Welcome to the Fantasy Football Scout Guide to Double Gameweek 24 ahead of today’s 11:00 GMT deadline. A small double in which only four sides – Everton, Manchester City, Burnley and Fulham – are playing twice.
Following the FA Cup results and quarter-final draw in midweek, the Fantasy landscape has shifted once more.
We now have a better idea of how the upcoming Gameweeks will shape up and, unfortunately, those cup ties have handed us a few injury blows to contend with.
The Double Gameweek 24 announcement at the start of February thrust Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.7m) high up on our list of targets – he was even spoken about as a potential captaincy candidate by Hall of Fame No 1 Fábio Borges and five-time top 1,000 manager Tom Freeman.
However, such plans have since been shelved with Carlo Ancelotti confirming that his main striker is set to miss Sunday’s encounter against Fulham, along with goalkeeper Jordan Pickford (£4.8m):
Both (Calvert-Lewin and Pickford) will not be available for the game on Sunday. We are looking for the next game on Wednesday where we think both of them will be available. I think (Calvert-Lewin) stopped [playing] before the problem [developed]. He only had a sensation, a feeling that something was not good and he stopped. He has a little problem, he can play on Wednesday.
– Carlo Ancelotti
One match against Manchester City is much less appealing than a double that includes Fulham.
And there was worse news for owners of James Justin (£5.2m), the most-popular defender in FPL, with the Leicester City full-back ruled with a long-term injury:
Elsewhere, Callum Wilson (£6.7m) faces at least six weeks on the sidelines, while Michail Antonio (£6.7m) isn’t certain to be available when West Ham United host Sheffield United on Monday. Although David Moyes did say his striker is “doing well” and would “hopefully be close” to being involved against the Blades.
On a more positive note, fears that Nick Pope (£5.5m) and Rúben Dias (£6.1m) were set to miss the Double Gameweek have been allayed. Both were reported to have trained ahead of the weekend after missing out in the FA Cup.
Neale looked at the possible implications on the fixture schedule resulting from the FA Cup.
At the moment, just three Premier League matches are confirmed for Gameweek 29, when the quarter-final ties are due to take place:
- Brighton and Hove Albion v Newcastle United
- Fulham v Leeds United
- West Ham United v Arsenal
The other seven matches from that round of fixtures will therefore have to be rescheduled – the option of moving them to midweek isn’t possible as Gameweek 29 is followed by an international break.
The most likely destination appears to be Gameweek 26, which would make it the biggest Double Gameweek of the season. But with four other matches also needing to be rearranged, a fair amount of juggling is expected.
Legomané updated his ticker, which includes non-Premier League matches.
(click on image above to enlarge)
As Neale explained in his article, there’s a balancing act for Fantasy managers when it comes to planning for Blank Gameweek 29 as the six teams with a confirmed fixture are unlikely to play twice in Gameweek 26.
Managers with their second Wildcard and Free Hits chips still at their disposal will be at an advantage. But if you are trying to navigate the fixtures without them, all is not lost.
Every FPL boss will receive three free transfers between the Blank and Double Gameweeks and, combined with a judicious use of bench players, this should help us field a respectable side.
And the FPL Gods may spring a surprise with additional fixtures in Gameweek 29, a possibility for teams already knocked out of the FA Cup.
Pro Pundit Plans
Tom, who has a full set of chips to choose from, is considering the following strategy:
- Gameweek 25 – Wildcard
- Gameweek 26 – Bench Boost
- Gameweek 29 – Free Hit
The only downside, he noted, is that because Gameweek 25 is a Double for Leeds and Southampton, his Gameweek 26 Bench Boost would include players who play once. Not ideal.
The alternative he is considering is to use his Bench Boost now, followed by a Wildcard in Gameweek 26. Although with the injury to Calvert-Lewin, he might be reconsidering.
Az was having similar thoughts before the news of Calvert-Lewin’s injury. Faced with a benching dilemma between West Ham duo Tomas Soucek (£5.4m) and Vladimir Coufal (£4.7m), who enjoy a home game against Sheffield United, playing his Bench Boost now seemed a good solution.
But speaking on the latest episode of FPL Black Box, Az mentioned the possibility of switching Calvert-Lewin to Richarlison (£7.9m) and saving his Bench Boost.
Although fellow Pro Pundit Seb isn’t convinced: “Richarlison doesn’t particularly interest me, I wouldn’t have considered him before DCL was out, the latter’s absence doesn’t change that.”
Instead, he’s potentially joining Pro Pundit Lateriser in moving to Danny Ings (£8.4m) as his Calvert-Lewin replacement.
When Seb shared his thoughts 12 hours before the deadline, the Saints striker had found a place in his XV. Although with his Wildcard active, that is subject to change:
I’m not sold on Ings but the Calvert-Lewin injury has forced a front-line rethink. He is the best suited to my plans due to his upcoming doubles and ability to be converted easily to a number of other strikers in due course. He has missed a lot of big chances recently (four in two matches), which can be read in two ways: he’s been poor or he’s been unlucky. My reading will probably be decided by if I pick him or not!
Lateriser was slightly more upbeat:
It might even be a good idea to jump on Danny Ings, who has a decent looking fixture against Wolves in Gameweek 24 before his Double Gameweek in 25 … I particularly mention Ings here because, to me, he looked really sharp against Newcastle and got a lot of shots off which hasn’t been the case with him normally.
This week’s Scoutcast used Seb’s Wildcard plans to structure debate around a number of key talking points ahead of Gameweek 24. But, given that it was recorded before Everton’s thrilling 5-4 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup, it included the now stricken Calvert-Lewin.
To bring us up-to-date, Seb has kindly revealed his revamped Wildcard squad as it stood on the eve of the new Gameweek:
The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that nothing has changed, aside from the introduction of Ings for Calvert-Lewin.
As Joe was quick to observe last Tuesday, Seb has answered the “Which Man City trio?” question by doubling-up in attack.
The Raheem Sterling pick allows Kevin De Bruyne back in the future with ease. Or a simpler return to Mohamed Salah (whose absence does concern me; we’re all casting him off very easily, especially with Fulham in Gameweek 27). I’ll miss the extra City defender, but there are plenty of other options in that department over the coming weeks.
It’s a move that was first mooted on site by Camzy ahead of Gameweek 23 – and which proved to be correct with Ilkay Gündogan (£6.0m) and Raheem Sterling (£11.6m) combining for 21 points against Liverpool. And last week’s Scoutcast also promoted the England international as an option for our midfields.
This week, David and Jan have put their weight behind the switch to double attack.
Part of their reasoning has to do with how poor Man City’s upcoming opponents, Spurs and Everton, have been of late. Especially at the back. Over the last four Premier League matches they feature among the worst defences in terms of expected goals conceded (xGC):
On balance, it looks as if Spurs and Everton are both much more likely to concede, maybe even heavily, against Manchester City – than struggle to ask questions of their own going forward.
Gündogan and Sterling top the expected goal involvement (xGI) for Pep Guardiola’s troops in the last six matches. And Sterling’s position on the left of Man City’s attack could be crucial given a weakness down the right flank for both Everton and Spurs.
Over the last six matches, only Southampton (27) have given up more chances down their right-hand side than Jose Mourinho’s men (25). Everton have conceded 22 chances there, the seven-worst in the Premier League, and more than they have given up through the middle or the left.
This vulnerability sees Sterling favoured narrowly ahead of his team-mate in Jan’s Captain Sensible article.
Community Competitions and Head-to-Head Fixtures
You can now enter the Fantasy Football Scout Cup competitions, qualifying will get underway in Gameweek 25.
A total of £300 in prizes is available across the two tournaments, entry is free for the open-to-all Fantasy Football Scout Cup but only Premium Members may sign up for the Members Cup.
RedLightning rounded-up the latest Community mini-leagues and competitions.
For those participating in the Head-to-Head Leagues, the main page can be linked to here. There’s been a small tweak this week by Mat (aka matzi11a) to the fixtures and results displayed on that page.
From now on, the main page automatically shows the current Gameweek rather than requiring a manual intervention each time. The final scores will therefore be available quicker at the end of the Gameweek.
The fixtures for Gameweek 24 can be found below:
Use the drop-down menus to show your league and division. To find out which league and division you are in, follow the instructions on the main Head-to-Head page.
Once the Gameweek starts, if you click on your opponent’s name you will be linked to their team on the FPL website.
May your arrows be green!