Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The green arrows of outrageous transfers,
or to take Wildcards against a sea of reds,
and by comparing end them?
Like the Dane himself, we all have a decision to make.
Wildcards are flying, some planned and some as reactions to a tumultuous transfer window.
So, I thought I would take a moment to consider what my current plan is, how that might change and where I want to be in a few Gameweeks’ time in the hope that anyone suffering from similar dilemmas finds good company and perhaps even an alternative perspective.
It’s that or find the ghost of a king to talk to.
Let’s start with the current team. This is the XV that lined up for me in Gameweek 3:
Fundamentally, there is nothing wrong with this. I have one free transfer and £0.4m in the bank. This does not need Wildcarding for its own sake, but, as with many others, the question of can I Wildcard into an even more advantageous position exists.
Late signings such as Romelu Lukaku (£11.5m) and Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.5m), possible absentees such as Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£8.2m), Callum Wilson (£7.5m) and Raphinha (£6.5m), plus first team opportunities for the likes of Diogo Jota (£7.6m) due to the injured Roberto Firmino (£8.8m) are all relevant and pressing concerns.
As things stand, I am resisting. I am a firm believer that the goal of a Wildcard is to maximise the potential gain between the pre- and post-Wildcard squads, both in the short term and the long term. There is no denying there is an opportunity here, but I do not believe my current team is far behind enough for this to be the optimal moment. I do not consider Ronaldo essential enough to rip up a team for. In fact, I would find it difficult to drop one of the mid-priced forwards for him, such is the value on offer in that bracket currently. Famous last words.
This could change, however. Confirmation that Calvert-Lewin, Wilson and Raphinha, for example, are all out for the coming week could force my hand.
IDEAL GAMEWEEK 7 TEAM
Whatever happens this week, I do have a goal in mind. Whether it be by Wildcard or transfers, the below is how I would like to set myself up from Gameweek 7 based on current information.
Naturally, the Wildcard will get me closer to this (at least without extra transfers and the associated -4 point cost), but it is mostly possible with transfers too.
Some compromises may have to be made, such as forgoing the luxury of Josh Brownhill (£4.5m) to Moussa Sissoko (£4.5m) or even opting for Raul Jimenez (£7.4m) in place of one of Michail Antonio (£7.9m) or Calvert-Lewin, but that is acceptable.
Something of an inbetween would be to forgo the Gameweek 4 Wildcard in favour of arriving at my ideal team via a Gameweek 7 Wildcard instead, meaning that between now and then I need only focus on optimising the gains possible via transfers in Gameweeks 4, 5 and 6.
Whilst this was my original intention at the outset of the season, contemplating and writing this article has made me believe I can actually navigate this period without a Wildcard and thus hold it back in reserve for the future.
This is something that could prove a massive advantage when we see a second fixture shift in Gameweek 13 (notably, the conclusion of Chelsea’s favourable run and the beginning of one of the best runs in recent memory for Manchester United). Considering so many will have used their Wildcards by this point, the extra information we will have available and the potential future impacts of COVID developments, this is something that is very attractive to me.
As mentioned, there is however a scenario where I am flipped from an adamant no-Wildcarder into a fully paid-up member of the Gameweek 4 Wildcard crew. A few dominos need to fall for that to happen.
At least two of the following need to look likely:
- Calvert-Lewin is not fit
- Wilson is not fit
- Raphinha is confirmed out
- Firmino is confirmed out for 2+ weeks
- New, as of yet unidentified, injuries
If, for example, only Wilson is an issue from the above, I will simply make the move to Jimenez. More than this however would tip the balance of most optimal route in favour of a Gameweek 4 Wildcard for me. This would then present the opportunity to maximise the fixtures between now and Gameweek 7 ahead of arriving at (a slightly modified) ideal team.
The big one here, especially with a Wildcard, is Ronaldo v Lukaku. Their strengths and weaknesses have been discussed plenty over the past few days, so rather than repeat that I want to build on the great work of others and look at a couple of FPL-relevant projections.