Last week gave us a little taste of what have waiting for us as the 2017/18 FPL Season comes to a close. Blank and Double Game Weeks are upon us, and how best to approach them is highly dependent on which chips you have left at your disposal. GW34 is our first confirmed double of the season, and while the second DGW has yet to be officially confirmed, it will almost certainly be GW37. (Note: the second set of fixtures should be confirmed before the official start of GW33) It’s important to have an idea of the overall schedule for the Blank Game Weeks and Double Game Weeks in order to maximize your points through the chips provided by the FPL gods, and playing them well can often lead to dramatic gains in competitive mini-leagues. While it takes a lot of effort to navigate the labyrinthian schedule on one’s own, all of this information is much easier to process thanks to the ridiculously good intel provided by Ben Crellin’s hard work. His most up-to-date table with all of the upcoming fixtures is featured here below:
Some quick terminology:
FT – Free Transfer
WC – Wild Card
TC – Triple Captain
FH – Free Hit
BB – Bench Boost
DGW – Double Game Week
BGW – Blank Game Week
DOUBLE DOUBLE – Teams with DGW34, no match in BGW35, and potential DGW37:
- Brighton: GW34: Crystal Palace (A) and Spurs (H); GW37: Man. United (H) and Man. City (A)
- Chelsea: GW34: Southampton (A) and Burnley (A); GW37: Liverpool (H) and Huddersfield (H)
- Leicester City: GW34: Burnley (A) and Southampton(H); GW37: West Ham (H) and Arsenal (H)
- Man. United: GW34: West Brom (H) and Bournemouth (A); GW37: Brighton (A) and West Ham (A)
- Southampton: GW34: Chelsea (H) and Leicester (A); GW37: Everton (A) and Swansea (A)
- Spurs: GW34: Manchester City (H) and Brighton (A); GW37: West Brom (A) and Newcastle (H)
DOUBLE, LITE – Teams with DGW34 AND no match in BGW35:
- Bournemouth: GW34: Liverpool (A) and Man. United (H)
DOUBLE, HEAVY – Teams with DGW34 AND playing match in BGW35:
- Burnley: GW34: Leicester (H) and Chelsea (H); GW35: Stoke (A)
LATE SEASON DOUBLE – Teams with match in BGW35 AND potential DGW37:
- Arsenal: GW35: West Ham (H); GW37: Burnley (H) and Leicester (A)
- Manchester City: GW35: Swansea (H); GW37: Huddersfield (H) and Brighton (H)
- Newcastle: GW35: Everton (A); GW37: Watford (A) and Spurs (A)
- Swansea: GW35: Man. City (A); GW37: Bournemouth (A) and Southampton (H)
- West Ham: GW35: Arsenal (A); GW37: Leicester (A) and Man. United (H)
LATE SEASON LITE DOUBLE – Teams with potential DGW37 AND no match in BGW35:
- Huddersfield: GW37: Manchester City (A) and Chelsea (A)
Please be careful to remember that not all players with DGW fixture are great shouts, and that you shouldn’t be getting rid of Mr. Mo Salah to make way for one extra fixture from a lower priced middie. The extra 90 minutes of play can be misleading, as it is just as likely to have them bang home a goal or an assist as it is to see a DGW player miss one of the two matches or finish with 2 points or less in the extra fixture. Remember that your Wild Card is best used the week BEFORE a DGW; this is so that you can hopefully utilize a Triple Captain or Bench Boost chip when there are more potential points at hand. You cannot use more than one chip in any given week, so don’t wait until GW37 to activate them if you have more than two chips left!
The specific players to target over the next several weeks for the doubles will be provided in other articles, but now is definitely the time to start thinking about how your free transfers will best be used between now and GW38 in order to maximize your point total and win a mini-league or ten.
I personally will be Wild Carding in GW36 and subsequently bench boosting in DGW37, as I like those potential fixtures more than the first DGW, and have enough players featuring in DGW34 that are not blanking to allow me to get by until then. Hypothetically, my team value will also be higher in GW36, allowing me to have a shot at fielding a more expensive team full of players with higher rates of scoring/assisting. I’ve already used my Triple Captain (New Years Day on Kane, GAH!) and Free Hit this past BGW.
If any of these scenarios seem confusing, please feel free to leave comments below. For the most part, the general idea is to bench boost in DGW37 by either setting up a long-term free transfer strategy or wild carding the week before. Once again, please remember that you cannot use two chips in the same week. Thus, DO NOT wild card the same week as a double game week if you intend to use another chip (such as bench boost or triple captain).
All Chips Available
WC GW 32/33, TC DGW34, FH B35, and BB DGW37. If you’re team is well-prepared for DGW34, then: TC DGW34, FH BGW35, WC 36, BB DGW37
All Chips Except Free Hit
TC DGW34, WC BGW35 or GW36, and BB DGW37
All Chips Except Triple Captain
WC GW32/33 or DGW34, FH BGW35, and BB DGW37
Wild Card is to maximize DGW34 and focus on players that will also have double in DGW37
All Chips Except Bench Boost
FH DGW34 or BGW35, WC 36, TC DGW37
WC before a DGW. TC best used in DGW37.
All Chips Except Wild Card
TC DGW34, FH BGW35, BB DGW37; use FT to maximize DGW34 and DGW37.
Only Wild Card and Bench Boost
WC35/36, BB DGW37
Best to use BB right after WC36 if BGW35 is covered.
Only Triple Captain and Free Hit
FH DGW34 or BGW35, TC DGW37.
Only Triple Captain and Bench Boost
TC/BB DGW34 and TC/BB DGW37. BB in DGW37 makes more sense to give you more FT to get more players on the scoresheet.
Only Wild Card and Triple Captain
WC GW32/33, TC DGW34 or DGW37.
WC for getting more players in to DGW34; target players that will have DGW37 as well; gives you 3 FT for DGW37.
Only Wild Card and Free Hit
WC GW32/33 to maximize DGW34 with players also featuring in DGW37; FH BGW35
If you have enough players for DGW34, then you could also WC BGW35 and FH DGW37
Only Free Hit and Bench Boost
FH DGW34 or BGW35 (depending on your needs); BB in DGW37, as you have more FT to get ready.
Only Triple Captain
TC DGW37; as always, this the manager’s call, but currently I like the looks of Son, Eriksen, Aubameyang, Kane (if healthy) or a Man City player that isn’t getting rotated in DGW37. You could also TC GW38 to end the year and hope for some goalfests.
Only Bench Boost
BB in DGW37, as it gives you more time to prepare transfers and have a playable group of bench players.
Only Wild Card
If necessary, WC in GW32/33 to prepare for DGW34, then use the rest of FT to optimize DGW37. If you are set for DGW34, then WC in GW36 to set your team up well for DGW37.
Only Free Hit
FH DGW34 or BGW35 depending on which one your team is less equipped for. FH BGW35 means all FT can be used toward players featured in both DGWs.
You just get to sit back, perform your regular transfers, and watch everyone struggle to make decisions. Drink a lovely pint of beer, cider or any beverage of your choosing while others lose their minds.