An inside look into the decisions of FPL managers, by rank, using the Live FPL website
The late reveal of Phil Foden‘s Covid, alongside the surprise absence of Ollie Watkins, greatly affected the top 10k, with a range of autosubs stepping in. Marcos Alonso and Bukayo Saka were the most successful, although Southampton pair Tino Livramento and Armando Broja are yet to play this Gameweek. Further afield, it was those managers who were unaware of Reece James‘ hamstring tear and Conor Gallagher‘s illness that suffered the most.
Since the last LiveFPL check in Gameweek 18, there have been two developments: the game has given all managers a second Free Hit and the deadline to use the first Wildcard has passed.
Pre-Christmas, only 7.94% of managers had used a Free Hit but now 41.92% have activated their first and 1.25% have already used both! The chaos caused by postponements is what made this a popular tactic, knowing there would be a safety net of having one more for later. Gameweek 21 was the first chance to activate another Wildcard, which 3.03% proceeded to do.
The change here is stunning. Not only have five changes to the top 10k template occurred but AFCON-bound Mohamed Salah has went from 99.93% domination to total disappearance. Jarrod Bowen is a new entry at 92.55% thanks to his trio of assists against Watford and subsequent Double Gameweek 21. The injured James is understandably gone.
Arsenal pair Aaron Ramsdale and Emile Smith Rowe also make way for David De Gea and Demarai Gray, with Michail Antonio enjoying a large leap in elite ownership. Having not been involved in their previous 18 goals heading into the weekend, Bernardo Silva has been replaced by Foden as the Man City midfielder of choice.
A starting XI with Ben Foster, Tino Livramento and the absent Foden and Watkins duo on the bench would have scored 49 points if Bowen was handed captaincy (with De Gea and three Double Gameweekers still to play).
The EO (percentage of starting XI teams, plus captaincy, of a player) numbers are fairly consistent across ranks for names like Antonio, Joao Cancelo and Trent Alexander-Arnold. Dropping through the ranks, you see more managers having faith in Salah for his trip to Chelsea and less having gone the Bowen route.
For more statistics and graphs on rank tiers, captaincy and effective ownership, check out Live FPL. There is also a transfer planner and ‘What If?’ scenario predictor.