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

    Digne -> Tarkowski is now tempting. Time to step away from the keyboard. Saving ft and going with just Digne, Dias, Stones and Gundo doubles.
    Good luck all!

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

      You too

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

    Tarkowski or Mee?

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

      T. For me.

    2. Fantabulous KdB
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 2 days ago

      Mee

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

      Mee

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

      Tark

  3. Thomas M.
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 2 days ago

    Start
    A. CTaylor
    B. Bamford

    1. Fantabulous KdB
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 2 days ago

      Bamford. Taylor may not play both

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

      a

  4. Fantabulous KdB
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 2 days ago

    Play Bamford or Son?

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

      Bam

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

      b

  5. Sarri-ball
    • 11 Years
    3 months, 2 days ago

    G2g or anything worth a hit 1 week only
    As wildcard gw25
    Degea
    Dias/Mee/Bellerin
    STERLING/Bruno/Gundo/Saka/Salah
    Ric/Antonio

    Watkins/Targett/dier

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

      Not worth a hit

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

    Hi guys
    For Draft league, who would you take out of these 2 for rest of the season?
    1) Jose da Silva (WOL)
    2) Aguero (MCI)
    Thanks

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

      Neither

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

    Who to bench?
    A kane (mci)
    B soucek (SHU)
    C grealish (bha)
    D lowton (cry, FUL)

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

      Wow.

      C or a??!

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

    Bottom'd

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

    Thinking of going -12 to get this.

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

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

      Good luck man

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

      -12 is madness

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

        I've done it once this season already HA

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

      I don't mind taking hits to improve either. Just did -12 myself.

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

        I just done it no turning back now. Keep posted for angry updates.

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

          I believe in you know what your best team in your budget ( my tv is 107.9 ) should be, and it's a game, it should be fun..!!

          1. MoSalad
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 1 day ago

            Jeeezz £107.9m wowsers. I’m like £104.5m now I’ve made those changes.

        2. OLB
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 1 day ago

          My team after my -12 ( cos of injuries this week ) is now :

          Martinez / Forster
          Cancelo / Stones / AWB / Shaw / Dallas
          Salah / Son / Gundo / Bruno / Grealish
          Kane / BamBam / Watkins

          1. MoSalad
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 1 day ago

            Nice well spread I like it, what’s your rank?

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

              Well, I badly stuffed WC 1 and went all premium defense, then took a lot of hits to fix it - fell to 6m odd, back up to just on 2m now, but squad good enough for me to get to under 1m, and that's good enough for me - I'm not scared to take a hit and worry about overall, I enjoy every gameweek and it works for me.

              1. MoSalad
                • 7 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                Fair enough, I like the approach, I take it way too seriously at the moment but what else we go to enjoy.

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

                  Yikes. Just seen your overall on link below. I'm 230 points lower that that and in 8 yrs only been in top 500k once, but I enjoy tinkering and high TV too much to ever play that seriously - kudos though, you're good, your history shows that.

                  1. MoSalad
                    • 7 Years
                    3 months, 1 day ago

                    Hahaha it’s aditctive the changes, still that TV is mad, wish I had that.

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

                      Yeah there's more that one way to play the game. I still get frustration weeks, just less of them. TV recovers me to around a mill +\- 200k each season except my rare under 500k yr.
                      whole game is addictive. I love it for that. Too many on here slag the game off, it's great and it's free, and it can be fun.
                      You don't want my TV - too many transfers for the serious across a season, but I'd like to be a little more like you and a bit lower and a bit higher points than 1250 ish.

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

      Why Son out over Salah? Son better 26 double.

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

        I'd bench Son this week and it doesn't feel right don't fancy him against West Ham I'll bring him back DGW 26 with Kane somehow.

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

      Why transfer out Stones and Barnes just before a DGW?

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

        Stones to get another City Mid. Barnes is frustrating to own tbh.

        1. JohnnyRev7
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 2 days ago

          Link your team so we know you're not bullsh*tting.

          Or, do link your team and then we know you're a troll.

          1. MoSalad
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 1 day ago

            Why would I be a troll? Ha!

            Can you see how many changes I done before the GW starts surely not?

            1. JohnnyRev7
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 10 Years
              3 months, 1 day ago

              I can't see anything except words.

              Show us your FPL link.

              1. MoSalad
                • 7 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                Lay off the booze Johnny I don’t chat garbage!

                https://fantasy.premierleague.com/entry/4396577/event/23

                1. JohnnyRev7
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 10 Years
                  3 months, 1 day ago

                  That wasn't so difficult was it?

                  Stunning rank by the way. I am in genuine awe! 😎

                  Good luck for the rest of the season Craig and maybe #1.

                  1. MoSalad
                    • 7 Years
                    3 months, 1 day ago

                    Hahaha -12 fail incoming, but a Lookman haul would be nice.

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

    Sterling TC

    Yay or nay?

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

      Yay

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

      Nay

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

    DCL > Ings?

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

      Next week?

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

      For free yes

  11. MoSalalalalalalalalah
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 2 days ago

    Bottomed. 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

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

      Save BB, unless you want rid of it to free up team structure

    2. marcos11
        3 months, 2 days ago

        Think its a decent bb

    3. 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. 😀

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

        See who's fit in 26

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

        Pereira won't play 2 games imo

    4. fizzypop
        3 months, 2 days ago

        I have used 28 point deduction with free hit and wildcard used so I can use my bench boost as I think this is perfect week
        Pope Martinez
        Mee Azplicueta Coufal Dias Maguire
        Raphinha Bruno Sterling Gundogan Lookman/James Rodriguez
        Barnes/Richarlison Watkins Bamford
        I have subbed Pope for Schmeichel, Martinez for Sanchez, Mee for Stones, Raphinha for Harvey Barnes, Sterling for Son, James/Lookman for Lingard, Bamford for DCL and Barnes/Richarlison for Antonio
        Would take such a big deduction for points for a bench boost
        What would you change
        Please someone reply

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

          I'll reply, but what's the main question?

        2. fizzypop
            3 months, 2 days ago

            Would you take 28 point deduction for bench boost and would you pick James/Lookman and Barnes/Richarlison

            1. UNDERWORLD7
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 2 days ago

              lol

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

              Yes, in a Egyptian winner takes all you're not committed enough.

          • UNDERWORLD7
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 2 days ago

            i'm a bit lost there

            1. JohnnyRev7
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 10 Years
              3 months, 1 day ago

              I think he's saying a -28 hit for BB.

              (A well-thoughtout BB on a good day with the wind in the right direction is probably 25 max).

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

          What to do here?

          A) Wilson -> Kane
          B) Hold
          C) Wilson -> Cavani (one week punt)

          Martinez
          Shaw Cresswell Dias Cancelo
          Salah Fernandes Gundo Raphinha
          Bamford Antonio
          (4.0 - Wilson Soucek Kilman) 9.3itb

          1. Flynny
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 1 day ago

            Watkins has several dgws

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

          Mendy (NEW) to Pope for a hit. What do you reckon?

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

            Nope

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

            No

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

            Thanks for that consensus. I was thinking that

          4. JohnnyRev7
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            3 months, 1 day ago

            I think you're guaranteed 6 from Mendy.

            Unless Rüdiger's lurking... :p

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

          Start Raphinha or Charlie Taylor?

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

          Went without Gundo at the end. Have to go with the Sterling gamble after all. if it works, it works, if not so be it. how stones at least match GUndo.

          Good luck all

          P.S. Decided on WC in GW 26.

          Reasons are that next week I have few projects in place and can't do a proper tinkering

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

            *hope stones

        7. Tsparkes10
          • 2 Years
          3 months, 2 days ago

          A) Salah, DCL to Sterling, Ings/Cavani
          B) Justin, DCL to KWP, Cavani
          C) DCL, Justin to AWB Watkins

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

            A

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

            A has most upside

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

          Do we think Pieters gets both games?

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

          McCarthy
          Coufal / Maguire / Cancelo /
          Bruno / Sterling(c) / Salah / Foden / Soucek
          Ings / Bamford

          Dallas / DCL / Justin

          Justin --> Mee/Lowton (-4)
          and bench Bamford? Yay or nay?

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

          Antonio either gonna start or not play?

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

            Or off after 55'
            Or subbed in after 65'

        11. Mikei
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 2 days ago

          2 FT
          Martinez (Ryan)
          Stones Cancelo Mee (Dallas, Targett)
          Gundo Bruno Salah Maddison (Son)
          DCL Bamford Antonio

          Any changes or GTG? And what about BB?

          Thank you.

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

            DCL to Richarlison. He'll play both whereas DCL at best will play one

            1. Mikei
              • 8 Years
              3 months, 2 days ago

              Thanks. Good move.

              1. JohnnyRev7
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 10 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                Show your FPL link (not a dead one) and you'll get more feedback.

        12. Lord Flashheart
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 2 days ago

          A Bamford (ars)
          B Soucek (SHU)
          C McGuire (wba)

          1 - play only one of the above - who?
          2 - who is first on teh bench?

          1. nadman89
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 2 days ago

            good to go ?

            Pope
            targett - awb - dias

            sterling (C) - gundo - salah - bruno - grealish

            watkins - bamford

            forster - coufal - dcl - lewis

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

          Would you rather:

          A: Everton’s Keane
          B: Burnley’s Mee

          In favour of Mee:
          - Better DGW prospects
          - Haven’t just played a gruelling FA cup game
          - Won’t miss a game due to FA cup quarters late on (during which time I’ll have a bare bones squad during e to ManC etc being in Quarters)

          In favour of Keane:
          - Will have another DGW (and possibly a third)

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

          Play one:
          A) Bamford
          B) Grealish
          C) Cresswell

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

            I’m playing all three

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

              Play any of them instead of:
              Shaw, Cancelo, Lowton
              Salah, Sterling, Gundo, Grealish, Bruno
              Antonio, Cavani

              ??

        15. abunab
            3 months, 2 days ago

            Is it worth doing David De Gea vs WBA to Pope for a DGW for a -4 hit?

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

              No

            2. Sarri-ball
              • 11 Years
              3 months, 2 days ago

              No

          • Gudjohnsen
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 2 days ago

            DCL to Ings for free

            Or play Saka?

            1. abunab
                3 months, 2 days ago

                Play Saka this week, transfer Ings in next week

            2. STAYNOBLE STAYCLASIE
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              3 months, 2 days ago

              Hi, Good people..

              First time poster - long-time FFS-er..

              Would you play Son (premium v mci) or Jorginho (pens v new) this week..?

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

                Son

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

                  Thank you - appreciated.

            3. Hazardous1983
              • 10 Years
              3 months, 2 days ago

              Pope (steer)
              Coufal dias cancelo (mitchell dallas)
              Salah grealish son bruno gundo son
              Watkins antonio (dcl)

              Have 1 ft.. wc 1.5m in bank n bb left

              What to do?

            4. JP\'s
                3 months, 2 days ago

                Worth doing Pope, Dunne and Brewster to Aerola, Dallas and Watkins for a -8 and BB?

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

                  No

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

                  No