The Free Hit chip is the most recent inclusion of the current FPL chips, being introduced for the 17/18 season. It was brought in to replace the All Out Attack chip, which allowed you to play an extra attacker in place of a defender. This was a welcome move, considering that the chip was seen as pretty useless.
Using your chips effectively is a vital part of a successful FPL season, and the Free Hit represents a potentially huge opportunity to climb in a particular gameweek. Stemming from our guide to FPL, here’s an overview of the free hit chip – we’ll take a look at what it is, how it is used, and the more common strategies for using it throughout the season, while also looking at the rare inclusion of a 2nd free hit chip in the 21/22 season.
What is the free hit chip in FPL?
The free hit chip allows you to make unlimited transfers for one gameweek only, essentially acting as a one week wildcard.
You won’t be docked any points when transfers are made, and your team will return to how it was prior to your activation of the chip once the gameweek is over.
How do I activate the free hit chip?
To activate the free hit, you can do this in the My Team page, with it being presented along with the other chips.
Also, when you go to confirm a transfer, you’ll be presented with the option to play the free hit chip:
This will pop up even if you’re just playing a free transfer, not just when you’re trying to use a number of transfers which will result in a hit.
What happens to my transfers after the free hit chip is activated?
If you’ve already made transfers for the upcoming gameweek, and you then activate the free hit chip, those will just be included within your free hit squad. If you’ve taken any hits prior to activating the chip, the points will be restored.
Do saved transfers carry over after playing the free hit?
Even if you have two free transfers going into the activation of the free hit, you’ll be set back to just one for the following gameweek. Any transfers you’ve saved will be lost.
This should be taken into account when you decide to activate the chip – you wouldn’t want to throw transfers away like that.
How are players prices affected?
When it comes to the value of your players when activating the free hit chip, everything will return to the state it would be in if no transfers were made. Any value built on the players who you transferred in on your free hit will be lost, as they’re not a permanent fixture in your squad.
If you take a player out of your squad on your free hit who starts the week at £6.5, and they go up to £6.6 while they’re out of your squad that week, they’ll return to your post-free hit squad with their new value of £6.6.
21/22 Season’s 2 Free Hit Chips
One big area to address when it comes to the Free Hit chip is the fact that in the 21/22 season, we’ve got two of them. In regular seasons, we’ll be given one free hit to use during the season. Thanks to COVID and the constant need to rearrange fixtures, another one was provided for the 21/22 season, aiming to help people navigate the season more easily, and, well, to keep people interested as it was getting a bit grim.
One had been made available for the first half of the season, and one for the second half of the season (from Gameweek 20) – similar to how the Wildcard works.
Can you use 2 free hits in consecutive gameweeks?
During the season where we’ve got 2 free hit chips, it’s worth noting that no – you can’t use one after the other. If you’ve used your first free hit in, say, GW22, you won’t be able to use the next one until GW24; the option simple won’t be there in GW23.
When is the best time to use the free hit chip?
When it comes to playing the free hit chip, there are a few different strategies which are commonly used.
A blank gameweek is where multiple teams don’t have a scheduled fixture, having been rescheduled for another time in the season. It’s common for free hit chips to be saved up for these gameweeks, ensuring that you can put out a full team during these tricky weeks.
Now, having a full XI while most people can only scrape together 5-8 players seems like a no-brainer, and it usually is. Being able to have a full team, consisting of the best possible options for that gameweek, when lots of players won’t be able to field a full team? It’s very likely that it’ll prove to be of much use.
That being said, sides generally have fixtures in blank gameweeks because they haven’t made it far in other cup competitions – it’s usually the lesser sides in the league who end up with fixtures during blank gameweeks. Of course, this is slightly different with the COVID-era version of FPL where fixtures are constantly being rearranged.
There have been cases in the past where only one or two of the league top sides had fixtures during a blank gameweek, and most people would have had 2-3 of their players anyway. If that’s the case, a free hit isn’t really needed.
To keep track of these fixtures and help plan for blank gameweeks, make sure to follow Ben Crellin on Twitter. He’s pretty much the guy for this stuff and is this community’s finest export.
Though dated, check out this previous article on planning for a blank gameweek. It focuses more on assessing the potential options for that particular week, though also goes into detail regarding the potential traps of a blank gameweek.
As a one-off without any further context, this is my preferred option, giving you a full team during tricky gameweeks. There’s a lot more that can go into planning a full chip strategy, depending on things like the actual arranging and rearranging of fixtures.
Another option is to use the free hit chip during a double gameweek. These are gameweeks where teams will have multiple fixtures within the same FPL gameweek, creating the potential for some massive hauls.
Saving up the free hit for a double gameweek will allow you to have a full team of players with multiple fixtures, heavily attacking that week. Other chips are more often used during double gameweeks, such as the Triple Captain and the Bench Boost. Again, things are a bit different in the era of constant fixture rearrangements, meaning there have been more double gameweeks than usual, and the idea of using a Free Hit in a DGW is quite enticing.
In the 21/22 season, this has coincided – for instance, the Free Hit was very popular in GW27, where a few teams didn’t play (e.g. Arsenal, Chelsea), while Burnley had a DGW. This led to people being able to temporarily move out popular Chelsea and Arsenal assets while attacking a DGW.
Playing the triple captain chip allows you to get a potential mega haul (unless you use it on Shane Duffy, of course) when a top player has two great fixtures in the same gameweek. With the bench boost, you can make use of a fairly strong bench, being built with the wildcard.
Exceptional Single Gameweeks
Shying away from the more exceptional circumstances in FPL, it’s also a solid tactic to simply play the free hit chip during a particularly favourable gameweek. A few of the top sides may have great fixtures, or there may be one match which you want to heavily target.
Referencing the post-lockdown portion of the 19/20 season, a large number of users played the free hit chip to target Chelsea vs Norwich, Man City vs Bournemouth, and Man United vs Crystal Palace. The former of these seeing players take punts on players not owned by many, aiming to target the then-newly relegated Norwich.
There’s also the option of playing the chip on the final gameweek, with every team playing at the same time, several favourable fixtures, and as much information as possible being known about the status of each team.
This isn’t as popular outside of exceptional circumstances, such as Project Restart, though it’s a reasonable option if there are some hugely favourable fixtures that week.