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

    Worrying Antonio may be only on bench. Currently put Bamford ahead of him.

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

      A benching would be a blow.

    2. Rupert The Horse
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 2 days ago

      Why? Do you think Antonio comes off the bench?

      1. Salan
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        3 months, 2 days ago

        Yes. "Antonio gets some minutes" makes me think he will come off the bench to play around 20 minutes.

        1. BENOIT
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 2 days ago

          Who said that?

    3. AC/DC AFC
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 2 days ago

      Both are good picks.

      Antonio at home on the fixture tho.

  2. AC/DC AFC
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 2 days ago

    Appreciate tips. Currently on:

    Pope.
    Cancelo, Stones, Shaw.
    Gundogan, Bruno, Soucek, Saka, Son.
    Bamford, Antonio.

    Bench: Fabianski. Holding, DCL, Justin.

    Would you recommend either:

    A) Justin to Tarkowski,
    B) Stones and Saka to Sterling and Tarkowski?

    Thanks in advance.

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

      If you do B what's your Kane plan?

      1. AC/DC AFC
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 2 days ago

        Switch it up again.

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

          I like B but since you already have Pope I would get in Targett as the defender in preparation for 26 and 29 unless you are WC 25/26

  3. Bobby_Baggio
    • 10 Years
    3 months, 2 days ago

    Evening. Which one please? Think I'll bench Son too.

    Pope
    Dias - Coufal - Stones
    Salah - Gundo - Bruno - Son - Soucek
    Bam - Antonio

    (McCarthy) - DCL - Alioski - Justin

    A) Justin > Shaw
    B) Justin > Mee/Lowton

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

      A - Prepare for future GWs and you already Pope

    2. AC/DC AFC
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 2 days ago

      Both make sense.
      A for longer B for now.

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

    Q1 Transfer
    A. Johnstone to Pope and roll FT
    B. Stones and Salah to Lowton and Sterling

    Q2 Which player to start
    A. Soucek
    B. Cresswell

    2FT 6.7itb
    Martinez
    Cancelo Stones Digne
    Salah Bruno Gundo Raphinha
    Bamford Antonio DCL
    (Johnstone Soucek Cresswell Holding)

    1. AC/DC AFC
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 2 days ago

      BA

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

    DCL -> Ings ?

    Have 2 fts anyway

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

      Yes

  6. Bury94
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 2 days ago

    B

    1. AC/DC AFC
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 2 days ago

      A

  7. Athletico Underachieving
      3 months, 2 days ago

      Gotta start Son over Coufal right...?

      1. AC/DC AFC
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 2 days ago

        Yep, i think

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

        Not sure on that one. Dias is fit so can't see Spurs getting anything

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

          Like Salah?

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

            More like a dive from Salah

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

              Never the less. Son/Kane don’t dive?

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

                Don't think they will get the opportunity to dive. City will control the game

          2. fusen
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 2 days ago

            Salah dived for a penalty, other than that he had almost no threat

            1. Peskey
                3 months, 1 day ago

                Exactly

        2. fusen
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 2 days ago

          No, why?

          Coufal Vs Sheffield or Son Vs City seems a very obvious choice for Coufal

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

          same dilemma..keep switching them around

          1. Athletico Underachieving
              3 months, 2 days ago

              Glad it’s not just me. Seems crazy to leave the 3rd top scorer of the season on the bench...but I think I will

          2. Jamb0
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 2 days ago

            Son!

        4. Rider on the Storm
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 2 days ago

          So nobody believes in King being DCL replacement?

          1. AC/DC AFC
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 2 days ago

            Possible.

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

          A) Richarlison & Rashford
          B) Cavani & JRod

          1. Rider on the Storm
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 2 days ago

            A

        6. Daniel-The FPL Fanatic 😉
          • 11 Years
          3 months, 2 days ago

          How long till the news embargo ends?

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

            I think it's normally around 10pm

            1. Daniel-The FPL Fanatic 😉
              • 11 Years
              3 months, 2 days ago

              uh too late, I wanna get to bed. I am in CET too

        7. Fantasy man on the top
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          3 months, 2 days ago

          Got 2 FT and my teams is:

          Martinez,Meslier

          Cancelo, Stones, Cresswell, Coufal, Mitchell

          Salah, Grealish, Bruno, Gundo, Romeu

          DCL, Bamford, Antonio

          Should I do one of these to get a couple more DGW players?:

          A) Coufal, Meslier and DCL -> Mee, Pope and Cavani for a -4.

          B) Coufal, Meslier and DCL -> Mee, Pope and Richarlison for -4

          C) Coufal, Meslier and Romeu -> Mee, Pope and Rashford -4

          D) Coufal and Meslier -> Mee and Pope

        8. King Kohli
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 2 days ago

          Which is the best week to BB?

          A.Gw 24
          Meslier(ars) Adams(WOL) Soucek (SHU) Coufal(SHU)

          B. Gw 25
          Martinez(LEI) Gundo(ars) Mee(WBA) Coufal(TOT)

          1. fusen
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 2 days ago

            That's pretty tough, maybe just B

          2. the snazzy viking
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 2 days ago

            B

        9. royals forever
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          3 months, 2 days ago

          Pick 2 to play

          Dias
          Coufal
          Stones

          Any ideas would be welcomed

          1. janowsc
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 2 days ago

            Gotta be double city imo

          2. fusen
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 2 days ago

            2 city

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

          Captain:

          1. Bruno
          2. Dias
          3. Tarko

          1. Kay317
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 2 days ago

            Bruno

          2. fusen
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 2 days ago

            1

          3. marcos11
              3 months, 2 days ago

              1

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

            Who would you bench out of...
            A) Bamford
            B) Raph
            C) Coufal

            Cheers

            1. fusen
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 2 days ago

              Raph if you're holding your rank, Bamford if you're chasing

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

              I always prefer to bench the defender in these situations. More fun that way imo

              1. janowsc
                • 6 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                That’s what I have at the moment, but Fusen has a good point

            3. waldo666
              • 10 Years
              3 months, 2 days ago

              C

          5. winchester
              3 months, 2 days ago

              Which ones to bench, 1 of each.
              1. coufal
              2. dallas
              3. taylor

              a. son
              b. soucek

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

                3B but close with Son there..

              2. marcos11
                  3 months, 2 days ago

                  2B

                • chriscosta
                  • 10 Years
                  3 months, 2 days ago

                  2B

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

                Martinez (Johnstone)
                Stones. Cancelo. Mee. Coufal (Ferguson)
                Grealish. Salah. Gundo. Bruno (Son)
                Bamford. Antonio (DCL)

                2 FT, 2.9 ITB (Probably looking to save my WC and still bench boost 26.)

                A) Johnstone -> Pope
                B) Ferguson -> Dallas

              4. tabby98
                • 5 Years
                3 months, 2 days 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. bautasten
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 3 Years
                  3 months, 2 days ago

                  Save? Or do you plan to wc next week?

                  1. tabby98
                    • 5 Years
                    3 months, 2 days ago

                    Just a bit concerned about some of my players not playing. Would you suggest wildcarding next week?

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

                Crazy starting Coufal or Soucek rather than Bamford?

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

                  Not crazy but I prefer Bamford out of those.

              6. MoSalad
                • 7 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                Feeling brave...........!

                Thinking of going -12 to get this.

                Areola
                Cancelo, Tark, Cressy
                Lookman, Sterling (C), Gundo, Salah, Penandes
                DCR, Richard

                Johnstone, AWB, Coufal, Bamford

                Means doing Stones, Barnes, Son, Antonio ----> Tark, Lookman, Sterling Richarl

                But then have 8 DWG players and could be a monster score. I'll go -8 next week as well to have Ings, Raphina & Dallas in the team & then DGW26 I'll probably go -16 know it's risky but hopefully it could work out.

                1. MoSalad
                  • 7 Years
                  3 months, 2 days ago

                  Richarl not Richard stupid Autocorrect

              7. THFC4LIFE
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                Transfers done, captain picked and team set. Good luck all

              8. Aurora Borealis?
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 9 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                Hi guys, I’m strongly thinking about using my WC tonight and would really appreciate your thoughts on my plan.

                Like a lot of you I have used my FH and therefore my initial plan was to make transfers from GW20 to BB in GW26 and WC in GW30. Unfortunately, all my transfers have subsequently got injured (Vardy, Kane, DLC, Zaha). I still think the best use of the BB is in GW26 and therefore now considering using my WC to either GW24/25.

                I am leaning more towards GW24 because there are 3 teams which have doubles this week and also “Very Likely” to in GW26 (MCI, EVE, BUR). If I was to WC in GW25 I could target the doubles in that week (SOU and LEE) however LEE don’t double in GW26 and SOU are only a “Possibility”.

                Looking at the other “Very Likely” teams with doubles in GW26, AVL and TOT are both appealing as both also play in BGW29.
                My plan therefore is to WC tonight and get 3 players from MCI, EVE, BUR, AVL and TOT, see below:

                Pope | Lloris
                Cancelo | Keane | Targett | Mee | Lowton
                Sterling | Son | Grealish | JRod | Gundo
                Kane | Richarlison | Watkins

                With this team I would have 9 double players for GW24, 15 for GW26 and if I make 3 transfers to LEE players between GW27-29, 9 players for BGW29.

                I would probably also transfer Richarlison to Bamford in GW25 to target LEE double and then maybe Bamford to DCL in GW26 (if he is fit), or back to Richarlison.

                Sorry for the long message, but it’s a big decision and would appreciate any feedback.
                Thanks

                1. Daniel-The FPL Fanatic 😉
                  • 11 Years
                  3 months, 2 days ago

                  Don't do it. 1 day before the deadline is the worst time to play the WC. Crelin and everyone else are just guessing. No one predicted double GW in 25 for Sot and Leeds

                  1. Aurora Borealis?
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 9 Years
                    3 months, 2 days ago

                    Yeah it really could make or break my season, im just so unhappy with my team and can see a lot of potential upside if it pays off. I guess it comes down to how reliable are these % likelihoods are

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

                  I like it sounds like a lot of thought gone into this.

                  1. Aurora Borealis?
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 9 Years
                    3 months, 2 days ago

                    haha thanks. probably as much time working it out as it did writing the message

              9. Daniel-The FPL Fanatic 😉
                • 11 Years
                3 months, 2 days ago

                I think I am going without Gundo at the end and praying things to work out.

                he has 9 goals from 13 SoT so I hope the saying "you can't run from an xG" will be good this time.

                Speaking on the topic of an xG I like Greenwood as a punt this GW.

                1. BENOIT
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 5 Years
                  3 months, 2 days ago

                  His shots are often from inside the 6 yard, which IMO means your logic is flawed.

              10. marcos11
                  3 months, 2 days ago

                  Captain?
                  a) Sterling
                  b) Gundo

                  Start?
                  a) Maddison
                  b) Holding
                  c) Mitchell

                  Currently on BA

                  1. Daniel-The FPL Fanatic 😉
                    • 11 Years
                    3 months, 2 days ago

                    I am captaining Sterling

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

                    A
                    A

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

                  Genuinely want to do Holding to Luke Shaw for the West Brom game, but means I’d have to bench Rudiger.

                  Or use my 2 FT to downgrade Harvey Barnes and get Pope in for Forster.

                  What should I do?

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

                  Martinez, Steer
                  Stones, Shaw, Coufal, Dier, KWP
                  Salah, Bruno, Son, Gundogan, Stephens
                  DCL, Bamford, Antonio

                  2FT

                  DCL & Dier --> Ings & Cancelo?

                • pundit of punts
                  • 8 Years
                  3 months, 2 days ago

                  Thoughts on this BB 26 team. WC IN 25.

                  Lloris - Schmeichel
                  Dias - Stones - Shaw - Holgate - Targett
                  Salah - Son - Grealish - Gundogan - Pereira
                  Kane - DCL - Watkins

                  I think I’ve cracked an ideal BB 15 dgwers team.:D

                • Wirbelwind
                  • 3 Years
                  3 months, 2 days ago

                  One transfer to make:

                  A) Soucek -> gundogan
                  B) Salah -> Sterling

                  1. AC/DC AFC
                    • 5 Years
                    3 months, 2 days ago

                    B
                    A

                    1. Wirbelwind
                      • 3 Years
                      3 months, 2 days ago

                      You like to play both sides so you always come out on top do you

                      Can only make one of the two, on two city defs

                • Drogba Legend
                  • 3 Years
                  3 months, 2 days ago

                  What to do here with flags over DCL, Antonio (looks fine), Dias (looks fine)?

                  Fabs
                  Robbo - Dias - Stones
                  Salah - Bruno - Gundo - Rashford
                  DCL* - Antonio* - Bamford

                  Fodder - Soucek - Brewster - Fodder

                  A) Fabs > Pope
                  B) DCL > Rich, Cavani, Ings or Martial?
                  C) Save, start Soucek over DCL
                  D) Something else

                  1. Nomar
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 11 Years
                    3 months, 2 days ago

                    A

                    1. Drogba Legend
                      • 3 Years
                      3 months, 2 days ago

                      CHeers

                • MoSalalalalalalalalah
                  • 2 Years
                  3 months, 2 days ago

                  Is this team worth a BB or should I hold?

                  Pope
                  Cancelo | Mee | Cresswell | Digne
                  Sterling | Soucek | Gundogan | Bruno
                  Ings | Watkins

                  GK: Martinez | Bamford | Dallas | Son