With no games this week, I was all set to put my feet up. But then I thought, “What would a competent manager do?” and now here we are with a list of things for you to think about over the International break.
We’re in the final run now, there’s no more breaks in play but there are still games to be scheduled. The Premier League recently announced the first set of re-arranged games from an FA Cup weekend, and they will take place in Game week 34. It falls in the same week as the FA Cup semi-finals, so it means none of the four teams involved have a double game week, but there will be other games re-arranged for those four teams, so keep an eye out for them. The most eye catching of the fixtures is the Manchester derby, but there’s nothing to get excited about just yet.
The Chips are down
Don’t forget to use your chips! I’m holding my triple captain back for a double game week, with most of the big teams (with the exception of Liverpool) still awaiting a two game turn, there are still points to be had. The bench boost could also be useful for such a week, but I’ll just be glad to find a week where all 15 of my players are available. There’s also the ‘All-Out Attack’ chip which allows you to play 2 defenders only with 5 midfielders and 3 strikers, but that can be used any week when your defenders look lost (most weeks in my case). If you have multiple left to use, don’t run out of weeks as it is strictly one at a time.
The other “chip” is your wildcard – make sure you use it wisely. You can’t combine any of the chips I mentioned above with the wildcard so don’t fall foul of that one either. I guess in an ideal world you will want to cram your team full of players with the most fixtures to play, but it’s not as simple as that. Mine is long gone, but if you still have yours, try and consider the home/away mix so as not to end up with a team of 11 home players one week and 11 away the next!
On the beach
It goes without saying that if you are making changes with the future weeks in mind, beware that teams notoriously disappear towards the last few weeks of the season if the objective is met. Those are also times of experimentation for managers, where younger players and unfamiliar systems are trialled. Keep an eye out for teams whose season is petering out! That too could apply to say Chelsea, who may have the title won by May.
There are a few notorious characters out of action at the minute – Harry Kane’s injury is one to keep an eye on, as well as Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s ban, which is down to one game. With both of those teams very much involved in the end of season mix, keep an eye on your budget if you want either (or both!) back in your squad. The other side of the coin is to consider the relegation candidates, who have a few weeks to pull their socks up. Take a look at how Sunderland’s key men performed points wise in the last few weeks of last season to get an idea of the type of differential some of the less fancied players can offer you if you think they’ve got a late surge in them.
So there you have it, enough for you to chew on over the next week or so before the headache starts again. I’d like to finish with a thank you – for all the support and discussion around these posts. My own ranking has gone from over 300,000 to inside 140,000 in the 9 weeks we’ve been running this, and I hope if you have been taking my advice you have had similar results. However, I Have no doubt many of you have taken your own road and done much better! That’s Fantasy Football though, and I’ll be back in a week with the GW30 tips.