Discussing Optimum FPL Chip Strategies

I dig into the various FPL chip strategies available to differing circumstances in an attempt to identify the optimum route and provide justifications for my own chip strategy 

Before I delve into everything, I will briefly explain, for the less experienced managers, what we mean by the various terminology. Those of you who are savvy with the terminology, skip this part:

Blank Gameweek (BGW) – refers to a Gameweek where some teams will NOT play a game for example; this coming GW27, Brighton, Manchester City, Chelsea and Everton will not play a game because of the Carabao Cup final taking place.

Double Gameweek (DGW)– refers to a Gameweek where teams will play twice within one Gameweek for example; because of certain teams advancing in the FA Cup, they will have to postpone certain Premier League fixtures to another date down the line, causing a double Gameweek to occur. This season, GW32 and GW35 have been confirmed as the Gameweeks where teams will have two fixtures.

TC – abbreviated term for the triple captain chip.

WC – abbreviated term for the wildcard chip.

BB – abbreviated term for the bench boost chip.

FH – abbreviated term for the free hit chip.

So what do we know so far? Well, thanks to the legendary Ben Crellin (hit the link and give him a follow for more updates like the following) and the work he does, here’s the situation currently…

Screen Shot 2019-02-20 at 14.43.14.png
Screenshot taken from Ben Crellin’s Twitter account

So, now we know the current situation, let’s go through the various circumstances managers will face entering this period and I’ll provide general (I say general because every manager will face differing circumstances and based on that, the strategy can change, but this will act as a general guide) optimum strategies for each circumstance.

All Chips Remaining Including 2nd Wildcard

I fall into this category, so I’m going to talk through what I’m going to do, as I believe overall, that is the optimum and most logical chip strategy in this position.

I’m currently at 200k overall rank after a very difficult period over Christmas and New Year that has seen me drop from 15k. This is my current team:

Screen Shot 2019-02-20 at 15.37.54.png

BGW31 players currently: 5 (VVD, Mané, Salah, Digne and Felipe Anderson)
Team value: £105.1m
Free transfers available until BGW31: 4 (used 1 already to bring in F.Anderson for GW27)
Max BGW31 players without hit: 9

With 5/6 free transfers available to managers before BGW31 and the majority of us likely to already own 4-5 BGW31 players, 9-10 players is easily achievable for this GW.

Because of this, I simply don’t see the point in using such a valuable chip in that week when you can use free transfers to field a decent team.

The potential ceiling for points that can be achieved in BGWs is naturally capped, as you cannot choose from the entire pool of players from all the teams. You are limited in your choice and they’ll also only play once.

It’s usually the case, that the majority of fixtures in BGWs feature the weaker sides too, and as we can see above, only 2 out of the top 6 sides feature. So more often than not, you’ll be choosing weaker players, and getting rid of good ones.

Building a completely fresh team from scratch solely for a DGW is gold. The potential ceiling for points that can be achieved from a WC or a FH in a DGW is virtually limitless and with the FH chip, you won’t lose any team value on your original squad, as it’s only a temporary team before you are returned with your team from the previous week.

Also, we can see above in Ben’s spreadsheet, that the pool of players available for selection for BGW31 are near enough the same as for BGW33, so with planning, you can make it so that those you bring in for BGW31 will also play in BGW33.

If you FH in BGW31 and use your FTs to build a team for DGW32, then your team is going to be full of players who will blank in BGW33.

This makes using the FH in DGW32 most appealing – this leaves us with when we use TC, WC and BB.

Using the WC the week before a big DGW to set up the potential for 15x DGW players is a popular strategy and I see this as more valuable than the TC chip this year given the fixtures.

If you WC in GW34, you can again, like in DGW32 with the FH, tailor make your squad for the DGW35 and go with 15x players playing twice if you wanted by activating the bench boost chip.

If you had a bench that all played twice, we can assume that they’d score you an extra 16pts (each player achieving 2pts x2 for appearance) on your first 11. So without adding in anything else, like an assist, a goal, a clean sheet, a pen save or bonus points, you should be looking at around an extra 16pts.

If we put that into context, Agüero scored a hat-trick in DGW25 to achieve an extra 19pts for triple captainers. So realistically, just 1 of your bench players would have to get any kind of return to level that score.

Optimum Chip Strategy Overview:

– Use free transfers to build a team that features 9-10-11 players for BGW31 + BGW33
– Free hit in DGW32
– Wildcard in GW34
– Bench Boost in DGW35
– Triple captain in GW36-38

All chips remaining except TC

The optimum strategy for this circumstance doesn’t change from that listed above, as you simply don’t have the TC to use and that doesn’t affect the navigation through the tough period.

Optimum Chip Strategy Overview:

– Use free transfers to build a team that features 9-10-11 players for BGW31 + BGW33
– Free hit in DGW32
– Wildcard in GW34
– Bench Boost in DGW35

All chips left but no wildcard

This is where things get a little trickier, as although we know GW32 and GW35 are confirmed as DGWs, we still don’t know with 100% certainty, what the fixtures will be and where they will be placed.

For now, I will provide a rough general strategy, but as things become clearer, I will come back to this and update it if needed.

Given that BGW31 and BGW33 are close together and they both feature similar players, as was discussed earlier, FH in DGW32 still seems like the most logical option for those in this position.

No matter which way you slice it, you’re gonna struggle in one of the blank or double GWs – it’s inevitable in this position, but using the FH in DGW32 at least allows you to maximise that DGW whilst smoothly navigating the two blank GWs.

You will then likely have to take some hits to field a decent squad for DGW35 and given you haven’t got the Wildcard to tailor make your squad for free, it’s probably unwise to focus on making transfers on bench players for a bench boost. Instead, focus your transfers on your 11 and use the triple captain chip.

Then bench boost in GW36-38 in whatever week looks the best for your bench.

Optimum Chip Strategy Overview:

– Use free transfers to build a team that features 9-10-11 players for BGW31 + BGW33
– Free hit in DGW32
– Use free transfers and take hits to form a decent squad for DGW35
– Triple captain in DGW35
– Bench boost GW36-38

All chips except free hit

Again, being in this position means you’re going to suffer somewhere. The best thing to do would be to hedge your bets with your transfers from this point and attempt to build a team that fields around 8/9 BGW31/BGW33 players and then 8/9 DGW32 players.

Essentially halving your total amount of players (15) between BGW31, DGW32 and BGW33 +1 with a free transfer each time. It’s up to you how many hits you want to take but attempting to field full XI’s for all these GWs will cost you a lot of hits, so this isn’t advisable.

There’d be no sense in Wildcarding before GW34 as you would ideally want to use it with the BB chip and that would mean using the WC in BGW31 to set up a BB DGW32 team, which would be extremely illogical given the teams that will blank and those that will have a double.

Optimum Chip Strategy Overview:

– Use free transfers and hits to navigate BGW31, DGW32 and BGW33.
– Triple captain DGW32
– Wildcard GW34
– Bench Boost in DGW35

Only free hit and bench boost left 

This sounds like a bad position to be in, but with the free hit chip and the way BGW31, DGW32 and BGW33 are falling, it’s not as bad as it seems.

As I’ve discussed above, using free transfers and good planning, you can navigate this initial period quite successfully with the free hit chip available.

Beyond that, it’s simply a case of attempting to build the best BB squad you can using free transfers and hits.

Second WC Screen Shot 2017-05-28 at 18.29.04
Screenshot taken from my 16/17 season

Don’t be too afraid to make hits in this context. For reference, in 16/17 I used my second WC in GW28 and took 20 points worth of hits in the lead up to DGW37 and achieved a GW rank of 67k with 167 (-12) points using the bench boost in DGW37.

Optimum Chip Strategy Overview:

– Use free transfers to build a team that features 9-10-11 players for BGW31 + BGW33
– Free hit in DGW32
– Use free transfers and hits to build a team for DGW35
– Bench Boost in DGW35

PPP

 

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