Fantasy Premier League

FPL BGW29 stats: Records fall but woe for managers as big names blank

16 Mar 2024
unhappy son

More than 1.7million managers use chip to navigate reduced schedule of matches

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Millions of Fantasy Premier League managers endured a frustrating Blank Gameweek 29 (BGW29) as the popular picks all blanked and a record number of Free Hit chips largely failed to deliver the rewards that were hoped for.

Only four fixtures took place and more than 2million Fantasy bosses snapped up Son Heung-min (£10.1m) for Tottenham Hotspur's trip to Fulham, just the second time in history a player has exceeded the 2m mark in a Gameweek.

The only other time it happened, Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals for a 13-point haul at home to Newcastle United in Gameweek 4 of the 2021/22 season.

But, on this occasion, Son was unable to repay his new owners, blanking as Spurs lost 3-0. The South Korean has now scored just once in six Premier League appearances against Fulham.

BGW29 most-bought players in a Gameweek
Player Gameweek Transferred in by Pts
Ronaldo GW4 2021/22  2,206,177 13
Son GW29 2023/24  2,091,060 2
Son GW5 2020/21 1,991,731 13

Son wasn't alone in disappointing in a torrid round for most Fantasy managers. All five of the most-bought players failed to produce a return.

None of Ivan Toney's (£8.2m) three attempts on goal in Brentford's 2-1 defeat at Burnley found the back of the net. To make matters worse, he picked up a yellow card, finishing the day with just a single point.

The misery continued as James Maddison (£8.0m) and Pedro Porro (£5.8m) mustered just three points between them at Fulham.

More than 1.7m had transferred in Maddison following his goal away to Aston Villa last weekend, but he was subbed off after 65 minutes at Craven Cottage having failed to make his mark on the game.

BGW29 most-bought players
Player Transferred in by Pts
Son 2,091,060 2
Toney 1,838,997 1
Maddison 1,729,191 2
Bowen 1,441,391 2
Pedro Porro 1,413,138 1

Jarrod Bowen (£8.0m) was high on Fantasy managers' shopping lists with 1.4m adding him to their squads. 

Heading into West Ham United's encounter with Aston Villa, the final match of the round, the stage was set for Bowen to upstage his rivals. The Hammers' talisman had averaged 5.6 points per match versus the Villans, and scored when the two sides met earlier in the season.

And it appeared he had rewarded his owners when his corner was turned in by Michail Antonio (£5.7m), however, VAR intervened to rule it out for a handball by Antonio. In the end, Bowen returned two points for the second successive home match.

Most Free Hit chips played in a Gameweek

The limited set of fixtures led to a record 1.7million people playing their Free Hit, the most the chip has EVER been used in a Gameweek.

The figure has surpassed the previous high of 1.4m from Gameweek 18 of the 2020/21 season.

Most Free Hit chips played
Gameweek Free Hits played
GW29 2023/24 1,705,262
GW18 2020/21 1,410,195
GW12 2022/23 1,063,311

It's only the third time in Fantasy history that more than a million people have used their Free Hit chip in a single round of matches.

FA Cup disruption

BGW29 coincided with the FA Cup quarter-finals and, as a result, only four Premier League fixtures took place. 

For many FPL managers, their squads were decimated by the postponement of six matches.

But the reduced schedule gave them the perfect opportunity to use the Free Hit chip, as it allowed them to have a full complement of players for one Gameweek only.

BGW29 most-captained active players
Player Captained by Pts
Son 2,536,870 2
Watkins 822,083 2
Toney 499,417 1

Son and Toney were joined among the top three captains by Ollie Watkins (£9.0m).

Watkins produced one of his six double-figure hauls this season when Aston Villa hosted West Ham United in the reverse fixture in Gameweek 9.

A repeat of his 11-point score would have been welcomed by the 822,000+ who entrusted him with armband, but he, too, disappointed.

BGW29 most-captained by top 100 manager
Player Captained by Pts
Son 88 2
Toney 10 1
Maddison 1 2
Watkins 1 2

If it's any comfort to those who have suffered a frustrating Gameweek, Son's popularity with the masses was reflected by the top 100 managers in Fantasy, with 88 of this elite group handing him the captain's armband.

Toney was the main differential pick while Maddison and Watkins found favour with one manager each.

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