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Fantasy Premier League Tips & Tricks | Gameweek 8

Join Sam Martin, our resident Fantasy Premier League expert, as he takes you through all the best FPL tips and tricks heading into gameweek 8!
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FPL – How to Navigate GW8

After a week without football following the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II, FPL has returned to our thoughts and so to have more dilemmas. As we move into GW8, we have lost even more matches and the question to be asked is simply - how are we to get around it?

Only seven games remain this weekend and if like me, you are logging in to your FPL account to see players without a match, you may be wondering where to go now. Well, fear not, as I talk you through the three options we have available so you can decide which one suits you best!

Premier League

And remember, it is a FRIDAY DEADLINE this week!

OPTION 1 – USE YOUR TRANSFERS

If, by good fortune (or an uncanny psychic ability), your team has not been affected too much by the postponements, then you may be in a position where you are able to field a strong time using only your transfers alone. 

You have no requirement to sell your players who are blanking, merely move them to the bench and let them return next week. This, for me, is the ideal strategy providing the Starting XI you field are players with a good chance of returning points.

With your transfers, I would go away from short-term punts and look at sustainable moves that will serve you well for the next few matches. 

One team to target are Newcastle, whose fixtures are (Bournemouth, Fulham, Brentford, Manchester United & Everton) – making the likes of Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier and Alexander Isak a great buy for this week. 

Newcastle United Manchester City Celebration

You can also choose to be aggressive with who you sell, particularly Liverpool players. After a blank in GW8, the Reds follow up with games against Brighton, Arsenal and Man City meaning, despite his goal in midweek, selling Mohamed Salah could free up cash at a time when he is perhaps not as essential to own as he has been for the last 5 or so years.

Depending on your scenario, of course, it could be one of the rare occasions where a -4 hit is justified too so don’t be afraid to look at that as an option. If the alternative is playing with 10, then you effectively get the transfer for ‘half-price’ as the player should receive two points just for playing the game.

OPTION 2 – USE YOUR WILDCARD

If you read last week’s article, you may recall that I believed GW9 was the ideal time to use your wildcard if you still had it but if the Brighton vs Palace game (at the time the only disruption) forced your hand then a GW8 Wildcard was also a good strategy. 

Well, the further postponements have only strengthened the case to pull the trigger now. For those who are unaware, you are required to use your initial wildcard prior to the World Cup (GW16), a period in which there will be unlimited transfers anyway, meaning you can really attack the next few weeks in order to gain an advantage on those in your mini-leagues.

Joel Matip Liverpool Virgil van Dijk Darwin Nunez Fabinho
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I have already mentioned the difficult schedule that Liverpool have coming up and so a wildcard allows you to move the likes of Mohamed Salah/Trent Alexander-Arnold/Luis Diaz on at the same time whilst giving their replacement a free week to provide you with a return on the move. 

As well as Newcastle, who are mentioned above, sides such as Leicester and Crystal Palace are set to go on favourable fixture runs and this is where I would be looking to try and sneak a differential that currently has a low ownership.

A tip I think is important for those using their wildcard this week is to make use of the generous fixtures for some of the “bench” players and let them allow you to select a player who perhaps does not have a game in GW8. From GW9 all the way up until the World Cup, 

Chelsea have on paper one of the kindest fixture runs and so you may want to think about keeping Reece James and just having him on your bench this week. That will prevent you from being forced to use a precious transfer when you suddenly realise your team is in desperate need of him!

Reece James

OPTION 3 – USE YOUR FREE HIT

On the surface, I am not a huge fan of using your free hit in GW8, mainly because I think there will be at least one occasion later in the season where it will have a greater impact on your team. That being said, for those who have 6/7 players out and have already used their wildcard, it may be that there is no other option.

If you are staring down the barrel of a free-hit, then I’ve had a look at the numbers for this gameweek and put forward a few players that I feel may be worth including in your team:

Nick Pope – Pope has the most saves in the PL this season (28) and is against a Bournemouth side who are ranked 20th for xG with only 2.37 across 6 games.

Kieran Trippier – Bournemouth’s lack of ability going forward coupled with a decent attacking threat means the RB tops the picks in defence, the set-pieces a welcome cherry on top.

Jarrod Bowen – Both West Ham and Bowen have failed to impress too much so far but they visit an Everton side who have conceded a lot of chances and are fortunate to have not shipped more goals. Bowen took a penalty in the Europa League last week and so if he has them permanently, he’s the perfect fun pick for a FH with no strings attached.

Jarrod Bowen Kalvin Phillips

Harry Kane – It pains me as a Leicester fan to say he is a must but if you are on a FH then there is no way you can go without him. His xP (expected points) for GW8 are higher than any other player and I am rather worried that he makes it a very long 90 minutes for myself and other Leicester fans.

Summary

Hopefully, you have found the above useful and have a successful weekend whichever option you choose! Do follow me on Twitter for more info - @SmuelMartinFPL, I am more than happy to help with any of your questions.


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