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. Disco Stu
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    2 months, 29 days ago

    Auba or Lingard?

    1. Jet5605
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      Lin

    2. Little Red Lacazette
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      Went with Lingard.

  2. Jet5605
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 29 days ago

    Which combo to get: Already have Coufal:

    A - Cresswell
    B - Dunk

    1 - Bale
    2 - Auba

    1. linkafu
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 29 days ago

      B1

  3. TeddiPonza
    • 10 Years
    2 months, 29 days ago

    Current FH team. Who would you bench out of this? Feel like whoever I bench, the bench will outscore my starting 11 😀

    Martinez Sanchez
    Reguilon Dunk Tierney Dallas Cresswell
    Raphinha Aubameyang Bale Lingard Trossard
    Bamford Kane Lacazette

    Thanks.

    1. The Ilfordian
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      Great team; tough choice. Bamford seems out of form against a strong Fulham defence and may not play so him, and Trossard hasn’t scored a lot so those two. I would almost be tempted to go five at the back given recent low scores and chance of attacking returns (bench Laca - could be benched anyway) but as I think Cresswell is more likely to score (from set pieces) than Tierney, I’d probably go (tentatively) for Tierney

    2. pingissimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      Auba Laca tricky

      Do they ever start together? Haven't checked but just recently I think the pattern is either or post EL. You could play both just to get one I suppose - seems a very defensive play given they are away to a rested side with one of the top defences in the country. I'd lose one of them.

      I might actually lose all 3 Arsenal and hitch my wagon to WH doing a job on them

    3. Salan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      Choose those with high ownership.

  4. Fernando Torres
    • 9 Years
    2 months, 29 days ago

    On free hit...

    A) Play Reg and Trossard
    B) Play Veltman and Son. If Son doesn't play then Bamford/Cresswell/Tierney come in

  5. Tmel
    • 10 Years
    2 months, 29 days ago

    Which 2 of the below transfers to go for (bearing in mind I have no WC or chips left):

    a) Gundo > Lingz
    b) Salah > Lingz
    c) Salah > Bale
    d) Salah > Auba
    e) Cancelo > Cresswell
    f) Just one of the above (if so, which)

    1. pingissimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      I'd think about D

      There's a gamble involved but GW31 against SHU looks 100% plum. Most seem to be focussed on the Leeds City that week but this could be just as good and maybe more so. Away to Liverpool in 30 is also far from a red fixture right now.

      E would be my other pick depending on what other 33 bankers you have. Cresswell has outperformed Cancelo anyway this season and gets 2 more fixtures and has no rotation risk.

    2. ebb2sparky
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      I might sell Salah this week but wouldn’t if I didn’t have a wild card. I wouldn’t sell Gündogan if you have money in him so E I guess

    3. SmasherLagru
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 29 days ago

      A n e

  6. tom_p77
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    2 months, 29 days ago

    Bamford or Antonio?

  7. as33
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 29 days ago

    Which 1 for captain:
    a) Bamford
    b) Raphinha
    c) Kane
    d) Antonio

  8. fcsaltyballs
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 29 days ago

    Is Cancelo >> Dallas worth a hit?

  9. Salarrivederci
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 29 days ago

    Gtg?

    Lloris
    Dallas - Dunk - Veltman
    Auba - Bale - Trossard (C) - Lingard - Raphinha
    Kane - Antonio

    Areola - Laca - Cresswell - Tierney

    1. cruzex
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      why trossard (c)?

      1. Salarrivederci
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 29 days ago

        Like the punt 🙂

  10. The Mighty Whites
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 29 days ago

    Get rid of Gundogan or Son for Lingard??

    1. vaspv
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      same dilemma as me. Logically Gundogan because Son will face Newcastle after the break and potential dgw maybe although unlikely. Also Gundo blanks in 33. But then getting rid of Gundogan with his ownership and goal threat is tricky.

    2. Jellyfish
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      I'm in the same boat and leaning towards Gundo because I am trying to convince myself that the hay has been made with him and his evident deeper role (since KDB's return) suggests its time to cash in anyway. I'm not totally convinced however and it is a risk....

    3. ILOVEBAPS
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      Son

  11. Gudjohnsen
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 29 days ago

    Pick 2:

    A. Auba
    B. Bale
    C. Lingard

    1. b91jh
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      ac

  12. b91jh
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 29 days ago

    Cancelo/Gundo to Dallas/Trossard (-4) yay or nay?

  13. DAZZ
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 29 days ago

    Is the captaincy this GW a good opportunity to make up ground or considering Kanes EO, play safe? 140K OR No chips

    1. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      I think next week will be better opportunity to differentiate in terms of captaincy, better to go with flow this week I guess.

    2. Sterling Archer
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      Spurs just lost away in europe over 120 mins then play Sunday.

      He will play but surely some fatigue from travelling/playing will have an effect.

      Im thinking a punt on a west ham player, Lingard or Antonio

    3. Mr. O'Connell
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      Running out of weeks to make ground. I'm gambling anyway.

  14. GE
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 29 days ago

    (Plan to WC31)

    1. GE
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      1) Gundo and Digne -> Lingard and Creswell (-8)
      2) Gundo and Cancelo -> Lingard and Dawson/Dunk (-8) (Max 5.6, have Weltman and Dallas)
      3) Not worth it

      1. Salan
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        2 months, 29 days ago

        2

        I may even take -12 / -16 hits to make it 9 / 10.

    2. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      not worth it

  15. Shark Team
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 29 days ago

    Don't get Auba guys he will be benched. Im an owner and I hate him, Bale and Lingard both better picks for this gw.

    1. Prison Mike
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      How many minutes will Bale get do you think?

      1. pingissimus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 29 days ago

        About the same as in other weeks when he blanked or hauled.

  16. AutoFill 2021
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 29 days ago

    This has probably been asked a thousand times:

    Can I use my regular transfer to change my team, then free hit and the regular transfer be in my team next week? or is it lost once I free hit.

    Thanks in advance

    1. Prison Mike
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      Transfer will be lost once you free hit my friend

    2. vaspv
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      all saved transfers are lost in free hit

      1. AutoFill 2021
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 29 days ago

        Shame, thought I had beaten the system! Thanks

  17. Prison Mike
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 29 days ago

    Which combo?

    A) Auba
    B) Bale

    1) Dunk
    2) Veltman

    1. linkafu
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 29 days ago

      B2

    2. Jambot
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      B1

    3. Jellyfish
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      B1

    4. Salan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      Many including pundits suggest Auba. But I even don't consider him at all.

  18. Lallana
    • 7 Years
    2 months, 29 days ago

    My transfers:

    Lowton>Tierney
    Tierney rotates well with my defence and Burnley have been poor. Worried about him getting rested though...looks knackered

    Salah>Bale
    Blank and against a tough Arsenal defence next week for Salah

    Stones>Cresswell
    Took his massive points and got Dias and Gundogan. Want to create space for KDB in the future potentially as my third city asset

  19. Rains of Castamere
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 29 days ago

    Having seen that Spurs defensive debacle last night, I'm now quite excited about owning Arsenal-fan Ollie Watkins this weekend.

    1. Biggsy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      I'd be more excited if i knew Grealish was starting...

      1. Rains of Castamere
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 29 days ago

        That would be great.

  20. SomeoneKnows
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 29 days ago

    Martinez (Fabri)
    Dallas, Coufal, Veltman (Cancelo, Stones)
    Son*, Grealish* (Salah, Bruno, Gundogan)
    Kane, Bamford (DCL)

    Transfer ideas with 2FT? (WC still intact)

    Thinking of doing Salah > Bale but not sure regarding the second transfer

  21. Jet5605
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 29 days ago

    Risk buying Son or get Bale?

  22. gmando2011
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    2 months, 29 days ago

    is it worth a -4 to get in Auba & Raphina (or lingard) - for Son & Foden?

  23. linkafu
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 29 days ago

    Who's on pens at West Ham?

    1. Silecro
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      Lingz or Tony

      1. linkafu
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 29 days ago

        That's the problem

    2. _figu
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      Rice said it should be his.

  24. Silecro
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 29 days ago

    Is it crazy to go with Dallas as captain? I have a bit of catching up to do in my ML, some 80 points

    1. _figu
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      Why not? Can deliver on both ends and has a high ceiling.

      I'm seriously considering Dunk.

      1. Silecro
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 29 days ago

        Yeah, Newcastle and Fulham are like perfectly served for some Dunk/Dallas 1-0 goal win and 15 pointer

    2. Boris Bodega
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      I'm captaining Dallas - high points ceiling and a differential.

  25. linkafu
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 29 days ago

    Help:

    A Antonio and trossard
    B Maupay and Lingard
    C Antonio and Bale
    D Maupay and Bale

  26. fcsaltyballs
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 29 days ago

    Who out for Dallas:

    1. Cancelo
    2. Stones

  27. TaiwanHC
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 29 days ago

    FH team GTG?

    Sanchez
    Regulion - Dunk - Dallas
    Aubameyang - Bale - Lingard - Trossard - Raphinha
    Kane - Antonio

    Areola, Lacazette, Tierney, Cresswell

  28. Jet5605
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 29 days ago

    Get Son or Bale?

    Son is more risky I guess

    1. Miguel Sanchez
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      Bale but played a lot of mins yesterday despite starting from bench

  29. Dark Side Of The Loon!
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 29 days ago

    Play Raphinha or Dunk?

  30. DV8R
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    2 months, 29 days ago

    Lowton to Dunk worth a hit then?

    1. Pompel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 29 days ago

      Only if having WC in hand to get him out again

      1. Jellyfish
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 29 days ago

        I've done it and am planning on doing Dunk > Azpi gw30 (no WC)