This week, the boys wrap a bow on the 2018/19 FPL season. Brian gets the congratulations he deserves for winning the podcast's mini-league, the top storylines of the year (and yes, there's just a little Mo Salah talk) are discussed, Scott gives the season's Points Per Pound team, and then he administers a "Who Scored More" quiz that's sure to have people guessing. That's all on this week's pod!
It’s here — Gameweek 38 has arrived at the end of another highly entertaining season. In the United States, NBC Sports has given us the ability to watch all 10 Premier League matches on our various devices. In this post, I will share with you a chronological viewers guide (using Eastern Standard Time) — a suggestion on how to enjoy the matches to their fullest.
NOTE: We live in the 21st century, which means that some of you will have multiple devices available to you for viewing. Instead of following along in this post with which match you should watch, think of this guide as a way of gauging which match should get your volume instead.
9:05 - Get everything set up. Then, open up Twitter and see what we are live-tweeting about the lineups for all 20 teams. There are sure to be some FPL surprises in the selections.
10:00 - You have to start the fun with the first place club, Manchester City. Plus, with their propensity to score early goals, they might clinch the title early. You won’t want to miss that.
10:07 - Now that City have scored one (or two) goals, check out Liverpool. Watch the greatest second-place team of all time as they seek to end the season in style.
10:20 - Time to move over to Burnley-Arsenal. With an eight-goal difference to make up on Spurs, they better have a good start by now. If not, you can stop watching this match pretty quickly.
10:30 - Spurs-Everton is fascinating. Will there be a Champions League letdown? Will the hottest team in the league outside of City and Liverpool help Arsenal with their goal difference chasm? Probably not. But this will be the time to find out.
10:40 - Time to do a quick relegation roundup so that you can say a proper good-bye. Southampton-Huddersfield is first. Make this good-bye count. We may not see Huddersfield for quite some time.
10:42 - Fulham-Newcastle is next. Hopefully, we are only saying good-bye to Fulham (and Ryan Babel’s hair color) and not Rafa Benitez as well.
10:44 - It’s almost halftime. Sneak one last peek at Neil Warnock and Cardiff, as well as Paul Pogba. Debate which one you want to see back in the Premier League sooner.
10:50 - You have about 10 minutes before the second halves of all the matches kick off. Use the restroom and then get back on Twitter to see what we have to say about the FPL significance from the first halves.
11:00 - Start the second half with Watford-West Ham. I’m telling you: this battle for 10th is probably going to be entertaining.
11:10 - There are only two matches you haven’t watched yet. Leicester-Chelsea could be fascinating right now. Leicester will probably have more motivation to end this season right. Plus, it’s likely your last time watching Eden Hazard in the Premier League.
11:20 - Crystal Palace-Bournemouth is next. I’m guessing by this time that four goals will have been scored with three more still to come. Enjoy.
11:30 - Okay, there’s 15ish minutes left in the season. It’s time to finish with those top two teams. If City are coasting, go to Liverpool-Wolves here. You have to watch them and then finish with the champions.
11:45 - If we are lucky, we will have reason to watch two matches at once here. Will the title come all the way down to the end? Will the entirety of a season — all 380 matches — really come down to the final few minutes? If we are lucky, yes.
11:50 - But probably not. It’s all set up for Manchester City to be champions here. They will have had to earn it, but they will likely lift the trophy. Watch as much of this as you want (United and Liverpool are allowed to turn it off pretty quickly). But when you turn it off, just know that this is it until next season.
See you in August. Except that our podcast continues throughout the summer, so also keep listening!
This week, the boys recap the first 9 matches of GW37 in FPL while looking ahead to GW38 and the end of the Premier League season. With whom should you replace Son? Why aren't more clubs at the beach? Why is Scott watching Watford-West Ham next weekend? Find out these answers and more in this week's pod!
This week, the boys bridge the gap between GWs 36 and 37 in the Premier League by providing all the FPL analysis you need to win your mini-league! What can we learn from the GW36 Dream Team? Which teams in European competitions are at risk for letting that affect them in the Premier League? Who should you captain in GW37? Learn all this and much more in this week's pod!
If your mini-league is anything like ours, the 14-game GW35 likely set up your mini-table for the final 30 matches (or 3 GWs) for the season. Even though the matchups for the bloated GW32 were better on paper, there were some outstanding scores in GW35.
As we await the Friday start to GW36, here’s a list of what we learned from GW35 to prepare us for the stretch run:
Arsenal’s forwards (Aubameyang and Lacazette) will continue to score decent points, despite sharing starts and minutes.
Your Cherries are now entirely unownable, mostly due to their unpredictability.
The matchups aren’t great, but Chris Wood’s last four are outstanding (5-11-13-5).
Eden Hazard is still relevant, despite Chelsea’s inconsistency.
With Everton’s win over United, your Toffees’ defenders might still be relevant.
All any Fulham players needed was to remove the pressure of being relegated. Now that it’s statistically certain, they are ready to perform.
It’s a shame Karlan Grant is due to go right back down to the Championship. He’s settling into the Premier League very nicely now for Huddersfield.
You still want Jamie Vardy and Youri Tielemans, with maybe Harvey Barnes as a worthy vote for honorable mention.
If you stopped owning three Liverpool players during the double gameweek portion of the season, you should change that now.
No one will judge you if you own 3 City players for the stretch run, regardless of matchup, especially the usual ones (i.e. Ederson, Sterling, Aguero, etc.).
You would be best served to send Pogba out, but Marcus Rashford is still trying really hard.
It’s April/May, which means it’s Ayoze Perez’s time to shine. Don’t sleep on Matt Ritchie either.
Shane Long’s last three makes him your choice Saints’ defender as long as Southampton is still working to stay up.
One Spurs’ midfielder is a good option right now, whether it be Son, Eriksen, or Dele (and probably in this order).
How happy was Dave that his Andre Gray prediction worked out pretty well?
Wolves are just as unpredictable now as they have been all season. Why transfer your token Wolves out now?
NOTE: Below is a written transcript of this week’s Scott’s Shot. The audio version can be found at the bottom of this post or via your podcast feed.
I love watching sports on TV, but I love sports more when I get to watch while listening to excellent announcers. Announcers really do make an enormous difference in the quality of the product.
In this month alone, we have seen the best and the worst of it.
This is not a basketball podcast, but during the Final Four in the NCAA college basketball tournament, the game between Virginia and Auburn threatened to end in controversy.
An Auburn player was called for a foul with about one second left in the game. Immediately, the Auburn players and coaches made it clear that they thought it was a bad call. The announcers even wondered if it should have been called.
That's when Gene Steratore's mic was turned on. Gene -- a former official himself until just last year -- explained in short but definitive fashion the three reasons why the play was called a foul. Steratore was clear and comprehensive, and his commentary eliminated any controversy surrounding that play, and the way it affected the ending of an important game.
Without Steratore, controversy would have boiled over in a place where it didn't need to. Thankfully, that didn't happen because Gene was there to educate us at a time when we needed it. Fast. That's what great announcing does.
A traditional announcing crew features two people: a play-by-play announcer and a color commentator. The play by play announcer calls the action as it happens. His job is to tell the narrative of the game in real time.
The color commentator's job is to -- forgive the lack of creativity here -- provide commentary on that narrative. He (or she) should be able to explain why a game is happening the way that it is, both tactically and in relation to the rules of the game.
Neither job is easy, and there is often overlap between the two roles. However, of the two roles, the one that is often worse -- the one that is apparently harder for TV networks to find -- is the color commentator.
Color commentary is often done wrong in two general ways. The first way is when he or she just paraphrases what the play by play announcer says. You will notice this any time there's instant replay. Bad color commentators all too often just rehash the play by play the second time we watch the play. It's a complete waste of time. There's little additional analysis or description of what we just saw.
Sadly, this is most prevalent in NFL broadcasts. That's why when, during last year's AFC Championship game, people marveled when Tony Romo -- the color commentator for that broadcast -- was predicting plays accurately before they were happening. He was doing his job to its fullest as someone who understood the game and analyzed the action. It was top-shelf color commentary, and we loved it as fans.
The second general way color commentary goes bad is when the commentator gives a subjective, rather than an objective, point of view. This is something I've complained about before. If a color commentator ever uses phrases like "to me" or "for me" or "I think that" or "I feel like," then he's not doing his job. Those are subjective phrases.
I don't care what a color commentator thinks most of the time. What I want to know is why something is or isn't called, why a strategy worked or didn't work. Give me analysis based on objective fact.
Try to teach me something. Don't just tell me what I've already heard, and don't tell me your opinion -- unless you have already given me the facts first and have earned the ability to share your opinion.
CBS was the American TV network that made sure to have Gene Steratore as part of its announcing team. He was there just in case that moment occurred, and his experienced description was needed. CBS deserves a ton of credit for that.
This all brings me now to the beautiful game. There was a moment about a week ago that cried out for football's version of Gene Steratore. I know you remember it. Sergio Aguero had just scored the goal that would send Manchester City through to the Champions League semifinals.
We saw the replay. The announcers speculated as to whether or not Aguero was onside but spent most of their time talking about how Aguero ended up scoring the goal. Suddenly, a screen showed that the goal had been disallowed. Aguero was indeed offside.
It was the right call, but nobody knew what was going on. It created for a spectacular moment, both for its drama and for its seemingly haphazard way of being handled. On European football's biggest stage, we were treated to a very poorly handled situation.
But I'm only partially referring to how things were handled on the pitch. I'm also referring to the announcing crew. If this were an American sports league, we would have heard from a sideline reporter about what the fourth official was saying to the managers. We would have heard from a former official about what the VAR crew was looking for.
But we didn't get any of that. We got two disconnected announcers left to speculate as much as we were. Part of it was not their fault. They didn't have the connection to what was happening on the pitch and with the VAR crew.
Part of it was also bad commentary. At no point did we get a definitive statement on whether Aguero was offside (even though he clearly was) and what the VAR team would be looking at in the replays.
Big stage. Big situation. Poorly handled.
And I think I know why. The English purists amongst us bristle at the thought of adding sideline reporters and referee experts, those fancy modern bells and whistles that interfere with the beautiful game.
Fine. If you don't want those things, you don't have to have them. In their place, though, you need expert, high-quality color commentators who can compensate by providing that analysis themselves. But how many of them actually do that? So few.
Maybe it's just that I'm in the U.S., and I'm subjected to the world feed announcers. Even then, those announcers should be better. The reality is that we get very little tactical analysis, very little mention of the actual rules and how a play compares to them. Instead, we get a rehashing of instant replays and opinions on what a player's intent was during a play. It's all garbage, a complete waste of time.
There's room within the game of football for more. Those 90 minutes have pockets of time where great color commentary can be provided. When it's lacking, it's so obvious, and something should be done right away.
Stop with this idea that a commentator has to be a name-brand former manager or player. It doesn't. He or she needs to be able to do the things I've mentioned here in a conversational and acccessible way. That's all.
England, as an American lover of football, I can never thank you enough for creating the Premier League and being willing to transport it to my television halfway around the world. You've changed my life because of it.
I'll go further and say that you do a lot of things better than us Americans -- your football, your accents, your domestic beers, and even most of your music and movies.
Will you please allow me, though, to make one suggestion on something that the Americans are doing better than you? This old-school commentary that you are exporting to us is rubbish. I know that you were slow to the VAR game. We've learned with the implementation of replay in all of our sports leagues that it's not always better to have it. It has to be done right.
But the Premier League is finally accepting it next season. Now that VAR is here, can you please go a little further? Give us the quality of broadcast that we need to go along with the new technology being implemented by the game.
We need someone on all broadcasts who can be brought in to tell us why referees make the interpretations that they do -- able to compare those interpretations against the actual laws of the game. We need access to the ones who are making those decisions.
We need communication. What a concept! Hand gestures by referees are barely enough. You know, in hockey, the referees wear mics and skate out to the center and announce whether or not a goal is allowed or disallowed. They, too, could use only hand gestures, but they don't. They go for the full drama of the moment, and we eat it up.
You can't have it both ways, you know. You can't broadcast your games on TV, and then, once the game is on TV, act like it's not on TV. You have to do some things for the TV audience. I know that saying that is more blasphemous than any swears I could say here. But it doesn't make it less true.
Change is scary, I know. Especially for football executives. But it will be worth it. May my commentary here convince you of the need to make yours better.
Brian and Dave attempt to prepare you for the upcoming GW35 as the end of the FPL season is coming to a close.
Every season, there are surprises — both good and bad. Today, I (Scott) feel like looking at the negative side of things, so in that spirit, here is my take on this season’s Fantasy Premier League All-Disappointment Team. It’s sure to start debates, so find us on social media to get the conversation started!
Goalkeeper: David de Gea (MUN), Joe Hart (BUR)
You would expect the second-most expensive goalkeeper (even still, 33 weeks in) to have more than the 10th-most points. To put it in comparison, DDG’s 19.12 points per pound at present pales in comparison to Alisson’s 25.25 points per pound. Hart was the Clarets’ keeper when the defense was terrible earlier this season. It’s left a hole in what was a staple in many FPL lineups — Burnley GK.
Defenders: Marcus Rojo (MUN), Gary Cahill (CHE), Ben Gibson (BUR), Leighton Baines (EVE), Antonio Valencia (MUN)
Rojo has 0 points on the season, which is better than the -1 he was carrying for most of the season. I get that Cahill is not getting playing time under new manager Mauricio Sarri, but surely he should be able to do something to fight his way in. He just hasn’t. When Gibson came back into the Premier League by joining Burnley, he surely envisioned getting more than 62 minutes on the season so far. FPL did too, judging by his price tag. Baines is a name brand defender in the league who played all 90 minutes in Everton’s first 3 matches. He’s had little playing time since. Forgive me for picking on United players, but Valencia was last year’s equivalent to this year’s Andy Robertson. Injuries or not, 16 total points is a disappointment.
Midfielders: Jordon Ibe (BOU), Alexis Sanchez (MUN), Kevin de Bruyne (MCI), Pascal Gross (BHA), Mo Salah (LIV)
I get that Ibe is cheap at 5.0, but when will he live up to his potential? Alexis has earned 4.4 points per pound on the season. He might qualify for the all-time disappointment team. I know that KDB’s season has mostly been lost to injury. His few appearances to end this season will hopefully help him get a head start on next season. Gross was one of the pleasant surprises last season. Time will tell if this year, injuries aside, was merely a sophomore slump. In the preseason, we said that the #1 FPL storyline this season would be Mo Salah because of his 13+ price. It’s true. A good (but maybe not great) season has left FPL owners wondering all year whether it’s worth owning him. With only one overall point more than Hazard right now, he makes our team.
Forwards: Romelu Lukaku (MUN), Harry Kane (TOT), Morata/Giroud/Higuain (CHE)
The volatile United season on the whole contributed to Lukaku’s place in this team. Losing his spot under OGS to Marcus Rashford for several weeks leaves him with 10 points per pound. Kane, the most expensive forward, may not end up in the top five in points for forwards. I don’t care which Chelsea striker you pick; they have all been disappointing and never once truly worthy of owning in FPL.
This week, the boys put the finishing touches on this year’s free hit debate. They also review GW33 in FPL as only they can. Brian J also teaches Dave and Scott how to say Caglar Soyuncu.
This week, Scott takes a shot at so-called managerial touchline bans.
This week, the boys review the weekend portion of GW32 and tackle the hard FPL questions: Aguero or Sterling? Salah or no? Hazard or no? What should you do with the cup-shortened GW33 coming up? Hear discussion on this amidst all the usual fun on this week’s pod!
This week, Scott takes a shot at US Soccer -- what he has seen on TV at the top of the system and what he has experienced in person at the bottom of the system at the local youth levels.
If you prefer to read a written transcript of this monologue, scroll below the Soundcloud link below.
Hello. My name is Scott, and today, I'm going to take a shot at US Soccer. On that dreaded night, well over a year ago, Taylor Twellman went viral. You remember the night -- the night that the United States was knocked out of the 2018 World Cup after losing to Trinidad & Tobago. Twellman lost it over all the issues facing US Soccer, and now that the U.S. Men's National Team had been eliminated from the most important tournament in the world, all those issues were spilling out.
One of his main issues was over the "pay to play" system. In the U.S., kids (or rather, their parents/guardians) have to pay a fee in order to be allowed on a soccer team. It has the effect of reserving soccer as a sport for elitist kids only, recreational rather than developmental.
The night of the Twellman rant was less than two years ago, and it received mostly rave reviews. Fans of US Soccer wanted change -- saw the need for change -- and Twellman was the voice they could rally behind. One of those fans was me.
Not enough time has passed since that night to see any kind of real change, but fans continue to be discouraged. Yes, there's a new head of US Soccer, Carlos Cordeiro, and yes, there's a new General Manager in Earnie Stewart. No one really knows what the General Manager's job is; after all, we've never had one before. So far, all he's really done is hire -- finally -- a new manager in Gregg Berhalter to lead the Men's National Team. The lack of progress is frustrating.
But that's at the top of the system. Everyone with common sense knows that real change is going to have to happen from the ground up as well. Sadly, I've now seen firsthand what that looks like, and let me just say that our future is dim.
During the winter, my wife and I offered a list of possible activities to our four kids. Our instructions were simple. Pick one thing that you want to do as your spring activity. I was a proud dad when three of the four picked soccer. Our area in Central Virginia has a youth soccer league that is tied into the US Soccer system.
The entrance fee is $90. Twellman's viral rant and the phrase "pay to play" was in my head as we paid the fee for three kids. I don't necessarily want to pay into a broken system, but I wanted my kids to enjoy an activity that they themselves had chosen to play.
Little did I know how broken this system is.
The website is horrible. The communication -- non-existent. Even worse, with the first practices less than a week away, I started to get emails that all three of my kids' teams needed volunteer coaches. Wait a minute, I thought. I'm paying for my kids to play in a developmental soccer league, and now I'm also being asked to coach them? Me? Someone who didn't play organized soccer beyond the age of 7?
I mean, sure, if preparing to coach includes watching lots of Premier League and Champions League football and hosting a weekly FPL podcast as a hobby, then yes, I've been preparing to coach football for about 12 years. Sadly, I don't think it does.
As I record this, each of my three kids has a coach, and none of them is me. However, each coach -- like I would have been -- seems to be a reluctant parent volunteer.
In closing, I want to be fair. My experience is with one small unorganized part of the whole system. I don't want to assume that all parts of the system are this bad. Plus, none of my kids are going to be the next Landon Donovan or Alex Morgan. I get that, too.
I just can't escape this awful feeling, though. I can see the top of the system on TV, and it's ugly right now. I can see the bottom of the system in my everyday life, and it's no better.
I have no expectations that the system will improve at all during my lifetime -- not even during 2026 when he host the World Cup. Instead, I just keep thinking that when it comes to soccer in the United States, this is why we can't have nice things.
This week, the boys discuss the Free Hit as the Premier League continues its unbalanced spring schedule. Who made the GW31 Dream Team? Was the Free Hit in GW31 the right play? What should you do if you want to use it in GW32? Find out this and much, much more on this week's episode!
I’m sitting here typing this with less than 24 hours until the start of Gameweek 31. It’s a small week in the Premier League, thanks to the FA Cup quarterfinals (which I plan on ignoring). Of the 15 players in my lineup, only 8 have a match, so I definitely plan to use my Free Hit chip. What I don’t know yet — but will by the end of this post — is how to use it.
What Is the Free Hit Chip?
The Free Hit chip is something you, as an FPL player, get to play once in a season. It gives you the ability to give yourself a completely different team with unlimited transfers; you just have to stay within your budget. The catch is that your team reverts back to what it was before you used the Free Hit after the gameweek is over.
In other words, your changes with this chip only last for one gameweek.
Originally, this chip was designed for this upcoming gameweek, when the Premier League faces a reduced schedule. However, since its creation two years ago, some FPL players have found that they prefer to do damage control on this reduced gameweek and use the Free Hit when they can play a lineup of players on double gameweeks later in the season.
The route you decide to take will be based on 1) how you feel about your reduced lineup during GW31 and 2) how much value you put into double gameweeks.
Free Hit in the Premier League’s Gameweek 31
Back to me. I have to play this chip; I have left myself no other choice. Before I decide how to do that, though, I need to make my predictions for the match results. After all, since the Free Hit only applies for one week, it basically means that my squad should reflect what I think the GW31 Dream Team is going to look like.
For instance, if I think that Chelsea is going to defeat Everton, then I shouldn’t play an Everton defender or goalkeeper. If I think the result will be 0-0, however, then I want defenders from both clubs.
Here are the matches for Gameweek 31:
Bournemouth - Newcastle (BOUNEW)
Burnley - Leicester (BURLEI)
West Ham - Huddersfield (WHUHUD)
Fulham - Liverpool (FULLIV)
Everton - Chelsea (EVECHE)
Weird things always happen. Unexpected players score goals and get clean sheets (and get placed on the bench rather than starting). Because of that, I’m nervous to just do the obvious things. After all, what if Fulham nick a goal off Liverpool? It could happen. Huddersfield could also defeat West Ham 2-1. Probably not, but it could happen.
It’s definitely possible to overthink this.
My GW31 Free Hit Plan
With that said, here’s my best guesses as to what will actually happen:
BOUNEW will have goals from both clubs, so I want to guess the goal scorers and avoid the defenses.
BURLEI could go either way. Vardy’s effort until new manager Brendan Rodgers has been outstanding, and the new manager bump for Leicester is still in effect.
You have to assume West Ham will get a clean sheet against Huddersfield, right? Right?
Liverpool is going to score lots of goals and probably get a clean sheet. Maybe. In this case, it’s all about maximizing the points per pound.
EVECHE is completely unpredictable. Makes me want to avoid this match altogether. With that said, I’m probably going with Hazard (because he’s Hazard) and maybe Lucas Digne (because you never know when he’ll send a free kick into the goal).
After all of my laboring, here’s my squad.
GK - Fabianski (WHU) - It was hard to leave Alisson from Liverpool, but if the result is the same, I want to use the additional money elsewhere in my squad. Ben Hamer (HUD) is on my bench as the cheapest GK in FPL.
D - Rice (WHU), Ogbonna (WHU), and TAA (LIV) - This is all about maximizing the clean sheet points. Tarkowski (BUR) and Stankowski (HUD) are on my bench as subs I don’t plan to use.
M - Salah (LIV), Mane (LIV), Fraser (HUD), Brooks (HUD), Hazard (CHE) - If I don’t score big here, then I quit. The tough choice is captain. Currently, the in-form Mane is my captain with Salah my vice-captain.
F - Vardy (LEI) and Wilson (BOU) - These guys are set up to score goals. If anyone in my squad doesn’t play, I feel good with Rondon (NEW) in my first spot on the bench.
Here’s to hoping this is the GW31 dream team!
This week, the boys renew the annual Free Hit debate as they look back to GW30 and look ahead to GW31 in the Premier League and in FPL. Is Raul essential to your lineup? Are Valery and Tielemans FPL studs or duds? Which Liverpool players should you have right now? Find out these answers and much more on this week’s pod!
This week, Scott accuses Premier League execs of greed and shows how it will keep them from doing what is in everyone’s best interests to make the league just a little bit better.
Brian and David do their best to compensate for Scott's absence as they try to cover the myriad of talking points of this Game Week. There is a Seamus Curse, a How To Say, and a never ending Arsenal Moment. Tuning in to just to hear Dave's crappy sick voice is somthing as well. Join us as we cover all the things, as only we can.
Since GW28 occurred in the middle of a week, sandwiched between GW27 and GW29, we, your humble podcast co-hosts, cannot review the GW28 Dream Team in Fantasy Premier League (FPL) in our usual way. Instead, we will do so right here! Here’s what you need to know about the highest scorers from the past gameweek as you prep your GW29 lineup.
Goalkeeper: Angus Gunn (SOU) - You are certainly not counting on this happening again any time soon. His 7 points came against Fulham. The Saints play at Manchester United next.
Defender: Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Andy Robertson (LIV) - You weren’t expecting all these goals and assists, but this match certainly does tilt the Reds defender debate into the direction of yes.
Defender: Fabian Schar (NEW) - This guy’s back on the list! Still not convinced that two large weeks mean that he should be transferred into anyone’s lineups, but he is certainly trying to make things interesting.
Defender: Cesar Azpilicueta (CHE) - He still plays for Chelsea.
Midfielder: Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Ozil (ARS) - Whoa now. Mkhi is no longer a one-week wonder. A 14 and a 16 in back-to-back weeks has to get your attention. Of course, he’s now entering into a North London Derby, so who knows what’s next? Ozil? He’s still a one-week wonder. I’m not expecting much from him.
Midfielder: Gylfi Sigurdsson (EVE) - Now this is the Gylfi we love! He’s still in wait-and-see status, though.
Midfielder: Sadio Mane (LIV) - All right, I think we have to call it. Mane is winning the Salah v. Mane Debate. Which means that you should triple captain Mo Salah this coming week.
Forward: Romelu Lukaku (MUN) - Your lone forward is Romelu Lukaku. If he is going to be another forward option, then I don’t know what to tell you. There are already so many to choose from. For now, stay away from Rom and see what happens.
More matches are already on the way! Enjoy!
This week, the boys take their weekly tour through the Premier League and FPL, examining GW27. You will hear a new intro that is all about us, we launch our new FSFC Patreon Page, and Brian (new mini-league leader) almost doubles the league average with a very good fantasy week. We think this will be the most fun you have all week listening to FPL analysis!
In our last post, I (Scott) discussed the challenges in Fantasy Premier League (FPL) for the upcoming month. Those challenges begin in earnest this coming weekend when only eight of the 10 matches will be played. Because of the Carabao Cup final, Chelsea, Manchester City, Brighton, and Everton will not see Premier League action.
The madness, however, does not stop there. With each passing FA Cup match from this past weekend, it seemed, another Premier League match from Gameweek 31 disappeared.
Gameweek 31 will be played on March 16 and 17. As of the time of this post’s writing, five of the 10 matches are scheduled to be played (if Chelsea defeats Manchester United in the FA Cup, that number drops to four). What is an FPL player to do?
The Free Hit Chip Described
New FPL players might see that Free Hit chip on their FPL apps and wonder when would be a good time to use that. The question is a matter of debate.
For those who don’t yet know, the Free Hit chip allows an FPL player to make an unlimited number of moves for a particular gameweek — just like with the two Wildcard chips — as long as the player stays within his or her funds to spend.
The difference, however, with the Free Hit chip is that the change lasts for just one gameweek. After the Free Hit chip is played, your squad will go back to what it was the previous week.
When to Play the Free Hit
As I said, this is a matter of debate. Let’s start by discussing when you should NOT play the Free Hit: Gameweek 27. Yes, there are 4 clubs not playing, and yes, two of them are Manchester City and Chelsea. Who cares? Surely, you can field a reasonable squad, even without taking any -4s.
I suppose someone out there could make a good justification for playing the chip this weekend, but for most of us, we should hold onto it.
That leaves two other options: Gameweek 31, or whenever all those matches from Gameweek 31 are rescheduled.
With only 8 (or 10) clubs in action for Gameweek 31, we know that your options for fielding a squad will be limited. If you happen to have enough players to field a squad (with minimal -4 transfers required), you may not need to play it during GW31.
Most FPL players, however, will need to. Which is okay! This is the scenario for which the Free Hit chip was created!
Alternative Free Hit Option
The alternative is to take the hit in GW31 but minimize it as much as possible. Meanwhile, you save the Free Hit chip for when those double gameweeks are going to occur. At some point soon, we will know who will have double gameweeks and when these GW31 matches are rescheduled.
Some FPL owners like to save the Free Hit for when they can maximize double gameweeks. It’s an interesting alternative, but we — and other experts out there — have written about the danger of the allure of the double gameweek before.
So when should you play the Free Hit? Probably not this coming weekend (GW27). Conventional wisdom says to play it during GW31, but keep an eye on when those gameweek’s matches are rescheduled. You might find an alternative GW that works even better.