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Captaincy Picks 2019/20: FPL Gameweek 23

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 23 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 23: Essential Captain

Player: Kevin De Bruyne (MCI)

Position: Midfielder

Fixture:Crystal Palace (H)

Player Price: £10.7 million +

Player Selection %:

Captaincy poll results:

Reason for victory:

After failing to live up to his prophecy of his potential last season due to injury, Man City's midfield maestro, Kevin De Bruyne, is coming good on his FPL potential a year after everyone thought he would be dominating the fantasy football landscape. Managing just 59 points last season, restricted to 2 goals and 3 assists, the Belgian became the first player in FPL this season to reach 150 points this season and the trajectory of his performances suggests KDB will break all of his attacking stats this year, which will be a delight to the millions of FPL players.

KDB managed 21 assists in FPL during the 2016/17 season, with the midfielder currently on 16 assists for this campaign with 16 fixtures remaining. The most goals the £10.7 million midfielder has scored in a single season was 8, scored during the 2017/18 season. KDB's currently on 7 goals this campaign. Furthermore, KDB is exactly 59 points off equalling his best FPL return in a season (209 points managed during the 2017/18 season), the exact number of points he managed last season.

This season, KDB has started 20/22 Premier League matches, coming off the bench for a 33-minute cameo during Man City's 3-2 loss at Norwich (GW5), before missing out entirely when Man City lost 2-0 at home to Wolves (GW8). It's something little, but quite telling that both times the influential playmaker hasn't started for his team, the Citizens have lost.

The top points-scoring player in the game heading into Gameweek 23, the most selected player in FPL with 52.8% ownership, most assists (16), most bonus points as a midfielder (19), most appearances in the weekly 'Dream Team' as a midfielder (5), the script writes itself for De Bruyne suitors ahead of a visit from an injury stricken Crystal Palace.

Andros Townsend scored a Puskas nominated goal for Palace in a shock 3-2 win at The Etihad last season, a welcome omission from Man City's perspective. The real swing in captaincy suitors though stems from availability with KDB's captaincy rivals. Liverpool host Man United, whilst Tammy Abraham and Jamie Vardy travel away from home, leaving City options as the standout picks this week. If in doubt, you know your mini-league rivals will likely entrust KDB, so if worst comes to worst you have the opportunity to keep pace with your competition.


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 23: Alternative Captain

Player: Danny Ings (SOU)

Position: Forward

Fixture: Wolves (H)

Player Price: £6.8 million

Player Selection %:

Reason for selection:

No player in the Premier League deserves as many plaudits as Danny Ings this season. The Englishman has come back from a couple of career-ending injuries to become one of the hottest commodities in the Premier League.

14 league goals, the same as elite Forward's such as Marcus Rashford (MUN) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ARS) this season, and a trio of goals behind Jamie Vardy (LEI), Ings is currently the 7th best player in FPL this season and alongside John Lundstram (SHU) is only one of two players that cost less than £7.0 million in the game with more than 100 Fantasy points this season.

The appeal for Ings is just ridiculously simple this week. A good run of fixtures (aside from a Gameweek 25 visit to former club Liverpool), Ings is thee Bonus Points king this season, leading the way with 27 bonus to his name. In a year dominated by Forward's at the top of the BPS charts, the 14-goal attacker who has started 18 times this season for The Saints, it is hard to believe that Ings has acquired more bonus points than some of the heavy hitters - Vardy, De Bruyne, et al - and is a true show of testament to Ings's importance and resolve for his club.

As an FPL asset for the wider public, the attacker is hot property and is the perfect replacement for those dealing with injuries and suspensions to Rashford and Aubameyang this week. A visit from Wolves shouldn't worry Ings, he scored in the reverse fixture, a 1-1 draw, during Gameweek 9.

We're in a state where Ings has become essential and his momentum has become a hype train that is currently unparelled in the game, so why not jump aboard and go along for the ride, not only to capitalise on the Forward's best season, but also to ensure your mini-league rivals don't leave you in the dust.


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 23: Dark Horse Captain

Player: Roberto Firmino (LIV)

Position: Forward

Fixture: Man United (H)

Player Price: £9.3 million

Player Selection %: 10.7%

Reason for selection:

If you're a fan of the eye-test when it comes to evaluating player performance, one small detail has led us to picking Roberto Firmino as our Dark Horse captain this week. Man United's full-backs are good man-markers and will likely frustrate Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah this week.

It is in tight situations with the club back in to a corner when Bobby shines for his club, with the Brazilian scoring a brilliant and match-winning goal away at Spurs last weekend in what has become the latest hurdle Liverpool have jumped as their relentless push towards a first Premier League title looks a near certainty.

Wan-Bissaka and Brandon Williams will occupy the African wingers at Anfield, which will leave Firmino to square up against Harry Maguire, the new club captain of Manchester United a little over five months after joining the club in a record deal from Leicester... It would be written in the stars that Firmino, who has 3 league goals in 4 matches, gives the English central defender the worst day of his career on his first outing as full time captain.

Also, ahead of a Double Gameweek next time out for Liverpool, with the Reds visiting West Ham and Wolves, wouldn't it just be right that Firmino's form starts making you ask questions about his potential involvement in your teams, especially as defensive assets and Firmino's attacking partners jostle in position as the preferred picks leading into the first double of the 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 23: Differential Captain

Player: Neal Maupay (BHA)

Position: Forward

Fixture: Aston Villa (H)

Player Price: £5.9 million +

Player Selection %: 2.4%

Reason for selection:

Each week in our Differentials article, Sam Austin profile a differential captain and has opted for an in-demand Brighton attacker to lead the line during Gameweek 23's action. You can read the article by clicking here, as well as by interacting with the embedded tweet below.

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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