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FPL Double Gameweek Planning – The Same But Different

There’s nothing like a Double Gameweek to get the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) juices flowing, and the Fantasy Football Scout Community chatter on which Liverpool players to get in for Gameweek 24, and whether this is a good time to press the Triple Captain button got me thinking about my longer-term Chip strategy. In particular, I wanted to understand how changes in the fixtures schedule in the second half of the season will affect our Double Gameweek planning and Chip strategies.

The introduction of a Winter break, which involves Gameweek 26 fixtures being spread over the period 8-17 February, means that the EFL Cup final takes place on 1 March (a week later than last year), with the FA Cup 5th Round slipping from mid-February to the midweek of 4-5 March (ie between Gameweek 28 and 29). This has two consequences:

  • We know that there will definitely be a Double game week for the EFL Cup finalists.
  • We won’t know who the FA Cup Quarter Finalists are until just before Gameweek 29, and even then, it could be subject to replays, and FPL Managers will only have 3-4 free transfers to plan for the blanks in Gameweek 31 arising from the clash with the FA Cup.

In addition to having less time to prepare for Gameweek 31, Liverpool have yet to help us out by getting knocked out of the Cup early. In past years it has been possible to navigate this blank game week using free transfers, but that might not be possible this year, especially if the top Premier League teams progress in the Cup. Gameweek 31 could be the optimum time to deploy the Free Hit Chip (if it’s still available).

Looking further ahead, we all know that Double Gameweeks are traditionally scheduled for the midweeks that don’t clash with Champions and Europa League fixtures, and International breaks. The free dates this season are in Gameweek 34 and Gameweek 37, which is pretty much as normal; however, the kicker this year is that Gameweek 34 is also when the FA Cup Semi-Finals take place; so we are now faced with the prospect of blanks and doubles in the same game week. This this is when my brain starts to melt.

It ought not be difficult to get a playing Eleven in Gameweek 34, but how to use free transfers, second Wildcard, and possibly Bench Boost, to navigate the blanks and exploit Double Gameweek opportunities will be more problematic. Maybe a Wildcard in Gameweek 33 ahead of a Bench Boost in Gameweek 34 is a good plan, but who knows. We know from past experience that Gameweek 37 will be awash with rotation risks, but Triple Captain might work well so long as there are viable candidates who are not rotation risks or on the beach.

We should also bear in mind that the rule about avoiding clashes with European midweek fixtures has also been breached in the past, usually because there are no other slots; and that could happen again this year if the EFL Cup finalists also reach the latter stages of the FA Cup. This adds to the Double Gameweek planning fog, albeit in a good way.

I appreciate it is still way too early for Ben Crellin to be firing up his Double Gameweek planner, but with our traditional Double Gameweek planning assumptions being impacted by the revised schedule, this might be the time to think outside the box. Maybe this is another reason to consider whether Gameweek 24, with the prospect of two games over six days for Liverpool’s prime assets, is the best time to hit the Triple Captain button; which reminds me why I am thinking about this now.

I’m off for a lie down.

14 Comments Post a Comment
  1. andy85wsm
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Nice article - wasn't aware there could be blanks and doubles in the same week! That would really shake things up.

    Although often blanks only shake up planning rather than personnel for the week because the options we have to choose from get fewer.

  2. Jarvish Scott Talent
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Good summary mate.

    Re knowing the FA Cup quarter finalists - whilst we (of course) won't know the actual participants until round 5 is complete, we should have a good picture of who is likely to be involved after the 5th round draw - this happens during GW24. We may also know a game two that will definitely go ahead during the big blank week (due to both teams being knocked out).

    In terms of planning, my advice is always at this stage to leave all options open until more information is known - railroading yourself into one strategy from an early stage can go horribly wrong.

  3. Lord - Blaming it on Rio
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Absolutely. remaining flexible is the way to go, and obviously the Chips will help with this, but I suspect there might be better strategies than the traditional 'Wildcard to set up a Bench Boost' option this year.

  4. Netley Lucas
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    I'm not entirely sure 34 can really be a BGW for anyone? Surely the very purpose of the midweek slot prevents this?

    1. Jarvish Scott Talent
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      I doubt they'll just automatically move the postponed games from GW34 weekend to the midweek after - if they do what they have done for the last few seasons, they'll wait until the postponed GW34 games are known, and then pool these with the other games that will need re-arranging, and then (with input from Sky, police etc) distribute them between GW34 and GW37 as they see fit.

      1. Netley Lucas
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 8 days ago

        Getting to the FA cup semis surely means both 34 & 37 get used?

        1. Jarvish Scott Talent
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 8 days ago

          If a team is playing a Cup semi finalist in GW34 and it is their only postponed game, and that game then gets moved to GW37, they will blank in GW34.

          It probably won't be more than 1 or 2 (if any) this will happen too though in all likelihood.

          1. Netley Lucas
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 8 days ago

            Ah! Got it, the opponent in 34 could get the blank not the qualifier, cheers bud.

  5. scottmac
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Excellent article, agree that should leave things as flexible as possible when planning, though big decision needs to be made soon re TC in GW24 and not sure if we will have any more info by then on any better potential options further doen the line.

  6. Geevious (I blame Rio!)
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Great article, wish I had read this sooner. As someone who has already used my second wildcard, I will be needing a big couch in GW34!

  7. Lateriser 12
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 7 days ago

    This is great. Thanks buddy.

  8. Morph - UJFC
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 7 days ago

    BTW, there are no 5th Round replays.

  9. Morph - UJFC
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 7 days ago

    "...however, the kicker this year is that Gameweek 34 is also when the FA Cup Semi-Finals take place; so we are now faced with the prospect of blanks and doubles in the same game week. ..."

    This happened a few seasons back and only Man United, Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough had the equivalent DGW. One or two teams blanked completely (WBA and someone, maybe...?)

  10. STEP ROVERS - BLAME IT ON R…
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 4 days ago

    Cheers Lord - Great article.