Deploying a Free Hit could be a differential move for Fantasy Premier League managers in Blank Gameweek 29.
In our recent poll asking site users which chip they planned to use this weekend, just 20% of voters said they would be playing the one-week Wildcard.
And, interestingly, a total of 76.5% said they would be giving the Free Hit a miss in Blank Gameweek 29.
That is something of a new dynamic in Gameweeks such as this.
Every season sees the FA Cup quarter-finals create a very small round of Premier League fixtures and it is usually at this stage we see the most extensive usage of a Free Hit.
However, as you can see from the results above, 63.1% of voters are left without it for Blank Gameweek 29 having previously used it earlier this season.
Blank Gameweek 18 is the most likely round to have created this problem for managers when four matches were postponed and 62.9% of the top 10k at the time played their Free Hit.
Meanwhile, 13.4% of our voters are looking ahead to later Gameweeks to use the chip this season.
The EFL Cup final and FA Cup semi-finals are the next rounds to interfere with the Premier League schedule, which could provide Free Hitters for a wider pool of players to make the most of.
Still, suggestions that Fantasy teams will all look the same in Blank Gameweek 29 or that this might soften the impact of a Free Hit are somewhat dispelled by the early results of this poll.
The fact that just 20% of voters are planning on using the chip this week means there are definitely opportunities for those will in possession of a Free Hit to make gains this week.
We have also consulted Fantasy Football Scout readers on how many players they can field for Blank Gameweek 29.
The results here perhaps indicate why there is a portion of managers opting to hold the Free Hit chip.
82.5% of the voters have indicated that they can field at least seven players this weekend, while 68.3% can get to eight active options with their transfers.
Eight is the most common number, with 22.0% of voters able to achieve this squad size for Blank Gameweek 29.
But 16.9% can get to 10 and 19.8% can get to nine.
Particularly interesting is the fact that 9.7% can reach 11 active players for Blank Gameweek 29 at the time of writing.
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Those wondering how best to cover themselves for this round, either with their Free Hit or free transfers, should keep an eye on the current ownership figures.
That way, we can work out which players are likely to be most popular on Free Hits, or which players managers without it are likely to be carrying into Blank Gameweek 29.
Of particular note is the fact that the two players on top of this list, Son Heung-min (£9.6m) and Patrick Bamford (£6.7m), both have yellow flags to their names.
Harry Kane (£11.4m) and Ollie Watkins (£6.6m) are commonly-owned forwards while Emiliano Martínez (£5.4m) has something of a monopoly on Fantasy goalkeeper jerseys.
Jack Grealish (£7.5m) could also have a significant impact on Blank Gameweek 29 if he gets fit in time considering he still sits in 18.0% of Fantasy squads.
Meanwhile, this week’s currently most-bought players Gareth Bale (£9.6m) and Jesse Lingard (£6.1m) are both in about 10% of teams.
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