FPL blanks and doubles – simulating results and reviewing the different chip options

Here’s our latest FPL blanks and doubles article now the FA Cup quarter final draw has been made.  We make some assumptions as to results and postponements and see how that plays out for the various options to use your chips.   

FPL blanks and doubles – simulating results and reviewing the different chip options

I’m trying to write this as a fairly standalone article so apologies for repetition from other previous articles of mine.

The basics explained

Here’s the background to blanks and doubles in 4 sentences

The FA Cup quarter finals and semi finals will be played on the weekends of the premier league gameweeks of GW31 and GW33. The FPL site already shows postponements in GW31.  They will therefore require postponements outside of the current gameweeks. With UEFA rules requiring no clashes with European fixtures the only options as GW32 and GW35 which on historical precedent has been followed.

Where are we now?

Here’s the FA Cup quarter final draw:

Swansea City v Man City

Watford v C Palace

Wolves v Man Utd

Milwall v Brighton

Here are my latest schedules for the blank weeks of GW31 and GW33.  Green are the fixtures guaranteed to stay.  Orange are the fixtures that will be postponed.  There could be more in GW33 depending on quarter final results.





Those with guaranteed fixtures in GW31 and GW33 as of now before any quarter final results are

Bournemouth, Burnley, Leicester, Everton, Chelsea, Liverpool, West Ham and Huddersfield.

Results Simulation


That Man City, Watford, Man Utd and Brighton win their respective quarter finals.

The other assumption is that the GW31 postponements go into GW32 and the GW33 postponements go into GW35.  I’ve written about this previously.  My view is that unless the quarter final postponements are made before the GW27 deadline then I can for see a situation when the fixture postponements are tailored towards the TV companies and could go into anyone of 32 and 35.

I have ignored the Chelsea v Brighton postponement which still needs to be fitted in somewhere.  Under my simulation Brighton win over Millwall which means Brighton have doubles in 32 and 35 so a place still needs to be found.  That could result in an unexpected double for Chelsea as there won’t be room in 32 or 35.

So given those assumptions, however correctable they are, here are how the fixtures would look.  Italics are postponed fixtures.  Below them show how you would transition from one fixture to another.

fpl blanks

So what does the schedule tell us?

In essence GW31 and GW31 blanks have alot of cross over.

GW32 and GW35 also have alot of cross over of teams that have doubles.

A transition of doubles in 32 to teams with a fixture in 33 involves less teams than you would like and not Man City, Man Utd and Spurs.  Transitioning from 33 to teams with doubles in 35 with no cross overs.

The Chip options

All these options assumes you have a Wildcard, a free hit chip and a bench boost.  Not necessarily a TC.

Dean left a couple of additional options in the comments recently so I’ve included those.

None of the options come without some challenges.  It’s just a case of weighing up which of the challenges suits you and your team best.  If I outline the positives and the challenges then it’s not meant to be a criticism of one option as it’s all about personal choice and your team.

FPL blanks

Option 1

The challenge is having to prepare in advance for GW31 through free transfers.  Given the similarities between GW31 and GW33 it also seems a bit of a less than optimal place to use your wildcard and free hit.  Also can’t use your BB in what will possibly be the biggest double.

Has the advantage that you will get full visibility of postponements before committing to a chip.

Option 2

The challenge is having to prepare in advance for GW31 and GW33 effectively through free transfers. Also can’t use your BB in what will possibly be the biggest double.

Has the advantage that you will get full visibility of postponements before committing to a chip.  Also you use your chips to maximise the doubles although the BB is used in what could be the smallest set of doubles

Option 3 (Yaniv)

The transition between 32 and 33 is the main challenge here and that you may use your wildcard before you know where the doubles will be postponed to.  That’s unless they are announced prior to GW27 or soon after.

Has the advantage that you are able to use your BB and TC if you still have it in the doubles.  Also you can play as normal up to 32 with no thought as to GW31.

Option 4

The challenge here is preparing for the teams with doubles in GW32 with free transfers without knowing what doubles will be placed there unless they are announced prior to GW27 or soon after.  You also have to transition between 32 and 33.

It does allow you to use the TC and the BB in the doubles. Also I imagine preparing in advance for GW32 with no thought as to GW31 will be easier than preparing for GW31.

Option 5

Here you wildcard for the blanks in GW31 and 33.  You free hit for the doubles in GW32.

The challenge in this strategy will be getting from GW33 to GW35 with an optimal amount of DGW players as in my scenario there are none.

Option 6 Dean 

A similar strategy to option 4 with the TC and BB in a different order with the same challenges and advantages

Option 7 Dean

The main challenge would be transitioning between 32 and 33.

Has the advantage of chip use when the postponed fixtures will definitely be out and you use the wildcard to maximise the 2 doubles potential.

The Poll

Remember the strategies are for those with a Free Hit, Wildcard and Bench Boost

What other articles on this are coming?

Unfortunately with it being  a Friday gameweek time isn’t a great factor but I’m hoping to do today an article today where some of the contributors outline how they will deal with the doubles and blanks.

I will also be doing an article hopefully on navigating the blanks and doubles without a free hit chip as I’ve used it for that purpose on one of my previous alternate strategy teams.

Joseph Crilleys team planner

Here’s the link to Joe’s really excellent team planner which will help you navigate through the blanks and doubles.  There’s also an explanation sheet.  I’ve found it best to make a copy of the google spreadsheet.

Feedback please!

I don’t pretend to be an expert on this I just try and think it through logically.  Any corrections, views and thoughts are all greatly received in the comments section below.

See underlying stats on players from GW26 the early FFGeek team article and the 10 top FPL managers we follow

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17 thoughts on “FPL blanks and doubles – simulating results and reviewing the different chip options”

  1. On that poll there needs to be an option for “I am waiting for what Geek/others pick”. :D

    There must be single best strategy?

  2. Great article.

    I was heavily leaning towards the Yaniv option but am now leaning towards Option 2. I think I will now only go with the Yaniv option if the GW32 doubles are announced prior to GW30.

  3. Good article. The problem with all this is Aguero. And the strikers in general. How do you shape a team for week 31 and leave him out? Or Rashford/Jiménez? Or have no Man City coverage for three weeks when they have easy fixtures?

  4. Allan.. that was my original thinking that led me towards Yanivs option. I dont like the idea of cutting these players over the next 4 gameweeks. Altho you would leave 4 of them on the bench for GW31 but that still leaves 3-4 for the chop. This is why I see the appeal of options 6 and 7.
    I really wish the FA would announce the doubles sooner rather than later.

  5. Allan – best in mind you don’t have to be without these players for the next four weeks. You can sell Aguero for GW31. He won’t play in 31 or 33. Under option 2, you can still include him in your GW32 freehit and your GW34 wildcard so don’t have to miss Aguero at all. Likewise, Wolves have A tough GW30 so you can offload Doherty or Jimenez then and only miss one game. You don’t have to dilute your team too much.

    I like the Yaniv option in playing normally for 4 weeks, bench boosting in the best place, but the transition from double 32 to blank 33 looks awful and having to maybe wikdcard before seeing the double 32 fixtures is fraught with danger..

    Option 2 for me…

  6. 31/33 for my current make up.

    For Aguero comment: Just make aguero your last transfer. Keep him until the week 31 deadline..

    Who to keep on bench: For the three you keep on your bench, they should be wolves/manU players thay have the most price appreciation built in right? This is because they for sure blank in 33 and are likely to be in your wc team. No point selling them out to bring them in for a higher price.

    Chelsea must own again: Chelsea is all of a sudden very attractive again (in FPL, not in real life lol). They play 31 and 33 and there is a shot they may still dbl 32. No matter what happens they have another game to make up somewhere. Hazard, Higgy, and a D/G will be widely owned after this week I think.

    Everton a Hold: Also, Everton assets (if owned already) are now good to keep. Which kind of sucks because I really wanted to sell rich this week lol. Oh well. Rich and Digne get me to 11 for 31 and 33.. might as well keep them.

  7. Kev I wouldnt be so sure about Haz and Hig being that greatly owned after this week. Tjose who already own will keep but I cant see a flood of buys coming. Higuain is a definite no buy for me.. 2 goals against a hapless Hudds and blanks in the rest does not inspire me. Hazard may interest me later but I cant see a pile of interest in him until we know when the Brighton game takes place.

  8. How about WC in 30, saving your transfer to have two in GW32 and using BB, FH in the other blank GW and TC in the other double up.

  9. I like the look of option 5, but WC in GW31 rather than GW30.

    It allows you to play the next few weeks normally and sorts out GWs 31-33.

    Should also be able to get up to 7 DGW players in for BB (4 bench players from WC plus 3 FTs from 33-35) in GW35 plus 3 each from Liverpool (v Cardiff) and Bournemouth (v Fulham) that you’d already have for GW31 and GW33.

    Surprised it’s at the bottom of the poll.

  10. Would love to see the no FH article, as I’m in a couple of fantasy games that only include the wildcard, and no other chips. Cheers!

  11. It’s annoying having to WC in gw34 with Option 2. When gw35 there might be a lot of rotation.

    It’s a choice between Yaniv and Option 2 though I think.

  12. Salah plays spurs in 32 away. I think for the FH in 32 I wouldn’t even include him. Just doublers.

    This was the challenge for me of building for 32 and FH in 31 (Yaniv, 4, 6 and 7). In all of those I would likely want to keep Salah and even Robbo (maybe even a third) on the bench so they play against Sou next week and I keep the built up robbo money.

    So 2 or 3 lfc vs TOT as the only game in a dbl gw that I am supposed to BB during? It seems like a waste.

    My biggest challenge is I can dield 11 in 27 and 11 in 31 and 33 right now if I keep Richarlidson. But hes out of form, has bad fixtures and falling in price. I also have digne too. Would anyone that comments on here have an opinion.. should I just keep him so he scores on 31 for me or losethat just to change him instead of changing Camarosa?

  13. The Geek’s no free hit team strategy helped me win my mini league and finish top 25k last year, for which I am eternally grateful and an unconditional fan. I’m going option 2 – the hard work, such as it is (I’ll be fielding 9 or 10 if I take a hit) is done before GW31, and it seems relatively straightforward from there on in.

  14. Having to build a GW31 team over 5 weeks by making transfers you don’t fully believe in, just to scrape 11 players together in 5 weeks tine is not good. On average you will need 5/6 transfers. There will inevitably be injuries on top making this 8/9 transfers and taking points hits. Points hits will also hinder my head to head league matches. Effective transfers are based on form and fixtures.To play “normally” for five weeks is also so much easier.
    Option 2 involves having to sell premium players and buy them back again at a higher price.
    A GW31 blank free hit with 10 teams including Liverpool Chelsea and Everton, plus Westham v Huddersfield, can be a strong team.
    A wildcard in GW30 sets your team up with 14 doubles plus Salah for double GW32, potentially a massive 29 games in one week.
    There are likely to be 15 games in GW32 and 14 in GW35 , which could be only 13 ( only 3 extra games ) if Brighton lose at Milwall. The bench boost potential appears to be much stronger in GW32. Bear in mind also that by GW35 teams will have dead games and rotating players. A GW32 bench boost for me definitely..
    Packing your points in before GW32 will project you up the table. It might be too late by GW35.
    I was concerned about the GW32 to blank GW33 transition but having played this through, 9 players minimum looks possible. Brighton going out brings in Spurs too. You can keep more than one Liverpool player in GW32 and take advantage of Arsenal and Southampton who double in 32 and blank in 33. The transition doesn’t worry me.
    This all changes if the postponed fixtures don’t go where expected, but if they do.. it’s the Yaniv Way for me now… play normally for 5 weeks, make better transfers, keep my best players, a solid free hit, a much better bench boost..put the squeeze on my rivals.. and then hang on !!!!

  15. lol Andrew W you have been back and forth!
    The good thing is you don’t have to make a decision on which option for GW27.
    For most of us, GW27 is Auba in for Aguero regardless of which Option you are taking. Same for you too?

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