43.6% of the top 10,000 Fantasy Premier League managers were handed some much-needed luck on Saturday afternoon.
That was the percentage of those at the top level of the game who captained Jamie Vardy (£9.6m), more than any other option.
After assisting an Ayoze Pérez (£6.2m) goal, the Leicester City forward missed a penalty which was converted by James Maddison (£7.5m).
That was set to reduce Vardy’s score by two points, with three added back on for the Fantasy assist.
However, completely outside of the player’s control, both a number of his colleagues and Brighton players encroached on the penalty area, forcing the referee to order a retake.
That wiped off the missed penalty from Vardy’s record, as well as the assist, and allowed him to score his seventh goal in five matches.
With a missed penalty no longer on his record, it also allowed Vardy to claim himself maximum bonus.
Therefore, the encroachment helped Vardy captainers secure a six-point swing, rounded up to 12 by the armband.
Meanwhile, Selhurst Park saw Sadio Mané (£12.1m) reward the 23.8% of top 10k managers who backed him for the captaincy.
With Mohamed Salah (£12.3m) rooted to the bench, the Senegalese was the primary goal threat and he duly delivered towards the end of the first half.
However, he was still four points short of Vardy’s total after that strange turn of events at the Amex Stadium.
The third-most popular skipper at this level was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.0m) who, as has been characteristic of him recently, disappointed his backers.
Just under 8% of the top 10k gave the Arsenal man the armband against Southampton and were probably hoping for slightly more than one assist, which was just his second attacking return since Gameweek 8.
As the underlying data suggested might happen, Aubameyang was outshone by his colleague Alexandre Lacazette (£9.3m) who scored twice and secured maximum bonus points too.
While the captaincy separates the fortunes of many managers in the top 10k for Gameweek 13, there were very little changes in the so-called template over the international break.
The top five most-popular defenders at this level have not changed from Gameweek 12 to 13.
It is still comprised of John Lundstram (£4.9m), Çaglar Söyüncü (£4.9m), Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.2m), Martin Kelly (£4.1m) and Diego Rico (£4.3m).
However, the ownership figures have admittedly been tweaked within that group.
Just 38% of the top 10k managers were in possession of Söyüncü for the 2-0 win over Arsenal, but this rose to 51% for Leicester’s 2-0 win over Brighton, the Foxes’ fourth consecutive clean sheet.
Meanwhile, it was slightly more disappointing for Alexander-Arnold and Rico owners as neither side kept a clean sheet.
Despite providing plenty of chances for his team-mates once again, Liverpool’s right-back continues to be outperformed by colleague Andrew Robertson (£7.0m), who now has four attacking returns in five matches following an assist at Crystal Palace.
In the midfield, the template continues to be settled around five players.
However, there has been a shift towards Mané, whose ownership in the top 10k jumped from 69.5% to 80.1% over the international break.
Those who made the move from Salah to Mané were instantly rewarded as the Egyptian spent Gameweek 13 on the bench as his colleague scored nine points.
Meanwhile, De Bruyne dropped from 73.1% to 70.6%, while Sterling fell by an even larger amount, from 44.3% to 35.4%.
The Belgian managed to dish out some punishment with his first goal since Gameweek 6 in the Saturday evening clash with Chelsea but Sterling was denied the chance to by another questionable VAR offside call.
Conversely, a goal against Arsenal in Gameweek 12 triggered a rise in popularity for Maddison.
He rose from 31.4% ownership among the top 10k to 43.8% for Gameweek 13, but just as those captaining Vardy were a little lucky, Maddison owners were the victims of the corresponding misfortune.
He was the one who nodded home the rebound from the missed penalty, only to have it chalked off by the encroachment from both Leicester and Brighton.
With Christian Pulisic (£7.4m) largely outperforming his colleagues in recent weeks, it will be interesting to see if the decline in Mason Mount‘s (£6.8m) ownership will continue.
He was in 54.6% of top 10k teams for Gameweek 12 but just 48.7% of them for Gameweek 13, in which he featured only as a second-half substitute against Manchester City.
Finally, Raúl Jiménez (£7.4m) continues to justify a burst in his ownership among the top 10k, displacing Aubameyang as the third-most-popular forward at this level.
Nominated for ‘Best in Fantasy Football – Editorial’ at the Football Content Awards 2020
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