Gameweek 28-31 Q&A: Blank Gameweek 31 Preparation & More!

11:18am Feb 21 2018

The FPL Community has spoken and we have answered! Welcome to our Gameweek 28 to 31 Q&A session

Good day to all Fantasy Premier League bosses and welcome to a new weekly article and video we’ll be introducing for the rest of the season.

Each week, @_FPLTips will post a tweet asking you guys to reply with your best question(s) for the upcoming Gameweek, where we then pick a handful of questions to disect, as we attempt to cover all aspects and talking points of the Gameweek ahead.

We hope that you enjoy this new type of community interaction and look forward to featuring your questions in future editions of our FPL Q&A series.

Be sure to subscribe to our FPLTips YouTube Channel for even more Fantasy Premier League tips, news and insight, each and every FPL gameweek, straight to your desktop or mobile devices.

Omi18 (@omkar1816) asks:

“Should I replace Alonso or not? And if yes, then with whom?”

He’s missed the last 2 Premier League games with an ankle injury but he was pictured back in training ahead of Chelsea’s midweek Champions League tie with Barcelona, so there’ll be another opportunity to assess the situation there.

But regardless of whether or not Alonso is fit, selling him remains an option, given Chelsea’s tough run of games. They face away trips to Man Utd and Man City, and a home fixture against Spurs over the next 5 Gameweeks, as well as being without a fixture in Gameweek 31.

In terms of a replacement option, Virgil Van Dijk looks like the standout premium pick, on the back of Liverpool’s clean sheet against Southampton last Gameweek.

He faces home encounters with West Ham, Newcastle and Watford over the next 4 Gameweeks, which includes a fixture in Gameweek 31.

Mahmoud (@mahmoudfadel) asks:

“Should we swap Aguero to Firmino now?”

This is a tough one, considering the form the Man City striker has been in; scoring 8 goals in his last 4 league games. However, each of those have come at home and only 6 of his 21 goals have come on the road this season.

An away trip to Arsenal awaits Man City in Gameweek 28, and the fixtures don’t get any easier from there, with Chelsea and Man Utd their only home games to come over the next 7 Gameweeks and no fixture for the league leaders in Gameweek 31.

With that in mind, bringing Firmino in as part of our Gameweek 31 preparation looks like a strong option, for those without the Liverpool man already and the cash saved will enable upgrades elsewhere in the coming weeks too.

Aku (@stenkka92) asks:

“Best midfielders priced £6m to £8m?”

Once again, the focus for most of us around this time will be selecting players who, not only have form, but also have a fixture in Gameweek 31, where already 5 games have been postponed.

The game between Spurs and Newcastle will also be postponed if Spurs beat Rochdale in their FA Cup replay at Wembley.

Shaqiri and Walcott have attracted a lot of attention in recent weeks and remain strong options, as well as the Watford midfielders such as Deulofeu and Richarlison.

Another, slightly more under the radar pick could be West Brom’s Matt Phillips.

He’s recently returned from injury and faces home encounters with Huddersfield, Leicester, Burnley and Swansea over the next 6 Gameweeks, as well as away trips to Watford and Bournemouth.

Since his return (last 5 Gameweeks), only Salomon Rondon has taken more shots on target amongst West Brom players, while no teammate has produced more than Phillips’ 7 attempted assists.

Amunpal (@AmunpalMann) asks:

“How do you plan to navigate the blanks? Using the Free Hit in 31, or keeping it for 37?”

So, the Free Hit chip will be particularly useful during a Gameweek where there a number of postponed fixtures because it allows us to build a team for that single Gameweek, whilst still carrying forward our main squad of players beyond that, and also avoiding any hits.

However, if you’re in a position where you’ve already got 4 or 5 players who have a fixture in Gameweek 31, you might be able to get away with just using the remaining Free Transfers and the odd hit to build your team for that week.

That will allow you to potentially look at using the Free Hit chip in Gameweek 35, when there will once again be a number of matches postponed.

So, one way to navigate the upcoming Blanks and DGWs might be as follows:

GW31: Use free transfers to build a team
GW32-33: Wildcard
GW34: Bench Boost
GW35: Free Hit
GW37: Triple Captain (if you still have it)

You could use your Wildcard soon after GW31, to refresh the squad and bring in players with a Double Gameweek in 34 or 37. We don’t know the details of the Double Gameweeks as things stand but we will nearer the time.

Then, you could use the Bench Boost chip in GW34, use the Free Hit chip in GW35, to keep the Double Gameweek players through their Blank Gameweek and carry them into the next Double Gameweek, which is likely to be in Gameweek 37.

If you still have your Triple Captain chip, that might be a good time to use it.

Luke (@LukePorteous20) asks:

“How many players would be ideal to have for Blank GW31?”

Assuming the game between Spurs and Newcastle gets postponed, we’ll only have 4 matches and 8 teams to choose from that week, so 11 players might not be needed.

I think you just have to work with what you’ve got to some degree, and use as many remaining Free Transfers as possible to set yourself up for Gameweek 31.

So, if you have 5 players already, with a fixture that week, it’ll be possible to get up to 9 GW31 players without using hits – somewhere around there looks ideal.

Lewis (@TomoThompson121) asks:

“What transfers are you planning on making in GW31?”

As things stand, the 4 players we’re looking at bringing in with the remaining Free Transfers are as follows:

GW28: Firmino
GW29: Van Dijk
GW30: Pickford
GW31: Richarlison/Deulofeu

That will give us a team of 9 players for Gameweek 31 as things stand, without taking hits.

I think tripling up on Liverpool players around this period is the way to go, given their form and fixtures and then you’ve got the likes of Shaqiri, Walcott and Wilson who are also likely to be fairly well-owned.

For a goalkeeper, someone like Ben Foster or Jordan Pickford could come in and that’s especially handy for those of us with Nick Pope in our squads, since Tom Heaton isn’t far away from a return now.

The Watford midfielder would come in as a 5th midfielder, and would allow us to bench Raheem Sterling that week but it could also be an option to sell the Man City man and go for Sadio Mané instead of Van Dijk.

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