In Gameweek 27 I did something I’ve never done before in Fantasy Premier League. I used my Bench Boost in a single Gameweek.
As a Fantasy manager who is fairly set in their ways in terms of when to deploy the chips, this took me as far out of my comfort zone as was possible.
I wanted to use this article to reflect on whether I’d do something similar next season, and whether I have a different thought process now, compared to my previous point of view which was always to save Triple Captain, Bench Boost and Free Hit for managing blank and double Gameweeks only.
Using the Bench Boost early was a result of using the Wildcard early. My season was going from bad to worse and I felt I needed to change something. Whether or not I was right to Wildcard early is probably something that could be discussed in its own article, but because I had used it, it felt right to think about the Bench Boost, and as you can see it went pretty well.
A 99-point score resulted in a green arrow taking me from a rank of 1,054,696 to 467,182. It’s still not great, and not where I want to be after Gameweek 38, but for now, I’ll take it.
I think the Bench Boost still remains the hardest chip to get right. You’re having to rely on four players who are likely the four worst players in your squad. Most of your transfers throughout the season are centered around improving your first eleven, and it’s not very often we’ll specifically make a move to improve the bench.
Because of that it always feels like using the Wildcard to set up the Bench Boost in the coming weeks is the easiest way, and that’s exactly what I did.
There’s obviously some luck involved with every chip, a Bench Boost with Dwight McNeil (£6.0m) getting only his second goal of the season, as well as an assist and three bonus points, probably isn’t going to happen very often. But on the flip side I also Triple Captained Sadio Mané (£12.3m) in Gameweek 24, so maybe it was just luck evening itself out.
And it’s this luck that would make me still want to use the Bench Boost in a Double Gameweek nine times out of ten to allow those four players to have two chances at getting points.
Ultimately though, I think it comes down to when you play your Wildcard. I opted for a single Gameweek bench boost because I didn’t know what kind of state my team would be in by the time the big Double Gameweeks came around, and as I mentioned before, it’s not often we have spare transfers just to fix the bench.
This is the change in my thinking following this Gameweek. My strategy for the Bench Boost will simply be to use it soon after I Wildcard, whether that’s close to Double Gameweeks, or in a single Gameweek. I think there’s even an argument to use it in Gameweek 1, although you have other worries then, like potentially not knowing all the preferred starting elevens.
If you’ve recently used your Wildcard then I would still strongly suggest using your Bench Boost sooner rather than later if your squad allows you the opportunity. You can’t account for injuries, loss of form, and team changes that might affect your squad in seven or more weeks time when the first big Double Gameweek comes around. You’ll likely need to spend transfers on your first eleven, without needing to worry about the bench.
Gameweek 29 looks ideal for that and was a Gameweek I had considered instead of 27.
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