Ghana's No. 1

Time to play your bench boost? Fantasy football tips

Published on: 31 March 2023

The way you approach the last 10 gameweeks of the season will depend entirely on what chips you have left to play, if any.

You could be like Statman Dave on our Fantasy 606 podcast, who still has all four available to him and is gleefully preparing his Free Hit team for gameweek 29 - more on that in a while - or you may have to manage your team a lot more carefully if the cupboard is bare. If that is the case then look out for gameweek 32 in particular, when Manchester City, Manchester United, Brighton and Chelsea all blank.

A lot of managers will use their Bench Boost this week in the biggest double gameweek of the season, with 12 teams each having two fixtures.

    Satsumas and selling Saka? - listen to the latest 606 podcast

Danny Ward losing his place to Daniel Iversen as Leicester's goalkeeper in gameweek 28 might mean an extra transfer you weren't planning if you're going with the Bench Boost and you'll also need to keep an eye on the availability of the likes of Erling Haaland, Marcus Rashford, Kai Havertz and Sven Botman.

It's not now or never with the Bench Boost, and if there are too many injury or illness doubts, or if you feel you have to take too many hits on transfers to get to the squad you're satisfied with, then you can always save the chip for another day.

On the subject of taking transfer hits, the big question this week seems to be: is it worth doing that with our Arsenal assets?

Arsenal have a single gameweek with a home fixture against Leeds but the temptation is to take their players out for the double gameweekers like Luke Shaw, Bruno Fernandes or Mohamed Salah.

The key thing to remember is that these aren't transfers for just one gameweek.

If you're contemplating selling Bukayo Saka for Fernandes then have a look at their fixtures for the next six gameweeks and see who you think will score more points over that period. You should also consider whether you might captain either player at any point.

Is Ivan Toney a risk, being just one booking away from suspension?

Manchester United double in gameweeks 29 and 34 but they also blank in 32 and Casemiro is suspended for their next three Premier League games. Arsenal don't have any doubles, they face testing trips to Liverpool in gameweek 30 and Manchester City in gameweek 33, but they do have a fixture in gameweek 32 at home to Southampton.

Don't forget that if you still have your Free Hit chip then you could use that in gameweek 32 when you will almost certainly want three Arsenal players for that game but you wouldn't have to own them before or after.

For what it's worth, I'm planning to sell Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Martinelli this week to replace them with Luke Shaw and Bruno Fernandes, and I will use my Free Hit chip in gameweek 32. I'll hold on to Saka for a little bit longer but he will become Salah in my squad by gameweek 34 at the latest.

Liverpool double in 34 with home games against Tottenham and Fulham, while Manchester City, Manchester United and Brighton also have attractive double gameweeks. So if you've still got all your chips like Statman Dave then you can play your wildcard in gameweek 33 to set up a Bench Boost in gameweek 34.

That's why Dave was sounding so pleased with himself on the Fantasy 606 podcast this week and here's his Free Hit team which he's hoping is going to earn him a monster score in this monster double gameweek. It reads as follows….

Goalkeeper - David De Gea

Defenders - Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben Chilwell, Kieran Trippier

Midfielders - Mo Salah, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, James Maddison, Kaoru Mitoma

Forwards - Ivan Toney, Ollie Watkins

Subs - Daniel Iversen, Ben Mee, Pervis Estupinan, Evan Ferguson

Liverpool have a tricky double away to Manchester City and Chelsea but Dave is clearly backing them to rise to the challenge and suggested he might even captain Salah to try and get a further edge on the field rather than going with the more obvious choice of Marcus Rashford or one of the Brighton midfielders.

James Maddison looks like a great pick for Leicester's double against Crystal Palace and Aston Villa and he's a great long-term choice as well if you're not on the Free Hit.

Ivan Toney is a slight risk because if he gets a yellow card in Brentford's first game at Brighton then he will miss their second fixture away at Manchester United. He'd also be suspended for the game at home to Newcastle in gameweek 30.

This week's deadline is at 11:00 BST on Saturday, before Manchester City against Liverpool which I will be watching very nervously to see if Haaland is fit as he's not in my squad.

Selling Arsenal players and no Haaland - what can possibly go wrong?

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