FST’s Fantasy Football tips for GW18: Perfect time for a Free Hit?

With a round of Premier League games split between two midweeks, you’ve likely panicked at the state of your FPL team. With a host of stars facing a blank gameweek, it’s hard to put a team together.

As it stands we have six Premier League fixtures in gameweek 18. However, Tottenham’s clash with Aston Villa could well be postponed given the Villains’ situation.

If you find yourself facing a gameweek with five or six players, there’s no need to worry. This is what the Free Hit chip is for in FPL. Avoid a major points hit – or wipe one you’ve already taken – by slamming that Free Hit button to put together a perfect gameweek 18 squad.

To help you with that, we have a full rundown of all you need to know going into GW18.

Don’t forget that you can get a more in-depth look at each match this weekend in our Premier League predictions.

Fantasy Football GW18 Fixture List

Tuesday, 12 January

Sheffield United vs Newcastle (Sky Sports)

Burnley vs Man United (Sky Sports)

Wolves vs Everton (Sky Sports)

Wednesday, January 13

Man City vs Brighton (BT Sport)

Aston Villa vs Tottenham (Sky Sports)

Thursday, January 14

Arsenal vs Crystal Palace (Sky Sports)

Free Hit Explained

Of the three FPL chips available each season – Free Hit, Bench Boost and Triple Captain – the Free Hit is arguably the most powerful. Activating the chip gives you unlimited free transfers for the week, much like the wildcard. However, any changes are wiped away the next week, allowing you to tool your side perfectly for the upcoming matches.

Activating the Free Hit will clear any points hits you’ve taken that week and allow you to make unlimited changes up until the deadline. However, any transfers you make while it is active will only be temporary. After the gameweek deadline, your team reverts back to the same state it was in the previous week.

What allows you to target the few games to be played in this week, potentially maximising your return at a time when many manager will have half their squad missing.

Best Fantasy Football Team for GW18

Fantasy Football Transfer Tips this Week

Key Free Hit Targets

We’ve focused on just five games in our Free Hit squad above, given the uncertainty at Aston Villa. The benefits of the Free Hit allow us to quickly add a Spurs player or two before the deadline if they’re facing Villa’s kids.

In the meantime, we’ve mainly focused on Man City, United and Arsenal assets this week. The Gunners continue to impress, with Emile Smith-Rowe (£4.4million) a brilliant, inexpensive option. Kieran Tierney (£5.4m) is a bit more of a stretch, but he has recorded 28 points in his last three games.

Differential Opportunities

The great thing about a Free Hit is that you can take some chances with it. This week’s defensive options are limited, but we’ve trusted Jordan Pickford (£4.8m) having seen the Toffees keep back-to-back away clean sheets.

While we have two Man Untied big hitters – Bruno Fernandes (£11.1m) and Edinson Cavani (£7.8m) – we like Alex Telles (£5.5m) in defence. The full-back impressed at the weekend and should deputise for Luke Shaw and with just 1.1% of managers owning him he gives you a real edge.

The same can be said of Jamaal Lascelles (£4.2m). He’s Newcastle’s standout defender and after returning to the side at Arsenal at the weekend he’s in line to start against Sheffield United. Given how poor the Blades are, Lascelles could pay out for the 0.8% of managers who own him.

Finally, we’ve taken a risk on Raheem Sterling (£11.4m). At that price he’s a gamble, but the winger is owned by just 5.6% of FPL bosses and with City coming back into form Sterling will surely pick up his FPL output soon.

Who to Captain in GW18

Kevin De Bruyne Valentin Rongier Man City Marseille

Captaincy lock

Kevin De Bruyne

Many will face a choice between Bruno Fernandes and Kevin De Bruyne for captaincy this week and we suggest going with the Belgian. Man City have picked up two impressive wins over the last week and their clash with Brighton looks ripe for De Bruyne.

The Belgian scored 13 points last time out and the Seagulls could struggle to keep him quiet at the Etihad. Regardless of how they’re playing, everything City do goes through De Bruyne. When they’re on form, the midfielder is going to rack up an impressive score.

Captaincy punt

While I tend to keep it simple with captaincy picks week to week, there are plenty of players who like to mix it up and plump for a differential pick to try and trump their rivals. Our captaincy punt is the best outside option for the armband this week.

There aren’t a huge number of options for an alternative captain, but Alexandre Lacazette (£8.3m) is the man to watch. With four goals in his last three games he’s the most in-form forward of the players available this week.

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