The Gameweek 10 captaincy debate looks destined to cause a drastic re-shaping of the top 10,000 Fantasy Premier League managers.
That’s because there is no standout candidate for the armband this week, according to analysis on LiveFPL.net.
Rather than one or two individuals breaking away from the chasing pack, there is an unprecedented five-way split of similarly backed captains – which is sure to create serious rank movement at this level.
As you can see, Jamie Vardy (£10.2m) was the top 10k’s favourite for the armband ahead of a favourable home meeting with Fulham’s naive and obliging defence.
However, only 21.1% were happy backing the Leicester man, the rest perhaps swayed by the disparity between his home and away form (only one of his 10 attacking returns have come at the King Power Stadium this season) or maybe enticed by the array of other options.
Mohamed Salah‘s (£12.2m) midweek appearance, a first outing since returning from self-isolation, has convinced 16.1% of the top 10k that he can be trusted against Brighton.
Prior to his positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test, the Egyptian had returned in four of his previous five Premier League appearances.
But the recent double-figure haul from Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.8m), combined with Leeds’ recent drubbings, means that a further 15.7% chose the Everton man as captain.
Meanwhile, 14.7% went with away-day specialist Bruno Fernandes (£10.8m), with double-figure hauls in every road-trip this season and Harry Kane (£11.0m), despite facing Chelsea’s improved defence, still managed to attract 14.5% of the top 10k’s captain armbands.
The impact of such a concertinaed captaincy spread on effective ownership is fascinating too.
It means no player can boast a figure in this department over 100% for Gameweek 10, Calvert-Lewin going closest with 96.3%.
Once again, tough fixtures have not triggered a flash sale of Spurs assets among the top 10k, Kane and Son Heung-min (£9.5m) sitting inside the top three for effective ownership at this level.
What these figures mean is that Gameweek 10 is the perfect week to have tried something different, considering that going against the so-called “crowd” carries considerably less risk than usual. As a result, making such a decision carries a higher chance of bigger green arrows if successful.
It is particularly telling that no Manchester City player featured in the top five captains at this level, despite a favourable match-up with Burnley.
The Clarets have lost their last three trips to the Etihad Stadium (in all competitions), every time by a 5-0 scoreline.
If Kevin De Bruyne (£11.6m) benefits from Saturday afternoon’s outing, he will reward only a small number of captainers in the top 10k.
Just 6.6% of them felt confident enough to hand the Belgian their armband, while only 1.1% captained Raheem Sterling (£11.5m).
In fact, not a single Manchester City player appears in the template at this level yet, despite Pep Guardiola’s men embarking on their appealing fixture run this Gameweek.
After hosting Burnley, Manchester City welcome Fulham, West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle to the Etihad Stadium between now and Gameweek 15, but only 19.5% of the top 10k are invested in De Bruyne, the Citizens most popular player among such managers.
Son, Fernandes remain the most fashionable premium options in midfield while Salah and Diogo Jota (£6.7m) are the movers and shakers, replacing Wilfried Zaha (£7.3m) and James Rodríguez (£7.9m) in the template.
Unsurprisingly, there was much less fluctuation among the defenders and forwards.
Calvert-Lewin has overtaken Kane as the most popular striker in the top 10k, now owned by 80% of them while the Spurs man saw his backing drop by a margin of 10 percentage points.
Patrick Bamford (£6.1m) holds onto the third-place spot meaning Vardy remains outside the podium for top 10k ownership.
Meanwhile, the top-five defenders remain unchanged, with minimal shifts in top 10k ownership.
Just 23% of the managers in this rank bracket have gone chipless thus far in the campaign while 46.4% have deployed exactly one.
Interestingly, 2.3% of them have already exhausted their entire supply.
Once again, the Wildcard was the most popular chip for the latest Gameweek although it was used sparingly compared to the rest of the top 10k.
With 2.9% going for the Free Hit, 3.7% pulled the trigger on brand new squads for Gameweek 10.
Interestingly, those playing the Wildcard at this level have largely templated themselves to the overall selection picture, as you can see a large number of overlaps.
Despite the tougher fixtures, Son and Kane still feature heavily in these squads, as do Salah and Jota while João Cancelo (£5.5m) and Vardy are the big exceptions to the main template.
Statistics taken from LiveFPL.net.