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 20 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 20: Essential Captain
Player: Sadio Mane (LIV)
Fixture: Wolves (H)
Player Price: £12.2 million
Player Selection %: 37.2%
Captaincy poll results:
Reason for victory:
Boxing Day's festivities left us with a belated Friday evening game gifting Liverpool fans with another milestone in their journey to win their first Premier League title. Wolves defeated Man City 3-2 at home in a highly controversial encounter that involved red cards and penalties with little to no contact, a brace from Raheem Sterling and a rousing second-half comeback that leaves the back-to-back league champions 14 points behind a Liverpool side that also have a game in hand.
Gameweek 19 proved to be a benchmark week for the club after a brilliant 4-0 away win at Leicester, inspired heavily by Trent Alexander-Arnold's 24 FPL points - the most by a single player in any game season. This, combined with City's faltering stock this season, has been reflected heading into Gameweek 20 later this afternoon (it's currently 3am and there's 8 hours and 15 minutes until the deadline as of writing this section), with Sadio Mane shading a minority victory in the polls this week.
We opted for Mane over Salah in the captaincy poll due to his superior ownership. 17 attacking returns is a great haul for the in-form midfielder, with Mane managing 4 assists and 1 goal from his last 4 fixtures. Additionally, Mane has only blanked in 6/17 fixtures, so there's no reason to doubt this selection one bit from the third best FPL player so far. Mane scored both of Liverpool's goals in last season's 2-0 home win over Wolves on the final day of the season and there's an element here that The Reds are fixture proof as they've only dropped 2 points from a possible 54.
We widely anticipate that there will be a spread of captaincy choices this week, with Kane, Rashford, Vardy, Mane, Ings, Aguero, De Bruyne, Salah and Mane, among other differential choices, all competitively vying for a single spot. Liverpool have deserved their spot and due to it, there's no reason to bank on one of their African wingers to get the business done against a Wolves side who have one less day of preparation after their hard-fought win over City this past evening.
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 20: Alternative Captain
Player: Danny Ings (SOU)
Fixture: Crystal Palace (H)
Player Price: £6.5 million
Player Selection %: 14.9%
Reason for selection:
Outside of the key 'popular' figures in FPL ahead of Gameweek 20, Southampton and Danny Ings are best positioned as a true alternative captaincy options.
Ings is the 10th player in the Fantasy game this season to reach 100 points, doing so in a 21-minute cameo in a 2-0 away win at Chelsea during Gameweek 19. Ralph Hasenhuttl told everyone straight that his main man up top didn't have the legs to go the distance during the festive period and he hasn't hesitated to rotate the Forward, even in the bigger of games.
The Saints were fantastic in the win at Chelsea, with the combination of Obafemi, Armstrong and Redmond proving effective and exciting behind Che Adams. We're expecting a similar array of midfield talent behind Ings back in the starting lineup. The Englishman has scored 10 goals in 13 games, sparking a rise in ownership and expectation and if there's one simple argument to focus on, it's consistency.
Southampton might be a volatile force to back, but Ings has proven to be a pillar of consistency in a world where the threat of relegation is literally just a game away in the current climate of the Premier League. The visit of an injury-ridden Crystal Palace, combined with goals in 4 consecutive home games, puts Ings as a serious contender this weekend.
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 20: Dark Horse Captain
Player: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ARS)
Fixture: Chelsea (H)
Player Price: £10.8 million
Player Selection %: 18.2%
Reason for selection:
As we scour the differences of consideration this week, the only fixture on the menu that pits a pair of sides locked in a battle of 'take your pick' is Arsenal's home encounter with Chelsea on Sunday afternoon. Two young (and progressive?) Manager's in high profile jobs without much experience will go against one another, with Frank Lampard looking to be the one who inflicts Mikel Arteta's first defeat at his new job - a win that would be hugely demoralising for Arsenal's hopes of European football next season.
This is the perfect dark horse fixture to put either the likes of Abraham or Aubameyang as an outside captain as we think the fixture will see both sets of players taken off the table on the whole. Call us old fashioned romantics, we're siding with Arsenal as the one's to go for, with Arteta about to take charge of his first home game.
The man who could exploit Chelsea's defensive line of Rudiger, Zouma or Tomori will be Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - we would have said Lacazette, but the Frenchman was a mile off the pace against Bournemouth on Boxing Day.
4 out of 7 returns in FPL (4 goals, 2 assists, 8 bonus), even in the darkest of timelines for the club, highlights Auba's continued importance to the club, and enough to suggest that the Gabon international is the man who will lift the lid off the Emirates against their London rivals. Auba passes all of the eye tests on offer and we don't really have to sell this pick hard. It's a safe pick in a difficult fixture. If your personal team is struggling for options, Auba might be the path to a green arrow if the likely captaincy contenders strike out in mass.
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 20: Differential Captain
Player: Gerard Deulofeu (WAT)
Fixture: Aston Villa (H)
Player Price: £6.1 million
Player Selection %: 2.2%
Reason for selection:
The Hornets have had a massively underwhelming start to this season, but all hope is not lost. Watford fans won’t be there thinking the end is nigh at New Years Eve because in the last few games a better account of them have been witnessed. After a merry-go-round of managerial appointments, it appears their latest one has stuck. Nigel Pearson who famously kept Leicester in the league has reinvigorated Watford and given the Hornets back their sting.
Starting with Liverpool in GW17, Watford should have won that game but rued missed chances, and then in GW20 their efforts were rewarded with a brilliant 2-0 win against Manchester United, and most recently went to seventh places Sheffield United and help the Blades in what has been a difficult place to go and get a result. Nigel Pearson has given Watford their belief back, and with only six points between them and West Ham just above the relegation zone it doesn’t appear to be an unclimbable mountain. One player that looks crucial their survival bid is the Spanish forward, Gerard Deulofeu.
Having started every game since GW9, Deulofeu is without doubt the most dangerous player in Watford’s team. The eye-test is extremely promising, he is running behind defenders for fun and stretching defences and making it hard for a defence to hold its defence. Liverpool, United, and Watford didn’t have an answer to him. Troy Deeney has been reinstated as the tip of the spear, and record signing Ismaïla Sarr has found his place in the team and makes it easy for Deulofeu to take on defenders. A goal against Sheffield United was well earned and gives the Hornet great momentum when they face Aston Villa.
The Hornets have a favourable home game, momentum, and their forwards are contributing to goals. The team has been unified by Nigel Pearson and it is going to be a difficult afternoon for Aston Villa. Deulofeu has been a capable scorer of goals in the past, and in this fixture, he cannot be discounted on any account. This fixture is being overlooked as City, Liverpool, and Leicester have favourable fixtures. Watford and Villa are flying under the radar which intensifies the differential appeal of this fixture
The new Manager is a huge factor for Watford’s rise as a boisterous differential team, he has got them creating and scoring goals which appeared a hard ask before. Watford currently embody the soul of the great differential: you want to discard them, but you just can’t. Nigel Pearson will be telling his players that in order to survive they must beat the teams around them, especially promoted clubs. Everything is there for Watford to cause quite a stir again, which should be sending shivers down the back of Manuel Pellegrini.
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.