Simon Says: Community Questions

In this week’s series, I take to the FPL community ahead of gameweek 28 to answer their questions, with blank/double gameweek strategy at the top of most people’s agenda, as well as a look at whether we should be shedding our team of all Manchester City assets ahead of a bleak run of fixtures

First of all, let me extend my thanks to those who posted their questions – I hope my answers provide you and all the readers with food for thought.

This week, I thought I’d change it up and reply to a few more questions in the hope of covering a wider spread of people’s conundrums ahead of a critical period of the FPL season.

Is it really worth playing the Free Hit in BGW31?

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The fixtures in BGW31 look like this (assuming Spurs beat Rochdale at Wembley):

  • Bournemouth v WBA
  • Huddersfield v Crystal Palace
  • Stoke v Everton
  • Liverpool v Watford

Let’s assume you’re going to play your wildcard in GW33, before DGW34; the positive that playing the free hit gives you in using it in BGW31, is that you can optimise teams with good fixtures in GW28/29/30 and 32, like Arsenal, Spurs and Leicester for example.

Rather than focusing your transfers on BGW31 players, you can bring in players like Mahrez/Eriksen/Mkhitaryan/Aubameyang with excellent fixtures.

But I think the question you need to ask yourself with regard to this is; would the free hit team I create in BGW31 score significantly more (20pts+) than the team you have now with an additional 2/3 BGW players which can be brought in over the next 3 weeks?

To me personally, I don’t think it would and 8/9 players fielded in that BGW31, as Frank suggests, is probably the way forward and that can be achieved using your free transfers without having to waste the chip.

I think right now, as long as you have the key players covered (Salah, Firmino/Mané/VvD/Walcott/Wilson), I would certainly advocate bringing someone like Eriksen in over another BGW31 player.

It’s likely to be a low scoring week for everyone and saving it for BGW35 where it could be extremely useful with better teams likely to feature, looks to be the best time for it.

Sell Manchester City assets? 

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Below is a screenshot of City’s fixtures from now until the end of the season.

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As Drew states, there’s no fixture in GW31 and their fixtures are very tough right through to GW34.

Them being knocked out in the FA Cup makes the schedule a little easier, but they’re going to be in the quarter finals of the Champions League and with the league all but wrapped up, Champions League is likely to take priority and rotation will be inevitable in the Premier League.

It’s fair to say that from a defensive point of view, it’s worth getting rid, with only 1 clean sheet kept in their last 6 Premier League fixtures against significantly weaker opposition, so it’s not too much of a stretch to assume a finite number of clean sheets over the next 6 gameweeks.

Agüero for me, is another no-brainer in terms of saying goodbye, now that Jesus is back from injury.

When Jesus was fit, Agüero only started 15 of a possible 21 games and only completed 90 minutes on 7 occasions in that time, in comparison to 6 consecutive 90 minute appearances whilst Jesus has been out with injury.

At that price, it just isn’t worth holding based on that and the tough fixtures simply compound things further.

Sterling and KDB however, are the more difficult ones, as City on their day can score 2/3 goals against anyone and both have provided brilliant value throughout the entire season to this point.

With at least 1 double to be scheduled and a decent possibility of another being announced through their Champions League exertions, I would hold onto these two if you own, as both appear to be fairly immune to rotation and I’d back their ability to keep returning points over the course of the tough fixtures.

What to do with no Free Hit left (every other chip available)

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Because of the 1 week gap between DGW34 and BGW35, without the free hit chip available, I would advise using the WC in BGW35, as you have plenty of time to structure your team with free transfers and a hit or two for DGW34, whereas absolutely no time to sort your team for BGW35, whilst optimising the team for DGW37 at the same time.

So, attempt to field 8/9 BGW31 players, but as each week passes, try to focus some transfers on DGW34.

Of course, right now we don’t know for certain which teams will play in DGW34, but we have a good idea and at some point over the next few weeks, we will know for sure and then you can use that information to focus your transfers on bringing in DGW34 players without having to use the WC.

Then in BGW35, you can play the wildcard and structure your squad and make a plan to optimise the blank and the double in GW37.

Optimum strategy with all chips available? 

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Contrary to the advice given prior, in this scenario, the optimum strategy in theory here is:

  • Use free transfers to field 8/9 players in BGW31.
  • Wildcard in GW32/33.
  • Bench boost in DGW34.
  • Use Free Hit in GW35.
  • Triple captain in DGW37.

By employing this strategy, you maximise the total amount of potential points available in each given gameweek without having to cost your team minus points by taking lots of hits, depending on how many DGW37 players you want of course.

Wildcard in GW32 or GW33? 

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I think this is something we wait on, until we find out exactly what doubles are being played in DGW34 – as of now, it’s likely that the blanks from GW31 will be moved to DGW34, but we can’t know for sure.

Screen Shot 2018-02-22 at 13.59.28

What I would advise, once the doubles are announced, is to look at the team you’d like to build for DGW34 irrespective of the prior gameweeks and then compare that one to your original team and see which one you think will get more points in GW32 and if you think your original team might do as well or better than the WC team, then WC in GW33.

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