Blank Gameweek 31: Free Hit FPL Community Special
Posted by @FFPundits_Drew
8:29am Mar 16 2018
Is now the time to activate your Free Hit chip ahead of BLANK Gameweek 31? Here’s @FFCommunity_ with the weekly roundup
With just four fixtures in this weekend’s Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 31, many managers are considering using the Free Hit Chip to navigate the blank schedule, before unleashing their precious wildcard in Week 32.
This week, we’re honoured to have our good friend Holly from Fantasy Football Community bring us the latest FPL community advice on whether to use the chip or not, and which players to include.
FFCommunity are available to follow on Twitter @FFCommunity_ if you wish to offer any feedback on this roundup article, or ask any questions ahead of Saturday’s 2pm deadline.
May your arrows be green!
Should you use the Free Hit chip?
When the newest chip was revealed at the start of the season, fantasy managers initially thought that the biggest blank gameweek of the season would be the ideal use for the Free Hit chip.
With just four fixtures in play, many managers are faced with only a handful of players featuring in the blank.
The FA Cup Quarterfinal line-up is complete.
Tottenham vs Newcastle is the sixth and final Gameweek 31 fixture to become a Blank. pic.twitter.com/zfmEB9d92J
— Ben Crellin (@BenCrellin) February 28, 2018
From the Twitter poll, it seems that many dedicated managers have been carefully planning over the last few weeks to build a side ready for this week: plenty plan to use just free transfers or take a small hit for this one.
But for those less prepared, Free Hit could be the chip to use to save the situation, over the wildcard.
BGW31 Community Poll
How are you navigating the depleted fixture list?
— Fantasy Football Community (@FFCommunity_) March 15, 2018
In the latest Fantasy Football Surgery, the Free Hit chip was a hot topic. The hosts, along with Blank and Double Gameweek expert Ben Crellin, discussed it’s relative merit and alternative strategies.
The consensus among the community is that if you can only field 6 or less players without taking a hit, then it may be worthwhile.
89th EPISODE OF THE FF_SURGERY PODCAST!!
With blank & DGW guru @BenCrellin
If we get 50 RT’s we will send one of you one of these lovely drinks coasters pic.twitter.com/VUDDeADCMm
— FF_Surgery (@FF_Surgery) March 14, 2018
How does the Free Hit chip work?
A large proportion of Fantasy Premier League managers still have the chip left to play, but many are still struggling to get to grips with the exact mechanics around its use.
Chips used so far – Overall (Live teams)
Triple Captain – 54.2%
Free Hit – 41.5%
2nd Wildcard – 40.4%
Bench Boost – 32.3%
— Fantasy Football Fix (@FantasyFootyFix) March 12, 2018
FPL Price Changes has shared a helpful guide, which answers all of the key questions around utilising the chip.
It’s essentially a one–week wildcard, and afterwards you’re left with the same team that you had at the Gameweek 30 deadline.
Unlimited transfers for that GW
Squad & bank balance reverts back to how it looked at the previous deadline
1FT for the GW after
Any change to your bank balance whilst the Free Hit chip was active will be lost
Only 1 chip can be used in a GW
— FPLPriceChanges+ (@FPLPriceChanges) March 12, 2018
What is the optimal Free Hit team?
FPL Tips has shared his views on the optimal Free Hit team in his latest Q&A YouTube video.
Triple Liverpool provides the standout players, but there are some potential players from the less prolific teams featuring this week, that are worth considering.
It’s Q&A time again!
— FPLtips (@_FPLtips) March 13, 2018
A Liverpool triple up seems like an obvious strategy, but even this is causing some headaches among the community.
Salah’s ownership is closing in on 100%, but the big question is whether to maximise on attackers or bring a defensive option. FPL Stag put this dilemma to a Twitter poll.
— #FPL Stag (@FPLStag) March 13, 2018
One high risk strategy, would be to predict the results and then load up with players that match with that thinking.
Let’s Talk FPL shares one Free Hit draft of that strategy, in an all or nothing approach to the Free Hit chip.
Anyone playing the free hit this week and going for an all or nothing approach? pic.twitter.com/uqLwSOdWNm
— Let’s Talk #FPL (@andy85wsm) March 12, 2018
The FPL General talked about his latest transfer watchlist in Episode 4 of the 59th Minute Pod. This led on to his Free Hit draft team: it’s well worth acting on these tips from a manager ranked just outside the top 1000 overall.
— The 59th Minute (@59thMinutePod) March 13, 2018
Expected Goals is this season’s go to statistics and FPL Braveheart compiles all of this data together on his Twitter account.
This week, he’s produced a Free Hit team based on those players who have the best xFPL returns; using expected goal, assist and clean sheet data, where Huddersfield assets are (surprisingly) popular.
xFPL – BGW31 Dream Team
Based on each player’s xFPL points form going into this week (see my link for the xFPL spreadsheet), I have come up with the team I’d be going for if I was going to use my free hit this week.
— Braveheart (@FPLBraveheart) March 14, 2018
If the bookies odds are more your thing, then check out the latest compilation from FPL Vader, of the implied goal scoring probabilities from the Blank Gameweek 31 pool of players.
Three defensive options scrape into the list, who could make up the back line.
Implied Goalscoring probabilities of key #BGW31 players:
Coleman: 9% pic.twitter.com/e7sYEotMhj
— FPL Vader (@FF_Vader) March 13, 2018
What are the disadvantages of using the Free Hit chip?
While the Free Hit chip can be used to bail managers out who are underprepared for the blank, there are some downsides to using it this week, which is why many pundits in the community have planned ahead for a more optimal strategy.
Most viable DGW/BGW approach if you have the remaining four chips at hand pic.twitter.com/dzhxhOKKPd
— Chief #FPL Manager (@FPLHints) March 6, 2018
Ben Crellin suggests utilising it in the next blank, Gameweek 35 if you have all of the chips remaining. If you’ve all but the Triple Captain chip, then it could be used in double Gameweek 37.
Some teams will have a Double in 34, a Blank in 35 and another Double in 37. So the Free Hit chip will probably be more useful in GW35.
— Ben Crellin (@BenCrellin) March 14, 2018
The pool of players is certainly decimated, with only Liverpool involved from the top six.
— FPL (@FPL_vs) March 15, 2018
If managers save their transfer until the next set of blanks, in Gameweek 35, then the selection of premium options is far greater.
FH in GW31 and your 5 MIDs and 3 FWDs could be:
FH in GW35 and your 5 MIDs and 3 FWDs could potentially be:
— FPL Wingback (@FPLWingBack) March 13, 2018
The events of Gameweek 30, haven’t helped matters for managers considering the Free Hit chip. Firstly, high ownership players Kane and Ayew, are in many teams and would still be there in Gameweek 32, once teams have reverted back to their original state.
Scenes when your free hit expires and you’re left with Kane and Ayew in your GW32 squad
13% own both
— FPLPriceChanges+ (@FPLPriceChanges) March 13, 2018
The second, is that injuries to Kane, Aguero etc. have seen a mass exodus of transfers out and prices dropping heavily. Managers with a Free Hit chip stand to lose significantly more value as they can’t transfer these players out until after the Gameweek 32 deadline.
Here’s a point. If you’re using free hit this week you’ll be losing all the value on aguero and Kane
— fᏢᏞ fᏒᎪuᎠ (@FplFraud) March 14, 2018
Like the Free Hit chip?
If you like the concept of the Free Hit chip and the flexibility of being able to build a team for just one week, then you’ll probably enjoy Daily Fantasy Football.
Plenty of this week’s community tips can be utilised in Saturday’s Starting 11 contests!
| Our Gameweek contests are now open ladies and gents.
It’s a bleak looking weekend of #FPL action, but there’s plenty of fantasy fun to had nonetheless!
FREE & CASH games now available.
— Starting 11 (@starting11app) March 15, 2018
WORLD CUP FANTASY FOOTBALL: Before you go – whilst the Fantasy Premier League season is still 8 weeks from its end, the 2018 Russia World Cup is now less than 90 days away!
If you’re interested in playing World Cup Fantasy Football with us and many other FPL community members this summer, please download the FREE Starting 11 app today by clicking the banner below – available on Android & iOS.