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 12 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.
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 12: Essential Captain
Player: Jamie Vardy (LEI)
Fixture: Arsenal (H)
Player Price: £9.4 million +
Player Selection %: 28.6%
Captaincy poll results:
Reason for victory:
If you're living abroad from the UK and getting about your life in blissful ignorance to the state of British politics, more power to you given the depressive reality those of us in the Isle are going to be burdened with in the coming months and years of certain austerity, we thought there are some parallels to be had with the current state of the Premier League.
At the top of the table you've got forces of red and blue going toe-to-toe for the top titles in the country. The blue side of the fence have more money than sense and don't care how they get to the top. Every heel action (it's a wrestling term, folks) is on the cards as the flood of money from the East looks to dominant and turn football into a monopoly and an eventual vacuum that will see every other teams in the league, much like the British populace, becoming disenfranchised with the circus acts by those enough. There is a general lack of support for this by the wider public, though time and again normal people feel powerless to their rise to the top.
Then you've got the red side of the fence, who they aren't so much championed by money as they are by playing the beautiful game in an attractive way, even though the balancing act of big sums of finances plays a crucial factor. There's a charismatic leader in charge when compared to the blue side of the coin, but on the whole the actions of this leader and club just doesn't go down well with literally everyone who isn't singing from the hymn sheet at the weekend. When picking and choosing between these two rivals, most of the times if you have no stake in the race, you'll either abstain your preference or vote to keep things the same, in case of a disaster, which is like the situation many view Liverpool winning the title race in right now. The only real alternative is widely maligned, even though they play better football and are in more entertaining Champions League encounters.
As this season, and a political nightmare too, drags on throughout the year, public opinion on both the parties and the clubs wains dramatically, leading to a situation FPL players find themselves in, with Jamie Vardy and Tammy Abraham the top captaincy contenders this week.
Just as a General Election potentially looms and the forces of blue and red collide for the title of biggest con-artists in the country, Liverpool and Man City duel in the Premier League, with their bout at Anfield likely to be a deciding factor in the eventual destination of the Premier League title.
This all leads to a captaincy poll this week that yields a minority victory for Leicester talisman, Jamie Vardy, an outcome that has also plagued (and will continue to do given the state of the major parties in this country) British politics for several years. This outside pick has relatively come out of nowhere given that this is Vardy's first captaincy poll success of the season, and highlights a big move away from the established dominance of Raheem Sterling and Mohamed Salah in these top positions, though how long public opinion will last, no one truly knows.
As for Vardy as a captaincy option this week, the people have widely spoken in favour of the 10-goal Forward or the cheaper alternative, Tammy Abraham, to help steer their FPL ship into clear waters filled with green arrows during Gameweek 12.
Vardy is helped massively, not only by his form, with the attacker having played every minute and scoring in 6 matches, but also due to the state of the team that are visiting The King Power on Saturday evening. Leicester sit in 3rd place in the table on 23 points, 6 points and 2 places ahead of an Arsenal side currently filled with drama and continued tension.
Unai Emery is under pressure despite only losing twice this season with The Gunners only winning 2 of their last 9 Premier League games. This league form, with defeats to Liverpool (GW3) and Sheffield United (GW9), five draws and a pair of wins against Aston Villa (GW6) and Bournemouth (GW8) in nervy conditions, is too much for a lot of fans, who have begun to turn their head on Emery and his tactical decisions this campaign... This of course all boiled over with the players. Granit Xhaka had enough during Gameweek 10's 2-2 home draw with Crystal Palace, with the captain booed off the pitch and then subsequently losing the armband altogether to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and now an exit looms for the midfielder.
A draw to a credible Wolves side, who should have won at The Emirates, and a 1-1 draw away to Vitoria in the Europa League on Wednesday, hasn't helped either, with frustrations mounting over player recruitment and a Manager who is appearing second-rate at getting the best out of a top club in London. This of course is all being overblown as problems at Arsenal under Arsene Wenger appeared terminal, with no sign of remission due to fading Champions League aspirations, an ownership group that is seemingly aloof and runs the club (where it can) purely for profit.
This boiling pot of tension has led a lot of informed football fans to the obvious, that a trip to Leicester this weekend will only bear the fruit of defeat for Emery's Arsenal, with a young British Manager and a host of talented young players assembled in quick fashion to knock Arsenal further down the pecking order.
Vardy against the Arsenal defence, supported by Perez, Tielemans and Maddison, looks like the right way to go this weekend as The Foxes look to extend their gap over The Gunners to 9 points in the Premier League - a gap that is deserved given the climate of the season.
CAPTAINCY HYPE: THE ALTERNATIVE PICK
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 12: Alternative Captain
Player: Raul Jimenez (WOL)
Fixture: Aston Villa (H)
Player Price: £7.2 million +
Player Selection %: 12.1%
Reason for selection:
Lower down the pecking order, but above the likes of Aguero, Sterling, Mane and Salah, who are locking horns at Anfield, Raul Jimenez and Wolves sit relatively untroubled as a true alternative to ail any captaincy woes this week.
Jimenez, who scored the Wolves equaliser in a deserved 1-1 draw at Arsenal during Gameweek 11, returns home to face an Aston Villa side who suffered heartbreak in the final second of their tense encounter with Liverpool at Villa Park last Saturday.
Raul is the closest alternative to Vardy as he commands penalty kicks, is in a good vein of form, and plays for what most would consider to be a top-half side playing above their abilities right now - though Wolves need to start converting draws into wins to start seizing on their continued momentum since being promoted.
The only caveat we haven't considered is Europa League, though with a home game against Slovan Bratislava tonight, there isn't much travel or rotation for Jimenez. Injuries pending, this is a good fixture to bank with Jimenez as a trifecta of Forward's take central stage during Gameweek 12.
CAPTAINCY HYPE: THE DARK HORSE PICK
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 12: Dark Horse Captain
Player: Sergio Aguero (MCI)
Fixture: Liverpool (A)
Player Price: £12.0 million
Player Selection %: 24.1%
Reason for selection:
Never in a million years would we call top Premier League attacker, Sergio Aguero, at mega-rich Man City as a true 'out and out' dark horse captaincy pick, however given the circumstances of the week and the season, we can shoehorn Aguero in to this position for at least one week of the season.
After scoring 8 goals in the first 6 games of the season, Aguero went 4 games without a goal before scoring Man City's equalising goal in a 2-1 home win over Southampton during Gameweek 11. A return to scoring ways is music to Pep Guardiola's ears ahead of City's biggest game of the season without doubt.
A visit to Anfield to take on Liverpool could prove decisive in the title race this season. City won the Premier League by 1 point last season with 98 points compared to Liverpool's 97 points. City managed 4 points against Liverpool last season, drawing 0-0 at Anfield and winning 2-1 at The Etihad thanks to goals from Aguero and Leroy Sane. Any swing of points, had Liverpool escaped Manchester with a draw, or found a winner at home, would have swung the title to Liverpool.
This will be all too present with City as they look to claw back at the 6 points The Reds are ahead of them. Liverpool haven't kept a clean sheet at home this season in 5 attempts, conceding 1 goal in outing. If Liverpool keep this trend up, Aguero may very well be worth a goal as he looks to extend on a good record against the Merseyside club.
CAPTAINCY HYPE: THE DIFFERENTIAL PICK
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 12: Differential Captain
Player: Anthony Martial (MUN)
Fixture: Brighton (H)
Player Price: £7.6 million
Player Selection %: 6.6%
Reason for selection:
At the top of the table there is a clash between Liverpool and Manchester City which could be a game that effectively decides the fate of the Premier League title. That isn’t the only battle taking place that could have ramifications for the end of the season, as there is one team that has acquired an ambitious manager and is seeking to build up the club through implementing a set way of playing to sustain a top half finish. To send a message to the other teams vying for this goal they must take points off a direct competitor, who are two points behind them in the table…Manchester United.
Throughout the last two years Brighton and Manchester United has tussled for Premier League points, with both teams fighting hard to ensure they have bragging rights over the other. Look at the last four meetings between the two equally matched sides:
25/11/2017: Manchester United 1-0 Brighton
04/08/2018: Brighton 1-0 Manchester United
19/08/2018: Brighton 3-2 Manchester United
19/01/2019: Manchester United 2-1 Brighton
Brighton and United have been in a viscous tug-of-war, with neither side being able to break the trend of home team wins, and for Manchester United to keep up this trend they will need a capable goal scorer to leapfrog Brighton in the table, and between these two mid-table differential teams there is maybe one hope for Manchester United to overcome the in-form away team. Speaking of form, Man United really have their backs against the wall, look for yourself:
Brighton Hove Albion Form (last five games): LWLWW (9pts)
Manchester United Form (last five games): DLDWL (5pts)
Things haven’t been the same since Anthony Martial was injured, the Frenchman started the season with three consecutive returns in a win, draw, and loss. Were it not for VAR, United may not be in the position to jump ahead of a direct competitor for top half positions. Brighton have scored five goals in their last two games and represent a real threat for United to contend with this weekend. To overcome this mental block, they will need their best player up for the challenge. Brighton are coming to win at the weekend, and even if it is a consolation goal the most likely player is Martial.
It might be a push, but if they work hard, and get the best out of Martial, and get a few lucky decisions from VAR, Manchester United might…just might…have a chance against Brighton at the weekend.
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.
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