Pro Pundit Teams

My FPL Gameweek 37 Bench Boost plans – and why I might write the chip off

Pro Pundits 29

I can’t believe Neale has asked me to write this (ED: I needed some Bench Boost coverage for Gameweek 37 and the bad Gameweek was a very happy coincidence).

I can’t promise this will be the most essential bit of reading you will take in before the penultimate Gameweek but hopefully, it will serve as a bit of entertainment.

At the time of writing, I’ve slipped to a 487% red arrow (thanks, LiveFPL.net), falling from just inside the top 1k (987th) down to 5,689th. If Son Heung-min (£11.0m) carries on his recent form tonight, things will get worse as well.

I’m sure I won’t get too much sympathy. Being nestled within the top 10k with just a few Gameweeks remaining is a great position to be in but it’s hard not to be disappointed when seven weeks ago I was 500th in the world, with two chips left, and ready to start an assault on the top 100. Some poor judgment has ended that dream, with the main problem being my dreadful decision to play the Free Hit chip in Gameweek 34. That cost me 30+ points on my original team and meant I couldn’t play it in Gameweek 36, where we have seen people use it to great effect.

But anyway, the past is the past and there’s no more time for lamenting. Onto my next decision, and my next chip, which is the much-maligned Bench Boost. Let’s see how I’m currently set up, with £1.3m in the bank.

GAMEWEEK 37 BUS TEAM

Oh, dear. A reluctance to stock up on pricier assets on my Gameweek 29 Wildcard now sees me scrape the barrel with some of my selections.

In truth, I don’t mind playing Martin Dubravka (£4.4m) and Bruno Guimaraes (£4.9m) in their home game against Arsenal, who have the small matter of the north London derby tonight. St James’ Park will be rocking and Newcastle have only lost once in their last nine home matches: a narrow 1-0 defeat to Liverpool just a few weeks ago. A minutes per non-penalty expected goal involvement (NPxGI) of 173.8 cements Guimaraes as the Newcastle option with the best underlying stats. The injury to Jonjo Shelvey (£5.3m), the deepest-lying midfielder in the team, is a concern but with Joe Willock (£5.4m) out too, I’m expecting to see Bruno continue in his box-to-box role and Sean Longstaff (£4.3m) to continue as the anchor.

Now, and I can’t believe I’m writing this, the question is what to do about Hwang Hee-chan (£5.4m) and Connor Roberts (£4.4m). The obvious thing to do is sell them. Hwang barely plays with Pedro Neto (£6.2m) preferred up front, and Roberts has little attacking potential and faces two decent attacking sides in Spurs and Villa.

However, are the hits required to move these players on worth sacrificing potentially more significant upgrades in the likes of Aaron Ramsdale (£5.1m) to Jordan Pickford (£4.8m)? Will using some of my saved £1.3m that I had reserved for a potential Matty Cash (£5.2m) to Reece James (£6.4m) move come back to haunt me in Gameweek 38 if I am priced out of it? By using transfers, I will also make it more difficult to move for Son in his final game against Norwich if I want to. With two free transfers, I could move Harry Kane (£12.3m) and Anthony Gordon (£4.6m) to Son and Ivan Toney (£6.7m) in Gameweek 38, for example.

NEGLECT THE BENCH BOOST?

This is the horrible bit about the Bench Boost. By focusing transfers on improving your bench for, and I mean no disrespect, more “mediocre” players, it can be harder to get in the assets that are more likely to bring home the big points. With so few games left, my instinct is telling me to just write this Bench Boost off, take the likely 7-10 points and better attack the final two Gameweeks with players I actually want to see in my XI.

POSSIBLE BENCH BOOST OPTIONS

If I do decide to upgrade my bench, Hwang to Danny Welbeck (£5.9m) is probably a move at the top of my list. I’ve been so impressed with how Welbeck has been leading the line for Brighton and with returns in his last three games, he’s been a key figure in our impressive recent form. He needs to work on his conversion rate though (I’m sure I’ve heard that before when it comes to Brighton strikers…) with just 5.6% of his shots finding the net over his last six games – but his minutes per NPxGI of 160.7 is encouraging and better than the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo (217.7), for example. Leeds seems a good game to target, given that only Norwich (44.8) and Southampton (43) have a worse minutes per expected goals conceded (xGC) average over the last six Gameweeks (49.7).

Another move I could make is upgrading Roberts to Marcos Alonso (£5.7m) which loses me a Double Gameweek player but strengthens me for Gameweek 38 given that he now appears to be off Thomas Tuchel’s naughty step. Alonso sits top of all defenders for minutes per NPxGI (210) over the last six Gameweeks and second only to Antonio Rudiger (£6.1m) for minutes per shot (37.1 vs 36).


Anyway, that’s my current thinking. I’d love to hear from people from Fantasy Football Scout who have had similar Bench Boost dilemmas or from those who still have the chip left to play. What are your plans? Is it worth prioritising the bench at the cost of strengthening your main team for the next two Gameweeks? Should FPL do away with the chip altogether!? Let me know in the comments!


Full-year memberships and monthly subscriptions are all now available.

Join now to get the following:

  • Plot your transfer strategies using the fully interactive Season Ticker.
  • Get projections for every Premier League player provided by the Rate My Team statistical model.
  • Use Rate My Team throughout the season to guide your selections and transfers.
  • Get access to Members content in over 250+ articles over the season.
  • Analyse our OPTA-powered statistic tables specifically tailored for Fantasy Football Managers.
  • Use our exclusive tool to build custom stats tables from over 100 OPTA player and team stats.
  • Enjoy our Flat-Track Bully feature which introduces an opposition filter to your tables.
  • View heatmaps and expected goals data for every player.
  • Use our powerful comparison tool to analyse players head-to-head.

ALREADY A USER? CLICK HERE TO UPGRADE YOUR FREE ACCOUNT

NEW TO SCOUT? CLICK HERE TO START A MEMBERSHIP ACCOUNT


Az Membership Strategy Manager for FFS and one half of the FPL BlackBox YouTube series with Mark Sutherns.” Follow him on Twitter

169 Comments Post a Comment
  1. FantasyTony
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 7 days ago

    Ben(ch) White

    1. sulldaddy
      • 12 Years
      3 months, 7 days ago

      Thanks to the folks on here that told me to sell White for Matip!

      Cheers to you!

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

    Who wins tonight?

    Rival-Odegaard + Nketiah

    Me-Son + Saka

    Me on 118pts to date.

    Him on 147. Gained about 30 on me so far

    1. FantasyTony
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 7 days ago

      I'd say you're likely to outscore him tonight but not recoup the 29 point deficit.

      1. camarozz
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 7 days ago

        Nope not a hope of that. Lead is down to 29 now.

        I am better set up for remaining two gws than he is. Both used FH this wk.

        My dilemma now is Salah or Kdb

  3. Joey Jo-Jo Junior Shabadoo
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    3 months, 7 days ago

    Lovely jubbly, no Romero, we're going to seal top 4 in their back yard.

  4. Kane Lane
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 7 days ago

    40pts clear rival has FH I have BB two games to go. What do need to do to win.

    1. greenybne
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 7 days ago

      Play it safe and hope there isn’t a goal fest in 38.

      1. Kane Lane
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 7 days ago

        Safe how?

        1. European Bob
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          Funny how?

          1. NorCal Villan
              3 months, 7 days ago

              Like a clown?

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

            Team dependent but BB should be better this week. With rotation in the last week, you may not have a bench

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

        Play the same way that has got you to this position, and don't panic

        1. Kane Lane
          • 7 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          Kdb TC

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

      How’s this FH?

      Pickford
      Cash Digne TAA
      KDB Son Zaha Gordon
      Kane Ings Richarlison

      Steele KDH Amartey Tskimikas

      Kane a better option than Vardy?

      1. greenybne
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 7 days ago

        If Spurs win tonight then Kane over Vardy.

        Otherwise Vardy is a great differential and you have Spurs covered

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

      Only got FH left and saving for 38.

      Struggling with transfers and also who to bench! Any help appreciated as I broke into the top 60k for the first time ever!

      Kasper, Foster
      TAA, Cancelo, Matip, Alonso, Guehi
      Son, Salah, Saka, KDB, Gordon
      Nkietah, Richardson, (Greenwood)

      1 FT and 0.4ITB

      Alonso - Digne?
      Alonso, Saka - Digne, Zaha? (-4)
      Alonso, Nkietah - Digne, Wellbeck? (-4)

    4. Mr. O'Connell hates DG…
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 7 days ago

      Tavares better not cameo

      1. TheAbear53
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 7 days ago

        Oops, what ya doing ?

    5. 03farmboy
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 7 days ago

      Would you rather have a spurs defender or Nkietah for last two games??

      1. greenybne
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 7 days ago

        Spurs. If Everton have something to fight for then they could close shop

        1. 03farmboy
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          Which spurs defender do you think is best option?

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

            Sess

            1. 03farmboy
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 7 days ago

              Do you think he starts both games?

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

                Yes

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

            Dier or Romero as he got benched today

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

            Sessegnon 100%

            1. 03farmboy
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 7 days ago

              Do you think he starts both remaining games??

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

                Should do. Reguilon out injured

    6. g40steve
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 7 days ago

      As a non KDB owner shite week sums it up.

      To FH37 or 38, team linked.

    7. BIG TONES
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 7 days ago

      Anyone else not used their bench boosy yet? I decided to use my second FH this week instead

      1. BIG TONES
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 7 days ago

        And yes I meant bench boosy

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

        I’d BB this week and FH next. A few cheap players who could go well this week

        1. BIG TONES
          • 7 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          I did bring in KDB (c), Laporte and others which I wouldn't have had on BB

    8. AC/DC AFC
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 7 days ago

      Be huge if Arsenal secure top 4 at Tottenham Hotspur tonight.

    9. Slitherene
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 7 days ago

      On a FH..

      A) Maddison, Mane, Ings
      Or?
      B) Sterling, Trossard, Vardy

    10. Gianluca Busio's Hair …
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 7 days ago

      Tavares punt went well then.

      1. The Ilfordian
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 7 days ago

        Bad luck. Had him in one of my drafts

        1. WALOR
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 13 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          This is their best:
          https://youtu.be/S4KHveeGUAs

          1. NorCal Villan
              3 months, 7 days ago

              Respect! Don’t encounter too many who remember them. We’re showin’ our age

              1. WALOR
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 13 Years
                3 months, 7 days ago

                The past is a foreign country

      2. 03farmboy
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 7 days ago

        Who’s the best spurs defender to get in??

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

          Sess or Royal

        2. NorCal Villan
            3 months, 7 days ago

            Tim Duncan or STFU

        3. DA Minnion (Former great)
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          Seldom if ever has my transfers worked better than this week.
          White weghorst dubravka and Schar
          To
          Holgate Nkeitah Foster and Alonso.
          Minus 8 well spent.

          1. Old Man
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            Nice work - well done!

        4. schlupptheweek
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          Tempted to do a -8 with Salah, Martinelli and Pukki to Trincao, Neto and Kane. Looks awful on paper given Wolves score usual 0-1 goals and neither are nailed, but Norwich are terrible.

          1. DA Minnion (Former great)
            • 10 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            So are wolves.

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

            Incredibly 1-week focused - Salah could match all 3. And what's your plan for GW38 with 2 Wolves vs Liverpool?

            1. schlupptheweek
              • 8 Years
              3 months, 7 days ago

              We've only got 2 weeks left and everyone's getting Palace and Everton players so this is a mad alternative and I can bench both Neto and Trincao GW38

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

                A bit too mad for me I'm afraid - and as said below unlikely they both start

                1. schlupptheweek
                  • 8 Years
                  3 months, 7 days ago

                  Tbh I can completely agree with the criticism, it's food for thought but I'm definitely wanting to take some crazy risks given I'm 120k with not much to lose.

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

            I think if one of Neto/Trincao starts, the other doesn't. Had a brief look at Wolves for FH due to the fixture but none of them really appeal much atm

            1. schlupptheweek
              • 8 Years
              3 months, 7 days ago

              Pedro Neto has been playing well and with his minutes being managed 65 explosive minutes would be the hope. If 2 are played in CM then that could open up Trincao (or maybe Chiquinho) in a front 3. There's also Hwang and Silva but I'm hoping they'd be competing for Jimenez's place. Needless to say this would be like picking numbers for the lottery but it might be worth looking a predicted teams.

        5. Art Vandelay
          • 11 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          I see Coutinho has signed a permanent deal. Hopefully he can actually get me some points next GW

        6. DavidBW
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 7 days ago

          Smith Rowe should be starting for Arsenal.

          He’s the top goal scorer FFS. Always looks dangerous.

        7. Original Sin
          • 7 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          On 134 points for GW36 so far, so i can afford some hits for GW37. keeping that in mind, please suggest

          A. TAA+Salah+ Broja ->Cash+ Son+Richarlison ( -4)
          B. TAA+Broja->Cash+Richarlison
          C. TAA+Salah+Broja-> Cash+ Zaha+Kane/Vardy
          D. TAA+Robbo+ Broja-> Cash+Clyne+ Vardy ( -4)

          Current team:
          Guaita
          TAA Robbo Cancelo Alonso
          Salah Saka KDB Mount Maddison
          Watkins
          Foster Schar Broja Gelhardt

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

          Coutinho just signed permanent deal with villa

          Keep for 37 so for the laugh?

          1. Ginkapo FPL
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            No longer stressing about money leagues?

            1. camarozz
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              3 months, 7 days ago

              I am big time. Lead down to 29 after last nite.

              Have Coutinho and not sure he want him tbh.

              1. camarozz
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 8 Years
                3 months, 7 days ago

                I*

        9. zon
          • 7 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          How's this for a FH team

          Pickford
          Cash Digne Mykolenko Robbo
          Salah KDB Son Maddison
          Richarlison Ings

          Hear out my reasoning

          - Salah - Soton are shite and are able to concede 9 at home
          - KDB/Son - they're on fire
          - Double Villa def: both attacking, cleanies would be bonus
          - Double Eve def: expect Eve to keep it tight at home, Pickford for saves and Myko WB
          - Maddison: Watford down and injury crisis, Chelsea not tight either. Vardy's minutes I trust even less.
          - NO ZAHA: CP are shite away, his good records have come against bad form sides recently. Villa & Eve away not The easiest atm.

          1. Wee Jinky
            • 10 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            Another reason you don't want to include Zaha is you have 5 defenders ZAHA will be up against?

          2. Wee Jinky
            • 10 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            Sorry 4 (but still a lot)