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 – GW20 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.
Double Gameweek 24
This is actually quite a unique double Gameweek caused by Liverpool’s participation in the Club World Cup. Both Liverpool and West Ham will 100% have a double Gameweek 24. Make sure you plan for this Gameweek in advance by tripling up on Liverpool assets as a minimum (you should probably do this anyway as they aren’t too bad this season!).
West Ham face some tricky fixtures before and after the double, meaning you might not want to go all in especially as there extra game is against the league leaders.
Possible Blank Gameweek 28
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.
Blank Gameweek 31
There will definitely be a blank in Gameweek 31 as it clashes with the FA Cup quarter finals.
Possible Blank Gameweek 34
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.
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.
Double Gameweek 37
This looks like the big double Gameweek, but it comes with a risk of rest and rotation. Teams such as Liverpool and Cirty could potentially be competing on multiple fronts, whilst others may already have their flipflops on.
How to use your chips
There will be much more detailed analysis on the Hub as we edge ever closer to the blanks and doubles, but here is one possible route:
- Freehit in blank GW31
- Wildcard 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 I think this will likely be Double Gameweek 24. 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 in and plan for especially when work and family commitments are obviously a priority. It’s why I highly recommend using Ben Crellin’s fixture planner. It pretty much does everything for you and is a great way of visualising your team and transfers. It even has a handy video demonstration from the man himself.