Over one in six Fantasy Premier League managers who were in the top 10k at the point of the Gameweek 18 deadline have now used their Free Hit chip.
Blanks for Liverpool and, to a lesser extent, West Ham United in the Gameweek just gone may well have prompted a surge in the chip’s popularity, with just over 500 Fantasy bosses in the top 10,000 deploying their Free Hit in Gameweek 18.
The move may not have been a successful one for many, as the average score for those using their Free Hit was less than it was for the Fantasy bosses who used no chip at all (42.94 versus 45.00 respectively).
Seven of the 15 players in the template 10k Free Hit squad blanked, with not one of the assets below registering a double-digit haul.
A little over 2% of the leading 10,000 managers used their first Wildcard this weekend, with a handful of maverick managers opting to use the Triple Captain or Bench Boost chips.
A sixth of the top 10k (as of Saturday’s deadline) have yet to use their first Wildcard, with Gameweek 20 the final call for that particular chip.
The managers within the top 10,000 who did use their first Wildcard in Gameweek 18 also had a so-so weekend, with the average score being 41.85.
Eleven of the ‘template’ Wildcard squad below blanked or didn’t play, with two of them – Diego Rico (£4.4m) and Son Heung-min (£10.0m) – now suspended for Gameweek 19.
Looking at the most-owned players in the top 10,000 overall, there was no change in the ‘template’ squad from Gameweek 17 – although Sadio Mane‘s (£12.2m) ownership took a tumble from 85.8% to 58.59%.
Kevin De Bruyne‘s (£10.4m) popularity increased dramatically after his 19-point haul against Arsenal, with only Jamie Vardy (£10.1m) and John Lundstram (£5.2m) now owned by more managers than the Belgian within this elite group of FPL bosses.
There were widespread captaincy fails in the top 10k in Gameweek 18, with De Bruyne’s four points looking like a relatively good haul compared to the returns of Marcus Rashford (£9.1m) and especially Son.
The 8.74% who kept the armband on Vardy were rewarded with a goal and maximum bonus points, meanwhile.
For those of us who are chasing down the leading pack and who have kept most of our chips, there may be encouragement in the fact that over one in three of the top 10,000 FPL managers has used at least two of theirs.
Around 880 of these bosses have used at least three of their chips, while around 4.3% – including erstwhile number one Nick Tanner – have already maxed out and now only have the second Wildcard to come after Gameweek 20.
On the flip side, more than half of the top 10k have used just one chip, while around one in ten has reached the dizzying heights of the top 10,000 without the use of any.
All data taken from LIVEFPL.NET.
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