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The best FPL chip strategies for upcoming Blank and Double Gameweeks

Fantasy Premier League managers can start planning their chip strategy for the New Year now that the next Blank and Double Gameweeks have been announced.

We will have just five fixtures in Blank Gameweek 18 before 10 teams play twice in a bumper Double Gameweek 19.

With the news still hot off the press, I have tried to make sense of the different permutations from various chip strategies available.

Blank Gameweek 18

Top 10k FPL managers refuse to ditch Kane and Son double-up for Gameweek 9
  • Sheffield Utd v Newcastle United
  • Wolves v Everton
  • Manchester City v Brighton and Hove Albion
  • Aston Villa v Tottenham Hotspur
  • Arsenal v Crystal Palace

Conventionally, Fantasy managers deploy Free Hit chips in the blankest of the Blank Gameweeks each season but it looks if we’re set to get two of those in 2020/21. 

The second ‘big blank’ is likely to come later in the campaign, coinciding with the FA Cup quarter-finals, as per usual which, this year looks like Gameweek 29.

So already, Fantasy managers will have to assess whether or not to Free Hit now or later, knowing whichever Blank Gameweek they go without it will potentially involve some transfer work.

And, I must say that, at first glance, the fixtures for a Free Hit in Gameweek 18 are not very appealing. 

Newcastle travelling to Sheffield United is a difficult one to call and, ultimately, I am unlikely to want anyone outside of Callum Wilson (£6.6m) for that. I might want a Magpies defender but we all know how that went for their Gameweek 12 meeting with West Bromwich Albion.

Wolves and Everton meeting at Molineux is another unattractive fixture from a Fantasy perspective. Most of us already have Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.9m), Wolves generally don’t concede too many on their own patch so I wouldn’t be too keen on a double up with say Richarlison (£7.8m), for example. And I really don’t trust Everton’s defence.

I wouldn’t necessarily want a Wolves defender either. Their attack is more appealing but, despite Pedro Neto (£5.7m) and Daniel Podence (£5.4m) doing well on Tuesday night, I still don’t completely trust them for scoring goals without Raúl Jiménez (£8.2m).

Manchester City hosting Brighton is a good fixture but, again, many of us will already have Kevin De Bruyne (£11.9m). Given the the Citizens’ recent malaise going forward, there is no guarantee the likes of Raheem Sterling (£11.4m) or Riyad Mahrez (£8.5m) would deliver, or even start! 

A defender or two from City seems sensible but the same rotation problems are present for all except Ederson (£6.0m) and Rúben Dias (£5.6m), who scored an own goal on Tuesday night.

Spurs’ positive fixture-swing starts from Gameweek 16 when they play Fulham and Leeds back-to-back so many of us are already likely to have Harry Kane (£10.9m) and Son Heung-min (£9.6m) by the time they travel to Aston Villa in the Blank Gameweek. 

And knowing what we do about Jose Mourinho, I would not be too keen on any of Dean Smith’s men outside the obvious Jack Grealish (£7.8m).

Personally, I find Arsenal v Crystal Palace to be bit of a minefield. I can’t really trust anyone from Mikel Arteta’s side at the minute and I can’t really imagine Roy Hodgson will be too ambitious at the Emirates. An unreliable fixture for FPL returns.

So, as you can see, I find the thought of playing a Free Hit in Blank Gameweek 18 very uninspiring to say the least. I think if you can field six to eight players without using it, you should be fine. 

Blank Gameweek 29 might be more tricky to navigate if the likes of Spurs or Manchester City make it to the FA Cup quarter finals, whereas here we have some already popular FPL teams, such as Everton, Villa, Wolves and those two big-six clubs in action.

If I had to put a Free Hit squad together for Blank Gameweek 18, it would probably look something like this:

  • GK: Leno
  • DEF: Dias, Reguilón, Lewis
  • MID: Son, De Bruyne, Sterling, Podence
  • FWD: Wilson, Calvert-Lewin, Kane

Such a line-up does not feel like much of an upgrade on my existing team, but I guess, for you, it might depend on your squad at the time.

Double Gameweek 19

  • Burnley: West Ham United (away) + Liverpool (away)
  • Chelsea: Fulham (away) + Leicester City (away)
  • Fulham: Chelsea (home) + Manchester United (away)
  • Leeds United: Brighton and Hove Albion (home) + Southampton (home)
  • Leicester City: Southampton (home) + Chelsea (home)
  • Liverpool: Manchester United (home) + Burnley (home)
  • Manchester United: Liverpool (away) + Fulham (away)
  • Southampton: Leicester City (away) + Leeds United (away)
  • West Bromwich Albion: Wolves (away) + West Ham United (away)
  • West Ham United: Burnley (home) + West Bromwich Albion (home)

What if I’ve already used my first Wildcard?

This is an interesting position to be in and certainly not uncommon. Yes, the second Wildcard is available before the Gameweek 19 deadline if you choose to use it, but let’s assume for now we want to keep that for later in the campaign.

Bench Boost for Double Gameweek 19

With so many clubs with budget options such as Leeds, West Ham and Southampton playing twice, the potential for a Bench Boost is quite good. Even the likes of Harry Kane (£10.9m), Kevin De Bruyne (£11.9m) etc have a decent single Gameweek fixture. 

However, this strategy would probably only be effective if you’re Free Hitting in Blank Gameweek 18 as, if you can field seven to eight players without that chip then, you will probably not have too many Double Gameweekers the following week.

It would also require you to ship the likes of Tyrick Mitchell (£4.0m) or Fraser Forster (£4.0m) etc who have been bench fodder up until this point, and are not players that you will likely require long term.

If you have a full playing squad of 15 already, the Bench Boost in Double Gameweek 19 seems a decent option but not if you have to focus transfers on the bit-part players.

Free Hit in Double Gameweek 19

Free Hitting at this point allows you to load up on the Double Gameweek players and cherry pick the ones you feel have the best fixtures without having to hold onto them. 

If you can field a decent side in Blank Gameweek 18, then Free Hitting the following week to get options such as Andrew Robertson (£7.2m) or Danny Ings (£8.4m) for just one week could be great. 

Looking at my team though, I already have a lot of the players I’d want in that week, notably Mohamed Salah (£12.3m), Bruno Fernandes (£11.0m), Patrick Bamford (£6.3m), Tomas Soucek (£5.0m), Vladimir Coufal (£4.6m) while Spurs, City and Everton have decent fixtures as well. Is there that much to be gained? Again I guess it depends on your team.

Triple Captain in Double Gameweek 19

I like Salah’s fixtures for a triple captain in Double Gameweek 19, but the thing with using that chip, it can be used effectively in a small double Gameweek or a large so I’m not so sure if it’s the best time to use it here.

Second Wildcard in Gameweek 17, Free Hit in Blank Gameweek 18, Bench Boost in Double Gameweek 19

If you feel like going chip crazy, I think this could work. Load up on teams with a Double Gameweek 19 with your Gameweek 17 wildcard, Free Hit them out in Blank Gameweek 18 and Bench Boost them in the big Double. 

Your Bench Boost will likely feature some single Gameweek players though as fixtures for Spurs in Gameweeks 16 and 17 are too good to pass up. 

The obvious negative to this strategy is the lack of a Wildcard for the later Double Gameweek and the rest of the campaign’s fixture swings. 

However, as we have seen in previous seasons, that Double can often be a damp squib with real-life managers choosing to rotate towards the end of the season with league positions often settled.

What if I still have my first Wildcard?

If you have managed to hold onto your first Wildcard for this long, well done. Something similar to the above strategy should work well, in my opinion. Wildcard in Gameweek 16, Free Hit in Blank Gameweek 18 and Bench Boost in Double Gameweek 19. 

The only drawback I can see with this is that you can possibly put too much money on your bench players as a result of the Bench Boost but the way this season is going, bench strength isn’t really a bad thing. 

Lessons learned from FPL Gameweek 13

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469 Comments Post a Comment
  1. EmreCan Hustle
    • 8 Years
    4 months, 7 days ago

    Barnes, Maddison and Under start, should be very attacking. Good for Vardy owners or are they more likely to steal points?

    1. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      More likely to waste chances

    2. dogtanion
      • 11 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      Ndidi being wasted in central defence to cover Evans absence is a pity though..they were really poor v Fulham and Sheffield Utd when Mendy played for the injured Ndidi back then

    3. Bram
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      Hames Maddisinho gonna kill it!

    4. F4L
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      Has to be good. Barnes and Under up against two full backs who won't be quick or mobile enough to keep up. I'm a worried Vardy non-owner today

      1. KaBoZ: Kids,don't Drin…
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        4 months, 7 days ago

        This

  2. DA Minnion (In Bielsa we tr…
    • 8 Years
    4 months, 7 days ago

    This is the day Auba scores.

    1. Bram
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      Scored last gw 🙂

      1. KaBoZ: Kids,don't Drin…
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        4 months, 7 days ago

        :DDD

    2. Rassi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      Another OG?

  3. teneighty
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 7 days ago

    I should know the answer to this question, but I don't.

    Let's say that Bellerin would have gotten a second yellow, resulting in a red against Burnley. Would he get one match suspension for his 5th yellow and one match for the red card or would it be a one match ban in total?

    1. ZimZalabim
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      he would then be back on 4 yc and serve a 1 match ban for the red and be 1 yc away from a 1 match ban for 5 yc

      1. teneighty
        • 6 Years
        4 months, 7 days ago

        So obvious, cheers!

  4. dogtanion
    • 11 Years
    4 months, 7 days ago

    Reiss Nelsen can play his way into the arsenal lineup going forward if he does literally anything other than pass backwards tonight

  5. bitm2007
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 7 days ago

    It is possible to access Ben Crellin DGW/Blank spreadsheet without signing up to the Fantasy Football Hub ?

    If not is there a good alternative ?

      1. teneighty
        • 6 Years
        4 months, 7 days ago

        Cheers!

      1. bitm2007
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        4 months, 7 days ago

        Thanks that's the one I was looking for.

  6. Bobby Digital
    • 3 Years
    4 months, 7 days ago

    Vardy and Mahrez to:

    A. Kane and Podence + 2.8m
    B. Werner and Son + 0.1m

    1. Hutchiniho
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      Kane and someone else?

      B is a better pair

      1. Bobby Digital
        • 3 Years
        4 months, 7 days ago

        Who though? KDB Grealish Soucek Bruno is the rest of my midfield.

        1. Hutchiniho
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 7 days ago

          Very good! Adams at SOU

      2. Bobby Digital
        • 3 Years
        4 months, 7 days ago

        Kane and a max 8.2m midfielder...

    2. MessiGOAT
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      A

    3. WE GO FOR IT
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      A. Depends on what you plan to do with the money though.

  7. Rhodes your boat
    • 4 Years
    4 months, 7 days ago

    Chilwell Werner to

    A) Dallas Kane
    B) james vardy
    C) keep chilwell and do Werner to ings/dcl

    1. Hutchiniho
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      James = wash

      Vardy much better.

      Ings will likely average less than Vardy

    2. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      A

      Prefer Taylor over Dallas

    3. MessiGOAT
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      C

  8. tafrère
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    4 months, 7 days ago

    Need something special from both Vardy and Bamford.

    1. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      And Dominic

  9. 03farmboy
    • 1 Year
    4 months, 7 days ago

    Bruno or Calvert lewin?

    1. Hutchiniho
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      BF

    2. MessiGOAT
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      The former

  10. Hutchiniho
    • 2 Years
    4 months, 7 days ago

    A. Dias and Kilman

    vs

    B. Verstergaard and Dier

    1. Bobby Digital
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      B

    2. Sun Jihai
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      A is two rotation risks!

      1. JIMMY764
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        4 months, 7 days ago

        What will it take for Dias to no longer be considered a 'rotation risk'? He's started 10 on the bounce in the PL now, not left the side since he came in to it. Obvs he could get a rest over the xmas period, as could anyone.

  11. Joey Tribbiani
      4 months, 7 days ago

      surely Vardy has to blank some day

      1. Bobby Digital
        • 3 Years
        4 months, 7 days ago

        This is not the day

      2. MessiGOAT
        • 8 Years
        4 months, 7 days ago

        He blanked two weeks including one Captain (assist only)

    • tiger
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      Seems like ages since we've had 3 games at once...can be easier to handle the FPL shenanigans

    • Daniel - When to BB?
      • 11 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      They are going down even with Sam

      1. Holmes
        • 7 Years
        4 months, 7 days ago

        They will go down with any manager

    • It’s gonna Ben Mee
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      2020 has been a bad year for all of us but for Cedric Soares...

    • King Kohli
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      Is this a decent BB team to aim for gw 19?

      Meslier
      James Coufal Balbuena
      Salah Bruno Son Bowen
      Vardy Bamford Ings

      Martinez Konsa Anguissa Taylor

      1. Rasping Drive
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        4 months, 7 days ago

        Looks grand. How many hits, if any, do you need to take to get to this?

        1. King Kohli
          • 8 Years
          4 months, 7 days ago

          Have 7 dgwers and 2 FTs now.
          So if my calculation is correct, this should be doable with no hits.

    • dogtanion
      • 11 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      Justin won't be going forward as much tonight with Barnes ahead of him and Evans out

      1. Bobby Digital
        • 3 Years
        4 months, 7 days ago

        Still a pretty attacking lineup

    • It’s gonna Ben Mee
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      Pickford finally dropped?

    • Pukki Party
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      Allardyce to WBA confirmed

      1. Nomar
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        4 months, 7 days ago

        Johnstone essential.

    • JIMMY764
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      Double up on WBA defence confirmed.

      1. Hutchiniho
        • 2 Years
        4 months, 7 days ago

        :-0

      2. Nomar
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        4 months, 7 days ago

        This

    • Our Tiny Servant
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      Who do I captain today on Sky?

      Kane
      Vardy
      Calvert Lewis
      Ward Prowse
      Dallas

      1. Hutchiniho
        • 2 Years
        4 months, 7 days ago

        Vardy = name safe

        sneaky JWP tho

    • MessiGOAT
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      I wish I benched Kdb for Benteke 🙁

      1. Hutchiniho
        • 2 Years
        4 months, 7 days ago

        Said nobody ever !!! 😀

        1. MessiGOAT
          • 8 Years
          4 months, 7 days ago

          😀

    • Zim0
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      How's this BB team for 19?

      Fabianski Meslier
      Chilwell Zouma Bednarek Coufal Balbuena
      Bruno Salah Greenwood Grealish Son
      Ings Adams Bamford

      1. Hutchiniho
        • 2 Years
        4 months, 7 days ago

        loaded

    • Hutchiniho
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      How's this?

      Meslier
      Vestergaard, Dier, James Zouma
      KDB, Salah, Fernandes
      Kane, Ings, Bamford

      ?

      1. MessiGOAT
        • 8 Years
        4 months, 7 days ago

        Decent

    • KaBoZ: Kids,don't Drin…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      Don't miss tonight's party at 8, I heard it's fine be.. "Foxyyy"

      1. Bobby Digital
        • 3 Years
        4 months, 7 days ago

        Vardyyy partyyy

        1. KaBoZ: Kids,don't Drin…
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          4 months, 7 days ago

          Yeaaaaaah!

      2. KaBoZ: Kids,don't Drin…
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        4 months, 7 days ago

        Actually 6pm uk time and fine is a typo for gonna

      3. KAPTAIN KANE
        • 4 Years
        4 months, 7 days ago

        DCL to steal the show in 20 mins!

        1. Bobby Digital
          • 3 Years
          4 months, 7 days ago

          Have him too! Let's gooo!

        2. KaBoZ: Kids,don't Drin…
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          4 months, 7 days ago

          Have him too, hoping for a 3-2 win for the foxes

    • wulfrunian
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      Is there someone who can predict how many games will take place in the second blank gw of the season?

    • Pep bites Kun
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      Allardyce to Brom. In politics they say, you're only as good as your last success. Football states 'no man too dirty or unwise'. Platini due back next year - when's Blatter going to be dug up?

      1. Nomar
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        4 months, 7 days ago

        Quietly transfers in Darnell Furlong.......

    • OptimusBlack
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 7 days ago

      What match would you watch now ?

      1. Joey Tribbiani
          4 months, 7 days ago

          not Arsenal

        • Bobby Digital
          • 3 Years
          4 months, 7 days ago

          Lei Eve

        • 1zverGGadeM
          • 4 Years
          4 months, 7 days ago

          Leicester and Everton

      2. 1zverGGadeM
        • 4 Years
        4 months, 7 days ago

        DCL + Grealish + Kilman >> Ings + Neto + Cresswell for - 4, with exact money and 0 itb?
        Yay or Nay?

        1. OptimusBlack
          • 7 Years
          4 months, 7 days ago

          No

      3. Trophé Mourinho
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        4 months, 7 days ago

        Bellerin doesnt even make the bench, that was predictable tbh, hope people still dont have him.
        That line ups a bit better, they probably do ok this game

        1. Holmes
          • 7 Years
          4 months, 7 days ago

          Isn't he suspended for this game?

          1. Lazymedia
            • 8 Years
            4 months, 7 days ago

            Yep, five bookings suspension.

          2. Trophé Mourinho
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            4 months, 7 days ago

            is he? Well he has been shocking tbh, needs taking out. Holding been bad also

        2. doher.ty
            4 months, 7 days ago

            The suspension was predictable - revolutionary thought!

        3. rick ding whoop
          • 6 Years
          4 months, 7 days ago

          Barnes looking sharp