Using LiveFPL’s vast array of tools, we look at the squad make-ups and chip usage of the world’s leading Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers.
We will examine the 1,000 names in LiveFPL’s ‘Legendary Managers’ list – the historic cream of the crop, much like our own Hall of Fame – but chiefly those in the top 10k in the current overall rankings.
Between the two groups (where there will of course be some overlap), these are the managers who can offer us a better gauge of FPL ownership and chip strategy, as opposed to the overall figures that are skewed by the growing number of untouched ‘ghost teams’.
There is heaps of useful information beyond overall and top 10k figures on the LiveFPL site, of course, such as ownership stats for different rank tiers.
TOP 10K AND ‘ELITE’ MANAGERS: GAMEWEEK 26 CAPTAINCY
Above: The Gameweek 26 captaincy stats for the top 10k (left) and the 1,000 historic FPL greats (right)
Let’s get the easy bit out of the way first.
Over 95% of both the top 10k and the ‘elite’ list unsurprisingly handed the armband to Mohamed Salah (£13.1m) for Liverpool’s Double Gameweek 26, and the Egyptian got off to a solid start with a double-digit haul against Norwich City.
FPL’s leading points scorer has a chance to build on that tally on Wednesday when the Reds take on Leeds United, who have conceded 30 goals in their last 10 matches.
TOP 10K: CHIP USAGE
Chip season has begun in earnest as we enter the final third of the campaign.
As of Gameweek 25, there was still a sizeable 38.6% of top 10,000 FPL managers who hadn’t used a single chip outside of the first Wildcard.
That number has dropped to 1.2% in Gameweek 26, with Wildcards and Triple Captain chips widely distributed.
Well over half (57.1%) of the leading managers have now used two or more chips; that number was down at 20% in Gameweek 25.
Usage of the second Wildcard almost doubled in Gameweek 26, no doubt off the back of Friday’s late-in-the-day Double Gameweek 28 and 29 announcements.
But it was the Triple Captain chip that saw the biggest spike, with over 70% of the top 10k activating it – and mostly entrusting Salah with the responsibility.
Around 6% of the high-flying bosses used either a Free Hit or their Bench Boost chip, meanwhile.
After the weekend’s matches, and with four fixtures of Gameweek 26 still to go, there’s not a great deal splitting the points tallies of the respective chip users in the top 10k: only around 5.5 points separates the average totals of the Free Hitters, Wildcarders and Triple Captains.
As is to be expected, those bosses who didn’t use a single chip are already lagging behind and likely stand to lose further ground on Wednesday and Thursday.
TOP 10K AND ‘ELITE’ MANAGERS: TEMPLATE SQUAD
There are some big changes in the top 10k template squad this week, with seven new entries compared to last week’s XV.
Aaron Ramsdale (£5.1m) is in for Ben Foster (£4.1m) between the posts, while Kieran Tierney (£5.1m) Andrew Robertson (£7.2m) replace Tino Livramento (£4.3m) Sergio Reguilon (£5.3m) in defence.
Three of the midfield are overhauled: Bruno Fernandes (£11.7m), Diogo Jota (£8.4m) Phil Foden (£7.9m) make way for Son Heung-min (£10.7m)Bukayo Saka (£6.5m) Rafinha (£6.5m), all of whom returned at the weekend.
And it’s the misfiring Michael Antonio (£7.7m) out, Armando Broja (£5.4m) in up top; the Watford front two retaining their places.
OWNERSHIP STATS FOR THE 1,000 ‘LEGENDARY MANAGERS’ IN GAMEWEEK 26
TOP 10K: TEMPLATE WILDCARD SQUAD
There’s even more change in the Wildcard template from last week, with those playing the chip in Gameweek 26 stocking up on Arsenal players, Wolverhampton Wanderers assets and a handful of options from Leeds and Aston Villa, not just taking advantage of these teams’ Double Gameweeks but also perhaps with one eye on Blank Gameweek 30.
Secure starter Virgil van Dijk (£6.7m) is in for the injured Jota as the third most-owned Liverpool player in the Wildcard template.
TOP 10K: AVERAGE NUMBER OF PLAYERS OWNED PER TEAM FOR GAMEWEEKS 27-30
|No. of players whose teams have a guaranteed* fixture in Double/Blank Gameweek 27||10.33 (of which 0.48 are Burnley players)|
|No. of players whose teams ‘double’ in Gameweek 28||4.35|
|No. of players whose teams ‘double’ in Gameweek 29||6.15|
|No. of players whose teams have a guaranteed* fixture in Blank Gameweek 30||4.49|
*barring any unexpected postponements because of Covid/weather
Most FPL bosses are well set up for Blank Gameweek 27 and should be able to get out a starting XI with a free transfer, despite the blanks of Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea – although with money probably tied up in Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold (£8.5m) and co on the bench, there’s no surprise that some managers are considering a Free Hit (40% of the site readers we polled are doing this).
If Chelsea v Arsenal is slotted into Gameweek 28 as some people are touting, then the average number of players who ‘double’ in a top 10k squad will rise from 4.35 to 6.42.
The average manager in the top 10,000 also has around half a dozen players with two fixtures in Double Gameweek 29.
Results in the FA Cup fifth round will dictate whether any more fixtures survive in Blank Gameweek 30 (the quarter-finals of that cup competition clash with this league round) but looking only at the three matches that are unaffected (Arsenal v Aston Villa, Wolves v Leeds and Leicester v Brentford), the average top 10k squad currently has only 4.49 active players.
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