With such limited time remaining in the FPL season, the schedule craziness has put an enormous focus on chip strategy. Much of your eventual success now comes down to how well you have been able to put the chips you’ve already used to your advantage, along with how you will be best able to utilize those you have still in your pocket. If you have used your big chips already, hopefully you got a nice points haul, but that may have you looking over your shoulder. If you still have the luxury of having your major chips in your pocket, there may be a lot of ground to make up, so get to it!
The Bench Boost chip is theoretically best utilized during a double game week. The problem is that so are the other chips, and those may take priority. After all, it’s not always easy to have four good bench players whom you expect to play twice, whether it’s a matter of injury, rotation, or affordability.
Another good time to use it is simply when you’re having a difficult time deciding on whom to start and whom to leave on your bench due to a combination of quality and match-ups. If you have four good players on your bench and don’t think you’ll be able to beat that in the future, go ahead and use it! Or it could simply be that you find yourself at the end of the season and this chip is still in your pocket, so you just play it and hope for the best.
Much like the bench boost, the triple captain is theoretically used during a double game week. If you used it on Eden Hazard for his double game week 32 (15 points, or 45 with the chip), you were loving life. If instead you went with Raheem Sterling in the same week (3 points, or 9 with the chip), you were kicking yourself.
Sometimes a particularly good single-game match-up may take precedence. Maybe you wanted to go with the fantasy game’s highest scorer against Fulham, the leakiest defense in the league. Not a bad idea, you would think! Unfortunately, Mo Salah was a dud in Week 31 with only 2 points (6 tripled) in Liverpool’s meek 2-1 victory at Craven Cottage. But if instead you were a mad genius and rolled the dice with Hazard in Week 33 for a single game against West Ham, you would have been thrilled to see his 16 points magically turn to 48 in Chelsea’s 2-0 triumph.
The free hit chip is best used either for a double game week or for a week of blanks when you’re having trouble getting close to 11 starters who are in action. In the former category, DGW32 surely was a popular time to use it! In the latter, Week 33 — with only 10 teams featuring — made a lot of sense for plenty of fantasy managers whose teams were barren.
Generally you’ll want to play the free hit before your second half wildcard, since the free hit is only temporary, while the wildcard is permanent. Usually you want to keep things flexible for as long as possible. Of course, if you’ve had a rash of injuries or otherwise don’t like your team, using the wildcard before the free hit makes sense.
(SECOND HALF) WILDCARD
The good thing about the second half wildcard, particularly for fantasy managers new to the Official FPL game, is that the first half wildcard gave good practice for it. Like the free hit, the wildcard is generally best played during a double game week, or during a limited week when reaching 11 starters in action is a struggle. Did you use it in DGW32 or the much lighter Week 33, or do you still have it?
Unlike the free hit, you’re stuck with your team the rest of the way when using your wildcard, so you’ll probably want to hold off on using the wildcard until after you’ve put your free hit chip into play. Of course, it’s always possible that the reverse is true, depending on how you like the team you pick with respect to the schedule in the near future.
LOOKING AHEAD TO THE REST OF THE SEASON
The upcoming Week 34 is a limited double game week... a very limited one, not only in the number of teams (2), but their quality (Brighton and Cardiff City). If you do have all of your chips left, there’s no need to wait unless you really want to save them all for the very end. While a Week 35-38 blitz where you use each of your last four chips would not be strategically optimal, it would certainly be fun!
Week 35 — the final double game week, and a much bigger one than Week 34 — will likely be very popular for second half wildcard use, especially for those who burned the free hit chip in DGW32. If you’ve already used your wildcard, using the free hit chip should also prove very profitable. Alternately, the triple captain could work, and you have a bevy of options as stars from top teams such as Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Tottenham feature twice, along with Wolves which boasts high scoring fantasy favorite Raul Jimenez. (Believe it or not, the Wolves’ sniper actually has scored more points than Spurs’ superstar Harry Kane in roughly the same number of minutes!)
Week 36 could also be an interesting spot for the triple captain for those who were unable to put into play during a double game week, as Liverpool faces Huddersfield at Anfield. Sadio Mane, Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino or another Red you have a hunch about may pay off nicely... unless he is rested, of course!
Week 37 and Week 38 will be the final time to burn your chips, and having certainty about the various situations the teams are in could prove profitable. We will know who needs to win to secure a vital top four spot in the league, whether Arsenal or Chelsea has been able to enjoy Europa League success, if Liverpool and Manchester City are still battling it out for the EPL crown, and if the final relegation spot is in doubt.
Depending how things shake out, Arsenal v. Brighton and Manchester United at Huddersfield in Week 37, and/or Manchester United v. Cardiff, Spurs v. Everton, Liverpool v. Wolves and Manchester City at Brighton in Week 38 could be standout picks for triple captain (or other) chip usage, or instead ones to avoid. If you do hold your triple captain chip for use in the Week 38 finale, there may be a particular match-up that stands out as likely to be very open as a summer send-off treat for the home fans.
Go ahead and take the poll below for how many chips you have left, and then let us know which ones they are along with what your strategy is for the rest of the season in the comments section!
How many FPL chips do you still have left to play in Weeks 34-38?
This poll is closed
All four, baby!!!
None left, all gone!