Welcome back to our ‘Community Questions’ series where we discuss the community conundrums in an attempt to provide a different perspective, or perhaps some statistical information or insight some of you may not have thought about.
Each week, we will set up a thread and ask the community what questions they have. We will then pick the most interesting ones, or the questions that apply to a wider majority, to feature on this article where contributors to team FPL Connect will provide you with our own answers.
This week, FPL Raptor (Ross Dowsett) will be answering your questions. I (Ross) am a PhD student and a Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology, with a BSc in Psychology and an MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology. My main focus is discussing the various methods of optimising our decision-making in FPL, as well as finding innovative ways to cope with the highs and lows of FPL.
You can find me on Twitter here >> https://twitter.com/FPL__Raptor
Some Early Advice
Before we get into the questions, my advice to non-wildcarders is to evaluate the state of your current team at this current point in time, as this will give you the best idea of the optimal chip strategy for you moving forward. Take a screenshot of your team or build a spreadsheet, and calculate how many BGW and how many DGW players you currently have in your squad. Here is an example from my current team (prices are from GW1 and have not been updated, and Lascelles/Mousset are used as placeholders for Lewis/Brewster):
As you can see, I only have 7 BGW players (8 including Steer who will not play). Out of these 8, I am only happy with 3. Therefore, if I did not have my wildcard I would absolutely be playing my free hit in BGW18. However, as you can see my DGW19 squad is also looking rather thin. Therefore, at this point in time, if I did not have my wildcard I would probably decide to start slowly taking out BGW18 players and replacing them with DGW19 players. This would allow me to play my FH in BGW18 and bench boost/TC in DGW19.
If, however, you look at your team now and you have 7+ BGW18 players that you are happy with, I would potentially look at adding one or two more BGW18 players, and instead play your FH in DGW19. There is massive upside to this strategy, and it would allow you to save your bench boost/triple captain for later in the season.
1. Is BGW18 and DGW19 the best time to use our chips, or will there be better future opportunities?
As per the updates we are receiving from Ben Crellin on Twitter (https://twitter.com/BenCrellin), it appears that BGW18/DGW19 will be the largest that we will see this season. Ben has also informed us that it is likely we will have a DGW26, BGW29 and DGW37, so there are plenty of other opportunities to use your chips throughout the season. I cannot comment on each personal case, but seeing as BGW18 is a large one, unless you already have 7+ decent players that are guaranteed to start, I would probably free hit. Bench boost/triple captain in DGW19 is probably less clear cut, and potentially a free hit in DGW19 could be very fruitful if you do not need it in BGW18. Here are some of the possible strategies you could employ as taken from Ben’s Twitter:
2. Can you bench boost with three single GW players?
The short answer to this question is – absolutely. Spurs, Man City, Everton and Villa all have very decent single gameweek fixtures, and you could easily envision the likes of KDB, Grealish and DCL outscoring similarly priced DGW players. I think potentially the more important consideration is the difficulty of the fixtures and the likelihood of all players starting, as opposed to the amount of fixtures. If you have any more than 1 player that is potentially a rotation risk, or with a double gameweek that is sub-optimal (e.g., Brewster and SHU’s DGW), I would probably opt for the triple captain chip instead. Just because a player plays twice, does not necessarily mean they are twice as likely to get a return!
3. Best mid-priced midfielders for the DGW19?
I think a lot of managers will be looking at 1+ players in the mid-priced bracket (£6.0m – £8.0m) for the DGW19, to replace the likes of Foden, Jota, Grealish, Mahrez and co. The question, therefore, is which assets are the best options?
Here are a list of mid-priced midfielders that are regular starters and will play twice in DGW19, that I have highlighted as good options. xPts are taken per game started from GW9-GW13 (the previous 5 GWs).
Firstly, looking purely at the double gameweek there is no doubt that West Ham have the best fixtures. Bowen, Fornals and Benrahma are all brilliant options. Bowen has been a regular feature in the West Ham side and has explosive potential, but Benrahma would probably be my pick. He is only now starting to nestle into the starting XI after Moyes has changed to a back four, but I think his goal threat and consistent attacking returns at Brentford would both lead me to favour Benrahma – just!
Another under-rated FPL asset is the permanent feature in the Chelsea side – Mason Mount. Whilst his goal and assist tally (5 in total) this season is unremarkable, his consistent minutes and free roaming role in the Chelsea line-up both making him an appealing option. He is also significantly cheaper than the other Chelsea midfielders, and probably more likely to start both DGW fixtures. You would certainly fancy at least one attacking return against Fulham and Leicester.
Lastly, the heavily owned JWP continues to prove his worth this season. His brilliant indirect and direct set-pieces are incredibly effective, and this dead ball prowess alone makes him a great option. At almost 20% ownership, it may be wise to bring in the Saints set-piece master ahead of a very promising GW19 double. At the very least, you have a player that is confirmed to play 90 minutes in both games (barring injury/illness).