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. Azathoth
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 2 days ago

    2nd in my ML,-33 from the leader.Those are the players that we both have :
    Martinez - Stones - Mo - Son - Bam.Who of them to keep ?

  2. waltzingmatildas
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    3 months, 2 days ago

    Any ideas on whether Cancelo or Stones will start against Leicester?
    Going to lose one, I have money tied up in Cancelo but prefer Stones as a value pick.

    1. YuvalFPL
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 2 days ago

      both just as likely IMO. I prefer Cancelo.

      1. waltzingmatildas
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        3 months, 2 days ago

        Hmm, I guess value comes into it then. Cheers

    2. Tonyawesome69
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 2 days ago

      With the IB before GW 30 then UCL midweek, I expect Pep to play a strong team against LEI and take the same team into the UCL meaning both to start.

      1. waltzingmatildas
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        3 months, 2 days ago

        Hmm, maybe not the best idea to lose then!
        Seems crazy to save FT this week

        1. Tonyawesome69
          • 2 Years
          3 months, 2 days ago

          I'm keeping both for 30. I will most likely lose Cancelo and keep Stones. Look at his mins players and total points compared to Cancelo and Dias. Just need to make sure you have a decent bench to cover his rotation.

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

      Really hard call

      Just before CL but a notionally top of the table clash. I suspect Pep will start his first choice just to warm them up for CL after IB. So my money is on both starting but obvs that could be way off.

      Just see Stones as easier to bench. Money tied up irrelevant if WC gone no? You aren't going to sell and buy back.

      1. waltzingmatildas
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        3 months, 2 days ago

        Have wc to play in 31. I think I'd be going Dias on WC anyway, so guess it doesn't make too much difference

  3. tbos83
      3 months, 2 days ago

      Thoughts on this FH team?

      Sanchez
      Cresswell Dunk Dallas
      Lingard Auba Bale Raph Trossard
      Kane Watkins

      Areola Antonio Tierney Reguilon

      1. waltzingmatildas
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        3 months, 2 days ago

        Looks good. I'd want Antonio starting though

        1. tbos83
            3 months, 2 days ago

            Antonio and Lingard feels like a lot of eggs in the West Ham basket

        2. YuvalFPL
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 2 days ago

          I like it - apart from Auba and Cresswell both in the lineup. Unless you're trying to limit your ceiling on purpose.

          1. tbos83
              3 months, 2 days ago

              Who would you have instead?

              1. YuvalFPL
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 10 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                Do you think Arsenal will score? Or West Ham CS? Pick according to that.

              2. YuvalFPL
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 10 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                I'm picking Tierney so avoiding West Ham completely.

                1. tbos83
                    3 months, 2 days ago

                    Fair point. Will sub in Tierney and keep Lingard as insurance

          2. Gudjohnsen
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 2 days ago

            What's with all this Lingard hype?

            Surely not sustainable?

            1. Tonyawesome69
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 2 days ago

              Look at his stats and his points. Not had much football and itching to make a name for himself again Also there are not many midfielder options to choose from for this GW

            2. Mighty Wings
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 2 days ago

              I'm with you on this!

              He's also up against a strong defence this week. Don't get the hype, after all, it is still Lingard we are talking about here

            3. Echoes
                3 months, 2 days ago

                Thinking the same, but then I remember the Gundo hype train and how I missed a major part of it. Personally might just give the hype train a try this time.

            4. Tonyawesome69
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 2 days ago

              RP - Holding and Salah to Dallas and Lingard (-4)?

              WC31 FH33
              1FT 0itb
              Martinez
              Cresswell Holding
              Raphinha Son Bale
              Kane Bamford
              (Fabri Stones Cancelo Digne Gundo Salah DCL)

              1. YuvalFPL
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 10 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                I'd free hit that 100%.

                1. Tonyawesome69
                  • 2 Years
                  3 months, 2 days ago

                  Why? I can get 8 players (-4). The pool of players for this BGW is very poor essentially putting a lot of hope into a Brighton triple defence CS

                  1. ebb2sparky
                    • 10 Years
                    3 months, 2 days ago

                    FH would be a waste of a chip as you correctly mention. In fact maybe you dont even need to take a hit?

                    1. Tonyawesome69
                      • 2 Years
                      3 months, 2 days ago

                      I quite like Dallas for 29 and 30 against SHU so he would be the hit

              2. waltzingmatildas
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 10 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                I like those moves

            5. Mr. O'Connell
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 2 days ago

              30 mins until "Grealish close, but not quite there."

            6. sarnshawn
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 2 days ago

              Thinking I’m going to use my free hit. Who would you definitely have in your team?

              1. Tonyawesome69
                • 2 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                Have a look at the posts in the last few pages. All FH teams are pretty similar

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

              I have a plan to field 10 players with a -4:

              Already Decided:
              Salah/Digne -> Bale/Veltman (2 FT)

              Should my -4 be:
              Gundo -> Auba
              or
              DCL -> Antonio

              Antonio's stats are fallen off a cliff and DCL has god fixtures coming up. does not strike me as a no brainer.
              Auba is on pens but game time is managed and Gundo has been very solid.

              1. FPL ElasticO
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 6 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                No

              2. Tonyawesome69
                • 2 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                No

              3. _figu
                • 3 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                I'm doing it for Auba. Chasing a bit so don't mind risking, expecting him to start. Wouldn't keep Gundo on WC so don't care about losing value.

            8. FPL ElasticO
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 2 days ago

              Does anyone think that Son now would make a miraculous comeback as Spurs are awful without him?

              1. Mr. O'Connell
                • 9 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                Always have thought he'd play against Villa

              2. Tonyawesome69
                • 2 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                I think Spurs will patch him up and play him. Spurs need a win before the IB

              3. Sterling Archer
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                seems risky, dont understand how he can recover from a hammy in a week

            9. b91jh
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 2 days ago

              Who to go? Future gws do not matter in this case.

              A) Lingard
              B) Trossard
              C) Lookman

              1. waltzingmatildas
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 10 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                A

              2. FPL ElasticO
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 6 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                A
                B more of a punt, I don't trust BHA they are the most hyped team for this GW... & we all know what that means....

                1. Tonyawesome69
                  • 2 Years
                  3 months, 2 days ago

                  this for me

            10. Jässi
              • 4 Years
              3 months, 2 days ago

              What would you do with FT only for the next two gameweeks, planning to WC in 31:

              A) Foden to Lingard
              B) Foden to Bale
              C) Salah to Aubameyang
              D) Foden & Salah to Lingard & Aubameyang (-4)
              E) Foden & Salah to Lingard & Bale (-4)
              G) Foden & Salah to Aubameyang & Bale (-4)

              1. FPL ElasticO
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 6 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                C.... Salah is not delivering
                Foden will when he starts.

              2. ebb2sparky
                • 10 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                C is tempting but id probably go A since I'd prefer salah/lingard than auba/foden for gw30.

            11. Egg noodle
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 11 Years
              3 months, 2 days ago

              I can call myself an expert at spotting BS hype wagons.
              Lingard is certainly one.

              1. waltzingmatildas
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 10 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                What about Bale?

              2. Well you know, Triffic
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 10 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                Stats and points say otherwise.

              3. Echoes
                  3 months, 2 days ago

                  Genuine question: what did you think about the Gundo hype train when it was only just beginning?

              4. aapoman
                • 7 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                Thoughts on my free hit draft? Too punty with Arsenal?

                Lloris
                Dunk Veltman Dallas
                Auba Bale Odegaard Trossard Raphinha
                Kane Laca

                Areola; Antonio, Creswell, Aina

                1. _figu
                  • 3 Years
                  3 months, 2 days ago

                  Yea I wouldn't triple. West Ham can easily shut them. Maybe Bamford or Antonio/Lingard instead.

              5. DV8R
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 10 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                DCL to Antonio or Bamford? Will keep for GW30 also

                1. aapoman
                  • 7 Years
                  3 months, 2 days ago

                  Antonio could be a end of the season keeper so him

                  1. FPL ElasticO
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 6 Years
                    3 months, 2 days ago

                    Yeah Antonio will get consistent returns with Lingard around

              6. Fernando Torres
                • 9 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                Pick 1 to start...

                A) Trossard
                ) Bamford
                C) Odegaard
                D) Veltman

              7. thom830g
                • 3 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                Only got 6 players playing.

                Team is
                Lloris
                Reguilon - Dallas - Shaw** - Robertson**
                Son** - Raphinha - Gundo** - Foden**
                Antonio - Bamford

                (4m - Dias, Salah, DCL)

                Will WC next round. Thinking doing:

                A) Son + DCL + Robertson -> Lingard + Kane + Dunk for -4. (9 playing)
                B) Son + DCL -> Lingard + Kane (8 playing)

              8. Silecro
                • 3 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                It is 10am in my homeland Croatia, I'm sitting at my desk at home and recapping how the hell has life changed so much this past year...
                No, not because of COVID..
                ..its because i'm about to do a Salah > Freaking Lingard transfer

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

                  No mention of Orsic? Sold me a dummy there.

                  1. Silecro
                    • 3 Years
                    3 months, 2 days ago

                    Orsic.
                    There it is now 😀

              9. Xanthorpe
                  3 months, 2 days ago

                  I know there's a massive difference in price but Odegaard or Aubameyang? The former is nailed while the latter might be on the bench.

                  1. Xanthorpe
                      3 months, 2 days ago

                      Pepe also a slight consideration because Saka is likely out.

                  2. teneighty
                    • 6 Years
                    3 months, 2 days ago

                    Looking at the pair of fixtures for 29 & 30 I'd say a hit for a Leeds defender, even though it means a double up with Dallas, seems very resonable. Especially as I'm playing BB in GW30.

                    1. Tonyawesome69
                      • 2 Years
                      3 months, 2 days ago

                      This for me

                  3. Ruinenlust
                    • 3 Years
                    3 months, 2 days ago

                    Already have Dunk.

                    Veltman, Reguilon or Adarabioyo?

                    1. Tonyawesome69
                      • 2 Years
                      3 months, 2 days ago

                      Adarabioyo - threat at set pieces which Leeds are poor at

                  4. Jet5605
                    • 6 Years
                    3 months, 2 days ago

                    Planning to WC in GW31. 2 FT and 0.9 ITB so can get 10 starters this week.

                    A - Cancelo & Gundo > Dawson & 8.3 mid
                    B - Cancelo & Stones > Dawson & Fulham defender
                    Other suggestions?

                    Martinez
                    Konsa - Coufal - Dallas
                    Raph - Lingard
                    Bamford - Kane

                    Pope - Salah - Bruno - Bamford - Gundo - Cancelo - Stones

                  5. Totalfootball
                    • 4 Years
                    3 months, 2 days ago

                    Captain kane or raphina ?

                  6. Arteta
                    • 5 Years
                    3 months, 2 days ago

                    Who are your C and VC?

                    1. _figu
                      • 3 Years
                      3 months, 2 days ago

                      Dunk C Kane VC.

                    2. Tonyawesome69
                      • 2 Years
                      3 months, 2 days ago

                      Kane and Raphinha at the moment

                  7. dillydally1982
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 11 Years
                    3 months, 2 days ago

                    a) Dunk & Bale
                    OR
                    b) Reguilon & Lingard

                    I already have Veltman from Brighton and Son/Kane from Spurs. Option A would block me from signing a Chelsea attacker or Alonso next week, so would have to be Rudiger instead.

                    1. Tonyawesome69
                      • 2 Years
                      3 months, 2 days ago

                      A - Rudiger is good enough for Chelsea cover

                  8. Zlatan F.C
                      3 months, 2 days ago

                      Would you do

                      A) Dunk and Lingard (-4)
                      B) Dunk and Bale (-4)
                      C) Bale and Lingard (-4)

                      1. Tonyawesome69
                        • 2 Years
                        3 months, 2 days ago

                        A or B

                    • Arteta
                      • 5 Years
                      3 months, 2 days ago

                      What does Free Hit template look like?

                      1. DAZZ
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 6 Years
                        3 months, 2 days ago

                        Shite

                    • umerlfc
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 5 Years
                      3 months, 2 days ago

                      Is Auba rotation risk against WHU?

                    • Atimis
                      • 4 Years
                      3 months, 2 days ago

                      Pretty lost after last night - Auba or Bale for next 2 GWs?

                      Have Kane.

                      1. Jet5605
                        • 6 Years
                        3 months, 2 days ago

                        I have the same dilemma. Not sure I expect Auba to get much at West Ham and so I'm leaning towards Bale and hoping for Spurs reaction

                      2. vova
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 10 Years
                        3 months, 2 days ago

                        same question, leaning towards Auba I guess. Can see Bale getting his minutes managed.

                    • Jet5605
                      • 6 Years
                      3 months, 2 days ago

                      Planning to WC in 31. 2 FT and 0.9 ITB and so can get 10 starters this week.

                      First transfer is Cancelo > Dawson but who should I get for Salah? I only lose 0.1 by ditching Salah and can get him back in GW31 on WC if his form picks up.

                      A - Bale
                      B - Son
                      C - Other suggestion?

                      Martinez
                      Konsa - Coufal - Dallas
                      Raph - Lingard
                      Bamford - Kane

                      Pope - Salah - Bruno - Bamford - Gundo - Cancelo - Stones

                      1. _figu
                        • 3 Years
                        3 months, 2 days ago

                        Double WH? I'd go Dunk instead. Get Bale or Auba.

                    • arkom
                      • 4 Years
                      3 months, 2 days ago

                      Dallas / Requilon (Dias / Cancelo / Digne)
                      Rapinha / Lingard / Son (Bruno / Gundogan)
                      Kane / Watkins (DCL)

                      2 FT
                      1,5£ ITB

                      A) Dias & Cancelo --> Cresswell & Dunk
                      B) Son, Cancelo & Digne --> Bale, Cresswell & Dunk (-4)
                      C) Bruno, Cancelo & DCL --> Auba. Cresswell & Antonio (-4)
                      D) Son, Bruno, Cancelo, Dias --> Auba, Bale, Cresswell, Dunk (-8)
                      E) Other?

                      1. _figu
                        • 3 Years
                        3 months, 2 days ago

                        Cancelo DCL to Dunk Bamford/Antonio.

                        I'd keep Bruno for Brighton in 30.