So I spent a good few hours this morning trying to get my head around the new fixtures and the effects on my FPL teams. Here’s the first brain dump on the FPL double gameweeks and blanks. Hopefully it will help your thoughts.
FPL double gameweeks and blanks – a few thoughts on my team
So I started this morning in a coffee shop with phone and paper with the intention of coming up with drafts for both my fpl teams with and without the Free Hit chip but after a few hours I had only done 2 drafts for my free hit lost team. So I’ll start with that and then hopefully today do a separate article on the free hit intact team.
Having the free hit makes a massive difference to your strategy and the fixture changes that I outlined in the double gameweek 34 confirmation have exacerbated that.
Remember you can only use the 1 chip per gameweek.
Here’s the fixtures by team and the google spreadsheet link
Some crucial points to start
This article is written from the perspective of maximising DGW and BGW fixtures and only for those managers who DONT have their free hit.
DGW34 and GW35 conflict
What hit me firstly is that only Burnley have a double fixture in GW34 and then a fixture in GW35. No one else has a DGW34 and then a fixture in GW35. Without a Free Hit (“FH”) for GW35 that rules out the prospect of using the Bench Boost (“BB”) in GW34 out effectively. With the bench boost you want to have 15 DGW players (or 14 plus Salah) so transitioning that into a team in 35 without the free hit would be impossible.
However if you don’t use the bench boost in DGW34 with the intention of only having 11 DGW34 players it becomes easier.
Here’s the calculation:
4 GW35 players on the bench in DGW34
3 Burnley players (I know! not ideal especially with the GK position complicated)
2 transfers if you carry over 2 free’s into GW35
Total of 10 players for GW35 and 10 DGW players for DGW34 plus Salah
You will then be forced to bench boost in DGW37
When to Wildcard and the triple captain issue
If you want to Triple Captain (“TC”) in a DGW34 then it’s realistically Hazard or Lukaku in my eyes unless you want to go totally rogue with Alonso or De Gea
However, if you don’t want to TC in 34 then your choice is either in Salah in GW35 v WBA (A) or v Stoke (H) in GW36 although both have issues with the UCL games where I guess he could be rotated.
If you want to TC in DGW34 then you’ll have to WC in GW33. However if you’re willing to gamble on Salah as a single game captain then you could wildcard in GW34 to get more info and proximity to DGW37.
Who knows what could be happening in GW37? There is a risk that so late in the season rotation and lack of motivation in teams could be rife if everything is decided. I don’t think that will definitely be the case. While the title is everything but won and should be done and dusted by GW34 the top 4 places for UCL qualifications aren’t as cut and dry. There are 9 points from Man Utd in 2nd and Chelsea in 5th so there’s still alot to play for. There’s no play off place so this season so the top 4 go into the Group stages automatically which could diminish the competition.
Down at the bottom of the table there’s 7 points between Stoke in 19th and Brighton in 12th so everything definitely isn’t done and dusted there in terms of relegation
The Man City conundrum
Man City from GW35 onwards will play:
West Ham (A)
Now City could have the league wrapped up by GW34. Even allowing for that the above fixtures could be a City rampage, especially the DGW37 Huddersfield and Brighton games. Pep, with those fixtures, will play a role in determining relegation depending on his team selection so the likes of Diaz and Foden may not come out en masse even if they progress past Liverpool in the UCL quarters.
The front 5 in the UCL games you would think will be D Silva, De Bruyne, Sterling, Sane and Aguero and the CBs Otamendi and Kompany/Laporte. You would think that would give a chance to Jesus and Bernardo Silva to play regular premier league and for Stones in the defence but guessing Pep isn’t easy. It will be extra difficult in DGW37 predicting who will play twice in a short space of time.
One thing for sure in my mind is that those with the free hit for GW35 have the luxury of a bespoke bench for their team and I feel will gamble on 3 City players. Ignoring City to me is at least as risky as going with them.
The Kane conundrum
The ever helpful Spurs hierarchy have said that Kane will be back in training sometimes in April. Thanks for that precise prognosis. With WBA (A) and Newcastle (H) in 37 he is a natural triple captain option. Personally without the free hit that’s impossible as I’ve said above but it will be worth having him just to at least get 2/3 of the points.
As long as you’ve got Lukaku or Aubameyang in your team he shouldn’t be more than a -4 away which is my current view on it.
Some draft lineups
Ok so much for the preamble here’s a couple of teams I put together earlier.
Either WC 33 TC 34 BB37
Or WC 34 TC 35/36 BB37
Lowton Christensen, Morgan,
Gudmundsson, Hazard, Salah, Mahrez
Austin, Wood, Lukaku
Bench: Fabianksi, D Silva, Stones, Dummett,
11 DGW players. Captain Lukaku or Hazard
Lowton, Stones, Dummett
Gudmundsson, Salah, D Silva
8 Plus 1 or 2 free transfers. Captain Salah
DGW37 bench boosters:
DGW37 Bench Boosters
De Gea, Fabianski
Christensen, Morgan, Stones, Dummett
Hazard, Mahrez, D Silva,
11 plus Salah
2 transfers for GW36 and GW37 would give you 13 DGW37ers plus Salah
So it works out ok. Man City are the tricky one. You’re damned if you do damned if you don’t. Is there anyone who will play 2 games in a week in 37? So do you just brave 35 and the rest of the fixtures and hope for the best or have a guess at who will play and hope for the best.
Austin is similar. Will he play 2 games in a week twice? What he does in 32 and the GW33 press conference will be vital.
Christensen has the perpetual injury scare at the moment. Under this team above he could become Alonso and Hazard become Willian. You would lose flexibility in that case and Lukaku would definitely be your captain/triple captain.
I wont go through all the lineups here but the principle is the same. There will be plenty of drafts to come.
I hope that helped if you don’t have a free hit. Hopefully another article later today
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