It’s make-or-break time in Fantasy Premier League.
If you’re top of your FPL league at this late stage, you have to stay focused until the very end. To paraphrase a certain Liverpool legend, you can’t let this slip. If you’re part of the chasing pack, you’ve still got plenty of time to turn things around, and reel in the pretender who is on top.
As fate would have it, the run-in this year coincides with the most complicated part of the calendar.
As you may already know, we’ve got FPL double and blank gameweeks coming up. The good news is that these give you the opportunity to register a massive points haul. The bad news is that these can be extremely tricky to navigate.
That’s exactly why I’ve put together this guide to our imminent FPL blanks and doubles. I’ll talk you through the fixtures, explain which teams to target and which to avoid, and outline an FPL chip strategy for these crucial few weeks.
Let’s get started.
When Are the Blanks and Doubles?
When it comes to outlining FPL fixture difficulty, and making blanks and doubles as easy as possible to understand, there’s only one place to turn to – the undisputed king of FPL double gameweek spreadsheets, Ben Crellin.
Here’s Ben’s latest masterpiece:
(You can follow @BenCrellin on Twitter for more excellent Fantasy Premier League help).
The spreadsheet above neatly displays every team’s fixtures for gameweeks 32 through 35. To be clear, capital letters in the yellow cells indicate a home game for the team in the left-hand column, and lower-case letters represent an away game.
As we can see, eight teams have FPL blank gameweeks coming up, although all of those teams also have a double gameweek in GW 32.
In total, 12 teams have lovely Fantasy Premier League double gameweeks to look forward to.
Who To Target
Normally, you’re trying to balance three main factors in Fantasy Premier League – the quality of the player, the quality of their team, and the quality of their upcoming opponents. For the next few weeks, however, we have a major fourth factor – simply the number of games each team will play.
Remember, though, that this is still only one of four factors. Brighton, for example, have six games coming up in the next four weeks.
Look closer, and you’ll see that the FPL fixture difficulty is pretty high – they’ve got tricky away trips to Chelsea, Wolves and Tottenham. Their home fixtures are more favourable, but I wouldn’t recommend rushing out to grab three Brighton players (which a few people on FPL Reddit are planning to do!).
Likewise, Cardiff have five games within these six weeks. Again, though, they include ominous matchups against Chelsea, Man City, and Liverpool. Also, with the best will in the world… Cardiff just aren’t very good.
So, who should you target?
Here are the teams I’m looking at.
Let’s not overthink this. They’re the best team in the league, and they’ve got Fulham, Cardiff, Crystal Palace and a home game against Spurs (which doesn’t scare me) coming up.
The caveat, of course, is Pep’s proclivity for rotation. There’s nothing more frustrating than shelling out over 11 million for an Aguero or Sterling, then seeing them start on the bench. Ederson is actually the safest pick here, but Sterling is still extremely tempting, especially if you don’t have Salah.
While no particular player is a guarantee, City will still be the backbone of my personal FPL double gameweek strategy.
Chelsea probably have the best schedule of the bunch coming up, with home games against Brighton, West Ham and Burnley, and Cardiff away. The game away to Liverpool is tough to stomach, but overall the fixtures still definitely balance out in Chelsea’s favour.
Look to Hazard and (to a lesser extent) Higuain in attack, and Luiz in defence.
Do bear in mind my previous warnings here. The away games to Chelsea, Wolves and Spurs will not be pretty, so I certainly wouldn’t advise bringing in three Brighton players.
You simply can’t ignore the potential points from three FPL double gameweeks, though. I would definitely look to Duffy in defence (but keep an eye on this injury), and Ryan can rack up bonus points in goal. Just make sure you’ve got viable backups to swap them out for the tough fixtures.
Murray is an intriguing option up front too, but – given the fact he’s 35 years old – rotation could be an issue.
Arsenal have been brilliant at home all season, and you’ve got a great chance for big returns from the likes of Aubameyang and Lacazette against Newcastle and Crystal Palace. Kolasinac has been getting some buzz too, especially from people planning to use their FPL chips.
The Gunners are considerably worse on the road, and three of their five upcoming games are away. Neither Watford or Wolves are particularly appetizing propositions… but Everton are pretty mediocre at home.
Who to Avoid
That’s quite enough positivity for now. Time for some Fantasy Premier League tips on who not to consider!
As you can see in the spreadsheet above, eight teams have only a regular four games in their next four weeks:
- West Ham
That’s not to say that you should automatically avoid all those teams, though. In fact, all of those teams have players going in the FPL blank in Gameweek 33.
Here are the teams I would avoid
Cardiff, Fulham, Southampton
Again, let’s not overthink this. Two of these teams will be in the Championship next season.
In particular, don’t get suckered in by Cardiff’s double gameweek – their fixtures are brutal.
Their form is all over the place, their two upcoming home games are against Arsenal and Man U, and one of their away games is a tricky fixture against West Ham. The tasty away game against Fulham isn’t enough to balance this out.
Richarlison has hit a decent run of form again, and is tempting at a price point of 6.5m… but try to resist.
Zaha is a tough proposition to turn down in FPL, particularly when he’s on a good run of form. Palace have away trips to Spurs, Newcastle and Arsenal coming up though… and Man City are paying a visit to Selhurst Park.
FPL Chip Tactics
In brief, though, here’s a quick recap of the chips you may still have available, and when you should use them.
(Remember that you can only use one chip per gameweek).
What It Does
Allows unlimited free transfers.
When To Play It
The jury is out!
There’s a huge amount of debate on FPL Reddit about this subject, and – at the end of the day – it comes down to personal preference.
Right now most people are leaning towards saving it until Gameweek 34. By that stage we’ll be past the FPL blanks, but we’ll still have some double gameweeks remaining.
What It Does
Triples the score of your captaincy choice.
When To Play It
Again, a lot of this comes down to personal preference. If you already used one of your chips, though, you’ll want to play this in a double gameweek.
The most tempting candidate is Sterling in Gameweek 32, against Fulham and Cardiff… but rotation is a huge risk. Aguero is a safer option, having been rotated far less often recently.
Hazard is guaranteed to start, and also has lovely fixtures against Cardiff and Brighton in GW 32. Personally… I just have a hard time trusting him.
What It Does
Allows you to create a completely new team, for one gameweek only.
Afterwards, your team reverts to how it was in the previous gameweek.
When To Play It
Many people (around 30%, according to our resident FPL expert James) already used their free hit in Gameweek 31, when we got our first big round of blanks.
If you haven’t used it already, make sure you do in Gameweek 32 or 33. You’ll get the highest points total by using it in GW32, but you guarantee yourself a full starting XI by using it in GW33.
What It Does
Includes the points scored by your bench players in your overall score.
When To Play It
Essentially, whenever you’re not using another chip out of the big double gameweeks – 32 and 35 – you should be using your bench boost. This will help you to capitalise on the large pools of points that should be on offer.
If you’re waiting until GW35, start using your transfers to try and bring in the best possible bench players for that week, or aim towards it with your GW34 wildcard.
There’s no getting around it – this is a difficult and confusing time of the season in fantasy football. But remember that everyone is in the same boat… basically, it’s confusing for everyone!
By sticking closely to a solid FPL double gameweek guide (like this one!), and carefully planning out the next few gameweeks, you should go into the last three weeks of the season in great shape.
If you need any specific FPL tips for your team, or have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Leave a comment below, or comment on the Full 90 Football Twitter or Facebook accounts.
Good luck out there, everybody!