Fantasy Premier League managers ranked among the top 10,000 have turned to the chips for Double Gameweek 19.
While none has reached the same deployment level as the Free Hit did in Blank Gameweek 18, the Wildcard, Triple Captain and Bench Boost earned a spread of attention.
In total, 51.1% of the top 10k played a chip for Double Gameweek 19, a little over half of them.
Unsurprisingly, the Bench Boost was the most popular of those, 25.4% of the top 10k asking their substitutes to step up for Double Gameweek 19.
36.3% of them have now used that chip over the first 19 rounds of fixtures but it is certainly significant that 63.7% of the managers at this level are holding it for a later opportunity.
Total usage of the Triple Captain chip has also more than doubled following Saturday morning’s deadline, 16% of the top 10k presenting their skipper with an enhanced armband.
Kevin De Bruyne (£11.8m) is the key man in this Double Gameweek 19 subplot, with 8.9% of the top 10k Triple Captaining the Manchester City midfielder.
5.4% have gone with Mohamed Salah (£12.5m), 0.8% backed Bruno Fernandes (£11.3m) and 0.3% went for Jamie Vardy (£10.1m).
As you can see above, even though this is the busiest week of the season for Triple Captaincy chips among the top 10k, 73.8% of them are still holding onto it for later usage.
Meanwhile, 7.2% of those at this level used the Double Gameweek 19 as a springboard for a whole new squad.
16.7% of the top 10k have pulled the trigger on the second Wildcard since the turn-of-the-year. However, 83.3% are still waiting for a better opportunity to arise.
The Free Hit chip has had its day among the top 10k, total usage for that chip rising to 88.5% after the Blank Gameweek 18 fixtures.
2.6% of managers in the upper echelons used it to reap the temporary benefits of the Double Gameweek 19 schedule.
For the first time this season, we now have more top 10k managers having deployed two chips instead of one or zero.
44.9% have now used two since the second Wildcard became available. Only 2.9% have gone chipless since that time.
Interestingly, 10.3% of these managers have already used up three of the four at their disposal.
The most interesting thing to note from the template of most-owned players among the top 10k for Double Gameweek 19 is what has happened to the ownership of Spurs’ two key attackers.
Considering the Blank Gameweek 18 matrix was so heavily populated by Free Hit figures, it serves better to compare this latest template with the one from Gameweek 17.
And what we can see is that Harry Kane (£11.1m) has maintained a stable showing among the top 10k. In Gameweek 17, 47.2% were in possession of the striker and that has fallen by just 3.5 percentage points ahead of Double Gameweek 19, despite just one fixture.
The top 10k have not been quite so patient with Son Heung-min (£9.7m) considering the wealth of premium midfielders set to play twice in Double Gameweek 19.
As of Saturday morning’s deadline, the South Korean international is owned by 55.1%, making him the fifth-most popular midfielder at this level.
However, that is a far cry from the 80.4% ownership among top 10k managers Son experienced in Gameweek 17.
At the same time, De Bruyne has broken into the top-five most-popular midfielders for Double Gameweek 19, now owned by 58.6% and overtaking Son in the matrix of most-owned players.
In total, just nine of the 15 players included in this matrix have two matches scheduled for Double Gameweek 19, perhaps why so many of the top 10k are waiting for another chance to play the Bench Boost.
The six who have just one match are Kane, Son, Patrick Bamford (£6.6m), Stuart Dallas (£4.8m), Kyle Walker-Peters (£4.8m) and Alex McCarthy (£4.7m) – three of those denied a second by Southampton and Leeds’ FA Cup-related postponement.
Some of the top 10k were happy to sell some members of that trio, despite an upcoming, as yet unconfirmed, Double Gameweek.
McCarthy’s top 10k ownership has dropped from 59.7% to 47.6% between Gameweeks 17 and 19, Dallas’ has gone from 57.1% to 50.9% while Walker-Peters’ ownership as this level has shrunk by 8.1 percentage points in that time.
Bamford’s backing has been a little more stable. He was owned by 90.3% of the top 10k in Gameweek 17 and by 84.7% of them past Saturday morning’s deadline.
Wildcarding managers in the top 10k are less interested in the Spurs assets than the majority.
As you can see, Bamford, Antonio and Jamie Vardy (£10.2m) were all present in more of these squads than Kane for Double Gameweek 19.
And only 35.9% of these top 10k Wildcards selected Son in their new squad.
De Bruyne is the focus of the Double Gameweek 19 captaincy as 47.7% of the top 10k handed him the armband for home matches against Crystal Palace and Aston Villa.
Salah finished the race in second place with 35.6% captaincy backing although his superior ownership at this level means he has the highest top 10k effective ownership for Double Gameweek 19 (120.2%).
Fernandes’ opening match of the round at Liverpool, plus his four yellow cards so far this season, seem to have put the punters off him for the captaincy.
Just 7.2% of the top 10k chose him as their Double Gameweek 19 skipper, Vardy (3.1%) and Kane (1.3%) completing the top five.
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