Fantasy Premier League managers in the top 10k continue to eye up major changes to their squads.
With Blank Gameweek 28, the corresponding Doubles and Blank Gameweek 31 all on the horizon, the template of the first half of the campaign continues to slowly dissolve.
Therefore, the second Wildcard has received plenty of attention from both the upper echelons of Fantasy managers and worldwide.
7.6% of managers inside the top 10k pulled the trigger on their squad overhaul for Gameweek 25 while 4.7% did so overall.
Defence appears to be the area most needing some change according to the Gameweek 25 Wildcarders among the top 10k.
Recent benchings for John Lundstram (£5.1m) have seen just 62.6% of these managers hold onto his services, compared to ownership of 87.2% among the top 10k as a whole.
There is a similar drop-off for Martin Kelly (£4.4m), sat in 51.3% of top 10k squads but included only in 28.6% of those at this level who Wildcarded for Gameweek 25. Of course, that was before his benching at home to Sheffield United on Saturday afternoon.
Also losing significant support, not surprisingly, is Çaglar Söyüncü (£5.0m) after Leicester went a fourth consecutive match without a clean sheet on Saturday lunch-time.
The centre-back is still held by 39.3% of managers in the top 10k but is not among the top five for ownership in the Wildcard selection.
His place, along with Diego Rico‘s (£4.2m), has been taken by Jamaal Lascelles (£4.2m), while Virgil van Dijk (£6.5m) also features.
The budget price of Newcastle’s club captain, combined with the Magpies appealing run of fixtures, which started with a 0-0 draw against Norwich, has led to relative popularity in top 10k Wildcard squads.
Lascelles has been chosen by 30.8% of such managers, behind only Alexander-Arnold, Lundstram and Van Dijk.
Despite losing plenty of support in recent weeks, Nick Pope (£4.6m) remains an important part of the so-called template.
Only Dean Henderson (£5.0m) was selected by more top 10k Wildcarders than the Burnley goalkeeper, who has 37.8% representation in such squads.
Mohamed Salah‘s (£12.6m) ownership figures have taken a huge boost following the recent injury to Sadio Mané (£12.3m).
In the top 10k, the Egyptian now has 87.2% ownership, while 93% of those Wildcarding at this level for Gameweek 25 chose him – even more than Kevin De Bruyne (£10.6m).
However, it is worth noting that 10.6% of managers inside the top 10k have opted to hold Mané ahead of Gameweek 26.
It will be interesting to see if this tactic pays off considering that Liverpool don’t have a Premier League fixture between now and February 15.
Jurgen Klopp previously stated that Mané would be “alright” after the Southampton match and up next for Liverpool is a trip to Carrow Road, where Norwich have conceded more goals than on their travels this season.
️There also appeared to be a shift in the fourth and fifth midfielder markets following Gameweek 25 Wildcards.
Todd Cantwell‘s (£4.9m) most recent blank, recorded at Newcastle, may see his 37.1% representation in the top 10k fall further and, indeed, he has dropped out of the top five midfielders in the Wildcard template.
John Fleck (£5.0m), who has five goals and two assists this season, looks to be gunning for Cantwell’s place in Fantasy squads, chosen by 22.3% of top 10k Wildcards this weekend.
Up-front, Jamie Vardy (£9.9m) finds himself still losing followers. He remains the most popular forward in the top 10k (64.7%) but was not in the top-three among the Wildcarders.
Another blank for the Leicester man, this time against Chelsea, his third in a row, may only exacerbate the slew of sales ahead of a Gameweek 26 trip to Wolves.
By contrast, 49.5% of those Wildcarding for Gameweek 25 put their faith in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10.7m), set to face Burnley on Sunday afternoon. That makes him the third-most-popular striker in such squads.
Looking at the chip usage in full detail for the top 10k, we can see just how many deployed the Triple Captain for Double Gameweek 24.
With 13 Gameweeks left in the 2019/20 schedule, 28.1% of managers at the top level right now will be looking out for another opportunity to use their enhanced armband.
15.7% is the portion of top 10k managers who are yet to play a chip in the second half of the season. They are likely to be very confident that they can use the chips to consolidate their position.
Finally, Saturday afternoon provided the perfect entertainment for the majority of the top 10k, as far as the captaincy was concerned.
That’s because Salah mopped up monstrous backing for the armband at this level, 79.8% of his backers enjoying a 32-point haul in Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Southampton.
That contributed towards an effective ownership of 167% for Salah among the top 10k on Saturday afternoon.
The 4.5% who went for Alexander-Arnold instead did not see too much pay-off in return for their risk, the right-back scoring six points, 12 if captained.
There is also now pressure on those few brave souls who went against the grain to back a Sunday afternoon player with the armband.
The in-form Sergio Aguero (£12.0m) was captained by just 4% of the top 10k, De Bruyne 2.5% and Aubameyang 2.4%.
Stats taken from LiveFPL.net
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