With just hours between the end of gameweek 15 and the GW16 transfer deadline, the festive fixture schedule is forcing Fantasy Premier League managers to think fast.
To help anyone still struggling to plan their moves, we’ve taken a look at some of the most – and least – popular players ahead of the next round of games.
Bruno is box office
A second successive double-digit haul for Bruno Fernandes has seen his ownership rise by almost 200,000 and his price increase for the sixth time this season.
The attraction of the Manchester United schemer is clear, and with a double gameweek on the horizon he may not even have hit his ceiling just yet.
James Maddison’s Leicester also have two fixtures in GW19 and winnable matches beforehand, with his assist against United triggering a second price rise this month.
The Foxes are a popular choice this week, with Maddison one of three Foxes among the top 10 transferred in.
Fitting just five players into midfield is arguably one of the toughest challenges in FPL due to the sheer number of options, with some ruthless choices required to balance the books.
Despite being one of the first names on the team sheet for a Manchester City side with relatively easy fixtures ahead, three blanks and just one assist in their last four matches has seen patience with Kevin De Bruyne wear thin.
With the Belgian still £0.6m more expensive than Fernandes and having only one fixture in the double gameweek, it’s easy to see why his price has been dropping lately.
Another fantasy favourite experiencing a downturn in popularity is Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish. He ran the show in Villa’s dominant win over Crystal Palace, which was all the more impressive considering that they were playing with 10 men for half of it, but for the third week in four didn’t register an attacking return of his own.
With four tough fixtures ahead, including just one in GW19, it is perhaps understandable that managers are preemptively ditching their Villa assets.
Pep rotation frustration?
While transfers in midfield continue to provide plenty of intrigue, the player with the most net transfers in since GW15 plays in a less glamorous role.
Southampton centre-back Jan Bednarek is the only asset with at least 200,000 more owners than he had last week. Intriguingly, his defensive colleague Jannik Vestergaard is this week’s most transferred-out player after his recent injury.
Meanwhile, fantasy managers are usually reluctant to spend big money in defence – but many have made an exception for Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo this week.
The Portuguese full-back thrived in a more advanced role against Newcastle and was praised by Pep Guardiola afterwards, raising hopes that Cancelo may become immune to his manager’s dreaded squad rotation policy.
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