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 34 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 34: Essential Captain
Player: Heung-Min Son (TOT)
GW34 Fixture: Huddersfield (H)
Player Price: £8.6 million
Player Selection %: 16.5%
For many thousands of FPL players, this is the perfect time to Wildcard before a big Double Gameweek next week, and it all looked so uncomplicated. Spurs had the fixtures and have found immediate form at their new stadium to prompt the masses to plunge in with Harry Kane as their central Forward.
However, being 34 Gameweek's deep in to the season, tragedy stuck for the Fantasy populace as sight of Kane's left-ankle twisting in a challenge with Man City's Fabian Delph, left the England captain leaving the field of play without hesitation. That latter comment now has to be the norm with 135,697 Fantasy players looking for a late realignment to their squads.
With Kane's injury, and a Friday night deadline later this evening, the direction of captaincy contention has changed to Spurs's in-form South Korean attacker, Heung-Min Son.
Huddersfield, who have already been relegated from the Premier League this season, are the perfect opponents to bank on a trifecta of Spurs players if you're playing your wildcard, and with Kane injured, and Dele Alli also out to due to a broken hand, Son looks set to be potentially be playing as a Forward against the lowly Terriers.
The visitors have conceded 10 goals in their last 3 fixtures, which will be encouraging for Spurs and Son as the Midfielder has scored in both games at the new stadium. With a lack of FPL star power this week, combined with a favourable fixture for Spurs, it only feels right that Son gets approval this week.
The now £8.7 million midfielder has only started 1 of the last 3 matches, and only scored 1 goal in 6 league appearances. Son's last assist came during Gameweek 21's 3-0 away win at Cardiff.
With the added advantage of a Double Gameweek next week, Son looks set to be an essential asset for Fantasy players until the end of the season. There's not really a lot of thought needed about his inclusion, especially if you're planning on finalising a Wildcard squad.
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 34: Alternative Captain
Player: Jamie Vardy (LEI)
GW34 Fixture: Newcastle (H)
Player Price: £9.2 million
Player Selection %: 13.3%
If you take out the bias of this writer playing his Wildcard this season, and purposefully omitting this player as a captaincy option, if you take Gameweek 34 just by its merits, then Jamie Vardy is thee captaincy pick to bank on.
Brendan Rodgers' arrival at Leicester has seen a dramatic upturn in form for the former England international, with the trio of Vardy, Maddison and Tielemens in stellar form as the season begins to come to an end.
Vardy, who scored a brace and notched an assist in a 4-1 away win at Huddersfield last week, has scored 8 games over his last 8 Premier League appearances, with 2 assists. If you've had Vardy in your squad, your team has welcomed a massive 60 points in this time - with the former England international managing 2 or more bonus from 4/8 matches.
Visiting Leicester this week is Rafa Benitez's drilled Newcastle side, though there isn't much faith among Fantasy players, or Newcastle fans like myself, that suggests we'll get anything from tonight's trip. Newcastle are win-less in 3 matches and have lost their last 2 games against Arsenal (2-0) and Crystal Palace (1-0) without scoring, or even looking close to scoring.
Form favours a Leicester side who have won 4 consecutive Premier League matches and now feature a Forward who could make a late dash for the Golden Bot if their 11 goals in 4 matches holds up over their last 5 matches of the season. Our only concern might be Newcastle's solid central defence minimising Vardy's goal threat, and the thought of going 5 days with a captaincy blank to kick things off.
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 34: Wildcard Captain
Player: Romelu Lukaku (MUN)
GW34 Fixture: West Ham (H)
Player Price: £10.8 million
Player Selection %: 4.3%
Now here is a footballing legend, and among Hammers supporters the Belgian is El Diablo. Eleven appearances against West Ham for Lukaku has returned eleven goals and four assists. Truly, he is the definition of ‘bogey player’. When browsing the fixtures, we could have opted for a Brighton player due to their Double Gameweek status. Logic would have said to place a bet on Glenn Murray instead, and here we are choosing a player whose reputation against one club speaks for itself.
The Belgian has an outstanding record against teams typically outside of the top six, and in order the other teams Lukaku enjoys scoring against includes Southampton, Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, Newcastle, Stoke City, and Aston Villa. West Ham is the cherry on top of this goal-scoring cake, and it is currently the leagues best striker-to-team conversion rate. If you factor in the number of fixtures and the number of returns, Lukaku has the return rate of 136% against West Ham which is phenomenal.
West Ham fans travelling up to Old Trafford will be biting their teeth on the way up the M6, with visions of Lukaku’s terror on their club a painful, reoccurring living memory. There is rarely a differential that has an impeccable record, and with Rashford stealing the limelight from Lukaku it has reversed their differential status. Even better news for those banking on Lukaku will also be pleased to know that West Ham have failed to score in their last three away games, losing all three. Additionally, their last away win was at Southampton in GW19. The Belgian was also subbed around the sixty-eight minute against Barcelona in the Champions League which keeps him fresh for the weekend.
This isn’t a differential pick, this is a self-proclaimed omen that has seen itself manifest time and time again.
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.