FPL preview - tips and tricks for what to do in GW18

12 January 2021 06:50

The 2020/2021 campaign has been the most chaotic in Fantasy Premier League history.

Fixture cancellations, rearrangements and inconsistent performances have made it tricky to select your team from week to week and the unpredictability is set to continue in GW18.

If you are struggling to decide what to do, check out our handy guide to the upcoming fixtures.


1. Use your free hit or wildcard

Villa players need to go.for now | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Although it is tempting to hold on to your chips for as long as possible, particularly during a season as chaotic as this, your Free Hit is crying out to be played during GW18.

No less than eight teams will not be action which is bound to leave gaping holes in your FPL starting XI. The absence of Liverpool, Chelsea, Leicester and Aston Villa are particularly jarring as they possess some of the most owned players on the game.

While Gameweeks 29 and 33 will also not feature a full contingent of fixtures, playing your wildcard or free hit to lessen the blow of GW18 is a must in our opinion.


2. Must have midfielders

Get Bruno Fernandes in your team | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

If you are one of the crazy people who stoically refuses to add Son Heung-min, Bruno Fernandes or Kevin de Bruyne to your starting XI, this is the opportune week to bring one – or ideally all three – of them in.

The players each have an easy game with Manchester United taking on Burnley, Tottenham facing Fulham and Manchester City hosting Brighton.

If you are using your free hit this week, you should prioritise signing all three of these proven point getters, even if it does mean filling the rest of the slots with less illustrious names.


3. Bargains

Tyrick Mitchell - good and cheap | Sam Bagnall - AMA/Getty Images

If you do decide to splash the cash on Son, Fernandes and De Bruyne, you will be in need of some bargain buys to temper your heavy spending.

Few defenders are better value than Crystal Palace prospect Tyrick Mitchell. Priced at just £3.9m, the 21-year-old has started each of the Eagles last two games and that run should continue as they travel to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal.

Also, particularly if you use your free hit, do not be afraid to bring in bench fillers who you know will not play. There are heaps of £4.0m goalkeepers available, as well as several midfielders and forwards who tip the scales at just £4.3m.


4. Go big on one of the Manchester clubs

Man City players are a must | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

For GW18, you need to be getting in three players from at least one of the Manchester clubs, as fixtures against Brighton and Burnley are too appetising to pass up.

At just £5.0m, John Stones is a natural choice in defence, while Phil Foden's £6.2m price tag is similarly tempting. In the United camp Victor Lindelof is pretty good value at £4.8m, while £9.6m Marcus Rashford is another interesting proposition.

Anthony Martial has been hit and miss this season but at £8.8m he could be worth a punt, if only until your free hit expires next week.


5. Choose your captain wisely

Give De Bruyne the armband | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Making the right captaincy call can turn a disappointing gameweek into a massive win.

During GW18 the usual suspects, namely Son and Fernandes, are solid options but you should also consider handing the armband to De Bruyne.

The Belgian is bound to start against Brighton and he may even reprise the false nine role he excelled in against Chelsea a few weeks back.


Source: 90min