fantasy premier league DGW30 chips – 3 FFGeek contributors outline their plans for the double gameweek


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Here’s our fantasy  premier league DGW30 chips article where 3 FFGeek Contributors, Rob Reid, Andrew Whitfield and Mikael Danielsen outline their strategy for the upcoming gameweek DGW30+ plus show some draft teams

fantasy premier league DGW30 chips – 3 FFGeek contributors outline their plans for the double gameweek

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Rob Reid

You can follow Rob on twitter here

Rob’s last 5 seasons overall rank were 148k, 94k, 22k, 4k and 7k

Total points 1,688,  Overall Rank: 36k, Team Value: £106.3m

Rob has used his triple captain and 2nd wildcard

With FPL firmly open for business again, it’s time to turn our attention back towards our forgotten teams! It’s certainly been a bit of a waiting game and the bods at FPL Towers left us hanging on to the rumour mill of what could possibly be, but the news finally dropped last week – unlimited transfers until the restart!

For me, this has opened up a few possibilities and I started by looking at the positives and negatives of my situation. The main positive first of all is that I am in a good starting position at 37k overall. I used my Triple Captain Chip effectively back in February and then used my second Wildcard the week after, from which I was able to get the benefits for a few weeks pre-lockdown while other managers were limiting their transfer activity in preparation for the prospective blanks and doubles. Lockdown then happened, so I then made a few select transfers over that period to tidy my team up so I could be in a position where I was ready to deploy for this week with little change needed.

The big negative for me is the trade-off of having used that second Wildcard. While I effectively have the boon of a bonus GW30+ specific Wildcard, other managers will be able to target this week specifically using the unlimited transfers and max out on double gameweek players before using their Free Hit and then their Second Wildcard chips to re-shuffle their team to remove any deadwood and pick up the best assets again. I sadly don’t have this luxury.

Here’s my existing team:

So for me, I therefore have a choice to consider. Do I take advantage of the opportunity FPL Towers have presented and streamline my squad for a GW30+ Bench Boost with a mind also to the weeks beyond? Or do I stick with the squad I have built steadily over lockdown and deploy Free Hit in order to get 11 double players for this week, before keeping faith with my old charges thereafter? Here are my thoughts.

The Double and Beyond

First up some thoughts on GW30+. We’ve got a double gameweek for City, Arsenal, Villa and Sheffield United – this will probably be the only remaining double now. Players from these teams will therefore be heavily favoured. There’s also some good fixtures for single gameweek teams too. Wolves will fancy it away to West Ham, Chelsea will like their chances at Villa Park and Norwich v Southampton on Friday night is a proverbial 6 pointer. Oh and we have a certain team called Liverpool who have a key fixture in there somewhere too against city rivals Everton.

Overall looking at the double options, I like City’s fixtures this week though they are City and as ever there is the usual spectre of rotation. The Blades too could easily produce 2 good results, though at the same time you could end up with 2 stuffy 1-1 draws. For Arsenal, both games are away though looking at The Bundesliga that might not be as significant now. They will do well to get anything against City and the Brighton game could be anything from an easy win to a real dogfight. And as for Villa, the odds have to be against them getting a clean sheet in either game and they haven’t beaten any of the top 9 this season – they don’t fill me with confidence. But they do have some attacking midfield options who could easily produce a double figure score.

Therefore, my conclusion from this is that while City and co may well do ok this week, there are several teams who have single gameweek players that could outscore assets from the double gameweek teams. As such, I think it is feasible to take a gamble by not completely loading a Bench Boost team with double gameweekers.

Looking a bit further beyond I then can see some problems over the next couple of gameweeks. City v Liverpool in GW32+ is a problematic fixture if you have 3 City assets and in the same week there are easier fixtures for Man United, Arsenal and Chelsea while Sheffield United face a tricky visit from Spurs that week. That GW is also spread from Saturday to Thursday with the FA Cup 1/4-finals interjecting the fixtures so team news may be sparse and there may be injuries throughout the week. Then there’s GW33+ – this has really nice fixtures for Liverpool, City, United and Chelsea. This could be a good spot to deploy the Free Hit.

This then leads me back to the ultimate question – Bench Boost or Free Hit this week? For me, the answer looks to be that GW30+ overall still presents the best opportunity to get the most change out of the Bench Boost chip. Even if you can have 4 players who simply play twice on the Bench, you’ve made a 16-point gain by using the chip. Under these conditions I think that ain’t half bad and anything beyond is a bonus.

There is of course still debate as to whether using Bench Boost is the best for my own personal team, but the decision however is probably made by the fact that I don’t see a better week to deploy Bench Boost later on, whereas I can see future weeks where I can use Free Hit effectively. With Bench Boost, even if I don’t get 16pts off the bench this week, in future weeks I can see there being a lot of rotation. The double presented by GW30+ gives me the best chance of players playing at least once – it’s better use of the Chip to get 8 extra points for these extra 4 players playing compared with a few zeros later on when rotation bites.

Bench Boost it is then!

Strategy

Now that’s decided, what I’ve done for my strategy moving forward is to break the remainder of the season into 2 blocks with GW38+ as a final outlier. GW30+ to GW33+ forms the first block. There is then a bit of a change in the fixtures for a couple of teams which gives a nice second block from GW34+ to GW37+. I’ll then treat GW38+ as a bit of a standalone week – this is usually a bit of a fun random week anyway depending on if there are still outstanding relegation or European issues to be decided.

Block 1 is where I plan to deploy the rest of my chips. So I’ll use Bench Boost this week, then use my 2 free transfers probably in GW32+ to prepare for Block 2 before likely deploying my Free Hit in GW33+. So for now, it’s about trying to get the best out of Block 1 and probably trying to hold steady through these first 3 gameweeks against those who have the advantage of a second Wildcard left, before attacking GW33+ with the Free Hit. My team for GW30+ must therefore utilise the double gameweek to some extent but at the same time still leave me with a good squad for weeks 31 & 32. I can then target GW33 as a week for making gains.

Gameweek 30+ Bench Boost Plans

First up my team value situation is pretty favourable. I’ve got 106.3m OTV though I do have quite a bit tied up in Alexander-Arnold, De Bruyne, Aubameyang, Salah and Jimenez. All these could prove problematic buy backs were I to sell this week. The good news is I plan to hold most of them for the moment. The problem comes with who I’d like in – a certain Sergio Aguero for example. I talked on the Patreon Podcast a couple of weeks ago about how this week could be made for him and I’d really like him in my team, so I’m going to have to find some money to accommodate him.

Next up, neither of my keepers has a double this week and indeed neither has a favourable fixture full-stop. Ideally I’d like Ederson and Henderson as my 2 keepers for this week, but (a) that’s too expensive and (b) that doesn’t leave me in a good place next week as Ederson is away to Chelsea and Henderson will be ineligible against United. Leno therefore comes into the equation but do I then pair him with 4.5m Reina who probably won’t keep a clean sheet in either game?

Finally, it’s working around the rest of the players. Realistically, my 4th and 5th mids can’t be expensive if I’m holding De Bruyne, Salah and Aubameyang while also trying to fit in Aguero so I’m really looking at can these guys score me 8 points between them to make the Bench Boost worthwhile. Similarly, defenders 3-5 are probably going to be in the same boat – can these guys get an average of 4 points each?

So here’s what I’ve managed to work with my budget as an initial draft:

Goalkeepers In:

Leno – looks the best of the 4 double options for the next 3 gameweeks in terms of price versus fixture difficulty.
Under Consideration: Reina or Henderson look the most likely, though if I could get Ederson then that would be great.

Defenders In:

Alexander-Arnold – expensive and no double but his attacking potential speaks for itself. I think he is necessary for the next few weeks and if I sold him for the double, I’d have difficulty buying him back.
Lascelles – not a double player either, but GW30+ vs Sheffield United could easily end up 0-0, he’s pretty gametime secure and has good GW31 & 32 fixtures so a handy squad player.
Under Consideration: 1 or 2 from Sheffield United, holding Doherty or swapping for Laporte if I can make the numbers work, Targett, Mendy, Cathcart. It’s tricky to make this one work.

Midfielders In:

De Bruyne – I’ve held since GW1 and I see no reason to change. I expect he’ll get 70-80 minutes versus Arsenal and possibly 30 mins versus Burnley so hopefully we’ll see some returns
Salah – Similar reasons to Alexander-Arnold. There are some minor concerns regarding his fitness, if anything concrete emerges on this I may swap to Mane.
Fleck – he looks the best of the 5m and under options with a double to start.
Grealish or McGinn – Grealish is the obvious pick here, but the 1m I’d save by punting on McGinn would be very handy. I need to mull this one a bit more.
Under Consideration: I’m likely only going to be left enough for a cheap midfielder and I don’t really fancy anything Villa or Arsenal have to offer. My favoured other cheap at the moment is Cantwell – again not a double player but has good fixtures and could easily get double figures in a single game. On most of my drafts though, typically I’m 0.1m short!

Forwards In:

Aguero – likely the top Captain pick this week
Aubameyang – pricey and could easily only get 3 or 4 points across the 2 fixtures, but I suspect he’ll pick up at least 1 return and he’s got good GW31+ and GW32+ fixtures. Looks like he could be key captain pick in GW32+
Jota – not a double player, but I don’t see a better double option around this price point and below and I need the money elsewhere. Ideally I’d have Jimenez but I can’t make the numbers work with the step up in funds, but he was in good form pre-lockdown and Wolves fixtures are good pretty much right the way to the end.

So here’s an example of how things could look at the moment with a draft where the numbers work. There’s moves I can make within this – Doherty could easily become Laporte for example. I’d then look to bank my GW31+ transfer and probably sell Aguero in GW32+ and use the funds to bolster my midfield a bit, bringing in Fernandes or Pogba for example. I’d then play Free Hit in GW33+.




fantasy premier league DGW30 chips

I’ll be making my final calls on Wednesday – luckily I’m not at work in the afternoon. I’ll follow this with another write-up on Tuesday and will finalise my team on Twitter on Wednesday. I’ll also be on the Patreon Podcast this week with Geek and Alex if you want to hear more of my thoughts.

Happy tinkering folks.

Andrew Whitfield

You can follow Andrew on Twitter here

Andrew finished with an overall rank of 6k last season and 19k in 17/18

Total points 1,620,  Overall Rank: 241k, Team Value: £104.2m

Andrew has used his triple captain and 2nd wildcard

Well football is finally here !! Its been a long time coming but after 100 days, it’s now back with a bang, with a massive 92 games squeezed into six weeks to eventually complete the season, with games staggered for a tv viewing marathon !!

Unlimited transfers:

– FPL is back too, which is a relief and has us all frantically researching the best revised chip strategies for our free hits, bench boosts, wildcards and triple captains. That’s especially so as it’s a double gameweek for Man City, Arsenal, Sheffield United and Aston Villa. We also have the curve ball of “unlimited transfers” to throw into the mix too, as FPL reach out to offer a sweetner to get everyone back on board for the exciting football finale.

– The FPL “purists” with carefully planned strategies and saved chips were disapproving of the anticipated extra “leg up” for the more casual players, but after the horrors of what’s happened in the real world, it’s an understandable gesture to bring people back. As it’s turned out, those same dissenting FPL managers with a saved wildcard have actually come out of this unlimited transfers decision incredibly well and with a significant edge over many of their rivals !!

– Having played my second wildcard back in GW25, i have to navigate a less favourable route, with unlimited transfers NOT working in my favour, but you could argue that I have already had the uplift advantage from my early second wildcard, which is fair. Let’s just be grateful that FPL is back !!

There is added spice to the restart as it’s confirmed that it will be the only double gameweek, due to the restructuring of the FA cup with free midweeks straight after the cup weekends to mop up the displaced ties. So what a crucial first week back it’s going to be. All the more important to get a clear strategy in place !!

The two clear strategies seem to be :

– If you have a second wildcard, use unlimited transfers to load up on the doublers with two games, use bench boost too and then wildcard out of it in the following week to set up for the rest of the season. That effectively gets you up to 27 players for the double gameweek, which is huge, although in practice you may want to keep hold of some players with a single game that you want longer term and have money tied up in who would be more expensive to buy back. That’s the trap to avoid.

– If you DONT have your second wildcard, and you are happy with your team ( I am ), then the route is probably less advantageous but very simple. A free hit allows you to really attack the double gameweek and come back to your team beyond it, with value preserved. Without the second wildcard, you can’t build with unlimited transfers as you can’t wildcard back out of it. You would be stuck with players who are great for one week only. By not bench boosting, you can skin the bench, put all your money in the starting eleven and go really big on the doublers as you don’t have to keep money back for a bench. That effectively gets you up to 22 players, so less than the wildcard holders, but remember you still have extra players from a future bench boost, and you can have a stronger starting eleven and a very simple way back to your perfect team the following week with the value of your players preserved. That’s my route.

– There are other options. If you don’t have your wildcard and you are not happy with your team, then you have probably slipped up on not using the free weekly transfers that have been on offer for the last three months. That may prevent you playing the free hit. Your position is similar to those with no chips left. So use the unlimited transfers to build a team that is a mix of doublers and single players who have decent fixtures beyond the first week, which is not easy. You can also bench boost or triple captain in the double week too if you hold them.

My existing team:

fantasy premier league DGW30 chips

– I was actually very proactive in the three month break, where transfers remained available and I made my own “unlimited transfers” anyway, a move that worked out very well as I beat six price rises and four price falls !! So I have a team with great remaining fixtures that I would not be able to afford if I had waited until now, and one that would possibly be out of reach to many having to sell assets in order to prepare for the double gameweek and then buy them back at higher prices in a GW31+ wildcard. So my tinkering in the break worked out very well and I have a team very well set up for GW31 and beyond.

– I brought in Man Utd, Wolves and Chelsea assets to mix with the likes of Trent and Salah and KDB and I have a team that I absolutely adore for GW31+. I can’t wait to get the team back after the double gameweek free hit. I won’t have to go scrambling quickly to sell assets from Sheff Utd, Arsenal, Villa and Man City that are great for the double gameweek but not beyond it. Villa and Sheff Utd in particular both have very poor fixtures beyond the double. My team is very well placed from GW31, but it’s not set well for the double gameweek. Nine of my team have “away” fixtures, I only have one double gameweek player in my preferred starting eleven, so it’s an easy decision to play a one off free hit and then return to a team I absolutely love that is well set for the fixtures beyond it.

Which double gameweek players ?

– Its important to state that your view of the double gameweek players will be different, depending on whether you are free hitting and need eleven solid reliable players, or whether you are bench boosting and can afford to snap up some riskier low budget options for your bench. I can be more dismissive of the budget options as my priority is to put the best eleven players on the pitch. But bench boosters can look much more closely at budget players if they can potentially fill a bench spot and get on the pitch twice. They could be worth a punt.

– I am not sure I can find three players from each of the double gameweek teams that I genuinely really want when the priority is looking towards building a strong eleven and so I am leaning towards only having eight doublers, with three single game players. I don’t want players with two games just for the sake of it if maybe they won’t play two games anyway and when there are some great single game options.

– Man City – With no cash constraints and bench considerations, I can really attack this with De Bruyne, Aguero and Sterling. I personally wouldnt be able to afford all three with a bench boost. When are you going to get another chance to play all three in a double gameweek at home to Arsenal and Burnley. They won’t all play two full games but the “five sub rule” should see them all getting some minutes in both games. They are explosive enough to not need 90 mins. Any one of them could be a hat trick waiting to happen. It’s an exciting one week punt and I am going to really enjoy it. Sterling has a lot to prove and could come out firing just like his opening day hat trick back in August. I am going to probably captain Aguero who scored a hat trick v Arsenal last season. You don’t get many chances to captain such an explosive player with 150 premier goals and the most hat tricks in premier league history, in a double gameweek with two nice home fixtures !!!

– Sheff Utd – am tripling up on blades defence, in the hope that games v Villa and Newcastle will yield one triple clean sheet. They have the second best defence in the league and are great value. I wouldn’t go anywhere near blades attackers, including Fleck. I am on Henderson, and Egan. I was on O’Connell too but I am getting drawn to Lundstram. He is not as secure for gametime but I would expect him to play a part in both games, he carries attacking threat and this could be a hedge against the triple clean sheet. He might even start and get subbed after 60-70 mins with his clean sheet intact. We all know he has a double figure score in him. Then again, I might see sense and probably play safe and stick with O’Connell !!

Aston Villa – I want Grealish for the double. But I am just not buying the clamour for Targett and Samatta. They are however viable budget options for a bench boost but not for a free hit. Villa have the worst defence in the league. I had never heard of Samatta until this double gameweek. A poor FPL asset doesn’t suddenly become essential because he has two games. McGinn interests me but he hasn’t played in a long time and could have his minutes managed more than most. I don’t want three Villa players just for the sake of it. The players with two games might only play once anyway. Definitely considering McGinn but I am put off by double Villa attack v triple Blades defence. That’s not helpful at all.

Arsenal – I really like the one off punt on Aubamayang over two games, even though it wouldn’t surprise me if he got 2 points in both games, but I am not interested in the two game appeal of Nketiah or Saka, or Ozil ( one goal and assist in ten games ) especially when one game is Man City away. Again, they could be viable bench boost options but not for a free hit when emphasis is all the value into eleven players. And do I want to invest in the leaky Arsenal defence when they have that Man City game away and a trip to Brighton who are fighting for their lives. Lacazette or Pepe are interesting options but i don’t trust them to play twice and I prefer investing that money instead into a couple of reliable single game players. I just don’t like the double fixture for Arsenal.

How many single gameweek players:

– Don’t lose sight of single gameweek players. Last season, the double gameweeks proved to be very underwhelming, over hyped and the single gameweek players burned us. Don’t put 12 doublers in for the sake of it if you fancy keeping two or three single gameweek players with explosive potential. I am keeping Alexander-Arnold after that 24 point haul at Leicester showed what he can do in one game !!!! I am also going to keep Doherty. Both Trent and Doherty can accumulate points at either end of the pitch and i would rather have that high ceiling points potential from those two attacking full backs than investing it into double gameweek players I don’t fully trust to play twice and wouldn’t normally go anywhere near .I am currently on a third single game player of Mount for Chelsea. The alternative is a two game punt on McGinn. I am still undecided on this and will be following closely. Logic is telling me to go for the two game option on McGinn and have nine doublers. Still undecided.

– In terms of the single game players that I am prepared to take on, going without Salah scares me but I think a hungry Sterling with two very attractive games is a good bet against him. Jiménez is consistent but Auba with two games is a logical option against him when he will be very highly owned for the two games. Going without Bruno Fernandes and Rashford is very dangerous too and I don’t like it, but that’s a price to pay for that Man City double gameweek triple up.

My free hit team:




fantasy premier league DGW30 chips

– It’s a 442 with Aguero and Aubameyang up front. Trent and Doherty support a triple Blades defence. Sterling, KDB, Grealish and Mount ( or McGinn ) complete midfield. Eight or nine doublers including that attacking Man City triple up certainly gives me cause for optimism !!

– I have a very thin bench as it won’t be needed provided my players step on to the pitch at least once over the two games. Greenwood and Guendouzi provide some points potential just in case. A non playing keeper and defender ensure that the funds go into the starting eleven instead as I won’t need the bench beyond this week and two back up players should be enough. A thin bench is always advisable for a one week free hit.

– If I go McGinn over Mount, it would allow me to have Saka on the bench instead of Guendouzi and also go for the more attacking Baldock or Stevens instead of Egan or O’Connell. Food for thought and that’s where I could end up going.

– I think the bench boosters will probably outperform the free hitters due to the extra players. The carried forward free hit will probably also be more useful than a carried forward bench boost, especially as a back up for any Covid postponements. But the earlier use of my second wildcard has necessitated me following the free hit route. The free hit would have been a lot more popular but for the unlimited transfers giving a helping hand to those who can prepare for the double with free transfers and then wildcard back out of the double gameweek.

And after GW30+

– Beyond GW30+, I have my original team back that I am very happy with and value is preserved. It’s a very easy transition. Hopefully I won’t have too many injuries to fix as I will only have one free transfer, whearas the wildcarders will be able to construct teams based on injuries which is another advantage. I will be hoping for an injury free weekend for my team that’s tucked away waiting.

– It’s worth mentioning that wildcarders should get cracking on their moves immediately after the first deadline on Wednesday as there should be a huge volume in trades and price movements. The wildcard is flexible to respond to injuries too so there is no reason to wait. I am hoping that the desirable players waiting comfortably in my GW31+ team will increase in price as other people snap them up !!

– I have bench boost to use at a time when it looks most favourable for my team based on fixtures. I fear with increased injury and rotation that I might not get much benefit off a bench boost if my bench players have to come off the bench and step up anyway. We will see. It’s probably better to get my bench boost played sooner rather than later, especially as I can then ditch my bench keeper and reinvest the money, and it’s also better not to waste a chip in case the season gets halted early.

– So let’s get ready to rumble, get the beers in and let’s just embrace the fact that football is back !!!!!

Mikael L Danielsen

You can follow Mikael on twitter here

Mikael’s last 3 seasons overall rank were 12k, 100k and 5k

Total points 1,629,  Overall Rank: 196k, Team Value: £105.9m

Mikael has used his triple captain chip

This is most likely my DGW30+ Bench Boost team.

De Bruyne is probably my captain.

Planning to Wildcard in GW31+

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5 thoughts on “fantasy premier league DGW30 chips – 3 FFGeek contributors outline their plans for the double gameweek”

  1. Thanks for this! Rob’s comment about GW33+ being a good one for FH is useful. I’ve taken full advantage of this week’s free transfers and am using my BB. I was then thinking of using my FH in GW31+ and WC in GW32+, but might reconsider now. Good food for thought.

  2. Am I right in saying that the only advantage of BB in GW 30+ is that you get a better chance that the players are all fit and will probably play? If you fill your team with twelve players from Man City, Arsenal, AV and Sheff U you will have max of one bench player counting, then four in the full fixture program that follows. So the DGW doesn’t make a lot of difference. Or have I missed something?

  3. That’s very true Allan. I think there is an expectation that injuries and rotation will increase as the weeks progress. You would expect all first choice players to start first game. By having to free hit, I do have concerns about the value of my bench boost on a later week when the bench players might cover and not actually have any bench value. Hopefully with the five sub rule, players will at least get some minutes and the bench players will still have bench value

  4. Another plus in playing bench boost now – If you didn’t, you could have. Max 11 doublers and by doing so, you miss out on having great single game players like Trent, Doherty, Jimenez, Bruno Fernandes etc. You will need a couple of them which would mean not having a full compliment of doublers. By bench boosting, you can pick 3 great single game players AND have some cheap doublers who hopefully wi get on the pitch twice. If you have bench boost, it’s far better to play it this week if you have a second Wildcard.

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