with a second-leg Champions League encounter with Bundesliga side Schalke on Tuesday night.
The impending schedule hasn't been enough to detract suitors in FPL, with Aguero scoring 8 (but assisting none) from his last 5 Gameweek's (which included 6 fixtures due to a Double during Gameweek 25).
With Gabriel Jesus returning to the fray from injury, there is a chance with Pep Guardiola in charge that Aguero won't start 1 of the next 2 matches, but it appears that with the Schalke game already in a strong position, that the Argentine will get the nod of approval against Watford.
Aguero didn't feature in the 2-1 victory at The Hornets during Gameweek 15 due to injury, but with a swing of momentum in City's favour in the race for the Premier League title, City have every opportunity to solidify their status at table-toppers before they vanish off the radar for Gameweek 31's blank.
A large part of Aguero's appeal this week largely lies with a low-point for Mohamed Salah in the season. Just 1 goal in games, a lone strike against Bournemouth at home during Gameweek 26 in a 3-0 victory is the only attacking return. With an away day at Bayern Munich also on the horizon next Wednesday, there may be a sense of caution to protect The Egyptian with reduced minutes if Liverpool get the job done early against Burnley.
Leading the scoring charts with 18 goals, Aguero is the firm favourite amongst FPL players this weekend, so keep this trend in mind if you're looking to potentially keep pace in your mini-leagues - just bare in mind that Watford capitulated 5-0 when they travelled to Liverpool, so we might see a similar score here if Javi Gracia's side roll over on their yellow bellies against Top 6 opposition.
City look very dangerous at home right now, so it could be a big weekend for Aguero to extend his points whilst Mo Salah continued to struggle in front of goal.
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 30: Alternative Captain
Player: Virgil van Dijk (LIV)
GW30 Fixture: Burnley (H)
Player Price: £6.6 million
Player Selection %: 40.4%
Following up with Liverpool, the chasing Reds do feature in our captaincy considerations, but it is not following the norm of picking an attacking Midfielder or Forward. Rather, as stats have suggested in recent weeks, Liverpool's defence are where the points are coming from in FPL since the turn of the new year.
Liverpool have kept 4 consecutive clean sheets in the Premier League (Gameweek's 26-29), conceding only 15 goals after 29 games and keeping 17 in total this season.
Gameweek 26: Liverpool 3-0 Bournemouth Gameweek 27: Man United 0-0 Liverpool Gameweek 28: Liverpool 5-0 Watford Gameweek 29: Everton 0-0 Liverpool
Such an imbalance of points in favour of Liverpool's defence completely validates having two defensive assets from Jurgen Klopp's drilled back-line, and of them all, it is actually Virgil van Dijk that is peaking our interest due to his ability to nab points at both ends of the pitch.
The Dutchman, who is on course for the PFA Player of the Year award, has a trio of both goals and assists this season, and looks to be the only target from Alexander-Arnold's and Robertson's pin-point crosses. A brace against Watford has engulfed FPL players about Virgil's appetite in front of goal, and though we expect Burnley to be dogged defensively, and can man-mark very well, we're not talking about a side who dominate games.
Virgil (162) actually has more points than Aguero (160) this season, with 16 clean sheets more valuable and bigger earners than Aguero's 18 Premier League goals, so there's a lot of credibility in actually entrusting the armband with the reliable central defender.
Sean Dyche's side were recently played off the park against Newcastle during Gameweek 28's 2-0 win at St James's Park, and last weekend were well beaten by the energy and pace of Crystal Palace's full-backs (which Liverpool have on either flank too), allowing creative sparks in Zaha and Batshuayi to create chance after chance for Tom Heaton to worry over.
The realistic expectation is a Liverpool win, and for us the bare minimum will be Liverpool maintaining their streaks of clean sheets, so 6 points should be a minimum for the Alisson - Virgil - Matip - Robbo - Trent combination this weekend. The back 5 will maintain their places so you won't have to worry about the threat (minimal at that) or rotation or Mo Salah's dry spell, one that stopped what we believed would be an obvious pick against a bottom-half team.
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 30: Wildcard Captain
Player: Gonzalo Higuain (CHE)
GW30 Fixture: Wolves (H)
Player Price: £9.6 million
Player Selection %: 4.2%
Last week we talked about Chelsea as being a team quietly going about its business. Since the fiasco at the League Cup final loss to Man City, the Blues have gone on to beat follow Londoners Spurs and Fulham. The talking point was about the future of Sarri as manager, but almost very conveniently after the win over Spurs there has been next to little talk about Sarri’s future and it isn’t even part of the conversation anymore. Anything can change in football, and Chelsea are a team that emphasise with that saying more than any team. Their team constantly drifts between finishing in the Europa League places, challenging for the Premier League, and qualifying in the Champions League places. They truly are the biggest differential team in the top six now because you have no idea what you are going see from the Blues on a game-to-game basis.
Next up for Sarri’s team is Wolves who have most surprisingly lost at Huddersfield. The narrative this week focuses on Manchester United overcoming PSG in the Champions League, the big match between Arsenal and Man United, and will Liverpool take back top spot off Manchester City? The Chelsea vs. Wolves match is interesting because you’d expect Wolves to be competitive in this fixture, but fantasy managers will rightfully be sitting on the fence as many managers will most likely have clashes for this fixture. Who they drop, Raul or Alonso? Hazard or Doherty? Play all of them?
The one Chelsea player who we banked on notched a goal for our differential record, and that man is Gonzalo Higuaín. Another well taken strike against a recently promoted team, and now the Argentine has the chance to add to his record against recently promoted teams. Hazard had a good game against a bottom half team, and this is typically the type of fixture that Chelsea normally eek out a 2-0 home win. We are still unsure if Higuaín is an upgrade on Morata (who is currently lighting it up in Madrid), which makes him a perfect differential captain in a fixture with a huge question mark on it.
There were few differential captaincy options this week with lots of evenly balanced fixtures. Crystal Palace/Brighton, Newcastle/Everton, and Arsenal/United were the other considerations for Batsman, Rondón, and Lukaku; but we thought we ignored Chelsea’s obvious potential. Gonzalo Higuaín is in form, as are Chelsea, and sometimes that is all you need as captaincy potential.
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.