Pro Pundit Teams

The merits of a Gameweek 26 Wildcard and what my new FPL squad could look like

How Fantasy Premier League managers navigate the upcoming series of Double Gameweeks could prove season-defining for many of them.

We are currently facing the potential for back-to-back Double Gameweeks in 24, 25, 26 and 27, which is exciting indeed.

The bigger of the Doubles is likely to be in Gameweek 26 and traditionally, the practice has been to Wildcard before this sort of round so you are ready to Bench Boost in it. What is different this year is that the big Double Gameweek does not fall in Gameweek 34 or 37 like previous seasons, but much earlier. 

With it falling at a later stage, there was less worry about setting up long-term for the rest of the season but using the second Wildcard as early as Gameweek 25 means that you have to make sure you don’t handicap yourself by getting tunnel vision and looking solely at the Gameweek 26 fixtures alone. 

What is beneficial though, is that most of the top teams, Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Spurs, have the Double Gameweek in 26 and assets from these teams are good picks long-term. 

However, due to these expensive assets having a Double Gameweek, setting up a Bench Boost team is quite tricky. I had a go at a potential Wildcard team, with a view to Bench Boost in Gameweek 26, which you can see below. There is £2.6m in the bank there to convert Danny Ings (£8.4m) to Harry Kane (£11.0m).

The Bench Bwho have a single Gameweek fixture at home to Aston Villa, which is decent and Leeds on their day can score a few past anyone. 

Still, they’ve not been as free-scoring at home so this could be a disappointment. Alex McCarthy (£4.5m) would be the Bench Boost keeper, but I am a little bit concerned about his recent performances and Fraser Forster (£4.0m) waiting in the wings.

Antonio Rüdiger’s (£4.6m) possible Gameweek 26 fixtures are Manchester United (home) and Liverpool (away) so I am not really confident about a clean sheet in either. Matthew Lowton (£4.5m) is likely to have Spurs and Leicester where, again, I don’t feel too confident about his point potential. 

Now let’s have a look at what I could do by focusing most of the money in the starting eleven while still retaining five starting defenders.

Right off the bat, I like having Jack Grealish (£7.8m), he is as nailed as it gets with the European schedule coming up and I trust Villa’s attack to deliver. I included James Justin (£5.2m) as a placeholder as he can be changed for any other Leicester defender now that we know about his long-term injury. The Foxes have a great run of fixtures from Gameweek 27 with Brighton (away), Sheffield United (home), although are not playing in Blank Gameweek 29.

Jannik Vestergaard’s (£4.7m) potential Double Gameweek 26 is not as appealing, which could see Southampton travel to Everton and Spurs but the Saints play Sheffield United (away), Brighton (home), Burnley (home) and West Brom (away) between Gameweeks 27 and 31 which I like. Ben White (£4.4m) is also a great budget option from a decent defensive side. 

Another factor that cannot be underrated – information. Closer to Gameweek 26, we will have more clarity about injuries, European rotation, upcoming doubles and in general can set up the Wildcard better for the rest of the season. 

Like many of you, I have left plenty of points on the bench in the last few weeks and while we have been fortunate that money was not an issue with many of the heavy hitters injured or out of form, it is likely to be scarce going forward. 

I really don’t like having to make a decision who to bench out of Raphinha etc every week. Yes bench strength could be useful but most of the players I have picked are reliable starters. I also want to have every last bit of cash available going forward and not have it tied up in the likes of a bench goalkeeper, and/or an eighth attacker. That’s about £1.5m which can go a long way in the coming Gameweeks. 

This is how my team currently looks:

I have two free transfers and £3.0m in the bank for Double Gameweek 24. Before the flags on Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.7m) and Michail Antonio (£6.7m), I was pretty set on using the two free transfers on Eric Dier (£4.9m) to James Tarkowski (£5.3m) and Forster to Nick Pope (£5.5m) and activating my Bench Boost. 

The flags on those two forwards have made things a bit trickier. I don’t mind taking a hit for Ings this week as I was planning to do that next week anyway. I could then do Tomas Soucek (£5.4m) to Raphinha and possibly another hit for Dallas to ‘dead-end’ my team in Gameweek 25, and then Wildcard out the Southampton and Leeds assets in Gameweek 26. I am not too keen on taking a minus-eight just to Bench Boost though. 

I imagine a lot of us are in the same boat, I was initially thinking of even navigating Gameweek 26 without using the Wildcard but West Ham not having a Double then has made that a bit tricky. 

I should also mention that I have my Free Hit chip intact, so navigating Gameweek 29 is not that much of an issue. 

Plenty to think about! Hope this article gave you food for thought, thanks for reading. 

4,305 Comments Post a Comment
  1. FFS Ultras are for Kinnear
    • 9 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Play up Partick Thistle

    1. Rinseboy
      • 10 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      ha decent

  2. Alli
    • 5 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    A. Justin > Mee
    B. Justin > Pieters (Enables me to do Adams > Kane later)

    Pope - McCarthy
    Rudiger - Cancelo - Stones - Justin - Dallas
    Salah - Bruno - Son - Soucek - Gundogan
    Antonio - Adams - Bamford

    1. Your Man With The Hair
      • 11 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      B

    2. Sterling Malory
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      Justin > Lowton

    3. Rinseboy
      • 10 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      Lowton

    4. JohnnyRev7
      • 11 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      Justin > Lowton is what all the kool kids are doing. Lowton nailed. Pieters not. It's just a 0.2 away. Have a rethink.

  3. Bobby Digital
    • 4 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    TC26

  4. FPLMACKEM
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    1 year, 6 months ago

    McCarthy,
    Stones, Cancelo, Coufal,
    Salah, Gundogan, Bruno (c), Son, Soucek
    Antonio, Bamford

    Forster, DCL, Robertson, Mitchell

    2ft 2.4itb

    Robertson > Tarkowski (bench son, start Tarkowski)?

    Any other suggestions?

    I'm actually tempted to start Mitchell!

    1. Rinseboy
      • 10 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      yes and Forster to Pope

      1. FPLMACKEM
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        1 year, 6 months ago

        Double Burnley Def for the double?

        High risk high reward if you ask me.

        1. Rinseboy
          • 10 Years
          1 year, 6 months ago

          Pope before a CB then

      2. Baps hunter
        • 4 Years
        1 year, 6 months ago

        Forster might have double soon, we just don't know.

  5. Your Man With The Hair
    • 11 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Perfectly time article...

    I started tinkering and now I'm in too deep. I want to play my WC.

    Pope (Meslier)
    Cancelo | Stones | Lowton | Shaw (Kilman)
    Sterling | Bruno | JRod | Lookman (JWP)
    Kane | Ings (Bamford)

    Thoughts?
    7x DGW24
    4x DGW25
    9x DGW26 (v. likely)

    1. JohnnyRev7
      • 11 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      I'm sure it all works in your head and I applaud you for all the many hours you've put effort and research into.

      I really do.

      I'm on the GW to GW vibe at the moment as there's so many variables floating around.

      Good luck whatever you chose.

      (PS: Link your team. Not the dead link).

  6. AlpoShearer
    • 4 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    WC this week.
    Thinking triple Burnley defence.
    Pope, Lowton and Mee. Too much?

    1. Sterling Malory
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      I couldn't do it. Double is plenty.

    2. Rinseboy
      • 10 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      yeah just go 1 defender and Pope

    3. Your Man With The Hair
      • 11 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      Too much

    4. AlpoShearer
      • 4 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      Cheers all

  7. Rinseboy
    • 10 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Think Im gtg this week?

    Tempted to do Mitchell to Tark/Mee for a -4 and bench Soucek?
    Thoughts?

    Pope
    Cancello Stones Digne
    Sterling (TC) Bruno Grealish Soucek
    Antonio Cavani Bamford
    Martinez Son Coufal Mitchell

  8. Reddonkeyham 42
    • 8 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    The Bench Bwho have a single Gameweek

  9. Mr_Barbs
    • 5 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    A) Stones + Digne + Son > Mee + Shaw + Sterling (-4)
    B) Stones + Son > Sterling + Struijk/Mitchell
    C) Son + Stones > Foden + Tarkowski
    D) DCL > Cavani/Ings

    1. Rinseboy
      • 10 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      A looks good to be fair

    2. sminkypinky
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      D

  10. Garfield1001
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Bring in Mee or Digne?

    1. Rinseboy
      • 10 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      Mee

    2. Rinseboy
      • 10 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      regret having Digne now with DCL out

      1. sminkypinky
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        1 year, 6 months ago

        Same. What a waste.

  11. Daniel Jebbison
    • 13 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Is Gundogan a must?

    1. Rinseboy
      • 10 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      yes but I have Stones Cancello and Sterling and can't be bothered to take hits now to get him.

      KDB was a must last DGW and look how that went

      1. Daniel Jebbison
        • 13 Years
        1 year, 6 months ago

        I am in a similar position, but he can be a rank killer

  12. WD27
    • 4 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Whats the deal on Cavani.. we think hes nailed?

    1. Rinseboy
      • 10 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      far from it but good chance this gameweek alone

    2. Dannyb
      • 5 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      Yeah, he's our best striker by a mile, don't overthink it.

      1. WD27
        • 4 Years
        1 year, 6 months ago

        Thinking martial is really his only competition and his attitude or performance has been far from good?

  13. Daniel Jebbison
    • 13 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    How long till the embargo ends?

  14. FPL_WILDCARD
    • 4 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    thoughts on this? looking to WC in 25 and BB in 26 with this team (should also give me 6 players for 29 with 3 weeks of transfers)

    Lloris, Areola
    Dias, Cancelo, Shaw, Targett, KWP
    Bruno, Gundogan, Son, Maddison, B.Traore
    Kane, Watkins, Ings

    in 25 I'd have Bamford and Raphinha who become Traore and Watkins for 26 for -4

  15. Kasper the ghost keeper
    • 6 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Ings or Cavani for the next 2 GWs?

    1. Dannyb
      • 5 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      Cavani

    2. waldo666
      • 12 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      If we could be more sure on Cavani's game time it would be easily him for mine, think I'd take the chance.

    3. AlpoShearer
      • 4 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      i have Ings

    4. Your Man With The Hair
      • 11 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      just got Ings

  16. JenkoJunko
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    DCL & Wilson & TAA out -4
    Leaves 21.7ITB

    Pick three to replace them..?!?

    1. Tango74
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 year, 6 months ago

      Dcl will have few doubles . Keep him

  17. 99Redbaboons
    • 7 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Bench Maddison Bamford or Soucek?

    1. FPL_WILDCARD
      • 4 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      Maddison for me

    2. Dannyb
      • 5 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      Maddison

  18. waldo666
    • 12 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Dias safe to bring in now?

  19. Nightf0x
    • 7 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Keep or sell antonio & dcl ? Or they will be back close

    1. waldo666
      • 12 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      I'm keeping.

  20. Atimis
    • 5 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Justin to Burnley def and GTG??

    Or something for a hit?

    Martinez
    Cancelo/Stones/Justin*/Coufal
    Salah/Bruno/Grealish/Gundo
    Antonio/Bamford

    Martin/DCL/Robo/Stephens

  21. Sterling Malory
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Not sure what to do with Maddison.

    A) Lookman
    B) Grealish
    C) Keep

    Areola
    Stones Cancelo Shaw Lowton
    Son Salah Bruno Gundo
    Bamford Antonio

    Martinez Maddison Dallas DCL

    Lookman gives me the option to do Son > Grealish/JWP (for double) & Antonio > Kane

  22. Dannyb
    • 5 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Not worth hits for Burnley players is it?

    1. waldo666
      • 12 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      No, I don't believe it is.

    2. sminkypinky
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      Not bringing in even for free. Playing Cresswell.

  23. TeddiPonza
    • 12 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Play Coufal or Son?

    1. waldo666
      • 12 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      Son

  24. FPL_WILDCARD
    • 4 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    For a 1 week punt in GW24....

    Richarlison's double or Cavani v WBA?

    1. Your Man With The Hair
      • 11 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      Rich

  25. tabby98
    • 6 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Pope, Johnstone
    Cancelo, Stones, Coufal, Justin, Digne
    Salah, Bruno, Son, Soucek, Raphinha
    DCL, Bamford, Antonio

    1FT £0.8M ITB

    What do i do here?

    A) DCL --> Richarlison
    B) Justin --> Lowton
    C) A+B (-4)
    D) Something else please suggest?

    1. JohnnyRev7
      • 11 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      B) Sensible transfer going forward.

      Link your team. You'll get more feedback.

  26. Drip Doctor
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 12 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Im going back and forth on this one. Would you lose Coufal for Mee or save the free transfer and potentially do Coufal > Dallas next GW.

    1. sminkypinky
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      Save

  27. Jet5605
    • 8 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    1. Is my team good enough to save my WC? 2. If so, who is the best Justin replacement?

    A - Dias
    B - Cancelo
    C - Mee
    D - Shaw
    E - Digne

    Pope
    Stones - Justin - Coufal
    Salah - Bruno - Soucek - Gundo (c) - Raphinha
    Antonio - Bamford

    Martinez - Robbo - Dallas - DCL

    1. JohnnyRev7
      • 11 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      Justin > Lowton.

      Link your team. You'll get more feedback.

  28. Steve The Spud
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Play lacazette or souceck?

    1. Royal5
      • 10 Years
      1 year, 6 months ago

      Laca I think

  29. Royal5
    • 10 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Is Digne OK? Just noticed he is flagged :/

  30. Shatner's Bassoon
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    1 year, 6 months ago

    Reckon Tarkowski/Lowton will score at least 4 more points than Son this GW?

    Trying to decide whether to ship Dier for a hit and play instead of Son. Will ditch Dier on WC next week anyway.