The deadline for Gameweek 38 passed on Sunday afternoon, leaving Fantasy Premier League in a state of limbo while we wait on developments elsewhere.
Waiting is something we’ve become accustomed to ever since the coronavirus outbreak brought the Premier League to a halt in mid-March, with ‘Project Restart’ still some distance from its intended outcome.
The latest conference call involving the 20 clubs in England’s top tier will take place on Monday, although that may only seek to deal with plans for a return to training rather than anything more advanced.
During the downtime, the deadlines for Gameweeks 30-38 of FPL have remained in place and the last of those sailed by at the weekend.
Fantasy managers have been granted a free transfer for every Gameweek that has passed over the last two months, with a small but not insignificant percentage taking the opportunity to fight some fires in their squads or carry out wholesale changes – more of which below.
Now, though, we have reached the end of the mapped-out road.
FPL’s latest update about chips, which perhaps hinted at further Gameweeks being added to the game if and when the Premier League is ready to resume, was fairly thin on detail and open to interpretation.
There were certainly no obvious clues once FPL had updated after Sunday’s deadline, with the Transfers page still intact (albeit without full functionality) but the My Team tab disappearing from view.
In all honesty, it’s probably not worth trying to read into too much on the site at present: if FPL is to continue, it seems likely that the game’s operators will wait on more concrete plans being drawn up by the Premier League before rolling out a further update.
It wouldn’t make much sense, for example, to see Gameweek 39 appear on the Fixtures tab before any formalised rejigging of the schedule has taken place and indeed while there is still any doubt about the 2019/20 season restarting in the first place.
Friday’s mini-announcement from FPL, perhaps aimed at dissuading managers from speculating on a mega-Gameweek 38 by using their Bench Boost, didn’t stop 687 bosses from cashing in that chip – although how many of those weren’t engaging in Fantasy hara-kiri is another question, given the strange subculture of self-sabotagers that exists further down the overall rankings.
In addition, a total of 650 of us used either a Wildcard, Triple Captain or Free Hit chip ahead of Sunday’s deadline.
During the downtime, we have been keeping track of the weekly ins and outs in FPL.
There were 50,060 transfers made ahead of the Gameweek 38 deadline, a small increase of around 4,000 on the previous week but a tiny percentage of what we would usually see when all is well with the world.
The top ten for purchases and sales in Gameweek 38 are listed below, with their respective positions in the Gameweek 37 tables listed in the final column to see how trends are changing.
|Player||Club||GW38 Transfers In||GW37 Position|
|De Bruyne||Man City||1,097||(8)|
Marcus Rashford (£8.8m) was the most popular transfer in for the third week in a row, comfortably clear of teammate Bruno Fernandes (£8.6m) at the top – although the numbers we are talking about here are obviously small fry.
Son Heung-min (£9.7m) was the only new entry into the top ten above, with the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, like Rashford, expected to be fit and available for selection once the season gets the green light to proceed.
Son has recently returned to London after completing military service in his native South Korea.
|Player||Club||GW38 Transfers Out||GW37 Position|
Danny Ings (£7.1m) held onto the unwanted title of being the most-sold asset for the seventh Gameweek in a row, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.1m) not far behind the Southampton striker for transfers out.
Seven of the eight players immediately below Ings and Aubameyang in the table above ply their trade for Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City, with the injured Ricardo Pereira (£6.3m) still being offloaded by his remaining owners.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£6.5m) and Jamie Vardy (£9.7m) featured in the top ten for both transfers in and out in the run-up to Gameweek 38, although enjoyed a net rise in owners overall.
Another week has passed by without a single price change; the last one of those we saw was on April 6.