At long last, the 2019-20 EPL campaign is about to resume, and that has fantasy managers scrambling to finalize their squads ahead of Wednesday’s deadline. And while there is always a certain amount of hand-wringing as fantasy managers mull over their transfer options, this week the anxiety is particularly acute.
In addition to the usual slate of ten games, “GW 30+” contains an additional two matches that create doubleheaders for Arsenal, Aston Villa, Manchester City, and Sheffield United. And to complicate the squad selection and chip management calculus even further, FPL has granted all of us free, unlimited transfers ahead of this week’s deadline.
And Premier League teams will get 5 subs per match (with a larger bench to supply such subs), and there’s fixture congestion ahead (but cups will not create more blanks or DGWs), and long-absent injured players are vying for starts, and the stadiums will be empty, confounding what we think we know about home versus away performance.
This unexpected — and unprecedented — set of circumstances has created headaches for FPL managers, especially with respect to chip management. Any plans you may have had in March for how to use your remaining chips have probably now been blown up (along with your brain).
Why? Because the unanticipated double-game week now multiplies the potential of your Triple Captain chip by a factor of two, and because the free unlimited transfers allow you to easily create a full 15-man squad of likely starters (including up to 12 double-gamers) without having to burn a Wild Card or Free Hit chip — a perfect roster for a Bench Boost.
You can’t play both chips simultaneously though, so which should you choose? That’s debatable. We’ve already put out an article on that subject, and I think our readers will find that piece (along with the thought-provoking remarks in its comments section) to be very helpful as they contemplate their strategies for GW-30+ and beyond.
But in order to stimulate further conversation on this important topic, I’ve created two sample squads for this week. One is set up for the Bench Boost, the other for the Triple Captain. Look them over, hear my reasoning behind them, and then please share your feedback with me and the rest of the NMA community. We’re all in this together!
Bench Boost Squad
As I mentioned above, the combination of a double-game week and free unlimited transfers makes a Bench Boost strategy pretty enticing this week. Aside from not knowing the effect of a 100-day hiatus on squad selection, it will never be easier to construct a full roster of 15 likely starters, including 12 who could play twice!
If I go the BB route, my squad will look something like this:
I’ve maxed out on double-game week players, with three men from each of Arsenal, Aston Villa, Manchester City, and Sheffield United. I’m confident that all of my DGW players will start at least one game of their doubleheaders this week, and most of them should also see time in the other.
I’m happy with the three single-game week players too. Trent Alexander-Arnold is one of the highest-scoring assets in FPL, and he’s a lock to start the Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park on Sunday. I also expect Adama Traore (away to West Ham) and Todd Cantwell (home to Southampton) to start, and they both enjoy favorable match-ups that should provide them with good opportunities to reward their fantasy owners. I would choose either Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Sergio Agüero to captain this squad, with the other serving as vice-captain.
Upon the completion of the game week I could either Wild Card (I still have mine left!) or Free Hit (I still have that too!) to retool this squad toward something more balanced for GW 31. But I could also save those chips for later and deal with GW 31 with a single free transfer and some bench management, since Arsenal and Aston Villa both have good GW 31 fixtures, and virtually all of my players are solid fantasy assets.
If I do go the BB route this week, then I would probably target GW 32 for my Triple Captain chip, when PEA welcomes woeful Norwich to the Emirates (I bet he can already taste the Canary feathers in his teeth). Tammy Abraham at home to Norwich in GW 36 would be another option. And if we have relative certainty around Manchester City’s starting lineup for GW 38, then a Sky Blues attacker for their GW 38 home match against the Canaries might also be a good choice.
Triple Captain Squad
Regardless of whether I decide to play my Bench Boost chip or my Triple Captain chip this week, I will still attempt to max out on DGW players. Therefore there will be considerable roster overlap between my two competing squads. Below is how I might set up to use my TC chip this week:
From this group I would name Cantwell, Giles, Amarty, and Button to my bench. Button, Giles and Amarty are inexpensive scrubs who won’t play but who save me money I can use elsewhere (in fact, it has required every penny of my budget to stretch to the players in this squad). I don’t really need strong bench cover since TAA is all but nailed-on and the other ten players will all have two chances to feature, but I hold Cantwell at discount and he is likely to start, so he will be my first (and only legit) sub.
So who among this group gets the Triple Captain armband (and six games, effectively)? Again, it would be either PEA or Agüero. I’ll wait on updated team news, as well as my gut feeling, before I make that call.
As with my BB team, I could either employ my WC or FH chips after GW 30+ in order to reorient my squad for the remainder of the run-in, or I could attempt to handle GW 31 with just my one free transfer. Either way, I would still have either the FH or WC, or both, available to easily create a 15-starter BB squad later on down the road. Keep in mind that managers do not have to worry about the permanent roster consequences of a Wild Card played in GW 38, since it is the final game week of the season.
So there are two examples of squads a manager might build in order to play either the BB or TC chips in this very unusual GW 30+. What do you think about them? Which squad do you like better? Which chip do you prefer? Whom should I (triple)captain this week? Please step into the comments section and rate my teams!
What FPL Chip Will You Play in GW 30+?
This poll is closed
I have chips left but won’t play any this week
I have no chips left