Fixtures

When is the best time to use my first Wildcard?

When to play the first Wildcard in Fantasy Premier League (FPL) is a question that frequently gets asked in the early weeks of a new season, on this site and beyond.

Fantasy managers have different approaches to this chip, be it deploying it from a position of strength or saving it for a rainy day when wholesale changes may be needed.

Targeting fixture swings is another (not mutually exclusive) approach and that will be the focus of this article here.

Using our own Season Ticker and moderator Legomané‘s excellent ‘hop on, hop off’ matrix variant and season calendar, we’ll take a look at some of the key fixture swings in the first half of the 2021/22 campaign – whether managers use it for Wildcard deployment, free transfer usage or otherwise.

The usual caveats about not knowing for sure which fixtures represent ‘good’ or ‘bad’ ones apply at this early stage of the season, of course, as there will invariably be a surprise package or two and just as many well-fancied teams flopping.

And not all positive/negative fixture runs will be universally excellent/awful: Arsenal, for example, take on Newcastle and Southampton at home in Gameweeks 13 and 16 in the middle of some less favourable matches.

Above: Legomane’s ‘hop on, hop off’ matrix (click to expand)

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185 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Little Red Lacazette
    • 4 Years
    15 days, 18 hours ago

    Why am I very resistant to a Sanchez-Lamptey double Brighton D?

    1. Zim0
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      15 days, 18 hours ago

      I dunno.

      1. Little Red Lacazette
        • 4 Years
        15 days, 18 hours ago

        Talk me into it 😀

        1. Zim0
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          15 days, 18 hours ago

          Sanchez best option at 4.5 right now considering fixtures. Lamptey also best 4.5 defender with attacking potential until he gets injured. Then u can replace him. And hopefully Brighton don't massively underperform again this year. Who do u want instead of them if u dont wanna double up?

          1. Little Red Lacazette
            • 4 Years
            15 days, 17 hours ago

            Looking at Sanchez then Fofana as the only 4.5 def.

    2. CROYDON DE BRUYNE
      • 4 Years
      15 days, 18 hours ago

      So many good defensive options, one of Sanchez or Lamptey will suffice

      1. Andy_Social
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        15 days, 17 hours ago

        For many, they are rotating Lamptey with Ayling - Leeds and Brighton dovetail very nicely. Sanchez can get save points in tougher fixtures. I seem to be the only one rotating the keepers - a combo of Meslier and Sanchez is quite affordable, so I've actually got all 4. If Brighton turn out to be pants at the back Sanchez and Lamptey simply get benched ahead of transferring out.

        1. Little Red Lacazette
          • 4 Years
          15 days, 17 hours ago

          Ah yes, rotating keepers is not that common around here, but I hear your plan.

  2. Inazuma X1
    • 3 Years
    15 days, 17 hours ago

    Lamptey pictured in training

  3. Inazuma X1
    • 3 Years
    15 days, 17 hours ago

    So... which one?

    1. Lamptey + Tierney
    2. Shaw + 4m def

    1. Andy_Social
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      15 days, 17 hours ago

      1. looks decent
      2 - a non-playing outfield player is dead wood to me. I'd only consider it if the 2 other subs are decent stuff.

      1. Inazuma X1
        • 3 Years
        15 days, 17 hours ago

        I am currently on 2 mainly on the basis that Shaw could get decent assists and United will improve defensively.. just not 100% sure about it though

    2. pingissimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      15 days, 17 hours ago

      On 1 right now

      The major problem I have with it is the injury record of them both. There's a punt involved too with going Brighton and Arsenal defence but having held United defence last season I'm not at all sold on Shaw at 5.5 from the off.

      1. Andy_Social
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        15 days, 17 hours ago

        I'm happy with Shaw. After the Euros he should be brimming with confidence. Would be even better if United get Varane.

  4. Inazuma X1
    • 3 Years
    15 days, 17 hours ago

    Who's the back up for Tierney?

    1. Andy_Social
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      15 days, 17 hours ago

      Unclear, depends on formation. If Bellerin goes, he could be used at LB/LWB. If they go 3 at the back he doesn't have any real competition although they just got a new CB, Taveres and are going for White, but Tierney is far and away Arsenal's best defender.

      1. Inazuma X1
        • 3 Years
        15 days, 17 hours ago

        Yeah but he's not a threat to his position just an understudy

  5. pingissimus
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    15 days, 17 hours ago

    Have been looking at Brighton. Lots seems to be wary of defensive double up and avoiding that attack. But if you take weeks 26 on when their performances matched their stats then there's a decent case for loading up on their assets for value over more popular options. This requires accepting weeks 1-25 when they defeated all sorts of stats were anomalous.

    The two I'm thinking about here are Dunk in defence (uber nailed, no injury record and attacking threat) over Shaw perhaps and Welbeck in attack over qa 7.5 type.

    Forwards from week 26 on from last season. Think these stats are right for those who featured regularly - hence no Wilson.

    Nacho 11 goals 2 assists
    Watkins 4 goals 5 assists
    Bambam 4 goals 3 assists
    Welbeck 4 goals 2 assists
    Antonio 4 goals 2 assists
    DCL 3 goals

    Welbeck falls right into the middle of the 7.5 bunch on this evidence.

    He is - or has been - a quality forward and Brighton attacking stats in the season were top 6 quality mostly. It could be just a burst of form of course but this isn't Tekkers just taking every chance he sees suddenly - it's more a case of a striker putting away a sensible amount of the chances his team creates.

    Weeks 26 on defence

    Dunk 4 clean sheets 2 goals
    Shaw 5 clean sheets 1 goal
    Coufal 2 clean sheets 5 assists
    Digne 7 clean sheets 1 assist

    Dunk at 5.0? Matches Coufal anyway at the price and and is very competitive with the popular 5.5's. This was actually a decent run for United and the best run Everton had too so It's not cherrypicking stats.

    1. Inazuma X1
      • 3 Years
      15 days, 17 hours ago

      Why not Lamptey over Dunk?

      1. pingissimus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        15 days, 17 hours ago

        Dunk is a proven PL performer. Nailed and no injury record. Lamptey is a hope, Dunk would be an expectation.

    2. Andy_Social
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      15 days, 17 hours ago

      Sorry, looks too selective for me. I'm attracted to Brighton for their opening fixtures more than anything. I'm not expecting to hang onto any assets other than maybe Sanchez long term.

      Lamptey looks good for potential assists at 4.5, and I agree Dunk is being overlooked as a potential goal threat. For me, he could be a 0.5 cheaper version of Maguire for those early fixtures.
      I really don't have faith in attacking assets, not even Welbeck with Toney being only 0,5 more and on pens. Is Welbeck even nailed? Does he play up top alongside Maupay or has he usurped the latter?

      1. pingissimus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        15 days, 17 hours ago

        yep

        Big question is whether these stats are selective. Think I'm fairly happy to put more weight on them than I would otherwise simply because Brighton underperformed so miserably for 25 weeks or so. Their last third of the season wasn't a fantastic run of form really. They did well but only in accordance with how they should have performed looking at underlying figures. You can even argue they underperformed still then. Feels to me that the Brighton stats here are indicative of what we can expect.

      2. Zim0
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        15 days, 17 hours ago

        He is pretty much nailed yeah. Maupay, Trossard and him were playing regularly together as preferred front 3.

        1. Andy_Social
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          15 days, 17 hours ago

          Cool. Well I'm happy to start with Toney and move to Danny if T disappoints. I'll have 2 Seagulls in my Starting Squad anyway. Some people are going to make the schoolboy error of partnering Sanchez with Steele, leaving them stuck if Brighton do start well.

      3. pingissimus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        15 days, 17 hours ago

        The other way to look at this is that this period catches the entire Nacho run. Is picking him too on this form selective? Where's the difference with Welbeck?

        Arguably Welbeck - if nailed - looks more likely to continue the form. As I say he was only putting away a sensible number of the chances created, Big question whether he is nailed or whether Brighton bring in someone new.

        As it stands I'd have him as really good value at 6.0 and then your'e left making comparisons with Buendia, Harrison and Sarr and perhaps thinking about squad shape,

        1. Andy_Social
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          15 days, 17 hours ago

          Right, well as I say, i'm happy to put him on my watchlist or as first replacement for Toney. I do expect those 3 midfielders you mention to outscore him over the season, but for the early fixtures he has the edge over them.
          In terms of strikers, I tip Nacho to continue his hot form and Watkins has 3 easy opening games to assess. Toney is the unknown quantity.

          1. pingissimus
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            15 days, 17 hours ago

            Yep- looked at those Nacho numbers and wondered how on earth he wasn't in my team.

            The 6.0 mids do look more interesting agreed. I've actually still got Cantwell as well as Pukki on my watchlist. If you reckon Norwich are going to come out flying against a suspect Liverpool defence and anything can happen in week 1 then it's only City in week 2 that is the bother really to me. Leicester and Arsenal are only middling poor for attack.. Worse fixture than Brighton or Leeds say? Not sure how red those fixtures really are.

    3. Nanoelektronicar
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      15 days, 17 hours ago

      Just another argument that three strikers is the way to start, imo. Too many good options there, it will be difficult to pick ideal three.

  6. Inazuma X1
    • 3 Years
    15 days, 17 hours ago

    Price prediction for Jose Sa?

  7. Camzy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    15 days, 17 hours ago

    My preseason starts now 🙂

    Any real bargains I'm missing? The only dead certs for me are Salah, Shaw, Raphinha and Watkins.

    Sanchez Foster
    TAA Shaw Fofana Holding Hoever
    Salah Fernandes Havertz Raphinha Gilmour
    Watkins Iheanacho Toney

    1. Inazuma X1
      • 3 Years
      15 days, 17 hours ago

      Why Gilmour? Curious to know

      1. Andy_Social
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        15 days, 17 hours ago

        You don't have a 4.5 midf to play - he looks pretty at the back of the bench.
        The identity of the non-playing 4m defender is similarly irrelevant.

      2. Camzy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        15 days, 17 hours ago

        He's a 4.5m mid. Who's better at the pure fodder price?

        1. Inazuma X1
          • 3 Years
          15 days, 17 hours ago

          Bissouma?

          1. Andy_Social
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            15 days, 17 hours ago

            1 goal 0 assists last season. Brighton have fleshed out the squad in midfield, leaving him less certain to be a regular starter. Gilmour is replacing Skipp and can be expected to play every game.

          2. Camzy
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            15 days, 17 hours ago

            Don't want Bissouma because he plays for Brighton (or will he?)

            I am picking my fodder from teams that I will not possibly get 3 of. If for some reason Lamptey and a Brighton attacker become essential I could get locked out by having Bissouma.

            It happened last year to some folks with Martinez, Steer and Davis.

            1. Andy_Social
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              15 days, 17 hours ago

              Right, I just commented elsewhere many are making the cardinal error of partnering Sanchez with Steele.

    2. Andy_Social
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      15 days, 17 hours ago

      Raph for me is the most outstanding underpriced asset. I've got all your certs and in fact nearly all your draft!
      Holding - is he nailed and will White (also 4.5) hurt him if he joins Arsenal? Hoever - first time I've seen him in a draft but all 4m defenders are non-playing. Havertz - questions over nailedness is the only issue I have with your front 8.

      1. Camzy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        15 days, 17 hours ago

        Havertz will start if Chelsea don't buy a forward as false 9. I'm tipping him for a big year (again).

        Holding is there because I rate Arsenal's defense. Tierney also seems good value but I need to spare 0.5m.

        1. Inazuma X1
          • 3 Years
          15 days, 17 hours ago

          Chelsea will 100% sign a forward with Tammy leaving and Giroud already out.

    3. Little Red Lacazette
      • 4 Years
      15 days, 17 hours ago

      Close to mine. Have Jota instead of Havertz.

      1. OneMan
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        15 days, 13 hours ago

        Jota could be golden. Do you think Klopp will fit him in from the start ?

        1. Andy_Social
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          15 days, 13 hours ago

          If we knew that he'd be in a lot more drafts. Mine for one.

  8. baggs
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    15 days, 17 hours ago

    Zombie team

    Anyone got any zombie leagues?

    Schmeichel Ward
    TAA Wan-Bissaka Rüdiger Digne Lamptey
    Raphinha Salah Grealish Mahrez Saka
    Toney Iheanacho Pukki

    1. Inazuma X1
      • 3 Years
      15 days, 17 hours ago

      Change Pukki to Welbeck

  9. Giggs Boson
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    15 days, 17 hours ago

    Is the Club World Cup going to cause two blanks in December?

  10. OneMan
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    15 days, 12 hours ago

    Are we all ignoring Son now that Kane is near certain to depart ?