FPL Double Gameweek season is by far the most fun and anticipated time of year for any Premier League Fantasy Football manager. It’s also arguably the most important period as huge gains can be made if you play your cards right, or chips in our case. Early on in my ‘fantasy football career’ if I recall correctly it was the 2007/08 season (my first year playing) it was double Gameweek period in which I went in pursuit of glory and sold my soul. Determined to beat my mates in our fantasy league I took to google and typed the usual searches ‘fantasy football cheats’ and ‘fantasy football tips’ etc. That led me to some vital information in which I used to captain Laursen (of Aston Villa) and bag 24 points as he kept back to back clean sheets. I felt like a genius, even more so when I was accused of cheating for not sharing this golden nugget of information. Those were the good old days when fantasy football was more of a cult thing rather than the commercial giant it is today. It was from this point I was officially hooked to fantasy football.
Keeping up with all the doubles, blanks, fixture changes etc can be hard to keep up with. On top of that, there is so much information out there now (unlike the good old days) it’s actually information overload. That’s why this guide and Fantasy Football Hub is literally all you need to simply navigate your way through this tricky period and rocket up the rankings!
Blank and Double Gameweek Basics
Let’s start with the basics. Blank Gameweeks are the result of FA cup games, and Carabao Cup fixtures or any other competition really coinciding with the Premier League fixtures. If the fixture can’t be moved to a midweek slot in the same week this causes a team to have a ‘blank’ fixture and means they miss out that Gameweek. Liverpool and West Ham both have a blank Gameweek in GW18 for example and we will talk about that in more detail later.
These missed fixtures need to be played later in the season which is usually or always in the midweek of another Gameweek, which causes a ‘Double Gameweek’ in which your players get the points played in both of their games in the one Gameweek. Now planning to load up on players who have a double GW can be made much easier and profitable if you utilise your chips correctly and most importantly plan in advance for this. I will briefly explain the chips below:
Free hit chip
The FH chip is the most powerful chip after the Wildcards. Huge gains can be made if it’s played at the right time. You only get one FH chip per season unlike the WC in which you get two (The first wildcard has to be used by Sat 28 Dec 11:30 – GW28 deadline. The second wildcard will be available after this date and can be used until the end of the season). It’s pretty much a one week wildcard in which you can totally overhaul your squad for just the one GW and then it reverts back to your original team the following Gameweek. For example, if you played your FH in GW20, in GW21 your team would go back to the one you had in GW19. Your original team is still in the background so your players are still rising/falling in price. Typically its best used for the blank Gameweeks as you don’t have to ‘prepare’ for it by taking out valuable players for one week, in which you can lose value, and future points etc. In this scenario having the FH chip over someone who hasn’t is a MASSIVE advantage.
Bench boost chip
With this chip your bench comes into play, so just like your outfield players score points, so does your bench. A popular and proven strategy is using this chip in a double Gameweek as you can get 15 double Gameweek players and bench boost, effectively giving you 30 players. This isn’t the only way to play this though and can be used effectively in a single Gameweek also. However, in my humble opinion, it’s always better to have two tickets to the lotto than one. Statistically, it gives you the best chance of returns and this is the strategy many top managers have used every season with good returns. Also, let’s be honest it’s much more fun!
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Your captain score is tripled rather than doubled. I would say the least valuable chip out of them all. Although it could be used to devastating effect, the odds are slimmer because you are relying on one player rather than multiple players like in a BB or FH, there is more chance of a ‘fail’. Again this is the reason why I think it’s best to use in a DGW as you get two bites at the cherry. Again I am not saying it’s the only way but this season specifically I think it’s going to be best used in Liverpool’s double gameweek on Salah or Mane. I will talk a bit more about this later on.
When are the Blank and Double Gameweeks?
Thanks to our Double and Blank Gameweek expert Ben Crelin we have a very good idea early on, of which Gameweeks the doubles and blanks could fall on and his planner is all you need to effortlessly guide your way through this period smoothly. So let’s go through Ben’s analysis below.
GW18: Blank Gameweek
This is actually quite a unique blank Gameweek as it’s caused due to Liverpool’s participation in the Club World Cup. Both Liverpool and West Ham will 100% have a blank Gameweek and the fixture will be moved to a different Gameweek. This blank causes a unique situation this season and pretty much allows a very optimal strategy on how to maximise your chips (which I will reveal below). Just as a side note make sure you plan for this GW as a lot of managers are likely to have two to three Liverpool assets so have a strong bench or plan your transfers in advance.
GW28: Possible Blank Gameweek
Gameweek 28 falls on the same weekend as the Carabao Cup Final (1st March). A blank could occur here if neither team involved in a postponement reaches the FA Cup fifth round.
GW31: Blank Gameweek
There will definitely be a blank in Gameweek 31 as it clashes with the FA Cup quarter finals.
GW34: Possible Blank Gameweek
There is a possibility a blank occurs in this Gameweek due to it clashing with the FA Cup semi-finals. The FA Cup semi-finals are followed by a free midweek in which postponed fixtures will slot into. The last time this happened, three teams got a Double Gameweek and one team got a Blank Gameweek.
Once we get closer to the time we will have a better idea of what teams are likely to be involved in the blanks and doubles so we can start to plan in more detail. We will be releasing another article for this once the information becomes available.
Liverpool Vs West Ham
So we don’t have any confirmed dates however there are a few potential dates it can fall on. There have been a few suggestions from journalists of it being moved to March which means either Gameweek 29 or Gameweek 30.
Possible Scenario #1
So if Liverpool play their champions league last 16 fixture second leg in Gameweek 29 then their match moves to Gameweek 30. The Double Gameweek fixtures will be as follows:
Liverpool vs Everton (away) and West Ham (away)
West Ham vs Wolves (home) and Liverpool (home)
However, if Liverpool play their champions league last 16-second leg fixture in Gameweek 30 then the game gets moved to Gameweek 29. The double fixtures will be as follows:
Liverpool vs Bournemouth (home) and West Ham (away)
West Ham vs Arsenal (away) and Liverpool (home)
Possible Scenario #2
Another possible scenario is the game to be moved to Jan/Feb if there is a midweek where neither side has a fixture. A few possible Gameweeks and fixtures below:
Gameweek 21 – Sheffield United (Home) & West Ham (away). This can only be possible if both teams fail to reach the Carabao Cup semi finals.
Gameweek 22 – Spurs (away) & West Ham (away). Only if both teams avoid the FA Cup third round replays.
Gameweek 24 – Wolves (away) & West Ham (away). This could only happen if both teams fail to reach either Carabao Cup semi-finals or FA Cup fourth round.
Gameweek 25 – Southampton (Home) & West Ham (away). This outcome can only be possible if both teams avoid FA Cup fourth round replays.
Gameweek 34 – This could be a mini Blank Gameweek and a mini Double Gameweek or it could just be a normal Gameweek if all the Gameweek 34 postponements are just moved to the midweek.
Gameweek 37 – this is a definite double Gameweek and it’s likely to include postponed fixtures from Gameweek 31 and 34.
We could also get another mini Double Gameweek on a Champions League night if the Carabao Cup final causes a blank in Gameweek 28.
So now we have a rough idea of when the double Gameweeks and blank Gameweeks will fall and what each of the chips offer. Now we can look at the best way to deploy them this season.
How to use your chips
- FH in blank GW31
- WC in either GW35 or GW36 to set your team up for BB37. Bear in mind it will be a lot easier to set yourself up for a bench boost in GW37 using free transfers this season so a wildcard at this time is not mandatory. If it needs to be used earlier it can be just due to how the games have fallen this season. In previous years it was difficult to get a good BB team with just using free transfers and not taking multiple hits.
- Bench Boost in DGW 37 when there will be around 14-16 fixtures. This way you can effectively get 30 players in the Gameweek (15×2).
- Triple Captain in the best double Gameweek outside of DGW37. I think this will most likely be Liverpool’s rescheduled game with West Ham on Salah or Mane. The reason for this that the most important factors to look at when placing your TC on a player is he must be a nailed starter, must be explosive and be the main attacking threat or one of the main attacking threats in his team. You need to be as sure as you can that your player is going to start both games in the double and they don’t come as nailed as Salah and Mane. Another factor to take into consideration is Liverpool’s main priority without a doubt this season will be the Premier League After losing a 12 point lead they had at Christmas last season I don’t see them taking anything for granted this season no matter how many points they are ahead.
The importance of having a Double Gameweek plan!
The above can be seen as a lot to take it and plan for especially when work and family commitments are obviously a priority. It’s why I highly recommend using one of the Hub’s planners. Either Ben Crellin’s fixture planner or Jossy’s planner are both excellent. They pretty much do everything for you. Ben’s planner even has a handy video demonstration from the man himself.
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