Fantasy Premier League managers ranked inside the top 10,000 worldwide will be looking to Jamie Vardy (£10.0m) for the Gameweek 16 captaincy after Sadio Mané (£12.3m) failed to show for Liverpool.
The Leicester man remains the favourite captain option among this season’s highest-ranking managers, although his dominance is not quite what we saw in Gameweek 15.
The Leicester man was handed the armband by over 80% of the top 10k ahead of a midweek meeting with Watford but after he secured just five points on Wednesday night, and Mané exploded against Everton, the balance naturally swung away from him.
That said, Vardy’s majority at this level is still fairly large for Gameweek 16, a gap of 19.8 percentage points between him and Mané, who was backed by 22.5%.
Furthermore, it now looks as if those who backed the Senegal international with the armband will have to rely on Vardy now anyway, considering he was rested and remained on the bench at the Vitality Stadium, where Liverpool won 3-0 without him.
Vardy was vice-captained by 26.3% of the top 10k managers for Gameweek 16, a large portion of these likely to be Mané captainers.
A 5-0 win for Spurs was good news for those bold enough to hand the armband to either Son Heung-min (£9.9m) or Dele Alli (£8.6m).
The data shows us that, inside the top 10k managers, they were seen as the differential options for the armband this week with Son backed by 11.5% and Alli just 5.9%.
They both delivered for their brave backers, the South Korean registering a 12-point haul from a goal and an assist while Alli produced two assists for a total of nine points.
Support for Nick Pope (£4.7m) among the top 10k continues to diminish considering Burnley’s recent drubbings to top-six sides.
He was owned by 38.9% going into Gameweek 15 before conceding four in a defeat to Manchester City.
That led to just 33.8% for Gameweek 16, in which Pope and his team-mates were beaten 5-0 by Spurs.
However, the Clarets do go up against Newcastle at Turf Moor in Gameweek 17 so it will be interesting to see how many stick with Pope, with Vicente Guaita (£5.0m) recently bursting onto the scene.
A combination of defensive injuries at Crystal Palace and an upturn in clean sheets has helped Martin Kelly (£4.2m) climb the pecking order among the defenders.
He helped the Eagles to a third successive shutout on Saturday afternoon, in a 0-0 draw with Watford, earning two bonus points in the process.
Kelly is still a long way off John Lundstram‘s (£5.1m) ownership in the top 10k (90.5%), but a presence in over half of squads at that level is still worth noting, especially considering Palace’s appealing festive schedule.
In midfield, Son experienced a slight dip from 38.2% to 36.1%, punishing anyone who lost faith in him with that 12-point haul.
By comparison, there will be plenty of eyes on James Maddison (£7.7m), whose Gameweek 15 goal against Watford took him from 40.7% top 10k ownership to 50.3% ahead of the trip to Aston Villa.
Meanwhile, the in-form Alli is yet to surface in the top-five most popular assets among the top 10k, highlighting his continued potential as a differential.
The main shift among the forward players saw Tammy Abraham (£7.9m) consolidate his ownership inside the top 10k.
In Gameweek 15, just 40% of them were in possession of the Chelsea man, when he scored 12 points against Aston Villa.
However, that grew to 57.5% after the Gameweek 16 deadline, in time for Abraham to blank in a 3-1 defeat for Chelsea at Goodison Park.
By comparison, Raúl Jiménez (£7.6m) has lost considerable support among the top 10k.
He was owned by 50.7% of them for Gameweek 15 but has seen his ownership at this level plummet to 36.5% now that the Gameweek 16 deadline has passed.
It is believed that a number of his sales since Thursday have been influenced by the form of Marcus Rashford (£8.8m), although the Manchester United forward – who found the net at the Etihad Stadium – remains a potential differential among the top 10k as he is not in the top three for forward ownership.
It also means that, despite a goal in each of his last four Premier League matches, Danny Ings (£6.3m) can also be used as a differential at this level.
Finally, an examination of the chip usage shows that the Bench Boost was the most popular for Gameweek 16.
A total of 1.7% of the top 10k deployed it this weekend and may, therefore, have been somewhat frustrated by the number of rotated and blanking players across the division.
The Wildcard edges closer to complete consumption by the top 10k, as 0.8% of them played it for Gameweek 16.
At this point 78.8% of them have used it, while 21.2% are holding it to best exploit the Christmas period.
Data from LIVEFPL.NET.
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