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. Gudjohnsen
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 2 days ago

    Stones, Soucek to Tarkowski, Gundogan for -4?

    1. joeymanuel
        3 months, 2 days ago

        yes

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

        yes

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

        Na. I'm expecting Stones to get something from a set piece

    2. Red dev
        3 months, 2 days ago

        Midfield of grealish, son, soucek, salah and bruno.
        1FT
        Would you take any out for gundogan?

        Or save?

        Appreciate any comments

      • joeymanuel
          3 months, 2 days ago

          Bench:

          - A) Bamford (ARS a)
          - B) Soucek (SHU h)

          To bring in Cavani (WBA a) for a hit?

          1. Kryptonite666
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 2 days ago

            Same dilemma. i’d def play Bamford

          2. King Kohli
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 1 day ago

            Soucek

          3. joeymanuel
              3 months, 1 day ago

              Could also bench Son as well

          4. 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?

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

            Play 1:

            A) Son
            B) Soucek
            C) Coufal

            1. Kryptonite666
              • 1 Year
              3 months, 2 days ago

              Cant bench Son surely ? Scored in the reverse fixture.

          6. Kryptonite666
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 2 days ago

            Cant decide if I should take a hit for Cavani to play over Soucek. One week punt and a fun pick.

            Wildcarding next week

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

              I personally wouldn’t but it could pay off I guess

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

              I also considered Cavani, very fun and good pick if you ask me, Soucek though, can haul in any GW, probs just about do it!

              I'm WC'ing nxt week also, any thoughts on the below? 🙂

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

            Hey guys! Looking desperately for input here

            Team is:

            Martinez
            Stones - Shaw - Dias
            Soucek - Son - Bruno - Gundo - Salah
            Bamford - Antonio
            ______________________________
            Forster: DCL: Dallas: Holding

            Thoughts on this for a -8?

            Forster + Holding + DCL >> Pope + Mee + Kane

            Leaves 0.1 spare and will be WC'ing in GW 25 anyway.

            Bit lost actually, been very busy with work this week and only just caught up on all proper injury news etc.

            Appreciate any input here fellas

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

              Why Kane for 1 GW vs Man City? Why not Richarlison for a punt?

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

                Becasue it'sKane, not keen on any of the DGW forwards, other than Richarlison perhaps like you say, can always WC Kane in for GW 25?

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

                  Well, with Calvert-Lewin out, I wouldn't be surprised if Richarlison finally gets played through the middle. Like he does for Brazil. King can come in on the left.

                  1. UNDERWORLD7
                    • 9 Years
                    3 months, 1 day ago

                    that's actially a good point there TW, reckon of DCL > Richa & Forster to Pope then?
                    Was originally looking at bb'ing this GW but don't much see the point now?

            2. For Fuchs Sake
              • 11 Years
              3 months, 2 days ago

              Just Pope, not sure who you'd drop from MF or FW. Possibly Mee and go back 4?

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

                Yeah possibly, wouldn't wanna bench Soucek though?

                1. For Fuchs Sake
                  • 11 Years
                  3 months, 1 day ago

                  Just Pope then, similar team to mine

                  1. UNDERWORLD7
                    • 9 Years
                    3 months, 1 day ago

                    cheers bud! Whatever i do then...Pope seems a shoe in

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

              Wouldn't do -8 if you're WCing in 25. Team looks fine.

              1. UNDERWORLD7
                • 9 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                yeah -8 maybe does look a little too excessive, maybe DCL > Richa and Forster to Pope for a -4?

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

                  Yeah that looks decent.

                  1. UNDERWORLD7
                    • 9 Years
                    3 months, 1 day ago

                    thanks muchly ninja!

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

              Just do Holding to Tarkowsi.. no need for a -8 for one week

              1. UNDERWORLD7
                • 9 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                Aye very true, needed some sense talking into me like that and from others on the post, cheers. Holding does look the weak link to go.

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

                  Good luck mate, team looks solid

                  1. UNDERWORLD7
                    • 9 Years
                    3 months, 1 day ago

                    Cheers matey! There i was thinking i'm behind and my team looks out of whack haha! been mad at the NHS lately, so busy working and only just caught up on everything, team looks better than i thought then 🙂

            5. Kryptonite666
              • 1 Year
              3 months, 1 day ago

              Kane can wait. -8 is too much. Double butnely for a hit is also high risk

              I’d just get Pope. I did the sterling / son and stones/ tarkowski swap.

              Can you do Son + Stones to Mee + Sterling - that’s worth a hit

              1. UNDERWORLD7
                • 9 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                Cool cheers Man! Yep got easiliy enough money to do Son & Stones > Mee & Sterling, got lots of value tied up in Son though?

          8. Twisted Saltergater
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            3 months, 2 days ago

            Anyone going cheaper into GW24? 96m

            Pope
            Cancelo - Tarkowski - Mee - Digne
            Foden - Gundog - Bruno - Siggy - Jorginho
            Richarlison

          9. SomeoneKnows
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 2 days ago

            Pope (Martinez)
            Cancelo, Stones, Coufal (Dallas, Douglas)
            Salah, Bruno(C), Son, Gundogan, Grealish
            Antonio, Bamford (DCL)

            1FT + 3.6 itb

            A) GTG
            B) Douglas > Shaw (and BB this week)

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

              A. Don't be bench boosting injured players.

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

            2FT, 2.5m ITB Best move here?

            A James -> Digne
            B DCL -> Ings

            Pope
            Cancelo Stones James Coufal
            Salah Bruno Gundogan Grealish
            Bamford Antonio

            Martinez Son Dallas DCL

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

              b

            2. Mighty Wings
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 1 day ago

              B

            3. flipmode_1
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 1 day ago

              B

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

            sorry no replies - bench one please
            salah
            grealish
            shaw

            thx

            1. FPL-(VAR)dy
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 1 day ago

              difficult but when in doubt bench the defender.

          12. PP6
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 2 days ago

            Bottomed. Thanks

            Wildcard in 25. 3 United already.

            DCL and Targett -> Tarkowski and Werner -4?.

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

              I would just do either of Targett to Lowton or DCL to Cavani/Richarlison

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

              yes for me

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

            Best midfielder up to 10.6 except someone from ManCity,Rashford or Grealish?

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

              Son

          14. FPL-(VAR)dy
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 1 day ago

            Captain cancelo anyone?

          15. dream_team_legend
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            3 months, 1 day ago

            Who to bench..... DCL, Son or Grealish

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

              DCL as he is injured

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

            am looking at BGW29 and the fixtures all look like stalemates! seems like a waste of a FH

            1. dream_team_legend
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 11 Years
              3 months, 1 day ago

              That’s who is currently on my bench, just worried he might make a miraculous recovery and start vs Fulham regardless of what Ancelotti said.

          17. AD2110
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 1 day ago

            Fulham likely to have a double in 26? Need a 4.5 keeper with a double

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

              if Spurs beat Wolfsburg then yes

            2. FPL-(VAR)dy
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 1 day ago

              Johnstone

          18. Meinhoff
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 1 day ago

            Play one:

            A) Holding (LEE)
            B) Mitchell (BUR)

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

              B

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

              b

            3. FPL-(VAR)dy
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 1 day ago

              mitch

          19. Kuzser
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 1 day ago

            What would be the best move here guys?
            2ft, 2.6itb
            1) Barnes Justin -> Rash lowton
            2) Dcl Justin -> Cavani Mee, bench Barnes
            3) Dcl Johnstone -> Cavani Pope, bench Barnes

            Team is:
            Martinez
            Stones - Coufal - Cancelo
            Son - Bruno - Sterling - Barnes - Raphinha
            Laca - Antonio

            Johnstone, Justin, Dallas, Dcl

          20. Nüno Vippan
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 1 day ago

            Who to (C)...Sterling or Richarlison?

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

              Sterling for sure

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

              Sterling by far.

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

              Sterling

          21. ViperStripes
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            3 months, 1 day ago

            DCL > Ings? For a hit?

            1. King Kohli
              • 8 Years
              3 months, 1 day ago

              Not this week

            2. The 12th Man
              • 7 Years
              3 months, 1 day ago

              Depends who you have on the bench.

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

              Who would you pkay instead? not sure it's worth a hit.

          22. OleBall
              3 months, 1 day ago

              1) Pope & Mee -4
              or
              2) Pope & Soucek

              1. King Kohli
                • 8 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                1

            • wulfrunian
              • 4 Years
              3 months, 1 day ago

              Do you think it's worth to do Coufal->Tarkowski for -4?

              1. King Kohli
                • 8 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                Could pay off

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

                no

            • DBossman_2000
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 5 Years
              3 months, 1 day ago

              Dias/Cancelo + Salah to Lowton + Sterling (-4)?

            • DavidKent
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 1 day ago

              DAVIDKENT Fantasy Football Scout Member2 Years40 mins 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)

            • Chandler Bing
              • 4 Years
              3 months, 1 day ago

              For one GW only:

              A. A. Barnes
              B. Cavani

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

                B clearly

              2. FPL-(VAR)dy
                • 3 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                Barnes if only for a week

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

                  Why Barnes?

              3. flipmode_1
                • 9 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                B

            • Flynny
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 1 day ago

              What to do here with 1 ft? Saving wildcard for now

              Pope (martinez)
              Cancelo dias Lowton (dallas coufal)
              Salah Bruno grealish gundog soucek
              Antonio Watkins (dcl)

              A......dcl to bamford

              B....save ft

              Thanks

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

                B and do Antonio to Bamford next gw.

              2. Chandler Bing
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                B if not using WC

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

                I would save the FT and do Antonio>Bamford next week. DCL might have the best fixture for GW26 and you seem to have the flexibility to keep him on your bench for at least one more week

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

                  Cheers guys. Yes the plan is Antonio to bamford next week and also soucek to raphinha

                  Bamford then becomes kane in 26.

                  Just wonder if my starting 11 looks a bit light this weekend.

                  Double villa at v tight Brighton. Don't really trust double West ham. Think sensible and strategic thing to do is save ft tho. Thanks

            • Eastman
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 1 day ago

              Will KWP start?

            • joeymanuel
                3 months, 1 day ago

                Worth benching either Soucek or Son to play Cavani for a hit?

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

                  Not for hit.

              • Sam (Team Sam)
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 11 Years
                3 months, 1 day ago

                I have 2 free transfers.

                Do I...?

                A) bring in Dallas a week early, bench him, then start either Son/Bamford

                B) get in Mee and play him instead. This option might lead to a 4 point in 26 to get in Kane

                Any help would be much appreciated!

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

                  A