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. PogBruno
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 24 days ago

    Who would you play between Coufal and Rafinhha?

    I see SHU scoring and ARS- Leeds being a open game

    1. Scholes Out Forever
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      So you already have your answer

      1. PogBruno
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        Would like to know others opinion too 🙂

    2. Sanchit
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      Raphinha

    3. Emp
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      Coufal

  2. Eightball
      2 months, 24 days ago

      Antonio, Soucek, Maddison - Bench one

      1. Freshy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        Antonio

      2. The Suspended One
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        Souchek

    • FPL Doctor
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      Play 1:

      A) Son (mci)
      B) Barnes (LIV)
      C) Coufal (SHU)

      1. PogBruno
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        B

      2. Prince of Persia
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        C

      3. The Suspended One
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        Never bench Son

    • KDB4PREZ
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 24 days ago

      Was there any news on C.Taylor and if he’ll play any mins over the double?

      1. The Suspended One
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        Touch and go, didn’t make bench for Fa cup, I think pieters is perfect for WC25 teams

    • Jinswick
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      Would you plan to WC this team next week?

      If saving WC for 31 I'd likely take a -4 over the next 3 weeks to do Bellerin, Martinelli, Sterling & DCL -> Tarkowski, Raphina, Son & Kane

      A) FT this week, WC next week
      B) Save FT (or BUR defender in), and delay WC

      Pope
      Cancelo, Coufal, Bellerin
      Salah, Bruno, Sterling, Gundogan
      DCL, Bamford, Watkins

      Forster, Targett, Martinelli, Mitchell
      Bank 2.3m, 1FT, all chips

      1. sunzip14
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        I have similar problem below. Inclined to not WC25, as the main core is already there but I can't see how we can maximize the benefit of BB later.

        1. PogBruno
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 24 days ago

          And how would you get out of your more expensive bench?

    • Sun Jihai
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      2 FTs, 3m ITB and WC next week - any ideas for one week punts?

      Martinez
      Cancelo Stones Coufal
      Grealish Gundogan Bruno Salah Son
      Watkins Antonio
      Forster DCL Mitchell Dier

      Was thinking Forster to Pope (bench Martinez) and DCL to Cavani (bench Antonio or Son)

      1. luk46
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        ye, I would get along with your suggested moves

      2. sunzip14
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        If just a 1 week punt, I would double Burnley defense

    • Salan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      Plan to BB in dgw26. I doubt any better chance to use TC in future gw than this gw24, probably Gundo/Sterling.

    • sunzip14
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      2FTs, 1.9itb. Can't decide which way to go with this team and all chips intact. What looks better?

      DDG
      Stones, Cancelo, Coufal,
      Grealish, Bruno, (G)undo, Salah, Son
      Antonio, Bamford
      Forster, DCL, Justin, Mitchell

      A) Justin+Mitchell> Mee+Tark (WC25)
      B) Justin+Forster> Pope+Mee/Tark (WC25)
      C) Justin> Lowton (save FT and save WC25)
      D) please suggest other options

      1. jamesjoseph2770
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        C looks best..

    • abhirup780
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      play Coufal or Dias?
      play Antonio or Soucek?

      1. The Suspended One
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        Dias and Coufal

      2. luk46
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        Dias and Antonio

    • HD7
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      Maddy Coufal Bamford - bench one?

      1. Leif Erikson-Formerly of La…
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        Madderz

    • Leif Erikson-Formerly of La…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      G2G?

      Pope

      Cancelo, Stones, Mee, Maguire

      Foden (c), Fernandes, Salah

      Antonio, Bamford, Watkins

      Subs: Martinez, Soucek, Maddison, Mitchell

      1. luk46
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        interesting captain choice, g2g

        1. Leif Erikson-Formerly of La…
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 24 days ago

          Bit worried about it tbh

      2. The Suspended One
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        Foden huh...

        1. Leif Erikson-Formerly of La…
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 24 days ago

          Haha. Yes. I'd be lying if I said I felt confident about that shout.

          1. The Suspended One
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            2 months, 24 days ago

            I’d be going Bruno, owning foden is enough

    • Weeb Kakashi
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      Like and agree with every bit of this article.

    • LABILLETHEGOAT
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      Martinez
      Mee Stones Coufal
      Salah Bruno Gundo Grealish Son
      Bamford Antonio

      DCL, Mitchell, Justin

      Which would you do guys? 1FT 1.6ITB
      a. Dcl > Cavani
      b. Justin > shaw
      c. Son + DCL > Sterling + Watkins
      d. Hold

    • squ1rrel
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      Is DCL confirmed out? Who do I start out of DCL, Bamford, Son?

      1. BDA Shadow
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        Bamford.

      2. The Suspended One
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        Yes, out for Fulham

        Never bench Son

    • BDA Shadow
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      This is hands down the weirdest gameweek I can remember in almost 10 years playing fantasy.
      5-3-2 formation with a bench of Raphinha (who is red hot), Son, and Calvert-Lewin...
      Expecting at least one of Chilwell or Antonio not to play.

      1. The Suspended One
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        Don’t start Chillwell over son or raph

        1. BDA Shadow
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 24 days ago

          If he starts it's a guaranteed clean sheet, assuming Rudiger doesn't decide to tuck Mendy again. So far he hasn't come on in any of the games he's been benched so I'm not worried about a 1 pointer.

    • fish&chips
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      Pope*,
      Mee*, Dias*, cancelo*, digne*
      Bruno, rashford, gundo*
      DCL*, Bamford, antonio

      Martinez (BHA), coufal (SHU), bowen (SHU), ESR (LEE)

      1 FT, 7M ITB

      Want to bench boost to get it out the way. Will WC in 26.

      A) DCL -> Rich / Ings / Cavani
      B) DCL & ESR -> Rich / Ings / Cavani & Lookman (-4)
      C) something else

      1. luk46
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        I would just do A, B not worth a hit really

        1. fish&chips
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          2 months, 24 days ago

          Yeah you're probably right. Just not sure ESR will do anything and I'm getting double GW fever. Mind you Lookman is hardly prolific

    • luk46
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      what would you do?

      A - save ft and take couple hits for gw26 bb
      B - DCL > Ings now, no Kane for gw26 or wc instead

      Pope
      Cancelo Stones Coufal Shaw
      Salah Son Grealish Bruno Gündogan
      Antonio
      Martinez DCL KWP Brewster

    • Dirty Harry
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      Contemplating saving WC till GW30 and bench Boost GW26.

      Worth holding DCL and keep on the bench for a week or two and see if he's back for DGW26.

      Should be able to field 13DGW+Bam+Dallas for DGW26

      1. luk46
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        same plan really, fixtures are quite tough anyway...

    • Jafooli
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      When do we expect to know what the DGW26 & 27 games are?

      1. The Big Fella
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        Wondering this myself

    • AK_FC
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      Bench two:

      A) Son
      B) Watkins
      C) Bamford
      D) Soucek

      1. AK_FC
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        Whoops, bench one of them

    • HD7
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      Maddy or Mitchell - first on bench?

      Palace vs Burnley h
      Leicester vs Liverpool h

    • Dthinger
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      I’m feeling like I’m already pretty well set up for bench boost in DGW 26 and also that most people would be. Why so much tall about wildcards in 25 to prepare for it?

    • TheOneAndOnly
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      Which 2 to bench out of these 4?

      A) Coufal (SHU)
      B) Soucek (SHU)
      C) TAA (lei)
      D) Son (mci)

    • ⚔★Vibudh★⚔
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      G2G?

      Mendy
      Cancelo Stones Coufal(Dallas)(Holding)
      Salah Fernandes Gundogan Grealish Son
      Bamford Antonio (DCL)

      Or do Holding to Lowton just to bench Son?

      1FT, 2.2 itb

    • King Kohli
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      GTG for BB?

      Martinez Meslier
      Cancelo Stones Tarkowski Mee Coufal
      Salah Bruno Son Gundo Soucek
      Antonio Bamford Adams

      Anything worth a hit?
      Planning to WC 26

      1. Maarrrr17
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        I'm sketch on Adams tbh.

    • Maarrrr17
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      Point predictions?

      Richarlison (fulham/man city) -
      Saka (Leeds) -
      Antonio (shef) -
      Holding (Leeds) -
      Martinez (Brighton) -
      Cavani (West brom) -

    • Hotdogs for Tea
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      What do we reckon guys ? will they start ?

      Antonio ?
      Digne ?

      1. Maarrrr17
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        Digne I'm pretty sure, Antonio idk :/ worried

        1. Hotdogs for Tea
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 24 days ago

          its a tricky call, but i think I will BB them and then WC out of my bench headache team 🙂

    • DrogsBallacks
        2 months, 24 days ago

        2FT - Stones & Son > Sterling (C)
        or..
        1FT - DCL > Cavani (bench Coufal?)

        Team:
        Martinez
        Stones Cancelo Mee Coufal (Dallas)
        Son Salah Gundo Bruno (Soucek)
        Bamford Antonio (DCL)

      • Valkyrie
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        Anyone giving the armband to Richarlison?

        1. Maarrrr17
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 24 days ago

          What do you expect he will score over these games?

          1. Valkyrie
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 24 days ago

            Well, with DCL out of the match against Fulham, he could come good, no?

            1. Maarrrr17
              • 5 Years
              2 months, 24 days ago

              Could be good, I dont know whether to shift Antonio on for him.

          2. Valkyrie
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 24 days ago

            And yeah.. i feel City wont get a CS against Everton. Hopefully Rich will get some points there.

        2. Hotdogs for Tea
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 24 days ago

          could think of worse choices

      • Gatsby
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        What do we think?
        Anything you would do/non punty.
        1ft - 6m itb

        Martinez
        Dias, Stones, Cresswell, Dallas,
        Fernandes (C), Salah, Gund, Soucek
        Bamford, Watkins

        Subs: Forster(gk), Calvert-Lewin, Son, Mitchel

        1. Holmes
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 24 days ago

          maybe start Son over Watkins

          1. Gatsby
            • 10 Years
            2 months, 24 days ago

            interesting, u fancy spurs to turn up?

            1. Holmes
              • 7 Years
              2 months, 24 days ago

              Yep and not expecting Watkins to get much. One of those 50-50 decisions I guess