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. Mattymo23
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 2 days ago

    Thoughts on WC GW27 if have no FH to prepare for GW29 and beyond?

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

      dont WC for 29. 4 games, low scoring, not worth extra preparation. get a few leeds players and spurs and you are done

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

      think I'd rather do it after 29 to set myself up for the final weeks..

    3. Well you know, Triffic
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 2 days ago

      Just do wc26

  2. fizzypop
      3 months, 2 days ago

      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 that would you take 28 point transfer reduction for the bench boost

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

        What? 28 point hit for a bench boost? Are you joking?

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

        Are u for real? Am.i reading this correctly

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

        And there is me berating myself for considering a -8 for my bench boost this week!

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

        28 points hit this season or this week?

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

      I decided to keep DCL for BB26 and bring one of these for Brewster for GW24-26:

      A) Cavani: In a good form, great 24-25 fixture, 26 not so bad but I guess I should expect 2-3 starts from those 4 games, right?

      B) Ings: Not in the same level of form with Cavani but probably play 5 games during 24-26 against Cavani's 3.

      What do you think?

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

        I'm a sucker for DGWs so B 🙂

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

      2FT, torn on wether to attack this GW or prep for the coming weeks. Need to replace Johnstone for my BB anyway?

      A) Johnstone -> Pope (Have Mee and Martinez also)
      B) Ferguson -> Dallas (Prep for next week)

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

        I would do A this week and roll the 2nd FT

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

          cheers, yeah that is probably the logical move for me. Just not that excited to have double Burnley def GW26...

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

        A

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

          thanks!

    • George James
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 2 days ago

      Which is best for GW24 Only

      A) Mee

      B) Richarlison

      C) Cavani

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

        C

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

        A=C>B for me but I like C more for one week

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

        B

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

        B

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

        A

    • Mattymo23
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 2 days ago

      Really struggling guys. No FH so do I WC this lot in next couple of GWs??

      Pope McCarthy
      Dias Stones Justin Lowton Dallas
      Bruno Salah Son Foden Soucek
      DCL Bamford Watkins

      1. WE GO FOR IT
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 2 days ago

        Not unless you want Kane. Getting him might be difficult if you don't have a lot itb. But other than FTs should be enough to navigate the DGWs.

    • Atimis
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 2 days ago

      Justin to Burnley def and GTG??

      Or something for a hit??

      Martinez
      Cancelo/Stones/Justin*/Coufal
      Salah/Bruno/Grealish/Gundo
      Antonio/Bamford

      Martin/DCL/Robo/Stephens

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

      Repost. Bench one.

      A) Son - MCI (A)
      B) Bamford - ARS (A)
      C) Ings - WOL (H)

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

        A

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

        Not ideal but A

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

        Cheers guys that’s who Iv got currently benched

    • gart888
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 2 days ago

      Martinez
      Stones Dias Coufal
      Salah Bruno Gundo Grealish
      Kane Bamford Antonio

      Johnstone Robertson Soucek Dallas
      2FT 1.0ITB

      Is going Coufal to Ben Mee a no brainer to try to maximize points over the next two weeks? Any other suggestions instead?

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

        Yeah I would get a Burnley defender.

    • Pat Bonner
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 2 days ago

      Looking to wildcard next gw so just a one week move, which is best move (will captain Gundogan if I don’t get sterling):

      A Mitchell to Mee (bench son or coufal)
      B steer to Pope (bench Martinez)
      C son and Dias to sterling Mee (-4)

      1. n14mul
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 2 days ago

        B

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

          Thanks

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

        I'd roll the dice on C if wildcarding next week.

        Curious to hear your reasoning for WC next week though? Looked at your team which is very similiar to my own and I haven't really considered it..

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

          Cheers. Main reason is to attack the doubles and use my BB in 26. Thought about saving it for after 29 blank but if spurs play villa in 29 then I can get a decent team out without hurting my team too much for rest of the season. What are you thinking?

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

            Yeah also planning on BB GW26 but think I've got a decent enough squad for 26 anyway (a hit or two maybe..). No easy way of getting Kane though...
            .

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

              I need to get Bamford next week so would involve a lot of hits to get a decent BB out for 26 and then I would still need to use all my transfers after 26 to then get a team for 29 so rather set it up now with wc

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

        B

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

          Cheers

      4. WE GO FOR IT
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 2 days ago

        B looks best. Safe and potential for great upside as well.

        Don't see Spurs and Everton conceding a lot. So, I don't think there would be much between Sterling and Gundo. Gundo more certain to start both games as well.

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

          Thanks. Martinez could get a double digit score again!

    • n14mul
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 2 days ago

      Evening,

      Bench 1

      A. Bamford
      B. Raphinia
      C. H Barnes

      Thank you

      1. Ninjaa
        • 10 Years
        3 months, 2 days ago

        C

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

        B

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

        C

      4. WE GO FOR IT
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 2 days ago

        C

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

      Someone talk me out of Triple Cap Sterling. Suddenly playing with the idea.

      Sure 99% of these last minute decisions end in disaster.

      1. n14mul
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 2 days ago

        Its a good idea

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

        Thinking the same.

      3. n14mul
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 2 days ago

        Wish I had sterling

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

        I'm doing it.

      5. Sun Jihai
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 2 days ago

        Great idea. Looks almost essential this week and yet many won't have him. I would guess TC nets you 60+ points...

      6. Harvey Specter
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 2 days ago

        Question is, are you certain that Sterling will start both games? If yes, then I don't see a reason to not go with TC.

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

        You guys aren't helping : D

        I'm going to sleep on it. But have flashbacks to another last minute triple cap decision I made a few seasons back: Sane. Gulp.

      8. WE GO FOR IT
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 2 days ago

        I'd say City will score 4-5 goals over 2 games. If you think Sterling can pick up 2 and maybe an assist, go ahead.

    • Pep Roulette
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 2 days ago

      Struijk safe for DGW25?

      1. HM2
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        3 months, 2 days ago

        What’s the point? the only leeds defender you should consider is one with attacking potential (i.e Dallas)

    • marcos11
        3 months, 2 days ago

        Better combo for gw25 on a wildcard?
        a) Kane and Raphinha
        b) Ings and Pereira

        Going Pereira and Kane in gw26 anyway

        1. n14mul
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 2 days ago

          A

      • Reddonkeyham 42
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 2 days ago

        Pope

        Robertson, Stones, Coufal, Justin
        Gündogan, Fernandes, Salah,
        DCL, Bamford, Antonio

        Marrinez, Raphina, Son, Dallas

        £1m itb

        Appreciate any and all advice, thanks.

        Initially was going to do Justin for Burnley defender and potentially Robertson to Dias. But as always would appreciate the help from you guys.

      • tommo1989
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 2 days ago

        Play AWB or Son?

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

        play one:

        A coufal
        B soucek

        1. FPLord
          • 11 Years
          3 months, 2 days ago

          Tough call, you know what will happen if you bench Soucek. Soucek has the better form, so maybe go with him.

      • FPLord
        • 11 Years
        3 months, 2 days ago

        Would you go Shaw medium term or safe with AWB?

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

          Shaw

      • Karan14
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 2 days ago

        Start one:

        A) Antonio (SHU)
        B) Son (mci)

        Cheers!

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

          A

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

          A

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

          A-bsolutely

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

          A

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

          A

        6. WE GO FOR IT
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 2 days ago

          A)ntonio

        7. Karan14
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 2 days ago

          Cheers all! 🙂

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

        Thoughts? 2ft 1.1itb

        Martinez
        Cancelo Stones Taylor Robbo
        Salah Son Bruno Soucek
        Bamford Antonio

        Ramsdale DCL Holding Anguissa

        A) Robbo, Anguissa to Gundogan, Mee
        B) Stones, Anguissa, Salah to Tarkowski, Foden, Sterling -4
        C) Ramsdale, Antonio, Salah to Pope, Cavani, Sterling -4

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

          A - who will you bench?

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

            Soucek and play Taylor

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

          salah to sterling , taylor to lowton

        3. Harvey Specter
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 2 days ago

          A out of those options

      • Harvey Specter
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 2 days ago

        GTG? Already took a hit earlier this week to get DCL in 🙁

        Pope
        Rudiger - Stones - Coufal
        Sterling (C) - Gundogan - Son - Bruno - Soucek
        DCL - Werner

        3.3 in the bank

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

          Gtg yeah

      • Chandler Bing
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 2 days ago

        Any Digne news?

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

          No

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

          No news is probably good news.nothing from the presser I don't think

        3. WE GO FOR IT
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 2 days ago

          He was never injured

      • fizzypop
          3 months, 2 days ago

          Would you take 28 point deduction for Bench boost for Gameweek 24

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

            Hell no

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

            Lay off the fizzy pop!

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

            No

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

            A -28 for a BB?

          5. Party time
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 2 days ago

            That’s enough powder for the night

          6. Arteta
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 2 days ago

            Nah mate.

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

            -4 is ok but not -28 to aim for around 20 points 🙂

        • nadman89
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 2 days ago

          have dias / awb playing

          crazy to play targett over coufal??

          feel west ham defense is in tatters

          1. Ajax Hamsterdam
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 2 days ago

            not crazy but i prefer coufal

        • Shark Team
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 2 days ago

          Taylor, Son or Cavani(-4) ?
          Thanks

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

            Son probably but tempted by Cavani myself.

        • Liastro ⭐️
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 2 days ago

          Don’t want to waste a FT but no idea where to use it! 2.5m in the bank, thoughts?

          Pope McCarthy
          Dias Justin Dallas Coufal Taylor
          Salah Fernandes Son Soucek Raphinha
          DCL Watkins Antonio

        • Oggle22
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 2 days ago

          2 ft 1.6m itb
          Martinez
          Konsa Stones Cancelo
          Salah Son Bruno Soucek Mahrez
          Antonio Bamford

          Steele Son Mitchell Holding

          Chance mahrez gets decent minutes and actually does ewt?

          Were do I go?
          Cheers

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

          Good ebening... (dont miss him)
          Robertson and dcl out
          Ben mee and Richarlison in
          I have 2 FT
          Yes or No?
          Bonus question: Mccarthy to Pope for - 4 on top of this?

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

            no mccarthy has a double next week

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

            First of all, good ebening.

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

          Start Coufal or Son?

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

            Probs Son just because of the higher ceiling

        • PP6
          • 2 Years
          3 months, 2 days ago

          Wildcard in 25. 3 United already.

          DCL and Targett -> Tarkowski and Werner -4?