It has never been more important for Fantasy Premier League managers to get their chip strategy right as we face more Blank and Double Gameweeks between now and the end of the 2020/21 season.
14 teams play twice in Double Gameweek 26 so the points-ceilings for a Wildcard, Free Hit, Triple Captain and Bench Boost are all higher than usual.
And, while preparing the biggest Double Gameweek of the season is very exciting, I still have half an eye on the tricky Blank Gameweeks in the months to come.
I have already used my Triple Captain chip in Double Gameweek 19 and my Bench Boost in Double Gameweek 24, so I am deploying my Wildcard in Double Gameweek 26 to focus on moving my cash back into the starting XI after spreading it out on bench players.
This was my squad at the end of Gameweek 25:
I want to move out my contingent of West Ham and Burnley players and focus more money on the starting XI for the remainder of the season.
This is how my Wildcard squad is currently shaping up;:
I have made a total of eight changes, which is on par for what I would expect with the second Wildcard. I could have possibly done without it but I saw it as an opportunity to restructure my squad for the long-term, and also for Blank Gameweek 29.
Like Blank Gameweek 18, I am struggling to see fixtures I want to attack here.
Brighton v Newcastle, on paper, looks like an appealing fixture for the Seagulls but they are such an unpredictable team. No team has had more shots than Brighton (106) over the last six Gameweeks but no team has scored fewer goals (four). I would find it difficult to back the likes of Neal Maupay (£6.1m) and any more than one defender would feel a bridge too far given Newcastle’s need for points.
Aston Villa’s form is on a downward trajectory while Tottenham Hotspur are not exactly setting the league alight with their attacking displays. It feels like a 1-1 kind of fixture and I can’t pick a clear winner here. I’m likely going to have Son Heung-min (£9.5m), Harry Kane (£11.1m) and Emiliano Martinez (£5.3m).
With West Ham v Arsenal, again, I am struggling to pick a clear winner here. West Ham are arguably the favourites given their form this season but again I don’t see a blowout win for either team.
Fulham v Leeds is the fixture I really like. I’d want Raphinha (£5.4m) and Patrick Bamford (£6.9m) for this one and possibly one of Ademola Lookman (£5.0m) or Josh Maja (£5.5m).
If I were to use my Free Hit in Gameweek 29, it would probably look something like this:
It hardly fills me with confidence, and we could see another 30-40 point week. I can’t even pick a captain I really like here. There are also quite a few attackers up against the defenders so again the point ceiling is low.
I think it could be a case of quality over quantity. With Son, Kane, Martinez and Ben White (£4.4m) already in the squad, I can focus on bringing in four players for GW29 (three FT+a hit) which would likely be Raphinha, Patrick Bamford, Michail Antonio (£6.5m) and maybe Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.4m), depending on Arsenal’s form. I’d rather have Jack Grealish (£7.6m) if he’s fit though.
What appeals to me here is that Leeds have Sheffield United in Gameweek 30, so I am happy to retain their attackers for the following week. Harvey Barnes (£6.7m) is an easy transition to Raphinha, given Barnes has a blank in 29 and then Manchester City in 30. Antonio has Wolves, which is not too bad. Aubameyang has Liverpool, which isn’t as stern a test as it used to be. Villa have Fulham in Gameweek 30 too.
When will I use my Free Hit?
Gameweek 33 is the week of the League Cup Final which means Spurs, Man City and their originally scheduled league opponents Southampton and Fulham have a missing fixture. The fixtures in 33 are far more appealing in terms of points potential.
The Villa v West Brom, Liverpool v Newcastle and Leicester v Crystal Palace fixtures appeal as does Leeds v Manchester United. I would feel much more comfortable loading up on assets from these teams for a Free Hit and I see more potential for a bigger score here. The ticker colour coding gives it away – there are way more blue fixtures in this week.
It is worth mentioning Spurs play Sheffield United in Gameweek 34, so this would let you retain their assets for that fixture. Spurs in general have a good fixture run between 27-30 (Palace, Arsenal, Villa, Newcastle) so I don’t mind holding their assets, despite their stuttering form. Man City have Palace away too in 34.
Also, there is a small chance that the pending Spurs v Southampton fixture goes to Gameweek 32, if Man City beat Everton in the FA Cup. If that is the case, Spurs having a double in 32 and a blank in 33 would make things tricky to navigate without the Free Hit in 33.
A lot could change between now and Gameweek 29, but I am not seeing the upside in a Gameweek 29 Free Hit at the moment. Getting the right six-to-seven players should be enough to keep up with those who do use their Free Hit, as we saw in Gameweek 18.
We have covered Free Hit strategy as well as Double Gameweek 26 extensively in this week’s edition of The FPL Wire (https://youtu.be/xP3DuM_MFPM) where Lateriser and I are joined by fellow Pro Pundit Tom Freeman. I highly recommend a listen to get you prepped for the biggest double gameweek ever.
Good luck and hope you enjoyed reading.
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