Written by Jønathan Kahn. You can catch him on twitter @jkisthe1. Kahn has ranked as high as 105th on the All-Time FPL Manager list!
So you’ve had to use your second wildcard and now you’re wondering how to approach the forthcoming blanks and double gameweeks with just free transfers and remaining chips. The first thing we need to look at is when those gameweeks are and who they are likely to affect.
The major blank week is just under one month away, Gameweek 31 over the weekend of March 20 to 22. At time of writing only two (yes two) games are definitely going ahead, Wolves at home to Bournemouth and Burnley at home to Watford as this weekend is also the week of the FA Cup quarter-finals. So what other fixtures could go? Well Spurs play Norwich in the next round and their respective opponents are already out, so one of Spurs against West Ham or Norwich against Everton will also go ahead. Liverpool have been playing a reserve side in the cup so if they lose to Chelsea their match with Crystal Palace will go ahead. All the other Premier League sides look favourites but if there was one potential upset it would be Championship leaders West Brom against Newcastle. A win for West Brom there would leave Newcastle against Aston Villa in that week. So we have a minimum of three games that will definitely go ahead. My prediction is that four games will go ahead, as I expect a changed West Brom side with their focus very much on promotion.
Looking further ahead, the semi-finals are scheduled for Gameweek 34, over the weekend of April 18-19. At this stage, it’s hard to say who will blank because we are two rounds away. Only one game will currently definitely go ahead, Everton against Southampton, with both sides already out of the cup. Again, one of Spurs (away at Bournemouth) or Norwich (away at Watford) will go ahead. The fifth round games are scheduled for the midweek between Gameweeks 28 and 29 so we should know more in a week or so, if you can save your transfer this week, I recommend doing so.
Now, onto the chip strategy. My first suggestion is to play the Free Hit in the blank Gameweek if you want to maximize how many you can get out. This is because playing it that week allows you to focus transfers on the teams who will end up having doubles without worrying about the blanks. If you aren’t worried about that then just ignore 31. In this instance if you wanted to you could even save your Free Hit for the final Gameweek when rotation could be rife, all games start at the same time and we might have early line-ups.
If you have your triple captain, my advice is to use it in either Gameweek 34 or whenever City get another double. 34 is likely to be the smaller of the doubles because only some teams will play twice. This leaves your bench boost available for 37 which is likely to be the bigger of the two and gives you more time to make transfers to set it up.
One final thing to consider is that Manchester City, Arsenal, Sheffield United and Aston Villa are all already due a double due to the League Cup final so keep your eyes peeled on that one too for a possible use of a Triple Captain chip.