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 all but certain to go to the 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.
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 FACup 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 be between Man City and either Spurs or Chelsea that scenario isn’t outside the realms of the possible. That’s why I don’t understand why they didn’t bring it to an earlier gameweek last season rather than hoping the 3 pegs into 2 holes scenario doesn’t happen. Last season they got away with it.
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.
|Midweek||FA Cup 3rd round replays|
|Midweek||EFL semi 2nd leg|
|Weekend||Feb 16.17||FACup5th||*See below|
|Weekend||Feb 23.24||GW27/EFL Final||Blank GW27|
|Weekend||Mar 16.17||GW31/FACupQtrs||Blank GW31?|
|Weekend||Mar 23.24||Int Break|
|Weekend||Apr 6.7||GW33/FACupSemi||Blank GW33?|
Potential blank GW27
This is when the EFL Cup final on Sunday February 24 clashes with GW27 forcing postponements. With GW28 being a midweek gameweek it seems unlikely they will try and keep it in the same gameweek.
Man City are virtually certain to go through which means Everton v Man City won’t happen in GW27. The other semi of Spurs v Chelsea could go either way meaning Burnley v Spurs and Chelsea v Brighton in GW27 are still at risk. We will know before GW24 which team is through to the final giving plenty of time for preparation.
So those games could be moved into GW32 or GW35 making them double gameweeks. I have to say it’s hard to know where the FA will postpone them too. Last season they sprang a few surprises.
It’s also possible those games could be moved earlier if there are no clashes with the 4th round replays or the 5th round games.
At the moment I have Kane, Hazard, Sane, Richarlison all at risk of postponements. For me there’s not enough reason at the moment to use the free hit chip and I should be able to account for it in subs or transfers.
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. This is likely to be the big blank week and where at the moment in theory it could be the best place for the free hit chip. Especially as there’s likely to be a double gameweek 32.
Potential DGW32 and DGW35
Depending on which games are postponed to where and they can be pretty random, then could be the double gameweeks ahead in both of these gameweeks.
The fact that there is another blank straight after makes the situation rather complicated and I need more thought about when to play the 2nd wildcard and the triple captain chip. You’d normally be looking to use the bench boost on the big double gameweek and wildcard before it so to prepare.
Potential blank GW33
This one come straight after what could be a potential double gameweek 32 so makes it tricky to set up for as the winners of the quarters where you could be doubling up on will not have a fixture straight after.
It all needs far more thought and also the evolution of the fixtures.
So the immediate thoughts are on the blank of GW27 which should be fairly manageable. The further blanks and doubles need more thought from my end and more fixture certainty. There will be more articles to come.
I don’t pretend to be an expert in this. I’ve just tried to match fixtures and join the dots. So any corrections or thoughts are definitely welcome. Please put them in the comments section below and I’ll update the article if needed.
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