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FPL Noob: A simple strategy for the chipless

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.

Most importantly

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.

Happy managing!

By Chris Kish

@benchedcaptain

Posted by

16 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Geoff
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 12 days ago

    Thanks for posting!

    I think the biggest thing about playing for the first time is not getting discouraged. First seasons will always be tough and expectations should be low.

    Holding onto the important lessons for the second season is the biggest single lesson to learn!

    1. Tsparkes10
      2 months, 12 days ago

      I was flying... 1.5k was my highest but then I wildcarded as it was 2nd to last week I could use it... Got trigger happy and changed majority of time which meant I dropped a lot and didn't jump on Pogba or Son quick enough. How at 70k. Still good for first season but could be so muc better

      1. Geoff
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 12 days ago

        Still lots of time to climb again!

        I think my first season was 30k, aim for that 🙂

        1. Tsparkes10
          2 months, 12 days ago

          Cheers. Any help on my current situation?

          Fab
          TAA VVD Digne (Doh, AwB)
          Salah FA (Pog, Son, Mou)
          Vardy (Rash, Jimi)

          They are only 7 I have for 31 and 33... Will FH in 32. Taking a - 8 to go Pogba, Son, Rash to Haz, Fraser, Wilson. Not sure what to do for my 11th... Kind of want Mane

          1. Geoff
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • Has Moderation Rights
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 12 days ago

            Already 3 Pool, so no Mane.

            I think you've nailed those moves, good choice.

            I'm not sure about the last one tbh. Maybe move out Jimmy?

            1. Tsparkes10
              2 months, 12 days ago

              Tempted to do VVD to Ake but idk if its worth the extra - 4. Could do Jimi to King but triple Bourne is risky. May go safe and do either AWB/Doh to Ake Moutinho to Madisson

              1. Geoff
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • Has Moderation Rights
                • 6 Years
                2 months, 12 days ago

                I don't think I'd make that move. I like both of those moves more. Maybe Lanzini? Arnautovic is an option, potentially. Some risk of not starting obviously

                1. Tsparkes10
                  2 months, 12 days ago

                  Not keen on his 33 fixture and kind of want people who have good in both hence King over him. Rondon is a decent option but may not play 33... Already have FA so cba for more West ham haha. Ake or Madisson it most likely is

    2. Chris Kish
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Yes, learning to learn has been big for me this year.

      I know I'm not going to land a huge rank this year so I'm just enjoying the learning experience.

      Also, having only bench boost has forced me to think outside the box. it's been challenging but I think I'll have 10 players in BGW31 with just a -8 and honestly I'm excited for a double gameweek 32 BB.

  2. scubasmithy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 12 days ago

    Ok...... guess we're all done and ready for 31 now.... so onto week 32 - it's free hit time for most of us..... my current free hit squad I'm planning is

    GK - Ederson (ful, CAR)
    DEF - Shaw (WAT, wol) - may double up on Chelsea defence instead
    DEF - Luiz (car, BHA)
    DEF - Doherty (bur, MUN)
    MID - Sterling (ful, CAR)
    MID - Hazard (car, BHA)
    MID - Pogba (WAT, wol)
    MID - Jota (bur, MUN)
    ATT - Aguero (ful, CAR)
    ATT - Lukaku (WAT, wol)
    ATT - Jimenez - may go rashford or Higuin instead

    Got about an extra 0.5 mill to play with once I've bought bench fodder......

    Thoughts? (obviously subject to confirmation of DGW fixtures and injuries)

    Liverpool have Spurs at home....... of the single game week fixtures only really Palace and Leicester appeal to me

  3. Deulofale
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 12 days ago

    Great, positive advice. Nice work 🙂

  4. Kevin 11
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 12 days ago

    Success > Barnes instead of Vardy
    Rondon > Vardy next week

  5. Pep Pig
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 12 days ago

    A good read mate. Like Deulofail said, it's good to head positive comments outside the group think 😀

    1. Chris Kish
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Thanks for the kind words!

      The Twitter groupthink gets pretty intense sometimes huh

  6. Bielsa's Binoculars
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Choose one:

    A) King

    B) Barnes

    C) Maddison