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 35 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 35: Essential Captain
Player: Raul Jimenez (WOL)
GW35 Fixtures: Brighton (H) & Arsenal (H)
Player Price: £6.9 million
Player Selection %: 36.8%
The final Double Gameweek of the season is upon us and in the deep and dark wild of the night before the deadline, this author sits here contemplating home truths about his own decision making with the transfer deadline quickly approaching.
Without question, this Gameweek offers the most intriguing and thought provoking captaincy decision of the season. Not only is it a Double Gameweek, with 4 additional fixtures to feast over, but the week when most remaining Chips will be played.
Personally, we here aboard The Hype Train absolutely love seeing the carnage of everyone doubting their decisions over on Twitter. Nobody knows who to settle in given the fixtures, with our 4 essential captaincy picks among the top considerations this week.
Raul Jimenez, Wolves's main talisman this season, appears to be the slight favourites by Fantasy football players on social media, though there is also a strong enough case for any of the other 3 options - Sterling, Aguero and Son.
The biggest home truth that is making me incredibly excited is that the captaincy debate has been relatively straight forward all season. Mo Salah and Sergio Aguero have largely dominated every weekly captaincy poll, with Aubameyang and Hazard occasionally taking the spotlight with favourable fixtures, but on the whole FPL players across the world have been in cruise control.
It's great to see such a high stakes Gameweek offer some rather unsettling and potentially disastrous choices - after a season in cruise control we have to think for ourselves for once and after a campaign of being coddled, many quite literally don't know what to do. I too am in the same camp and as or right now at 22:55pm (GMT time) as my sunstroke really kicks in, have no idea who the armband falls on, owning all 4 of the below picks.
What a time to be alive (from a Fantasy point of view).
With just 4 Gameweek's left, to us what is most staggering is that Raul Jimenez and Andre Gray (as discussed below by @HypeTrainSam) are being considered as captaincy options in a week that features Man City, Spurs, United and Arsenal in the holy grail of FPL weeks.
Raul's case for your consideration is perhaps the most straight forward to explain, which is why a large chunk of his 36.8% ownership will flock to the Mexican international in a time of need. A brace of home fixtures against a Brighton side seemingly destined for relegation, and an Arsenal side with Europa League glory on their minds, combined with the minefield of Pep Roulette and Man City's title-defining week against Spurs and Man United, have opened the door for the most unlikely essential captaincy pick of the season.
Just imagine asking if Jimenez would be your captain (or potentially your triple captain) in arguably the biggest week of the season for Fantasy players? The wider FPL Community would have roasted us for even asking, but yet here we are, on the cusp of such a decision.
Does Jimenez deserve the attention though? Wolves suffered recent on-field trauma against Watford in their 3-2 FA Cup semi-final defeat, and followed that up with a very flat and disinterested performance against Southampton in a 3-1 loss on the road. It was the type of loss that makes you wonder if Nuno's side have packed it in and have one eye on the beech this summer.
We suggest that with a largely Portuguese play base (who will be aiming to be in their Nations League squad for the finals in Portugal) and Europa League qualification a reality for Wolves, that this team won't down tools just yet or provide heavy rotation.
Jimenez has failed to score in his last 3 league appearances, but boasts penalty kicks being in his favour against a Brighton side that conceded 7 goals against Bournemouth and Cardiff in what we'll argue is the worst Double Gameweek performance by a headline club, ever.
In the Premier League, Wolves have won 4 of their last 5 home games, only failing to beat a dogged Newcastle side on their own patch of turf during Gameweek 26's 1-1 draw, which all points to some decent performances this coming week.
Jimenez really has broken out and become an FPL force this season and there's no doubting that he'll be among our Team of the Season picks, though with a team outside of the Top 6, we would always air on the side of caution when it comes to captaincy - regardless of the fixtures. The last thing we want is for Jimenez to be as much of a failure as Sin Cara was/is in WWE, so we hope the mask stays off for this week when we all need Raul the most.
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 35: Alternative Captain
Player: Sadio Mane (LIV)
GW35 Fixture: Cardiff (A)
Player Price: £10.1 million
Player Selection %: 33.0%
Moving away from the hysteria of the Double Gameweek, we turn our attention to Liverpool and their run of form to end the season. With 34 fixtures gone, it's easy street for The Reds as they travel to Cardiff this weekend, before a mouth-watering home encounter against Huddersfield the following weekend.
For all you non-chippers this week, that lack the options for captaincy, perhaps going with Liverpool's attacking assets is the easiest, and potential the most effective, form of Fantasy points this weekend.
Cardiff are riding a small high after beating Brighton 2-0 in a relegation six-pointer, but might find reality hitting them in the face with title chasing Liverpool travelling to South Wales.
Liverpool have won their last 5 Premier League fixtures, with Mane scoring 4 goals over the last 5 games, and overall has 10 goals (with 1 assist) in his last 12 games in total.
Mane's form has been uncomplicated to the point that a return against the Bluebirds seems inevitable given that Mane has propelled himself into Golden Boot territory with only a few remaining weeks to go in the season.
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 35: Wildcard Captain
Player: Andre Gray (WAT)
GW35 Fixture: Huddersfield (A) & Southampton (H)
Player Price: £5.9 million
Player Selection %:
Watford have the perfect Double Gameweek, on paper. Huddersfield away, and Southampton at home. Those are two very winnable fixtures and combine both defensive and offensive allure that makes them an appealing option for this Gameweek. The bad news is that Troy Deeney was sent off against Arsenal in what was the most ridiculous red card of the season. The good news is that Andre Gray is the exact same price as Deeney and is now going to play both games due to an unavailability of players at Javi Gracia’s disposal. Even better news is that in his pre-match conference the manager has urged the Hornets to show ‘no mercy’ against relegated Huddersfield, and we assume that also means making problems worse for Southampton.
Among the Hornet’s ranks Roberto Pereyra, Gerard Deulofeu, and Troy Deeney are missing from their attacking arsenal. Andre Gray played all the game against Arsenal, and he will be expected to do the same against Huddersfield and Southampton. We didn’t expect to pick Andre Gray, and not a lot of FPL managers will want to take the risk with a Watford player for captain when there are Spurs, City, and United options this Double Gameweek to pick from. Against Fulham, Gray picked up two assists to help sink Fulham even deeper, and his last goal was at home against Leicester in GW29 after coming off the bench to give them the win. Andre Gray is a talented striker, and right now Javi Gracia has no alternative than to trust him this Gameweek.
A lot of FPL accounts will try and literally sell you a spreadsheet of ‘answers’ for the Gameweek. And for free, yes…free, we will tell you how they analyse the Gameweek. FPL con artists like Ben Cre…we mean, a nobody, have a ranking system for fixtures and will try and sell you obvious player picks as if you have never heard your name. These con-artists would have said something along the lines of… “Let me tell you about a player with perfect fixtures, no rotation issues, and they carry a little bit of form going into the Gameweek. Nobody is telling you about him because they aren’t telling you their secrets, and his name is *redacted*. And for £20 you can have my Double Gameweek secrets!”
Here is how we rank the teams and their fixtures for the upcoming double-gameweek.
0/2 - Brighton have two tough away games (Wolves & Spurs)
0/2 - Southampton have two uncomfortable away fixtures (Newcastle & Watford).
0/2 - Manchester City have two tough fixtures (Spurs & Man United).
1/2 - Spurs have one bad fixture, and one good one (Man City & Brighton).
1/2 - Manchester United have one uncertain fixture, and one bad fixture (Everton & Man City).
1/2 - Wolves have a good home fixture, and another sketchy home fixture (Brighton & Man City)
1/2 - Arsenal have a good home game but a tricky away fixture (Palace & Wolves)
2/2 - Watford have two very winnable fixtures (Huddersfield & Southampton).
Watford are the only team with a perfect ranking. Andre Gray is the player that those nobodies will try and sell you for a quick buck. It is tempting to have your eye on premium options considering that Man City, United, and Spurs are involved. We have seen a lot of Southampton players involved in draft teams too and we are confused as Newcastle and Watford are tough places to go to get a result. We trust in the fixtures, and due to his low price Gray is a perfect contender for our differential captain this week.
You can save your money for a rainy day.
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.