Here’s my initial fantasy premier league blank gameweeks and double gameweeks article where we outline a potential schedule for both.
fantasy premier league blank gameweeks and double gameweeks – a potential schedule
Firstly I’d just like to say that I’ve worked this out by going through the various fixture types and making some assumptions. I don’t pretend to be an expert. So any corrections or thoughts are definitely welcome. Please put them in the comments section below.
Now we are into 2nd wildcard country, the FA Cup is in full swing and the EFL Cup semis are underway with Man City looking heavy favourites to go to the EFL final. I thought I should work out a schedule for the potential double and blank gameweeks so I could be prepared.
It’s a very simple schedule which outlines all the fixtures on a weekend and midweek basis to establish where the doubles and blank game weeks could be.
Starting at the beginning. Blanks are the result of EFL Cup fixtures and the FA Cup fixtures clashing with premier league fixtures and forcing postponements of clashing fixtures in the gameweek. Therefore blanks are created if the postponements can’t be moved to midweek of the same gameweek.
Double gameweeks result from when the postponed fixtures are moved into midweek of a future gameweek meaning some teams will play twice in 1 gameweek.
By loading up on those double gameweek players or planning for blank gameweeks in advance to maximise your FPL teams playing numbers and you can potentially gain a significant points advantage.
After the EFL Semis this week I will start a fixture schedule
After the 4th round FA Cup fixtures have completed and the EFL semis have been completed I will then produce a schedule of how the fixtures have been affected and how the blanks and doubles will start to look
The biggest assumption is that UEFA keep to the rule that postponed domestic games cannot clash with European Matches irrespective of whether English teams are playing or not. This has been relaxed in the past but only on the odd occasion. These rare precedents involve games on Mondays or even games clashing but played earlier in the day. So nothing is guaranteed.
The problem comes if there is 1 team that’s in the EFL final and the FA Cup quarters and the FA Cup semis. Then, as you’ll see below, there are 3 postponed games but only 2 realistic slots. Then the FA have to get creative. That’s why given the EFL final will possibly be between Man City and either Leicester and Aston Villa that scenario isn’t outside the realms of the possible.
The FA Cup replays will go to the next available midweek space. 5th round ties, quarter final and semi final clashes do not go to replays.
My knowledge gap is that I don’t know time periods for notice of postponements which could be relevant to where they are placed.
How the schedule works
The schedule outlines each week of the season identifying PL, EFL (aka the Carabao) Cup, FA Cup and UCL/EL matches to identify which PL matches will need to be postponed and where there are gaps that will accommodate those postponed games.
Each week is broken into weekend and midweek matches. Midweek is where matches will most likely be postponed to.
Then the 3rd column identifies possible blank and double gameweeks
It’s worth noting that the FA can spring surprises very easily and these are only my theories following through the various fixtures and making some assumptions.
I haven’t flagged this above as it seems fairly short notice. However, I guess if GW28 Man City v Arsenal needs postponing as Man City get to the EFL final and Arsenal don’t have a replay with Bournemouth from their FA Cup fixture on Monday 27th then the game could in theory be brought forward to GW25/26 rather than going backwards. That could avoid their triple postponement into 2 slots nightmare if Man City go all the way to the final of the FA Cup and EFL cup. They would have to announce that fairly quickly though. GW25 would be short notice and GW26 would make a bit of a mockery of the winter break but in theory.
Potential Blank GW28
This is when the EFL Cup final on Sunday 1st of March clashes with GW28 forcing postponements. With GW28 midweek being the 5th round FA Cup fixtures, the postponed GW28 games could only be relocated to the midweek spot and stay in GW28 if the finalists and their GW28 opponents aren’t in the 5th round.
So for example Man City with a 3-1 first leg lead over Man Utd are a strong favourite to go through to the EFL final. They are also through to the 5th round of the FA Cup so their GW28 clash with Arsenal seems likely to be postponed outside of GW28.
So that game could be moved to the only options of GW34 or GW37 therefore creating a Man City and Arsenal double gameweek in one of those gameweeks. With 4 weeks and 4 free transfers before GW28 that postponement if it happens is something to bear in mind when making future transfers. At the moment I only have De Bruyne of the 2 teams so not a big issue as I write this.
At this stage I’m going to wait until the 4th round and the EFL semis are complete before speculating on the other semi between Leicester and Villa or other fixtures.
Potential Blank GW31
This is when the FA Cup quarters and gameweek 31 go ahead at the same time which mean clashing PL fixtures are postponed as the International Break prevents midweek postponements to keep it in the same gameweek. This is likely to be the big blank week and where at the moment, in theory, it could be a place for the free hit chip.
Potential DGW34, Blank GW34, DGW37
Depending on which games resulting from the EFL final, the FA Cup quarters and the FA Cup semis are postponed to and they can be pretty random, then there could be the double gameweeks in both of these gameweeks.
Interestingly the FA Cup semis are also on GW34 which in theory means there could be blanks. However if they can put the postponements in midweek without them clashing with other postponements then there could be no blank element. Hopefully that makes sense. It just depends how the fixtures fall and the postponements are allocated.
Remember you cannot use more than 1 chip or the wildcard in any given gameweek
This is obviously not the first time this has occurred although each season there have been variations to some extent.
A common historic strategy has been to prepare for blank GW28 using free transfers. Use the free hit to navigate the blanks in GW31 and prepare for DGW34 using free transfers and wildcard for GW36 to use the bench boost in DGW37. The common variation is wildcard for GW33 to prepare for DGW34 bench boost with an eye on DGW37.
Many reading this may have already used their wildcard or bench boost. Now luckily we have a number of FFGeek contributors in different positions with their chips who will be navigating the potential blanks and doubles with their teams so there should be someone in similar positions to you for ideas.
I’m not going to give it more thought until the EFL semis are over and the picture is clearer. Then I’ll produce fixture schedules to show the effect on the gameweeks.
If you think I’ve got anything wrong or got anything to add put it in the comments column below
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