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Captaincy Picks 2019/20: FPL Gameweek 16

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 16 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 16: Essential Captain

Player: Sadio Mane (LIV)

Position: Midfielder

Fixture: Bournemouth (A)

Player Price: £12.3 million +

Player Selection %: 42.5%

Captaincy poll results:

Reason for victory:

Leicester talisman Jamie Vardy has won our last 4 captaincy polls, dominating November's charts having now scored in 7 consecutive games. The one day gap between the end of Gameweek 15 and the start of Gameweek 16 has seen a swing for the first time in a month with the top captaincy pick, despite Vardy netting in Leicester's comfortable 2-0 home win over a Watford side that in the last couple of hours have named Nigel Pearson as their new Head Coach until the end of the season.

The swing in question comes after Sadio Mane, who is increasingly becoming known as one of the best footballers (if not the best) in English football. Liverpool opted for a front-three of Mane, Divock Origi and a returning Xherdan Shaqiri against Everton. Despite a few eyebrows being raised with Jurgen Klopp rotating his side in a big derby encounter, the move worked brilliantly well, with Mane running the show against Everton from first minute to last, with Klopp showing Marco Silva no mercy in his final game as Toffees boss.

The Senegalese international scored and assisted twice, earning 15 Fantasy points, the fifth time that Mane has hit 10+ points in a single FPL Gameweek this season and the first that the Midfielder has provided 2 assists in a game.

The table-topping Reds travel to the South Coast, visiting a Bournemouth side who are in need of sweet relief having lost 4 consecutive league games, looking sub-par and out of ideas against 10-man Crystal Palace in a 1-0 defeat in the capital.

Mane's popularity stems from being the leading man for Liverpool now, combined with the general opinion that Aston Villa are more defensively solid than The Cherries, which has greatly reduced the number of players opting for Vardy.

In the reverse fixture last season, Mo Salah scored a hat-trick at The Vitality, so there might be a quick turnaround in fortunes here and focus pulls from one brilliant African winger to another.


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 16: Alternative Captain

Player: Harry Kane (TOT)

Position: Forward

Fixture: Burnley (H)

Player Price: £10.9 million

Player Selection %: 18.0%

Reason for selection:

Behind Sadio Mane this week, we omitted a Spurs player from our poll as they provide the perfect alternative captaincy picks this weekend ahead of a visit from a Burnley outfit that are out of form at the wrong time of year.

Jose Mourinho has reverted Spurs back to a 4-2-3-1, playing Alli, Son, Moura and Kane in their suited positions and it is bearing early fruits in the 3 league games the Portuguese has managed. Son has managed 1 goal and 2 assists, Alli has 3 goals and 1 assist and has found his footing under Jose's stewardship, with Kane the lowest performer with only 1 goal in in 5 matches.

This is more of a punt in the dark, but with good reasoning, in all honesty. Kane's not often kind to the FPL player base, with the England captain barely featuring in our polls again this season and on the periphery of actual contention, but in Kane we're talking about q 20+ goal Forward.

Burnley have lost back-to-back games to Crystal Palace (GW14) and at home to Man City (GW15), with 6 goals conceded potentially a good sign that there may be an opportunity to have Kane reach his usual lofty standards. Be it by VAR intervention, the penalty spot, it's only a matter of time before Kane gets firing again, especially as his last 10+ point return was Gameweek 1 (13 points at home against Aston Villa).


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 16: Dark Horse Captain

Player: Danny Ings (SOU)

Position: Forward

Fixture: Newcastle (A)

Player Price: £6.2 million

Player Selection %: 9.8%

Reason for selection:

Our third-wheel dark horse picks tend to throw logic to one side, but we feel that you'd already just experienced that with Harry Kane above, who only has a goal to his name in 5 league names.

Instead, we've got a logical pick in Danny Ings who is having a better season than Kane (by 1 goal scored in fact) and comes a fraction of the cost (£4.7m cheaper to be exact). It helps that Ings has scored in 4 consecutive games and has found that spark that football fans have missed since his Burnley days when he was a regular scorer.

The author penning these words is also a Newcastle fan, so naturally we can sense a potential trap when there's a seemingly comfortable home game in front of us. A 2-0 win at Sheffield United was not the result many people expected given Sheffield's tight-knit defence. Newcastle not only matched The Blades, they picked them apart when it mattered and were ultimately left flat-footed when Jonjo Shelvey slammed a metaphorical pie in the face of the eager linesman to score virtually unopposed.

This sense of form from Newcastle fans means that we should be aiming for more of the same, but how often does that ever happen? We've only won once after winning the previous game, beating West Ham 3-2 away from home (GW11) before beating Bournemouth 2-1 at home (GW12).

It would then probably be right then that Ings scores an early goal in this fixture, not only to extend his good form, but to make The Toon go about things the hard way. It's about right, unless Miguel Almiron and Joelinton find their shooting boots, but by that time we'll be 8-0 up at half-time in every game. Where's the fun in that?


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 16: Differential Captain

Player: Gabriel Jesus (MCI)

Position: Forward

Fixture: Man United (H)

Player Price: £9.6 million

Player Selection %: 3.4%

Reason for selection:

Looking at the Manchester Derby there is a huge asterisk on the differential status of any player in this fixture, a game with two starting elevens that cost over a billion English sterling. Usually there is a real struggle to find a differential in this fixture, let alone someone that can captain the undesirable fantasy options. Fortunately, we have Gabriel Jesus, a £30mil striker who has been in the shadow of Aguero since the Brazilian joined the club. In City’s team there is an abundance of quality wherever you look, and most people argue that Jesus isn’t that good of a finisher. The argument exists that without the ridiculous team around the Brazilian he would just be another striker in the Premier League. Without a solid run of games there is always going to be a big question mark above Gabriel’s head. This is perfect for us, because by that definition Jesus is more of a differential than you’d think.

The Manchester Derby, as any derby goes, can be tightly contested affairs between two clubs trying to get bragging rights over one another. Occasionally you can get a game like the one that happened in GW15 between Liverpool and Everton which was a showcase of great finishing and extremely poor defending. You never know what you are going to get from the Manchester Derby, and this year City are without Aguero up top which is where Jesus steps into the conversation. After a rout of Burnley, Jesus scored two fantastic finishes to thwart Nick Pope owners and is now in hot form going into the battle of the billionaire clubs. Jesus is only owned by a measly amount of fantasy owners due to his unreasonable price, as he was placed as one of the most expensive players in the entire game at the start of the season. Nobody will bring in a question mark, they look for proven quality.

This season those players include Jamie Vardy (LEI), Tammy Abraham (CHE), and Raul Jimenez (WOL). Amongst the variety of strikers much cheaper than Jesus it will keep the City striker in the shadow of other competition. It is very much a case of ‘I wish I could have him in if I had the budget’ but knowing that you’re probably safer with Vardy as your most expensive striker who has sustained his form. Jesus has had a patchy run of games until the recent Aguero injury, and it was only against Burnley that Jesus found his scoring boots again.

Manchester City have stockpiled quality for injury-stricken periods such as this for the Citizens. Fantasy managers don’t trust competitive derby games, and just as it happens other forwards have more appealing fixtures. Jesus sits in that perfect differential spot: capable, but unobtainable. The risk factor is huge because Aguero could suddenly return at a whim, especially with Pep Guardiola keeping his cards close to his chest. Jesus may not be worth his price, but he does play in a team that scores a silly amount of goals. We believe that Jesus is going to cause Manchester United lots of problems. The Red Devils last clean sheet was during GW5 when they beat Leicester City. Under no circumstances do we believe that trend will be broken in this game, City are scoring, and Jesus is a tempting option if you’re wanting to be a bit more adventurous with your transfers.

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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All aboard.


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