Pro Pundit Teams

From safe to high-risk: Four Free Hit drafts for FPL Gameweek 37

Pras and Sonaldo the latest additions to the FFScout team

What a nice feeling this is, to have a deadline almost 48 hours after the press conferences. Time to relax and reflect. This is, of course, unless you are on a Free Hit. For those of us using this chip, we all have another 48 hours to overthink things!

For my final article this season, I’ll share some thoughts on Free Hit drafts heading into the deadline at 10.30am BST on Sunday. More specifically, I want to talk about what options we have to calibrate the risk profile of the Free Hit, taking into account your rank goals or mini-league state. I’ll go from the straight bat, forward defensive to the ‘six in the stands’ draft. Remember though, the riskier your shot, the higher the likelihood of getting out. 

Template locks

With good reason, I see seven players locked in most Free Hit teams. These are:

  • Jordan Pickford 
  • Matty Cash, Lucas Digne 
  • Mohamed Salah, Son Heung-min 
  • Richarlison, Danny Ings

One could argue that Philippe Coutinho or Ollie Watkins could make it, instead of say, Digne, if they were nailed to start both games. But with Steven Gerrard’s comments yesterday on Watkins’ availability for the Crystal Palace game, it reduces the appeal for both players on a Free Hit: Watkins for obvious reasons but I say Coutinho as well because if Watkins does indeed return against Burnley, there is a risk Villa play two up top with Emiliano Buendia in behind. I’m not suggesting this will happen, I’m just saying it’s a risk. I should also add that for those not on a Free Hit, both Coutinho and Watkins are easy holds. Both could play 120 mins+, which may be enough.

The above seven take up about £61m of the budget. Add another £16.6m for the four bench spots and we have a total £77.6m spend. How can we calibrate risk for the remaining £25-27m?

The safe draft

Using the remainder of the budget to add the two highest owned defenders and a high owned forward is the safest Free Hit draft in my view. There is limited upside but also very limited downside. I have essentially used up the remaining budget on Harry Kane, Jooa Cancelo and Trent Alexander-Arnold (or Andrew Robertson, for those with a low team value).

With this team, I own four of the five most owned players in the top 10k. The missing one is Bukayo Saka, who you can cautiously back against given the tougher fixture on paper away to Newcastle. 

A word on Kane v Kevin De Bruyne. Despite the Belgian’s unreal performance versus Wolves in midweek, I am backing Kane. I think with Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez likely coming back into the fold, it will change De Bruyne’s role back to the assister. He may do splendidly there as well but when you also add the fact that West Ham are playing their final home game, I expect the Hammers to put in a disciplined performance and stay competitive till the end.

Kane on the other hand will be on a high after the strong outing in the north London derby. Spurs can smell fourth place, and this should mean a strong performance at home to Burnley to keep the pressure up on Arsenal, who themselves have a tough away game at St James’ Park.

The bold draft

In the next version, let’s take away the 86% owned (in the top 10k) City defender, Joao Cancelo. This draft turns him into Diogo Jota or Luis Diaz depending on whoever gets fewer minutes in the FA Cup final on Saturday. To fund this, it also removes Kane or De Bruyne to a 0.27%-owned Jamie Vardy, who doubles vs Watford and Chelsea. If somehow we get news pre-deadline that Vardy starts the Watford game, it may be worth going there.

This gives the draft more upside, both from an effective ownership perspective but also in the fact that it attacks the Southampton fixture that Liverpool may use to make a final push to close the goal difference on Man City.

The very bold draft

The next draft removes another 86% owned (in top 10k) defender in Alexander-Arnold and upgrades Jota to De Bruyne. Is it high risk? Yes? Could it pay off? Of course.

While this team looks really good on paper, I do worry about only having one player in a well-owned Liverpool team against a Southampton side that have looked dire recently. When you add that “risk” to also not owning Cancelo and Kane, two popular players in non-Free Hit drafts, you are indeed in very high-risk/high-reward territory.

The ‘YOLO’ draft

Want to throw everything into this Gameweek? Don’t care if you lose 20-50k in rank, as long as you can tell the grandkids you tried? Well, then sell Mohamed Salah for Sadio Mane. The money saved can go into upgrading Vardy back to Kane, so you’ve got four big-hitters from Liverpool, City and Spurs all in one draft. For those that can’t get to this because of team value, can downgrade Vitalli Mykolenko or Cash to the centre-backs from those teams eg. Mason Holgate and Tyrone Mings.

There are, of course, many other variants to the Free Hit in Gameweek 37. One can add James Maddison, Anthony Gordon and Coutinho and/or change the formation. I stuck to the paths that I have been considering the most. It’s fair to say that I am currently looking at variants #1 and #2, but that is because I am currently ranked at 9.5k, which is close to my end-of-season goal. 

Lots may counter this piece and say, you should simply pick the team that scores the most points. To them I say, I think all these teams score similar points. What differentiates them is the volatility in rank change if things work out better or worse than the expectation.

Good luck whatever path you choose. We’re nearly there, folks!


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2,182 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Milk, 1 Šuker
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Keeping KDB then! Allows me to go for a differential in Jamie Vardy!

  2. King Carlos
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    What happened to Salah?? Will he play in gw 37?

    1. Espanyolie
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Not a chance

    2. adstomko
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      A Parisian streaker ran on to the pitch and arm-locked him to the ground. The man's name is allegedly Sergio Ramos.

      1. Baps hunter
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        And Ramos didn't get even yellow, when he should have been sent off. Didn't he cause another injury also.

      2. Camino Aleatorio
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        That was a NFL quality QB sack.

        Seriously though, American 10 year old football players would have sprang back up - immediate. Salah was down for months for a kiddie injury

    3. King Carlos
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Groin injury apparently

    4. Shineonme
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Not a chance. He won't even play the last game of the season in the league

  3. adstomko
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Weghorst to Richarlison worth it?

  4. Marxthetic
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Salah > KDB
    Or
    Salah and weghorse > Kane and diaz for -4

    Already have Son, no man city mids

    1. Bucket Man
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      I’d go KDB

  5. OptimusBlack
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    best 3 strikers for just GW 37

    A- Kane
    B- Vardy
    C- Ings
    D- Richa

    1. el polako
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Not Vardy

      1. Dynamic Duos
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        What are you on about?

        1. el polako
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Nothing, Vardy is shite laying for shite team and prone to trolling.
          He scored last gw people will flock to him and he will get 3 or 4 pointer.

          You can bookmark it.

          1. Baps hunter
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Brace against Norwich proves nothing, I agree. But Vardy is also streaky player and class is permanent.

      2. jonnybhoy
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Top for predicted pts

        1. NorCal Villan
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Sincere question: how accurate is predicted points?

          • mynameisq
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Won't even play twice surely

      3. Dynamic Duos
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        BCD

      4. Sailboats
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        ACD

      5. Krafty Werks
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        BCD

    2. BantasyFootball
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 16 days ago

      So I took a -8 trying to bring in Son while keeping Salah and Kane... worth doing another -4 to bring in KDB/Zaha? Leading ML by 50

      1. Razor Ramon
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Why not?

        1. BantasyFootball
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Mostly.... fear of dropping the league at this late stage!
          But surely the lead is comfortable enough....?

      2. Shineonme
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Now YES

    3. Scots Gooner
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Based on that injury - Salah/Havertz to Son/Diaz for -8?

    4. ToffeePot
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 16 days ago

      What happened to salah, missed a few min. Was it bad?

      1. Honker Muddlefoot
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Looked like his groin. No limp while walking off, but he did come straight off.

        1. Baps hunter
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          I think he whispering about his groin when Alisson was down. Jota started warm up after that imo.

    5. La Roja
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Ings(c)

      30 point min

      1. TorresMagic™
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 13 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        30 min for the GW?

        1. dshv
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Come onn i am thinking to cap him too over son..

          1. TorresMagic™
            • Has Moderation Rights
            • 13 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            He loves an injury.

      2. NABIL - FPL otai
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Ssshhh

      3. NorCal Villan
          1 month, 16 days ago

          More like he gets 30 new tats before the next match. His tats are getting tats

      4. SAY MY NAME
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        49 minute first half in the sun.....gonna be some tired pool/chelsea players at this rate

        1. TorresMagic™
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 13 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Heat wave?

          1. SAY MY NAME
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            exactly! 🙂

            1. TorresMagic™
              • Has Moderation Rights
              • 13 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              In Antartica?

      5. jonnybhoy
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Not keen on my FH draft. What to do?

        Pickford
        Digne Cash TAA Mykolenko
        Salah Son KDB Zaha
        Ings Richarlison

        1. dabber7
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Take Salah out?

        2. Shineonme
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Salah is done for the season now. Will be saved for CL

        3. Espanyolie
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Not too much, take salah out, bring in Kane or Mane/Diaz/Jota

        4. jonnybhoy
          • 9 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Sorry Salah is Kane now

      6. Eh, just one more thing ...
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        FA CUP TRIVIA

        Who won the FA Cup in 1987 … no cheating?

        1. el polako
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Forest?

        2. Dynamic Duos
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Was it Wimbledon?

          1. Eh, just one more thing ...
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            They won in 88

        3. No Need
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Cov

          1. Eh, just one more thing ...
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Well done NO NEED

            1. No Need
              • 8 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              I can give you all cup final details 1970-1999 yet be clueless from about 2005 onwards

        4. BeWater
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Coventry.

          I'm a Spurs fan.

          1. Eh, just one more thing ...
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Ouch. Was a great game I seem to remember..

        5. moment
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Coventry City, remember it well

        6. The 12th Man
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Keith Houchen diving header.

      7. dshv
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Salah to mane or just bring kane

        1. Krafty Werks
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Gone Mane at the mo!!....don't mention the MO?!!

        2. ZEZIMA
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Kane

      8. JELLYFISH
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Pleased I didn’t push the trigger on Ramsdale > Pickford for my ft.
        Probably going to do Salah > Mane.

        1. TorresMagic™
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 13 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          GK change might be worth the hit.

      9. mdm
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Son or Zaha?

        1. tokara
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Lol

        2. NABIL - FPL otai
          • 9 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Excuse me?

        3. Sailboats
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          yes

        4. Shineonme
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Oh please

        5. dabber7
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 16 days ago

          I know Zaha has the extra game this week but Son has got Norwich in 38, think I'd go Son.

      10. PartyTime
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Damn. I don’t know who to replace Salah with. I don’t know what to do with my team anymore.

          Team is already lit up like a Xmas tree

          1. PartyTime
              1 month, 16 days ago

              Salah to Pinky & De Bruyne?

            • NABIL - FPL otai
              • 9 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              Get Mane Jota Diaz. Play 4-5-1 then.

              Xmas tree completed 😀

          2. Mr Ozil
            • 7 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Which is better? BB

            A- Kulu + Telles + Broja + Salah > Son + Zaha + Sessegnon + Richarlison -12

            B- Telles + Salah + Broja > Son + Digne + Richarlison -8

            1. Bucket Man
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              B

          3. FC Hakkebøf
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Best duo here?

            A) Kane and Zaha
            B) Richarlison and Mane
            C) Richarlison and Son
            D) Vardy and Zaha (Vardy to Kane for gw38)

            1. dabber7
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 1 Year
              1 month, 16 days ago

              A

          4. Henning
            • 7 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            1 or 2

            1. Matip and Ings
            2. Robertson and Trossard
            Also play Mykolenko or Digne?

            1. Espanyolie
              • 1 Year
              1 month, 16 days ago

              Would need to see whole team for that calll

              1. Henning
                • 7 Years
                1 month, 16 days ago

                Pickford
                Robertson Mykolenko Cash
                Son KDB Zaha Dias Trossard
                Kane Richarlison

                Steele Digne Tsamikas Richardson

          5. moment
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Any update on how likely Watkins is to play?

            1. Shineonme
              • 5 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              More than likely won't play

          6. No Need
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Son capper warning your gameweek could be destroyed by about 2pm tomorrow

            1. el polako
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              Early kick off...

              *evil laugh*

          7. DavidBW
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            1 month, 16 days ago

            RIP people who’ve made early transfers.

            How bad was Salah injury? Missed it all

            1. Shineonme
              • 5 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              Not that bad but will not play the last two premiership games. Will be saved for CL now.

          8. MGD
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Who to lose for Zaha (-4)

            A. Mount
            B. Foden
            C. None

          9. PartyTime
              1 month, 16 days ago

              That could even be Salah’s final game for Liverpool

              1. Espanyolie
                • 1 Year
                1 month, 16 days ago

                Not necessarily an LFC fan but after what happened with Ramos , I really hope he makes it to the UCL final

            • Well you know, Triffic
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 11 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              How many did their gw37 transfers before this game?

            • Reinhold
              • 11 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              Disregarding money, who is the best Liverpool attacker for GW37 now, in your opinion?

              1. Gudjohnsen
                • 5 Years
                1 month, 16 days ago

                Diaz

              2. TorresMagic™
                • Has Moderation Rights
                • 13 Years
                1 month, 16 days ago

                Let the game finish.

            • Gudjohnsen
              • 5 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              Salah to KDB or Zaha?

              1. Shineonme
                • 5 Years
                1 month, 16 days ago

                This is what I'm pondering. Tuff one because Zaha has two games but KDB can easily outscore him in his one game but the league title will be won before the final game of the season imo so will KDB be on the bench in his last league game and come on for cameo .

            • EL tridente
              • 4 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              Gordon or Maddison on FH?

            • Eh, just one more thing ...
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 10 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              FA CUP TRIVIA

              Who were the captains?

              West Ham 1980
              Man Utd 1990
              Chelsea 2000
              Chelsea 2010

              1. Not again Shirley
                • 5 Years
                1 month, 16 days ago

                Schmeichel?

                1. Eh, just one more thing ...
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 10 Years
                  1 month, 16 days ago

                  Nope

                  Different captains each year

                  1. Not again Shirley
                    • 5 Years
                    1 month, 16 days ago

                    Yes I just meant the United captain. Don’t know the others.

              2. NABIL - FPL otai
                • 9 Years
                1 month, 16 days ago

                Bryan Robson?

                1. Eh, just one more thing ...
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 10 Years
                  1 month, 16 days ago

                  Correct … Man U covered

              3. Eh, just one more thing ...
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 10 Years
                1 month, 16 days ago

                Where’s paddy Bonner .. he’d know these and probably tell us the scores too.

              4. Goro Majima
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 2 Years
                1 month, 16 days ago

                1980 - Billy Bonds? 1990 - Robson?

                1. Eh, just one more thing ...
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 10 Years
                  1 month, 16 days ago

                  Correct Goro ..

              5. No Need
                • 8 Years
                1 month, 16 days ago

                Bonds and Wise I think not sure on 2010

                1. Eh, just one more thing ...
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 10 Years
                  1 month, 16 days ago

                  Correct on wise

                  Just 2010 to go

              6. NorCal Villan
                  1 month, 16 days ago

                  Frank Stallone

                • NABIL - FPL otai
                  • 9 Years
                  1 month, 16 days ago

                  JT 2010?

                  1. Eh, just one more thing ...
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 10 Years
                    1 month, 16 days ago

                    Indeed Nabil

                    1. NABIL - FPL otai
                      • 9 Years
                      1 month, 16 days ago

                      Cheers man

                      I remember fondly Everton beating United.. best game for the neutrals 😛

                • Eh, just one more thing ...
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 10 Years
                  1 month, 16 days ago

                  Right match restarted … so answers are

                  Billy bonds
                  Bryan robson
                  Dennis wise
                  John terry

                  Side note: John terry turned up, changed into his kit, and celebrated in all 4 finals

              7. Camzy
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 12 Years
                1 month, 16 days ago

                Pickford
                TAA Cancelo Digne
                KdB Son Zaha Coutinho
                Kane Richarlison Ings

                Seems a pretty decent pivot off Salah.

                1. Flynny
                  • 7 Years
                  1 month, 16 days ago

                  Don't fancy robbo who had a rest last week ahead of taa?

                2. No Need
                  • 8 Years
                  1 month, 16 days ago

                  Glad i can get 9 of those without a hit or FH

                3. The Mentaculus
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  1 month, 16 days ago

                  Bit of an odd one... anything in particular put you off pivoting to Mané/Diaz/Jota? Don't fancy a piece the "lets fix our GD" pie?

                  1. Camzy
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 12 Years
                    1 month, 16 days ago

                    Because by the time they play Southampton I don't think Liverpool will care any more about the league.

                    City play first and if they win against West Ham it's practically over.

                    The players will ease off knowing the CL final is close. Salah's injury is a reminder.

                4. dabber7
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 1 Year
                  1 month, 16 days ago

                  No Liverpool attackers against Southampton?

                  1. Camzy
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 12 Years
                    1 month, 16 days ago

                    Who do you lose from that front 7?

                    1. dabber7
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 1 Year
                      1 month, 16 days ago

                      Whoever you replaced Salah with?

                      I think Mane is probably a better pick at Southampton than KDB at West Ham.

                  2. _Freddo
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 13 Years
                    1 month, 16 days ago

                    If this goes to extra time, there will be mass rotation because the league will likely be over, Klopp won’t risk key men in a needless game with a CL coming, he’d be asking for trouble.

                5. OptimusBlack
                  • 9 Years
                  1 month, 16 days ago

                  Perfect except Coutinho