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 32 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 32: Essential Captain
Player: Sergio Aguero (MCI)
GW32 Fixtures: Fulham (A) & Cardiff (H)
Player Price: £11.8 million +
Player Selection %: 42.7$
It's the night before the biggest Gameweek of the season. As an FPL player that has been hiding from his team this past fortnight, trying desperately not to get sucked into the social media whirlwind of GW32's selection process, at this later hour it is time to face the music and begin with a Free Hit strategy. Regardless if you have the chip available or not, it is quite obvious where the captaincy lies this week.
A battle between Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling became the key FPL toss up this week, with Aguero pipping the red-hot England international to the tip of essential captaincy this week.
Aguero's key to beating Sterling to the top spot this week lies in a trifecta of talking points regarding the build up to Man City's massively favourable fixtures against Cardiff and Fulham.
- Penalties and the occasional set-piece from outside the box.
- Wasn't selected for Argentina during the international break.
- The threat of rotation limiting Sterling's minutes.
- More attacking returns (28) than Aguero (27).
- Ridiculously good form (2 hat-tricks in 3 matches for club and country)
- Easy fixtures could mean rotation, even for Aguero
Weighing up the talking points, it is hard to distinguish an out-and-out favourite. Man City played Fulham at home in a 3-0 win during Gameweek 5, and then beat Cardiff 5-0 away during Gameweek 6 - in those matches Sterling managed 14 points (1 goal, 1 assist), whilst Aguero managed 13 points (1 goal, 2 assists), though the Argentine didn't get more than 60 minutes in either fixture.
Part of the madness of preparing a Free Hit chip, my gut instinct was to build a team around Sterling and Aguero, with the latter getting the armband as an automatic. Aguero's got the fall back of set-pieces, and with Man City likely to pressure relentlessly over the course of two fixtures, Aguero could profit from a penalty or two. Sterling's having a moment in the sun however, and is in the papers for standing above racism, as well as proving long-time critics wrong with some stellar performances.
Aguero' popularity vote might just swing us though in playing it safe - given the number of teams we've seen based around the two in Free Hit sides, there's not a lot of difference with many teams - most have captained Aguero via default. It's probably the right move until Sterling finds himself unmarked at the back post for a treble of tap ins at Craven Cottage tomorrow afternoon.
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 32: Alternative Captain
Player: Marcus Rashford (MUN)
GW32 Fixtures: Watford (H) & Wolves (A)
Player Price: £7.6 million
Player Selection %: 28.2%
Man United are riding high this week with Ole at the Wheel on a full time deal with Te Red Devils after the club finally ousted Jose Mourinho 3 months ago - and from an FPL perspective there couldn't be a better time for this to happen. United will be bolstered on the sidelines, as well as on the field with Watord visiting Old Trafford before visiting Wolves next week.
- Lukaku is injured for a few weeks, meaning Rashford will be the central attacker
- Injury doubts surrounding Martial forces the issue of Rashord starting
- A very cheap option at £7.6 million in a week of expensive options
- Set-piece potential (free-kicks)
- United's form (1 loss since Gameweek 17, which came against Arsenal last time out during Gameweek 30)
- That pesky yellow flag that threatens to confuse the FPL populace
- Wolves and Watford aren't pushovers
- No Premier League goal since Gameweek 25 (5 matches)
- The Pogba-Rashford connection has managed just 2 goals and 1 assist, all managed by Pogba, since Gameweek 25
The Englishman is the perfect left-centre pick if you're out of a Free Hit chip and lack an Aguero or a Sterling. Others in contention for this position are Pogba, Hazard, and maybe even Sadio Mane based on form.
The balance of Gameweek 32 will see Rashford as a central talking point, so at the very least, given his reasonable price, he should be in the conversation for selection ahead of the Gameweek 32 deadline.
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 32: Wildcard Captain
Player: Gonzalo Higuain (CHE)
GW32 Fixtures: Cardiff (A) & Cardiff (H)
Player Price: £9.6 million
Player Selection %: 4.2%
Last week there must be some fantasy managers who wasted their free hit on what was categorically one of the worst gameweeks in FPL history. That said, we present to you Captain Obvious for the differentials. So, here we are trying to convince you that Chelsea are a decent team. We tried to convince you that Higuain would be a good option against Everton, only for the Toffees to turn up and send the travelling Chelsea fans home feeling blue. Higuain reminds us of Radamel Falcao, he made the switch to the Premier League and all its riches on the back of a huge reputation before playing a single minute on English soil. It makes or breaks you, and it didn’t quite work for Falcao as he struggled to be a game changer against a half decent team on a week-to-week basis, further reinforcing the competitive nature of the league.
Other names may not come as a surprise, and a lot of them have surprise, surprise…played for Chelsea. Remember Hernan Cresco who was so poor that he was loaned out to AC Milan (and featured in the 2005 Champions League final against Liverpool and scored two goals). Andriy Shevchenko was also signed by the Blues, as was Adrian Mutu, and you can argue that Fernando Torres was very ineffective when he made the switch from Merseyside to London. We have even given you a whole bunch of names that joined the league which might make you even think ‘Ah, I totally forgot about him!’
Andriy Shevchenko (Chelsea, 2006-09)
Fernando Morientes (Liverpool, 2005-06)
Alen Boksic (Middlesbrough, 2000-03)
Hernan Crespo (Chelsea, 2003-06)
Mario Jardel (Bolton, 2003-04)
Radamel Falcao (Man United & Chelsea, 2013-16)
Sergei Rebrov (Tottenham, 2000-03)
Adrian Mutu (Chelsea, 2003-04)
Roberto Soldado (Tottenham, 2013-15)
Diego Forlan (Manchester United, 2002-04)
The last name on the list, Forlan, took a staggering thirty-four games to notch for Manchester United. The point is that Higuain is in dangerous territory of fitting nicely into this list of names, and his performances has to improve to not be ‘another one of them’ players that everyone praised to high heaven until they pattered out in the Premier League.
The only returns from the Argentine are against this year’s promoted clubs Huddersfield and Fulham, and the final and third promoted team is in the sights of the Blues when Sarri’s travel to Wales. It could be a clean sweep of scalps for Higuain, and he can even break his own trend against Brighton at Stamford Bridge.
Here are the trends to be aware of for Chelsea’s second opponent of the gameweek:
Brighton have lost ten away games by conceding two or more goals ten times.
Brighton have only won three away games all season; with those teams being Newcastle, Huddersfield, and Crystal Palace in the most recent gameweek.
The Seagulls have only kept one clean sheet on their travels, with this one-off defensive return happening during GW9 at St. James Park in a 1-0 win against Newcastle.
The only draws Brighton have managed have been 2-2 draws. The first was against Southampton (GW5), and then at West Ham (GW21).
Five of Brighton’s six clean sheets have occurred at home.
Brighton’s biggest wins of the season were against Manchester United in GW3, and them against Wolves in GW10.
Brighton have not been able to prevent a top six club from scoring against them this season.
Essentially, this should be an easy win for Chelsea on the cards. By pure trend it would be very surprising if Brighton were to get anything at Stamford Bridge, and everyone banking on Hazard and Higuain should go into the weekend thinking that there is a high chance of solid fantasy returns. The only stumbling block is Chelsea themselves and if they can bounce back from their miserably disappointing loss against Everton before the international break.
Higuain is prime real estate for this double Gameweek and captain potential if you are worried that Pep Roulette may ruin your hopes. We don’t know if Higuain should be praised heading into this Gameweek, but with the opportunity for Chelsea this Gameweek it is a captaincy choice that is locked in by an uncertain default.
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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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