A FPL COVID resilient squad
With the Omicron variant wrecking havoc globally, we are all having the sense of “here we go again“.
Record COVID cases are hitting the UK before the festive period and the Premier League has not been spared.
At timing of writing, we have already seen 4 COVID related postponement across GW16 and GW17 – we can safely assume there would be a few to come, especially over this period of time, when fixtures come fast and furious.
These 4 games were postponed for COVID related reasons:
- Brighton VS Spurs
- Brentford VS Man Utd
- Burnley VS Watford
- Leicester VS Spurs
A matter of luck
Let’s get this straight – nothing can help us “predict” which fixture will be next hit by a COVID outbreak.
Even if a team is renowned for keeping a strict COVID protocol, their fixture might still be hit if there is an outbreak in their opponents’ camp.
Also, as witnessed on GW17, postponements can come as late as just a few hours before a fixture (and hence after the gameweek deadline).
Building a FPL COVID resilient squad
When we cannot control the elements, we control ourselves.
Here are a few tips to build a FPL COVID resilient squad over this trying times to maximise our returns.
Now is no time for bench fodders.
Build your team with 15 players who are all likely to start, even if that means spreading your budget thinner and avoiding the premiums.
Make sure you have two GKs who are starters for their teams.
Definitely bear this in mind in your usage of the wildcard.
Diversity of picks
Tripling up on Liverpool / Chelsea / Man City assets seem viable earlier but it no longer makes sense.
Have a self-rule to only select a maximum of two players from the same team.
Do not use use Chips
Definitely avoid using any of the chips over this period of time.
On a Triple Captain, your choice of captain may not play.
On a bench boost, there is always a good chance that one ore more of your 15 may not play.
With a free hit, you make pick some players in seemingly unaffected fixtures only to be hit by a postponement after the deadline.
Definitely sit this period out and think about the chips only when things settle.
Captain and VC from different teams
As part of a diversity plan, never pick the captain and the vice-captain from the same team.
There is no such thing as a third choice captain so if both your captain and vice-captain are hit by postponement, your captaincy pick for the week is 100% wasted.
Avoid taking hits
It would be tempting to use hits to plug gaps in your team before a FPL deadline, but again, fixtures can be called off hours before kick-off.
The most well-thought free hit squads cannot prevent losing players to COVID postponements.
Now is the time to be defensive, not make reckless decisions with hits.
Making Transfers as late as possible
Suffice to say, do not make kneejerk transfers over this period.
Wait until as late as possible to use the transfers, definitely after the teams’ press conferences to have the best chance of avoiding selecting players from affected fixtures.
Pick your VC from the early fixture
The rationale is simple – the earliest fixture on the gameweek will give the most certainty of its going ahead.
Picking a VC from that fixture adds a layer of security to you GW captain pick, in case your captain choice is involved in a postponed fixture.
All said – FPL is a game! Stay safe wherever you are. This too will pass.
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