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. EWH2020
    • 7 Years
    4 months, 10 days ago

    Why no love for Odergaard?

    1. Qaiss
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 10 days ago

      Shhh

    2. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 10 days ago

      Didnt score in Europa

    3. Steve The Spud
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 10 days ago

      playing a good defence, hasn't done much except scuff a great chance against spurs which happened to bounce off a defender and go in

    4. Hotdogs for Tea
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 10 days ago

      is he nailed ? was dropped last night 😉

  2. iL PiStOlErO
    • 2 Years
    4 months, 10 days ago

    Salah+DCL+McCharty to Bale+Watkins+Sanchez(-4)?

    McCharty Pope
    DALLAS COUFAL TARGETT Dias Cancelo
    RAPHINHA SOUCEK Salah Bruno Gundo
    KANE BAMFORD Calvert

    2ft, 0.5itb

  3. Abusive_Sgt_Daelrhos
    • 7 Years
    4 months, 10 days ago

    Repost soz

    What to do here lads, 1FT, 4.6 ITB:

    Martinez,Button
    Cancelo,Dias,Walker,Coufal,Mitchell
    Bruno,Son,Bale,Gundo,Raphinha
    Antonio,Bamford,DCL

    That's 7 players with Son and Bam flagged

  4. Me Spurs
    • 3 Years
    4 months, 10 days ago

    Better option?
    A: salah to lingard
    B: dcl to Antonio

  5. Goonsquad245
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 10 days ago

    As an Arsenal fan, I think Dunk outscores Auba this week.

    1. Miguel Sanchez
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 10 days ago

      2 is higher than 1

    2. jayzico
      • 10 Years
      4 months, 10 days ago

      Me too unfortunately. So got them both. May drop auba for a, ahem, brighton mid

  6. dunas_dog
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 10 days ago

    Is DCL to Bamford too risky as we don't know for sure he will start but if he does then 2 good fixtures for Leeds in 29 and 30 v one good fixture for Everton in 30 (assuming that their double week falls later in season now)-

    A Make move
    B Keep DCL

  7. son of city
      4 months, 10 days ago

      where does someone get the strength to sell son even if he's on a 75% chance hip injury.

      1. HMC
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        4 months, 10 days ago

        tbf the 75% is plucked from thin air

        1. lespaul
          • 11 Years
          4 months, 10 days ago

          mine says 25%

      2. Holmes
        • 7 Years
        4 months, 10 days ago

        Having scored only 2 goal in last 15 games is good enough reason to do the move

        1. son of city
            4 months, 10 days ago

            having son is not only about goals, it's about creating chances and having assists

            1. Holmes
              • 7 Years
              4 months, 10 days ago

              5 assists during that period, nothing to be proud of I guess

              Its understandable if someone is getting rid or avoiding him. He is not doing damage at the moment, not helping in rank improvement either.

          • Jellyfish
            • 9 Years
            4 months, 10 days ago

            3 assists in his last 4 isn't too shabby though (esp. considering he only played 18mins in gw28)

          • pingissimus
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            4 months, 10 days ago

            Goodbye Mo KdB Vardy Rashford Bamford DCL - hello team of quadruple Bruno with triple Kane up top 🙂

            There's a serious dearth of goals all around. Ran the returns for everyone over 8.0 or so and there was so little between any of them. Sterling and Rashford looked decent picks!

      3. Marc Jobling
        • 9 Years
        4 months, 10 days ago

        I was pretty happy with having 9 for this week until it appears that everyone else has 9 or more!

        Not sure whether to use 2 subs on:
        (a) Lingard & Watkins
        (b) Antonio & Trossard/Lookman
        (c) Mid-priced midfielder & Areola

        1. DAZZ
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          4 months, 10 days ago

          Your “everyone has 9” is a very low percentage of the game, many have lower. This forum only makes up a tiny tiny percentage of the player base

        2. Original - Wolves Ay We
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          4 months, 10 days ago

          You under-estimated us. 😉

          b looks the best option

      4. Jon Walter's Hatty
        • 7 Years
        4 months, 10 days ago

        Has it come to this, staking my entire season on Tossard and Pepe among others...

        1. Jonny HOW SON?
          • 6 Years
          4 months, 10 days ago

          strange times mate

      5. DMP
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        4 months, 10 days ago

        Any move worth an hit?

        A) NO
        B) DCL -» Antonio
        C) Stones -» Dunk/Cresswell/Tierney
        D) Gundo -» Auba

        Sanchez
        Dallas Coufal X
        Raphinha Bale Son** Lingard
        Kane Bamford** X
        Dias Stones Gundongan

        1. DMP
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          4 months, 10 days ago

          Sanchez
          Dallas Coufal X
          Raphinha Bale Son** Lingard
          Kane Bamford** DCL***
          Dias Stones Gundongan

        2. Dirty Harry
          • 6 Years
          4 months, 10 days ago

          Probably keep DCL for GW30

      6. jayzico
        • 10 Years
        4 months, 10 days ago

        Is Auba likely to play?

        1. Original - Wolves Ay We
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          4 months, 10 days ago

          Yes

        2. Miguel Sanchez
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          4 months, 10 days ago

          Probably more likely to if Saka is out

      7. Alisson WondHaaland
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        4 months, 10 days ago

        GW 31 wildcarders, who are you bringing in this week?

        Currently my top 3 options are:
        - Raphinha
        - Bale
        - Lingard

        1. Dirty Harry
          • 6 Years
          4 months, 10 days ago

          Prob Bale, got the other two.

      8. Tommy Tynans Left Shin Pad
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        4 months, 10 days ago

        Gundogan out for Raph -4? Gundo playing deeper as well. I have KDB

        1. DavidBadWillie
            4 months, 10 days ago

            I think I'm doing this exact move too.

          • Would Ed Woodward
            • 2 Years
            4 months, 10 days ago

            Did you watch the Gladbach game? Sounds like you've convinced yourself to do it either way.

            1. Tommy Tynans Left Shin Pad
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              4 months, 10 days ago

              I didn't see it mate. Was he further forward was he?

          • Hotdogs for Tea
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            4 months, 10 days ago

            think i would sell KDB .. can’t see him getting many PL starts

        2. Jon Walter's Hatty
          • 7 Years
          4 months, 10 days ago

          Free hit team done and 7.5 left im bank sums it up really

        3. DavidBadWillie
            4 months, 10 days ago

            Without free hit if you have a good team this week you're in trouble for the game weeks after.

            Total dross this week.

          • Rik Waller
            • 3 Years
            4 months, 10 days ago

            People bringing in Bale are mugs

            1. Rik Waller
              • 3 Years
              4 months, 10 days ago

              Actually, I get him

              1. Steve The Spud
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 1 Year
                4 months, 10 days ago

                lol

              2. The Knights Template
                • 7 Years
                4 months, 10 days ago

                Many don't get him but I think he's easy to understand.

            2. Ben White saved my life
              • 7 Years
              4 months, 10 days ago

              High upside and a bit of fun. I'm taking a - 8 to bring in Watkins, Dunk and Cresswell. Still won't have 11 players after a silly wildcard last week and injuries galore. That's the definition of a mug!

          • Buck The Trent
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            4 months, 10 days ago

            Have 8 players at the mo

            Which move is best?
            A Gundo to Bale
            B Cancelo to Cresswell
            C both for -4

            1. The Knights Template
              • 7 Years
              4 months, 10 days ago

              B

          • Sonder
            • 7 Years
            4 months, 10 days ago

            RMT

            Currently at 9 (including Son and Bamford), and I'm unsure who to bring in. Should I transfer out Gundogan or Cancelo? Should I take a -4/-8?

            Martinez, (Areola)
            Dallas, Coufal, (Stones, Cancelo, Lowton)
            Bale, Raphinha, Son***, (Fernandes, Gundogan)
            Kane, Watkins, Bamford***

            1 FT, 4.6 ITB, no FH

            1. Corgzzzz
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 6 Years
              4 months, 10 days ago

              Who do you want to bring in ??

              1. Sonder
                • 7 Years
                4 months, 10 days ago

                Perhaps Lingard, Cresswell, or Auba?

          • DAZZ
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            4 months, 10 days ago

            Anything worth a -4 here? 1.1ITB

            Martinez
            Burn Struijk
            Bale(C) Raphina Auba
            Kane Watkins Antonio

            (Forster, Alonso, Gundo, Dias, Stones, Bruno)

            1. son of city
                4 months, 10 days ago

                dallas

            2. THEKID_88
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              4 months, 10 days ago

              Should I keep Stones or Cancelo for the run in?

              1. son of city
                  4 months, 10 days ago

                  the answer about city diff question is never accurate but would consider cancelo

              2. Magic Hamster
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 8 Years
                4 months, 10 days ago

                Despite excellent(ish) planning for this gw I find myself with 4 yellow flags. Going to wc in 30/31...Best option of this lot to get in?... Leaning towards D

                A. Aubameyang
                B. Bale
                C. Raphina
                D. Lingard

                Thanks.

                1. The Knights Template
                  • 7 Years
                  4 months, 10 days ago

                  D is a good choice

              3. Keeptrying
                • 7 Years
                4 months, 10 days ago

                DCL to Watkins worth a hit?

                1. DavidBadWillie
                    4 months, 10 days ago

                    DCL has Crystal Palace next GW. Could backfire easily...

                    1. Finding Timo
                        4 months, 10 days ago

                        I have the exact same question. Watkins is more tempting with jack potentially back ?

                        1. Keeptrying
                          • 7 Years
                          4 months, 10 days ago

                          That's also what I am thinking. I don't really rate Watkins, but surely he is due? Also bit worried about his ownership numbers

                          1. Finding Timo
                              4 months, 10 days ago

                              Few threads on DCL to Watkins , most seem to say not worth it though. Back to square one for me! Salah to XXX?!?!

                              1. Keeptrying
                                • 7 Years
                                4 months, 10 days ago

                                I see, cheers.
                                I am getting rid of Salah. Lingard coming in.
                                Depending on your team and MLs, Bale / Auba / Trossard etc. are all a shout, assuming you have Raph.

                                Good luck

                        2. Keeptrying
                          • 7 Years
                          4 months, 10 days ago

                          Thanks. That's the dilemma

                      • Biggsy
                        • 6 Years
                        4 months, 10 days ago

                        Not for a hit. Probably not even for free

                        1. Keeptrying
                          • 7 Years
                          4 months, 10 days ago

                          That was my original thinking. Probably should stay put, but it is still tempting to risk it vs Spurs.

                    2. PP6
                      • 2 Years
                      4 months, 10 days ago

                      Mitchell -> Dunk or Tierney?

                      And is Salah to Auba worth -4? * not my team just helping someone out

                    3. Steager
                      • 4 Years
                      4 months, 10 days ago

                      Pick 2 for this week out of the below:

                      (A)uba
                      (B)ale
                      (L)ingard

                      Thanks

                      1. The Knights Template
                        • 7 Years
                        4 months, 10 days ago

                        AL

                    4. Xabatlea
                      • 3 Years
                      4 months, 10 days ago

                      Wildcarding GW 31.
                      A) Salah to Bale
                      B) Sterling to Raphinha (-4)
                      C) Lowton to Dunk ( another -4).

                      Would you make all if them?
                      Thanks

                      1. The Knights Template
                        • 7 Years
                        4 months, 10 days ago

                        Just C

                      2. Biggsy
                        • 6 Years
                        4 months, 10 days ago

                        Just B

                    5. Mr. O'Connell
                      • 9 Years
                      4 months, 10 days ago

                      CHEERS FOR THAT DEAN SMITH

                      1. Jon Walter's Hatty
                        • 7 Years
                        4 months, 10 days ago

                        What do you expect he hates Fantasy Footy

                    6. Vovhund
                      • 2 Years
                      4 months, 10 days ago

                      Lingard or Ødegaard?

                      1. DV8R
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 10 Years
                        4 months, 10 days ago

                        Lingz

                      2. Jon Walter's Hatty
                        • 7 Years
                        4 months, 10 days ago

                        Rightgard...as it wont let you down...

                    7. DV8R
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 10 Years
                      4 months, 10 days ago

                      Antonio or Bamford?

                      Really want Bamford for Sheffield but Antonio is playing well...

                      1. Mr. O'Connell
                        • 9 Years
                        4 months, 10 days ago

                        Antonio is not playing well (in FPL terms at least)

                    8. DA Minnion (In Bielsa we tr…
                      • 9 Years
                      4 months, 10 days ago

                      Dean Smith.
                      Jack is pain free and running but hasn't trained with us yet.Will leave it till Sunday morning.
                      Doubt he'll be involved. That's annoying.

                      1. Biggsy
                        • 6 Years
                        4 months, 10 days ago

                        Keep him if you have him, but don't bring him in

                    9. BrutalLogiC
                      • 5 Years
                      4 months, 10 days ago

                      Areola or Martinez