4 months ago
The Free Hit fantasy football chip is a versatile tool in the hands of an experienced FPL manager. In this guide, we will explain in detail how the chip works and when the best times to use it are.
We all like freebies. A free ticket to a game, a free drink in a pub, a free pair of shiny new Nike boots… And boy, does a freebie come in handy when things go wrong! The Free Hit chip on FPL allows you to change things about in your FPL squad for free, but only once and for one Gameweek only. Let us take a closer look.
The Fantasy Premier League Free Hit chip allows you to make unlimited transfers during any Gameweek of the season. It is a one-week only bonus that makes your fantasy team transform like Cinderella only to disappear in a puff of smoke and revert to its original state when the clock strikes twelve.
Your FPL team becomes its pre-chip version after the Gameweek is concluded.
The chip should be regarded as one of your most treasured possessions because you may use it only once per season. Let me explain how it works, what a manager should be aware of, and point out the best times of the Premier League campaign when to use it.
The FPL Free Hit button can be found under your FPL My Team selection screen. Clicking the button while in My Team screen will display a pop-up with a brief explanation of how the chip works but not trigger it.
The chip itself is activated via the Transfers screen when confirming a transfer. You will be given an option to activate your Free Hit then, even if you are using a free transfer. There is no going back once you have activated the chip, so tread carefully and think it through before committing.
Any transfers you had already made in that Gameweek before activating the chip will be integrated into your squad. Any transfer penalties and point deductions you had accumulated during the Gameweek before playing the chip will then be nullified.
Players you had transferred out this Gameweek will return to your squad. The chip might be a lifesaver if you had committed to some transfers early in the Gameweek or just made some outright bad decisions on the spur of the moment.
Let’s say you depart with Mohamed Salah (who would want to do that, though?) before the Gameweek deadline and bring in Harry Kane with the Free Hit chip activated.
After the deadline, Salah (12,5) will return to your roster for the next Gameweek, and Kane (10,9) will be offloaded.
When you activate the chip, any saved free transfers will be lost. That means that if you had 2 free transfers saved up, you will only have transfers available to you next Gameweek. Any free transfer is valuable when playing FPL, so plan ahead and try to avoid situations like this.
There are 3 main strategies when it comes to the timing: short/blank game week, double game week, save for an emergency. No matter when you decide to use it, go for a strong starting XI with a decent first substitute (just to be safe from pre-match injuries and other unexpected surprises). Ignore the rest of the bench and select the cheapest, even inactive, players possible as substitutes. The point is to maximize point returns from those playing, your bench fodder will not contribute.
The first strategy is applicable when a manager is looking to field a team of 11 players during a shorter Gameweek. A short Gameweek is when multiple teams do not have a scheduled fixture due to cup involvement or postponed fixtures.
Sometimes, when such a short Gameweek comes, you may find yourself being able to field only a handful of players potentially leading to minuscule point returns. If your team is loaded with City’s, Chelsea’s and Liverpool's assets with all of them not playing in a given Gameweek, you know you are in trouble. The Free Hit chip may be used in such situations to patch up your team and field a strong side consisting of players involved.
Once a shorter Gameweek is announced and we know which teams are playing, assess your team and plan your strategy accordingly. Sometimes it is worth saving the chip if you are able to field at least 8-9 players with moderately-favorable fixtures. This is usually the case when a few top teams have fixtures in a short Gameweek. Figure out if you are able to field a strong side when the short Gameweek hits and see if it’s better to save the chip.
Just remember that it might take a few Gameweeks to create a worthy squad if you decide not to utilize the Free Hit option.
A Double Gameweek is when some teams play two or more games within a single FPL Gameweek
The Free Hit chip played during a Double Gameweek allows you to load up on players potentially playing and scoring fantasy points twice during a single week. And usually, there are juicy fixtures with many great picks for your one-off fantasy team. The effect of a well-chosen team with everyone playing twice can be massive, especially if you include many players with low ownership. This can really shoot you up the rankings, provided these low owned-players deliver.
Many managers prefer to use their Triple Captain and Bench Boost chips during Double Gameweeks for potentially bigger point returns. In case you forgot, you may not use more than 1 chip during a Gameweek. The decision which chip to use is rather situational and depends on your squad, your rankings, the availability of other chips, and fixtures comprising the Double Gameweek.
It’s a pretty straightforward approach. If you find yourself happy with your squad or plan to use a different chip when a Short or/and Double Gameweeks come, just save it. At some point during the season, your team might have too many players suspended at the same time, or all your players' fixtures are unfavorable. If it costs too many paid transfers to alter your team, it might be the time to use the Free Hit.
Yes, it happens rarely, and I believe the strategies mentioned above potentially put the chip to far better use. Still, I thought I would mention it in case you felt compelled to use the chip during Short or Double Gameweeks exclusively.
We hope you have a better understanding on how and when the option should be used. Stick to one of the aforementioned strategies and may the chip become of the best free things you have ever played. Feel free to check out other helpful FPL guides here to improve your FPL skills. Good luck!
Alexey, also known as KJIIOIIIKA, has been playing daily fantasy football since 2015 on various European sites. Scratches his fantasy itch mostly on FanTeam, where he has a net profit of €6000+ with more than 2000 tournaments played and a 40% ROI. FanTeam's 2018 World Championship of Fantasy Football finalist. As Head of Content at DraftGym, his mission is to help our young European fantasy community grow. A proud father of two, plays ice-hockey at the regional level, loves board games.