Pro Pundit Teams

How I’m using the Wildcard to plan for the Blank and Double Gameweeks

With Gameweek 16 fast approaching, it is almost time to activate my first Wildcard ahead of the upcoming Blank and Double Gameweeks.

I am currently sitting around 350k overall with 851 points, which is ‘okay’ for this stage of the season, but it’s obvious I need this Wildcard to act as a catalyst for improvement.

So, in this, my latest column, I’m going to run through my chip strategy for the coming weeks and highlight a pool of players I’m considering for my Wildcard. There is still just under a week before final decisions need to be made, but unless additional fixtures get added, I don’t envisage too much changing.

CHIP STRATEGY

  • Gameweek 16 – First Wildcard
  • Blank Gameweek 18 – Free Hit
  • Double Gameweek 19 – Bench Boost

When I started writing this column on Monday morning, my understanding was that we were unlikely to see another Double Gameweek as big as 19 (which currently features ten teams) in 2020/21. Since then, we’ve learnt that the EFL Cup Final has been moved to a later date towards the end of April, which suggests we’ll now see another big Double in Gameweek 26. 

However, having spent a fair bit of time looking at possible scenarios, I’m sticking to my original strategy and will plan accordingly for future Blanks and Doubles.

A key reason for this is that I like the budget options on offer at West Ham United, Southampton and Leeds United, all of whom feature in this Double and have okay fixtures either side. That means players from these teams can rotate in and out of my starting XI as and when needed, without too much value being left on the bench. Going forward, I’ll probably be looking at an additional outlay of around £1.5m on bench players each week, which I’m hoping won’t prove an issue.

So, if I Bench Boost in Double Gameweek 19, I also have to Free Hit in Blank Gameweek 18. While the pool of players is naturally smaller with only five matches scheduled for that week, I see it as an opportunity to make up ground, with Manchester City looking like one of the teams to target.

My remaining chips, second Wildcard and Triple Captain, will then be used around Double Gameweek 26.

For those wondering, I did consider going a week early with my Wildcard to avoid being priced out of any moves, but felt I’d be losing good players with good fixtures in Gameweek 15, like Kevin De Bruyne (£11.8m), Jack Grealish (£7.8m) and Ollie Watkins (£6.1m). By waiting, I also get another week of information, which is often valuable. 

WILDCARD

Losing Son Heung-min (£9.7m) and Harry Kane (£11.0m) for Double Gameweek assets is a risky play, given their fixtures, which see them take on Fulham and Leeds United at home before Gameweek 18. Ideally, I’d hold both, but I’m currently leaning towards keeping just one, and then moving that player on for an additional Double Gameweek player ahead of Gameweek 19. That way I can capitalise on those fixtures.

However, when planning future transfers, I also need to consider what follows the Double Gameweek.

In Gameweek 20, I’ll want De Bruyne back in my squad without taking a hit, ahead of a trip to West Bromwich Albion.

All of these kinds of scenarios are worth thinking about now, to ensure a successful Wildcard isn’t undone in the weeks to follow by a lack of planning. Gameweek 20 is as important as any, and I need to make sure that I can capitalise on any fixture swings without unnecessary hits, and that I also have good captaincy options in place. 

This is where a captaincy planner can be useful, like mine below. It should also mean I have the correct big hitters in place going forward.

CAPTAINCY PLANNER

  • Gameweek 16 – Salah (new), Son or Kane (FUL)
  • Gameweek 17 – Salah (sou), Son or Kane (LEE)
  • Blank Gameweek 18 (Free Hit) – De Bruyne (BHA)
  • Double Gameweek 19 – Salah (MUN, BUR)
  • Gameweek 20 – Fernandes (SHU), De Bruyne (wba)
  • Gameweek 21 – De Bruyne (SHU)

WATCHLIST

GOALKEEPERS

Alex McCarthy (£4.6m), Illan Meslier (£4.6m), Sam Johnstone (£4.5m).

Right now, I’m leaning towards pairing Meslier and Johnstone together, despite Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion’s ongoing defensive issues. That combination gives me a solid fixture run right up until Gameweek 25:

LEE, ARS, Free Hit, BHA + SOU / wol + whu, new, FUL, shu, CRY, ars, bur

Ideally, I don’t want to use transfers on this position up until my second Wildcard, which this setup should allow.

While clean sheets may be hard to come by, what these keepers will provide is save points, and lots of them. In fact, no other keepers can match them for saves this season, with 120 between them.

Hopefully by the time the Double Gameweek comes around, Sam Allardyce will have had sufficient time on the training ground to tighten Albion up, but if I do have doubts around this, McCarthy at Southampton is another option I’m comfortable with.

DEFENDERS

Can Robertson sustain value advantage over Alexander-Arnold after 10-point haul?

Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.2m), Andrew Robertson (£7.2m), Rúben Dias (£5.7m), Reece James (£5.3m), Aaron Cresswell (£5.2m), Eric Dier (£5.0m), James Justin (£4.9m), Stuart Dallas (£4.7m), Vladimir Coufal (£4.6m), Charlie Taylor (£4.5m), Fabián Balbuena (£4.4m)

In my current draft, both Liverpool defenders feature having delivered a combined 19 points in Gameweek 14. Over the last three Gameweeks they lead the way amongst defenders for final-third touches, and if anything, I see them upping their output in the coming weeks.

Ideally, they’d be joined by James (if fit), but team value may restrict this, so I will likely have to select two or three of the sub £5.0m options listed above. If money is tight, Balbuena dropping to £4.4m may be useful.

Of the single Gameweek candidates, I like Dias and Dier, who may also come into my thinking.

MIDFIELDERS

Salah building up massive power in top 10k after Gameweek 14 haul

Mohamed Salah (£12.5m), Sadio Mané (£11.9m), Bruno Fernandes (£11.0m), Son Heung-min (£9.7m), Jarrod Bowen (£6.4m), Theo Walcott (£5.8m), Raphinha (£5.4m), Tomas Soucek (£5.1m)

It’s almost certain I’ll include Salah and Fernandes as my midfield heavy hitters, and compliment them with a couple of budget options.

Raphinha looks like he’ll make the cut, and has been posting some encouraging numbers since making his first start in Gameweek 9. Amongst midfielders, only Mané has attempted more shots in the box over that period, while he also ranks sixth for chances created. With a great looking Double, he should offer real value.

West Ham duo Soucek and Bowen are also appealing, with the latter’s share of corners heightening his appeal, while Walcott is a differential pick. If Danny Ings (£8.4m) is set for another spell on the sidelines, I’m quite fond of this move. In the three games Ings missed earlier this season, Walcott deputised up front with only four midfielders registering more shots in the box during those games.

I won’t rule Chelsea midfielders out either, but with points often spread around the team, I will probably look elsewhere.

FORWARDS

Harry Kane (£11.0m), Jamie Vardy (£10.2m), Patrick Bamford (£6.4m), Chris Wood (£6.2m), Che Adams (£6.0m), Rodrigo (£5.7m)

As discussed earlier, I could do a transfer hokey-cokey with Kane and Vardy or go cheap. Either way Bamford is a certainty, but the other spots are up for grabs.

A Leeds’ attacking triple-up may be a bit too much, but considering their expected goal (xG) total this season is only behind Liverpool, for a short period, a move for Rodrigo could work. However, Wood may be the better bet. He isn’t someone to get too excited about, but has been consistent in recent seasons and does tend to pick up bonus points when he scores, which I like. The fixtures before the Double Gameweek are about as good as it gets for Burnley too.

Michail Antonio (£6.2m) may become an option, but with ongoing injury issues, time is running out and it’s hard to see him featuring right now.

So, I hope this have given you some ideas for the coming weeks. 

I’ll be finalising my team at the weekend, but will update you on how it’s been going the next time I check in.

Thanks for reading, and best of luck to you all over the Christmas period.

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632 Comments Post a Comment
  1. kime67
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 18 days ago

    i have no clue who to replace chilwell with. robertson is too expensive.

    1. Captain_Shirokov
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      dier

    2. Nice to Finally Michu
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      Reguilon or Dias or Dier are shouts without a dgw

    3. kime67
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      i have dias. Leaning towards coufal. very close between him and dallas, wich one should i go for?

    4. Tonyawesome69 WC31 & FH…
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      What's your team, budget and strategy for 18/19

    5. Maeki2
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      3 months, 18 days ago

      Coufal

    6. kime67
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      free hit 18

      1. Tonyawesome69 WC31 & FH…
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 18 days ago

        Matip

    7. No Professionals
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      Matip

    8. KDB4PREZ
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 18 days ago

      Matip?

    9. kime67
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      matip have played two games in a row only once this season.

      1. tomasjj
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 18 days ago

        this

    10. tomasjj
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      justin?

  2. The Train Driver
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 18 days ago

    Leeds have been looking great attacking however I worry that their intensive style of play will affect them during the busy schedule making them less attractive for the dgw. I'll probably go with one attacker and no defenders for the dgw.

    1. Zim0
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      No defenders is the right call even if it wasn't hectic

    2. Tonyawesome69 WC31 & FH…
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      I agree with no defs. I'll probably go with Bamford (already have him) and add Raphina

      1. The Train Driver
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 18 days ago

        I'll go with one of those two.

  3. Pep Roulette
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 18 days ago

    If DCL starts tonight against United, is there a chance he gets rested against Sheffield this weekend and then starts against City next week?

    1. Tonyawesome69 WC31 & FH…
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      Of course there is a chance but they don't have a good enough replacement

    2. Dino
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      Who starts in his place? Unless he goes richarlison up top on his own they don't really have a replacement.

  4. Captain_Shirokov
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 18 days ago

    If Chilwell is out for 2-3 GWs:

    A) Play Coufal (BHA)
    or
    B) Sell Chilwell for Dier (wol) (-4) and play over Coufal?

    1. Pep Roulette
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      A

    2. LewanGOALski
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      A easily

    3. Tonyawesome69 WC31 & FH…
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      A for me since Dier has a low ceiling. If it was for Robbo or TAA, I would take the hit

      1. Captain_Shirokov
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 18 days ago

        yep would be all over that

    4. Captain_Shirokov
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      thanks for the confirmation

  5. Ze_Austin
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 18 days ago

    Nuno almost gave clear player availability updates in his presser today: https://twitter.com/BenDinnery/status/1341735059167064066?s=20 and https://twitter.com/BenDinnery/status/1341734437986439168?s=20. Close, but still clear as mud... We go again at Nuno's next presser, with hope

  6. Captain_Shirokov
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 18 days ago

    I feel like FPL has gotten very hectic over the last week with DGWs, blank GWs and injuries.

    1. Pep Roulette
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      All of this makes it more interesting!

  7. Deulofail
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 18 days ago

    Merry Christmas yo. What to do with this mess?
    Plan is/was to avoid FH in GW18. Perhaps FH in 19.

    Martinez
    Gabriel Bellerin Lamptey*
    KBD Bruno Grealish Saka Mahrez
    Martial Bamford

    McCarthy | Lewis, Brewster, Mitchell

    A) Brewster > Aguero
    B) Bellerin + Mahrez > Cancelo + Son *
    C) Bellerin + Mahrez > Robbo + Son ¬
    D) Bellerin + Mahrez > Robbo/Cancelo + Neto ^

    * Money for Bamford/Martial > Aguero
    ¬ Money for Martial > Aguero
    ^ Money for Brewster > Aguero

    I quite like D as I can keep Bamford and Martial for after the DGW if they are good options at the point, and I wouldn't need Robertson who has no GW18 fixture. Would also like Son though...

    1. Deulofail
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      Any comments about Arsenal (and therefore coverage) shall be ignored. All other comments much appreciated 😀

  8. LewanGOALski
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 18 days ago

    Who scores more:

    A) Che Adams (ful)
    or
    B) Bamford (BUR)
    ..?

    1. Pep Roulette
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      This week A

    2. Maeki2
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      3 months, 18 days ago

      B. If you go with facts

    3. Tonyawesome69 WC31 & FH…
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      Hopefully B

  9. HashAttack
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 18 days ago

    Who should I get as a second MCI defenders - already have Stones
    Prefer to get Walker but thinking that if I get Dias then at least one of them should start each week - a combo like Walker and Stones could mean both players missing (gw18)

    1. Christina.
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      Crazy. Just ask Mark Sutherns. Wasted like 4 trades flip flopping between Dias, Walker and Cancelo. Besides, 11 m so you have 1 guaranteed player in def most weeks..? Makes no sense.

  10. LLoris
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 18 days ago

    Which 2 should I bring in just for this week?
    A) Vestergaard vs FUL
    B) Mina vs SHU
    C) Matip vs WB
    D) Walker vs NEW

    1. Pep Roulette
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      C & D

    2. Tonyawesome69 WC31 & FH…
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      CD

  11. bobbyg
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 18 days ago

    Mahrez to Raphina and

    Kilman to TAA? -4

    Yay or nay?

    1. Pep Roulette
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      Yes

    2. Tonyawesome69 WC31 & FH…
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      Yes

    3. bobbyg
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      Thanks Pep and Tony

  12. Captain_Shirokov
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 18 days ago

    Is it reckless to do the following given I have already used my first WC?

    GW17: WC
    GW18: FH
    GW19: BB

    Will only leave TC chip for future gameweeks?

    1. LLoris
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      yes dont use your 2nd WC this early

    2. Il Capitano
        3 months, 18 days ago

        Wouldn't feel comfortable with no second WC

      • PascalCygan
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 18 days ago

        I learnt the hard way earlier this season not to use a wildcard early unless it’s really necessary

    3. camarozz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      Play
      A) Taylor (LEE)

      B) Dallas (BUR)

      1. Pep Roulette
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 18 days ago

        B

      2. PascalCygan
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 18 days ago

        B

      3. Gizzachance
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 18 days ago

        B for me, also have taylor on bench

    4. PascalCygan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      I would love to bring in Robbo or Trent but I’ve used my FT this week so I think I’ll just hold tight and hope West Brom score!

      All being well, I’ll save a FT next week and use both in 17 to keep building for BB19.

      Good to go here?

      0FT 0.0ITB
      Martinez / McCarthy
      Zouma Coufal Taylor
      Salah (c) KDB Bruno Son
      DCL Bamford Watkins

      Martinez/McCarthy Soucek Justin Struijk

      Thanks!

    5. Il Capitano
        3 months, 18 days ago

        Chilwell and Justin to Robbo and Kilman for free gives me the below team for GW15. I will WC next week so not too fussed about that abomination of a bench. Seem okay?

        McCarthy
        Robbo Zouma Taylor
        Bruno Salah (C) KDB Grealish
        DCL Adams Bamford

        Button - Bissouma Kilman Mitchell

        1. PascalCygan
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 18 days ago

          Good moves, wildcard sounds good

      • Bennyboy1907
          3 months, 18 days ago

          Robbo, Dallas, Coufal, Mitchel

          Who’s the best DGW defender to replace Chillwell with?

          1. Little Red Lacazette
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 18 days ago

            Don't know how much cash you have. Could say Robbo, could say Taylor.

          2. Bennyboy1907
              3 months, 18 days ago

              You clearly struggle to read

              1. Captain_Shirokov
                • 2 Years
                3 months, 18 days ago

                chill bro lmao

              2. Little Red Lacazette
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 18 days ago

                *TAA

          3. Gizzachance
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 18 days ago

            Any thoughts guys? 2 ft
            chilwell and kdb( current (C)
            to
            salah (C) & 1 coufal 0r 2 dier?
            Thanks

            1. Ajax Hamsterdam
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 18 days ago

              Salah could do very well v west brom but so could kdbz tough one !

              1. Gizzachance
                • 6 Years
                3 months, 18 days ago

                Was gonna do they kdb to salah move last week to
                Salah big cap pick this week to
                Cheers

          4. LLoris
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 18 days ago

            Lads I have my fist WC and Im wondering is the WC FH in 18 BB in 19 the best strategy?

            1. PascalCygan
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 18 days ago

              If you have that luxury, definitely. Just make sure you WC before it expires! Mate of mine used his second by mistake last season!

              1. LLoris
                • 2 Years
                3 months, 18 days ago

                Ouch. I just have to submit it before the start of GW 16 correct?

                1. Captain_Shirokov
                  • 2 Years
                  3 months, 18 days ago

                  yes

                2. PascalCygan
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 3 Years
                  3 months, 18 days ago

                  Yes, correct. Good luck with it!

                  1. LLoris
                    • 2 Years
                    3 months, 18 days ago

                    Thanks appreciate it

          5. yanky
            • 11 Years
            3 months, 18 days ago

            best one week chilwell replacement before wc??
            a) Walker
            b) Matip

            Dias Creswell ___ (Lamptey Mitchell)

            1. Tonyawesome69 WC31 & FH…
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 18 days ago

              B

          6. Little Red Lacazette
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 18 days ago

            Have Martinez. Steer ->

            A McCarthy,
            B Meslier
            C Johnstone

            1. Tonyawesome69 WC31 & FH…
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 18 days ago

              I think I prefer the SOU def over the LEE and WBA at the moment but still undecided. I don't think big sam will turn around WBA defence in time for DGW with the players the currently has

              1. Little Red Lacazette
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 18 days ago

                Leaning on A too.

            2. Bennyboy1907
                3 months, 18 days ago

                My ass

                1. Little Red Lacazette
                  • 4 Years
                  3 months, 18 days ago

                  Lol. Having a bad holiday?

              • Bennyboy1907
                  3 months, 18 days ago

                  I’m jus kidding that was rude of me, I apologise have a good day

              • Hazardous1983
                • 10 Years
                3 months, 18 days ago

                Start taylor or justin

                1. Tonyawesome69 WC31 & FH…
                  • 2 Years
                  3 months, 18 days ago

                  Justin since his stats show he is more attacking. I don't see either of them keeping a CS.

                  CS odds
                  https://twitter.com/FPL_Salah/status/1341284839287267329?s=19

              • Captain_Shirokov
                • 2 Years
                3 months, 18 days ago

                I have a feeling of impending doom that I'm going to miss out on a lot of points in GWs 17/18 the way I'm set up.

                Big, big opportunity for others to make up ground.

                1. Christina.
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 11 Years
                  3 months, 18 days ago

                  thanks, will do.

              • Hazardous1983
                • 10 Years
                3 months, 18 days ago

                best replacement for chillwell.

                1. Captain_Shirokov
                  • 2 Years
                  3 months, 18 days ago

                  Robertson

                2. Tonyawesome69 WC31 & FH…
                  • 2 Years
                  3 months, 18 days ago

                  Robbo

                3. Ajax Hamsterdam
                  • 6 Years
                  3 months, 18 days ago

                  I'm going castagne or fofana

              • Hazardous1983
                • 10 Years
                3 months, 18 days ago

                I cant afford robbo

                1. Little Red Lacazette
                  • 4 Years
                  3 months, 18 days ago

                  Me too.

              • Ajax Hamsterdam
                • 6 Years
                3 months, 18 days ago

                Mitchell down to 3.9 is a real pain ...

                1. Optimus.
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 10 Years
                  3 months, 18 days ago

                  Not if you bought him at 3.8 😎

              • Karan14
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 5 Years
                3 months, 18 days ago

                Frank Lampard reports Ben Chilwell and Reece James are both doubtful for the next two games.
                #ARSCHE

                1. NateDogsCats
                    3 months, 18 days ago

                    Frank Lampard on Ben Chilwell and Reece James: “They’re both doubtful. So I can’t give you an answer at the moment. We’re not sure whether they’ll be fit for either game (Arsenal or Aston Villa).”

                2. Deulofail
                  • 5 Years
                  3 months, 18 days ago

                  Just a small town girl...

                  1. Optimus.
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 10 Years
                    3 months, 18 days ago

                    Living in a Boly world

                3. Ron_Swanson
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 10 Years
                  3 months, 18 days ago

                  Does anyone know if Kieran Trippier uses this website? Thanks

                4. Tonyawesome69 WC31 & FH…
                  • 2 Years
                  3 months, 18 days ago

                  So Pope with CS, all 3bps and muitlple save points against Leeds?

                5. backstreets
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 8 Years
                  3 months, 18 days ago

                  Any decent man city predicted line up fan sites? Thinking of a one week punt on Aguero before bringing in Kane