A significant chunk of the top 10,000 Fantasy Premier League managers played their Wildcards in Gameweek 31.
26.4% of them pulled the trigger on a new squad ahead of Friday’s deadline, the largest to do so all in one Gameweek since the second Wildcard became available.
As a result, the template of players at this level of the world rankings took a sizeable shift as we prepare for the final Gameweeks of 2020/21.
As you can see, the Wildcard was by far the most-used chip among the top 10k in Gameweek 31.
Just 0.06% went for the Bench Boost, 0.05% Free Hitted and 0.01% played the Triple Captain.
Crucially, the second Wildcard has now been deployed by 87.1% of the top 10k, meaning just 12.9% of them have it left to play between Double Gameweek 32 and Gameweek 38.
It also means that 46.6% of the top 10k have exhausted their chip supply with seven Gameweeks left to go this season.
41.0% have played three of theirs while only 11.2% still have two left to deploy.
Anyone marginally outside the top 10k with a healthy number of chips still intact will certainly fancy their chances of breaking into the upper echelon over the season run-in.
Unsurprisingly, 81.7% of the top 10k’s Wildcarding managers went with budget goalkeeper Fraser Forster (£4.0m) while roughly two-thirds were content with Edouard Mendy (£5.2m) as a set-and-forget option.
With two fixtures to look forward to in Double Gameweek 32, Harry Kane (£11.7m) was the most fashionable player in any position in such squads, selected by 99.5%.
Diogo Jota (£6.9m) was not far behind the Spurs man, convincing 93.9% of the top 10k’s Wildcarding managers to make use of his services between now and Gameweek 38.
84.4% have retained faith in Bruno Fernandes (£11.6m) while 79.7% have gone for Mohamed Salah (£12.4m), which means 36.6% of the entire top 10k are doubled-up on the Egyptian and Jota.
Despite a tough fixture against Manchester United on Sunday afternoon, Son Heung-min (£9.4m) sits in 60.2% of top-10k Wildcard squads while 70.8% of such managers are convinced Jesse Lingard (£6.3m) can still offer value even without Michail Antonio (£6.7m) in the team.
Kelechi Iheanacho (£5.8m) has done enough to convince 88.5% of the top 10k’s Wildcarding managers that he can hold his place in Leicester’s attack and continue his scoring form, currently with five goals across his last three matches.
Antonio Rüdiger (£4.7m), Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.3m) and Rob Holding (£4.2m) are the three-most popular defenders among top 10k Wildcarders.
It is also interesting to see what impact the Wildcarding managers have had on the overall template among the top 10k, and where they have not.
For example, Patrick Bamford (£6.6m) has clung to 46.9% backing at this level while Iheanacho’s ownership in the entire top 10k is 37.7%.
Likewise, Stuart Dallas (£4.8m) remains the most fashionable defender among the top 10k with the support of 42.7%.
Meanwhile, Jota has managed to become the second-most-popular midfielder at this level.
Salah is the key captain this week having convinced 46.8% of the top 10k to hand him the armband for a home meeting with Aston Villa.
Despite facing a Manchester United side that have become 0-0 specialists in the big games, Kane has earned 13.8% support for the Gameweek 31 captaincy.
The Manchester City options are less popular, even against Leeds, largely due to the uncertainty about who Pep Guardiola will start at the Etihad Stadium.
Just 9.2% have gone for a De Bruyne captaincy while 6.1% selected Raheem Sterling (£11.3m).
Kane and Salah are the two players with more than 100% effective ownership in the top 10k for Gameweek 31.
However, neither one is miles clear, the Spurs forward boasting 111.3% and Salah on 106.1%.
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