The Scout assesses the best chip strategies for managers in Fantasy Premier League ahead of the upcoming Double and Blank Gameweeks.
Triple Captain chip
In order to maximise the potential of the Triple Captain chip, it stands to reason that managers should target Double Gameweeks to take advantage of the output from players with two matches.
Double Gameweek 25 (DGW25) and Double Gameweek 28 (DGW28) are the only Doubles currently scheduled, but there are likely to be more later in the season due to postponements caused by the latter rounds of the FA Cup. Historically, these have been Gameweek 34 and Gameweek 37.
Indeed, over 253,000 managers currently have the Triple Captain chip active for DGW25.
Haaland’s two goals against Everton at the weekend have made him the top target ahead of Saturday’s 11:00 GMT deadline, with 301,000 transfers in taking him to 70 per cent ownership.
Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola’s decision to use Kevin De Bruyne (£10.8m) off the bench against Everton suggests that the Belgian is more likely to have his pitch time managed than Haaland after the pair recently returned from injury.
Nonetheless, Solanke’s two double-figure hauls in 23 appearances, compared with Haaland’s five double-figure scores in 18 outings, underline the risk attached with going against the Man City star in DGW25.
Managers should be aware that if they are Wildcarding to load up on Liverpool and Man City assets in DGW25, they would not be able to Triple Captain Haaland, as you CANNOT play two chips in the same Gameweek.
Free Hit chip
The Free Hit chip is most effective in Blank Gameweeks when a number of clubs and/or popular Fantasy players are without a fixture.
There are two obvious windows of opportunity this season; Blank Gameweek 26 (BGW26) and Blank Gameweek 29 (BGW29).
BGW29 – which coincides with the FA Cup quarter-finals – has historically been the most popular due to the reduced number of matches.
At present, only three fixtures are currently scheduled to take place, as all six sides involved have already been eliminated from the FA Cup.
Burnley v Brentford
Fulham v Spurs
West Ham v Aston Villa
The upside is that, by waiting until this point, managers can simply focus their transfers on the preceding Gameweeks and deal with BGW29 when it comes around.
By contrast, BGW26 – which coincides with the EFL Cup final – has only two matches missing: Liverpool v Luton and Chelsea v Spurs.
There is, nonetheless, potentially far more upside in using the Free Hit in BGW26.
It essentially allows managers to invest heavily in Liverpool assets for their DGW25, while also holding onto popular Fantasy picks such as Chelsea’s Cole Palmer (£5.9m), along with Spurs trio Pedro Porro (£5.8m), Son Heung-min (£9.6m) and Richarlison (£7.2m).
It also affords managers far more options on their Free Hit as they have eight matches to choose from.
Granted, this would involve more careful planning because by committing to the Free Hit chip in BGW26, managers must also start building towards BGW29 now.
It also leaves managers somewhat at the mercy of the results of the FA Cup fifth round – which take place prior to Gameweek 27 – as any cup upsets could force a late change of plan.
The Wildcard chip is very much team dependant and there’s an argument for using it in DGW25 if you currently own next to no players with two matches.
However, the best approach would be to wait until the FA Cup fifth round has passed before using the chip, as you will then have a clear picture of the schedule for BGW29.
Although Gameweek 27 offers another viable option, the subsequent BGW29 would potentially have too much of an impact on how you build your new squad to deal with the reduced round of matches.
Gameweek 30 could prove to be an ideal time to Wildcard instead. With the Blank Gameweeks then behind them, managers can construct a team around their big-hitters for the remainder of the season.
Gameweek 34 and Gameweek 37 offer further opportunities for the Wildcard as they are likely to be Double Gameweeks.
Once they have decided when to play the Wildcard, managers should be looking to “dead end” their team ahead of using the chip, taking short-term punts on players with kind fixtures who they have no intention of keeping long term, before then completely overhauling their squads.
Similar to the Triple Captain chip, the Bench Boost chip is best-suited to a Double Gameweek to profit from the output of players with two matches.
This chip is best left until later in the season when the matches which will be removed from BGW29 due to the FA Cup are rescheduled.
Typically, this results in bumper Double Gameweeks featuring numerous sides involved, with Gameweek 34 and Gameweek 37 the key dates to watch out for.
The Bench Boost chip should essentially be planned in conjunction with the Wildcard.
By filling your Wildcard squad with 15 players who are set to play twice in a bumper Double Gameweek, managers can get points from 30 matches in a single Gameweek by using the chip.