Fantasy Premier League managers who are making changes to their squads during the current downtime have just two more regulation Gameweeks to go before we enter unknown territory.
The deadlines for Gameweeks 30-36 (the latest of which was on Saturday just gone) have all passed without a ball being kicked, with a small but not insignificant band of FPL bosses continuing to take advantage of the free transfers on offer.
Fantasy managers now only have a maximum of three free transfers to use (depending on whether they have ‘rolled’ one) in Gameweeks 37 and 38.
What happens thereafter is in FPL’s court, although they, in turn, are seemingly waiting on concrete plans being drawn up for a possible Premier League restart this summer.
Will additional Gameweeks be added on to the end of the season? Will the fixtures be kept in the same order as originally scheduled or rejigged? Will the FA Cup still be held on weekends and thus lead to more Blank and Double Gameweeks?
These are all questions that we don’t yet have answers for, making it all the more difficult to know what to do with our abundance of free transfers.
With Project Restart underway and the Premier League set for more meetings with both the UK government and its clubs over the coming days and weeks, the hope is that we’ll get some sort of announcement, one way or another, before the Gameweek 37 or 38 deadlines so that we’ll at least have a bit of extra time to prepare for the resumption.
Given the logistical and moral barriers (eg venues, testing and player cooperation) still to be overcome, of course, there are no cast-iron guarantees that will happen before May 17.
During the downtime, we have been keeping track of the transfer ins and outs on a weekly basis.
There were 48,189 transfers made ahead of the Gameweek 36 deadline, a small drop of around 2,000 on the previous week but still a fraction of what we would ordinarily see.
The top ten for purchases and sales in Gameweek 36 are listed below, with their respective positions in the Gameweek 35 tables listed in the final column to see how trends are changing.
|Player||Club||GW36 Transfers In||GW35 Position|
|De Bruyne||Man City||1,181||(5)|
FPL’s recent update of its injuries and bans database looks to have had some impact on the transfer market.
Marcus Rashford (£8.8m) was bought by more Fantasy managers than any other player in the lead-up to Gameweek 36, having had his red flag downgraded to a yellow in the refresh.
The United striker ended the five-week stronghold of Bruno Fernandes (£8.6m) in top spot, with the Portuguese midfielder dropping to third.
Tammy Abraham (£7.5m), another player whose flag status has changed recently, is the one new entry in our top ten, rising from 20th to seventh.
|Player||Club||GW36 Transfers Out||GW35 Position|
Danny Ings (£7.1m) was the most-sold asset for the fifth Gameweek in a row.
The top six for Gameweek sales, indeed, remained unchanged except for the Wolves strike duo of Raul Jimenez (£8.1m) and Diogo Jota (£6.4m) swapping places.
Jamie Vardy (£9.7m), Mohamed Salah (£12.7m) and David Button (£3.9m) all entered the top ten for sales but the numbers we are talking about represent a tiny percentage of their overall ownership.
Vardy, indeed, also featured in the top ten most-bought players list and made a net gain in owners overall.
Another week has passed without a single price change, making that now a month since we saw any movement in the FPL transfer market.
The deadlines for the remaining ‘blank’ Gameweeks are as follows:
GW37 – Sat 9 May 14:00 BST
GW38 – Sun 17 May 14:00 BST