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 experienced the terminology ‘a hit’ or ‘a minus 4’. When Gameweek 2 commences, 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. Please note, 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, you will 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. When you have only one free transfer, your second will now cost you 4 points (a minus 4).
  • Option 4: Make more than two transfers. Each player you want to bring into your, team outside of your free transfers, 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, they can be fruitful. The reverse is also true. You could take a hit to remove a player that performs well, which leaves you in a worse position than if you did nothing.

A hit of -4 is the most common. So that 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 get the 2 points for participation. After that, he will need to at least get an assist/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:

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, situation and playing style. Below, we will highlight the occasions we feel are the best time to consider a hit:

When players are injured or suspended

Your squad consists of 15 players, but you may 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). But why? Well, the cost can be offset if you take a hit on the right player.

If you think about it, swapping a player you know will not start for one that is likely to start, means the incoming player must only score 4 points to justify the points hit. 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, then 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) occurs when there are teams that play twice in a single gameweek. This tends to happen due to rescheduled fixtures due to bad weather or clashes with cup competition fixtures. In some Double Gameweeks, there can be 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 to transfer in a player that will play twice in that Gameweek. We would typically take a hit for a Midfielder or Forward as they are more likely to get point returns. Let’s say, for example, you have a player who you feel could potentially blank (2 points), then transferring in a player for someone who is likely to play 180 minutes, is usually 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 one free transfer every gameweek. Let’s say one of your most expensive players is out for a month (due to injury or suspension). Replacing this player will free 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 two months and everybody started transferring them out. To preserve your squad value, you would want to get rid of this player sooner rather than later.

When you are going for broke

Let’s paint a picture 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 may decide to take the risk to get ahead.

It’s a gamble indeed, but this gamble could well offer the advantage you need to get ahead.

Here, you could potentially take a minus 4 or minus 8 for two in-form, differential players 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 (who you don’t own)

In certain gameweeks, there will be a time when there is an obvious pick for captaincy. Let’s say there is a player that is massively in-form and they come up against the bottom of the league side. In this case, the player will be in the thoughts of your opposition (if not already owned by them). Taking a minus 4 and getting him in could be worth the cost. Not owning this player and him scoring a hat-trick could be devastating. Taking a -4 to prevent this situation doesn’t seem too bad. It doesn’t always pay off, and of course the converse is true. A differential captain that gets double-digit returns (without a hit) can also be highly rewarding. Regardless of the situation, we would definitely consider looking at stats, or the ‘Eye Test’, before making these sorts of decisions.

During BGW’s (Blank Gameweeks)

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 gameweeks where there are only six matches (or fewer).

Considering this, it could be likely that you end up in a situation where you can only field 8 (or less) 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 could certainly pay off. Ultimately, you transfer in a player that is not starting and in the worst-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, your net position could be improved. Depending on the situation, you could well take a minus 8 (or even a minus 12). We don’t advise on large hits, but if you feel confident enough, then go for it.


To conclude, using point hits is can be tricky and sometimes lead to a dangerous road. They should always be done for good reason and with solid 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. If you lose 3-4 players to injury, 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 should have a fresher and more ‘in-form’ squad than your opponents. Are there 3 really in-form players you want? Is it going to take you 3 weeks to get them all in? By the time you get them, there will be other players you want. If the opportunity presents itself (in the form of 3 decent players with favourable fixtures – for a 3-4-week period), then go for it.
  • Price rises. If we are bringing in a player we want for the long-term, but have already committed our free transfer, then we may want to consider taking a points hit to avoid price changes. Don’t take a point hit for a guy that will likely be on your bench, that makes no sense. But taking the -4 to secure both players 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 backup 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 points 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.


We 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. Remember to be true to your playing style.

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