At the start of the FPL season, managers are given 4 ‘chips’ that can be used throughout to help boost their teams. These include: triple captain, free hit, wildcard (one between GW1-20 and a second from GW21 till the end of the season) and bench boost.
Managers have used different strategies when using their chips, and a popular one involves playing their bench boost for the upcoming GW35. In this article, we will analyse the best time to use your bench boost and whether your squad is ready to maximise the chip.
What is a bench boost?
The bench boost chip enables a manager to play all 15 of their players in one gameweek. Naturally, in order to fully utilise this bench boost, you will need a squad with 15 playing players. For many, this might be a tough task to create a squad with every player featuring regularly for their side, while remaining within budget.
A popular strategy and one that comes into effect this gameweek, is playing your wildcard the week previous. By doing this, you are able to completely change your existing side, and create a new one with the team value that you have accumulated over the season.
This strategy is the best way of ensuring you have a strong 15, that you can guarantee will feature when playing your bench boost. Playing your bench boost chip the following gameweek after a wildcard, reduces the risk of any players getting injured or being rotated. Of course there are many ways that the chips can be used, but for this season it seems to be a popular way of negotiating them.
Another proven method of using your bench boost is over a double gameweek. By doing this, you can create a side that plays 30 matches as opposed to the standard 11 matches in a regular gameweek. Double gameweeks offer the potential for players to play twice the minutes they would in a usual gameweek. However, like managers may know, during double game weeks rotation can be a very common factor for teams.
Here is a quick example of how our wildcard squad shaped up during GW34, with an eye on using the bench boost chip in GW35.
As you can see from the above squad, we have tried to create a strong starting 11 with a bench that are guaranteed game time. You will never be able to create a squad full of premium players that are essential to their team. What you can do, is create a balanced side with players that feature regularly and offer FPL value, whether it be defensively or attacking.
Hojbjerg (£4.4m) is a great example of this, a player who has played the majority of matches and offers some attacking potential – 4 goals and 2 assists. While he wouldn’t be a consideration in a starting 11, as a squad of 15 he is a good option to have during your bench boost.
Some managers might see value in players that don’t necessarily have gametime security, but instead a higher FPL points potential. An example of this is the Watford duo Doucoure (£5.9m) and Deulofeu (£5.7m), who were both under consideration for our squad.
Doucoure has been a regular in the Watford midfield, and would be a game time security pick for managers. His FPL potential isn’t necessarily high – averaging an FPL point every 23 minutes – but his gametime is guaranteed.
Deulofeu on the other hand has not played a full 90 minutes since GW23, but averages an FPL point every 16 minutes. At similar prices, you have a decision between FPL potential or FPL security. Usually, we like to ensure that the player features as much as possible, therefore in this situation we would have opted for Doucoure for our bench boost.
Should you bench boost in GW35? – Single v double gameweek
For those managers that have used their wildcard in GW34, we imagine that the squad was created with an eye on GW35. However, for some managers, although they have double gameweek players, questions have been asked over the chip value.
The main reason for this is due to the fixture of some of the ‘budget’ players making up these squads. These include the likes of Brighton and Southampton who don’t have the best fixtures over this period.
Although the players will be playing up to 180 minutes, would we expect the likes of Brighton and Southampton to win and keep clean sheets in these matches? Maybe not.
While a double gameweek provides a better opportunity for more FPL points, it is worth considering all opportunities. And in this case, managers might consider looking at future game weeks, where their teams might have more favourable fixtures. These are the GW36 fixtures:
Brighton have a much more favourable home fixture against Newcastle, while the Saints have a home match against Bournemouth. A single v double gameweek seems an obvious choice, but you have to consider the fixtures and potential for those teams in the double gameweek. We would expect Brighton to have more chance of keeping a clean sheet against Newcastle than against both Wolves and Spurs away.
The minutes’ aspect is clearly an advantage to playing your bench boost over a double gameweek. While we don’t disagree, we think it is worth managers considering the fixtures these teams have and not get blinded by the FPL potential due to more minutes. Don’t be scared to play your bench boost over a single gameweek if you do not believe your squad is suited for the upcoming gameweek.
With all this said, we will be using our bench boost in GW35 to utilise the last double gameweek of the season. We have built the squad purposely for the double with players that we think can benefit from it.
Like we have been saying all season, each squad and manager play the game differently and should be dependent on how you value your team. What we do recommend is ensuring that you build a strong 15 in the build-up to your bench boost, in order to fully maximise the chip potential.
A reminder of our FPL league:
League Code: 2297733-525881
League Name: Footballadvice.co.uk