The Gameweek average score of 19 points doesn’t tell the whole story. Basically, those who had bothand flourished - pretty much everyone else was left facing those dreaded “red arrows”.
And it was standing room only in the GW28 Hall of Shame. West Ham'sand returned two points each. didn't even play.
FPL managers who pickedover tore their last remaining hairs out as he departed at half-time, taking his likely clean-sheet points with him.
They all pale into insignificance however compared to, who pulled off the ultimate FPL troll move - running to the bench to deny his loyal owners that precious point.
Coutinho off at 59:59. Goodnight season, it's been real.— Always Cheating FPL (@hailcheaters) March 12, 2017
If only he had displayed that kind of awareness and pace earlier in the match. Honestly - it’s almost as if these players don’t care about helping us win our work mini-leagues!
So as the dust settled on the Double-Blank Gameweek madness, FPL managers are now surveying the landscape - and it has taken on a distinctly post-apocalyptic look for many.
And when that happens, there’s usually only one thing for it...
Is your team wildcard-ready?
While it’s always worthwhile being self-aware enough to avoid that ultimate FPL sin - “” - you have to be equally honest enough with yourself to admit that the time is right to go back to the drawing board.
For those poor souls who couldn’t wait bring inbefore he picked up that nasty-looking injury against Millwall, the wildcard could save them hit points and better still - help that awful gaffe to go unnoticed!
If you already brought Kane in for a -4 would you swap him out again for another -4? Um.. Asking for a friend.. 👀 #FPL— Pad Ful (@PadFul) March 16, 2017
The wildcard is also an efficient and satisfying way for managers to clear out any lingeringand liabilities in one fell swoop.
Thinking more long-term, managers who still have theirand chips could benefit from a strategy rethink, too.
Up until now, the prospect of the “bumper”convinced many to keep their wildcard in order to draft in a full squad of DGW players in , before playing their Bench Boost in - thus having an “extra” eight players.
Here are the 12 fixtures that have been postponed this season due to clashes with the EFL Cup Final and the FA Cup QFs & SFs: pic.twitter.com/XBFA3cmmij— Ben Crellin (@BenCrellin) March 13, 2017
This still has merit, but as all the meticulous planning for the Blanks and Double Gameweek has taught us (again) - we can end up being too clever for our own good in this game sometimes.
Looking ahead, GW37 is actually starting to look more like the week for a.
I think we're going to struggle with BB in DGW37. The only bench (cheap) players with good doubles will probably come from SUN & MID. #FPL— Peter Blake (@math_safe) March 13, 2017
Although nothing is certain yet, the penultimate week of the FPL season is likely to seeplay West Brom and either Watford or Southampton, with set to face Stoke and either Sunderland or Leicester. facing both West Brom and Leicester at The Emirates is a possibility also.
Outside of GW37we could be looking at against Burnley and either Southampton or Man City - both away - in GW34.
’s other DGW against is likely to be rescheduled for GW35/36, where they face tough fixtures against and .
SOT vs ARS should be rescheduled to GW 35 or 36 because Arsenal are playing on Monday night in GWs 32 & 33.— Ben Crellin (@BenCrellin) March 13, 2017
Not too appealing, is it?
Also, by playing the wildcard now, FPL managers would (in theory, at least) stand to benefit from it for the nine Gameweeks, as opposed to toughing it out until GW36 - by which time your minileague leader may be out of reach.
For those looking to take the plunge, the emergence of under-the-radar players like, and , as well as more established enablers like , and and should help free up funds for big-name players elsewhere.
It will be ESSENTIAL to own both Hazard and Sanchez in the last 5 #FPL fixtures.— Antarctican (@FPLantarctican) March 16, 2017
Time to bring in Double Gameweek players?
Even if you’re not wildcarding, the prospect ofshould certainly inform - but not shackle - your upcoming transfer plans.
Just because, and all have two Double Gameweeks doesn’t mean you should be bringing in those players wholesale.
Outside ofand a post-suspension , it’s hard to see which Arsenal and United players, if any, can offer consistent points returns at the moment.
When it comes to, the fact that their extra games come against and dampens their appeal somewhat. The free-scoring is an easy pick, but it would take a brave manager to trust him with the armband over some of the more established names.
Manolo Gabbiadini in the Premier League for Southampton:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 4, 2017
100% take-ons completed
4 chances created
Inspired buy. pic.twitter.com/k2kAJwmCL3
, , , , , , and can all look forward to one DGW. Most if not all of them should happen in GW37 - so you have some time to prepare.
We all know the familiar names to pick from these, but’s resurgence has led to renewed focus on their players.
The #FPL echo chamber has a funny way of luring people into making mistakes that later seem obvious. 'Vardy IN' feels like a classic example— #FPL Penguin (@FPL_Penguin) March 15, 2017
It could work, but what effect the unprecedented combination of a Champions League campaign and a relegation battle has on team selection is really anyone’s guess.
, , , , , , and won’t have DGWs, but that’s not to say they should be off-limits over the remainder of the season.
and enjoy favourable fixtures in the short term, and it would be folly to rule out players like and .
Elsewhere, FPL managers can look to bring in players at optimum times, with fixtures set to turn more favourable forin , as well as for and in and respectively.
Or it could be best to just leave everything well alone, as this tweet rather depressingly illustrates…
Every season, without fail, sees “on the beach syndrome” take hold: mid-table teams switch off once that psychologically significant 40-point mark is reached, while relegation battlers start looking like world-beaters.
Bear this in mind when bringing in players for the long haul - particularly defenders.
Right now,are the only team with the holiday brochures out, but could we see the likes of , and join them soon?
Conversely, players from bottom-six teams with a bit of quality about them likeand could offer real value.
Despite the fact thattend to score less in ’s absence, an obliging fixture list makes Spurs attacking cover an absolute must.
Whileand are safe options, the 4%-owned could be the one to go for.
The South Korean announced himself in emphatic style with hat-trick after replacing Kane against Millwall and at just £6.8m, the price is certainly right.
Of course he’s not without risk, but let’s face it - if you’re not willing to take a chance on a cheap, out-of-position midfielder starting up front for, you're probably playing this game a little too safe.
If Kane's injury is serious, Son is £6.8m pic.twitter.com/H6Wvqdazgi— FPL General (@FPLGeneral) March 12, 2017
If you’re hoping for instant returns and can’t wait forto get past that Spurs tie, is an interesting alternative.
The burly striker seems to thrive during the relegation run-in. He’s scored five in his last six games and Watford’s next three fixtures (, and ) could hardly be more favourable.
Yep, all of them - even.
For a Tony Pulis side, they’ve been remarkably poor at keeping clean sheets (five all season!). Now that 40points-itis has hit and fixtures have gone south, there’s really no case for holding them.
Top of the League
An impressive 68 points in BGW28 keptand his on top of the . Sure enough, and were both present and correct, with and chipping in too.
His -8 hit to bring inand didn't go according to plan, but when you're 309th in the world, there's really only 308 people who are in a position to criticise you.