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. 

Become a Member and get unrestricted access to our data and articles

Full-year memberships are now available for the price of £19.99. Monthly subscriptions also cost just £2.99. A FREE trial is now available during December.

Join now to get the following:

  • Plot your transfer strategies using the fully interactive Season Ticker.
  • Get projections for every Premier League player provided by the Rate My Team statistical model.
  • Use Rate My Team throughout the season to guide your selections and transfers.
  • Get access to over 150+ exclusive members articles over the season.
  • Analyse our OPTA-powered statistic tables specifically tailored for Fantasy Football Managers.
  • Use our exclusive tool to build custom stats tables from over 100 OPTA player and team stats.
  • Enjoy our brand NEW Flat-Track Bully feature which introduces an opposition filter to your tables.
  • View heatmaps and expected goals data for every player.
  • Use our powerful comparison tool to analyse players head-to-head.

ALREADY A USER? CLICK HERE TO UPGRADE YOUR FREE ACCOUNT

NEW TO SCOUT? CLICK HERE TO START A MEMBERSHIP ACCOUNT

4,305 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Nightf0x
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    Start dalas or son ?

    1. Aster
        1 month, 27 days ago

        Son

      • More Cowbell
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        Got to be son I think

      • Indio
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        Son.

      • In Bale We Trust
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        Son

      • Pep Roulette
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        Sonaldo

    2. More Cowbell
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      Is 5x DGW players enough for this week?
      3 x city
      1xbur defender
      1 x fulham keeper

      1. TSILIKAFENEIAKOS
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        More than average

      2. Ajax Hamsterdam
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        yep I also have 5 🙂

      3. Pep Roulette
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        Yes

      4. Indio
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        yep looks good

    3. Indio
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      Would you BB the team below? Or is next week better if I bring in some Leeds/Ings?

      (Striker flags putting me off a little - no FTs left but could do Forster > Pope for -4.)

      Martinez
      Tarkowski, Cancelo, Shaw
      Salah, Gundo (V), Sterling (C), Bruno,
      DCL, Antonio, Bamford
      (Forster, Soucek, Coufal, KWP)

    4. cutch
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      What are the odds of Antonio starting against SHU?

      1. Aster
          1 month, 27 days ago

          High I would say, but one never knows

        • F_Ivanovic
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 27 days ago

          75%, says on the website mate.

        • Mongreloid
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 27 days ago

          High

        • Sun Jihai
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          1 month, 27 days ago

          70%

        • Fudgy
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 27 days ago

          He's starting for sure and hauling

          1. Pep Roulette
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 27 days ago

            This

            1. AC/DC AFC
              • 5 Years
              1 month, 24 days ago

              didn't happen...

        • Deulofail
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 27 days ago

          I just sold him, so 0%.

        • Collie01
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 27 days ago

          I'm just not convinced.

          Last game, he was holding his hamstring and signalling to the bench to be subbed. Moyes says he's just back on grass. Yarmo, their backup striker, is injured. Are they going to risk rushing back Antonio with his track record of hamstring injuries against Sheffield United? Also Moyes has form earlier in the season of saying Antonio was close to a return but he didn't appear for weeks and weeks.

          I guess it's 50-50 to be honest. And if he does start, I wouldn't be surprised if he had minutes managed or was careful in himself.

          1. Dusty Donut
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            1 month, 27 days ago

            Worth the risk I reckon

      2. Mongreloid
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        Fabianski (Meslier)
        Stones Cancelo Lowton (Kilman, Justin)
        Salah Son Grealish Fernandes (Soucek)
        Jesus(C) Antonio Watkins

        1FT and 1.5m in the bank. Any changes suggested or am I G2G?

        1. Emp
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          1 month, 27 days ago

          cap bruno or cancelo

      3. F_Ivanovic
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        Is it worth a 4 point hit for Richarlison? My front 3 are Antonio, Bamford and DCL - currently benching DCL but there are doubts over Antonio starting which would mean I only have DCL for the tough city fixture.

        1. Aster
            1 month, 27 days ago

            No. I would forget about Everton regardless of their DGW

            1. F_Ivanovic
              • 5 Years
              1 month, 27 days ago

              I'm WC next week so it's a 1 week punt. Even if he just gets 4 points I'd likely only been down a couple.

        2. Nightf0x
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 27 days ago

          Justin to ?

          A) shaw
          B) rudiger/alonso
          C) white/burn
          D) lowton/taylor (have pope)
          E) digne
          F) cahill/dann

          1. Mongreloid
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 27 days ago

            D lowton

        3. Andre_The_Giant
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 27 days ago

          Is Pope (c) lunacy?

          1. Coys96
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 27 days ago

            No, but boring

          2. Milkman Bruno
              1 month, 27 days ago

              Yeah

            • Dusty Donut
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 27 days ago

              No

            • Mork calling Orson
              • 8 Years
              1 month, 27 days ago

              Watching 3 hours of football praying for all those shots not to go in is bad for your health.

          3. Pep Roulette
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 27 days ago

            Who's a best DCL replacement for upcoming gameweeks? No WC or FH remaining. Probably BB this week.
            (Except Bamford & Antonio. Money no issue)

            1. Pep Roulette
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 27 days ago

              the best**

            2. Collie01
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 27 days ago

              Ings or Kane. Watkins decent also.

            3. Milkman Bruno
                1 month, 27 days ago

                I went with Cavani

              • Deulofail
                • 5 Years
                1 month, 27 days ago

                I'm keeping for now, but I sold Antonio for Ings. After that, I'm hoping to get Kane. Then I would consider Watkins for the DGW(s).

                It's good to plan ahead, but I'd go for the one with a confirmed DGW next week, personally, as I did, or keep DCL, as I did.

              • Pep Roulette
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 27 days ago

                Cheers everyone

            4. Mongreloid
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 5 Years
              1 month, 27 days ago

              I wouldn’t, especially if you have any value tied up in him

              1. Mongreloid
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 5 Years
                1 month, 27 days ago

                Reply fail to the above

                1. Pep Roulette
                  • 3 Years
                  1 month, 27 days ago

                  Cheers. No value tied up on him!

            5. In Bale We Trust
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 11 Years
              1 month, 27 days ago

              People who are benching son. Who is in ahead of him for you?

              1. Aster
                  1 month, 27 days ago

                  Dias, Cancelo, Mee, Shaw, Saka, Sterling, Bruno, Soucek

              2. Muscout
                • 1 Year
                1 month, 27 days ago

                McCarthy
                Cancelo Chilwell Coufal
                Salah Bruno Son Gundo
                Antonio Bamford DCL

                Steer H.Barnes Dallas J.Lewis

                2 FT, 2.8 itb, planning to WC25, BB26

                Son, Chilwell and DCL to Sterling, Tarkowski and Richarlison -4?

                Thoughts appreciated!!

              3. Aster
                  1 month, 27 days ago

                  Bench Son or Dias (have Cancelo)?

                • Jdpz
                  • 1 Year
                  1 month, 27 days ago

                  Best def under 6.1m (not City def, Mee, Coufal)?

                • Buck The Trent
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 9 Years
                  1 month, 27 days ago

                  Rashford, Stones to Sterling (c), Lowton for -4? Yay or nay?

                  1. Steiger
                    • 2 Years
                    1 month, 27 days ago

                    Nay

                  2. Dusty Donut
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 6 Years
                    1 month, 27 days ago

                    Nay

                • More Cowbell
                  • 11 Years
                  1 month, 27 days ago

                  Is this a bench worth boosting?
                  McCarthy (WOL)
                  Dallas (ars)
                  Konsa (bri)
                  Bissouma (AVL)

                  Currently thinking NO, but welcome opinions

                  1. In Bale We Trust
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 11 Years
                    1 month, 27 days ago

                    Definitely not

                  2. Milkman Bruno
                      1 month, 27 days ago

                      Nope

                    • Dusty Donut
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 6 Years
                      1 month, 27 days ago

                      No way

                  3. Iceball
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 6 Years
                    1 month, 27 days ago

                    Mendy
                    Dias(V) Stones Mee Tarkowski
                    Gundo(C) Bruno Salah
                    Bamford Richarlison
                    Meslier Grealish Son Coufal
                    GTG?

                    1. Iceball
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 6 Years
                      1 month, 27 days ago

                      Antonio in starting XI also

                    2. Milkman Bruno
                        1 month, 27 days ago

                        Yeah, almost bench boostable

                    3. Milkman Bruno
                        1 month, 27 days ago

                        How’s she looking? -4 & BB

                        Mendy
                        Cancelo, Digne, Tarkowski
                        Salah, Sterling, Grealish, Gundogan
                        Cavani, Richarlison, Reid

                        Martinez, Minamino, Shaw, Chillwell

                        1. Coys96
                          • 3 Years
                          1 month, 27 days ago

                          Great - only issue is Chilwell, maybe him to Tarkowski

                          1. Milkman Bruno
                              1 month, 27 days ago

                              Tarkowski in the starting XI ! On a -4 already too

                        2. More Cowbell
                          • 11 Years
                          1 month, 27 days ago

                          Who to start:
                          a) Soucak (SHU)
                          b) Ings (WOL)

                          1. Coys96
                            • 3 Years
                            1 month, 27 days ago

                            b

                          2. ZAWAd25
                            • 3 Years
                            1 month, 27 days ago

                            B

                          3. Dusty Donut
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 6 Years
                            1 month, 27 days ago

                            A

                        3. Franfe98
                          • 7 Years
                          1 month, 27 days ago

                          Hi guys, need some help here

                          Have 4.4 in the bank, buy Pieters (0 point) or a 5.4 defender (-4 point)? If second, suggest defender.

                          Thanks!

                        4. TSILIKAFENEIAKOS
                          • 6 Years
                          1 month, 27 days ago

                          If you don't have Gundo yet would you do :

                          A. Maddisson -> Gundo
                          B. Son -> Sterling

                          5th in my ML and everyone else has Gundo

                          1. Milkman Bruno
                              1 month, 27 days ago

                              B but get back for 26

                            • Steiger
                              • 2 Years
                              1 month, 27 days ago

                              Yeah, and cap Sterling

                            • Benjustjamin
                              • 6 Years
                              1 month, 27 days ago

                              b

                            • Dusty Donut
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              • 6 Years
                              1 month, 27 days ago

                              B

                          2. Will J 256
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            1 month, 27 days ago

                            Thoughts on this?
                            Dier and Justin to Lowton and Dallas for free?

                            1. rjcv177
                              • 5 Years
                              1 month, 27 days ago

                              Great

                          3. bruuuno
                            • 2 Years
                            1 month, 27 days ago

                            Who should be benched?

                            A. Son
                            B. Bamford
                            C. Coufal

                            1. Aster
                                1 month, 27 days ago

                                C

                              • Park the bus
                                • 9 Years
                                1 month, 27 days ago

                                A

                                1. Park the bus
                                  • 9 Years
                                  1 month, 27 days ago

                                  sorry C

                                  didnt "C" that option...

                            2. Park the bus
                              • 9 Years
                              1 month, 27 days ago

                              probably pretty common Qs this week:

                              SELL: Saka or Soucek
                              BUY: Foden or Gundo

                              1. Milkman Bruno
                                  1 month, 27 days ago

                                  Saka - will hurt your rank less if he punished you.
                                  Gundo

                              2. PL Ball
                                • 9 Years
                                1 month, 27 days ago

                                DDG (Johnstone)
                                Cancelo*, Stones*, Cresswell, Coufal, Mee*
                                Bruno, Son, Soucek, Gundo* (Smith-Rowe)
                                Bamford, (Watkins, DCL)

                                2FTs.8.7 ITB

                                Any thoughts on what to do here?

                                1. Milkman Bruno
                                    1 month, 27 days ago

                                    DCL to Kane/Ings/Cavani

                                    Play Watkins

                                    1. PL Ball
                                      • 9 Years
                                      1 month, 27 days ago

                                      Hmm. Who would you play for Watkins and DCL replacement?

                                      1. Milkman Bruno
                                          1 month, 27 days ago

                                          I’d play Watkins and Cavani over the hammers

                                  • ZAWAd25
                                    • 3 Years
                                    1 month, 27 days ago

                                    DCL to who? 3.9m itb

                                    1- Kane
                                    2- Punt on Cavani
                                    3- Watkins fro DGW
                                    4- Someone else?

                                    1. Fer Fuch's Ake
                                      • 7 Years
                                      1 month, 27 days ago

                                      Richa?

                                    2. rjcv177
                                      • 5 Years
                                      1 month, 27 days ago

                                      I did 2

                                    3. Kay317
                                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                      • 1 Year
                                      1 month, 27 days ago

                                      I've gone for cavani. Fixture is too good to resist.

                                  • Corona is not good 4 U
                                      1 month, 27 days ago

                                      G2g?

                                      Pope
                                      Dias, Stones, Mee, Digne
                                      Güdogan (C), Fernades, Salah, Soucek
                                      Bamford, Antonio

                                      Mc. Carthy, Coufal, Raphinha, Calvert-Lewin.

                                      Thanks!

                                    • rjcv177
                                      • 5 Years
                                      1 month, 27 days ago

                                      Evening great rivals

                                      This week only
                                      A) bamford
                                      B) lowton (-4)

                                      1. KrisMCFC
                                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                        • 4 Years
                                        1 month, 27 days ago

                                        Let's guess:

                                        Say Bamford scores once = 6 points
                                        Arsenal i'm sure will conceed, and most goals involve Bamford.
                                        Even just an assist is 5 points in total.

                                        Lowton 2 clean sheets = 12 points (-4) = 8 points
                                        He hasn't logged a single assist or goal or season so little chances there for extra.
                                        He also only has 2 bps all season.

                                        Therefore you're relying on Burnley to get 2 clean sheets for a gain of roughly 2 points. For 6 points gain in total you're relying on Bamford to blank and Burnley 2 CS.

                                        Burnley chances of 2 CS are probably less likely than a single goal involvement from Bamford I would say.

                                        1 Burnley CS and 1 Bamford goal makes your transfer a cost of -2 points.

                                        All points to holding and playing Bamford mate!

                                      2. F_Ivanovic
                                        • 5 Years
                                        1 month, 27 days ago

                                        bamford

                                    • Kay317
                                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                      • 1 Year
                                      1 month, 27 days ago

                                      GTG? Bench and line up correct?
                                      Martinez
                                      Shaw, Cancelo, Lowton
                                      Salah, Sterling (c), Gundo, Bruno (vc), Grealish,
                                      Cavani, Antonio
                                      (Forster, Cresswell, Bamford, Dallas)

                                      Any advice appreciated.

                                    • melvinmbabazi
                                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                      • 7 Years
                                      1 month, 27 days ago

                                      Thoughts on what to do this week? 1.0 ITB 1FT

                                      McCarthy
                                      Stones I Mee I Shaw
                                      Salah I Bruno | Sterling | Son | Gundo
                                      *DCL | Watkins

                                      Forster I Coufal I Dallas I Brewster I

                                      Thanks