Blank Game Weeks can be a night mare for the ignorant FPL manager, however, it can be heaven sent for the Mourinhos, Guardiolas, Klopps etc of fantasy premier league. With majority of sources for FPL talent facing blank game weeks, it is time for you to channel your inner scout and analyst into securing bargains that will bag you massive points during this period while at the same time ensuring you don’t end up fielding a weird looking side after the said weeks. The teams that are currently guaranteed matches in Week 26 and 28 are; West Ham, Hull City, Burnley, Everton, West Brom, Liverpool, Bournemouth and Swansea city.
Here is a list of considerable fpl talent that you can turn to without fear of ‘murdering’ your squad.
Tom Heaton (BUR 5.1)
Burnley surprisingly lost to non-league side Lincoln city in their FA tie, for Burnley fans, this was heartbreaking, but for fpl managers, it was the best thing. Without the considerable talents of the likes of Petr Cech (£5.4) in game week 26 and 28, Thibaut Curtois(£) in game week 28, David De Gea(£) in both game week 26 and 28, the loss of Burnley gave managers the gift of the best fpl goalkeeper for a considerable price of £5.1. Burnley has fixtures in both blank game weeks and he certainly is a goalkeeper good enough for you to retain for the rest of the season, he has the enviable ability to make enough saves per match to keep you above the normal 2 points even if his team concede goals, he is also the highest goalkeeper when it comes to bonus points, he has 18 so far and the nearest goalkeeper has 8 bonus points.
Eldin Jakupovic (HUL 4.1)
When the season started, Jakupovic was fpl hot cake, then somewhere along the season he lost his place to Marshall but still remained in some of our benches. With Marcos Silva now in charge of the tigers, Jakupovic has been restored to his place in between the sticks and has surely punished us for benching him by collecting massive points. Hull city have guaranteed fixtures and you can bet on this guy to collect a handsome amount of bonus and saves points, with the relative defensive frailties of Hull, Jakupovic has been making saves and sometimes shutting out the best attacks almost single handedly, e.g Clean sheets against Manchester United and Liverpool recently, he’s made 22 saves in his last 5 games. He could also serve as the cheapest playing goal keeper for your bench (and be ready to be punished by your benched goalkeeper scoring more goals than your starting ‘keeper sometimes.)
McAuley (WBA 5.1)
McAuley has arguably been the best attacking Center Back in the game, he boasts 5 goals and an assist, one could argue that those stats are unsustainable. Knowing Tony Pulis teams and their love for utilizing set pieces, one doesn’t need rocket science to know that Gareth shall score a few more goals before the end of the season. He is the best defender for value for the season with 19.2, ranks 6th for threat among defenders and has appeared 3 times in the dream team this season.
Baines (EVE 5.7)
Baines has always been an fpl manager’s dream since the 2008/2009 season posting above 120 points in all the seasons except last season which was greatly disrupted by injuries, he boasts 2 goals and 3 assists so far despite missing six matches due to injury. Being Everton’s set piece taker and sometimes playing as a wing back in Koeman’s 3-5-2 formation means he is highly likely to deliver attacking returns for his managers with his marauding forward runs.
Coleman (EVE 5.9)
A serious fpl manager knows that a wingback in an attacking system like Everton’s is worth his weight in gold. Coleman has 4 goals 3 assists and 7 clean sheets to his name so far this season. He is also somewhat of a Bonus points magnet having attracted 12 Bonus points so far, Everton’s next 4 fixtures are rated either 1 or 2 on FDR except for Spurs(A) on GW27. He certainly is a player whom you can keep for the rest of the season as well, you better find a way in for Coleman before it’s too late.
Brunt (WBA 5.1)
Don’t we just love an out of position player in fpl? Brunt is a perfect example of this annual fpl gift to managers, he is rated as a defender in fpl yet he plays as a winger for Tony Pulis. This means we get maximum points for a defender incase west Brom keep a clean sheet while at the same time the possibility of attacking returns is high given that he plays further forward, this point is magnified by the fact that he has 3 goals and 3 assists to his name so far this season.WestBrom’s next five fixtures too are marvelous, if you don’t have Brunt then just get Brunt! That simple.
Daniels (BOU 5.1)
The Bournemouth man has somehow crept under most arm chair manager’s radar for most of the season, this shouldn’t be the case seeing as he has 3 goals and 3 assists so far while also picking up 6 clean sheets and 12 bonus points. At 5.1 he is relatively cheap and can very well be your third defender who will surely reward you with his marauding runs upfront.
Mane (LIV 9.3)
Who doesn’t admire the attacking work rate of Sadio mane? Liverpool missing out on the FA cup run has presented wonderful fpl talents in terms of Coutinho, Lallana and Firmino but Mane is the pick of the bunch, he makes Liverpool tick quite literally. Liverpool suffered a poor run during Mane’s absence due to national duties for Senegal but the savior came back and put an in form Tottenham side to the sword brilliantly. Mane still ranks as the 4th best fpl midfielder despite missing 4 matches so far, which is thanks to his imperious returns of 11 goals, 6 assists and 11 bonus points. Liverpool has only two matches scoring above 3 in the Fixture Difficulty Ranking (FDR) for the rest of the season.
Sigurdsson (SWA 7.5)
Gylfi has been incredible in the mid budget category, the Iceland international basically is the star turn in the Swansea side. In his previous two seasons, he posted 158 and 154 points making him a very good pick and a permanent player for a fantasy premier league side, his price is great and can be a good enabler freeing up some money in the midfield area for a manager to go for a big hitter upfront or even in the mid park. His 8 goals and 8 assists means he has a hand in an unbelievable 60% of Swansea goals! He is a bonus points magnet with 15 points in a struggling Swansea side, ranking 4th in fpl for Influence, 5th in the ICT index and 5th for value for the season, Sigurdsson is also on the set pieces for the Swans.
Philips (WBA 5.8)
In as much as he hasn’t produced attacking returns in his previous 4 games, his back to back home games might be the much needed catalyst for the player who has produced 4 goals and an incredible 9 assists for a mainly defensive WestBrom side. West Brom has recently given us good 4th or 5th midfield options in Chadli, Philips and Morrison but Philips stands out as the best attacking route to this side.
Snodgrass (WHU 5.8)
Robert Snodgrass!!! For the first part of the season, he was an unbelievably good source of fpl points in his time basically dragging an under par Hull city side. West Ham serves a good number of fpl talents in Lanzini, Antonio, Carroll and Ayew but Snodgrass with his unparalleled delivery from set pieces, through balls , and the genuine goal threat that he is makes him my choice from West Ham for the short and long term. With his records from hull City, he still ranks as the second best West Ham player in ICT index as he comes in with 4 assists and 7 goals. Back him to be the talisman who replaces the departed Dimitri Payet.
Josh King (BOU 5.3)
Josh King has been used as a striker since the long term injury to Callum Wilson and the unwillingness of Eddie Howe to use Afobe in the striker role. During this period, the Norwegian has netted 3 goals in his last 4 starts and 6 goals and 1 assist for the season, during the two blank game weeks, the cherries face West Brom and West Ham which certainly are potentially friendly fixtures for the midfielder cum striker. His budget friendly price means you can keep him for rotation in your bench as a 5th midfielder as well.
Romelu Lukaku (EVE 9.9)
Romelu Lukaku is undoubtedly enjoying the form of his lifetime in the premier league. The Belgian international has managed to score 16 league goals this season from 23 appearances and bagged 4 assists along the way. He is a big favorite to bag a maiden individual accolade, the golden boot. The 23 year old is being acquired in large numbers by fpl managers thanks to the fact that he is not a victim of game week 26 and game week 28 blanks, expect him to be the most captained fpl player in that period. The big Belgian has been outstanding for the toffees this season especially against Bournemouth where he bagged four goals and with his relatively friendly price tag, I can bet an arm and leg that you will get value for your money.
Andy Carroll (WHU 6.3)
Since west Ham is among one of the 8 teams not affected by the huge number of blanks in the afore mentioned game weeks, Andy Carroll can be a sweetheart to a managers’ team. The English man has found the back of the net 6 times this season with 9 appearances, three of them being from the bench. Carroll has managed only 800 premier league minutes this season due to injury issues meaning his conversion rate is a goal every 133 minutes, by no means a mean feat for a friendly priced striker at £6.3 who can capably fill your third striker role once the big hitters like Costa and Ibra resume their fpl duties.
Fernando Llorente (SWA 6.2)
The veteran Spanish striker is turning 32 this weekend and with 8 goals behind the net this season in his debut fpl season, he has proven to be one of the players that can earn an fpl manager value of his money given that he is one of the cheapest delivering strikers in the game. He is a regular starter with 22 appearances for the Swans with 18 starts and 4 off the bench appearances. With a relatively cheap price tag of 6.2, the Spaniard is expected to net more goals this season, maybe you’ve been waiting for his assured GW 26 and 28 fixtures before you go for him, do it now.
Andre Gray (BUR 6.1)
The 25 year old English striker is one of the best options to fill in a role for you during the blank game weeks with price tag 6.1; he has netted 6 goals and provided 2 assists so far this campaign. Considering how he banged in goals in the championship, it was widely expected that he’d score a considerable amount of goals this season in the premier league but that hasn’t been the case due to Burnley struggling to adapt to the league and the controversy that followed him because of homophobic tweets of several years ago. His price and the fact that he has a starting role in Sean Dyche’s team; he could be a good third striker option as well.
These players I have presented are good enough to stand in any team even once normal service has resumed in FPL, either as starters or rotation bench players. Have fun harvesting the green arrows MANAGERS!!!