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How I plan to make the most of Blank Gameweek 18 and Double Gameweek 19 in FPL

FPL Family’s Sam gives us some initial thoughts on which chips she’ll be using and transfers she’ll be making ahead of the upcoming Blank and Double Gameweeks.

When the Blank and Double Gameweek announcements come, I always like to leave it a few days to let the ground settle before I make a decision on my strategy.

Those first few days after the announcement are awash with contrasting views on how the Gameweeks should be played and there is a lot of discussion about how a certain strategy is the right way to manage these weeks.

The reality is that there is no universal right way. Some FPL managers will find themselves with teams of almost 11 players for the Blank Gameweek, whereas others will maybe only have three or four players. Some of us will have our Free Hit chips intact, while others won’t.

I always find that, after a couple of days, I am able to restrict the noise around the Gameweeks and focus on my individual team. This means that I am in a better position to plan for these Gameweeks and of course the free transfers that lead up to that point in the season.

Double and Blank Gameweeks can often be maximised with a long-term plan in mind, in order to avoid the use of hits and, in some cases, the need to use precious chips.

Black Gameweek 18

Maximising the potential of blank Gameweek 18 and double Gameweek 19

For me, the FPL chips are there to be used aggressively.

If used in a Double Gameweek, the most a Free Hit can do is give you 11 players who play twice. Whilst on paper this seems great, the reality is that other chips have more explosive potential.

Using a Bench Boost can give you up to 15 Double Gameweek players, for example, while the Triple Captain chip will supply you with 11 assets and additional captain returns.

This is why I believe that the Free Hit should always be used in a Blank Gameweek to maximise its return potential.

There is a decent chance that Gameweek 18 will be our biggest Blank Gameweek of the season and so using the Free Hit chip makes sense here.

Firstly, it allows you to use free transfers to target Double Gameweek 19 (more on that later). Secondly, it allows you to have a full squad of the best players available for that week only.

Kane and Son deliver again as Spurs prepare for appealing fixture swing

This Blank Gameweek sees the likes of Spurs, Man City and Everton play, meaning that it is easy to choose a team of players that could easily return good FPL points that week. Son Heung-min (£9.7m) and Harry Kane (£11.0m) are currently second and third in the FPL points table this season, while Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.9m), Jack Grealish (£7.8m), Callum Wilson (£6.6m) and Wilfried Zaha (£7.5m) all feature in the top ten and have unaffected fixtures in Blank Gameweek 18.

My team currently contains six players who will play in the Blank Gameweek:

  • Harry Kane
  • Dominic Calvert-Lewin
  • Son Heung-min
  • Tariq Lamptey
  • Ruben Dias
  • Yves Bissouma

For the first couple of days after the announcement, I did consider using my transfers to build for a Gameweek 18 team. However, doing this would mean using my Free Hit in Gameweek 19, which I feel limits my potential for points returns. But more importantly, building a team for Gameweek 18 with my free transfers would mean losing players such as Bruno Fernandes (£11.0m) and Salah – which I definitely do not want to do.

Ahead of Gameweek 14, I removed a player who does play in Gameweek 18, Ollie Watkins (£6.1m), in favour of a player who doubles in Gameweek 19, Patrick Bamford (£6.4m).

There are of course risks to doing this, especially if the offloaded players return in the weeks ahead of the Double and Blank Gameweeks.

However, the players that I am bringing in for Gameweek 19 are also players that I would prefer to hold long term, and thus that opens the possibility of holding onto the second Wildcard until the next wave of rearrangements – including a potentially significant Double Gameweek 26.

I’m currently aiming for a Free Hit side that looks like this:

Whilst of course this may change with injuries, player form and price changes, I feel that this gives good potential for returns during Blank Gameweek 18. I would play a 3-4-3 formation as follows:

  • Jordan Pickford
  • Gary Cahill
  • Ruben Dias
  • Jamal Lewis
  • Jack Grealish
  • Son Heung-Min
  • Kevin De Bruyne (c)
  • Raheem Sterling
  • Harry Kane (vc)
  • Dominic Calvert-Lewin
  • Callum Wilson

Double Gameweek 19

Here is the opportunity that we as FPL managers love the most – the potential to have the majority of our team play twice and further increase returns with the Bench Boost or Triple Captain chip.

Up until late afternoon on Monday, this looked set to be the biggest Double Gameweek of the season. However, the announcement of the moving of the League Cup final from Gameweek 26 to 33 could have ramifications for FPL managers.

As we start to learn more about that Gameweek, my view on whether to use my Bench Boost or Triple Captain may change. But at this point, having as many players as possible playing feels like the way to go – and thus I’m planning to play my Bench Boost in Gameweek 19.

Unlike many other FPL managers, I will not be fielding 15 Double Gameweek players. As is always the case, there are ‘single’ Gameweek players who could return big and punish those who transferred them out.

Spurs play only once but their opponents are lowly Sheffield United, so Son and Kane could easily rack up tidy hauls. The same is also true of the Manchester City boys, who only play Crystal Palace in that Gameweek.

As it stands, I currently own eight Double Gameweek players and have four free transfers left before I play my Free Hit in Gameweek 18. By using those four transfers carefully, I can ensure that I have 12 Double Gameweek players as well as three further single Gameweek players – who will likely include Son and Kane – to enable me to make the best use of the Bench Boost chip.

My FPL squad is presently as follows:

With this as a base point, I plan to do the following to ensure premium coverage of the Double Gameweek:

  • Gameweek 15 – Tariq Lamptey to Stuart Dallas
  • Gameweek 16 – Ruben Dias to Reece James – if fit – or Vladimir Coufal
  • Gameweek 17 – Fraser Forster to Sam Johnstone and Yves Bissouma to a £5.1m-ish midfielder, such as Matt Philips, Ademola Lookman or, if Arsenal have improved, Bukayo Saka.

In doing this, I can have a team which still includes Kane, Son and Calvert-Lewin for their nice single Gameweek fixtures but allows me to bring in Double Gameweek players who have nice fixtures and who I am happy to hold longer-term.

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The only issue with this strategy is a lack of a Liverpool defender, who I would really like to own.

But, as with the premium attackers this season, it isn’t possible to have all of them and thus I might have to go without Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.2m) or Andy Robertson (£7.3m) for the Double Gameweek. It is possible to budget for Joel Matip (£5.4m) to at least cover for the Liverpool clean sheet potential, however.

Over the next few weeks, as we understand more of the ramifications of Gameweek 26, my thinking may shift away from the Bench Boost and towards the Triple Captain. If this happens, then I can tweak some of my transfers as I won’t, for example, need a playing second goalkeeper.

It will also mean that I won’t need to remove some of the players who have nice fixtures between now and Gameweeks 18 and 19 and could mean that I can budget for that premium Liverpool defender given the lack of need to upgrade others elsewhere.

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If the Triple Captain becomes my chip of favour then I will put it on someone trustworthy and in form. Liverpool’s games against Manchester United and Burnley look good for handing the armband to Salah and thus he’d probably just get the nod over Fernandes, who has Liverpool and Fulham.

Concluding Thoughts

Planning for the Double and Blank Gameweeks in advance is key. I’ll be carefully watching the markets with regard to the players that I am targeting for Gameweek 19 so as not to be priced out of owning them.

For me, using the chips to aggressively return as many points as possible, rather than to cover up areas of concern, is important – maximise singles with the Free Hit and maximise doubles with the Bench Boost and Triple Captain.

Most importantly though, focus on your own team. It’s so easy to listen to what others are doing because it’s right for their squad and because of the chips they have available. Play the game for your team and to give you the best start over the course of these extraordinary Gameweeks.

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570 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Pep bites Kun
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 21 days ago

    Can someone provide the link for the blank/dgw graphic or excel sheet please? Tnx

  2. BigKeith
      5 months, 21 days ago

      Gealish and Chilwell > Salah and Taylor?

      1. Pep bites Kun
        • 4 Years
        5 months, 21 days ago

        Like it

      2. aleksaa2
        • 4 Years
        5 months, 21 days ago


    • tbos83
        5 months, 21 days ago

        Think I will save WC for gw19 and use FH for 18. Can you use BB as well as a WC?

        1. Phil's Stamps
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          5 months, 21 days ago


      • built_this_city
        • 3 Years
        5 months, 21 days ago

        Be interesting to see if Mitchell gets his place back soon - Clyne is grim

        1. Pep Roulette
          • 3 Years
          5 months, 21 days ago

          Ward is also an option

      • Ziko7
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        5 months, 21 days ago

        Is KDB to Salah (Both C) for a hit worth it or no?

      • Pep bites Kun
        • 4 Years
        5 months, 21 days ago

        'If' other teams were to be included in the gw18 schedule .. anyone know what the lead-time for announcement would look like 1-2 wks? I'm presuming it's a consulting process between Club, FA & TV

        1. Silecro
          • 3 Years
          5 months, 21 days ago

          Watch now Manu vs Burnley being moved to GW18 and 60% of chip plans shattering to pieces

          1. Pep bites Kun
            • 4 Years
            5 months, 21 days ago

            Haha - I wasn't trying to cause commotion - just wondering about the timeframe 🙂

            1. Silecro
              • 3 Years
              5 months, 21 days ago

              I understand you, exactly for that matter i'm rolling my FT to the next week hoping we will have more clarity with 2FT (maybe 3 with -4) in hand to navigate the blanks and doubles

      • Siva Mohan
        • 8 Years
        5 months, 21 days ago

        people BBing in DGW19 using..

        A. Hits
        B. 1st WC
        C. 2nd WC

        1. gogs67
            5 months, 21 days ago

            D. the team will be ready without having to use A,B or C

        2. Cruyff's Eleven
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          5 months, 21 days ago

          Why no transfer in GW19?

        3. Dybala10
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          5 months, 21 days ago

          Probably the best article produced since FFS used 'experts'. Not often they actually show their hands but also such a detailed breakdown of the thought process. Good job Sam.

          1. Fit of Pique
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            5 months, 21 days ago

            Agreed. Demonstrates why she's such a solid manager. Not flashy, but really really solid.

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

          I played my free hit in its first season of introduction in a blank gameweek and found that because of the reduced scope of players playing, almost everyone had the same key players and the scores for that week did not vary very much, ie, the impact of that chip wasn't as explosive. In the second season I tried it on a double and the impact was more significant. I always use bench boost in conjunction with wildcard, so i plan to keep the pair for the next big double. Triple captain can be used in any small double (eg gw1/carabao postponements) so I'll keep that. My current plan is to free hit in 19, and have key players for 18 (which many would already have from spurs/everton/city/villa)

        5. Fenthashi
            5 months, 21 days ago

            0 FT, 0.2 ITB
            Formation: 3-5-2

            Martinez | Forster
            James | Target | Cresswell | Taylor
            Salah | Bruno | KdB | Grealish | Raphinha
            Vardy | Bamford

            1. FeverPitch
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 7 Years
              5 months, 20 days ago

              Yeah nice

          • roach04
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            5 months, 21 days ago

            I have a complete first-timer question. If I use the Bench Boost in GW19 - does it matter who I start? Wondering if my single game week players should all be in the starting lineup (so if they fall ill, whatever, a double takes their place). In my head - it doesn't matter - if they get points, starter or no, they count.

            Possibly overthinking but first year in FPL and want to make sure! Thx all!

            1. Etonmessi
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              5 months, 21 days ago

              Doesnt matter, all players contribute regardless.

          • FeverPitch
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            5 months, 20 days ago

            A) Grealish, Kane, Chilwell to Salah, Adams, Zouma (-4)

            B) KDB, Chilwell to Salah, Coufal

            Free hit 18, TC 19

            Thanks in advance

          • De Gea is GOAT
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            5 months, 20 days ago

            Last decision for this GW. Play Taylor or Brewster? Thanks guys

            Robbo Stones Coufal Taylor
            Bruno KDB Salah Grealish
            Bamford DCL

            Brewster Alzate Chilwell