How to handle fixture congestion and rotation at FPL

Managers should consider the busy upcoming fixture period when determining their ideal transfer targets Fantasy Premier League.

Fantasy returns next weekend with the Gameweek 13 deadline Saturday 25 November 11:00 GMT.

See: Select Notifications About FPL Deadlines

It’s the first of eight gameweeks to begin in a 36-day span, making this point in the season the hardest hit by the rotation.

The next eight game weeks
G.W Deadline
13 Saturday 25 November
14 Saturday 2 December
15 December 5 Tuesday
16 Saturday 9 December
17 Friday 15 December
18 Thursday 21 December
19 Tuesday, December 26
20 Saturday 30 December

By evaluating each player’s minutes this season, managers can determine the most reliable targets in fantasy.

Only 10 outfielders have played a full 90 minutes through the opening 12 game weeks. Eight including Arsenal William Saliba (£5.4m) and Crystal Palace Joachim Anderson (£5.1m), is a centre-back.

See: FPL Team of the Season so far

Managers flocked to Saliba during the international break, with his total of 190,000 transfers more than double that of any other defender.

The Frenchman rose to third in the defender standings behind one goal, one assist and five clean sheets.

Arsenal’s schedule shows why Saliba could be a key figure for fantasy managers for many gameweeks to come. As stated therein Fixture difficulty ratings (FDR), scoring more than three in just one of the Gunners’ next 10 contests.

Blank Game Plan for Week 18

Among the outfield players, Brentfords Brian Mpumo (£6.8m) and Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes (£8.3m) are the only non-defenders to have played every minute of the season.

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Both are listed as midfielders in Fantasy and on penalty duties for their clubs.

Mbeumo has proven to be the best choice of the pair early on, and has a schedule to continue to deliver great value. Since Gameweek 14, Brentford have scored just two at FDR in five of their subsequent seven matches.

Bringing in Mbeumo, however, comes with a caveat.

Both Brentford and Manchester City have a blank Gameweek 18 (BGW18) due to their involvement in the FIFA Club World Cup. Erling Holland’s (£14.0m) massive 83 per cent ownership should already be planned.

Minute concerns about Nunez & Tsimikas?

Players like Saliba and Mpumo could prove reliable assets alongside heavy-hitting captain favorites like Holland. Mohammed Salah (£13.0m).

While Salah is close to becoming a guaranteed starter for Liverpool, the Reds’ upcoming schedule suggests both Darwin Nunez (£7.5m) and Konstantinos Simikas (£4.7m) likely to rotate.

Liverpool join Newcastle United and West Ham United as one of the most exciting clubs in the series, facing 11 matches in all competitions.

This includes eight league matches, one EFL quarter-final and two European matches.

Total matches in all matches
in competitions Teams
11 Liverpool, Newcastle, West Ham
10 Arsenal, Aston Villa, Brighton, Man City, Man Utd
9 Chelsea, Everton, Fulham
8 Bournemouth, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Luton, Notre Dame, Spurs, Sheff Utd, Wolves
7 Brentford
The position of the European groups is important

Importantly, both Liverpool and West Ham can book a place in the UEFA Europa League knockout stages in their next match. That would allow them to rotate more freely in their final group meetings.

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Such a scenario would be good news for Nunez and the Hammers’ owners. Jarrod Bowen (£7.7m), was the most bought midfielder in Gameweek with 243,000+ new owners.

Newcastle, on the other hand, are bottom of their UEFA Champions League group and still have everything to play for. Yet with injuries to key players at both ends of the pitch, Eddie Howe will have to rely heavily on regulars. Kieran Trippier (£7.0m) and Anthony Gordon (£5.8m).

Elsewhere in Europe, Man Utd sit bottom of their group with two matches remaining, while Arsenal, Aston Villa and Brighton & Hove Albion can qualify for the knockout round in their next match.

Meanwhile, Man City have already qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League with two matches remaining. With their early exit from the EFL Cup, Holland’s domestic minutes may seem more secure.

The same can’t be said for Pep Guardiola’s rotation in the side, but it’s more likely. Jeremy Toku’s (£6.7m) pitch time will suffer Jack Grealish (£7.2m), which is another factor managers should consider with BGW18 on the horizon.

Also in this series

Part 1: Why Salah beats Holland to 100 points in FPL
Part 2: Time to invest in fantasy Chelsea attack?
Part 3: The FPL team of the season so far
Part 4: Is it time to sell son on FPL?
Part 5: FPL Experts: What to do with Son?

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