I'm going to play devil's advocate here...lol!
I'm not sure about playing less. Fernando played 23 tournaments this year. About average, a little less than average.
You can't look at the top players schedules, because they win the big ones...masters series events, grand slams, where the big points are. If you get 300-500 for a tournament, you can take some time off.
Unfortunately, Fernando doesn't win in the big ones. With the exception of Wimbledon, his record isn't exceptional in the big ones. And if you want to stretch it, maybe we can say Madrid was okay with getting to the QFs.
If Fernando wants to be in the Top Ten and stay there - not my objective for him, but his own - then he has to play at least these 23 tournaments. Maybe even 2-3 more.
Which will be hard for him to do because he does play a very physical game.
If he doesn't want to be in the Top Ten, then playing less is fine.
But that's my humble opinion, and as usual, I could be wrong.
And BTW - I'm not sure if I trust his judgment based on a couple things I saw with my own eyes this summer but that I shall remain silent about online!!!!
And not sure how much he listens to Horacio - again things I saw with my own eyes over many many many days.