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. BobbyDoesNotLook
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    Next season starts week earlier (6th Aug), does anyone know when the first IB will be? Trying to plan my weekends with PL 😀

    1. RAFA THE GAFFA
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Is that the official date? Due date of my second daughter! Looks like I’ll miss that 😆

      1. My heart goes Salalalalah
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 1 day ago

        You don't have to miss it, let them live stream the birth for you...

        1. RAFA THE GAFFA
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 1 day ago

          Haha 😀

      2. BobbyDoesNotLook
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 1 day ago

        https://www.premierleague.com/news/2264107

        Sorry to hear you miss the birth date!

          1. BobbyDoesNotLook
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 1 day ago

            24 Sep instead of ~5 Sep.

  2. asr
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    What would you do? Salah > Mane and upgrade bench?

    FH37

    Pickford
    Cash Digne Mykolenko
    Salah KDB Son Zaha
    Kane Richarlison Ings

    3.9 KDH Tsimikas 3.8

    1. Mozumbus
        3 months, 1 day ago

        How about:
        Salah > Diaz
        Cash/Digne > TAA
        Pickford > Martinez
        Hope above moves are in the money

        1. asr
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 1 day ago

          Mmm something to think about. Yea money isn't an issue, would have 0.9ITB left with those moves

    2. Mozumbus
        3 months, 1 day ago

        Salah + Madison > KDB + Diaz
        Yes or No?
        On FH

        1. RAFA THE GAFFA
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 1 day ago

          Easy

          1. Mozumbus
              3 months, 1 day ago

              Thanks

        2. RAFA THE GAFFA
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 1 day ago

          James Milner is dreadful

          1. Botman and Robben
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 1 day ago

            Age gets us all.

            1. RAFA THE GAFFA
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 1 day ago

              Was he ever good?

              1. Botman and Robben
                • 5 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                Slightly above average.

        3. Not again Shirley
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 1 day ago

          The match is quite boring now. May go and cut the grass.

          1. RAFA THE GAFFA
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 1 day ago

            Really boring! Nearly dropped off a few times

            1. Not again Shirley
              • 5 Years
              3 months, 1 day ago

              As usual, the best thing about the FA cup final is the run up to it and the anticipation. More often then not the match is an anti climax.

              1. RAFA THE GAFFA
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 6 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                Didn’t even see that part

        4. Sharkytect
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 1 day ago

          So...salah to KDB then

          1. Mozumbus
              3 months, 1 day ago

              Yes. Have done that just now.

          2. Hansel
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            3 months, 1 day ago

            A) Diaz, Vardy (3-5-2)
            B) Mykolenko, Kane (4-4-2)

            1. Dynamic Duos
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 1 day ago

              A

            2. OptimusBlack
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 1 day ago

              A

            3. Mozumbus
                3 months, 1 day ago

                B

            4. Not again Shirley
              • 5 Years
              3 months, 1 day ago

              Mykolenko or Castange for remainder of the season? Not sure whether the latter is nailed.

            5. RAFA THE GAFFA
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 1 day ago

              So everyone will own Kev and Son now. Who you captaining is the big question?

            6. Netters2018
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 1 day ago

              Vardy surely nailed for both games isnt he?

              1. TorresMagic™
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • Has Moderation Rights
                • 13 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                no

              2. RAFA THE GAFFA
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 6 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                No

            7. umerlfc
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 1 day ago

              Updated FH squad GTG?

              Pickford
              TAA Cash Digne Myko
              KDB Son Zaha
              Kane Ings Richa

              1. turd ferguson
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 9 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                Same as mine. I’d like to say yes

              2. OptimusBlack
                • 9 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                Perfect

              3. RAFA THE GAFFA
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 6 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                Surely you pick up Diaz/Jota?

              4. Sailboats
                • 6 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                g2g

              5. Baps hunter
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                Might consider Robbo or James over TAA tbh

                1. Thomas Magnum
                  • 6 Years
                  3 months, 1 day ago

                  I like James as well as an option this week

              6. Hansel
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 11 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                Same as my B option above. A is Diaz/Vardy for Mykolenko/Kane

            8. Oscar Slater
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 7 Years
              3 months, 1 day ago

              Son on penalties for Spurs if they're a couple up against either Burnley or Norwich?

              1. Going Home
                • 10 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                I own him. But I’m not sure he’s that kind of player. Not about the individual

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

                  Asian culture is different, but hard to guess. Even Kane might want Son to get the Boot.

              2. Baps hunter
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                It's possible, not certain.

              3. PartyTime
                • 1 Year
                3 months, 1 day ago

                Kane is a stingy human being. Didn’t even give him the last pen, sane Kane swore in his daughter’s life in 2018.

                1. PartyTime
                  • 1 Year
                  3 months, 1 day ago

                  same*

                2. Utopsis
                  • 2 Years
                  3 months, 1 day ago

                  This

              4. Utopsis
                • 2 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                Kane will not pass up on pens

              5. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
                • 12 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                No chance

              6. Well you know, Triffic
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 12 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                He will be if the game is won. Lots of anti-Kane sentiment from casuals here and beyond.

                He plays as a CM half the time and assists a ton of goals. Selfless player.

            9. Dynamic Duos
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 1 day ago

              Any update on where's Wollie Watkins?

              1. moment
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 11 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                Someone posted some pictures earlier showing him in training

              2. Dynamic Duos
                • 9 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                Cheers guys

            10. jonnybhoy
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 1 day ago

              Choose one for my Free hit

              A) TAA
              B) Jota
              C) Maddison
              D) Coutinho (changes Digne to Matip as I have Cash +Ings)
              E) Diaz

              1. OptimusBlack
                • 9 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                E

              2. Baps hunter
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                Buendia

              3. Mozumbus
                  3 months, 1 day ago

                  E

              4. DeuloRad
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 6 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                FH. Anything to do with the spare 0.6?

                Pickford
                Cash / Digne / Mykolenko
                De Bruyne / Sterling / Son / Zaha
                Vardy / Ings / Richarlison

                McGovern | Clyne, Brownhill, Tsimikas

                1. JJO
                  • 9 Years
                  3 months, 1 day ago

                  Would probably go with Jota instead of Sterling
                  That way you could have even more bucks in the bank to play with 🙂

                  1. DeuloRad
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 6 Years
                    3 months, 1 day ago

                    And do what with? Haha

                    1. JJO
                      • 9 Years
                      3 months, 1 day ago

                      Yeah those negative interest rates facked everything:)

              5. JJO
                • 9 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                With Diaz, Laporte, Salah and Kulu all possibly out my plan to FH is ruined...
                Well i dont actually cant see what can I do for last 2 gws

                1. JJO
                  • 9 Years
                  3 months, 1 day ago

                  Sorry plan was to FH in gw38

                  1. DeuloRad
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 6 Years
                    3 months, 1 day ago

                    Blessing in disguise, perhaps

                    1. JJO
                      • 9 Years
                      3 months, 1 day ago

                      Well the bigest problem is that I wanted 3 Spurs for 38 and FH is the only way to manage that
                      I think that that match vs Burnley wont be that much open as people here think
                      The problem also is that first 3 of those 4 players probably wont be risked in last gw too

                2. fedolefan
                  • 8 Years
                  3 months, 1 day ago

                  Kulu is possibly out as well?

                  1. JJO
                    • 9 Years
                    3 months, 1 day ago

                    Ill as I heard

                3. Davew88
                  • 3 Years
                  3 months, 1 day ago

                  Same boat here, was swaying towards FH in 38 but now just going to pull the trigger this GW I think

              6. Rainer
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 5 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                How many of these start this coming GW?

                Trent, Robbo, James, Alonso, Laporte...

                Those not on Free Hit could do with an 'All out Attack' chip this GW!

                1. No Need
                  • 8 Years
                  3 months, 1 day ago

                  Add vvd

              7. Sailboats
                • 6 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                Diaz is one dangerous individual

              8. yousunkmybattleship
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 12 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                Might just go with no Liverpool on FH

                1. Rainer
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 5 Years
                  3 months, 1 day ago

                  Tsimikas nice differential?

                  1. yousunkmybattleship
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 12 Years
                    3 months, 1 day ago

                    True

              9. No Need
                • 8 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                Happy Matip owner lol

              10. SINGH
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                Chelsea doing their best trying to let down the whole country by not winning

                1. Rainer
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 5 Years
                  3 months, 1 day ago

                  I thought the whole country is up for Liverpool?

              11. moment
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 11 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                I think it's just Salah to Son for me, then get KDB in for GW38 (-4).

              12. JBG
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                1st place has KDB(no Salah), 2nd place will probably get in Son for Salah.

                Should I(3rd) get in:

                A) Son
                B) Zaha
                C) Sterling
                D) KDB

                40pts behind 1st.

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

                  E) Mane
                  F) Diaz
                  G) Jota

                  Forgot adding these three

                  1. moment
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 11 Years
                    3 months, 1 day ago

                    Zaha (C) and go for it

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

                      What I'm actually considering, but I'm also getting Ings for Pukki.

              13. Tinfoil Deathstar
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 1 Year
                3 months, 1 day ago

                Thoughts on FH draft? This leaves £0 ITB.

                Pickford
                Digne - Cash - Mykolenko
                Zaha - Jota - KdB - Son (vc)
                Richarlison - Ings (c) - Kane

                Bench: Steele, Clyne, KDH, Sessegnon

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

                  I might go Diaz over Jota, but bookies odds disagree with me. However, I believe I know better than bookies 😉

              14. zon
                • 7 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                VVD off, wow

                1. zon
                  • 7 Years
                  3 months, 1 day ago

                  That seals no pool on FH for me. Remember how shambles they we're without Virgil

              15. TorresMagic™
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • Has Moderation Rights
                • 13 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                VVD subbed

              16. D.r.a.c.o
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                Chelsea to win FA Cup and Real Madrid to win UCL. Liverpool with the Mickey Mouse Cup

                You heard it here first!

                1. D.r.a.c.o
                  • 4 Years
                  3 months, 1 day ago

                  And Spurs to finish 4th

                2. SonnyPikey
                    3 months, 1 day ago

                    Hiyoh

                  • Monty the Magpie
                    • 4 Years
                    3 months, 1 day ago

                    Inazuma X1 to keep posting like a ten year old.

                  • Well you know, Triffic
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 12 Years
                    3 months, 1 day ago

                    Please!

                3. FantasyHero
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 6 Years
                  3 months, 1 day ago

                  Using my BB chip
                  Pick 1:

                  1. Havertz, broja, kilman to Diaz, nketiah, clyne/Holgate for -4
                  2. Werner, broja kilman to Rich, nketiah, cash for -4

                  BB Team:
                  Schmiechel foster
                  Alonso cancelo robbo white kilman*
                  Kdb havertz* saka Gordon Maddy
                  Werner* kane broja*

                4. SonnyPikey
                    3 months, 1 day ago

                    VVD dead lol

                  • FantasyHero
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 6 Years
                    3 months, 1 day ago

                    How has havertz gone from playing every game to none.

                    1. SonnyPikey
                        3 months, 1 day ago

                        Cos he's injured...

                      • No Need
                        • 8 Years
                        3 months, 1 day ago

                        By being injured