Fantasy Premier League upcoming blank and double gameweeks in Gameweek 18 and 19 have definitely become the major talking points over the last few days. FPL officially confirmed that a Blank Gameweek 18 and Double Gameweek 19 will take place in January. Fixtures can be changed even further but at the moment five matches are scheduled for Gameweek 18 with 15 for Gameweek 19. Here, we try to find out the best possible strategies to tackle this critical period.
Fantasy Premier League Upcoming Blank and Double Gameweeks: The Schedule
Blank Gameweek 18
Double Gameweek 19
Fantasy Premier League Upcoming Blank and Double Gameweeks: Chip Strategies
Those who still have the first wildcard in hand have a major advantage now. They can deploy it before Gameweek 16 with players that play twice on Gameweek 19, use freehit on Gameweek 18 and bench boost on Gameweek 19. It is definitely the best pathway for those that still possess the first wildcard. It is, however, more complicated for those that have already used the first wildcard.
Second Wildcard on Gameweek 17?
With more double gameweeks to come later in the season, it is not advisable to use the second wildcard this early on. The January transfer window will also see lots of player movements. In addition, the forms of teams can change quite easily. So, it is better to keep hold of the second wildcard.
Chip Strategy One (Freehit Gameweek 18 and Bench Boost Gameweek 19)
If your FPL squad has eight or nine starters already from the teams that play twice on Gameweek 19, you can bring more players with two matches using free transfers from now until Gameweek 17. Play freehit on Gameweek 18 and bench boost on Gameweek 19. This way, you can have 12, 13 or even more players with two matches. So, that will maximise the bench boost chip. However, with this strategy, you will have to get rid of the bench fodder options like Tyrick Mitchell, Jed Steer and Rhian Brewster to bring in starters from teams that have two matches on Gameweek 19. That is easier said than done though. It will definitely be very tricky to accommodate the premium options without the enablers.
Chip Strategy-Two (Freehit Gameweek 19)
If your FPL squad has six or seven starters already from the teams that have a match on Gameweek 18, you can bring more players that play on that gameweek using free transfers from now until Gameweek 18. Then, you can use freehit on Gameweek 19 to have the best players with two games. This way, you can save bench boost for later. The main issue with this strategy is the fixtures of the teams with matches on Gameweek 18 from now until then. Manchester City have back-to-back away games after this week. Aston Villa also will have two very tough trips to Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford respectively. Spurs have decent fixtures though. This might appeal to those with both Harry Kane and Son Heung-min in their sides.
Chip Strategy-Three (Triple Captain Gameweek 19 With Optional Freehit on Gameweek 18)
There is another option that might provide somewhat of a middle ground. You can deploy the triple captain chip on Gameweek 19. Mohamed Salah‘s record at Anfield is simply astonishing. The Egyptian has two home games on Gameweek 19. It is possibly a very good time to use the triple captain chip on Salah on Gameweek 19. On the other hand, Bruno Fernandes has an amazing away record in the Premier League. He has two away matches on Gameweek 19. However, one of those is at Anfield.
This strategy allows you to keep hold of your season keepers. Depending on the state of your squad, you can use the free hit chip on Gameweek 18. You can even save it if you have six or seven players from that gameweek. Those with assets from Manchester City and Spurs could prefer this strategy. Don’t forget, on Gameweek 19, Spurs play Sheffield United whereas Manchester City are at home to Crystal Palace. Both matches could generate a lot of points for players from those sides.
You can use any of the three strategies mentioned above. In fact, even some other methods are possible, such as playing the second wildcard on Gameweek 19. However, the three strategies mentioned above are probably the best ones available at the moment. The most important thing is to have a plan. That is the only way one can maximise FPL points and move up in the rankings.