Kevin De Bruyne (£11.7m) is proving to be a very effective differential among the top 10,000 Fantasy Premier League managers.
The Belgian’s latest double-figure haul, the second in as many Gameweeks, could cause some restructuring at this level, especially with Manchester City facing West Bromwich Albion (home), Southampton (away) and Newcastle (home) between now and Gameweek 15.
The crux of De Bruyne’s appeal is the fact that despite relatively low ownership among the top 10k, he has quickly become a reliable and powerful captain candidate.
Manchester City’s number 17 was the most skippered at this level for Gameweek 11, earning the backing of 24.6% ahead of a home meeting with Fulham.
Such support is sure to be welcome for his owners, just low enough to turn a 28-point haul into a significant green arrow.
These managers were helped, of course, by Bruno Fernandes (£10.9m), the best of the rest in terms of captaincy, scoring only seven points at West Ham.
There was, arguably, some fortune, or lack thereof depending on your view, in the Manchester United man’s exploits though.
He played just 45 minutes after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer benched him at West Ham but his man-of-the-match performance in the second half realistically should have resulted in at least three assists, not one.
De Bruyne captainers will have one eye over their shoulder at this point too as Harry Kane (11.9%), Jamie Vardy (11.2%) and Mohamed Salah (9.7%) are yet to play in Gameweek 11, facing Arsenal, Sheffield United and Wolves respectively on Sunday.
As you can see, De Bruyne is not even among the top-five most-owned midfielders among the top 10k for Gameweek 11, although we do expect that to change in the near future.
Unsurprisingly, Jack Grealish (£7.7m) saw his ownership at this level drop by 10.4 percentage points between Gameweeks 10 and 11, influenced, of course by Aston Villa’s meeting with Newcastle suffering a coronavirus (COVID-19) postponement.
Following a double-figure haul against Southampton, Fernandes was the most popular midfielder in the transfer market for the top 10k, as he displaced Son Heung-min (£9.5m) as the most fashionable in this position.
Enjoying an ownership rise of 10.6 percentage points, he is now owned by 72.4% at this level.
Can Diogo Jota (£6.9m) cover the attacking threat of Salah this season? That’s the question bandied around the Fantasy community this week and it looks as if the top 10k have given us their answer following the Gameweek 11 deadline.
For the first time in 2020/21, the former Wolves man has earned more backers in the top 10k than his Egyptian colleague.
48.7% of them now own Jota, while only 31.7% are in possession of Salah.
With Newcastle’s trip to Aston Villa removed from Gameweek 11 (at the time of writing), the Free Hit ended up as the most popular chip among the top 10k FPL managers this weekend.
That is no surprise considering Emiliano Martínez (£4.8m) sits in 24.5% of squads at this level and 53.7% are holding onto Grealish.
4.3% of the top 10k used the Free Hit this week, while 2.9% opted to fix their postponement-related problems with a Wildcard.
Curiously, De Bruyne was not the most popular midfielder in top 10k Free Hit squads, selected only by 56.6% of these.
That said, he was still the most fashionable Manchester City option with Mahrez appearing in 47.1% of these squads.
Instead, Fernandes (76.4%) and Son (60.1%) were both chosen by more top 10k Free Hit managers than De Bruyne for Gameweek 11.
These squads also highlight the feeling of futility in terms of predicting Guardiola’s rotation policy.
Given João Cancelo‘s (£5.5m) apparent loss of favour in the manager’s mind, 35.1% of these Free Hitting managers chose Kyle Walker (£6.2m) as their Manchester City defender for Gameweek 11, only to see him miss out on a place in the matchday squad entirely.
Those who Wildcarded largely built their squads in line with the general top 10k template with some key differences.
De Bruyne was chosen by just over half of these managers, Salah was not among the top-five midfielders and roughly 60% of them went for Son and Jota respectively.
Lessons learned from FPL Gameweek 11
- Burnley 1-1 Everton
- Manchester City 2-0 Fulham
- West Ham United 1-3 Manchester United
- Chelsea v Leeds United
- West Bromwich Albion v Crystal Palace
- Sheffield United v Leicester City
- Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal
- Liverpool v Wolves
- Brighton and Hove Albion v Southampton
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