Another deadline looming, the fixture list constantly changing and decisions to make over whether to use one of the precious chips to maximize your score… the life of a fantasy football manager is never dull.
Gameweek 19 promises some big scores, with 15 fixtures scheduled and 11 clubs playing twice (but Everton don’t have a fixture at all).
It’s possible to stack your team with 15 players who, with a bit of luck, could each play two games and possibly send your score into the hallowed three figures for the gameweek.
If you play your second wildcard or free hit chip to do this then just be warned – you won’t be able to play your bench boost chip in the same week to get all 15 players’ scores to count, but there’s still no harm in having a strong bench for someone to step in in case one of your starting XI misses out.
Or maybe, like me, you’ve been building your squad for the past few weeks to get those 15 double gameweek players lined up so that you can activate the Bench Boost only to see those plans go up in smoke with the Leeds-Southampton and Aston Villa-Everton games getting postponed.
All of a sudden Alex McCarthy, Stuart Dallas and Patrick Bamford will only play in one fixture for me, joining Tyrick Mitchell, Rhian Brewster and Harry Kane, and it makes me think I might be better to hold on to the chip for later in the season.
Saying that, Kane could potentially do in one fixture what lots of other players couldn’t match in two, while Dallas and Bamford have a home game against Brighton which could bring decent rewards.
As ever, assess your squad, consider the fixtures, leave the decision until as late as possible and play it as you see it.
The triple captain chip is certainly a tempting one in any double gameweek.
Kevin de Bruyne has to be a candidate for this with home games against Crystal Palace and Aston Villa. Or maybe Jamie Vardy, as suggested to Chris Sutton in this week’s episode of Fantasy 606, with Leicester at home to Southampton and Chelsea.
I even put forward the idea of Raheem Sterling as a triple captain but I don’t think Chris is quite ready to forgive him yet for blasting that late penalty over the bar against Brighton. Rotation would be a risk – the dreaded game of Pep Roulette means he may not even play – but if it came off it could be a superb differential.
If you’re considering going with the Liverpool or Manchester United big guns as a triple captain, say Mohamed Salah or Bruno Fernandes, then don’t forget the two clubs meet at Anfield on Sunday in the first of their double gameweek fixtures and Fernandes is also one yellow card away from a suspension, which would then rule him out for the trip to Fulham.
West Ham players could be an excellent investment with home matches against Burnley and West Brom.
The double Manchester City defence is a strategy that has been paying off for lots of managers recently, with six clean sheets in their past eight Premier League games – Joao Cancelo (£5.8m), Ruben Dias (£5.8m) and John Stones (£5.0m) are your best options there.
In fact I think the main transfer targets are pretty obvious for all of the clubs who enjoy two fixtures in the gameweek but we’re always on the lookout for those differentials so here are a few others you may not have thought about….
Sam Johnstone (£4.5m) – yes I know West Brom have conceded nine goals in their past two games but surely Sam Allardyce is going to sort that out. They’re up against Wolves and West Ham and Johnstone is averaging more than four saves a game this season, with three saves a game earning you an extra point.
Harry Maguire (£5.4m) – the game at Anfield could be cagey. Liverpool haven’t had their shooting boots on in the league recently and even if Manchester United do concede, Maguire looked really dangerous as an attacking threat at Burnley and was very unlucky to see his goal chalked off. United’s second game is away to Fulham.
Ademola Lookman (£5.0m) – the Fulham midfielder really troubled Tottenham when he came off the bench on Wednesday, set up the equaliser and at that price might free up some funds to make the other signings you want elsewhere.
Michail Antonio (£6.2m) – working his way back to fitness with two substitute appearances in the past two gameweeks but if the West Ham striker is fit to start then could be a great signing with home fixtures against Burnley and West Brom.
Olivier Giroud (£6.7m) – Frank Lampard’s most reliable striker with three goals in his past