When is the best time to play your FPL Wildcard? Fantasy Premier League tips 2014/15
Every season there is always the panic and finger nail biting as fantasy managers ask that same old question – “When should I use my Wildcard”. We all have different views as to when to use it so here is a short guide as to six different options that might just be the difference in winning your Mini League or having the ignominy of a season wasted due to your poor wildcard decision. If you time your wildcard well it can be an opportunity to make huge strides with your side as your team climbs the league. Pressing that “Play wildcard” button can be a tense time, but if you plan it well you could reap the benefits.
Here are the six scenarios as to when you should consider using your wildcard, and why:
1. After Gameweek 1 – You’ve had an abysmal first gameweek; your fellow managers have had a great start and are not afraid about telling you, all of your selections look wrong, whilst everyone else has racked up the points. This is usually not a good idea, unless you have really taken a pasting, stand your ground. Your selections may not have paid off in week 1, but unless you have a situation where you don’t think you can start a complete eleven in GW2 due to injuries or players not starting, give your current team a longer chance. The boat’s sailed on this option already of course but assuming you managed to get past this stage then the next 5 options are your best bet to wildcard success in our view…
2. After the Transfer Window Closes/During the International Break – This is the earliest time where we think there is a sound reason to play your wildcard. You’ve had a few gameweeks to manage your team and it’s not going in the direction you want it to. Between Gameweeks 3 and 4 there is a two week window between Premier League fixtures. It is also the period when the summer transfer window closes. Playing your wildcard here will allow you to take advantage of late player movement, sometimes a player who does not look worthy of investment at one club can turn into a bargain at their new club (see Gylfi Sigurdsson). With a two week period for transfers to be made it also creates a greater chance of earning team value by bringing in players who are rising in price as there is more transfer movement. A word of caution to those managers bringing in players that are involved in International duty, make sure they are not injured whilst away and confirm before GW4 commences.
Some managers plan this in advance – they set their team up for the first 3GWs with a view to wildcarding before GW4. Their view is that they have had time to view the trends and bandwagons and will strike to mould their squad to reflect this.
3. Xmas and New Year – In December, the FPL schedule gets quite busy, resulting in occasions where clubs are playing three matches in seven or eight days. This period is when FPL managers will rotate their squads more frequently, making it difficult to put out a fantasy eleven where all your starting eleven are guaranteed 90 minutes. You could create a wildcard team geared toward this period of the season, bringing in players based on guaranteed game time. Now this could take advantage of the fixture list however we find this strategy a little too risky for its own good, due to weather and most notably rotation worries as many Premier League managers use this this time to make full use of their squad.
4. Double Gameweeks – This is probably the most popular strategy in the FPL community. Without doubt there will be fixtures moved around because of cup commitments or bad weather. The FA Cup 6th round fixtures in March are always a popular time to wildcard. When the rescheduled fixtures are announced, this creates double gameweeks. You can build up a starting eleven playing 22 matches if you choose carefully and have a cracking points haul that can take your FPL team from mid table anonymity to potential champions.
5. Double up with January Wildcard – While option 4 is the most popular with Fantasy Managers, if it can be done in January in conjunction with option 5 here then you can really hit the jackpot. We are all given a January wildcard to use during that month, this was designed to help managers whose squads were severely depleted by player movement in the January transfer window. You can organize the playing of both of your wildcards so that you can have a really strong team for the entire month. The only downside is it feels a bit of a waste if the first of your two wildcards still looks good when you plan to play your second.
6. In an Emergency – Do what some managers do and just hold on to it until a disaster occurs. It could be gameweek 4, 12 or 36. Every FPL manager will face a crisis of some sort with their squad, players injured, suspended, dropped, players out of form. Well, here’s a chance to right that sinking ship and start again. It’s your ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card. Just make sure you use it wisely.
Well we hope this guide is of some use to you and may help you in maximizing your Wildcard.