The Scout explains how to gain the most advantage from the FPL chip in GW31
Managers who feel this is the ideal time to activate the Free Hit chip in Fantasy Premier League must now select a squad.
Those who activate the chip ahead of the reduced Gameweek 31 schedule can make unlimited transfers, focusing on the players in action over the five fixtures.
The structure of the squad and the players targeted are the keys to success.
The smaller pool of talent for Gameweek 31 makes selection a little easier.
Protect your profit
The first decision the Free Hit manager must make is whether or not to keep their existing players who are in action in Gameweek 31.
Whatever you do, be careful of selling a player whose value has gone up.
If you change your mind and want to bring him back in for Gameweek 31, you must do so at the latest price, losing Free Hit funds.
But if you, say, sell Ryan Fraser (£6.2m) with the Free Hit ahead of Gameweek 31 for a sale value of £5.7m, he will return to your squad for Gameweek 32 at that value and not his current price of £6.2m.
Example of a Free Hit squad for GW31*
* The above is an example of a squad valued at £100.0m that managers could select by using the Free Hit chip
Invest in the XI
When building the Free Hit squad, you should obviously target the players with the potential for big points in Gameweek 31.
But there are further strategies to consider.
You should try to maximise your advantage by ensuring most of your budget is spent on a strong starting XI.
Having substitutes likely to play in Gameweek 31 is wise but not essential.
Free Hit managers can consider signing reserves for rock-bottom prices to prioritise funds for their starting XI.
You should consider that your rivals without the chip could be thinking differently when tweaking their squads for Gameweek 31.
They will be forced to spend points on extra transfers to maximise their active players.
While the Free Hit gives you the chance to think only about Gameweek 31, those without the chip are likely to spend their points on players who can deliver beyond the weekend.
Think outside the box
So, while you should not avoid those players, the Free Hit allows you to think outside the box.
As an example, Eden Hazard (£10.9m) will be a popular player for managers with and without the Free Hit active.
In addition, Chelsea will have another Double Gameweek later in the season.
Their home match against Brighton & Hove Albion, which was originally scheduled for Gameweek 27, is yet to be given a new date after being postponed because of Chelsea’s progress to the EFL Cup final.
He is therefore less likely to be targeted by those managers without the Free Hit, which adds to his appeal for those managers with the chip active.
Finding these differentials over mini-league rivals could be key for a manager looking to gain an advantage.