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CAPTAINCY PICKS 2019/20: FPL Gameweek 1

Picking the right captain in FPL can make or break your season and has a massive impact on your final overall rank come the end of the season. We attempt to ease the burden of any potential captaincy stress by offering a host of worthy selections ahead of each Gameweek - an Essential that is voted by the FPL Community, an alternative of our choosing, a Dark Horse who might spring a surprise, and a lowly selected Differential - to cover the bases. All aboard.

Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek 1 Deadline

For the 2019/20 Premier League season, the FPL deadline will be one hour before the commencement of the week's first game. Our website provides a real-world countdown timer for the the upcoming Gameweek, whilst you can read our latest Fantasy articles from the season on our 2019/20 FPL weekly hype sub-section.


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 1: Essential Captain

Player: Mohamed Salah (LIV)

Position: Midfielder

Fixture: Norwich (H)

Player Price: £12.5 million

Player Selection %: 39.0%

Captaincy poll results:

Reason for victory:

More than three quarters of our voters confirmed what we all ready knew heading in to Gameweek 1 - Mo Salah is the undisputed king of FPL now. The Egyptian King managed 303 points in the 2017/18 season and 259 points during the 2018/19 season, with Mo finishing as the top points scorer in both campaigns.

The sheer gravity of the victory

Salah looked lively in the Community Shield this past weekend against City and with Liverpool hosting the expectant whipping boys, Norwich, to open the Premier League season on Friday, the move is obvious, even more so when Salah is likely to be on penalty kicks in the absence of James Milner being on the pitch.

The move to captain Salah is also the safe pick this week. 39% currently own Mo, and most of his 39% ownership will put the armband on the best player in the game, without question. The sheer gravity of the victory is our captaincy poll says everything - Harry Kane, against another newly-promoted team at home, can't hold a candle to Salah's opening day potential.


Our Alternative selection for captain typically commands a smaller FPL ownership percentage than our Essential poll winner, though this pick is usually reserved for The Hype Train's own gut instincts on who could be captaincy inspiration for the upcoming Gameweek.

Gameweek 1: Alternative Captain

Player: Callum Wilson (BOU)

Position: Forward

Fixture: Sheffield United (H)

Player Price: £8.0 million

Player Selection %: 21.3%

Reason for selection:

If there's one train to jump on this weekend, it's that the carriage that says 'all three promoted teams are away home home against teams with proven FPL talent'. With Salah the obvious selection against Norwich, we're also unconvinced by Sheffield United's calibre as they return to the Premier League.

Wilson has undergone a full pre-season with Bournemouth and looks set to be the main man in Bournemouth's attack this season. Wilson scored 14 goals and provided 12 assists last season, forming a telepathic relationship with Ryan Fraser, which has seen £2.0 million price rises for the both this season.

Back-to-back games against newly-promoted sides (Bournemouth travel to Aston Villa during Gameweek 2) means that Wilson, who has notably been fast starter in FPL in recent years, is our top Forward pick to open the season.

The only potential downside in Wilson's potential is Josh King's £6.5 million price, with King being on penalties for The Cherries, though with Dominic Solanke looking to kick on this season, minutes for King and Wilson might have to be shared.

£8.0 million is a lot for Wilson, but you get what you pay for nowadays in FPL, so the outlay is worth it, especially if you have question marks around Wilson's partner in attack.


A new captaincy selection this season sees us introduce a Dark Horse pick, which will be a player who typically has a good scoring record against an opposing team, or a player in good form that is being overlooked due to other popular captaincy picks.

Gameweek 1: Dark Horse Captain

Player: Jamie Vardy (LEI)

Position: Forward

Fixture: Wolves (H)

Player Price: £9.0 million

Player Selection %: 10.6%

Reason for selection:

Our Dark Horse pick this season will be to highlight captaincy picks in games that are hard too call. On opening day, we have a trio of fixtures that are dicey for us. First is Everton's trip to Crystal Palace, next is the Super Sunday showdown between Man United and Chelsea, and lastly, is the encounter behind a couple of sides in the chasing pack for the elusive 'Top 6' spots, with Leicester hosting Wolves.

If there is one shred of advice that we would give out to any FPL player that is new to the game, it's this... Pick players that have a track record to open the season. Unknown variables are hard to bank on, and in the case of our Dark Horse selection, Jamie Vardy, everyone knows what they're getting.

Vardy is a consistent scorer in the Premier League, scoring 18+ goals in 3 of his 5 seasons in the top flight. Only once has the former England international failed to hit 10+ goals - that being his debut season during the 2014/15 season, with Vardy netting 5 times in Leicester's great escape year.

Wolves are a Europa League team now, lost the corresponding fixture 2-0 to Leicester last season, with Vardy and new signing, Ayoze Perez, striking a promising partnership in pre-season. Vardy commands penalty kicks and VAR's introduction should put the Englishman at the forefront of the conversation with the technology.

Brendan Rodgers has overseen the departure of Harry Maguire to Manchester United, but that hasn't undone the hard work of creating a young and hungry side that provided Vardy with an easy route to 18 goals last season.


Our Wildcard selection is one of the ten differential picks that is featured in our Weekly Wildcard Differentials article. This captaincy selection has a very small percentage of owners in the FPL, and is our left-field option.

Gameweek 1: Differential Captain

Player: Chris Wood (BUR)

Position: Forward

Fixture: Southampton (H)

Player Price: £6.5 million

Player Selection %: 2.0%

Reason for selection:

The summer transfer window and pre-season has been dominated by back page headlines such as ‘Wan-Bissaka joins United’, and ‘Where will Wilfried Zaha go?’. Liverpool have refused to sign anyone for their first team after Champions League success, and Chelsea have still managed to spend £100mil in the calendar year despite being on a transfer ban. Arsenal even broke their £45million budget by splurging on Nicolas Pepe from Lille.

The big pre-season games have seen Spurs win the Audi Cup by overcoming Bayern Munich and Juventus, and Arsenal losing to Lyon. Liverpool have had struggles, with their only big win coming over Lyon, and Chelsea even beat Barcelona 2-1 in Saitama, Japan. Man United have beaten Inter Milan and Spurs, with many of their youngsters making impressions.

The opening Gameweek sees Liverpool host Norwich, and Man City travel to the Olympic Stadium in the two fixtures that people anticipate where most of their points will come from on the opening weekend. Man United host Chelsea in a blockbuster fixture to the end weekend, and Spurs host Villa in what should be a whitewash. Captaincy options are rife, but there is one fixture that is being overlooked. Nobody knows what to make of Southampton or Burnley, making this 3pm kick-off an interesting fixture. Surprisingly, the best differential for the first Gameweek will play in this fixture.

The New Zealander Chris Wood has been making small ripples in pre-season for his scoring exploits, and if he is able to replicate his form from pre-season then it could be a huge haul for the Clarets forward. Burnley look like they are going to stick with two central forwards, with Wood as the target man, and another striker to play off Wood. So far, Wood has two hattricks in pre-season against Accrington Stanley and Nice, which should be enough to slightly turn your head.

Chris Wood’s preseason goals:

  • Wood scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Fulham in Portugal.

  • Wood scored a hat-trick against Accrington Stanley in an 8-0 win.

  • Wood scored a goal in a 2-0 win against Fleetwood Town.

  • Wood scored a hat-trick against Nice in a 6-1 win at Turf Moor.

This visit of Southampton isn’t a flashy fixture, or one that will dominate preview reports, but it could be a surprising fixture with both Clarets and Saints in good scoring form during the summer. That’s right, Southampton are unbeaten in pre-season and Che Adams has been making his presence known. This fixture is perfect for our differential captain as there may be plenty of managers that looked over this fixture with their sights set on more flashy players.

Want to know more about The Hype Train?

The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in Fantasy sports reporting, starting with Fantasy Premier League (FPL), before expanding to MLS Fantasy coverage in 2018.

We pride ourselves in providing beautiful graphics, statistics, in-depth analytical reporting and free weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb rankings tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review games, live sport, and professional wrestling.

In 2019, Hype Train Football Club was formed, becoming the first Fantasy Football website to take to the field. HTFC is a socially active team across social and web channels, providing regular match highlights, match reports, comprehensive player statistics and unique player profiles.

The Hype Train were nominated and shortlisted for the 'Best Football Blog' in 2016 by the Football Bloggers Association at their annual Football Blogging Awards (The FBA's), and were again shortlisted as a finalist in 2019 in the 'Best Fantasy Football Blog' category.

You can follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, follow Hype Train FC on Instagram, subscribe to our YouTube channel for exclusive content, or visit our website here at

All aboard.


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