Pro Pundit Teams

Planning future FPL chip usage around upcoming Cup postponements

Now we have reached the half-way stage of the season, the number of ‘dead teams’ is growing and it is left to the committed Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers to fight it out for overall rank as well as those all-important mini-league positions.

This season, things are slightly different, in that we have multiple teams already with games in hand as a result of postponements. This gives active FPL managers added complications when it comes to planning.

We have a better (although still not yet fully formed) indication of which teams are likely to encounter further Blank Gameweeks due to FA Cup progression.

We also have Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, who will miss Gameweek 33 as a result of the League Cup final, and Fulham and Southampton, who were due to play them that week.

Keeping abreast of the Blank and Double Gameweek developments will be vital for success during the remainder of the season. Many FPL managers will have already deployed at least some of the chips available (second Wildcard, Bench Boost, Free Hit, Triple Captain). If you haven’t, then that could give you a huge advantage over the opposition if used to their full potential.

I have three of my four chips left in play for this last part of the season – the Bench Boost, Triple Captain and the second Wildcard. In normal seasons the chips feel important, but this year they feel like tiny FPL rockets which can either skyrocket your season, or blow up before takeoff, leaving you reeling.

Bench Boost

When Double Gameweek 19 was announced, my original thought was to play the Bench Boost chip. However, as we entered the run of fixtures preceding the Double, we saw multiple matches postponed and players forced to isolate.

This uncertainty of players and fixtures put me off playing the chip. When a Gameweek lasts for a week it is impossible to account for the week that follows the Gameweek deadline and thus I held onto it.

Now comes the big decision as to when to deploy the chip.

So far this season I have benched 167 FPL points, where the player wasn’t substituted in to the team. This includes seven Gameweeks where my bench has scored more than 11 points (11, 14, 15, 16, 18, 18 again and 19 points). Given that I am 190 points behind the current leader at an overall rank of 44,000, those points are definitely missed opportunities.

Three of my benches so far this season

The success of my benches this season has made me consider playing my Bench Boost chip in a single Gameweek rather than a Double. My team structure this season has been to ensure I’m never struggling to get a full team out if games are postponed after the deadline or players are out on short notice.

The ramifications are there are always benching headaches and most of the time there are multiple FPL points sat on my bench. There are a number of Gameweeks coming up over the rest of the season where my whole squad looks to have the potential to return and a single Gameweek could provide me with an even better set of fixtures than for a squad I could build for a Double Gameweek .

Triple Captain

For the last couple of weeks leading up to the Double Gameweek I was planning to trust Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) with my Triple Captain chip. Most seasons my Triple Captain ends up being someone from the red side of Liverpool. They have been consistent in both their form and starts and always seem to provide a safe bet for the armband. Last season Roberto Firmino (£9.3m) had the privilege of wearing my Triple Captain armband and that was a success.

Why FPL managers should focus on the short-term this season

However, Salah blanked against West Brom in Gameweek 15, blanked against Newcastle in Gameweek 16 and again at Southampton in Gameweek 17. And he is now on a run of five Premier League matches without an attacking return. That suggests holding the Triple Captain was probably a wise idea for my team.

Unlike the Bench Boost, which could do well for me in a Single Gameweek, I will be looking for a Double Gameweek to play the Triple Captain chip. However, it’s not just about the Gameweek or even the fixtures, the form of the player going in to the week is vital as we are seeing right now with Salah.

While I wouldn’t be opposed to giving Salah the Triple Captain armband in a later Double Gameweek should Liverpool get one, his form would have to improve.

Kane and Son both return in new formation as Spurs breeze past Sheffield United 3

I think, unsurprisingly I know, I’ll look to Triple Captain Harry Kane (£11.1m) this season. Spurs already have a game in hand against Aston Villa which should have been played in Gameweek 17, and they will have to play their Gameweek 33 fixture against Fulham at another time, due to appearing in the League Cup final. Therefore, there will almost certainly be at least one Gameweek between now and the end of the season where Kane and Spurs will play twice.

Given Kane’s form so far this season in terms of goals, assists and bonus points I struggle to see myself triple captaining anyone other than him.

Second Wildcard

This chip has the potential to be the most important left in my arsenal. Playing the second Wildcard at the right moment is key not only for the immediate boost to points it can provide but also in terms of long-term strategy and planning.

The second half of this season will likely throw up some unpredictable moments due to the pandemic. It will also throw up changes to the fixture schedule as a result of the FA Cup which we as FPL managers will have to keep track of, especially as draws for the fourth and fifth rounds are happening at the same time.

My current squad feels solid for the next few Gameweeks at least without the need for any immediate surgery so the second Wildcard will remain safely in my back pocket until it is needed.

There is the possibility that we have a Blank Gameweek later on this season containing very few players we would want to own them long term. Having already used my Free Hit chip, I will likely look to dead-end my team in the build-up to that Gameweek, ensuring that I have a decent side for the week, and then hit the Wildcard to rebuild for the back end of the season.

At this stage my team value is up at £104.6m allowing me to access more of the highly valued players as well as keeping a solid bench. I had for a brief moment thought of Wildcarding around Blank Gameweek 18, however many of the players in my current team would have had to be sold and the value in them would have been lost too. While this may not seem important, it is if you want to buy the player back again as they cost more to own than what you sold them for.

Subsequently, it seems sensible to do this towards the end of the season where hopefully the situation with the pandemic is clearer and there will be less chance of postponements. This means I’ll be able to invest less in my bench due to team value being less important by that stage.

Legomane graphic showing fixtures through FPL Gameweek 25 including European commitments and Domestic Cups

I’ll be eagerly awaiting the FA Cup results in Gameweeks 19 and 20 and their impact on FPL Gameweeks to pick the perfect moment to play the Wildcard chip.

Final thoughts

We are coming to the most important part of the FPL season. This is the time where casual players often fail to prepare for the Blank and Double Gameweeks, or have already used their chips.

We also have half a season’s worth of knowledge and understanding on teams and players, meaning we can make more informed decisions. Early moves now for players who have the form and fixtures to last until the end of the season, or even better form, fixtures and something to play for can give FPL managers an edge on opponents.

Hold on to those transfers, don’t knee-jerk in players, and hold it out as close to the deadline as your nerves can stand to have the best knowledge of any changes to the Gameweek or the players clubs have available to them.

Most importantly, plan for those chips, but be flexible. The game is changing week-on-week and so too should our FPL strategies. I’ve stopped planning for the long term. I look at it and make decisions that suit both the short and long-term, because it’s less frustrating if matches are moved or players are unavailable.

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1,310 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Shark Team
    • 4 Years
    8 months, 2 days ago

    Rank by best to worst?
    Maddison Barnes Gundogan Cancelo

    1. Camzy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      Cancelo Gundogan Barnes Maddison

    2. JohnnyMarrsGuitar
      • 10 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      Right now i'd say:

      Gundogan (value, position & pens)
      Cancelo (out of position & city defence)
      Maddison (on form but no Vardy)
      Barnes (Maddison always the better

      1. JohnnyMarrsGuitar
        • 10 Years
        8 months, 2 days ago

        2nd thoughts Barnes over Maddison without Vardy might actually be the better option

        1. Deulofail
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          8 months, 2 days ago

          Just not sure he'll finish more chances just because Vardy's out. Maybe he'll get more chances, maybe not...? Think I'd go with your original assessment, personally. Anlthough I'd go Cancelo this week to be sure Gundo still looks good while KDB is out, and prehaps promote him next GW 😀

    3. Coys96
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      Cancelo
      Barnes
      Maddison
      Gundogan

    4. JONALDINHO
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      Cancelo, Gundogan, Maddison, Barnes.

  2. Sid07
    • 7 Years
    8 months, 2 days ago

    Priority
    1) kane (343)
    2) Son (352)

    1. waldo666
      • 11 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      2

    2. tsm
      • 10 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      2, that where i ended up

      1. tsm
        • 10 Years
        8 months, 2 days ago

        maybe to add why, son and kane same goal total, kane has twice as many assists tho. You would expect that to be flipped and kane has playing more like a midfielder than a forward and can be quite deep. So that and the pts/cost swayed to Son

  3. George Agdgdgwngo
    • 12 Years
    8 months, 2 days ago

    Get gundo now? On 97.5% to rise

    1. Coys96
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      no

    2. tbos83
      8 months, 2 days ago

      Have just done so on expectation he will rise and KDB will drop

  4. Iceball
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    8 months, 2 days ago

    What to do with Mane and Salah? Might save or lose Mane who could get a rest. 2ft could also do the job the week after. What do you think? Gundo or Maddison?

    1. tsm
      • 10 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      liverpool will come around, prob could get rid of 1 of em and if you do prob would be Mane. Everytime i pretend to remove Salah i keep seeing a hat-trick around the corner lol

  5. Gabbiadini
    • 4 Years
    8 months, 2 days ago

    My midfield is KDB, Bruno, Son, Grealish... who do I trade KDB to?

    1. Sid07
      • 7 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      Have kane?

      1. Gabbiadini
        • 4 Years
        8 months, 2 days ago

        I do yes.

        1. Sid07
          • 7 Years
          8 months, 2 days ago

          I will bet on sterling then

          1. Gabbiadini
            • 4 Years
            8 months, 2 days ago

            Gundo is a lot cheaper for potentially similar output though.

  6. JONALDINHO
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    8 months, 2 days ago

    Where is all the “Soucek is a season keeper and starter” people gone? 2 blanks and they’re out...

    1. gogs67
      8 months, 2 days ago

      They've seen him move deeper now Antonio's back and decided he's not bringing the same value to the team

    2. F_Ivanovic
      • 6 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      I think part of it is he offers fantastic value but rn that's not needed when KDB is out injured and Salah/Pool out of form. Most people can upgrade him to the likes of Grealish/Maddison

    3. Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      This is one of the worst things about the FPL community. I have no qualms about chopping and changing their teams, but the people who say XYZ is essential, never selling & sell 2 weeks later is comical.

  7. AYLD28
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    8 months, 2 days ago

    Which two shall I start?

    1. Dallas
    2. Soucek
    3. TAA
    4. Cresswell

    Currently on Dallas and Cresswell as I fancy two clean sheets v Palace and Newcastle. Thoughts?

    1. Coys96
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      14

    2. RyanMK
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      3, 4

    3. tsm
      • 10 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      There is prob going to be goals in the Leeds/Newcastle match they both will have a go, i'm leaning into Dallas hoping he might get some pts while he OOP and if gets cs thats a bonus.

      looking at past games, palace have a go at the peered sides and Zaha seems to be the main scorer. If he doesn't play your prob going to get a CS with Soucek & Creswell, but Souceck doesn't seem in form as much to get anything past a 3 ptr

      For TAA, the tot/liv game could be very like the manu game. You got to think they need to get back to scoring goals, will they go back the wing back support and TAA takes a lot of corners.

      Since you have better options than me if I were you I'd go

      Cresswell, TAA

  8. RyanMK
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    8 months, 2 days ago

    Bench one.

    1. Saka
    2. Bamford
    3. Antonio

    1. Coys96
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      1

  9. Jimjam
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    8 months, 2 days ago

    Midfield:

    Salah, Fernandes, Son, Gundogan, ???

    (A) Pogba / Rashford
    (B) Barnes

    1. g40steve
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      B check his stats

      1. F_Ivanovic
        • 6 Years
        8 months, 2 days ago

        Barnes always has good stats but he's notoriously inconsistent/poor at actually finishing those chances he gets. (I fell for him earlier in the season) - still a good option mind

    2. tsm
      • 10 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      C Saka, Arsenal are on form

  10. Jdpz
    • 1 Year
    8 months, 2 days ago

    Pope
    Alioski Coufal Cancelo
    Salah Bruno KDB Raphinha
    Martial Bamford Antonio

    [Johnstone Dier Justin Soucek]
    0.3m itb., 1 ft.

    a) KDB >>> Sterling
    b) KDB + Raphinha >>> Son + Maddison (-4)
    c) KDB + Raphinha >>> Son + Grealish (-4)
    d) KDB + Raphinha >>> Sterling + Gundogan (-4)

    1. Coys96
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      A

    2. tom_p77
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      8 months, 2 days ago

      A) - Raph has a nice fixture vs New

    3. Pep Roulette
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      I'd save. Play Soucek and then do B or C for next week.

      1. Pep Roulette
        • 3 Years
        8 months, 2 days ago

        For free**

  11. F_Ivanovic
    • 6 Years
    8 months, 2 days ago

    Vardy > Kane looks a no brainer (with some consideration towards Ings)

    KDB > ? I already have 2m in the bank so a downgrade could see me with 5m+ just doing absolutely nothing. Do I just get Salah in despite his bad form and bad fixture this week. Rashford for the United double up looks half tempting. Sterling/Gundogan? (with the latter meaning I have over 7m in bank) or Maddison?

    Martinez - Fodder
    Dias - Cancelo - Dier - Holding - Mitchell
    KDB - Bruno - Grealish - Zaha - Smith Rowe
    Vardy - Bamford - Antonio

  12. Jdpz
    • 1 Year
    8 months, 2 days ago

    Raphinha to Gundogan for a hit?
    Soucek to Gundogan for a hit?

    1. dunas_dog
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      Soucek- If Southampton lose to Arsenal tomorrow then Leeds could get double in 23. Leeds could also really turn it on v Newcastle

    2. jammie26
      8 months, 2 days ago

      Why do either for a hit?

  13. Magic Zico
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    8 months, 2 days ago

    MUN have played 19 games now, has Bruno's YC quota been increased then?

    1. jimmy.floyd
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      Yes

      1. Magic Zico
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        8 months, 2 days ago

        Ta

  14. jimmy.floyd
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    8 months, 2 days ago

    Play two:
    A AWB
    B Saka
    C Wilson
    D Coufal

    Have DDG and Creswell

    1. Baps hunter
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      A is easy, coin toss after that for me.

  15. The Mighty Hippo
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    8 months, 2 days ago

    KDB + Soucek - - > Pogba + Barnes.

    decent move?

    1. Pep Roulette
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      Why not Gundo?

  16. dunas_dog
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    8 months, 2 days ago

    Is it likely with Vardy out Barnes will play in striker position for Leicester- cannot see Iheanacho being good enough?

    1. Magic Zico
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      We'll see for EVE game, could be

    2. Pep Roulette
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      Rodgers was talking about Perez playing as striker. So maybe him or Nacho.

    3. Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      Perez is more likely.

  17. Pep Roulette
    • 3 Years
    8 months, 2 days ago

    On WC.

    A. Kane
    B. Son

    And why?

    1. fn.jota
      8 months, 2 days ago

      For me Kane. There are more good midfielders than forwards in the game and Kane its slightly better overall

    2. waldo666
      • 11 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      Son, he's the better player at a cheaper price.

  18. Jdpz
    • 1 Year
    8 months, 2 days ago

    Grealish or Maddison or Gundogan?

    1. I SPEAK ENGELS AND DRINK GI…
      • 1 Year
      8 months, 2 days ago

      I have Grealish but wondering Maddison or Gundogan myself as well

      1. tsm
        • 10 Years
        8 months, 2 days ago

        if vardy was in play i would have already transferred Maddison in. Am bit hesitant now and thinking wait n see what the shape looks like.

        1. I SPEAK ENGELS AND DRINK GI…
          • 1 Year
          8 months, 2 days ago

          true true, it blows my mind Leicester is so high in standings. they play so bad time to time but so again all of the top teams have this season

    2. I SPEAK ENGELS AND DRINK GI…
      • 1 Year
      8 months, 2 days ago

      Maddison/Gundo probably both on pens. Dunno tho can Leicester play that well with Vardy gone. City more likely to play still good football than Leicester with KdB and Vardy injured

      1. dunas_dog
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        8 months, 2 days ago

        Is Tielemans not on pens? Takes them when Vardy off pitch

        1. I SPEAK ENGELS AND DRINK GI…
          • 1 Year
          8 months, 2 days ago

          true so thats even more to Gundo. thanks

  19. Muscout
    • 2 Years
    8 months, 2 days ago

    Which teams are most likely to have DGW before GW26?

    1. Covid Chameleon
      • 8 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      Leeds and Southampton especially if Southampton are knocked out of the cup tomorrow by Arsenal.

  20. Covid Chameleon
    • 8 Years
    8 months, 2 days ago

    I've took a risky little - 8 to get Gundagon, Stones and Smith-Rowe
    Ut feels so much better when you're happy with how your team looks.

    Mccarthy
    Robertson Cresswell Stones Dallas
    Salah Fernandes Son Gundagon
    Kane Bamford

    Johnstone Adams Lowton Smith-Rowe.

    Any future priorities?

    1. fn.jota
      8 months, 2 days ago

      DCL

  21. jonnybhoy
    • 8 Years
    8 months, 2 days ago

    Vardy + KDB to Kane and ??? for -4pts?

    Got salah and fernandes

    1. jimmy.floyd
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      Sterling?

  22. Jdpz
    • 1 Year
    8 months, 2 days ago

    a) KDB to Sterling
    b) KDB, Raphinha to Son, Maddison/Grealish (-4)

    1. jimmy.floyd
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      A

  23. fn.jota
    8 months, 2 days ago

    Bench one

    1. Dallas
    2. Coufal

    1. jimmy.floyd
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      1

  24. camarozz
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    8 months, 2 days ago

    Kdb /Soucek➡️Auba /Gundo??

    Know Auba is a risk but I need differencials

    1. fn.jota
      8 months, 2 days ago

      Arsenal dont have fixtures

      1. camarozz
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        8 months, 2 days ago

        Will have be Son so coz iv got Bruno/Grealish/and Salah as it is.

        Maddison or Barnes maybe?

        1. fn.jota
          8 months, 2 days ago

          If u dont have Kane i would go Son, if u have kane i would go maddison atm

  25. Hazz
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    8 months, 2 days ago

    Bench Robertson (TOT)?

    Raphinha (NEW) & Coufal (CRY) would be the alternatives, I suppose.

    1. shearer9
      • 5 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      I'd start, Pool will dominate possession

  26. shearer9
    • 5 Years
    8 months, 2 days ago

    Start Ziyech or Smith-Rowe this week? Z was top of my transfer out list until KDB and Vardy got crocked.

  27. shearer9
    • 5 Years
    8 months, 2 days ago

    Any reason not to do KDB->Sterling? Already got Kane and Bruno. Salah and Son don't have a great fixture this week, can't afford Salah anyway. Gundogan looks decent but Sterling more proven?

    1. Gabbiadini
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      I don't know how you justify the price difference between Sterling and Gundo though.

  28. Gabbiadini
    • 4 Years
    8 months, 2 days ago

    Anyone doing KDB to Salah?

  29. FFSbet.com
    • 5 Years
    8 months, 2 days ago

    Tricky one

    A) KDB > Sterling

    B) KDB + Raphinha > Bruno + Gundo

  30. Oooo Matron
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    8 months, 2 days ago

    Thoughts on KDB & Brewster to Kane & Saka (-4)?

    Current team:
    McCarthy
    Dias Cancelo Dallas
    Fernandes Grealish KDB Salah Son
    Bamford Antonio

    Subs: Konsa, Dier, Brewster

    1. FFSbet.com
      • 5 Years
      8 months, 2 days ago

      Cant go to Gundo?

      1. Oooo Matron
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        8 months, 2 days ago

        0.1 out! Other option is just KDB to Sterling, straight swap.

        1. FFSbet.com
          • 5 Years
          8 months, 2 days ago

          Uff hard one,want to gamble on Sterling too but have Kane and think he is essential