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Pro Pundit Teams

Planning for Blank Gameweek 28 and chip season

Last time out, I wrote that my team was treading water. Well, not much has changed. I’m still struggling to get inside the top 100k (having been around the 115k mark for the last five weeks).

I’m not going to bore you by going through my team and, in all honesty, I don’t have much to report other than my squad is doing… well… okay.

It seems crazy that we have less than a third of the season to go, with just 11 Gameweeks remaining. It feels like each week is crucial, and it’s not the time to be treading water! So, what are some of the things that might make the difference? I have been pondering…

That third Liverpool slot

Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.7m). Mohamed Salah (£12.8m). Does anyone out there not own these players? Let me rephrase… does anyone out there not own these players and is doing well?

Along with Kevin De Bruyne (£10.8m), these guys are pretty much nailed down in every squad I see on the boards, on Twitter and in my mini leagues.

As people lose patience with players like Jamie Vardy (£9.7m), Anthony Martial (£7.9m) and John Lundstram (£5.0m), who have been so integral to our squads at some point in this season (all still in my own team by the way), no one can doubt the pedigree of Trent and Mo.

However, the third Liverpool spot is pretty contentious. The trouble is, as I see it, that there is a battle between the consistency of points from Liverpool’s defence (10 clean sheets in the last 11) and the potential of huge hauls from the talents of their attackers (11 goals in the last five).

Sadio Mané (£12.2m) has been out, and now he’s back. Roberto Firmino (£9.7m) has been delivering decent returns. You feel like there might be a brace or a hattrick for these players. However, the likes of Virgil Van Dijk (£6.5m), Andrew Robertson (£7.0m), and even Joe Gomez (£5.3m) are quietly racking up the points.

I see more and more people flocking to Firmino, but I actually feel like he may be the weakest player of all the above. Two double-digit returns mask five blanks in the last eight Gameweeks. His stats continue to be fantastic but are matched by the likes of Raúl Jiménez (£7.7m) or even Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£6.1m). The Brazilian’s quite erratic form is a problem when we have strikers playing well and delivering points.

Midfield and defence is a different proposition though. As I look through the lists of players, it’s very hard to pick any that really stand out to me in these positions. To me, this tells me that prioritising Liverpool players is the way to go, to ensure the best quality players from a small pond.

Mané is an unbelievable player, and will no doubt deliver for his owners from now until the end of the season. But he also costs over 12 million. I can get Robertson for nearly half that, or Van Dijk too. If they both carry on at their current rate, either of these options will smash 200 points for the season (and don’t forget Robertson has done this before). An unbelievable return.

If one of Salah or Mane are going to be your “go-to” captain option, is spending nearly a quarter of your budget on two players really the best play? I’m thinking not… double defence it is!

Blank Gameweeks

Ah, the Blank Gameweeks are approaching. The type of Gameweek which inevitably leads to Saturday morning texts from your friends being like “WHY ARE HALF MY TEAM NOT PLAYING?”. Noobs, the lot of them (although some of them are beating me, which really hurts…).

Some real basic advice for anyone reading… grab a bit of paper. Write down who in your squad has got a match in Blank Gameweek 28. If you notice you’ve got less than 11 active players, well, you need to be bringing in at least one more with a game that weekend.

I am always amazed by how many this catches out. We can expect hits as people freak out that they are only fielding seven or eight players, particularly as teams such as Manchester City, Sheffield United, Arsenal and Grealish FC also feature highly-owned players who will be missing out.

Quite simply, your bench is needed to cover these guys, and it’s a good opportunity to strengthen your squad.

Some cheap options to cover you in this blank could be the likes of Aaron Mooy (£4.8m) who plays a struggling Crystal Palace side at home, or the wonderful to watch Allan Saint-Maximin (£5.4m), who faces Burnley.

Leicester also have a fantastic fixture against Norwich, so this might be a great excuse to get midfield options like Ayoze Perez (£6.2m) and Harvey Barnes (£6.0m).

What I love about the Blank Gameweek is that it gives you the excuse to go for players that you might not normally consider – because, well, what’s the harm? There’s no danger of a blanking player outscoring them! And, if you are thrifty, you can always Wildcard them out, presuming you still have this chip of course – which brings me on to my next topic.

The chips

Mane, Abraham and Vardy injury updates ahead of FA Cup fourth round weekend

Frankly, I am astounded that I’ve seen Bench Boosts and Wildcards being used at this stage by some veteran players. What on earth is going on? Everyone knows it is sacrilege to use your chips in a single Gameweek! Have people forgotten how to be sheep?!

I am of course being a bit facetious here (as I used my Triple Captain in a single Gameweek), but I do fear for those who are using this chips this early, for what looks to me, an excuse to bring in one player (the now-injured Son Heung-min (£10.0m)) or to help correct a spiralling season. We all know that Double Gameweeks are on the horizon and the chips… well, they are pretty much tailor-made for use during them.

I was burned earlier in the season with my decision to Triple Captain Vardy in a single Gameweek. While I know those who went with Mané are probably still reeling from their three points, hauls for Salah, Robertson, Trent… all go to show that a great chance of getting captain returns comes from when your player plays twice.

You’re simply putting yourself in the best possible position to get returns and, crucially, we don’t know what the Double Gameweeks are going to look like yet!

Using chips at this stage feels like you are going into the crucial part of the season under-armed and under-prepared. If your team is serviceable, or you can get a decent squad with just a few transfers, then my advice is to wait.

Wait until we have the information about who is playing, when they are playing and who they are playing.

Leave it as long as possible to gather as much information as you can before making the call. This puts you in the best position possible to maximise the chips that can completely transform your season.

The Wildcard, in particular, is always tempting, but your team might not be in the mess that you think it is. As I mentioned before, at the moment, the pool of players that we should be considering is pretty small, and so it’s likely that you already own decent players who aren’t as bad as you think they are. You may be Wildcarding for equally small fish, flopping round in an even smaller pond. Perhaps, in a few weeks, we’ll have bigger fish to catch and fry. And with that anecdote, I’m off for dinner. Any guesses what I’m having?


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724 Comments Post a Comment
  1. HamezMace
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 21 days ago

    Best striker for GW28? £7m budget.
    Have Ings and Jiminez already.

    DCL? Deeney? Both have horrible fixtures. Anyone else?

    1. ⱼₐᵣᵥᵢₛₕ
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 21 days ago

      Just for 28? Pretty slim pickings if so! Pukki maybe?

      1. HamezMace
        • 5 Years
        4 months, 21 days ago

        Slim indeed!
        Only really needed for 28 yes.

        Usually play 3-5-2

        Ings and Jiminez up front with Greenwood benched. But I don’t want to lose Grealish or KdB, and have cash to upgrade to 7m striker

    2. Gashead9
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 21 days ago

      No one else IMO, DCL best option but will his form continue over tougher run of fixtures?

      1. HamezMace
        • 5 Years
        4 months, 21 days ago

        Yeah looks bad, DCL is tempting, but fixtures look awful.

        Might punt on Ighalo?!

    3. Dr Mulholland
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 21 days ago

      DCL

      1. HamezMace
        • 5 Years
        4 months, 21 days ago

        Looks the best of a bad bunch, probably a good option to the end of the season, and good chance he’ll play 31 too.

        Even though I’m pretty much resigned to FH in 31

        1. Dr Mulholland
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 21 days ago

          It is either him or upgrade somehow to a 10-11m forward.

        2. Yank Revolution
          • 8 Years
          4 months, 21 days ago

          Gotta be DCL

  2. Gashead9
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 21 days ago

    Was all set to save FT this week until Son news, which has left me in a bit of a dilemma as finding a suitable replacement is proving tricky. These appear to be my best options,

    A) Son > Martial / Alli
    B) Son > Fodder (4.9 max) + Long > Vardy for -4
    C) Save FT, play Long / Lascelles, and do B for free next week (Though will no doubt lose SV on Son)
    D) Anything else?

    Team if I save will be >
    Henderson
    TAA, Robbo, O'Connell, Boly
    KDB, Salah (C), Traore
    Long, Ings, Jiminez

    Pope - Lascelles - Barnes - Son

    1. Pompel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 21 days ago

      A) , but tough choice between Alli / Martial

  3. Netters2018
    • 1 Year
    4 months, 21 days ago

    What should i do with this lot? Need a 3rd Liverpool player.

    Guita
    Taa, O Connell, Lascelles, Soy, Rico
    KDB, Son, Salah, Grealish, Troare
    Ings, Vardy, Greenwood.

    Thinking of doing either
    a) - 8 Son, Grealish and Greenwood out for Mane, Westwood, Jiminez
    b) Greenwood to Jiminez
    c) Son to Mane
    d) - 8 Son, O Connell and Greenwood out for Robbo, Richarlison, Jiminez

    1. Pompel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 21 days ago

      c)
      -8 is too much

      What about Son + Vardy -> Mané + Ings ?

      1. OOJ
        • 4 Years
        4 months, 21 days ago

        Already got Ings......

    2. FantasyHero
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 21 days ago

      B or C

  4. No Professionals
    • 2 Years
    4 months, 21 days ago

    Henderson
    TAA Gomez Egan CTaylor
    Salah KDB Moura
    Aguero Jimenez Ings(c)

    McCarthy Barnes Cantwell Tanganga

    Plan was always aubameyang for 1 week, doesn't feel worth it if not captaining him?

    1. Gashead9
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 21 days ago

      Vardy? I know he is on a drought but surely will score again soon. His last goal was in fact against Man City, tasty fixtures afterwards too

      1. No Professionals
        • 2 Years
        4 months, 21 days ago

        Yeah vardy would be my move after the blank regardless. It's just whether vardy is a better bet than aguero for the weekend

  5. DannyDrinkVodka
    4 months, 21 days ago

    Triple up on Wolves or play Grealish ahead of Traore? Thx

    McCarthy
    TAA Robbo Boly
    Salah KDB Martial Traore
    Vardy Jiménez Ings

    Grealish Lundstram Dunk Button 0FT

  6. Winston.
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 21 days ago

    NEW ARTICLE

  7. Pompel
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 21 days ago

    Son out is such a spanner in the works, hoped he should be a slight differential going forward. Worst thing is that it was the Mané injury that brought him into my team in the first place, hence double Pool defense now blocking direct swap. But Mané currently as a differential is enticing, so choice would be .

    A) Son + VVD -> Mané + Boly/AWB -4pts
    B) Son -> any of the usual suspects for free
    1. Martial
    2. Bruno
    3. Richarlison
    4. Alli
    5. Traoré

    Cheers!

  8. JoeSoap
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 21 days ago

    A. Vardy>Jimmy
    B. Robby/DCL>Gomez/Jimmy
    C. Downgrade midfielder to do DCL/Jimmy
    D. Just get Kelly out (2FTs zero in bank)

    McCarthy
    Robbo, TAA, Rico
    Salah, Martial, KDB, Bergw
    Vardy, Ings, DCL
    Gazza, Lundy, Dendo, Kelly

  9. K_UN_DE_BRU_YNE
    • 3 Years
    4 months, 21 days ago

    Nailed city defender at the moment ?

    1. FOO FIGHTER
      4 months, 21 days ago

      Meh.

  10. AlsoRanLove
    4 months, 21 days ago

    What are people doing with Everton players, ahead of 4 red fixtures? Rich and Holgate? Thinking of getting rid of Rich to fund Auba move, but hard when he had such a big haul this GW.
    Would you do?
    Rich > Taore
    Vardy > Auba

  11. Salarrivederci
    • 4 Years
    4 months, 21 days ago

    I've always thought that my team for GW28 looked awesome, and that I would just FH in big blank GW31. But for those with WC, FH & BB left to use I strongly recommend fielding 11 in GW28 (this one might be harder for some than others - I don't own any SHU, ARS or AVL, which makes it easier for me. I only own (K)DB & Mahrez) & then fielding11 in GW31 (only 4 teams are confirmed for GW31, but atleast 2 more will play, and I think it is fair to assume, that another two will play).
    The WC is then used in GW32 to load up on those teams that have two or even three extra games in hand. I want 15 of those dudes. Most of those guys won't play in GW34, but in GW34 you simply FH, and those 15 dudes will be bench-boosted in a DGW.

    I will try to lay down my potential transfers, hits, and chips, and you're welcome to shoot me down or advice me to do something different, but first I need to pinpoint a few things.

    1) I assume that either Liverpool, Leicester or Arsenal are knocked out of the FA-cup. We would know before GW29, and if we are left standing with merely 6 teams playing in GW31, then I won't field 11 players, but about 9 players (and feel okay about it). If one of those three teams are knocked out, then I would have either Salah, VVD & TAA / Vardy, Maddison & Ryan / Stephens & Ings playing in GW31. Since Chelsea have a higher chance of knocking out Liverpool compared to Portsmouth against Arsenal or Birmingham against Leicester I am assuming Liverpool plays in GW31 (idc if they do if simply Leicester&Brighton or Southampton does instead).

    2) All transfers from now on and until knowing 100% which players plays/blanks in GW31 must be used on players that are playing in GW31 (Burnley, Watford, Wolves, Bournemouth). This is purely to somewhat even out the 'unfair' assumption above. I could bring in DCL & Richarlison now and say: 'hey I also assume Spurs are beating Norwich, and then Everton will play in GW31. No assumptions here. I can bring in DCL and Richarlison before GW29 (if Spurs beat Norwich), but not before GW27 & GW28.

    Alright let us have a look:
    GW27:

    1 FT + 2.4 ITB
    Mahrez + Greenwood -> Traoré + Jiménez (-4)

    Ryan (shu)
    TAA (WHU) - VVD (WHU) - Stephens (AVL)
    Salah (WHU) - KDB (lei) - Maddison (MCI) - Traoré (NOR)
    Vardy (MCI) - Jiménez (NOR) - INGS (AVL)

    Button (shu), Lascelles (cry), Doucouré (mun), Rico (bur)

    GW28:

    1 FT + 1.6 ITB
    Save FT

    Ryan (CRY)
    TAA (wat) - VVD (wat), Lascelles (BUR), Stephens (whu)
    Salah (wat) - Maddison (nor) - Traoré (tot)
    Vardy (nor) - Jiménez (tot) - Ings (whu)

    Button (CRY), Doucouré (LIV), Rico (CHE), KD(BLANK)

    GW29: now we know that Liverpool & Crystal Palace plays in GW31 & since Tottenham are favorites against Norwich let's say that Norwich & Everton plays too (gives us 8 teams for GW31).

    2 FT + 1.6 ITB
    KDB + Lascelles -> Richarlison + Doherty

    Ryan (wol)
    TAA (BOU) - VVD (BOU) - Doherty (BRI)
    Salah (BOU) - Richarlison (che) - Maddison (AVL) - Troaré (BRI)
    Vardy (AVL - Jiménez (BRI) - Ings (NEW)

    Button (wol), Doucouré (cry), Stephens (new), Rico (liv)

    GW30:

    1 FT + 1.9 ITB
    Save FT

    Ryan (ARS)
    TAA (eve) - Doherty (whu) - Rico (CRY)
    Salah (eve) - Richarlison (LIV) - Maddison (wat) - Traoré (whu)
    Vardy (wat) - Jiménez (whu) - Ings (nor)

    Button (ARS), Doucouré (LEI), VVD (eve), Stephens (nor)

    GW31: this is not far off the team those FH'ers are gonna field.
    2 FT + 1.9 ITB
    Vardy + Ryan -> DCL + Pickford

    Pickford (nor)
    TAA (CRY) - VVD (CRY) - Doherty (BOU) - Rico (wol)
    Salah (CRY) - Richarlison (nor) - Traoré (BOU) - Doucouré (bur)
    Jiménez (BOU) - DCL (nor)

    Button, Ings, Stephens, Maddison ALL BLANKS

    GW32 WC (15 starting players all with 2-3 matches extra when you calculate with the BGW in GW34).

    I now it is TLDR. Then it will work as a note to myself. Doing Mahrez & Greenwood ->Traoré + Jiménez before the deadline.

  12. Froes
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 21 days ago

    should I even consider on triple captain mane vs west ham ??
    played only 45 min vs atleti and Liverpool may be wanting to renew their value after this loss