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 33 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 33: Essential Captain
Player:Eden Hazard (CHE)
GW33 Fixture: West Ham (H)
Player Price: £11.0 million
Player Selection %: 32.1%
The 'Double Gameweek' (said in the loosest of terms) this past week was either a flaming mess of player rotation, injury or captaincy - maybe all three - of, for a few that plucked the correct players, a raging success.
The last flame of said success was Eden Hazard's 14-point haul at home to Brighton, a turnover of points that rapidly altered our already-live captaincy poll ahead of Gameweek 33, all of which starts tomorrow with Liverpool visiting Southampton.
With Mo Salah, and later Sadio Mane, cruising in the poll, Eden Hazard came out of the blue like Usain Bolt in the final 40 metres of the 100m sprint by claiming a marginal victory over Liverpool's finest attacking options - whilst the quickest of the lot, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal couldn't get out of the blocks to mount a serious challenge.
Hazard's poll victory this week really has changed the dynamic of this article. We had already prepped an article with Sadio Mane as the cover star, and featured in an info-graphic below, with Eden's favourtism at the last really highlighting how quickly the formula for FPL players can change at a whim. Largely our poll will consist of well-informed Fantasy players, which further suggests the trends of switching the armband from red to blue as Chelsea entertain a West Ham side who who rediscovered the poor side of their form.
West Ham lost 2-0 at home to Everton during Gameweek 32's festivities, and have potential injury doubts over Marko Arnautovic and Felipe Anderson, both of whom are lumbered across FPL squads this weekend, which adds to Chelsea's appeal as the go-to option from a home team this weekend.
A comfortable 3-0 victory against Brighton capped a brace of wins in their double, with expectations for The Belgian red hot - and with Raheem Sterling in FA Cup duty with weekend, Hazard (199 points) could overtake the Englishman (201) in the overall FPL standings.
Hazard has only scored 2 goals in 7 Premier League outings, both of which were home games against Wolves (GW30) and in midweek against Brighton (GW32).
If memory serves us well, Hazard was an overwhelming captaincy favourite during Week 6's trip to West Ham earlier this season. The midfielder had just come off a treble against Cardiff at home (GW5), with Aza then failing to score or assist for the first time in a game as Chelsea drew 0-0 against their London neighbours.
The team here at Hype Train HQ have had a bad track record with Hazard this season, to the point that we haven't entrusted the Chelsea ace with the armband since the turn of the busy December fixture list, so we'd definitely air caution as our gut is still telling us that despite 26 attacking returns this season, that the World Cup semi-finalist will ultimately disappoint.
Gonzalo Higuain, another Forward who frustrated during Gameweek 32 with a brace of blanks, looks set to return to Chelsea's attack, a move which will pin Hazard on the left of midfield for the visit of The Hammers - a move that somewhat marginalised his Fantasy returns as the Argentine attacker finds himself an isolated figure on most weeks.
That said, aside from the Liverpool boys, the major captaincy picks are with the likes of King, Wilson, Vardy, and Rondon among others, so Eden's selection is the safe bet in case you've been following the template all season - so why stop now?
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 33: Alternative Captain
Player: Jamie Vardy (LEI)
GW33 Fixture: Huddersfield (A)
Player Price: £9.0 million
Player Selection %: 10.6%
A change in management tends to lead to an upturn in form in certain players, with Brendan Rodgers' arrival at Leicester raising the form and Fantasy returns of Jamie Vardy in recent weeks.
Under Rodgers, Leicester have played 5 Premier League matches. Vardy has scored in 4 of those 5 games, scored 5 in total in that time, has an assist to his name, amassing 7 bonus and totalling 39 FPL points in that time.
This week, ahead of a trip to Premier League whipping boys Huddersfield, already relegated from the Premier League after managing just 14 points from 32 games, form speaks for itself to the point that Vardy is the clear alternative captaincy pick head of Bournemouth's attackers who entertain Burnley at The Vitality on Saturday.
The Terriers have conceded 59 league goals, the second most in the Premier League, with also-relegated Fulham the only team to concede more (76). All is setting up for Vardy and his supporting cast of attacking midfielders to add to the hurt as Huddersfield fans prepare for life back in the second-tier of English football.
Youri Tielemens and James Maddison have also found themselves in sparkling form for Fantasy players, with the Belgian Tielemens scoring 1 and providing 4 assists (spread across 5 games) since Brendan took over The Foxes, whilst Maddison has featured regularly, adding 2 assists and a lone goal in the same time.
If you're playing your second Wildcard next week, then Leicester are the perfect team to take a punt on for one-week transfers. Vardy, who is also Leicester's penalty kick taker, finds himself in a delicious encounter, with the only drawback being the skepticism that he only performs against 'Top 6' sides - a premonition that just isn't true right now, with Vaardy's last 5 goals coming against Brighton, Watford, Fulham and Bournemouth.
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 33: Wildcard Captain
Player: Salomon Rondon (NEW)
GW33 Fixture: Crystal Palace (H)
Player Price: £5.9 million
Player Selection %: 8.1%
Newcastle are if not anything else…predictable. Looking at their most recent fixtures they have notched up draws against good mid-table teams such as Wolves and Bournemouth on the road and have lost two away games against London clubs by the same 2-0 score-line (West Ham and Arsenal). The Toon have also won their last five consecutive home games:
Newcastle 3-0 Cardiff
Newcastle 2-1 Man City
Newcastle 2-0 Huddersfield
Newcastle 2-0 Burnley
Newcastle 3-2 Everton
This is good reading for predicting possible scores as Rondón has double digit returns against Everton and Huddersfield, and aside from the home form Rondón scored against Bournemouth in GW31. The trend is clear that Newcastle have now got stuck into a pattern where they struggle away from home, but at St James Park they are more expressive and have better attacking rhythm.
This weeks' visiting team to the North is Crystal Palace who just lost to Spurs at their new stadium. Good teams have gone to Newcastle and still lost which says everything about how Rafa Benitez sets his team up, with Rondón the focal point of their efforts. Predictability is a good thing when you are looking for captaincy options, and Rondón fits the bill perfectly in the absence of City, Man United, and Spurs assets from this Gameweek.
If you are unsure if Liverpool will score lots of goals at Southampton, you could be bold and entrust the armband to the in-form Rondón instead.
Newcastle have three remaining home games against Palace, Southampton, and Liverpool. Overall, the Toon have good fixtures to end the season, barring the Liverpool fixture, and a player like Rondón in your team wouldn’t be the worst investment for the end of season run-in.
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.