We previously asked Fantasy Football Scout users with a Wildcard intact when they planned to activate this prized chip, and just under 30% of the responses were for this current Gameweek.
The article below – an updated version of the one we published in Gameweek 7 – looks at the best buys at the back with those FPL managers in mind but the targets are, of course, also relevant for those using ‘free’ transfers in Gameweek 8.
All stats and graphics included in this piece are taken from our Premium Members Area.
Here are some of the more interesting goalkeepers for your Wildcard:
It may be best to whisper this but Arsenal are looking defensively solid again. After a promising second half of last season yielded nine clean sheets from 23 games, three of which came in the final five, Mikel Arteta’s side have conceded just once in the four games since Aaron Ramsdale (£4.6m) was installed as first-choice goalkeeper.
In that time, Arsenal have conceded fewer big chances than any other Premier League side.
It’s important to factor in the calibre of opposition when reflecting on those numbers but there are more favourable games on the horizon, with the Gunners’ next six matches including home fixtures against Crystal Palace, Watford and Newcastle United.
Ramsdale has impressed so far and, at such a reasonable price, meets the preferences of those managers who prefer the value of cheap ‘keepers.
Expensive goalkeepers don’t tend to be a popular tactic in FPL when the £100m can only stretch so far. Those at the top clubs tend to face fewer shots and therefore make fewer saves, as well as being hampered by the inability to make the attacking contributions – and rack up bonus points – that make full-backs such as Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) and Andrew Robertson (£7.0m) such coveted assets.
However, with budget defenders like Shane Duffy (£4.3m) and Tino Livramento (£4.2m) seeming too good to ignore, buying Ederson (£6.0m) could be a useful and secure way to gain coverage of Manchester City’s supreme defence ahead of a strong run of fixtures. Their 42 shots conceded is far lower than second-best Wolves’ 68 – a domination that continues in expected goals conceded (xGC), attempts conceded in open play and most other defensive categories.
The game’s most-selected goalkeeper and with good reason. Last season, Brighton’s defence had fantastic underlying stats that somehow didn’t materialise. Their xGC was third-best but only 12 clean sheets were kept, resulting in a 16th-place finish. Things look better this time, with only two sides – Manchester City and Chelsea – conceding fewer goals so far.
At the back of this defence is Spain international Robert Sanchez (£4.6m). He emerged from nowhere to make his debut last November and, after securing his place in Gameweek 13, helped the Seagulls to ten clean sheets from 26 matches. Already on three for this campaign, Brighton are sixth in the league and about to have promising fixtures against Norwich City (a) and Newcastle (H). There are some iffier games around those two matches but for a long-term goalkeeper who allows you to concentrate on transfers elsewhere, Sanchez is a reliable option.
Despite conceding three times against Liverpool, Brentford’s defence have been a strong addition to the league with three clean sheets from seven matches. Until that six-goal thriller, only Man City and Wolves had allowed fewer shots through their backline.
It stems from a formation change towards the end of the Bees’ successful promotion season, in which they moved from a back four to a wing-back system. Whilst they let in more goals than fellow new boys Norwich City and Watford, this late switch has continued into the top flight and has been boosted further with the club-record signing of Kristoffer Ajer (£4.5m). Brentford look good at both ends of the pitch and David Raya (£4.6m) – comfortable on the ball – will be a strong pick for the Burnley (a), Norwich (H), Newcastle (a) run that starts from Gameweek 10.
The Watford stopper is in over 20% of FPL squads, having been seen as the cheap £4.0m back-up most likely to get games – and all it took was five matches until he stepped in for Daniel Bachmann (£4.4m). He conceded goals to Norwich, Newcastle and Leeds but just making appearances and collecting save points is good enough for his price tag and ’emergency back-up option’ status.
FPL managers probably wouldn’t want to be playing Foster all that often: Watford are one of two clubs without a shut-out to their name and are about to embark on a nasty set of matches that includes home clashes with Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United between Gameweeks 8 and 15.
There is also the concern that new Watford boss Claudio Ranieri will re-address his new club’s goalkeeper pecking order after succeeding Xisco Munoz.
Vicente Guaita and Alex McCarthy are both £4.5m, possess two clean sheets and rank mid-table for their teams’ ability to prevent shots, yet the former has still been able to rack up 22 saves. If McCarthy continues to hold off Fraser Forster (£4.4m) as Southampton’s number one keeper, there is a great run of fixtures between Gameweeks 8 and 15 where the Saints face only one Champions League opponent.
Jose Sa (£5.0m) costs slightly more but pulled off a rare goalkeeping assist in Gameweek 6 when setting up Raul Jimenez’s (£7.5m) winner, delighting his ownership with a 14-point haul. Similar to Guaita, he has made a high number of saves despite Wolves conceding the second-fewest number of shots throughout the league. Their xGC is only bettered by Man City, Everton and Brighton, making Sa a good pick for upcoming meetings with Crystal Palace (a), Norwich (a) and Burnley (H).