Blank Gameweek 29 is finally upon Fantasy Premier League managers after weeks of build-up.
Now that we are building teams for this short-handed round with the latest injury situation, differentials could be the order of the day.
We asked the Scout Network to pick out their favourite options for Blank Gameweek 29…
Kieran Tierney (£5.2m) registered an assist and a bonus point in Gameweek 28 and is in my thinking for Blank Gameweek 29. Among defenders with a fixture, he is top for crosses (36) and chances created (11) over his last six matches. In terms of clean sheet potential, Tierney plays a West Ham side that are third bottom for total shots in the last four matches.
Emile Smith Rowe (£4.2m) could be an under-the-radar pick for Blank Gameweek 29 too. With Bukayo Saka (£5.3m) an injury concern and doubts over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang‘s (£11.4m) starts, Smith Rowe could be a good option at West Ham. Against Spurs, he created four chances, including one big opportunity, and had six penalty area touches which was only beaten by Mason Greenwood (£7.0m), Raphinha (£5.5m), Kai Havertz (£8.2m) and Christian Pulisic (£8.2m) in Gameweek 28 as of Monday morning.
Ollie Watkins (£6.6m) has frustrated and impressed in the last two Gameweeks. He should have scored against Wolves in Gameweek 27 and got an assist for Ciaran Clark‘s (£4.5m) own goal in Gameweek 28. With Jack Grealish (£7.5m) potentially back for Blank Gameweek 29, I can see him returning against an inconsistent Spurs defence.
While Son Heung-Min‘s (£9.6m) potential injury will impact the Spurs trio if he misses out in Gameweek 29, Gareth Bale‘s (£9.6m) four goals and two assists in five Gameweeks will shine through irrespective of the players starting around him, in my opinion. He is a great pick against an Aston Villa team who will attack and leave space in behind for counter-attacks.
West Ham really missed Jesse Lingard (£6.1m) against his parent club Manchester United in Gameweek 28. His creative link up with Michail Antonio (£6.6m) makes such a difference to the team. A home meeting with Arsenal will be tricky test but Lingard can capitalise on an Arteta’s inconsistent defence.
While he was left out of the north London Derby for disciplinary reasons, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.4m) should be back with a point to prove against West Ham in Blank Gameweek 29. Aubameyang is still in good form with four goals in his last four matches and I expect, if Arsenal are to score against West Ham, then he will be involved.
The Arsenal defence have proven to be fragile of late having not kept a clean sheet since Gameweek 21. Aaron Cresswell (£5.8m) could be just the man to exploit those weakness with his set-piece threat. Cresswell has two double-digit hauls in his last five matches and we expect him to do well in Blank Gameweek 29.
While a potential injury to Patrick Bamford (£6.8m) could have a negative impact on Leeds, we saw on Saturday against Chelsea Raphinha (£5.5m) will still be the main creative force taking all set pieces.
In a Gameweek with just four games, there is definite value in picking a seasoned set-piece taker. Pascal Groß (£5.8m) has started the last 10 games and registered three assists in the period. It is a modest return but Brighton face a struggling Newcastle side who have only kept two clean sheets in their last 13 matches. At 0.3% ownership, Groß could be the ultimate differential.
For FPL managers not using their Free Hit in Blank Gameweek 29, most are likely to go with Aston Villa’s Emiliano Martinez (£5.4m) between the sticks, however for those using the Free Hit chip, Robert Sanchez (£4.5m) is a strong goalkeeper option. While Sanchez has not kept a clean sheet in his last four games, before this he had kept five clean sheets in six. Newcastle have only scored three goals in their last five outings and are missing most of their forward line so there is a good chance Brighton can get a result and a clean sheet in this crucial relegation battle.
Brighton’s encounter with Newcastle is likely to be a cagey affair and with neither side tearing things up going forward, this is the match I would target for your Blank Gameweek 29 defenders. Options such as Lewis Dunk (£4.9m), Joel Veltman (£4.3m) and Jamaal Lascelles (£4.2m) have all shown they have some attacking threat so if this doesn’t end in the 0-0 draw I am expecting there is potential attacking upside to these players too.
Of the defenders playing in Blank Gameweek 29, Joël Veltman (£4.3m) has the highest expected goal involvement over the last six games. A lot of people will opt for Lewis Dunk (£4.9m), so Veltman could be a great differential. The Brighton defence definitely looks worthy of consideration too, as only Chelsea were expected to concede fewer goals over that same six game period.
The difficulty with Blank Gameweek 29 is finding in form players who are guaranteed to start. Jesse Lingard (£6.1m) looks like a great option. He is guaranteed to play and is in form with four goals and two assists in six starts. Arsenal may be much improved, but they haven’t kept a clean sheet in their last 10 matches and recent outings against Burnley and Olympiakos demonstrate how error-prone they can be at the back.
What’s happening in the Scout Network?
This week we were pleased to welcome FPL Rabbi to the Scout Academy and FFS International!
If you are interested in being part of the Scout Network, Scout Academy or FFS International please get in touch.
Sam released the first in her new series about Women In FPL last week. The first longer form video of the short video that the Premier League published on their channels back on International Women’s Day saw Sam, Jules Breech, Kelly Somers, Olivia Buzaglo and Anita Nneka Jones discuss how they got in to FPL and why they are so passionate about the game.
On Wednesday the second video in the series will be released where Sam and the PLP presenters will talk about how they share their passion for FPL and how they manage their life around the game. Both Lee and Sam have been overwhelmed by the positivity to this series – thanks for watching!
FF Titans reviewed the new features on the web app Live FPL tables this week. The FF Titan Panel also picked Bruno Fernandez as the top captain choice for Gameweek 28, which unfortunately did not go the way that they expected.
El Statto published an article focusing on Blank Gameweek 29, which was written ahead of the weekends fixtures, which looked at the best options fo this short Gameweek. He also made some tweaks to the Interactive Stats Dashboard which now includes a “returns” table based on past 10 Gameweek’s data.
FPL Nymfria’s Gameweek 28 Preview video looked at dead-ending her team in the lead up to Blank Gameweek 29 as well as shinning the spotlight on some of the players picks to consider for your own team.
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