Ilkay Gündogan (£6.2m) is set to dictate the outcome of Double Gameweek 27 as Manchester City play twice.
The mid-priced midfielder has emerged as the leading captain among the top 10,000 Fantasy Premier League managers.
And despite providing significant competition in the latest Fantasy Football Scout captain poll, Kevin De Bruyne (£11.8m) appears to be a big differential at this level.
As you can see, 61.1% of the top 10k captained Gündogan for Double Gameweek 27.
The German international has nine points in three matches since his Double Gameweek 24 injury but rests against Everton and Wolves have helped assuage any rotation fears – more than can be said for many of his colleagues.
As mentioned, Gündogan’s majority in the latest site captain poll was hardly significant. He won that vote with 29.4% backing, just 11.8 percentage points higher than the support for De Bruyne.
Fast-forward to after Saturday’s deadline, and with more focus on the higher-performing managers this season, and the gap is much wider.
Just 12.5% of the top 10k captained De Bruyne for Double Gameweek 27, opening up a sizeable majority for Gündogan, built on 48.7 percentage points.
Harry Kane (£11.2m) is another differential skipper with 6.2% backing for the armband among the top 10k.
Raheem Sterling (£11.6m) has seven attacking returns in 11 Premier League appearances at home this season and, perhaps thanks to his rest against West Ham, 5.0% have trusted him as their Double Gameweek 27 captain.
Ruben Dias (£6.1m) makes a rare appearance among the top 10k’s top-five captains, 4.5% backing the centre-back, who has been present for 14 clean sheets this season.
This week’s captaincy statistics mean that Gundogan is the only asset with more than 100% effective ownership in the top 10k.
He boasts a figure of 154.3% in that department for Double Gameweek 27.
Despite recent criticism among the Fantasy community, Mohamed Salah (£12.6m) is the second-most-powerful player among the top 10k ahead of a home meeting with Fulham.
His effective ownership within the top 10k is 80.7%, marginally ahead of Son Heung-min (£9.5m) on 80.1% and Kane on 75.0%.
Following back-to-back blanks, this season’s top-scoring FPL asset Bruno Fernandes (£11.6m) has finally suffered a dip in effective ownership.
Boasting just 71.2% in this area for Double Gameweek 27, four players outrank him, a rare occurrence indeed.
The drop-off in Fernandes’ ownership is certainly a stark one.
96.8% of the top 10k owned the Manchester United midfielder for Double Gameweek 26, only 78.2% coming into the following round still in possession of him, a decrease of 18.6 percentage points.
While Gundogan has only added 1.5 percentage points to his top-10k ownership, Fernandes’ fall in popularity makes the mid-priced Manchester City star the most-popular midfielder at this level now.
Salah has also experienced a minor sale this week, admittedly to a lesser extent.
82.7% of the top 10k wanted his services for two matches in Double Gameweek 26, his five-point score triggering a drop to 77.4% for Sunday’s meeting with Fulham.
Son looks to have been an alternative for Fernandes and Salah sellers in the top 10k, the Spurs man jumping from 54.6% to 77.8% ownership between the two most recent deadlines.
Even though De Bruyne finished third in the list of most-bought players for Double Gameweek 27 overall, the Belgian is yet to break back into the top-five most-popular midfielders in the top 10k – good news for those pulling him in for two matches between now and Wednesday.
The only other major shift in the template at this level looks to be up-front.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin‘s (£7.8m) pair of blanks in Double Gameweek 26 has seen him drop out of the top three to be replaced by Ollie Watkins (£6.6m).
After the chip bonanza of Double Gameweek 26, very few top-10k managers deployed one for Double Gameweek 27.
The Triple Captain was the most popular but only 1.5% at this level opted for the enhanced armband, such is the disparity nature of Manchester City’s two fixtures.
De Bruyne and Gündogan were the joint most-popular players to be trusted with the Triple Captaincy, each one backed by only 0.6% of the top 10k.
Even though the Wildcard was barely used by top-10k managers this week, a look at the latest Wildcard matrix is always helpful for identifying current trends.
Despite just 28.8% of managers at this level owning De Bruyne for Double Gameweek 27, 67.9% of those using the Wildcard snapped him up before Saturday’s deadline.
Fernandes and Salah are even less popular among these managers, selected by just 55.6% and 54.3% of top-10k Wildcarders respectively.
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