Kevin de Bruyne (£10.1m) proved to be the most popular captain among the top 10,000 Fantasy Premier League managers in Gameweek 10.
The Belgian was neck-and-neck with Raheem Sterling (£12.1m) in the latest Fantasy Football Scout poll – each player exchanging top-spot throughout the week.
In the end, Sterling just edged, finishing the build-up to Gameweek 10 with the support of 29.4% of voters, while de Bruyne had 28.7%.
However, the top 10k managers were considerably unequivocal in comparison, with the cheaper of the two players proving the more popular captain.
31% of managers inside the top 10k handed the armband to de Bruyne as Aston Villa prepare to come to the Etihad Stadium this weekend.
By contrast, Sterling, who arguably carries a greater threat of rotation compared to the other headline Manchester City assets, was backed by just 21.6% at this level.
After proving a favourite of the top 10k in recent weeks, Sergio Aguero (£12.2m) has dropped down to third place in the captaincy debate for managers at the top level.
That may have been influenced by his recent Gameweek 9 no show, although his 19.8% of captainers among the top 10k are probably encouraged by the fact that he’s had a rest in the last week and usually starts home matches.
Either way, we are expecting anyone who features from the beginning against Aston Villa to do well in Gameweek 10 – as those who read our recent Captain Sensible article will know.
In terms of the overall template in the top 10k, de Bruyne continues to consolidate his position as the most popular player.
His ownership at this level has now reached 77.4%, a gap of 11 percentage points compared to next most-fashionable John Lundstram (£4.6m).
Tammy Abraham (£7.8m) remains the most popular forward among the top 10k but Teemu Pukki (£7.0m) has dropped out of the top three.
He was in 38.3% of these squads for Gameweek 9 but has been replaced by Jamie Vardy (£9.1m), who contributed to a massive win at Southampton on Friday night.
Interestingly, Pukki and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.1m) are still trusted by the wider world of FPL.
Also pertinent is the fact that de Bruyne is the third-most popular midfielder when the lower-ranked managers are taken into account.
Back to the top 10k, Aguero’s popularity has also dipped from 36.1% to 33.5% but he does face a favourable match-up this weekend.
Bournemouth appear to have been turned to for a source of budget defensive investment.
Lewis Dunk (£4.6m) was the fifth-most popular defender for Gameweek 9, but he has been replaced by Diego Rico (£4.2m) ahead of the Cherries trip to Watford.
Fantasy managers at the top level appear to be eyeing up Wolves’ favourable fixtures.
They face Newcastle this weekend, before travelling to Arsenal, hosting Aston Villa and facing Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.
Naturally, Liverpool and Manchester City are the teams using up most of the slots in squads among the top 10k.
However, Wolves are sat in second place with an average of 1.8 of their players in top 10k squads.
Finally, an update on the chip usage among managers at this level.
47.4% of these have now used their Wildcards, which understandably remains the most deployed of the chips.
The Triple Captain has been spent by 25.5%, 13.7% have used the Free Hit and 13.9% the Bench Boost.
STATS AND DATA BROUGHT TO YOU BY LIVEFPL.NET
Become a Member and get unrestricted access to our data and articles
Full-year memberships are now available for the price of £17.50. Monthly subscriptions also cost just £2.99.
Join now to get the following:
- Plot your transfer strategies using the fully interactive Season Ticker.
- Get projections for every Premier League player provided by the Rate My Team statistical model.
- Use Rate My Team throughout the season to guide your selections and transfers.
- Get access to over 150+ exclusive members articles over the season.
- Analyse our OPTA-powered statistic tables specifically tailored for Fantasy Football Managers.
- Use our exclusive tool to build custom stats tables from over 100 OPTA player and team stats.
- Enjoy our brand NEW Flat-Track Bully feature which introduces an opposition filter to your tables.
- View heatmaps and expected goals data for every player.
- Use our powerful comparison tool to analyse players head-to-head.