The EPL recently announced that it was suspending play through at least April 3 due to concerns surrounding the global COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Most fantasy managers surely thought that we could completely take off for a while as well. However, there are some issues that you will want to be aware of. As it turns out, we may actually want to do some minor maintenance of our fantasy teams during this break!
On the Official FPL site, the “Scout” shared details of how the fantasy game is acting during the EPL break. (If you’d like to read the full article, you may do so by clicking here.)
These are the main takeaways:
- WHICH GAME WEEKS ARE POSTPONED? Game Weeks 30 & 31 have been postponed. GW32 will be the earliest possible return.
- WHAT ARE THE FANTASY DEADLINES? Fantasy deadlines for all game weeks will remain unchanged, including for those which have been postponed. The deadline for GW30 has already passed yesterday. The deadline for GW31 is Friday, March 20, one hour before the first originally scheduled kickoff (a kickoff which will obviously not actually happen). The deadline for GW32 is Saturday, April 4, one hour before the first kickoff.
- HOW IS SCORING DONE FOR GW30 & 31? Since no games were played, all players will score zero points in both game weeks. However, managers could actually get a negative score if they went over their allotted free transfers and were stuck with a points penalty.
- WHAT HAPPENS IN HEAD-TO-HEAD LEAGUES AND FLP CUP? If two competing managers both earn zero points, they will draw. If a tie-breaker to determine the winner is involved, it would be decided via coin toss. However, as negative points hits will apply, a manager could lose outright if stuck with a points penalty.
- HOW ARE TRANSFERS IMPACTED? Any transfers made in GW30 or 31 will not be restored.
- HOW ARE CHIPS/BOOSTERS IMPACTED? Likewise, any chips/boosters put into play — bench boost, free hit, second half wildcard, or triple captain — will not be restored.
- WHAT HAPPENS TO THE POSTPONED FIXTURES? The hope is that the postponed fixtures will be rescheduled. If so, they would be part of a future game week(s), rather than applying retroactively to Game Weeks 30 or 31.
The big question, of course, is: What do we need to do with respect to managing our fantasy teams?
- MAKE TRANSFERS AHEAD OF EACH GAME WEEK DEADLINE IN ORDER NOT TO LOSE ANY. Every fantasy team gets one free transfer per game week. If you do not wish to play a transfer, you may hold it over for the next game week, but you may only hold two free transfers in any given game week. If you are at the maximum of two free transfers before GW31, it’s use it or lose it for one of those transfers. The same situation applies for GW32. So with respect to GW30, hopefully if you were at two free transfers, you made at least one transfer ahead of the deadline so that you did not lose it; if not, it’s too late now, but you will still be at two free transfers for GW31. If you are at two free transfers for GW31, go ahead and make a transfer (or two) if you don’t want to lose it. Prioritize dropping recently injured players such as Steven Bergwijn, Gerard Deulofeu, Martin Dubravka, Ricardo Pereira, Lucas Torreira, et al., whom you may have been stuck holding if you have had to make other moves.
- DO NOT PLAY ANY CHIPS FOR A POSTPONED GAME WEEK. If you played a chip in GW30 and were not able to cancel it before the deadline, it is too late to do so now. If you play a chip in GW31, be sure to cancel it; otherwise, do not play a chip in GW31. If you find that you want to play a chip in GW32, be sure to wait for official announcement that the games will definitively resume as planned before doing so.
- KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR OFFICIAL EPL AND FPL NEWS. Uncertainty reigns, as this situation is very much in flux. We may end up with an insane bonanza of double game weeks, so keeping as many chips handy as possible could be a sound strategy. On the other hand, it is not out of the realm of possibility that fixtures from Game Weeks 30 and 31 will be not merely postponed, but canceled entirely. It is also very possible that some future Game Weeks from 32 through 38, or perhaps even the entire season, will be postponed or canceled.
How were your FPL teams impacted by the EPL suspension of play, and how will you be managing your fantasy team the next couple of weeks? Share your thoughts in the comments!