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. fedolefan
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 18 days ago

    Damn it, any time I make early transfers it bites me. Wanted to stay off FPL this weekend since I forgot the FA cup final and made my transfers on Friday. Now here I am with no FT left.

    1. NorCal Villan
        1 month, 18 days ago

        There’s a lesson in there

        1. PartyTime
            1 month, 18 days ago

            Care to share your rank then?

            1. NorCal Villan
                1 month, 18 days ago

                31k. Nothing spectacular.

                Fedelofan said “any time I make early transfers it bites me.” One doesn’t have to be Magnus, a content creator, or listen to podcasts to see what I was getting at

                1. fedolefan
                  • 8 Years
                  1 month, 18 days ago

                  Yeah, when you’ve played the game long enough and you’re not 17 any more, you’ll realize it’s not possible to make every move 15 mins pre-deadline every week. Sometimes, you have to make an early move and hope there’s no injuries. But I guess you’ll get that in a few years.

                  1. NorCal Villan
                      1 month, 18 days ago

                      Dude, you seem triggered.

                      What’s with all the noob stuff and insinuations of being young and immature and not having a life. I am 56, married, and very much have a life.

                      You posted what you posted and I simply responded. You are the one that volunteered to all that you made early transfers, albeit with excuses, and it bit you. That seems far more noobie than anything I said.

                2. NorCal Villan
                    1 month, 17 days ago

                    Asked, shared. Your turn

                3. fedolefan
                  • 8 Years
                  1 month, 18 days ago

                  Love it when n00bs dish out advice. Thanks but you should get back to listening to pods to get that first top 10k finish.

                  1. BullDogTevez
                    • 12 Years
                    1 month, 18 days ago

                    He ain’t wrong though.

                    1. fedolefan
                      • 8 Years
                      1 month, 18 days ago

                      My reasons were pretty clear in my post. Not being able to comprehend posts is not my problem.

              • RAFA THE GAFFA
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 6 Years
                1 month, 17 days ago

                Gutted! Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy on here

            2. ZEZIMA
              • 5 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Salah wears y-fronts

            3. GS456
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Which on FH?

              A) Double Villa defence
              B) Double Everton defence
              C) Leicester defender

              1. Camino Aleatorio
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                Leicester rotates defense - Villa is more stables

              2. The Nuttman
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 10 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                B

              3. Shearer & Sutton
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 7 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                B

            4. EL tridente
              • 4 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Maddison or Gordon on free hit?

              1. GS456
                • 6 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                Maddy

            5. El Presidente
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Salah's fine

              1. el polako
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                Sure he is, that's why he was taken in in the 1st half of FA Cup final.

                1. el polako
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 4 Years
                  1 month, 18 days ago

                  *off

              2. Catastrophe
                • 11 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                Daft post

              3. Shineonme
                • 5 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                Keep dreaming. He won't play the last two games of the season.

              4. cravencottage
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 11 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                Troll

            6. Henryyy
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Best pick on FH37?

              A TAA
              B Jota

              Thanks!

              1. Camino Aleatorio
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                C Diaz

            7. BobB
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 12 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Keeping or selling Salah? Even if fit, he has not delivered much for weeks...

              1. GS456
                • 6 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                Sell

                Son, KDB, Kane better premium options till end of season

              2. Zaruto
                • 4 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                Sell…injury

              3. Espanyolie
                • 1 Year
                1 month, 18 days ago

                Looks like it’s over for PL, he’ll be lucky to make the UCL final

            8. Rainer
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 5 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Elliot, Origi, Minamino vs Southampton if this goes to ET & City beat West Ham tomorrow?

              1. Qaiss
                • 6 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                Not know about that much rotation but unsure of Diaz on free hit

            9. Dynamic Duos
              • 8 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Which one to replace the Salah premium spot in team?

              A) Vardy
              B) Kane
              C) KDB
              D) Mane

              1. GS456
                • 6 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                C

              2. Bucket Man
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                B

              3. KAPTAIN KANE’S SON
                • 5 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                I’m going Bruno sod it

                1. Dynamic Duos
                  • 8 Years
                  1 month, 18 days ago

                  Muahaha

                2. Dynamic Duos
                  • 8 Years
                  1 month, 18 days ago

                  (C) gwk37 lol? 😉

              4. cravencottage
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 11 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                C,D,B,A

              5. dabber7
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 1 Year
                1 month, 18 days ago

                B

            10. bitm2007
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              THE ‘YOLO’ DRAFT it is then with Salah now a doubt for midweek, probably with Mapit instead of Mykolenko for a second Pool.

              1. sulldaddy
                • 12 Years
                1 month, 17 days ago

                Mapit???

            11. EL tridente
              • 4 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Mane, Diaz og Jota on FH?

            12. Catastrophe
              • 11 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Salah & Pukki to go.

              A) Zaha & Kane
              B) KDB & Richarlison

              Cheers

              1. Bucket Man
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                B this week. A next. Overall IMO A

                1. Catastrophe
                  • 11 Years
                  1 month, 18 days ago

                  Cheers. Im thinking A is best for this week also

                  1. Catastrophe
                    • 11 Years
                    1 month, 18 days ago

                    Bit dramatic. Was an ok option for bench/BB. 2nd sub for me currently...

                    1. Catastrophe
                      • 11 Years
                      1 month, 18 days ago

                      Meant for below 😉

              2. Shineonme
                • 5 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                Pukki is a joke. If anyone still has him at this stage is a very hopeful dreamer.

              3. Baps hunter
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                A to the end of the season

                1. Catastrophe
                  • 11 Years
                  1 month, 18 days ago

                  Cheers my thoughts too

            13. Mcgugan
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 11 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              0 chips left and already made my transfer this week. 0 ITB.

              Any of these players out for a -4 worth it?

              A) Foden - might not start? Could go to Barnes or Zaha?

              B) Rudiger - might not start? Could go to a Villa defender?

              Or just stay and no hits?

              1. Bucket Man
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                Save

            14. 1912 F.A Cup Winners
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Revised FH!! What do we think folks???….

              Pickford
              Robertson Digne Cash
              Son KDB Jota Zaha
              Kane Ings Richarlison
              Subs 3.9 Brownhill Ait Nouri Tsimikas

              Cheers everyone!!

              1. Eightball
                • 1 Year
                1 month, 18 days ago

                I'm thinking of something very similar. Still not sure Jota is better than Maddison if he gets two games.

                1. 1912 F.A Cup Winners
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 4 Years
                  1 month, 18 days ago

                  Yeah that’s a good point mate, I had Salah and Vardy instead of Kane and Jota before Salah just went off injured, Maddison could be a good shout

              2. Espanyolie
                • 1 Year
                1 month, 18 days ago

                Perfect, which I could afford that

                1. 1912 F.A Cup Winners
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 4 Years
                  1 month, 18 days ago

                  Thankyou mate!! It’s bang on budget that team not a penny to spare haha

                  1. 1912 F.A Cup Winners
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 4 Years
                    1 month, 18 days ago

                    Could always sneak an extra 0.1 by doing Brownhill to Delph at 4.2

            15. lewis274
              • 1 Year
              1 month, 18 days ago

              who to replace salah with ?

              go from a 352 with him in to a 343 with kane ?

              1. Bucket Man
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                That or KDB, Mane/Diaz

              2. Mcgugan
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 11 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                I wouldn’t take a hit for Kane. I think Son is the best option, but if not Mane or Diaz.

            16. Mcgugan
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 11 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Or Kane to Vardy is always an option…

            17. Bucket Man
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Already done Havertz to Zaha. Salah to Diaz/Jota worth -4. Allows Kane next week or KDB and no Kane?

              Sanchez
              TAA, Cancelo, Davies
              Salah*, Son, Zaha, Maddison, Saka
              Watkins*, Weghorst
              Ramsdale, Roberts, Schar, Broja

            18. Totalfootball
              • 5 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Play -

              Saka +4
              Or
              Ings

              1. Bucket Man
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                Saka

              2. Shineonme
                • 5 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                Saka

              3. OptimusBlack
                • 9 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                ings

            19. FredrikH
              • 9 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Salah Pukki to Zaha Kane tempting for last two.

            20. EmreCan Hustle
              • 9 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Unable to watch the match. What happened to Salah?

              1. lewis274
                • 1 Year
                1 month, 18 days ago

                came off injured not sure how

                1. Baps hunter
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 4 Years
                  1 month, 18 days ago

                  Groin

                2. moment
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 10 Years
                  1 month, 18 days ago

                  Fell down off the ball. Looks like a (minor-ish) groin strain.

              2. Sailboats
                • 6 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                Groin injury

                1. EmreCan Hustle
                  • 9 Years
                  1 month, 18 days ago

                  Cheers guys.

              3. Shineonme
                • 5 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                Thats his season in the league done

            21. RAFA THE GAFFA
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Richer with a rocket up their arses

              1. RAFA THE GAFFA
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 6 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                Richer 😆 TUCHEL

            22. No Need
              • 8 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Pool still in dressing room

            23. Nightcrawler
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Salah owners lucky the first league game is on Sunday this time

              1. NABIL - FPL otai
                • 9 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                Salah non owners in the mud!

                1. Nightcrawler
                  • 3 Years
                  1 month, 18 days ago

                  With nowhere to go

                2. CroatianHammer
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 6 Years
                  1 month, 18 days ago

                  Yup, now 100% of those who don't have Son, will have Son.

              2. Shineonme
                • 5 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                Doesn't really matter

                1. Nightcrawler
                  • 3 Years
                  1 month, 18 days ago

                  They can sell him now

            24. Pino
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              So if you are selling Salah, where will you go?

              A) KDB
              B) Kane

              1. jonnybhoy
                • 9 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                Both

              2. _Freddo
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 13 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                Tempted by Mane but worried Klopp wraps his key men in cotton wool now, Fabinho & Salah are big injuries this week.

            25. jonnybhoy
              • 9 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Jota or TAA on FH?

              1. HuttonDressedasLahm
                • 12 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                Is Trent better, worse, or the same without Salah?

            26. mcflyjohn
                1 month, 18 days ago

                With Salah out, how's this for a FH squad

                Pickford

                TAA | Robertson | Digne | Cash (Clyne)

                KDB | Son | Diaz | Zaha (Gordon)

                Ings | Richarlison (Nketiah)

                0.2 ITB

                Did have Cancelo in, but quite fancy West Ham getting a goal against City

              • HuttonDressedasLahm
                • 12 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                As someone who’s been without Salah for a while, that’s a annoying injury
                Forces everyone to copy me now

                1. Baps hunter
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 4 Years
                  1 month, 18 days ago

                  Well, I got my big rank rise last gw, so now I don't have to fear Salah doubling my rank again. (Salah to Bruno was bad timing...)

              • NABIL - FPL otai
                • 9 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                DGWers are so cheap

                Salah to Bruno for benchwankery

              • The Tinkerman
                • 6 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                A) Salah, Weg > Jota/Diaz, Vardy
                B) Salah, Weg > Zaha, Kane
                C) Salah, Broja > Foden, Vardy

                Son, SALAH, Coutinho, Maddison, Mount
                Weghorst, Broja, Mateta

                1. The Tinkerman
                  • 6 Years
                  1 month, 18 days ago

                  With C I would bench Justin and play Weghorst probably, this week.

              • El Presidente
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 2 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                Reece pocketing Diaz....