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. King Henrik
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 3 days ago

    Pieters anyone?

    1. puhd
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 3 days ago

      Nope

      1. King Henrik
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 3 days ago

        Why not ?

        1. marcos11
            3 months, 3 days ago

            Be dropped once Taylors back

            1. King Henrik
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 3 days ago

              When's Taylor due back?

              1. Phil's Stamps
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 10 Years
                3 months, 3 days ago

                He's 50:50 for their next game.

                1. Phil's Stamps
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 10 Years
                  3 months, 3 days ago

                  'touch and go' - S. Dyche.

      2. Dasher0303
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 3 days ago

        Yes

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

      Team for the weekend

      Mccarthy
      Stones Cresswell Cancelo
      Son Salah Fernandes Grealish Gundogan (C)
      Bamford Antonio

      johnstone coufal DCL Ayling

      best option

      A. Johnstone >Pope
      B. Stones and Son > Lowton and Sterling -4

      1. puhd
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 3 days ago

        A is safer

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

          fearing my rival bringin in sterling and TC

      2. Il Capitano
          3 months, 3 days ago

          A

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

            cheers just feels mccarthy have a good CS chance

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

        Which player do you prefer for 1 GW only?

        A) Lowton (cry, FUL)
        B) James (FUL, mci)
        C) Richarlison (FUL, mci)

        Thanks

        1. Better luck next year
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 3 days ago

          Richa for one GW

      4. MMN
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 3 days ago

        Bench Saka, Grealish or Bamford this week?

        1. puhd
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 3 days ago

          Saka

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

        have gundo and dias

        hoping to avoid WC for a few weeks (no FH)

        A) salah to sterling (c)?
        B) chilly to cancelo (bruno cap)

        cheers!

        1. puhd
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 3 days ago

          I like A

      6. LJJH1984
          3 months, 3 days ago

          Struggling to decide who to captain between Gundo and Bruno. Head says double game week player but Bruno could haul massively. Who would you go for?

          1. lugs
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 3 days ago

            the one with 2 games

        • puhd
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 3 days ago

          Son to Sterling (C) for a hit?

        • Viper
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          3 months, 3 days ago

          Pope

          Cancelo Dias Coufal (Robertson Justin)

          Soucek Salah Bruno Gundogan Raphinha

          Watkins Antonio (DCL)

          2 Fts & 4.3m in the bank.

          I'm thinking Justin -> Dallas in preparation for next week & take 2Fts into Gw25.

          Anything more exciting/obvious to suggest?

          1. puhd
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 3 days ago

            Yeah sounds good

          2. Champione
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 3 days ago

            Good move imo

          3. Il Capitano
              3 months, 3 days ago

              Sometimes boring is best, good move

          4. Champione
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 3 days ago

            Would you BB this?

            Martinez - Targett - Son - Bamford

            1. puhd
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 3 days ago

              I wouldn’t

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

              Yes

            3. stu92
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 1 Year
              3 months, 3 days ago

              That could easily be 8 points max. I wouldn’t.

          5. Tango74
              3 months, 3 days ago

              I wonder what the rumours will be 1 hr before deadline

              ....

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

                Anyone know if Cancelos wife had her baby?, she's due any minute...

                something like that.

                1. Tango74
                    3 months, 3 days ago

                    Ha ha

                    Don’t worry I will start one on Twitter tomorrow morning

              2. Buck The Trent
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 9 Years
                3 months, 3 days ago

                Would you do Stones, Rashford to Lowton, Sterling (c) for -4?

                Otherwise cap Gundo

                1. puhd
                  • 6 Years
                  3 months, 3 days ago

                  Why sell stones?

                  1. Il Capitano
                      3 months, 3 days ago

                      To free up a City spot I'd guess

                      1. Buck The Trent
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 9 Years
                        3 months, 3 days ago

                        This

                        1. Il Capitano
                            3 months, 3 days ago

                            Wouldn't take the hit for it, Rash has a lovely fixture and Gundo (C) isn't the end of the world.

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

                    Gtg? 2.9 ITB - 0FTs

                    Areola
                    Cancelo - AWB - Mee - Coufal
                    Salah - Sterling (C) - Bruno - Maddison - Gundogan
                    Watkins

                    (Martinez, Antonio, Brewster, Justin)

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

                      I would play Antonio over Coufal or even Watkins

                  3. royals forever
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 11 Years
                    3 months, 3 days ago

                    Play one of

                    Saka
                    Coufal

                    Any ideas would be welcomed

                    1. puhd
                      • 6 Years
                      3 months, 3 days ago

                      Coufal

                    2. lugs
                      • 3 Years
                      3 months, 3 days ago

                      Saka easily

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

                      I'd go Saka. Think he could do well against the Leeds defense

                    4. Three-Five-Two
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      3 months, 3 days ago

                      Coufal

                  4. Il Capitano
                      3 months, 3 days ago

                      2 FT 4.5M ITB

                      McCarthy
                      CANCELO STONES LOWTON
                      Son Salah GUNDO (C) Soucek Bruno
                      Antonio Bamford

                      Johnstone - Coufal Adams Justin

                      A) Adams + Justin + Johnstone > Rich/Cavani + BUR/UTD def + Pope (-4)
                      (BB24, WC25, TC26)

                      B) Adams + Johnstone > Rich/Cavani + Pope
                      (WC25 BB26)

                      Antonio uncertainty plus the hit puts me off A a bit. B probably the most sensible course, but TC Kane does tempt me in 26.

                    • Reeker
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 7 Years
                      3 months, 3 days ago

                      Martinez
                      Coufal - Dias - Cancelo
                      Gundogan - Grelish - Salah - Fernandes
                      DCL* - Antonio - Bamford
                      (Peacock-Farrell) (Soucek) (Robertson) (Dallas)

                      Have WC and BB

                      2 FT - 3.6m ITB

                      If Wcing next week. What moves would you do?

                      Peacock-Farrell to Pope is the first move for sure

                    • 420king
                      • 6 Years
                      3 months, 3 days ago

                      I haven't played my BB yet and I don't like idea of building my WC team around it.

                      Play it this round? Bench: Martinez, Mitchell, Burke, Antonio

                      1. Reeker
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 7 Years
                        3 months, 3 days ago

                        I definitely wouldnt with those lot

                      2. Il Capitano
                          3 months, 3 days ago

                          Nay

                        • Eastman
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 3 Years
                          3 months, 3 days ago

                          Why bench Antonio?

                      3. HarryS
                        • 8 Years
                        3 months, 3 days ago

                        McCarthy-Button
                        Cancelo-Dallas-Dias-KWP-Neco
                        Raphina-Bruno-Gundo-Salah-Grealish
                        Antonio-DCL-Bamford

                        2FT, any help on what to do?

                      4. vandebeek
                        • 4 Years
                        3 months, 3 days ago

                        Chances of Lacazette starting? Last two games subbed off very early...

                      5. Tmel
                        • 10 Years
                        3 months, 3 days ago

                        Best DCL replacement 8.8 or under?

                        1. Three-Five-Two
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          3 months, 3 days ago

                          Not sure of your chip strategy but mid term Watkins with DGW 26 and BGW 29 in mind.

                      6. Alisson WondHaaland
                        • 5 Years
                        3 months, 3 days ago

                        Thoughts on this transfer plan?

                        24: Chilwell + DCL to Lowton + Cavani
                        25: Robbo + Antonio to Ayling + Bamford -4
                        26: Lowton to Konsa and EITHER Bissouma to Grealish OR Cavani to Kane -4

                        This allows me to maximise my player count for the upcoming mini DGWs as well as leaving my option to go for Kane or Grealish open for DGW 26. By bringing in Villa, Spurs, Leeds players I'll be well prepared ahead of BGW 29

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

                        play antonio or bamford

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

                        Start one

                        A. Bamford
                        B. Soucek
                        C. Coufal

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

                          b

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

                          a

                      9. RomeluStormzy
                        • 4 Years
                        3 months, 3 days ago

                        Bit of a weird one but do we think rudiger starts?

                        Got a fantastic own goal last week and played all the fa cup match midweek.

                        Cheers!

                        1. lugs
                          • 3 Years
                          3 months, 3 days ago

                          he only played half the FA cup game, so i think he starts yeah

                        2. Three-Five-Two
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          3 months, 3 days ago

                          Nailed with Silva still out. And only came on at HT in cup

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

                        Best one GW punt?
                        A. Rodriguez
                        B. Siggy
                        C. Mount
                        D. Saka

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

                          A

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

                            Cheers! 🙂

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

                          B

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

                            On pebs and will get more game time than jrod

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

                        G2G?

                        Pope
                        Cancelo Stones Coufal
                        Salah Bruno (V) Son Grealish Gundo (C)
                        Cavani Bamford

                        Martinez DCL Dallas Dier
                        1 FT, 0.3 ITB

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

                          Looks good

                      12. OleBall
                          3 months, 3 days ago

                          Mee Lowton or Pieters?

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

                            Lowton. That's my BUR man.

                        • Pringle
                          • 7 Years
                          3 months, 3 days ago

                          Need to use one of my FTs on something. Who would you sell?

                          A. Coufal
                          B. Soucek
                          C. Antonio
                          D. Maguire
                          E. Adams

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

                            A

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

                            Coufal probably. West Ham fixtures get difficult after the SHU game.

                        • EWH2020
                          • 7 Years
                          3 months, 3 days ago

                          Play who?

                          A) Maguire
                          B) Coufal

                          1. Ginola14
                            • 9 Years
                            3 months, 3 days ago

                            A

                        • Ginola14
                          • 9 Years
                          3 months, 3 days ago

                          Which 1 Would you play
                          Saka
                          Bam
                          Cresswell?
                          Cheers

                        • tim
                          • 11 Years
                          3 months, 3 days ago

                          Pope
                          Cancelo Dias Targett
                          Bruno Gundo Salah Son
                          Cavani Watkins

                          McCarthy Bam, Soucek, KWP

                          Would you BB?