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FPL Top 1k Template Analysed

15 Oct. 2023

In this article we take a look at the current Top 1,000 template and analyse some of the key FPL players who have contributed to the success of the world’s highest ranked managers.


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With a deep dive into the FPL Statistics tool, we can get an impression of how the template has formed over time and how it currently looks going into Gameweek 9.

Chips & Formations

Early on in the season, many of the managers who populate the Top 1k will be those who have played their chips and hence have a points advantage over those who still have theirs. Over time, this advantage lessens as ‘naturally’ accumulated points begin to differentiate squads.

Gameweek 8 Chip Stats

In Gameweek 8, 15.4% of managers in the Top 1k played their first Wildcard. The most popular (non-Wildcard) chip was the Free Hit, played by 22 out of the 1,000 players. Triple Captain and Bench Boost chips were also played, with a further 2.2% of managers playing one or the other.

Overall, over a third of managers who are in the Top 1k have played their Bench Boost already this season, 39.6% have used their Triple Captain, and just under 32% have played their Free Hit. Roughly half of the Top 1,000 has played their Wildcard.

FPL Chip Stats

Interestingly, the 3-5-2 formation – clearly the most popular at the beginning of the season – has been ousted by those playing 3-4-3, with 41.8% adopting the latter as their preferred starting XI formation, as opposed to the 40.7% who have gone 3-5-2.* Managers who have opted for three strikers have had the advantage so far over those who relied too much on their midfield.

*NOTE: some formational changes will have been enforced by injury

Players

Top 1k template

Goalkeepers

The most highly owned goalkeeper is West Ham’s Alphonse Areola (£4.2m), who started the season at just £4.0m. Having a starting £4m goalkeeper for a tactically disciplined team was a dream come true for FPL managers and he is currently owned by over half of managers in the Top 1,000.

Perhaps more surprising is 34% owned Bernd Leno (£4.7m) who has racked up 3 clean sheets and 31 saves, making him the joint-top scoring keeper so far this season.

Defenders

The highest owned defender is Kieran Trippier (£6.9m) who has racked up 44 points in the last four Gameweeks (11 points per Gameweek). With such high ownership, he is likely to be a constant nuisance to non-owners as the season progresses.

Matty Cash (£5.0m) has seen his ownership increase from 1.7m to 3m since Gameweek 6 and over 65% of managers in the Top 1k now own him. Playing in advanced positions under Unai Emery, the Polish international has attracted the eye of the FPL community as Aston Villa embarks on a great run of fixtures. Although, owners beware, he has more -1s than double-digit hauls so far this season.

Midfielders

The Top 1k template midfield is perhaps most noticeable by the absence of a player. Mohamed Salah (£12.6m) is the joint-top scoring player in FPL, yet doesn’t make the Top 5 most owned midfielders amongst the top ranking managers. His absence, however, has enabled FPL managers to spread their budget.

Bukayo Saka (£8.6m) remains the most highly owned midfielder, despite his recent injury, with over 60% of managers including him in their squads.

The popular Spurs midfield double-up of Son Heung-min (£9.5m) and James Maddison (£8.1m) is owned by just over half of the top managers – and just over a third of all managers.

Perhaps the most surprising member of the midfield is Kaoru Mitoma (£6.6m). Managers who stuck with the Japanese international through Brighton’s tough fixtures, and the constant threat of rotation under De Zerbi, were handsomely rewarded by a 14-point haul against Bournemouth.

Forwards

It should be no surprise that Erling Haaland (£14.0m) is the most selected forward, although it may be of some surprise that over 15% of managers in the Top 1k, do not own the Norwegian. Something which would have been thought of as FPL suicide last season, is now a tactic being adopted by many, including those who have recently Wildcarded.

With two blanks in his last two Gameweeks, the ‘no-Haaland’ brigade may feel justified in their omission, but it will be a long road ahead for those who have taken the risk. With fixtures against Brighton (who have conceded 8 goals in their last 2 games), Manchester United (who are embroiled in struggles on and off the pitch), and Bournemouth (who are ranked second from bottom for xGC – Opta Stats Sandbox), a Haaland haul could soon be on the cards.

Finally, Ollie Watkins (£8.1m) joins Haaland, with almost three-quarters of managers in the Top 1k choosing him. While owners of Watkins shouldn’t expect a repeat of his 23-pointer any time soon, his form and fixtures are difficult to resist.

By Matt Whelan

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