Fantasy Premier League – When should I take a -4 hit, is it worth it?

Fantasy Premier League – When should I take a -4 hit, is it worth it?

If you’ve been part of the FPL community you might have heard of the terminology called ‘a hit’ or a ‘-4’. When you commence Gameweek 2 in FPL you are given one free transfer per Gameweek. From here, you have a few options;

  • Option 1: Bank the transfer, this will give you TWO free transfers for the subsequent week. Do note though, you can only bank a maximum of 2 transfers, if you don’t use it, you lose it. If you have two available transfers and you only use one, in this case, you would still have two available transfers for the subsequent Gameweek.
  • Option 2: Make your transfer, using your single free transfer, this will not deduct any points.
  • Option 3: Make two transfers, right, when you have only one free transfer and you would like to make a second, this will now cost you 4 points (a minus 4).
  • Option 4: Make more than two transfers; for each player you want to bring into your team outside of the free transfers, this will cost you 4 points per transfer. This is unlimited, for example, you could make a -8, -12, -16 and so on but this is not advisable.

Ideally, you could proceed with the season without taking hits, however, if used wisely, it can reward you very nicely. The reverse is also true though, you could take a hit on a player that performs value which leaves you in a worse position than you were if you didn’t take the hit.

A hit of -4 is the most common, so you have a clearer idea of when you should do this, let’s break it down before you make that decision. For a player to score 4 points (equivalent to the hit you are proposing), he must play at least 60 minutes to firstly get the 2 points. After that, he will need to at least have an assists/goal for a Midfielder or Attacker OR get a clean sheet if the player is a Defender or Goalkeeper.

Before we go into this deeper, here is how the point system works in FPL:

ActionPoints
For playing up to 60 minutes1
For playing 60 minutes or more (excluding stoppage time)2
For each goal scored by a goalkeeper or defender6
For each goal scored by a midfielder5
For each goal scored by a forward4
For each goal assist3
For a clean sheet by a goalkeeper or defender4
For a clean sheet by a midfielder1
For every 3 shot saves by a goalkeeper1
For each penalty save5
For each penalty miss-2
Bonus points for the best players in a match1-3
For every 2 goals conceded by a goalkeeper or defender-1
For each yellow card-1
For each red card-3
For each own goal-2

 

Knowing when to use hits can potentially make or break your season. There are certain cases where it makes sense to use a hit, obviously, this depends on your current squad and situation. We are however going to highlight the occasions in which we feel are the best time to use this:

When players are injured or suspended

Your squad consists of 15 players, but you find find a time when you cannot field a team of 11 players who will start matches. In this scenario, you could consider paying for a transfer (a hit), why? Well, the cost can be very rewarding if you take a hit on the right player.

If you think about it, if you make the transfer for a player you know will not start for one that is likely to start, the player in which you purchases just had to score 4 points or more to make it a worthwhile transfer. Essentially, all this player has to do is score at least four points to make the transfer worthwhile. If you transferred in a Goalkeeper or Defender, a clean sheet would already make it worthy. If a player gets an assist or a goal, well, replacing a player that will not start in your starting XI will definitely be advantageous.

When there is a DGW (Double Gameweek)

A Double Gameweek (DGW) is basically when there are teams that place twice in a single Gameweek. This tends to happen due to rescheduled fixtures in a Cup or European participation for a club. In some Double Gameweek’s, there are times when there are 15 or more fixtures instead of the usual 10 teams that play in a Gameweek.

If you are planning for a DGW and are not using your Wildcard or Free Hit, it can definitely pay off if you transfer in a player that will play twice in that Gameweek. We’re not going to lie, we would typically take a hit for a Midfielder or Striker as they are more likely to get point returns. But let’s say for example you have a player who you feel could potentially blank (2 points)… Transferring in a player at this time for someone who is likely to play 180 minutes is definitely a good move. Taking a hit would cost you -4 points, if the player you transferred in plays over 60 minutes in both matches, you have already equalled your hit. Of course, within this time, the player could gain an assist or score and can definitely make a positive impact on the points you accumulate.

When a Premium player is our for a few weeks…

As already mentioned, the rules allow a free transfer every Gameweek. Let’s say one of your most expensive players is out for a month… Well, replacing this player will free you up a lot of money to upgrade your team elsewhere. Not only that, but when a player is injured, they will end up being the most transferred out player. How does this affect you? Well, you might already know about Price Rises and Price Decreases. If you own a player and a lot of people transfer them in, that player will get a price increase (a price decrease will happen in the opposite scenario). So, let’s say a highly owned player was out for 2 months and everybody started transferring them out. To increase your squad value, you would tend to get rid of this sort of player earlier rather than later. A boost in Squad Value can definitely benefit you over the course of the season!

When you are going for broke

Let’s take a certain case into mind here… You are over 10 points away from pole position in your Mini-League; your line-up is solid but it’s quite ‘templated’ and very similar to your opposition. Here, you probably wouldn’t gain many points playing it safe so to get the advantage, you have to take the risk to succeed.

It’s a bit of a gamble indeed, but this gamble could well be the best transfer that gains the advantage you need to take over.

Here, you could potentially take a minus 4 or minus 8 for two differential players that are in-form that your opposition doesn’t have. It’s not a guaranteed way to come on top but in some cases, risks need to be taken and this could reward you massively!

When there is an obvious Captain

In certain Gameweeks, there will be a time when there is an obvious pick for captaincy that can reward you massively (especially with Double Points). Let’s say there is a player that is massively in-form and they come up against the bottom of the League. In this case, this player would no doubt be heavily owned and all of your oppositions already have or are thinking about getting him in your squad. In this case, taking a minus 4 hit and getting him in would definitely be a good time to do it. If you think about it, not owning this player and then he goes ahead and scores a hat-trick, this could cost you massively… So taking just. -4 doesn’t seem too bad here. It doesn’t always pay off, there are a lot of cases in which the most popular player to haul ends up blanking, in which case, a differential captain that got double-digit returns could be the best thing you ever did. Depending on your situation, we would definately consider looking at stats or the ‘Eye Test’ before making these sort of decisions.

During BGW’s (Blank Game Weeks)

There are times in the season where you end up having a Blank Gameweek (BGW). This is when you don’t have all the 20 teams playing in the same Gameweek, you can even end up with weeks where there are only 6 matches or fewer.

Considering this, it could be likely that you end up in a situation where you can only field 8-9 players and the rest of your players don’t play. You can better prepare yourself for these scenarios by planning for these Gameweeks but if you end up in a situation without a starting XI, this is what we recommend.

Okay, so you have 8 players and only 1 free transfer; now you have 9 players who are likely to start. So, a hit will cost me 4 points, but if I was to transfer in a Midfield or Striker with a good fixture, a hit here would most certainly pay off. Ultimately, you transfer in a player that is not starting and in a bad case scenario, you end up with -2 for minutes played. However, if the player you transferred in gets either a clean sheet, assist or a goal, this can be massively rewarding. Depending on the situation, you could well take a minus 8 or minus 14 in this situation. We don’t advise on large hits but if you feel confident enough, well, why not?

Conclusion

To conclude, the key to using point hits is a tricky one and always needs to be done for good reason with research behind your moves. Here are the main reasons in which you should think about taking a hit:

  • If you are hit with injuries. An injury crisis can cripple you for weeks or months. You can spend 6-7 weeks clawing your way out of a hole with your one transfer per week strategy but you shouldn’t really let this happen. If you have 3-4 players go down to injuries, just take the 8-12 point hit and regain the strength of your team.
  • Staying ahead of your Mini-League. If you commit to taking point hits, you will always have a fresher and more ‘in-form’ squad than your opponents. Are there 3 really in-form players and it’s going to take you 3 weeks to get them? By the time you get them all, new hot guys will pop up with favourable fixtures and you’ll be trying to get them too, plus replace injured players and you’ll miss the run. If the opportunity presents itself in the form of 3 extremely decent players with extremely favourable fixtures (for a 3-4 week period), well, go for it!
  • Mini-wildcards – Everyone gets 2 Wildcards. One before the end of the year and the second one you can activate from January. In this scenario, I usually save up a transfer so that we have 2 free transfers available. Outside of a Wildcard, let’s say we did 4-5 transfers at a cost of 16-20 points. Seems expensive right? Well yeah, of course. But if it’s done correctly, we pretty much could transform our entire team. Does this strategy contain risk? Very much so! But if our team was averaging just 40 points over the next month and our mini-wildcard gave us a team that will average 55 points over the next month, well, we’re way ahead right?
  • Price rises. We tend to do this early on but certain factors will take place here. Firstly, the player we want needs to be for the long-term. As an example, Bruno Fernandes’ price could increase by 0.2 before the Transfer Deadline and gain value to your squad. Don’t take a point hit for a guy that will likely be on your bench or just so that you can gain .1 in value, it makes no sense. However, you may want to get two in-form players early on which could both be big parts of your team going forward. So taking the -4 to secure them both for this week AND to ride the price rise can be beneficial to your team.

So, when should we avoid taking hits?

  • Don’t take a point hit to get back up players. They must be starters
  • Don’t take a point hit to get ‘speculative players’. If you’re taking a hit, try and increase your odds by getting proven players.
  • Don’t make a quick decision to take a point hit. Give it some thought, sit on your decision for a few hours and make it once you’re sure it’s the right move.
  • Never take a point hit if your team is doing great just to add value. If your team is crushing it, don’t go down the route of giving back points.

 

We sure hope this tutorial helps you decide when you should and shouldn’t consider taking a hit. It can be a gamble, but if done right, it can be massively rewarding!

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