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. 

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4,305 Comments Post a Comment
  1. afsr
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 3 days ago

    G2G or get someone for a hit?

    Pope,
    Digne, Stones, Cancelo
    Bruno, Gundo (C), Soucek, Salah
    Richarlison, Watkins, Antonio

    Martinez, Son, Cresswell, ALonso
    0FT 0.9 ITB

    1. sminkypinky
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 3 days ago

      Lot of bench points in there imo. BB?

      1. afsr
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 3 days ago

        plan for BB26 w WC25

        1. sminkypinky
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 3 days ago

          Understandable. I would probably go with that though.

  2. Matsy123
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 3 days ago

    Captain Sterling Gundo or Bruno and why?

    1. Tango74
        3 months, 3 days ago

        Dgw player

      • Steve The Spud
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 3 days ago

        Sterling, highest ceiling imo

    2. Your Man With The Hair
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 3 days ago

      Bench one:

      A) Kane
      B) Bamford
      C) Ings

      1. AlternativeB
          3 months, 3 days ago

          bam

          1. OneJuan
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 3 days ago

            Ings

      2. Dannyb
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 3 days ago

        Barnes and Bellerin to Tark and Gundo -4? Would have to bench Bamford for Tark if I did this.

        1. JohnnyRev7
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 3 days ago

          Link your team. You'll get much more feedback.

      3. winchester
          3 months, 3 days ago

          Evening Champs! have 1 ft and 2.3m itb. wc bb tc available.
          GTG? correct bench? cheers..

          pope
          dias cancelo coufal dallas
          bruno salah gundo son
          antonio bamford

          martinez adams soucek taylor

        • Lallana
          • 7 Years
          3 months, 3 days ago

          which one lads?

          A) DCL>Cavani
          B) Cancelo>Lowton, 4.3>Gundogan [Bench DCL]

          1. OneJuan
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 3 days ago

            B

        • Babelcopter
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          3 months, 3 days ago

          Is it mad to sell Salah and Cancelo/Dias to bring Sterling in and cap him over Gundo?

          1. Steve The Spud
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 3 days ago

            Made the same move but lost stones

          2. Pukki Party
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 3 days ago

            I'm seriously considering it, feels like a higher ceiling.

        • Daniel Jebbison
          • 11 Years
          3 months, 3 days ago

          Would you Sterling to Gundogan?

          I am scared as non Gundo owner

          1. Wild Rover
            • 10 Years
            3 months, 3 days ago

            I have Gundo Capt but I’m scared of not having Sterling

          2. Steve The Spud
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 3 days ago

            No don’t be so silly

            1. Daniel Jebbison
              • 11 Years
              3 months, 3 days ago

              But Gundo EO% will be 150+. It could kill my rank.

              Alternative is Sontes to Tark and Son to Gundo

              1. Daniel Jebbison
                • 11 Years
                3 months, 3 days ago

                Gundo is a top-scoring player in the league for 10 GWs or so with 90+ pts. Sterling scored 60 in that timeframe

                1. Rinseboy
                  • 9 Years
                  3 months, 3 days ago

                  please do Sterling to Gundo mate. The less Sterling owners the better

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

                This if you’re afraid of the ownership

        • Wild Rover
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 3 days ago

          Lovely goal by Weir for Man City ladies. Doubt we’ll see a better one this weekend 🙂

          1. Houldsworth Hatter
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 3 days ago

            Dunno that Preston goal was a stunner!

        • SwissWavey
          • 7 Years
          3 months, 3 days ago

          GW29 is my big worry. Think I'll be taking a -8 or maybe even -12 during GW25

        • Kasper the ghost keeper
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 3 days ago

          Which bench boost?

          24: McCarthy (Wol), Barnes (Liv), Target (Bha), Dallas (Ars)

          25: Pope (Wba), Watkins (Lei), Targett(Lei), Cresswell (Tot)

          1. Wild Rover
            • 10 Years
            3 months, 3 days ago

            Don’t like either tbh

        • Jet5605
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 3 days 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 - Robertson - Dallas - DCL

        • sminkypinky
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 3 days ago

          Tell me am I daft in saving my ft?

          Martinez
          Digne Stones Dias Cresswell
          Son Grealish Salah Bruno Gundo
          Antonio

          Steer Bamford Dallas DCL

          1. Rinseboy
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 3 days ago

            think I would get Pope with an FT

            1. sminkypinky
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 3 days ago

              Would lose 0.5 on Marty and not afford him back even if somehow afforded the ft’s for it. I get what you’re saying but Marty is a keeper for me. Thanks for your opinion though Rinse!

              1. sminkypinky
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 9 Years
                3 months, 3 days ago

                Oh and can’t afford Pope for Steer for free.

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

            Or should i do Digne -> Tark?

        • Rinseboy
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 3 days ago

          Play Soucek
          or Tark/Mee -4?

          Do Sheffield conceed many headed goals?!

        • J ⚒ Salah & Vinagre
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 3 days ago

          Any digne news?

          1. Rinseboy
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 3 days ago

            no news good or bad

          2. Reeker
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 3 days ago

            Was watching the game. He just looked tired from playing so many minutes.

          3. Tonyawesome69
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 3 days ago

            Digne pictured training today

          4. J ⚒ Salah & Vinagre
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 3 days ago

            Thanks all. Fingers crossed!

        • Reeker
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          3 months, 3 days ago

          What would be your strategy with this lot?

          Martinez
          Coufal - Dias - Cancelo
          Gundogan - Grelish - Salah - Fernandes
          DCL* - Antonio - Bamford
          (Peacock-Farrell) (Soucek) (Robertson) (Dallas)

          Have WC and BB

          2 FT - 3.6m ITB

          Was going to do Peacock-Farrell -> Pope and Robertson to Tarkowski then WC next week.

          Probably ship out DCL now but unsure what do to do with the chips as well.

          1. Pukki Party
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 3 days ago

            I'd go ahead with that plan and bench DCL over Soucek. Maybe DCL to Ings next week? Thoughts below?

            1. Jindaljain
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 3 days ago

              Yes ryt

        • Pukki Party
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 3 days ago

          Thoughts? 2ft 1.1itb

          Martinez
          Cancelo Stones Taylor Robbo
          Salah Son Bruno Soucek
          Bamford Antonio

          Ramsdale DCL Holding Anguissa

          A) Robbo, Anguissa to Gundogan, Mee
          B) Stones, Anguissa, Salah to Tarkowski, Foden, Sterling -4

          1. Reeker
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 3 days ago

            I like B. Sterling is such an easy captain pick for this week.

            1. Pukki Party
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 3 days ago

              Thanks i agree.

        • Jindaljain
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 3 days ago

          Captain Sterling or Gundogan?

          1. Pukki Party
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 3 days ago

            Sterling

            1. Jindaljain
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 3 days ago

              Your cap Gundo ?

              1. Pukki Party
                • 3 Years
                3 months, 3 days ago

                Depends if i get Sterling in or not, currently own neither.

        • TAT
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 3 days ago

          Got two FTs and 6.1 in the bank. Is Button + Robertson > Pope and Shaw decent transfers?
          Next GW I’ll target bringing in Son, then maybe a replacement for Pope before BB in GW 26.

          Martínez
          Cancelo - Dias - Mee - Robertson*
          Gündogan - Raphinha - Fernandes - Salah
          Bamford - Watkins
          (Button* - DCL - Anguissa - Dallas)

          1. Pukki Party
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 3 days ago

            Good moves

            1. TAT
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 3 days ago

              Would like to get Kane as well, but I'm reluctant to ditch any of Watkins, Bamford or DCL. Got the WC still though, so I have a way of making some moer changes for BB26 if needed.

        • Kuyt Hero
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 3 days ago

          Start Son or Raphinha?

          1. Pukki Party
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 3 days ago

            Son

        • Huddersfield
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 3 days ago

          Best Def/Mid 1 Gw punt other than Burnley def & City?

          1. Pukki Party
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 3 days ago

            Shaw Rashford maybe

            1. Huddersfield
              • 5 Years
              3 months, 3 days ago

              Do you reckon one of these 2 will outscore all the Everton def/mids , Fulham def/mids & Burnley mids?

        • Hybrid.power
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          3 months, 3 days ago

          Bench Son or Bamford?

          1. Jindaljain
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 3 days ago

            Both

          2. Wild Rover
            • 10 Years
            3 months, 3 days ago

            I went with Son based on opposition and extra time midweek. Not confident though

          3. sminkypinky
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 3 days ago

            I went with Bam. Son has a record against City.

        • Tango74
            3 months, 3 days ago

            Wilson to Cavani or Watkins ?

            1. Fantabulous KdB
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 3 days ago

              If they get DGW25 then Watkins, else Cavani for this week

              1. Tango74
                  3 months, 3 days ago

                  But need do 1 before deadline as 2ft lol

            2. shapply
              • 7 Years
              3 months, 3 days ago

              play 1:
              a) Soucek vs SHU
              b) Ings vs WOL

            3. Fantabulous KdB
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 3 days ago

              Is Digne injured or ready to play?

              1. Wild Rover
                • 10 Years
                3 months, 3 days ago

                There has been no news at all.

                1. sminkypinky
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 9 Years
                  3 months, 3 days ago

                  Frustrating. Made me think about Digne to Tarkowski with my ft.

            4. Twisted Saltergater
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 11 Years
              3 months, 3 days ago

              Sterling or Foden? Will probably captain Pope.

              1. Wild Rover
                • 10 Years
                3 months, 3 days ago

                Sterling, unless you need the funds for Kane

                1. Twisted Saltergater
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 11 Years
                  3 months, 3 days ago

                  I do. Cheers, am feeling Foden.

                  1. Wild Rover
                    • 10 Years
                    3 months, 3 days ago

                    He’s loving it 😉

            5. Gudjohnsen
              • 4 Years
              3 months, 3 days ago

              Any chance Digne gets a rest on sunday?

              1. Bookkeeper
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 3 days ago

                just why?

            6. jonnybhoy
              • 8 Years
              3 months, 3 days ago

              Who to captain?

              A) Bruno
              B) Gundo
              C) Pope

            7. Kay317
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 1 Year
              3 months, 3 days ago

              Play Bamford or Grealish?
              Currently on Grealish but not so sure...

            8. Mane Mane Mane
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              3 months, 3 days ago

              Bamford or Soucek? Who should I choose to play this week?