Fantasy Premier League is complicated. When you’re new to the game, it’s easy to make early mistakes that affect your entire season.
One of these common mistakes is using chips too early. The Wildcard and Free Hit chips are essential in getting the most out of the blank and double gameweeks, but if you’ve already used them, keep your head up! It’s a 100% fact that we are at a disadvantage, but all hope is not lost.
I’ve already used my Wildcard and Free Hit, so if you’re in the same boat, here are a few simple ideas that could help you navigate the rest of the season.
STICK TO YOUR GAMEPLAN
Remember an important fact: when a team blanks, they make up the game later. Maybe you only field five or six players in blank gameweek 31, but that means you’ll have plenty of players with double gameweeks to make up some points.
Don’t start changing your entire team and approach just because of the blanks. If you’ve already used your second wildcard, chances are you have a solid team that you really like. Stick with it! Don’t deconstruct what you’ve built just to try and gain a small advantage in blank gameweeks, which is hardly possible without the chips anyways.
AVOID HITS UNTIL GAMEWEEK 34
Since we’re at a disadvantage having already used our chips, I think it’s key for us to avoid taking hits leading up to the blanks and doubles. Many managers will be taking hits to transfer in specific players that fit their strategies, and many will be taking two, three, or even more. Resist the temptation! Think about how you feel when your forward finally smashes one into the back of the net – a hit costs you as many points as that goal! By avoiding hits until gameweek 34, it seems you could gain points on the field through simple patience. You’ll also be happy you “saved” these hits once you get to gameweek 34 and 35.
WIN THE REGULAR GAMEWEEKS
Experienced managers with complex chip strategies will achieve higher scores than us no-chippers during the blanks and double gameweeks; this is just a fact. However, we’re all on an even playing field the rest of the time. That’s where we can try to take advantage and make some gains.
Instead of thinking about the blanks and doubles, focus your attention on doing well in the regular gameweeks surrounding the blanks and doubles. Leading up to blank gameweek 31, many FPL managers focused on transferring in players to cover the blank gameweeks. However, if you don’t have any chips, maybe you should bring in players that will gain you big points around the special GWs. This way, you can potentially make gains on the managers who will return big points in the blanks and doubles. Plus, the players you bring in will either A) help you out during the blank gameweeks or B) play two games in a double gameweek.
TAKE HITS IN GAMEWEEKS 34 AND 35
When we get to gameweek 34, kick things up a gear. By this point, we will have spent the last three gameweeks watching helplessly as the chip-conscious managers soared up the overall ranks with their 11 gameweek 31 players and epic DGW32 squads.
But hey, the no-chippers can start to bring things back in double gameweek 35. With no more blanks to worry about, we can focus all of our transfers on players who play twice in gameweek 35 and who have decent fixtures through the end of the season. Since you haven’t taken any hits for the blanks or doubles, you can feel comfortable taking some hits now. Plus, since you’re taking hits to bring in double gameweek players, you’re twice as likely to make the points right back.
IF YOU STILL HAVE BENCH BOOST…
If you’re lucky enough to still have the Bench Boost chip, here’s how I’m planning to use it. From now until gameweek 32, make sure your transfers are focused on removing duds and building a team of players who play. If you have the ability, get rid of any players who are injured, potentially injured, or have the potential to be benched. Since you don’t have Free Hit or Wildcard, you don’t have to worry about planning too much for the blanks and DGWs. If you can fill your team with 15 players who actually play by double gameweek 32, use your Bench Boost then. If you can’t get it done by then, keep working out the non-players so that you can fully utilize your Bench Boost chip by double gameweek 35.
Learn for next season!
For those of us who are new to the game, it’s important to remember that FPL is just like any other activity that requires patience, practice and skill.
It’s frustrating when you realize everyone has their chips left and they’re planning aggressive assaults on your overall rank, but it’s part of the learning process.
Yes, we’re at a disadvantage, but it’s a great way to get better.
Just don’t beat yourself up too hard gameweeks 31 through 33.
By Chris Kish