Roughly a fifth of the top 10,000 Fantasy Premier League managers are yet to use their first Wildcard.
Time is running out to deploy this chip as it is only active for the next three Gameweeks, disappearing after Gameweek 20.
Following the passing of Saturday’s deadline for Gameweek 17, 81.09% of the top 10k had played their Wildcard.
As you can see from the table above, 0.87% of them played the Wildcard for Gameweek 17, taking the overall total for the top 10k to 81.09%.
That means 18.9% of managers at this level still have it in their pocket, ready to deploy over the Christmas period.
Our ProPundit writer Simon March did an article earlier this week on the pros and cons of using the Wildcard later in the season and is certainly an interesting read. READ IT HERE.
Those that do deploy their Wildcard between now and the end of the year may well end up with squads that look a bit like the above.
This is the template Wildcard put together by those using it for Gameweek 17.
As you can see, the Brighton double-up between the sticks is the most-popular goalkeeper combination, featuring Mat Ryan (£4.8m) and David Button (£4.0m).
The most fashionable defenders in these select squads match the quintet considered the best by the majority of top 10k managers.
John Lundstram (£5.1m), Martin Kelly (£4.3m), Çaglar Söyüncü (£5.1m), Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.3m) and Diego Rico (£4.3m) are all the top five most popular defenders both for the top 10k generally, and those who Wildcarded for Gameweek 17 – in the same order as well.
There is some disparity in midfield though.
Sadio Mané (£12.3m), who assisted and had a headed goal ruled out for offside in Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Watford on Saturday, is the most popular in both sets, in 87.4% of Wildcard squads and 85.8% of top 10k squads.
By contrast, Mohamed Salah (£12.2m), who has double-figure hauls in each of his last two Premier League outings, is only in 16.8% of top 10k squads, suggesting he can act as a powerful differential at this level from Gameweek 19 onwards, as Liverpool are without a fixture in Gameweek 18.
While James Maddison (£7.8m) is in 59.6% of top 10k squads for Gameweek 17, he is in 71.3% of the Wildcard squads at this level, indicating how popular he is.
The Wildcard users have also taken the opportunity to invest in the Spurs midfield double-up too, with considerably more vigour than the rest of the top 10k.
Son Heung-min (£10.0m) and Dele Alli (£8.7m) are in 56.3% and 42.5% of Wildcard squads at this level but are only in 51.8% and 34.7% respectively in normal top 10k teams.
The true power of these players for those further down the rankings is shown by how few managers own Son and Alli overall. As things stand, their worldwide ownership figures are 21.0% and 12.5% respectively.
Meanwhile, if Kevin de Bruyne (£10.2m) manages to return to usual FPL form against Arsenal’s then he could help arrest a slew of sales.
He may still be in 60% of top 10k squads but that number has been falling each week for some time now.
Furthermore, the Manchester City midfielder has been selected by just 37.9% of top 10k managers playing their Wildcard for Gameweek 17.
So far, it has been a disappointing Gameweek for the in vogue forward line of Jamie Vardy (£10.1m), Tammy Abraham (£8.0m) and Marcus Rashford (£9.0m).
The Leicester City forward was handed an overwhelming majority for the Gameweek 17 captaincy, with 71.2% backing for it among the top 10k, but arguably failed to fully deliver on his promise.
Despite finishing the match at the King Power Stadium with more shots on target than any other player, Vardy did not find the net officially.
He was initially awarded the goal for Leicester’s equaliser but was shortly after stripped of it, Tim Krul (£4.5m), quite rightly, accredited with an own-goal instead.
Meanwhile, Mané (backed by 18.6%) came in as a distant second, managing to outscore Vardy by one point.
As already mentioned, Salah’s big haul against Watford was especially powerful for those who captained him.
With the vast majority of top 10k managers getting 10 points for Vardy, a 32-point haul for the Egyptian will surely have propelled the 4.5% who captained him into the highest reaches.
As for the rest of the popular forward line, Abraham blanked in a surprise defeat to Bournemouth while Rashford awaits his owners in a meeting with Everton on Sunday afternoon.
A final word on the chips as 2.6% of the top 10 deployed the Triple Captain for Gameweek 17.
Our Scoutcaster and ProPundit Az also pulled the trigger for his enhanced armband.
Like many of those in the top 10k, the chosen recipient was Vardy, and, chances are, his Triple Captain backers were expecting a lot more than one assist against Norwich.
All data taken from LIVEFPL.NET.
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