Fantasy Premier League

FPL experts: What to do in Blank Gameweek 26

21 Feb 2024

Play the Free Hit chip or take a points hit? The Scout’s panel offer advice for reduced round of matches

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There are a number of highly-owned players in Fantasy Premier League who are set to miss Blank Gameweek 26 (BGW26) due to the EFL Cup final.

Liverpool and Chelsea will be going head-to-head at Wembley Stadium this weekend instead of playing in the Premier League, leaving their scheduled top-flight opponents Tottenham Hotspur and Luton Town also without a fixture. It gives many FPL managers selection problems at both ends of the pitch ahead of Saturday’s 13:30 GMT deadline.

Should managers play their Free Hit chip, or is a points hit sufficient?

Here, The Scout's panel of FPL experts share their thoughts on the best way to approach BGW26.

What the experts say
Sam Bonfield (@FPLFamily)

Last week’s injury to Pedro Porro (£5.7m) made my BGW26 decisions somewhat easier. As I sold him for Nathan Ake (£5.1m) ahead of Double Gameweek 25, I now only have three players who blank - Diogo Jota (£8.3m), Alfie Doughty (£4.6m) and Cole Palmer (£5.8m).

My intention was always to sell Jota ahead of BGW26 and I'll either invest in a team like Brentford, who have a fixture in both BGW26 and Blank Gameweek 29 (BGW29), or I'll play the fixtures this week and bring in Pedro Neto (£5.7m) ahead of Wolverhampton Wanderers’ home match against Sheffield United.

I actually think having nine or 10 players this week will be ok, especially if that means you have your Free Hit chip left to attack the Double Gameweeks later in the season.

Lee Bonfield (@FPLFamily)

I'm planning to take a minus-four to get 11 players out. It's going to be a tough Gameweek, and getting 10 or 11 players out is a good position to be in. Any less and I would consider further hits for the right players, or the Free Hit Chip if you still have it.

Nick Harris (@WGTA_Nick)

I currently have nine men so am looking to field 11 players by taking a couple of hits. Midfield is where I am most short, and I’m looking at the Wolves men of Neto and Hwang Hee-chan (£5.5m) to fill that void in their easy fixture against Sheffield United.

Gianni Buttice (@GianniButtice)

Taking hits in Blank Gameweeks to field 11 players is something I often do. Through appearance points alone, a four-point hit is in fact a two-point hit, and as long as you're bringing in players with good upside potential then you should be fine.

I will be offloading Jota and Darwin Nunez (£7.6m) and will likely bring in Leon Bailey (£5.6m), who has no blanks on the horizon, and Dominic Solanke (£6.9m), who has a Double Gameweek 28.

Pras (@Pras_FPL)

I think we may need to be open to a minus-four purely because the transfers in might also benefit us in future weeks. Getting Solanke now, for example, helps as he has a match in BGW26 ahead of his DGW28.

Getting Aston Villa players means you get a home match against Nottingham Forest in BGW26 and also a confirmed match in BGW29.

Az Phillips (@FPLBlackBox_Az)

If you need to, take hits. I really would suggest saving the Free Hit chip if you can. There will doubtless be some good opportunities to use the chip later in the season - maybe even in BGW29 if you're struggling to get players out.

If you are going to try and get through BGW29 without using chips, try to use your transfers this week on players with a game in both of those Blank Gameweeks.

Aston Villa and Brentford players look the top picks for me, with Douglas Luiz (£5.5m), Bailey, Sergio Reguilon (£4.4m) and Ivan Toney (£8.2m) the standouts.

View all the latest FPL tips ahead of Gameweek 26 in Fantasy Premier League

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