This article is part of our The Armband series.
Gameweek 12 may go down as one of the least surprising gameweeks of the season. Home teams walked away with six wins and five clean sheets and the two away teams that won were Man City and Chelsea, also with clean sheets. And for the first and probably last time all season, every one of my picks for the armband came through with either a goal or an assist. Even my differential play of Richarlison managed eight fantasy points at the official Fantasy Premier League game.
The question I have for the rest of the fantasy bosses is what articles are you reading? Harry Kane was in a tough spot at the Emirates and yet was still captained by 17.2 percent of fantasy players. Kane is a stud, but captaining him on the road against a top-six club was also a risky move. But who am I to talk? My top captain play this week will more than likely get an early red card and be banned for the next couple matches.
With another nice fixture list for Gameweek 13, that'll be hard to do, though with European matches in midweek, you never know. I'm writing this before any of those matches take place so I'll be looking to this week as I normally would. That means I'm going under the assumption Sergio Aguero starts Tuesday and Gabriel Jesus starts at Huddersfield on Sunday. This comes after Pep Guardiola said he does not want to play those two together until Benjamin Mendy (knee) returns from injury.
City players will again be a popular pick for captaincy after winning 2-0 at Leicester last weekend. Huddersfield have been solid this season and beat Man United 2-1 at home a few weeks ago, but they also fell 4-0 to Tottenham before that. Either way, I'm putting my money on City. Jesus has eight goals and one assist in league play this season, but I can't put him above Kevin De Bruyne or even Leroy Sane. Jesus rarely creates for his teammates and hasn't taken more than three shots in his last eight matches. De Bruyne is the easiest to trust with a goal or assist in 11 of his last 13 matches in all competitions. Sane is more of the upside play, though he doesn't have a shot on net in his last three. Still, he has three assists in that period and is always a good bet to whip balls in from the corner.
But with City on the road, Manchester United may be the most popular team to back this week, which means Romelu Lukaku is again at the top of the list. I wasn't huge on Lukaku last week, and it took him awhile to score, but the addition of Paul Pogba to the lineup changed everything. And that's why I have more faith in Lukaku for this one (assuming Pogba starts again).
In Pogba's four starts to open the season, Lukaku had 20 shots, nine of them being on net. Since then, Lukaku has failed to get five shots in a match, but a good reason he just ended his scoring drought was because of Pogba. I'd go after Pogba as a captain, but can't trust him to play a full 90 minutes just yet. For the defensive minded, the Red Devils have the best shot for a clean sheet at home against Brighton, making Antonio Valencia a solid differential play.
Elsewhere, Liverpool host Chelsea and won't be a match I'm looking at for my captain. The Reds are great at home, having allowed one goal all season, but Chelsea haven't allowed a goal in their last three league matches and have allowed four on the road this season. If for some reason you like this match for fantasy, turn to Mohamed Salah or Alvaro Morata.
I bashed Kane backers earlier, but things should be different with West Brom on the schedule. Sure, his numbers haven't been amazing at Wembley Stadium, but I'm not going to fade him against a side that's lost its last four league matches. In two recent matches against top four teams (Man City, Chelsea), the Baggies have given up seven goals. I'll take Kane with Christian Eriksen slightly behind, only because Eriksen's been hard to trust lately. He has just two shots on goal and seven chances created in his last seven starts in all competitions. Those numbers are down a bit after averaging more than one shot on goal and three chances created in the first couple months of the season.
Arsenal seem to have a favorable match, but I'll pass on backing the Gunners away. This feels like a classic letdown for them, especially given that Burnley have only allowed two goals at home this season.
For differentials, Richarlison is on the list, but he travels to Newcastle in a tough spot. Tammy Abraham, if fit, at home against Bournemouth could be a better bet or maybe Wilfried Zaha against a Stoke team that has allowed 13 away goals this season. Manolo Gabbiadini is in the conversation as well, assuming he gets the start after coming off the bench last time out. Everton continue to give up goals and Southampton should be good for a couple.