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. bobfredbob
    • 1 Year
    4 months, 3 days ago

    What do you we about giving the armband to Foden?

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

      Why not

      1. Uncle Gamst
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        4 months, 3 days ago

        Pep thinks Foden has still a lot to learn

    2. Aster
        4 months, 3 days ago

        No

    3. thepuntmaster
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 3 days ago

      Anything else needed here? 0FT, 0.7itb
      Pope (cry, FUL)
      Digne (FUL, MCI) - Stones (TOT,eve) - Coufal (SHU)
      Sterling C (TOT,eve) - Salah (lei) - Fernandes vc (wba) - Grealish (bha)
      DCL (MCI) - Watkins (bha) - Bamford (ars)
      (Steele - Anguissa - Kilman - Bartley)

      A) G2G
      B) Grealish > Gundo (-4 and C)
      C) something else

      Thanks

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

        Nah

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

          A

      2. Uncle Gamst
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        4 months, 3 days ago

        Can you afford DCL > Ings?

    4. Gandalf
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      4 months, 3 days ago

      Thinking ahead to GW26, and ruling out losing Bruno / Salah, which one would you leave out:
      A. Kane
      B. Son
      C. Grealish

      Unfortunately can't afford all 5 of the above albeit sure there are teams out there that can

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

        c

      2. OptimusBlack
        • 8 Years
        4 months, 3 days ago

        Salah to get Kane

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

        I have a similar dilemma. Mine is a toss up between Grealish and Son depending if I get Pope or Lowton. Definitely bringing in Kane and keeping Bruno and Salah.

      4. OptimusBlack
        • 8 Years
        4 months, 3 days ago

        C Sorry

      5. Die Hard
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        4 months, 3 days ago

        C) particularly if you have Watkins

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

      Would you take a hit for either Barnes->Rashford or Dcl->Barnes?

      1. Luton_Fan
        • 11 Years
        4 months, 3 days ago

        thinking A.

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

          cheers

    6. OptimusBlack
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 3 days ago

      Plz bench one of those
      A- James NEW (H)
      B- Dallas ARS (A)
      C- Coufal SHU (H)

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

        B. Easy

        1. OptimusBlack
          • 8 Years
          4 months, 3 days ago

          But ye play upfront now

      2. Aster
          4 months, 3 days ago

          C

        • osceola31909
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          4 months, 3 days ago

          B

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

        For GW25 would you rather:

        A. Martinez (LEI)

        B. McCarthy (CHE, lee)

        Thanks

        1. Bushwhacker
          • 1 Year
          4 months, 3 days ago

          Might depend on whether Ralph throws us for a loop this weekend. Don't see a clean sheet among those three fixtures though, so B.

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

            Cheers Bush

        2. marcos11
            4 months, 3 days ago

            B, provided he starts

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

              Thanks, yeah Forster lurking

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

          Would you start Raphinha or Robertson?

          Haven't really considered starting Robertson but maybe I should?

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

            Raphinha imo.

          2. OptimusBlack
            • 8 Years
            4 months, 3 days ago

            Raphinha

        4. Uncle Gamst
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          4 months, 3 days ago

          a) Wilson > Cavani & DCL > Ings
          b) Wilson > Richarlison & DCL > Ings
          c) something else

          Cavani has wba, NEW,
          Richarlison has FUL/MCI, liv

          Thanks

        5. Pep Roulette
          • 3 Years
          4 months, 3 days ago

          A. Play Son & save FT

          B. Mitchell to Tarkowski for free & bench Son

          1. Bushwhacker
            • 1 Year
            4 months, 3 days ago

            Play Son

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

            B imo, but depends on your need to have 2 FTs next GW

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

            Cheers both

        6. tom2224
          • 3 Years
          4 months, 3 days ago

          Play Coufal or R.James?

          1. EgyptianKing
            • 2 Years
            4 months, 3 days ago

            Reece imo

          2. Aster
              4 months, 3 days ago

              James

            • tom2224
              • 3 Years
              4 months, 3 days ago

              Or play both and bench Antonio...

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

            Cancelo Son —> Lowton Sterling (C)? For -4

            Yes or no?

            1. Bushwhacker
              • 1 Year
              4 months, 3 days ago

              Hell no.

            2. Aster
                4 months, 3 days ago

                No

              • tom2224
                • 3 Years
                4 months, 3 days ago

                Noo

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

              Price changes in 1 hr?

              1. aleksaa2
                • 4 Years
                4 months, 3 days ago

                Yes

              2. Aster
                  4 months, 3 days ago

                  No

              3. JohannaAdams10
                • 2 Years
                4 months, 3 days ago

                Would you sell DCL for a hit?

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

                  Considering it. Might get Ings to attack the double next week and bench boost.

                2. Aster
                    4 months, 3 days ago

                    No

                3. Alex1995
                  • 4 Years
                  4 months, 3 days ago

                  G2G? Still have 1 FT and 3.6 ITB

                  Pope
                  Cancelo Dias Coufal Mee
                  Gundo(c) Salah Son Grealish
                  Antonio Bamford

                  Steer Son DCL Dallas

                4. Muscout
                  • 1 Year
                  4 months, 3 days ago

                  A lot of love for Cavani as a one week punt, I get he’s playing WBA but surely Richarlison playing near enough 180 mins out scores Cavani playing a not so guaranteed 90?

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

                    I don't think so.

                  2. tom2224
                    • 3 Years
                    4 months, 3 days ago

                    One of those games is Man City and he won’t have his pal DCL alongside him.

                  3. Aster
                      4 months, 3 days ago

                      Against City and Ful? With his record this year? Beg to reconsider

                    • Teahupo'o
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 9 Years
                      4 months, 3 days ago

                      Unlike Cavani, Richarlison played 120 minutes midweek and hasn't scored since gw13. An extra match against Man City doesn't exactly make him more appealing.

                      1. Muscout
                        • 1 Year
                        4 months, 3 days ago

                        That is very true, time to reconsider..

                    • DycheDycheBaby
                      • 6 Years
                      4 months, 3 days ago

                      Richarlison has only 2 PL goals this season. And he's without the big man upfront. I can't see him getting much at all.

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

                    Martinez - McCarthy
                    Cresswell - Stones* - Dallas - Mitchell - Justin^
                    Salah - Bruno - Foden* - Gundogan* - Soucek
                    Bamford - Antonio - DCL^

                    2 x FTs, 7.7m ITB

                    Ideas please, I'm struggling 😀

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

                      Would you rather:

                      A. Martinez - Tark/Mee* - Richarlison*
                      B. Pope* - Keane/Digne* - Soucek

                    2. DickFranDyke
                      • 12 Years
                      4 months, 3 days ago

                      Justin and Mitchell out

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

                        Yeah, although Mitchell might have to wait a week.

                        Or actually, those two out and Bur & Eve defs in?

                        That way can keep both GKs, as was thinking of getting Pope for Burnley def cover

                    3. aleksaa2
                      • 4 Years
                      4 months, 3 days ago

                      Why not a Burnley def for Justin

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

                        Yeah, almost certainly will happen, or EVE def

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

                      Justin and DCL to Cavani and Tark.

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

                        Not a fan of Cavani

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

                      Depends if you have a chip strat.
                      But I'd consider selling Antonio for Ings, Justin for a BUR, LEE, SOU, AVL or EVE defender

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

                        Not DCL out first?

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

                          DCL has DGWs coming up. I sold Antonio instead, myself

                    6. Jafooli
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 9 Years
                      4 months, 3 days ago

                      Cheers all...only have BB & TC remaining

                  5. Luton_Fan
                    • 11 Years
                    4 months, 3 days ago

                    i have ederson, dias and cancelo but need to sell one to get Gundo.

                    A. Cancelo to Lowton
                    B. Ederson to Pope

                    Im thinking A as its 0.9 cheaper and Cancelo obviously less likely to play twice in this dgw and future dgw's.

                    Agree? Any feedback much appreciated.

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

                      Would think selling Cancelo could easily be regretted. Looks likes he's playing in a key role pushing forward easy to haul.

                      What would you use the cash for though?

                  6. thegaffer82
                    • 9 Years
                    4 months, 3 days ago

                    Would appreciate any advice on this team;

                    ...........Martinez
                    ....Cancelo - Stones - Mee
                    Salah - Bruno - Rash - Gundo - Jack
                    ..........Bam - Antonio*
                    Bench: DCL*- Mitchell - Justin*
                    1FT & 2FT - all chips intact.

                    Don’t really need to replace DCL or Justin as they aren’t in my starting XI anyway. But seems silly to not use the FT when I could bring in someone better...

                    A) Save FT
                    B) DCL > Cavani (bench Antonio/Jack)
                    C) DCL > Ings (god knows who to bench)
                    D) Justin > Lowton/Shaw/Dallas (again, god knows)

                    1. Aster
                        4 months, 3 days ago

                        B

                    2. Shrimpy
                      • 5 Years
                      4 months, 3 days ago

                      Start 1 from Wood, Raphina, Dallas.
                      Am already starting Bamford.

                      1. Aster
                          4 months, 3 days ago

                          R

                        • Traction Engine Foot
                          • 3 Years
                          4 months, 3 days ago

                          Wood

                        • Aster
                            4 months, 3 days ago

                            Raphina

                        • HD7
                          • 4 Years
                          4 months, 3 days ago

                          Maddy or Bamford who to start?

                          1. thegaffer82
                            • 9 Years
                            4 months, 3 days ago

                            Tough. Bam just about I think

                          2. Luton_Fan
                            • 11 Years
                            4 months, 3 days ago

                            Bam

                          3. aleksaa2
                            • 4 Years
                            4 months, 3 days ago

                            Bam, we a are disgraceful

                          4. Aster
                              4 months, 3 days ago

                              Bam

                          5. Hansel
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 10 Years
                            4 months, 3 days ago

                            Play Bamford, Son or Robbo?

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

                              Tough...Bamford

                            2. Aster
                                4 months, 3 days ago

                                Bam

                            3. HippY
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              • 10 Years
                              4 months, 3 days ago

                              Pick one to start

                              A) Coufal (SHU)
                              B) Soucek (SHU)
                              C) Bamford (ars)
                              D) KWP (WOL)

                              1. Aster
                                  4 months, 3 days ago

                                  B

                                • Mile Plankton
                                  • 8 Years
                                  4 months, 3 days ago

                                  I typed C, I checked others and deleted C, I typed B, same, then I went for A.
                                  I really cant pick.

                                • Rahul
                                  • 9 Years
                                  4 months, 3 days ago

                                  B

                                • thegaffer82
                                  • 9 Years
                                  4 months, 3 days ago

                                  That’ll probably beat my BB whenever I decide to play it. Tough decisions there.

                                  Play the striker I guess

                                • Teahupo'o
                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                  • 9 Years
                                  4 months, 3 days ago

                                  B

                              2. DycheDycheBaby
                                • 6 Years
                                4 months, 3 days ago

                                Martinez,
                                Stones, Cresswell, Mee
                                Fernandes, Salah, Gundo, Grealish
                                Antonio, DCL, Bamford
                                Bench: Forster, Taylor, Alioski, Bissouma

                                Choose one:
                                a) Bissouma > Sterling. Bench DCL
                                b) DCL, Forster > Cavani, Pope for -4
                                c) Taylor, Forster > Cancelo, Pope for -4. Bench DCL

                              3. Dthinger
                                • 4 Years
                                4 months, 3 days ago

                                Well I’ve officially lost the plot. Brought in Gabriel Jesus for a hit. Bring in the LOLs

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

                                  Could be genius to be fair. Good luck.

                              4. Mile Plankton
                                • 8 Years
                                4 months, 3 days ago

                                Is DCL->Rich crazy?
                                I think I want him only for this DGW, and ship him for Kane next week.
                                Waste of transfer?

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

                                  For a hit or free? Could pay off but feels risky.

                                  1. Mile Plankton
                                    • 8 Years
                                    4 months, 3 days ago

                                    DCL-> Rich would be free, but it would require a hit later.
                                    I have Justin and Wilson to sort.

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

                                      No then, sort of the other 2 first

                                2. HippY
                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                  • 10 Years
                                  4 months, 3 days ago

                                  I nearly did the same but ended on Cavani. I like the move for one GW though

                                3. Aster
                                    4 months, 3 days ago

                                    Waste

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

                                    It's not crazy but depends on rest of your team.

                                  • osceola31909
                                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                    • 8 Years
                                    4 months, 3 days ago

                                    I did it, but I will likely WC next week.

                                4. Rahul
                                  • 9 Years
                                  4 months, 3 days ago

                                  Any chance DCL plays any part against fulham? He's been deemed "fit enough" for Man City. Wondering if I should keep him on the bench or take a risk and play him instead of Maguire/Son.

                                  A: Keep DCL in starting XI
                                  B: Remove DCL and bring in Maguire/Son

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

                                    I'd be looking to start Maguire this week regardless

                                    1. Rahul
                                      • 9 Years
                                      4 months, 3 days ago

                                      Already starting Coufal, Dias and Lowton

                                  2. Aster
                                      4 months, 3 days ago

                                      B

                                    • ZimZalabim
                                      • 4 Years
                                      4 months, 3 days ago

                                      hes ruled out for the weekend and they expect him to play midweek

                                      So he could even just come off the bench vs City after missing Fulham. Ive benched him for Coufal

                                  3. Joyce1998
                                    • 5 Years
                                    4 months, 3 days ago

                                    G2G on WC??

                                    Ederson
                                    Mee, Rudiger, Digne
                                    Salah, Sterling, Gundo, Bruno
                                    Bmaford, Ings, Watkins

                                    Steer, Dallas, Burke, Dunne

                                  4. osceola31909
                                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                    • 8 Years
                                    4 months, 3 days ago

                                    Areola to Pope (-4)?

                                    1. aleksaa2
                                      • 4 Years
                                      4 months, 3 days ago

                                      Nah

                                    2. Rahul
                                      • 9 Years
                                      4 months, 3 days ago

                                      Nahhhh

                                    3. MikeS
                                      • 6 Years
                                      4 months, 3 days ago

                                      No way

                                  5. OptimusBlack
                                    • 8 Years
                                    4 months, 3 days ago

                                    Who is Burnley Defender to get for -4 pts ?

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

                                      lowton or mee

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

                                    Robbo to Mee or save a transfer?

                                    1. Rahul
                                      • 9 Years
                                      4 months, 3 days ago

                                      Tbh best gw to have mee. Do it!