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FPL gameweek 36 returns suggest the time to follow the crowd is now

A huge return for the five most popular players in gameweek 36 may have Fantasy Premier League managers pondering whether to follow the crowd for the final days of the 2018-19 season.

The campaign has been a difficult one for FPL bosses – with no player performing week-in-week-out like Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah did last season, the most popular player is currently Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero at a relatively-meagre 40.5 per cent ownership.

Such inconsistency has led to poor returns for the five most-selected players each gameweek – until now.

A table showing which FPL gameweeks were the most profitable for the top five selected players in each gameweek

Between them, Aguero (nine points) Raul Jimenez (seven) Andrew Robertson (14) Sadio Mane (13) and Salah (19) accrued 62 points, a full 19 points more than the next-most successful gameweek for the five most selected players.

Each player was selected by more than two million FPL managers for the gameweek, producing big scores across the board.

With players like Aguero and Salah looking threatening as the title race reaches its conclusion, such returns may convince FPL bosses to stick with the popular players rather than look for differential options.

Such a tactic is backed by the FPL’s own Threat metric, which “gauges individuals most likely to score goals” according to the official FPL website.

A table showing the top 10 FPL 'Threat' scores from Premier League players in gameweek 36

Aguero, Salah and Jimenez all feature among the players with the highest Threat score of the gameweek, meaning that they were good value for their goals, with Salah notching a brace while Aguero and Jimenez scored one each.

But – while the popular players are rewarding the faithful with goals – another FPL metric suggests that looking for assists might unearth a differential or two.

Creativity “assesses player performance in terms of producing goalscoring opportunities for others” according to the FPL official website, and this week it suggests two lesser-owned Man City players might be worth backing.

A table showing the top 10 FPL 'Creativity' scores from Premier League players in gameweek 36

City’s 1-0 win at Burnley may have lacked goals, but Bernardo Silva and Oleksandr Zinchenko both demonstrated their ability by registering the highest Creativity scores of the week, which suggests both could have expected to score points from assists this weekend.

Silva is owned by 10.8 per cent of FPL managers, while Zinchenko could represent great value at £4.7million – could either prove crucial to City’s title bid?