Our guest FPL article this week has been written by Gary and Josh Brockman, from Lets Talk Soccer. They have looked into the importance of the FPL chips, and recommend the best situations to activate them.
Imagine it’s Gameweek 1 and the FPL world is your oyster. There are no scores…yet. No overall rankings…yet. Hopes are high…still. And your bounty of chips is plentiful. Chips??? You mean those things served with hamburgers or fish? Not exactly! What are they and what do they do? When and how should I use them?
Fast forward to current day where we’re deep into planning our Gameweek 12 team, and ultimately, looking at how it could impact the remaining 26 weeks of the season. Let’s see if we can shed some light on how chips can help your arrows be bigger and greener.
What are Chips?
First, for those that are new to FPL or just never took the time to fully understand the FPL gold that chips can be, a quick introduction:
Chips are these handy little performance enhancers that help your team earn more points over the course of a season. All but one of them can be used only once throughout the 38 weeks. They are…
- Bench Boost (BB): Any points scored by your bench in that upcoming Gameweek are included in your score.
- Free Hit (FH): You can make unlimited free transfers (still within the £100m) for a single Gameweek. The revised team lasts just for that Gameweek, and then your team returns to the way it was prior to playing the chip.
- Triple Captain (TC): Instead of being doubled as they are in a regular Gameweek, your captain’s points are tripled.
- Wildcard (WC): All transfers made that week, including ones that might’ve already been made prior to playing the chip that week, are unlimited and immune to points hits.
When and How Can They Be Played?
BB and TC chips can each be used once a season. You’ll activate them when saving your team. You can cancel these chips at any time before the Gameweek deadline, which is great for those of us that second-guess our decisions, get buyer’s remorse easily or are commitment-phobes.
FH can be played once a season when confirming your transfers. It cannot be cancelled once confirmed. Once you’re in, you’re all in!
WC is available twice a season. The first one is available from Week 1 up to 29 December (the GW20 deadline). The second WC is available after that date, through up till the end of the season. The first WC does not carry over, either use it by 29th December, or lose it. This chip is played when confirming transfers that cost points. Like the FH chip, it also cannot be cancelled once played.
We have two important notes:
1) When playing either the WC or FH chip, any saved free transfers will be lost. After the Gameweek you play either chip, you’ll go back to the usual 1 free transfer in the following GW.
2) Two chips cannot be played in the same GW. I know…we’ve all tried it before, but it just isn’t happening. Sorry, guys! Their rules, not ours.
What They’re Good For
Different chips are better suited for different circumstances…
- Bench Boost: Best used when you have the strongest bench you possibly can, meaning that all (or most) of those bench players will play many minutes, have very favorable fixtures and have high potential to bring home large hauls of points.
- Free Hit: If you’re happy with your squad, but just not happy with it for that particular Gameweek, this is the chip for you. Use when: The majority of your team has very difficult (or impossible) fixtures; key players are injured or suspended; most of your players/key players have a blank week (a Matchweek in which a team does not play); or in a week where a couple/few dominant teams (such as the Top 6) face teams with FDRs of 1 or 2, and you want to load up on players from those top squads. When there are too many changes to make and substitutions just won’t get the job done, FH provides a solution.
- Triple Captain: Play this chip when your star player faces a fixture or couple of fixtures that he’s certain to bring in a big haul.
- Wildcard: If your team is in need of a major overhaul, and you don’t want to rack up those pesky -4 point transfer hits, the WC chip is your friend. It’s especially advantageous when you’re putting together a team with a multi-week strategy in mind.
OK…but WHEN Should I Play Them?
Different managers have different theories on when best to play their chips. Here’s our theory: Generally speaking, managers should play their chips when it’s most advantageous. By “advantageous”, we mean Gameweeks where the potential to earn points is highest. To us, potential is highest during Double Gameweeks (DGW).
In the cases of Bench Boost, Triple Captain and Free Hit, a DGW is an ideal opportunity to play these chips. Ideally, most or all of the players on your team will have two games in one Matchweek. Effectively, those players have the potential to earn twice the points (provided that they play in both games that week).
- With BB, up to 15 players can earn points twice in one week (basically, points from 30 players).
- With TC, instead of your captain earning 3x points, he’ll earn 6 times the points.
In a DGW, the FH chip empowers you to build a squad full of players that have two games that week. Not all teams have two games in a DGW. It could be a couple of teams, it could be several.
So if your team doesn’t have any/many players from teams with two games in given DGW, the FH chip allows you to fix that problem. And, as mentioned above, Free Hit is also valuable to offset blank Gameweeks where several of your players do not have games that week.
DGWs happen later in the season, once we get deeper into tournaments that can force postponements of Premier League matches. Take the EFL Cup as an example. PL teams that make it into the later rounds of the tournament could have league games rescheduled to where they play two games in a single Gameweek.
In the case of your two WCs, you might have already used your first one. If you haven’t, the time could be right. 11 weeks in, you now have a very good sense of players that are either on form or show great promise. And you also know the players that were full of promise at the beginning of the season but haven’t delivered on the hype.
This first WC is best played when making sweeping changes to your squad, especially during a time of price fluctuations. It’s an excellent way to set the core of your team going into the second half of the season.
WC chip #2, is available from GW21 through the end of the season. To extend returns potential, we recommend playing Bench Boost in a DGW following the use of your second WC, after you’ve chosen a bench that can deliver points.
Chips burning a hole in your pocket? Our advice is to wait. And plan. Patience can pay off. As we like to say in FPL, it’s a marathon not a sprint. For reference, in Week 37 last season, 12 teams had two fixtures. So as tempting as it might be to use a chip now, waiting for the choicest of opportunities – the DGWs – can serve you best.
That’s all for now. As always, may your FPL points be plentiful and your arrows be green. Cheers.
Thanks to Gary and Josh for the article, be sure to follow their FPL accounts on both Twitter and Instagram for regular FPL content and updates. If you haven’t already, check out LetsTalkSoccer’s brilliant article from last week discussing the importance of a strong bench and how to achieve it.
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