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. Pep Roulette
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    GTG? Did Mitchell to Tarkowski for free.

    AREOLA
    CANCELO TARKOWSKI Maguire Coufal
    STERLING(C) GUNDOGAN Bruno Raphinha
    Bamford Antonio

    Martinez Son Targett DCL

    1. Taegugk Warrior
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Yup

  2. Bad Kompany
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    Thoughts on which one to bench?

    A. Antonio
    B. Cresswell
    C. Antonio

    Currently on Antonio because of the worry of his minutes. I also have coufal but prefer cresswell over him

    1. 007 [RoboKlopp]
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Double Antonio?

      1. Bad Kompany
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 1 day ago

        Bamford should be C

    2. FCRS1991
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      I would definitely bench one Antonio 🙂

      1. Bad Kompany
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 1 day ago

        🙂 one of them is bamford

  3. Lukaku_time
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    3 months, 1 day ago

    Free hit g2g?

    Pope
    Lowton digne stones
    Salah sterling(c) gundogan hamez bruno
    Rich cavani

    1. Taegugk Warrior
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Why not save FH for GW29...?

  4. davies
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    Yes or no?

    Rudiger/DCL > Pieters/Cavani for free

    (Wildcard next week + could go Rich instead)

    1. Andy_Social
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Why lose Rudiger? Easiest CS of the season.

  5. Taegugk Warrior
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    To bench :
    A. Cresswell
    B. Mee
    C. Soucek

    1. 007 [RoboKlopp]
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Not B

    2. King Sheep
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      A

    3. Werner Bros
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      A

  6. King Sheep
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    Captain

    a) Sterling
    b) Gundogan

    1. GreennRed
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      B

    2. FCRS1991
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      I'm on Sterling...but I know Pep will screw me over with rotation

    3. Taegugk Warrior
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      A

      1. King Sheep
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 1 day ago

        Thanks guys, currently on Gundo but might switch, and you're right FCRS, Pep will probably screw it no matter who we Captain lol

  7. OptimusBlack
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    Which is better ?
    A- Mee & Coufal
    B- James & Lowton

    1. Gabbiadini
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      A

    2. Taegugk Warrior
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      A

    3. storr84
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      A

    4. IRBOX ⚽
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      A

    5. OptimusBlack
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Cheeers

  8. Kasper the ghost keeper
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    Score predictions for each below gw24?
    -Lowton
    -Dallas

    1. Bad Kompany
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      8
      2 (although I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a cs or attacking return)

  9. Differential (c)
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    Start Antonio or Bowen? Literally my only problem this GW and its doing my head in.

    1. IRBOX ⚽
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Antonio

    2. Gabbiadini
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Antonio.

    3. Differential (c)
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Thanks

  10. VICTORIOUS SECRET! !
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    So here's how my team looks atm

    Martinez Johnstone

    Dias cancelo coufal Dallas rudiger
    Bruno salah son gundo reed
    DCL Bamford Antonio

    With 3.5 ITB and 1 FT

    Do I ?
    A. Bench DCL and save
    B. DCL----> Watkins

    Throw in suggestions please
    Cheers

    1. GreennRed
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      A

    2. IRBOX ⚽
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      A

    3. VICTORIOUS SECRET! !
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Thanks guys ☺️

    4. Royal5
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      DCL > Cavani looks obvious imo

  11. IRBOX ⚽
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    Not sure why I own Alonso. Which is better:

    a) Alonso
    b) Coufal
    c) Mee (-4)

    1. GreennRed
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      B

    2. VICTORIOUS SECRET! !
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Coufal

    3. Andy_Social
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Alonso was poor v Barnsley - not at all nailed. Coufal should keep a CS - him.

      1. IRBOX ⚽
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 1 day ago

        Was he poor or merely a tactical substitution? Tuchel doesn’t seem to be a big fan of Chilwell. Best to not get too clever though

        1. GreennRed
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 1 day ago

          He's some goose if he rates Alonso over Chilwell.

        2. Andy_Social
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 1 day ago

          He was poor but he was part of a second-rate team which was poor as a whole. Although he's competing with Chilwell, it was James TT replaced him with. Still a tactical mystery, that guy.

    4. Gabbiadini
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      B > C > A

  12. GreennRed
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    Is there any chance that more games will be added to GW29?

  13. Royal5
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    Start Digne or Soucek?

    1. Gabbiadini
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Digne, mad to bench a double.

      1. Royal5
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 1 day ago

        True. Bit worried about the flag and no DCL to convert the crosses.

    2. IRBOX ⚽
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Digne

  14. Disturbed
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    So digne starting for sure?

    1. HammersXI
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Trying to figure out whether he will start both games. Flag is still there

  15. The Suspended One
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    A) Kane
    B) Siggy
    C) Tarkowski (have Mee)

    1. 007 [RoboKlopp]
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Play or bench?

      1. The Suspended One
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 1 day ago

        Buy

        1. The Suspended One
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 1 day ago

          For 1 week before WC

    2. King Sheep
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      C

  16. 007 [RoboKlopp]
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    Coufal -> Lowton
    (Have Pope and Mee)

    Yes or no for triple BUR?

    1. Fer Fuch's Ake
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      thats wasteful

    2. GreennRed
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      No way Pedro.

    3. Andy_Social
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      2 nice gameweeks, then you're stuck.

    4. Sun Jihai
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      CS probability:

      CHE: 52%
      MCI: 47%
      MUN: 47%
      WHU: 43%
      EVE: 38%
      CPL: 37%
      SOU: 34%
      ARS: 32%
      BUR: 30%
      WOL: 30%
      LIV: 29%
      AVL: 27%
      BHA: 26%
      FUL: 21%
      SHU: 21%
      LEI: 20%
      LEE: 18%
      TOT: 13%
      WBA: 12%
      NEW: 11%

      1. The Suspended One
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 1 day ago

        Which game?

  17. Fer Fuch's Ake
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    Rank by order of minutes playing this DGW?
    A-Bilva
    B-Foden
    C-Jesus

  18. stumanchuu
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    2 ft, all chips in play, any advice?

    Pope
    Dias, coufal, wan b, stones, Lowton
    Fernadez son gundo (c) salah
    Bamford
    (McCarthy, antonio, dcl,Anguissa)

    1. Sun Jihai
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Need to decide on your chip strategy - e.g. if WC in 25, you have 2 FTs to burn this week

      1. stumanchuu
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 1 day ago

        True, want to save WC if possible, may just use 1 ft and reassess.

        Could to antonio to ings who had a dub next week, or maybe cavani

  19. Nabs Kebabs
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    I own Sterling and Gundo yet my (c) has been on Bruno all week. Anyone with me?

  20. OptimusBlack
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    Last Question Who to play and get more pts ?
    A- Coufal SHU (H)
    B- Dallas ARS (A)

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

      A easy

      1. OptimusBlack
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 1 day ago

        Thx

  21. M00N
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    Best mid this week that’s not Bruno, Salah or any City player?

    1. Andy_Social
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Rashford

  22. Leif Erikson-Formerly of La…
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    bald christ please just play Phil for both games amen

  23. 420king
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    Bench Son, Maddison or Antonio?

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

      Maddi or Antonio, tough call

      1. 420king
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 1 day ago

        Agree, I'm on Son. Thank you.

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

          Maybe Maddison over the two just

          1. 420king
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 1 day ago

            Probably the most sensible one, yeah. Thanks again.

  24. andymck
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    Pope (Martinez)
    Stones Dias Mee (Alonso Dallas)
    Salah Bruno Gundo Grealish Son
    Bamford Antonio (Adams)

    Would you BB this or safe it for next week?

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

      Close call, maybe Bb This week if you’re set on one of the 2

  25. thepuntmaster
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 1 day 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. Stupendous
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Great. Gtg

    2. 420king
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Either A or C (sell DCL)

    3. Stupendous
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Sorry yes get DCL on bench

    4. HammersXI
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Who would you sell DCL for? Cause your bench isnt strong if he doesn't start both games.

    5. thepuntmaster
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Thanks all. Not too keen on selling DCL given another upcoming GWk. Accepting he won’t start against Fulham but could bag against City.

      Will hold off on Gundo tho!

  26. Stupendous
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    Gtg??? 2.5m itb

    Did Wilson to Ings for free

    Pope
    Digne Stones Cancelo Chilwell*
    Salah Grealish Soucek Gundo(c)
    Ings Bamford

    Martinez Dallas Son** DCL

    *Maybe a start if not Dallas there
    **Banking on City clean sheet hence Son bench

  27. HammersXI
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    Thinking of making these transfers:

    Stones + Maddison + Son -> Digne + Lookman + Gundogan (-4) to get this team:

    Martinez
    Dias* Lowton* Digne* Rudiger (Coufal)
    Lookman* Gundogan* Sterling* Salah Bruno
    Antonio (Bamford)

    Thoughts? Planning to WC next week

  28. Alisson WondHaaland
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    Bench 1 keeper and 2 outfield:
    A) Mccarthy vs WOL(H)
    B) Sanchez vs AVL(H)

    1) Son vs MCI(A)
    2) Antonio vs SHU(H) (Cameo risk)
    3) Chilwell vs NEW(H)
    4) Robbo vs LEI(A)

    1. HammersXI
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      B 1&4

    2. Gabbiadini
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      B

      1
      3

  29. FPL Doctor
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    g2g or take a -4 to get another city asset?

    Mendy
    Dias* R James Coufal Tarkowski
    Salah Bruno Gundo
    Cavani Antonio* Bamford

    Martinez Barnes Son Dallas

  30. Scratch
    • 11 Years
    3 months, 1 day ago

    My bench is complete junk. Would you take a -4 Justin -> Digne or just start Antonio. Wildcarding tomorrow anyway

    Sounds as if Antonio ssshould start.

    1. GreennRed
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Start Anto

    2. HammersXI
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Would start Antonio. If it is either-or. Would your bench at least start to get 2 points?

      1. Scratch
        • 11 Years
        3 months, 1 day ago

        Dier and Riedewald in there

    3. Prince of Persia
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      Definitely start Antonio.

    4. The Suspended One
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      I would t count on it

    5. nadman89
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 1 day ago

      what exactly is ur bench?