So it’s that time of year again: your baseball friends are glued to the postseason, and the NFL is heating up, while your Fantasy Premier League team is on a two-week vacation. Just great.

Who even needs international breaks anyway?

Well, the truth is, we all need them. We go through the same motions each gameweek. For the two days after the weekend matches we are counting our points, checking our mini-leagues and posting bragging rights all over social media. Come Wednesday and we’re already trawling the web for Captain tips and driving our mates mad with rate my team requests. Saturday arrives and the cycle kicks back into gear.

The international break gives fantasy managers two weeks to comb through their team, to jump aboard bandwagons, ship out injured or underperforming players, and plan for the weeks ahead. It’s what I call the FIT method. Hit it up and you’ll have your fantasy team match fit when game week 8 arrives.


If you haven’t already, it’s time to pick up the form players. Seven weeks is a millennium in fantasy football and there are trends you can’t ignore, and players you’ve got to break up with. For real this time.

Over the past four game weeks Angel di Maria has picked up 40 FPL points with three goals and three assists. That’s 10 more points than second placed Diego Costa. He has also collected more bonus points (seven) than any player.

In the same time period, Costa has scored five goals. Ageuro, Pelle, Berahino, Ulloa, and Mo Diame each have three. Victor Moses, Cesc Fabregas and Stewart Downing have each assisted three goals.

That’s the picture of form, and they are the players you should be keeping an eye out for?

But the international break can do something else. With plenty of fantasy players representing their countries in high profile games or visits to footballing minnows, the international action can play some players into form. Case in point: Angel di Maria.

United’s capture of the Argentinian winger held plenty of promise for fantasy fans but Di Maria’s debut performance at Burnley produced a mere three points.

He needed time to settle in to English football, right? And he did just that, scoring and assisting three others against Germany during the season’s first international break. And then, four weeks and 40 FPL points later, the proof is the pudding, and those who didn’t sign him up are looking for places to hide.

So whether or not you torture yourself by watching the international action this weekend, be sure to keep track of which players are hitting their stride.


This might seem like an obvious one but it is sometimes overlooked. A mate of a mate of mine clearly didn’t read the newspapers last international break and went into gameweek 4 with Daniel Sturridge leading his front line.

For some reason, players always seem to go down when representing their country, and not only does it make Premier League managers lose their cool, it can derail your fantasy plans too. So be sure to stay on top of all the injury news this weekend.

While you’re at it, a quick look at the disciplinary records of some players won’t hurt either. Calum Chambers has picked up his fifth yellow card (in five starts!) and will miss the Gunner’s next match against Hull City. Skipping information like this can have you staring at red arrows all weekend and make you want to avoid your workmates on Monday.


The final step in the FIT method is team. Once you’ve decided which players are in form, which can pack their stuff and go, and which are in good nick, it’s time to plan ahead.

Knowing a team’s schedule over the next four to six game weeks will not only help you avoid chasing results and racking up points hits, it will give you a good idea of the best players to invest in.

Southampton might have been stifled at White Hart Lane over the weekend, but they host Sunderland, Stoke and Leicester over the next five weeks, with trips to Hull and Aston Villa in between. Liverpool’s first three games after the break involve trips to cellar dwellers QPR and Newcastle, with a matchup against Hull at home squeeze into the equation.

On the other side of the coin, managers tempted by Diame’s form will take note of visits to Arsenal, Liverpool and United, as well as home matches against Tottenham and high-flying Southampton. United too, have a mixed bag of fixtures – Chelsea and neighbors Manchester City on the horizon.

Looking even further ahead might seem daunting but is also a great move. Deciding on your defensive rotation, for example, should involve a study of the fixtures until the next break (after New Year’s).


A final note for all those who are playing (or thinking about playing) their wildcard during the break.

Trying to play the value market often proves futile as you only receive half the amount that a player rises in value (when you sell). Now add to that the fact that price changes this year have come off steroids and are more subdued, and the play-your-wildcard-for-value theory goes out the window.

If you are reaching for that wildcard, make sure it is because your team needs a makeover. That’s what wildcards do, and that’s what they’re for.

Be sure to keep the FIT method in mind while you tinker with your team. Then go through it once again just in case. You don’t want to waste your wildcard!

That’s all from me here. Stay safe during the international break and good luck for when we go again in gameweek 8!