Pro Pundit Teams

How many hits should FPL managers take ahead of Blank Gameweek 29?

Blank Gameweeks always make me apprehensive as a Fantasy Premier League manager and I know I am not alone in worrying about squad size.

Normally there are one or two fixtures to target which provide decent reassurance that a hit might be worth taking.

However, the four matches scheduled for Blank Gameweek 29 are either difficult to call, feature out-of-form, inconsistent or absent players, or just don’t inspire confidence.

To hit or not to hit. That is the question

I have been planning for Blank Gameweek 29 since Gameweek 24, trying to target players and teams in good form and that have a fixture. Ben White (£4.4m) is a prime example of this. I signed him ahead of Gameweek 25, on the back of five clean sheets in six. Since then, Brighton have not managed prevent any of their opponents from scoring in the last four games.

Going in to Gameweek 28, I had nine players who were due to play in Blank Gameweek 29, along with two free transfers which would give me a starting 11 without the need for a hit.

Rashford fit to start but Martial, Cavani and de Gea miss out on West Ham clash 2

Fast-forward to the end of Gameweek 28 and I have flags on Son Heung-Min (£9.5m) and Patrick Bamford (£6.7m). While I am increasingly confident that Bamford will be able to play in Blank Gameweek 29, the same can not be said for Son.

As a result I now face a dilemma: to hit or not to hit.

The case for taking a hit

The fixtures don’t appear to be games that I want to take hits for, but the benefit of having 11 starters for a minus-four feels like a compelling reason to do it.

There are four teams from the eight involved in Blank Gameweek 29 who have attractive fixtures in Gameweek 30 as well so if you view the hit in the context of the next couple of weeks it could be worth doing.

TeamBlank Gameweek 29Gameweek 30
Aston VillaTottenham Hotspur (home)Fulham (home)
LeedsFulham (away)Sheffield United (home)
Tottenham HotspurAston Villa (away)Newcastle (home)
West HamArsenal (home)Wolves (away)

Taking a minus-four for the likes of Newcastle who play Brighton and then Spurs feels like a points hit that will not be repaid. However for players such as Raphinha (£5.6m), Jesse Lingard (£6.1m) and Gareth Bale (£9.6m), it feels like they could easily be repaid in Gameweek 29 and then repaid again in Gameweek 30.

Hits for a one-week punt, especially with a series of fixtures like we have in Blank Gameweek 29, feel risky. However, with the Gameweek 30 matches that Villa, Leeds, Spurs and West Ham have, a wise investment in their assets could give Fantasy managers the boost they need alongside an even better looking side for Gameweek 30.

The case for Blank Gameweek 29 without a hit

LiveFPL.net currently has the average number of players per team for Gameweek 29 at seven. Over the next few hours until the deadline we will undoubtedly see a wave of transfers from FPL players waiting until after the European matches before making their transfers. However, it seems likely the majority of teams won’t be made up of 11 starters.

Luke Shaw (£5.2m), Ilkay Gundogan (£6.2m), Mohamed Salah (£12.4m), Bruno Fernandes (£11.5m) and Ruben Dias (£6.1m) are the players I currently have who will not kick a ball in Blank Gameweek 29.

On paper, these are all players that could make way this week. However, when you look at their Gameweek 30 fixtures (Man City travel to Leicester, Manchester United host Brighton and Liverpool visit Arsenal) there are a couple of players, namely Shaw and Fernandes, that cannot be sacrificed without needing to bring them back in.

This means that for me it is only possible to do a minus-four at worst.

Keeping an eye on the fixtures that follow on from the Blank Gameweek is key, taking hits for players for this week can be a good idea, as long as managers are not sacrificing players they will want for the week after.

Key targets for Blank Gameweek 29

With this in mind there are three players on my wish list for Gameweek 29.

Jesse Lingard (£6.1m)

Auto Draft 5

Lingard has now returned in five of his six Premier League matches since joining West Ham on loan. He has also returned in each of his last four starts. Lingard’s ineligibility to play against his parent club Man United in Gameweek 28 was strongly felt by a defeated West Ham lacking in attack without him.

Against an Arsenal side who are top for errors leading to goals in the last four Gameweeks, and are joint third in the same period for defensive errors, Lingard is likely to have plenty of opportunities to excel in Blank Gameweek 29 and again in Gameweek 30 against Wolves who have made the same number of defensive errors as Arsenal.

Gareth Bale (£9.6m)

The Bale fitness latest as his impact on Son and Kane in FPL is assessed

Ahead of the north London derby in Gameweek 28, Bale was on an excellent run of form, having returned two double-digit hauls in three matches and returns in three out of four Gameweeks.

However, Bale was withdrawn on 56 minutes having failed to be involved in the match due to Spurs’ defensive set up. With Son likely to be missing for in Gameweek 29, the onus will be on the likes of Bale, Lucas Moura (£6.6m) and Harry Kane (£11.5m) to get them back to winning ways.

Over his last four matches Bale is top for expected goal involvement (xGI) Delta and third for XGI overall.

The last time Bale played at Villa Park he scored a second half hat trick which saw Spurs run out 4-0 winners. I can see Bale and his Spurs team setting up offensively against Villa, making him a great option, especially as in Gameweek 30 Spurs face Newcastle who have only kept one clean sheet in their last seven Premier League matches.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.5m)

Blank Gameweek 28 Scout Picks built on assets from the capital

After he sat out the north London derby for disciplinary reasons, I expect to see Aubameyang back in the first 11 for Blank Gameweek 29. Prior to the Spurs game, the FPL midfielder had scored four goals in his previous four matches, although three of those did come in one outing against Leeds.

In his last four fixtures, Aubameyang is top for expected goals (xG) among midfielders across the game.

Arsenal have on paper a difficult match in Gameweek 30 against Liverpool. However, the Reds have only kept one clean sheet in the last three so Aubameyang is a player I feel you can bring in for Blank Gameweek 29 and play in Gameweek 30.

How to line up for Blank Gameweek 29

I am planning to move Salah to Lingard this week. The West Ham midfielder is a must-have in my opinion and someone I have seriously considered captaining this week.

The Aubameyang or Bale dilemma is one that will rumble on until deadline. Both Spurs and Arsenal had Europa League ties on Thursday evening and it will be a last minute call as to who comes in for Gundogan this week, with a view to bringing in the injury-free and in-form Kevin De Bruyne (£11.9m) for my Wildcard for Gameweek 31.

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822 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Mufc202020
    • 1 Year
    3 months, 7 days ago

    Morning all!

    Which 3 would you BENCH for this GW??

    A) Antonio
    B) Maja
    C) Odegaard
    D) Lingard
    E) Dallas
    F) Creswell

    Thoughts appreciated!!!

    1. Epic ⚽ 墅
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 7 days ago

      How the fack have you got a bench? FH?

      1. Mufc202020
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 7 days ago

        Free hit haha!

    2. Runaway
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 7 days ago

      Not A and D

      1. Mufc202020
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 7 days ago

        You would start both Lingard & Antonio? What do you think the score will be to have 2 West Ham attackers?

        1. Runaway
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          You would not expect a haul from every player when setting up a team, if West Ham scores 1 it is highly likely at least one of them would be involved and it is still a higher probability then the likes of Maja, Odegaard delivering

    3. Gudjohnsen
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 7 days ago

      BCF

      1. Mufc202020
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 7 days ago

        Interesting thanks!

  2. Freddiemac123
      3 months, 7 days ago

      Watkins or Antonio for this week?

      1. Garth Marenghi
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 7 days ago

        Antonio

      2. Runaway
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 7 days ago

        Antonio

      3. Freddiemac123
          3 months, 7 days ago

          Thinking the same but tight call

      4. Ojpsan1
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 7 days ago

        Pick one of each

        A) Antonio
        B) Watkins

        1) Cresswell
        2) Dunk

        1. Runaway
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          A2

        2. Mufc202020
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 7 days ago

          A2

      5. DonBenzema
          3 months, 7 days ago

          With only 8 playing this BGW, would you say that Son -> Bale is worth it? (No hit taken)

          1. Runaway
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            I would not spend a FT on this, loading up on Spurs assets do not make sense anymore after Kane playing 120 and Bale 60 in an away game 3 days before another away game against a well rested Villa.

        • b91jh
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          Which one would you prioritize? Got one FT for this week, not reluctant to take hits. 8 players for the week currently. WC31 very likely.

          A) Trossard
          B) Lookman
          C) Dallas
          D) Lingard
          E) Adarabioyo

        • El Presidente
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 7 days ago

          Bale is going to be benched... just watch....

          1. BrockLanders
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            Yeah, good chance of that. 60 mins last night is still a big give for him and the lack of in-between rest..

            1. El Presidente
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 1 Year
              3 months, 7 days ago

              ... plus the horrible performances last night and vs Arsenal. It's really weird how he goes from explosive and decisive to invisible and irrelevant just like that...

              1. Steve The Spud
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 1 Year
                3 months, 7 days ago

                He was actually ok last night

        • Runaway
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          When I compare my FH and non-FH teams, I come down to this, what would you ? (WC31)

          A) Martinez + Bamford + Watkins + (Son* + Dier*) -8 (expected points: 11.75 - 8)

          B) Meslier + Dunk + Creswell + Bale + Trossard + Antonio (expected points: 24.40)

          *Base players for both cases: (Veltman, Auba, Lingard, Raphinha, Kane)

        • Dark Side Of The Loon!
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          5 3 2 on FH:

          Dubravka
          Cresswell Tierney Reguilon Dallas Dunk
          Auba Bale Lingard
          Kane Antonio

          Darlow Lacazette Raph Lookman

          1. 007 [RoboKlopp]
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            Solid, maybe a low scoring gw too

            1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
              • 4 Years
              3 months, 7 days ago

              Yes. Just covering the possibility of a clean sheet for 6 of the 8 teams with defenders who can also get attacking points.

          2. Runaway
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            I would pick Raph over any of those defenders.

            1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
              • 4 Years
              3 months, 7 days ago

              I would play those five, thinking of Raph over Antonio maybe.

        • BrockLanders
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          Think most will (c) Kane. Even with the 120 minutes last night. He's easily the most reliable out of the teams this weekend for points. Could you imagine hiding behind the sofa on Sunday night. No thanks

          1. Epic ⚽ 墅
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            He's playing the best defence though. Could easily blank.

            1. BrockLanders
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 7 days ago

              He'll be looking to get that game out of his system ASAP. I reckon he might bang this weekend

              1. Epic ⚽ 墅
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 10 Years
                3 months, 7 days ago

                Aye, no doubt he's capable. Martinez may have other ideas though.

            2. El Presidente
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 1 Year
              3 months, 7 days ago

              He could. The way the team will react to last nights performance gonna be crucial.

          2. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
            • 11 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            Love these types of games - where there's seemingly a script (Spurs looked garbage, tired, 120 mins played, missing their talisman in Son) but the script has a subplot (Villa overachieving all season, especially defensively, missing their own talisman in Grealish, Spurs wanting to bounce back from humiliation) whether the game follows the script or the subplot remains to be seen

            1. BrockLanders
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 7 days ago

              I certainly wouldn't risk ignoring the (c) on Kane that's for sure

            2. pingissimus
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 7 days ago

              The plot thickens when both Grealish and Son starts 🙂

              A defining issue for me is Spurs away and home. Could be coincidence that Burnley and Palace were both home fixtures I suppose but there's been a stark contrast in approach home and away. Villa have been over performing for sure but they are within a point of two of Spurs and those aren't games where Mou goes for it typically.

          3. Zen Arcade
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            You could choose to live a little: Lascelles captain.

        • icanseethroughyou
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          Hi all, some help would be appreciated!

          My squad below with GW29 eligible player pool marked as *

          Pope, Forster
          Maguire, Justin, Digne, Dias, Saiss
          Fernandes, Gundagon, Mount, Son (inj)*, Raphinha*
          Kane*, Bamford*, Antonio*

          I have 1 FT and thinking I need a couple of hits at least. Any ideas? Thanks.

        • Fernandito
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          Which one would you bring in?

          A Bale (Who knows which spurs turn up)
          B Auba (played 90 mins yesterday, rotation?)
          C Trossard (Its Brighton)

          1. Runaway
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            If you are chasing and have a WC at hand C might be a good shot, otherwise B

        • g40steve
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          Gundo >

          A Raphinha
          B Odegaard

          1. BrockLanders
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            Definitely A

          2. Runaway
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            A

          3. Hasselbaink Forever
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            Raph

          4. pingissimus
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            Has to be Raphinha for me when you look over the 2 fixtures. SHU in 30 is a must for as much Leeds attack as you can muster.

          5. Gudjohnsen
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            A

          6. g40steve
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            That was easy 🙂

        • Gudjohnsen
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          Raphinha (C)?

          Trailing in my mini league by 70 points.

          All that matters to me is my mini league not OR.

          Rival will 100% captain Kane!

          1. BrockLanders
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            If trailing yeah

        • MoSalalalalalalalalah
          • 2 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          J Lingz or Raph cap if chasing?

          1. LC1
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            Raph

          2. Epic ⚽ 墅
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            Depends what you're chasing.

          3. pingissimus
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            Have gone Lingard

            Leeds away form stinky and they play the better defence likely. Arsenal make more mistakes. Not a lot in it perhaps but think Arsenal are more likely to concede 2 than Fulham.

        • LC1
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          Is there an update on Bamford injury news? Tempted to bring him in over Antonio as ful and SHU looks perfect before WC

          1. BrockLanders
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            Didn't they issue a statement saying he should be fit?

            1. LC1
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 7 days ago

              Happy days. Thanks!

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

            Will start I reckon.

            1. LC1
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 7 days ago

              Cheers

        • Captain_Shirokov
          • 2 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          Areola
          Veltman, Dallas, Dawson
          Raphinha, Lingard
          Kane, Bamford

          So I have 8 players.

          Son to Bale/Auba worth a hit? Or just leave as is?

          1. BrockLanders
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            I would if only -4

        • Karan14
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          Martinez*
          Cancelo Burn* Digne Struijk*
          Salah Son* Gündo Raphinha*
          Kane* DCL

          (Fabri Dias Bruno Brewster)
          1.4m & 2 FTs

          Got no WC or FH.
          Looking at long term trasnfers for that reason.
          Happy to get rid of DCL, Digne, Cancelo, Gundo or Brewster.

          Any ideas?

          1. 007 [RoboKlopp]
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            Maybe Digne, Brewster -> Dawson, Antonio?

          2. BrockLanders
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            Cancelo & Son to Cressers/Tierney & Auba if affordable

          3. pingissimus
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            Think losing a City defender would be my priority given 33, rotation and iffy recent form. Chelsea the pick of course but Cresswell also makes sense as long term hold. You can lose Digne for Chelsea later

        • Sterling Archer
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          Want to go Son to Lingard but seems few think Son could still play,

          only other mid i could swap to lingard would be gundo but dont really want to lose him!

          just have to hope for more info before tonight's deadline!

        • The Mighty Whites
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          You can only bring in 2:

          A - Reguillon
          B - Aubameyang
          C - Lingard
          D - Bale
          E - Trossard

          1. BrockLanders
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            BC

        • Fantasy123456
            3 months, 7 days ago

            Lingard or Auba?

            1. BrockLanders
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 7 days ago

              Auba

          • RamaJama
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            Which move?

            A) dcl to Bamford
            B) Digne to Cresswell

          • Inspector Gadget
            • 10 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            Going to lose Son or Salah and comes down to:

            A) Tierney and Lingard (keep Salah)
            B) Coufal and Auba (keep Son)

            Which would you go for? No chips left

          • Ruinenlust
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            Already have Dunk

            Veltman, Reguilon or Adarabioyo?

          • G Banger
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            Have Dallas and Coufal only playing DEF, who would you rather have as the third:

            a) Regullian
            b) Tierney
            c) Dunk
            d) Other suggestion

            1. Feed tha Sheep
              • 8 Years
              3 months, 7 days ago

              B or C

            2. GreennRed
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 7 days ago

              Dunk. Aina.

          • lilmessipran
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            Differential cap picks this gw?

            1. Feed tha Sheep
              • 8 Years
              3 months, 7 days ago

              Lingard
              Raphina
              Bale

          • Feed tha Sheep
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            What to do with 1FTs 2.3ITB (No chips left)

            Martinez (Steer)
            Dallas Burn (Shaw cancelo Stones)
            Son Raphina Lingard (Salah Gund)
            Bamford Kane (DCL)

            A. Son > Bale/Auba
            B. DCL > Antonio/Watkins
            C. Cancelo > Creswell/Tierney
            D. Something else (willing to take -4)

          • Super Saints
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            I'd really appreciate some advice on whether people think Aubamayang will start as I have no idea!?

            1. Well you know, Triffic
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 10 Years
              3 months, 7 days ago

              Should do. But imo WHU are no mugs.

            2. Dammit_182
                3 months, 7 days ago

                My thoughts on all the ‘star’ players starting is that next up is the international break so any rest is unlikely to benefit their club.

            3. GE
              • 4 Years
              3 months, 7 days ago

              Worth it to do Gundo -> Lingard (-4)?

              (plan to WC in GW31 and bring in KDB, not sure I want to keep Gundo or not as I bought him at 5.5...)

              1. GE
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 7 days ago

                Ohh, can’t afford him..
                Cancelo and Gundo -> Cresswell and Lingard (-8)?

                1. GE
                  • 4 Years
                  3 months, 7 days ago

                  Can’t afford that either, lol

            4. DavidBadWillie
                3 months, 7 days ago

                I currently have 4 starters and the injured Burn of Brighton.

                Anyone going with as little starters as me or should I do a -8

                1. Zen Arcade
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 2 Years
                  3 months, 7 days ago

                  Didn't Potter say Burn was OK?

                  Assuming you have no chips remaining I would probably do -4 to get to seven and hope Burn plays as a minimum yeah.

                  1. DavidBadWillie
                      3 months, 7 days ago

                      Ahh ok, I'll try find comments on burn and see if I should keep.

                      Cheers

                2. ritzyd
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 3 Years
                  3 months, 7 days ago

                  Is there likely to be any further news on Saka for the weekend? Is it too much of a punt to put him in?

                  1. BrockLanders
                    • 6 Years
                    3 months, 7 days ago

                    I wouldn't go there, sounds at best 50/50