FPL team tips GW30 – FFGeek contributors show their GW30 teams part 1


Here’s our FPL team tips GW30 article where the 1st group of the FFGeek contributors show their teams for GW30. In this article there’s current FFGeek contributors Rob Reid, Costas Chari, Rick Porter, Stephen Troop, Andrew Whitfield and Alex Ball.

FPL team tips GW30 – FFGeek contributors show their GW30 teams part 1


This is part 1 of the FPL managers who contribute to the FFGeek site with good histories who show their teams each week. This will give people a feel for what other managers are doing. It’s a fairly informal thing with no obligation on anyone and these teams may change at anytime before the deadline without further notice. It won’t cover transfers in real time either. It’s just to give an idea of the trends for the week no more.

Rob Reid

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

GW29 points: 63 (FPL average 51) Total points 1,688 Gameweek rank 1,464k, Overall Rank: 36k, green arrow 8k, Team Value: £106.7m

Rob has used his triple captain chip and his 2nd wildcard

GW29 review

Another pleasing week leading to a 6th consecutive green arrow. I consider this week’s one to be slightly more fortuitous seeing as going Henderson over McCarthy cost me 5 points and I also left a clean sheet from Lascelles on the bench, but other things went in my favour to secure another overall ranking rise.

First of all, I got my Captain choice right. What looked like an odd decision to go for a single gameweek player in Salah rather than one of the double options bore fruit. Again I feel for Aubameyang Captainers and Triple Captainers, much in the way I felt bad for those who TC’ed Mane a few weeks back. Not a bad decision folks, just unlucky with the circumstances.

The other positives were another clean sheet for Doherty and picking the wrong goalie only costing me 5 points because of Henderson’s clean sheet. Again I’m not too down on this call – on paper this was the correct decision. Sheffield United got a clean sheet, Saints didn’t – you just can’t legislate for penalty saves.

Otherwise, this week was all about Harvey Barnes who rewarded my decision to pick him a couple of weeks back with a bumper 19 point haul. He passed the eye test for me when I selected him for GW27 and Monday nights display against a hapless Villa defence gives me much confidence moving forward.

So in the end, 4/11 returns was enough for a 1.4m weekly ranking and another nudge up the overall standings. It’s been a good few weeks, but we’ve now got the prospect of something very difficult around the corner I fear. Let’s explore that in some more detail.

GW30 team

The news is of course is dominated by Covid-19 at the moment and the impact it’s having on the world. I think it’s worth stating from the off, that people’s health has to be the priority and sport really isn’t important in the grand scheme of things.

If the powers-that-be deem that games should be cancelled and schedules re-organised then we should respect their decision. I also know that we are a site with a truly global reach here (our contributors reflect this) so I’d like to send out my best wishes to anyone affected by Covid-19 in any way and I hope that you all stay safe wherever you are.

As for FPL, well I have 2Ts this week and 1.0m in the bank. I’m continuing with my plan of building for GW31 where my strategy at present is to negotiate the week using free transfers only.

Fixture uncertainty makes decisions fraught with problems of course. There is a doubt regarding Brighton v Arsenal though we should know by Friday if that’s going ahead and if the other fixtures aren’t cancelled, I’d still throw considerable doubt on Wolves’ Sunday match because of their EL game on Thursday and the circumstances with Olympiacos.

My original plan this week was to bank one free transfer and sell Perez with my other, probably for a Watford midfielder (Sarr or Doucoure) and I think I’ll probably still do this. If the Arsenal game is cancelled though, I don’t think I could justify holding Aubameyang with 2 blank weeks in a row for him so I’d sell him, probably for Deeney.

At the moment, I feel the best strategy is to deal in certainties. Make your transfers as late as you can (I’ll be making mine on Saturday morning) and try and have as many what you think are guaranteed starters in your squad as you can. I would also suggest that you adopt the strategy of having your Captain and Vice in different fixtures – I’m always a fan of this anyway. I’d perhaps even go one step further and suggest your Vice is on a player in a Saturday game where you will have short notice that it’s definitely on.

As such, for my team – at present I’ve gone with Lascelles, Traore and Stephens on my bench in that order and I’ll be placing the Vice-Captain on Harvey Barnes who plays in the first fixture of the gameweek. As for Captain, it’s a straight shoot-out between De Bruyne and Salah for me, I’ll probably goal with the poll leader but I’m leaning towards De Bruyne for now.

To be honest, I’m expecting my run of greens to end now. Nearly all my squad plays away from home which is never a great start but I also am starting to fear not having any Man United cover – they are on my shopping list for GW32! We’ll see, I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

Good luck for GW30 folks, whatever shape it takes and I hope you enjoy the games.

Transfer summary:  To be confirmed

Follow Rob on twitter here.  See Rob’s GW30 player picks

Here’s the team pre any transfers

FPL team tips GW30

Costas Chari

Costas’s last 3 seasons overall ranks were 84k, 29k and 27k

GW29 points: 87 (FPL average 51) Total points 1,665 Gameweek rank 36k, Overall Rank: 76k, green arrow 98k, Team Value: £102.6m

Costas has played his triple captain chip as well as his 2nd wildcard

It was a rare gameweek as there weren’t a lot of managers near the average, you can see lots of lows and lots of highs. Luckily I was in the high end hence the 98k green arrow. I am back in the top 100k after gw13 (took me long enough).

7 returning players including Lascelles, Saint Maximin and Barnes as my differential picks. I did not panic as many managers and did not make the switch from Vardy to Aubameyang. I never thought Aubameyang was worth a hit as I did not see his double as something interesting. I sensed West Ham would play hardball.

I got my 50-50 with Salah and De Bruyne as captain correct although in the end it dis not matter but got the 50-50 goalkeeper decision wrong benching McCarthy.

Looking forward as I said in the FFGeek podcast that I plan not to free hit in GW31. I can field 8 players and if there is need I’ll go for a – 4 hit. So this week there is no transfer. The reason is that if I have an injury to any of my GW31 then I wont go through GW31 with 7 players, so I am saving it.

The only reason i would use my transfer was to bring in someone who I am want after GW31 in the place of De Bruyne if confirmed injured again.

Captain. I really don’t know, I feel that having 3 Liverpool players away to Everton makes me overexposed so I don’t want to captain Salah. I hope Pep gives a clear update on De Bruyne so I can switch the armband to him

Transfer summary:  to be confirmed

Here’s the team pre any transfers

FPL team tips GW30

Rick Porter

Rick’s last 3 seasons overall ranks were 1k, 30k and 2k.

GW29 points: 44 on free hit (FPL average 51) Total points 1,654 Gameweek rank 5,015k, Overall Rank: 103k, red arrow 31k, Team Value: £105.3m

Rick has played his triple captain chip and in this gameweek his free hit chip

Oof. What a punch in a gut. So, I’ve made an error… albeit an error that made sense at the time. Those that have access to the FFGeek Patreon site will know that after writing an Imaginary Wildcard piece this week I was so enamoured with the team I’d created that I was tempted to do it for real as it solved a couple of issues. It granted me a quality GW31 team while also allowing me to take advantage of the surprise DGW29 that had just been dropped into our laps. As it turned out, the Norwich win against Spurs last Wednesday quashed one of those issues. It gifted me a further two players for GW31 meaning an ‘okay’ 11 would be easily within grasp without hits – that’s more than many will manage.

This made the Wildcard less appealing but with GW31 now handled and GW34 looking like it may be easily traversable, I felt I was now holding chips for the sake of it rather than trying to benefit from them. My rank had stagnated and playing it safe wasn’t gaining me any ground, so I wanted to try and get something from the surprise double – it wasn’t long before a Free Hit entered my thoughts. We had no time to prepare for this DGW. It was announced just days before deadline and many of the worthwhile players were so pricey it would demand a hit if you wanted to bring one of them in – let alone several. Surely, this is exactly what the Free Hit chip was made for?

A Bad Call

It looked to me like a decent opportunity to boost rank and it was easy to spread the funds around a bit to field a team that featured some of the more expensive players who could score big while still covering myself against some highly owned hard-hitters. It potentially offered a better than normal week that fewer managers would benefit from. All I needed was for the players to show up and score some goals… I went for it. My Free Hit was activated and Aguero, Aubameyang, Saka, De Bruyne and Luiz were primed to deliver me some points.

As we all know by now, not only were the first matches low-scoring duds but the second match has been postponed due to the virus risk. Cancelling the match was the right thing to do considering the situation, and I imagine there will be more postponements in the future, so it’s impossible to be annoyed by the decision. Safety is the most important thing here, but purely from an FPL view that’s some proper bad luck for me and my rank has tanked. GW29 has been a right horror show and the perfect example of overthinking being the enemy of success.

Further Planning

A small upside… my plan for navigating the rest of the season is blissfully simple now. I have no choice but to tackle GW31 with transfers, which doesn’t look like too much of an issue as I’ll be able to field 11 without hits (them all starting is another matter).

By GW32 we’ll hopefully know the full situation with GW34 and GW37. My Bench Boost is being used in GW37 with the hope of 15 double players, so my Wildcard will either be used just before in GW36 or, if GW34 does throw some curve balls, I’ll Wildcard a couple of weeks early with GW37 in mind.


My next two FTs have to be used to prep my GW31 team. Barring other injuries, It’ll almost certainly be Pope and Sarr in for Ryan and Barnes but I want as much information as possible before making any moves – and neither has a promising fixture in GW30 – so I’ll be rolling my transfer and will make both moves next week.

Transfer Summary

Rolling transfer.


I have it on Vardy at the moment. Hopefully his goals from the bench mark a return to form. Vice Salah.

Here’s the team with the free transfer carried over

FPL team tips GW30

Stephen Troop

Stephen’s last 3 seasons overall rank were 43k, 52k and 64k

GW29 points: 74 (FPL average 51) Total points 1,638 Gameweek rank 420k, Overall Rank: 156k, green arrow 83k, Team Value: £103.3m

Stephen has used his triple captain chip

After 10 or so weeks of pure stagnation, I managed to have a decent week. 74 points, improving my rank from 240k ish to 156k. It was looking very bleak originally, KDB captain missing the first of the double gameweek games (Traore replacing him), Robertson not playing and blanks from remaining players. The Leicester trio rescued my week, including a Barnes masterclass. His underlying stats had been good, so he was due a goal but I didn’t expect a 19 point haul (even against Villa). The rest was luck. Saiss 8 points coming in for Robertson and Salah as Vice getting the double points after the second City game was cancelled.

Looking ahead, and as last week had almost all good home fixtures, this week has almost all away fixtures which don’t look as great. I’ll likely be rolling the transfer unless we get news of postponements only affecting certain teams. I want 2 FT for BGW31 where I will likely get in Sarr for Barnes and replace Ings. My Free Hit will be used for the early blank GW and Bench Boost for the larger one, which I’ll wildcard leading into. I am not making any major transfer plans given the prospect of postponements which will potentially ruin everything. I will just be waiting until the last minute to make transfers and take everything a week at a time.

Follow Stephen on twitter here

Transfer summary:  Carrying over a free transfer

Here’s the team points from last week:

FPL team tips GW30

Andrew Whitfield

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

GW29 points: 49 -4 (FPL average 51) Total points 1,620 Gameweek rank 4,166k, Overall Rank: 240k, red arrow 55k, Team Value: £104.8m

Andrew has played his triple captain chip and his 2nd wildcard

Well what a crazy gameweek that proved to be !! A double gameweek for Man City and Arsenal that turned out not to be a double gameweek after all, Vardy finally scoring for the first time since Christmas and rewarding those with incredible patience, Harvey Barnes being a massive differential, and just when we thought Lord Lundstram is no more, he bounces back to bite us !!

Now throw in the virus and all the uncertainty of what will happen with games being postponed and played behind closed doors. Will the season even finish. Worrying and uncertain times, inside and outside football.

It’s fair to say, GW29 was an FPL week of extremes, lots of highs and lows. Those that went big on the City and Arsenal double players, including captains and triple captains, probably did everything right. That’s just awful luck. The postponement of the final game also had significant repercussions for scores, with bench points and De Bruyne vice points adding huge uplifts in some cases.

After three green arrows following my GW25 wildcard, which put me within touching distance of the top 100k, it’s now two reds. This was a particularly brutal 55k red arrow for me, that dropped me back from 185k to 240k. Whilst the rub of the green went heavily against me with the postponement, I can’t just hide behind that, as I only had three returning players, which is always going to hurt.

My significant GW29 moments:

– I set my team up nicely with three double gameweek players and they scored a grand total of five points !! With De Bruyne and Aubameyang scheduled to play twice, it’s reasonable to expect a few more points than that. The postponement of the second game hit me hard, not just from my three players not featuring, but with big points flying off benches. I had one Traore point at first sub for De Bruyne, leaving a Lascelles clean sheet there, and had to watch as people dropped some huge ranking damaging points off the bench that they wouldn’t have got if the game went ahead. I dropped 11k places when the postponed game kicked in. Ouch.

– I made the switch from Vardy to Aubamayang. It was a popular and sensible move. I don’t think that was the wrong call. It’s always dangerous selling players ahead of good fixtures, especially when it’s Aston Villa. But Vardy had not scored in 11 games, and was an injury doubt and Aubameyang had two fixtures including West Ham at home. I stand by the call. Vardy was duly benched, vindicating the transfer really, but scored from a poorly taken penalty and benefited from playing a woeful defence. But the Vardy to Aubameyang switch cost me 13 points including a hit. So it turned out to be victory for the Vardy holders this week against the Aubamayang switchers.

– I got the captain call right in the end. Salah outscored Auba 9-2. Not the haul I hoped for but a seven point gain. Just a pity that a fair chunk of De Bruyne vice points also got the Salah points too and that Mane outshone Salah !!

– I had a tough keeper call and had to choose between the best chance of a clean sheet from Sheffield Utd v Norwich or Southampton v Newcastle. I got the call right with Blades getting the clean sheet and Saints conceding, but bizarrely lost out 7-12 as McCarthy saved a penalty, which sums up my week !!

– You couldn’t get better fixtures for your strikers, all at home, than Jimenez v Brighton, Ings v Newcastle and Auba v West Ham – cue 2 points each !!!

– I had been quite vocal about Harvey Barnes not been in the same class as Jack Grealish and that I didn’t really get the Harvey Barnes thing. Well I have been eating humble pie since Monday night. I still think Grealish is the better player of the two, he is just fighting a lost cause in a sinking ship. The 19 Barnes points were a huge lift to those who invested in him, particularly so for those that got his points off the bench.

So all in all, I feel quite unlucky how things transpired against me in what was potentially a season defining week. FPL can be brutal at times. While Vardy and Barnes were going wild on Monday and delighting their owners, I was eating humble pie crying into my beer.

So where do we go from here:

It’s tough to get back on the horse after a week like that but it’s time to dust down and claw my way back, with the crucial blanks and doubles ahead as we enter “the chip season” and big decisions to make which can still gain significant ground.

I have one free transfer and zero in the bank.

Free hit G31:

– I am still planning to freehit in GW31. I have six GW31 players with two weeks to go. I don’t want to go in with eight. I actually think there is a decent opportunity from the four remaining fixtures. A chance to take a one week only punt on some interesting differentials that you wouldn’t really want to keep, and you are not stuck with afterwards, like 1.4% owned Chris Wood for example v Watford . I can pair Mane and Salah, and play Doherty instead of Boly. I can pick the best of the bunch. I can also avoid my pitching attackers v my defenders in my team that those building for GW31 will have to do, which will limit their returns.

– Having used my wildcard, the transition back from single gameweek players who play in GW31 to those with doubles later would be tougher. I think if you have a wildcard to transition to the doubles, it’s different. For anyone without the wildcard, I think the GW31 free hit gives an easier path to the potential double weeks to come. I have a good base of double gameweek players already and can instead concentrate on bringing in players with future doubles.

– The uncertain nature of the season with health concerns does cast doubt about the schedule to come. Maybe that’s a compelling case for holding the free hit in case we get more blanks and doubles than we had not bargained for. After the events of this week, do we actually put too much emphasis on doubles anyway instead of just picking the best players for the week ahead.

Transfer options:

Leave it late is probably the best advice again this week, with the potential for games being called off late. Don’t worry about player price movements. Give yourself the chance to react to what could happen before Saturday.

There is absolutely no benefit in rolling the transfer this week as whether I make a transfer or don’t make one, I will emerge after the free hit with only one free. You lose any carried over. So it’s use it or lose it this weekend. Bear this in mind if you free hit in GW31. Saving your transfer this week won’t give you an extra one in GW32. So use it. Or it’s lost.

Possible options:

– I have no plans to change my strikers. Jimenez has great fixtures and looks sure to bring in returns. Danny Ings has six blanks in seven weeks so I well and truly broke him didn’t I, but I don’t want to sell him before he plays Norwich. I don’t want to continue my Hokey Cokey between Auba and Vardy when Auba has Brighton, followed by Norwich at home. Calvert Lewin is in the frame for Ings. Vardy for Auba is a source of funds if it’s needed elsewhere but not yet.

– I really want Bruno Fernandes. I have Salah and De Bruyne but I feel weak in midfield with Grealish as my third mid in that Villa team, and Traore with his dodgy shoulder. I don’t want to sell De Bruyne, even with injury doubts and rotation worries. They play Burnley at home next which could be 20 points waiting to happen if he does play. You would think Pep would want to get him into a rhythm with Madrid postponed. I want Bruno Fernandes instead of Grealish as a third mid to sit with Salah and De Bruyne to beef up my midfield. So I need to look at how I can get the funds to give me the balance that I need.

– Realistically, if I keep De Bruyne , that means sacrificing Robertson as a way of funding the upgrade. That watertight Liverpool defence suddenly looks very shaky. Adrian is a liability and they just don’t look like keeping clean sheets right now and I think it’s time to get that money re invested into midfield. It also frees up that third Liverpool spot in case I want to get to Mane. I want to play 343 and I want Salah, De Bruyne and Fernandes in midfield, supported by Traore or Saka. I can achieve that by taking money out of defence and losing Robertson. I have Trent and Boly. I can pick up a cheaper defender to rotate for third spot with Lascelles and Stephens.

– Instead of getting Fernandes, I could use the money from downgrading Robertson to switch De Bruyne to Mane. Move from double Liverpool defence to double attack. I am not keen on losing De Bruyne but it’s an option.

Lots of options and I am not going to rush it. I will be pondering this week until much nearer the deadline !!!


Captain will be Salah in the Mersey derby, due to his high effective ownership and the doubts around De Bruyne.

Transfer summary: still not sure !!!

Good luck in GW30 !!!!

Here’s the team pre any transfers

Alex Ball

Alex’s last 5 seasons overall rank were 523k, 17k, 10k, 28k and 3k

GW29 points: 84 -4 on Bench Boost (FPL average 51) Total points 1,595 Gameweek rank 73k, Overall Rank: 404k, green arrow 217k, Team Value: £106.0m

Alex has played his triple captain, his 2nd wildcard and now his bench boost in this gameweek

A difficult week with the Coronavirus starting to have a big impact on people’s lives putting things into perspective. We certainly shouldn’t be complaining about losing a few points because a game was cancelled for safety reasons.

On to this week, the bench boost was a success with 17 points including a De Bruyne no-show and Saka playing once (thank you McCarthy!). A rise up to the best rank of the season of 404k so hopefully still on for 100k overall rank.

Double blades and Wolves defence came good and only a Alexander Arnold letting the defence down! Sarr blanked, Salah with 9 but star of the show was Barnes with an incredible 19 points!

The strikers let me know down with 2, 2 and 2 (x 2 as capo with Aubameyang only playing once!)

On to this week and the transfer will be rolled all being well. Capo I’m just not sure; De Bruyne, Salah, Aubameyang all in with a shout. Maybe check my twitter

Transfer summary:  to be confirmed

Here’s the team pre any transfers

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2 thoughts on “FPL team tips GW30 – FFGeek contributors show their GW30 teams part 1”

  1. Costas, I’m not sure managers panicked signing Aubameyang. I think you got lucky there. Vardy didn’t start and Aubameyangs game was postponed. On most days, you’d have come off worse.

    • I’d agree with this. I think a lot of people were trying to use Auba as a sword.
      Taking out a semi-injured and out of form Vardy, to captain an in form Auba in a double certainly seems fair. I mean it is 8p just from showing up and no cards. The chips fell where they did and hindsight is 20/20

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