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Managing Blank GW29: Chip Strategy and Transfers

GW29 is going to be the biggest blank gameweek of the season so far.

The FA Cup fifth round, which will determine what games are on and off, is not until after the GW26 deadline.

Despite there being only 3 gameweeks between now and then, only a few fixtures are guaranteed to be on in GW29.

As a result, navigating this period could be difficult for FPL managers. Each transfer is going to be crucial and the use of chips might be the answer.

Guaranteed GW29 Picks

As of now, the 3 games guaranteed to be on in GW29 are:

  • Burnley vs Brentford
  • Fulham vs Tottenham
  • West Ham vs Aston Villa

Therefore, these teams won’t cause you any hits or issues, so picks from these teams are solid options for GW26.

Ollie Watkins is the standout among these options, being in good form and having a good run of fixtures starting with Nottingham Forest at home in GW26. He’s a player all FPL managers will want to make sure they have.

Player Image
Watkins
Aston Villa
FWD
Starting %
90%
Predicted Points
6.2
Price
£8.8m
Pick %
37.4%
Price
£8.8m
Pick %
37.4%
Transfers In (GW33)
57,041
Points
208
GW33
7
GW32
13
GW31
0
GW30
1
GW29
2
GW28
2
Minutes
2794
GW33
90
GW32
90
GW31
0
GW30
45
GW29
90
GW28
90
Attacking Threat
xG: 1.27
xA: 0.10
xGI: 1.37
xG/90: 0.28
xA/90: 0.02
xGI/90: 0.30
GW34
Bournemouth
(H)
GW35
Chelsea
(H)
GW36
Brighton
(A)
GW37
Liverpool
(H)
GW38
Crystal Palace
(A)
GW34
Bournemouth
(H)
GW35
Chelsea
(H)
GW36
Brighton
(A)
GW37
Liverpool
(H)
GW38
Crystal Palace
(A)

Elsewhere, Jarrod Bowen and Mohammed Kudus of West Ham have proven this season they can damage any team on their day.

However, West Ham’s run of 6 games without a win and zero goals in the last 3 makes them much less appealing options.

Other options, given the information we have now, include Brentford’s Ivan Toney and Sergio Reguilon and Spurs assets such as Heung Min Son and Richarlison.

However, with the latter two blanking in GW26, bringing them in may have to wait until GW27.

Unfortunately, there’s a lack of standout options that won’t cause selection issues with blanks.

Managers’ remaining chips should be considered in deciding on what transfers are the way to go for their team.

Free Hit GW29

The main benefit of Free Hit in GW29 is that it lets managers attack the next 3 gameweeks.

Some teams that are likely to blank have good fixtures in the short term and there are points to be gained here.

Wolves have an 84% chance of blanking in GW29 but they play 3 defences that have looked poor.

This begins with arguably the best fixture in the game in Sheffield United at home in GW26, before Newcastle and then Fulham.

Wolves would-be GW29 opposition Bournemouth have a double gameweek of Sheffield United and Luton at home in GW28.

This is one of the best on-paper doubles of the season and engaged managers will almost certainly look to Dominic Solanke for these fixtures.

Player Image
Solanke
Bournemouth
FWD
Starting %
90%
Predicted Points
4.6
Price
£7.2m
Pick %
29.1%
Price
£7.2m
Pick %
29.1%
Transfers In (GW33)
-181,530
Points
156
GW33
7
GW32
2
GW31
2
GW30
7
GW28
8
GW27
2
Minutes
2848
GW33
90
GW32
90
GW31
89
GW30
84
GW28
180
GW27
88
Attacking Threat
xG: 2.84
xA: 0.49
xGI: 3.33
xG/90: 0.41
xA/90: 0.07
xGI/90: 0.48
GW34
Aston Villa
(A)
GW34
Wolves
(A)
GW35
Brighton
(H)
GW36
Arsenal
(A)
GW37
Brentford
(H)
GW38
Chelsea
(A)
GW34
Aston Villa
(A)
GW34
Wolves
(A)
GW35
Brighton
(H)
GW36
Arsenal
(A)
GW37
Brentford
(H)
GW38
Chelsea
(A)

Similarly, Brighton, coming off the back of a 5-0 win over Sheffield United, have a great run of fixtures before the blank.

Everton, Fulham, and Nottingham Forest could all be opportunities for a lot of points making the likes of Pascal Gross and Simon Adingra really strong options.

The issue is that their GW29 fixture against Manchester City is 92% likely to be off.

You can compare all of these players and more using our free player comparison tool.

Free-Hitting in GW29 enables you to ignore distributing your transfers to players likely to feature in GW29 and towards the ones with good fixtures now.

Based on the teams we know are playing in GW29, many teams are going to struggle to field a full team without a multitude of hits.

By using this chip strategy, you can avoid these hits, and focus on bringing in the players with these great fixture runs and doubles, and the likes of Arsenal and Man City assets who are always good sources for points.

The main drawback to this strategy is that the Free hit could be useful in the future.

GW34 and GW37 are currently expected to hold many of these doubles, and the free hit could be useful then to maximise your DGW players.

Wildcard GW27

The wildcard is the most powerful chip in the game. If much of your team is likely to blank in GW29 and looks sub-optimal in the weeks prior, then wildcarding in GW27 could be the move.

At this point, we will know all the games that will be taking place in GW29.

While other managers plan out how to build a team for this, GW27 Wildcarders can immediately bring in the best options to field an 11 in GW29 and have the best assets for the games prior.

It becomes especially effective due to Bournemouth and Luton doubling in GW28, as you’ll be able to maximise assets from the doubling teams.

The downside of this strategy is that you will likely have fewer Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal players after GW29.

These teams have a 92%, 84%, and 77% chance to blank respectively and so it’s likely that GW27 Wildcard managers will have to plan how to get these assets back in quickly after GW29.

As soon as fixtures are confirmed to be on (or not) our fixture difficulty rating table will be updated.

Wildcard GW30

The final chip strategy managers should consider involves dead-ending your team into GW29.

Essentially you’d use transfers to build a team for GW29 that looks bad for the following weeks, and then Wildcard out of it in GW30.

This strategy is the best at setting you up for the final 9 gameweeks of the season.

However, before then, managers will likely miss out on good assets over the next few weeks since transfers have to be spent on GW29 players. Even then, it could be that many hits are required to field a full GW29 team.

In this case, for GW26, the optimal transfer has to be a player from a team playing in GW29.

Rolling the transfer should be considered in case a better asset can be brought in next week, though.

For instance, Spurs assets will be available after blanking in GW26, and with a 37% chance to play in GW29, Man Utd assets could be options too.