FPL 2023-24: Blank Gameweek 29 preview

Sat, March 16 (15h00)BurnleyBrentford
Sat, March 16 (15h00)Luton TownNottingham Forest
Sat, March 16 (17h30)FulhamSpurs
Sun, March 17 (14h00)West HamAston Villa

We figured we’d start this edition of the FPL 2023-2024 gameweek previews with the above table, as it kind of says it all about the weekend ahead of us. Gameweek 29 presents us with the biggest blank gameweek of the season so far, though we doubt there will be any even blanker gameweeks coming up after this one. We’ve just got four games to look forward to this weekend and in true FPL fashion, none of these games offer a very obvious way to points.

Seeing as practically all of the popular fantasy assets are blanking this week, bar Ollie Watkins and Heung-Min Son basically, a lot of FPL squads will be struggling to field a sufficient number of players. And we’re not talking about eleven starters, but perhaps eight or nine players with a good chance of getting some points. As a result, Free Hits (and a few other chips) will be flying in the build-up to the Saturday afternoon deadline. This theory is supported by the table below regarding the most transferred-in and the most transferred-out players so far this week. Players active in BGW29 feature heavily in the transferred-in column, while blanking players (including several big hitters) can be found in the transferred-out column. The same is reflected in our fantasy player picks for blank gameweek 29.

Check out FISO’s FPL Forum for the latest discussion and don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 29 is set at 13h30 (UK time) on Saturday, March 16th, 2024. If you fancy playing a fantasy premier league game just based on Saturday’s or the Weekend’s fixtures then have a look at FanTeam’s Daily Fantasy Games (18+ only).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per March 14th, 2024)

GKEderson (MCI), Alisson (LIV), Pickford (EVE)Flekken (BRE), Vicario (TOT), Onana (MUN)BGW29
DEFTrippier (NEW), Saliba (ARS), Gabriel (ARS)Porro (TOT), Romero (TOT), Doughty (LUT)BGW29
MIDDe Bruyne (MCI), Saka (ARS), Foden (MCI)Son (TOT), Maddison (TOT), Bowen (WHU)BGW29
FORSolanke (BOU), Haaland (MCI), Alvarez (MCI)Toney (BRE), Watkins (AST), Morris (LUT)BGW29

Premium pick

Heung-Min Son (£9.9m) away at Fulham is one of the easiest premium fantasy picks we had to make all season. Not just because he’s good (he is), but also because no other true premium player has a game this weekend. Having said that, the Korean attacker is coming into this major blank gameweek in good form, scoring 2 goals and providing 3 assists in his last four league games, and that includes the home encounter with Brighton back in GW24 when he gave an assist, despite just returning from the Asian Cup. He now sits on 14 goals and 8 assists in total, and up next is Fulham at Craven Cottage. The Cottagers have made their stadium a difficult one to visit this season, but we can definitely see Son score or at least assist one in this one, especially after seeing their impressive display away against Aston Villa last weekend. Expect their Korean star to feature in a lot of teams this weekend, thanks to his current 32% ownership plus all the activated Free Chips.

Non-premium pick

Much of what we wrote about Son also goes for Ollie Watkins (£9.0m) this weekend. Like the Korean, Watkins will be part of a large number of squads this weekend, perhaps even as the highest-owned player of BGW29, thanks to the many Free Hit sides on top of his usual ownership. Of course, the main plus for the Villa striker this weekend is the fact that he has a fixture, though a visit to West Ham’s London Stadium is far from easy. Fortunately, Watkins is having a fantastic season with 16 goals and 15 assists from 28 league starts so far, as he is close to becoming fixture-proof in FPL terms. When Villa and West Ham met earlier this season, back in GW9 at Villa Park, the home side booked a 4-1 victory, in great part thanks to a goal and an assist from Watkins. That doesn’t mean something similar will happen this weekend, but it does reinforce the attacker as our stand-out non-premium fantasy pick for blank gameweek 29. He’s got a game, he’s a starter and on penalties, and he has shown that he can deliver against the Hammers, so what more can you wish for in this barren four-game weekend?

The budget enabler

If we’re talking about fantasy picks that will feature in a lot of FPL teams this weekend, then we can surely add Carlton Morris (£5.2m) to the list as well. The Luton striker has recovered his spot in Luton’s starting eleven, which means that he has a relatively favourable home fixture against Nottingham Forest coming up in a weekend in which twelve out of twenty Premier League sides blank. The fact that he did not manage a single attacking return in the 4-3 defeat at the hands of Bournemouth on Wednesday was disappointing, but overall, the attacker has been doing more than decently this season. In his first campaign at the very highest level of English football, he has already managed 8 goals and 6 assists, which frankly represents excellent value for his current price tag of £5.2m. Our hope is that he can build on those tallies against one of the leakiest defences in the league, at least when it comes to away games. Forest played 14 games on the road so far this season and they conceded 29 goals in those games. If Luton want to keep their hopes of Premier League survival alive, a victory here is almost obligatory for them.

The differential

The differential fantasy pick of the week is a bit harder to pinpoint this weekend as opposed to most other weeks, as the ownership stats are skewed due to the blank gameweek and the subsequent Free Hit bonanza that is expected. In other words, many of the players that feature heavily this week will usually have ownerships of less than 5% or 10%. One interesting player who has not crossed those thresholds yet is Morgan Gibbs-White (£5.7m), who is visiting Kenilworth Road on Saturday and currently owned by just 2.8% of FPL managers. Luton have already conceded 59 goals this season, a total only exceeded by Burnley and Sheffield United, and no team ranks worse than them in terms of expected conceded goals per ninety minutes this season. MGW has become a key cog in manager Nuno Espirito Santo’s Forest side and he is on penalties as well, which adds to his appeal considerably. He hasn’t been overly prolific in front of goal so far this season, managing 3 goals and 6 assists from 25 league starts, but we feel that if Forest get on the scoresheet this weekend, Gibbs-White will likely be involved.

The (vice-)captaincy

Heung-Min Son is our captain in blank gameweek 29.

The obvious alternative to Son is Ollie Watkins, despite Villa’s questionable away form. Riskier picks for the armband include Ivan Toney away at Burnley, Carlton Morris at home to Nottingham Forest and Jarrod Bowen at home to Aston Villa.