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. TyroneGAA
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 4 days ago

    Who to bench ???

    Ramsdale Mendy

    Matip Robertson holgate Zinchenko james

    Son mount Maddison saka Kulusevski

    Kane pukki Nketiah

    1. lugs
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 4 days ago

      Zinchenko & Pukki for starters

  2. THFC4LIFE
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 4 days ago

    Any news on Laporte?

    1. Weak Become Heros
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 4 days ago

      Nothing yet. Hoping for early news just before deadline

      1. THFC4LIFE
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 4 days ago

        Cheers

  3. BIG TONES
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 4 days ago

    Who's the most nailed EVE defender?

    1. Athletico Timbo
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 4 days ago

      Mykolenko

      1. BIG TONES
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 4 days ago

        Thank you. I'm thinking about running Michael Keane though.... Feel he will bundle in a goal from a messy corner

        1. Traction Engine Foot
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 4 days ago

          Probably an own goal

          1. BIG TONES
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 4 days ago

            Haha

        2. Athletico Timbo
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 4 days ago

          Good shout

    2. No Need
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 4 days ago

      The Ukranian

  4. No Need
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 4 days ago

    Wow how many more missing posts by inches

    1. JBG
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 4 days ago

      Just said this to my friend and the same post every time.

  5. RamaJama
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 4 days ago

    Did the Salah injury look like not playing next match?

    1. Rainer
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 4 days ago

      Looked precautionary groin issue.

      Can't see him being risked on Tuesday, maybe even Sunday week.

    2. Shineonme
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 4 days ago

      Omo he's done for the season in the league. He won't be risked because of CL final

  6. KeanosMagic
      3 months, 4 days ago

      -4 has left me with this, but now Salah out, should I just FH, or play my bench?

      Schmeichel
      TAA Cash Digne
      Salah Son (c) KDB Zaha Gordon
      Watkins Richarlison

      Bench: Matip Cancelo

      1. Baps hunter
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 4 days ago

        Matip will start and Cancelo is good option also. You simply can't play FH this week and get that team back for gw 38.

    • Baps hunter
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 4 days ago

      I am starting to wonder whether to bench Alonso or Maddison... I wouldn't be surprised to see Alonso haul vs Lei.

    • Lindelol
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 4 days ago

      Salah to
      1. Lees-Melou
      2. KDB
      3. Normann
      4. Forshaw

      1. BIG TONES
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 4 days ago

        Lees-Melou - just because of the cool name

      2. Botman and Robben
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 4 days ago

        5. Bissouma and improve rest of squad.

      3. Baps hunter
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 4 days ago

        4

      4. Thomas Magnum
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 4 days ago

        Mark Noble. get him in for one last penalty as he rides off into the sunset

      5. NorCal Villan
          3 months, 4 days ago

          Jonjo Shelvey. The answer to all questions

      6. Camzy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 12 Years
        3 months, 4 days ago

        Robbo, Mykolenko, Vardy
        TAA, Cancelo, Richarlison

        1. The Mentaculus
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 4 days ago

          That a question? I'd say come join the Vardy party if Sam Martin has him starting at Watford

          1. Camzy
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 12 Years
            3 months, 4 days ago

            Yeah it should be A or B.

            If Sam Martin says Vardy starts I lean B, yeah.

          2. Permanently bannedⓄⓃⒺ…
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 4 days ago

            Who is Sam Martin sorry, does he leak team news early?

            1. Camzy
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 12 Years
              3 months, 4 days ago

              Yes. Leicester ITK

              1. Permanently bannedⓄⓃⒺ…
                • 8 Years
                3 months, 4 days ago

                Thanks camzy

        2. PartyTime
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 4 days ago

          Go for option B. You have written so many negative things about Vards this season. I wouldn’t want to haul for you

        3. BobbyDoesNotLook
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 4 days ago

          On FH I would def give Vardy party a shot.

      7. Krafty Werks
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 4 days ago

        New Salahless FH, it'll do!! Have to go work in a minute and won't be around Sunday morning for any possible news, we live in hope?!!

        Pickford
        Cash / Digne / Castagne
        De Bruyne / Mane / Son / Zaha
        Vardy / Ings / Richarlison

        Steele, Holgate, KDH, Tsimikas

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

        Liverpool midfield feels like a lottery for gw37 especially if this goes to extra time.

        Origi and firming could easily start v saints

        Think I'll get kdb for salah in the free hit.

        Trent with Clyne first sub to cover benching

        1. Rainer
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 4 days ago

          Starting XI is a mess if ET & City win tomorrow.

        2. Shineonme
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 4 days ago

          I agree especially if city beat weat spam by a few. The title will be over for liverpool. Then I can't see them resting a load of players for the CL final

          1. Thomas Magnum
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 4 days ago

            Surely too early to rest players for UCL when he can do it in 38 instead. Can’t rest the top players 2 games in a row right?

      9. dshv
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 4 days ago

        Pickrofd
        Taa Cancelo Cash
        Zaha Son Kdb Jota
        Vardy Ings Richarlison

        1. G2G
        2. Cancelo Vardy -> mykolenko kane

      10. OptimusBlack
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 4 days ago

        Who to get if you have all of those

        KDB Son
        Kane Ings Richa

        Salah >
        A - Sterling
        B- Diaz
        C- Mane
        D- Vardy instead of one Strikers

        1. BECKS TO THE FUTURE
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          3 months, 4 days ago

          Vardy over Rich could be fun!

          Diaz or Jota is the call.

        2. Thomas Magnum
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 4 days ago

          Maybe A, I don’t mind a differential on a city mid to pair with KDB myself Foden, Mahrez, Sterling not sure which though. Even considered a Chelsea attacker that isn’t playing today against that leaky Leicester side but doubt I’ll go that route. Vardy minutes worry me and Liverpool rotation scares me a little as well

          1. OptimusBlack
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 4 days ago

            Same thinking here

      11. mcflyjohn
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 4 days ago

        Bottomed.

        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

        1. BECKS TO THE FUTURE
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          3 months, 4 days ago

          Seems strong on the core template!

      12. No Need
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 4 days ago

        Might get Alonso for last 2 if he gets enough rest

      13. PartyTime
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 4 days ago

        It’s party time baby. Bring your wives along!

      14. Humperdoo
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        3 months, 4 days ago

        City training photos released but not much help.
        https://www.mancity.com/news/mens/west-ham-training-gallery-63788127

      15. BECKS TO THE FUTURE
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        3 months, 4 days ago

        Hopefully for Salah’s sake the injury isn’t too bad and he’s back for the CL final.

        Does shake things up a bit FPL-wise! Hopefully see some variance this week!

        What’re your thoughts on this FH37 draft:

        Pickford
        Robbo, Cash, Mykolenko
        Son, KDB, Trossard, Diaz/Jota, Zaha
        Kane, Ings.

        (Steele, Tsimikas, Veltman, Richardson)

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

        What to do now with Salah injured? Schmeichel Foster
        TAA Robbo Cancelo James Laporte
        Salah Foden Coutinho Zaha Gordon
        Pukki Watkins Richarlison

        1.1 ITB, 0 FT

        1. The Tinkerman
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 4 days ago

          I’d get mane for Salah and use the cash and FT next week to make a fun move in mid/attack to end the season

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

            Cheers!

      17. The Tinkerman
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 4 days ago

        Well that settled my transfer for the week, KDB in for Salah. Fingers crossed. After some dire luck around Xmas with all of the covid cancellations, at the cusp of getting back into the top 100k…

        Guaita
        TAA, Justin, Cash, Cancelo
        KDB, Son (V), Coutinho, Maddison
        Weghorst, Mateta

        Sanchez; Mount, James, Broja

      18. NJ MetroStars
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 4 days ago

        a) salah/pukki/laporte out for zaha/kane/digne (-8)
        b) salah out for kdb (free)

        ???!??!?!???

        1. The Tinkerman
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 4 days ago

          B

        2. Totalfootball
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 4 days ago

          I like A

        3. OptimusBlack
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 4 days ago

          A

        4. BECKS TO THE FUTURE
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          3 months, 4 days ago

          A! Live a little!

          1. NJ MetroStars
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 4 days ago

            thanks becks. its my first year doing fpl, currently 24k. smashed my mini league but going for max upside rank now

            1. BECKS TO THE FUTURE
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              3 months, 4 days ago

              Amazing debut season! Glad it’s going so well for you. What’s your general approach been?

              Yah I’m trying to max my OR also.

              1. NJ MetroStars
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 1 Year
                3 months, 4 days ago

                I'm from New Jersey USA, and I've played fantasy football (american) and baseball for 20 years, so I applied alot of lessons I learned from there. Excel spreadsheet mapping out all the color coded matchups, then using the scout value projections to assess moves. Stayed on top of all daily updates and targeted players with motivation. That said, lesson learned in saving chips (burned both fh's way too early), but other than that its been a great run. This site is amazing too

        5. NJ MetroStars
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 4 days ago

          could also hold laporte with a coady at norwich cover and just go salah/pukki to zaha/kane for -4

          1. NJ MetroStars
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 4 days ago

            scratch that id be.1 short

      19. Totalfootball
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 4 days ago

        Choose 1 for this week -

        A) Cash/Digne (2 home games)
        B) Alonso + 4 ..( Might miss the game if plays 90 today) ?!

        1. BECKS TO THE FUTURE
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          3 months, 4 days ago

          A

      20. lilmessipran
        • 10 Years
        3 months, 4 days ago

        There were some rumours earlier about Kulu being out with illness, is that from any reliable source?

      21. turd ferguson
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 4 days ago

        The teams on this article are a bit silly. One has a 4-4-3 formation and the last one is totally unaffordable. Good read but pointless teams.

        1. The Tinkerman
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 4 days ago

          Sarah is also in all but one of them, unfortunate timing

          1. The Tinkerman
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 4 days ago

            Salah*

      22. Hotdogs for Tea
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 4 days ago

        Already done a -8 thinking the deadline was a day earlier (in SE Asia so time difference messes things up) and now Salah is crocked ... can't get a break

        1. NABIL - FPL otai
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 4 days ago

          Ouch

          Be adaptive. We SE Asians do not have hotdogs for tea

          1. Hotdogs for Tea
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 4 days ago

            It's a nightmare with the time difference putting games into the next day - the Eliteserien Fantasy game is the worst with 0.00 timings ... Which day is a midnight kickoff ? 🙂

        2. Botman and Robben
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 4 days ago

          -12 says hello

          1. Hotdogs for Tea
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 4 days ago

            KDB no doubt

      23. For Fuchs Sake
        • 12 Years
        3 months, 4 days ago

        On a FH, KdB and Son in MF?

        1. Baps hunter
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 4 days ago

          I'd say so. Son is a "must" and Kane over KdB.

      24. BantasyFootball
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 4 days ago

        Do you get Zaha or KDB in for Salah if you've already taken hits? Former has a DGW so easier to "recoup" the minus points, but Palace are already on the beach...

      25. Mozumbus
          3 months, 4 days ago

          On FH.
          Salah to
          A. KDB
          B. Mane
          C. Sterling
          Have Son already
          Thanks

          1. Weak Become Heros
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 4 days ago

            B

          2. OptimusBlack
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 4 days ago

            C as punt ??

            1. Mozumbus
                3 months, 4 days ago

                Thanks. Have done Salah + Madison > KDB + Diaz

          3. Weak Become Heros
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 4 days ago

            Going to use the Salah money to get Kane.

            1. Mozumbus
                3 months, 4 days ago

                Easy

            2. The White Pele
              • 4 Years
              3 months, 4 days ago

              Is Jota nailed for gw 37&38 now?

              1. Weak Become Heros
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 4 days ago

                Hoping so!

              2. Weak Become Heros
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 4 days ago

                Just might mean he goes RW where I think is his least effective position.

              3. DavvaMC
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 1 Year
                3 months, 4 days ago

                Same question but for Diaz, is he nailed now?