Fantasy Premier League managers are tasked with navigating FPL Double Gameweek 22. With fixture postponements, COVID issues and injuries still plaguing the league with uncertainty, Jian Batra discusses the pros and cons of using the Free Hit Chip before outlining his optimal team.

You can read more here about Blank and Double Gameweeks for 2021/22.

Don’t forget to check out our Ultimate FPL Gameweek 22 Guide which has everything you need to help you make the best decisions ahead of the deadline.

Ben Crellin’s FPL Transfer Planner

Teams with FPL Double Gameweek 22 (DGW22):

Burnley – Leicester (H), Watford (H)

Watford – Newcastle (A), Burnley (A)

Brighton – Crystal Palace (H), Chelsea (H)

Chelsea – Manchester City (A), Brighton (A)

Leicester – Burnley (A) , Spurs (H)

Spurs – Arsenal (H), Leicester (A)

Brentford – Liverpool (A) , Manchester Utd (H)

Manchester Utd – Aston Villa (A), Brentford (A)

Should you Play the Free Hit in Double Gameweek 22?

Of course, the answer to this question above is highly dependent on your current situation. However, here’s a rough outline of what is likely to be your optimal strategy.

Should you Play the Free Hit With Both Free Hits in Tact?

If you have both Free Hits left, I’d very strongly consider playing a Free Hit in Double Gameweek 22.

The reasoning behind this is a factor which is often overlooked in the FPL community: relative advantage over absolute advantage. According to LiveFPL, the average team inside the top ranked 100,000 teams have just below four Double Gameweek players (injured players and players who won’t play were excluded from the sample).

That already leaves you with a 12 point (seven players with two starts each minus two points from the one free transfer everyone will have) advantage, assuming you pick players likely to start.

Then on top of that, those additional seven fixtures provide a large upside. Let’s be conservative and assume three FPL returns (either goals, assists or clean sheets) from the seven extra Double Gameweek Players. That equates to roughly another 12 points, excluding bonus. This now leaves you with a 24 point relative advantage.

Finally, the Free Hit allows you to pick an optimal team for a particular gameweek (in this case Double Gameweek 22). Through analysis of individual tactical match-ups, hidden advantages for certain players surface, producing differential gems.

Second Free Hit Chip for FPL – Strategy

Should you Play the Free Hit With one Free Hit in Tact?

If you’ve already used a Free Hit this season, I wouldn’t play your remaining Free Hit in Double Gameweek 22.

The reasoning here simply lies in the fact I believe that Free Hits are far more useful in Blank Gameweeks. With Gameweek 31 likely to be a significant Blank Gameweek, I’d strongly suggest holding onto it.

Most people will be in the same situation as yourself (unless your squad is in a dire state), so should you lose some ground, if any, it shouldn’t be too much.

Fantasy Premier League (FPL) Tips for Double Gameweek 22 | The Ultimate Guide | 2021/22

The Best Free Hit Team for Double Gameweek 22

This Double Gameweek is peculiar in the sense that when there are eight teams doubling there should be huge upside. However, due to a combination of factors: poor form, balanced fixtures and squad depletion, there aren’t many high ceiling picks especially from a defensive standpoint.

This Free Hit team is based on the relative advantage philosophy above. As such, I haven’t picked too many risks, but instead focused on proven players who are quite safe.

Goalkeeper

Ben Foster (£4.0m)

Foster is there due to his low price. Maybe a miracle happens where he returns from injury to play both games and De Gea misses both, but I very much doubt it.

David De Gea (£5.2m)

For me the standout goalkeeping option this week. Given the fact Man United have allowed teams to have the lion share of possession in recent games, but also conceded territory through a lacklustre press, De Gea has been facing a multitude of shots.

He made five saves against Norwich, five against Wolves and seven against Newcastle. On the back of their cup performance against Villa, I expect this to continue. What it does mean, is that if Manchester Utd can keep just one clean sheet, De Gea is likely to record a double digit haul which will be worth it’s weight in gold.

The Brentford fixture is quite good from a defensive standpoint. Since Gameweek 12 they have recorded the 6th lowest xG. However, the Villa fixture away is certainly looking tricky. I’m not expecting a clean sheet from that one but should make quite a few saves, will offset the damage.

Forwards

The selection here was relatively simple.

Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.5m)

Brentford and Aston Villa both provide very similar challenges from a defensive standpoint.

A solid structure which is difficult to break down, good at pressing to close spaces once forced into the low block. They also tend to manoeuvre opponents to the wider areas by shifting and overloading central/the half spaces. Given how awful Manchester United have looked going forward recently, there doesn’t seem to be much appeal.

However, there are some silver linings. With the above analysis in mind, it’s likely United will revert to crossing the ball a lot, which brings Ronaldo massively into play. He’s also on penalties.

Ronaldo is not an option which has me really excited, but he is a safe and logical one. Plus he is Cristiano Ronaldo, and can always produce something very special.

Free hit team gameweek 22

Cristiano Ronaldo Stats

Emannuel Dennis (£6.1m)

One of the easiest picks in this team. He can of course be replaced by his teammate Joshua King (£5.8m), but in this case I’m leaning towards picking the form man. The fixtures are fantastic.

A Newcastle side which have only recorded one win all season, have a slightly injury depleted squad and who have been knocked out the FA Cup by Cambridge United (whilst fielding one of their strongest sides).

The Burnley fixture looks just as tasty. They have looked poor defensively in their two game return. They have conceded three each to Manchester Utd and Leeds.

Watford themselves are very poor defensively. I expect both Newcastle and Burnley to play in a more expansive and open manner as a result. This should benefit Dennis immensely as he’s far more likely to find space in behind.

Fixture Ticker

Harry Kane (£12.2m)

Not quite the option he used to be last season but nonetheless he’s still one of the best three options this week in the forward line. I expect Spurs to continue their struggles regarding their creativity, especially with Son Heung-min now out.

My reasoning for picking Kane is fairly similar to Ronaldo. I expect there will be an over-reliance on him now that he’s lost his counterpart to produce goals and goal scoring opportunities. He’s still world class regardless of his dip in form, and can produce magic at any given moment.

In terms of the fixtures, the Leicester one is great. They only know to play in one manner, which leaves them highly susceptible to conceding a multitude of goals resultant of their poor press and individual defensive mistakes.

Further, Kasper Schmeichel has been below par this season. I expect Leicester to really try to assert their dominance on Spurs and there should be a plethora of counter-attacking opportunities for Spurs from the wing-backs but also through central areas (if Harry Winks starts, Kane is far more likely to score).

Finally, whilst it may not seem entirely logical, Kane has an excellent record against Leicester and confidence always helps.

The Arsenal fixture is a difficult one. If Arsenal play in the manner which they have done in the league, I can see Kane becoming very isolated. Nonetheless, you never know which Arsenal will turn up. Especially away at Spurs.

Defenders

Kostas Tsimikas (£3.7m)

He’s purely there due to his price and will be benched.

Raphael Varane (£5.5m)

I’m not going to go into much detail at all about him. The Manchester United defensive analysis is the same as De Ge’s above. Without much goal threat or save points he doesn’t appeal to me massively, but there aren’t many good defensive options.

He’s very likely to start both games and I’d bench him anyway so he’s there more as a safety net then anything.

Best FPL Defenders For Gameweek 22 | Fantasy Premier League Tips 2021/22

Trent Alexander-Arnold (£8.4m)

He’s such a good asset that he manages to worm his way as the only player without a Double Gameweek.

We have all seen how high his ceiling is and with the amount of people who will own him, at a minimum it’s a good strategy to acquire him to act as some form of rank protection rather than upside chasing. This game screams of a 12-pointer for the Englishman.

As previously discussed, Brentford have been poor going forward and don’t present too much goal threat. It’s certainly one of the better fixtures from a defensive standpoint. Alexander-Arnold has set pieces, plays an almost inverted full back role when Liverpool are trying to build, will overlap and puts in a huge amount of crosses. It’s a straight forward pick.

Trent Alexander Arnold Stats. best dgw22 defenders

Trent Alexander Arnold Stats

Antonio Rudiger (£6.2m) and Sergio Reguilon (£5.4m) 

I don’t love these picks either, but they are the best of a bad bunch. Like I said, there’s a real lack of obvious value in the defence for Double Gameweek 22.

Reguilon is ranked 7th for defenders for xGI since Gameweek 18 and provides a good avenue through attacking returns. He’s been unfortunate thus far to not have had a monster haul yet, but I feel it’s around the corner.

Spurs defensively is a strange issue. The system is quite negative in terms of their press and how much of the ball they have, however they limit the opposition to half chances rather than being cut open. I expect them to have the same approach in both games and thus have less possession. However, Arsenal and Leicester won’t have faced a 3-4-3 which converts into a low block.

I expect Conte to crowd the half spaces and central areas. The use of three centre backs mitigates their chances of conceding from a cross.

Like I said, you could argue either way but it’s a fairly safe pick in the grand scheme. Emerson Royal or Davidson Sanchez are both options I would consider as well instead of Reguilon.

Rudiger also provides good avenues to attacking returns through heading from set pieces and magnificent surges forward. The problem is Chelsea defensively haven’t looked as good as of late and the return of Kepa (whilst I still rate him) is a downgrade.

They have been exposed too much on their inside right channel and will need to alter their system/personnel to accommodate for this. I’m comfortable picking Rudiger because Brighton don’t have the pace or power to truly exploit this in their front line and a clean sheet looks fairly good there. In terms of the Manchester City game, it’s more a hope he picks up an attacking return.

I’m very much picking him for the Brighton game with the City one as a bonus.

best free hit team gameweek 22

Midfielders

My reasoning for omitting Diogo Jota (£8.2m) is firstly he has no Double Gameweek. Plus, without Salah and Mane, I’m not sure exactly how he will get on. With such a wealth of midfield options, it’s an unnecessary risk to take from my perspective.

I’ll keep this section short because there aren’t too many Double Gameweek options which standout out more than these ones.

Leicester

  1. James Maddison (£6.9m)
  2. Ademola Lookman (£6.0m) 
  3. Youri Tielemans (£6.4m)

(ranked in order of preference)

I’m extremely bullish on Leicester going forward.

They play consistently in an expansive manner which is fluid. They press fairly high allowing for an open game to flow overall.

Maddison has looked exceptional as of late, returning 56 points in his last six appearances. Everything that comes from him is direct and it’s very likely to lead to returns. Lookman is another in fantastic form after bagging a hat-trick of assists against Watford in the FA Cup and his goal against Liverpool. The positions he finds himself in are also very promising and advanced.

Finally, Tielemans has penalties and pops up with a return here and there from his pivot-like role of controlling the play and arriving late.

The first fixture against Burnley is excellent for reason discussed prior. The Spurs one again has been discussed above, I expect Leicester to really to come onto Spurs and if Spurs do engage. I wouldn’t be surprised to see another goals fest between the two.

best free hit team

Mason Mount (£7.5m) and Lucas Moura (£6.5m)

This is similar to the Rudiger and Reguilon picks. I don’t love them but I don’t hate them. Both have good individual quality but rarely produce double digit hauls.

Here’s my thinking; across the two games for them each they both will have enough opportunities to register a double digit haul as they normally do (they just lack the attacking output, hence why they don’t do it more often).

So across these two games, one return should be pretty assured. Anything on that is a bonus and particularly with Moura against Leicester there’s many avenues to a big haul. The fixture analysis has been done above for the two teas and it’s average, nothing more and nothing less.

I just don’t see many better options, but what I do like about the pair is their overall footballing ability. Whilst they don’t transfer this to attacking returns as much as they should, it’s logical to assume returns are imminent due to their quality.

At the moment I’d bench Tielemans but I’m quite confident in Leicester so that may change.

Feel free to direct message me on Twitter, @FPL_JianBatra, for any questions you may have (or drop them down below).

Thank you for your support!

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