Paul Williams ‘Diary of an FPL Manager’ – Chip Strategy


Here’s FFGeek contributor Paul Williams with his bi-weekly ‘Diary of an FPL Manager’ series. This week, Paul discusses his own Chip Strategy. Paul is one of the Top 10 FPL Managers I follow and finished with an overall rank of 412 last season, 1,382 in 16/17 and 7,164 in 15/16.

Paul Williams ‘Diary of an FPL Manager’ – Chip Strategy

You can read more from Paul in his ‘Diary of an FPL Manager’ series on his Facebook blog
using this link.


First of all, before I begin, I have to confess that I am not a huge fan of the Chips. I would be happy with two Wildcards each season and nothing else. The reason being is that they narrow the pool of players that knowledgeable managers select from when the Chips come into play.

Of course, I understand that they were partly introduced to raise the number of active teams and add a bit of excitement, but they also have the potential to ruin a season’s hard work.

My Chosen Option

FPL manager

After some deliberation, and mainly because I still have all of my Chips in place, I decided to follow Option 2 (which was marginally the most popular choice in the FFGeek Poll).

As a result, for the past couple of GWs, I have been gradually building a team that will hopefully give me eleven starters in GW31. However, the truth is that the majority of transfers I have made just recently have largely been forced, e.g. Patricio and Laporte. Nevertheless, as it stands, I am one hit away from reaching a full playing team.

Building a Team

Once you have decided your approach (and I don’t necessarily think the same works for everyone), for me, it is important that you make positive decisions without hedging too much. For example, looking at GW31, don’t fill your team with Leicester attacking players and Burnley defenders as one negates the other. Make a firm decision – select who you think will come out on top and back them.

Also, steer clear of the dross. For example, under normal circumstances you wouldn’t consider doubling up on Huddersfield players, so don’t do it just because it’s all you can afford.

In fact, the only team you should definitely have three players from is Liverpool. They should form the basis of your eleven. Consequently, it’s somewhat surprising that people can afford to ditch Salah right now. It’s all very well saying that Mane can cover Salah – but, at the moment, transfers are at a premium. Plus, I’m not entirely sure what you’d do with the extra funds in the immediate future anyway.


Most of you should be committed to your strategy by now and will be well on your way to adapting your team accordingly. Despite what I wrote at the beginning of the post (although I stand by it, I’m not a fan!), navigating your way through the blanks and utilising your Chips to gain as many points as possible does require a fair amount of thought and involves a lot of rapid, forced change. Arguably, developing your own Chip Strategy also succeeds in adding an extra element of interest to playing FPL – although never forget: ‘You don’t play FPL, FPL plays you!’

Hopefully, I can make it through to the other side with a much healthier Overall Rank.

You can read more from Paul in his ‘Diary of an FPL Manager’ series on his Facebook blog using this link.

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14 thoughts on “Paul Williams ‘Diary of an FPL Manager’ – Chip Strategy”

    • Sorry, Rob.
      Really that point is only relevant if you are going with options: 1, 2, 5 or 7 (a short-term approach).
      All the best to you too.

  1. Really excellent advice Paul. I could add; If anyone has trouble deciding on a position use the odds. Agree with the Liverpool triple up, for me the only choice was between Mane and Trent with Robertson and Salah a given. I wonder if you have any views on Chelsea? I’d imagine there will be a high percentage of players going for Hazard or Higuain. I’m not convinced.

    • Thanks, Gonzo.
      Funnily enough, I bought Higuian ahead of the last GW and captained him as there wasn’t an overwhelming favourite and I didn’t like the look of any of the usual candidates. Fortunately, it worked out well. Obviously, I’ll be sticking with him for now.

  2. Jess – if you are playing option 2 and therefore playing freehit double week 32 and bench boost double week 35, you should probably have already played your triple captain during the recent extra double week for Man City. Many got on the triple Aguero hat trick.

    If not, you need to find a suitable single gameweek which is not ideal. Maybe Salah Huddersfield in gameweek 36

  3. Paul, I wonder if a variation on Option 2 is best. Not free hitting GW32.

    There is still time to get ready, imo, depending on your team. It means holding Sterling and/or Aguero through GW31.

    One advantage of not free hitting in GW32 is one can Triple Captain Aguero or Sterling for FUL and CAR in GW32, assuming CAR moves out of GW33, which is probably a 90% chance since it depends on MCI beating SWA. I can’t imagine a better triple captain than Aguero against Fulham or Cardiff.

    The alternative Triple Captain choices are either single game weeks or GW35, where MCI plays TOT and MUN, leaving only Aubamayang as an alternative, he plays CRY and WOL in GW 35, not as good a fixture.

    For example, for many of us it might mean keeping Salah for GW32 instead of bringing in someone like Sane. I’m not sure that’s too bad. Sane has been sitting a bit. Salah has weak form but is still Salah. So I’ll call that a wash. Sane has a great double. Salah faces TOT but it’s at home, so Ben Crillan rates it a green fixture! Slightly easier than average.

    Then, there is the ability to use the free hit in another week. With the uncertainty, we know more changes are coming, that might be very valuable. Imo that’s what this boils down to – is my team really screwed up for GW32 so I must free hit or might it be a better chip for later? And do I want to triple captain in GW32?

    • I really like your thinking and you make some valid points, especially if you’re already holding City assets. Unfortunately, I haven’t owned Aguero since the beginning of the season and have suffered recently as a consequence. Like I said, I don’t think the same works for everyone. If you’re already looking good for DGW32 – and are keen on playing the TC Chip in that GW – then that gives you another option… or another headache – depending on which way you look at it!

  4. i have all my chips in place, my team is a mess with only 6 gw 31 players so i have decided to go with option 4, the only problem is that i dont see anyone going with option 4 so i am just wondering why is that ? is there something i am missing ? so just to clear things i am also posting my team : fabianski, button | robertson, trent, yedlin, doherty, bednarek| sterling, salah, maddison, pogba, camarasa| aguero, jimenez & rashford. TV: £106.6
    All comments are welcome. Thanks.

  5. Holding back on a free hit just to play triple captain in a double week is dangerous at best and misguided. There is every chance that Aguero May only play one of the two games. Salah v Huddersfield in a single week might work just as well.

    The freehit in double week 32 is priceless as you can select all eleven players due to play twice.. and preparing your team for weeks 31 and 33 ( the same players can play in both ) means you can have 11 players in all three weeks with 11 doubles in week 32. Triple captain is not worth sacrificing those huge points for.

  6. I’ll not be holding back the free hit as I’ll be playing it in gw 31 to field 11 players and 2 transfers in gw32 to field 10 dgw players selecting 1 as triple captain. I am not trying to argue, just that I’m not convinced how’s free hit better than triple captain for my team. If still I’m missing something I’d like to know. Thanks.

  7. Sohil. Bear in mind that freehit in 31 and loading with doubles in 32 is all good to that point. But then there is another big blank in week 33 straight after where most of your double players won’t be playing again so you might be struggling to put a team out in 33. The transition from 32 to 33 is what’s put most people off this option.
    That’s the beauty of building a full team for 31 in that the same team can play in 33, with the freehit for the doubles week fitting perfect in between.

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