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FPL Wildcard time or Patience required? Some expert thoughts

FPL Wildcard time or Patience required? Some expert thoughts – Fantasy Football Tips 2014 / 15

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[/three_fourth]Balotelli? Di Maria? Falcao? Welbeck? Cleverley? Boyd? No – the word on FPL lips this week is WILDCARD. An international break, a chance to gain some team value using unreliable price rise sites, a disappointing start to the campaign, an opportunity to buy those “must-haves” or just general boredom has led to thousands upon thousands of FPL managers pressing the button this week. A fortnight of unadulterated fantasy transfers awaits them as they subject themselves to the ultimate FPL thrill ride. Following on from Ed’s Wildcard guide we got some of the FF247 writers together to find out what their plans are for their wildcard. Have they activated their wildcard, have they a plan for later on in the season or do they have no idea what to do?!


After GW3 points: 182
After GW3 ranking: 33,765


I will not be playing my wildcard this round due to the fact that for once I have had a decent start to the season. I do have worries in my side regarding the two United players Rooney and Mata but will only assess that after the internationals to see if there are any other injuries. If I were to be playing my wildcard then I would definitely look to get in Ivanovic and Aguero but perhaps I could also do this with a hit here and here so that’s ok. I think people are worrying too much about price value which does not seem to be having as big an impact this season.


037Gallant Pioneer:
After GW3 points: 181
After GW3 ranking: 36,199


I have activated the wildcard off the back of my best start in a few years. I feel confident I’ve made the right call for my team and to improve on my ranking further still.

Here are my changes listed in position for comparison.

Players in with WC:

Players out with WC:

Giving me as a usual starting line-up (3-4-3):

Janmaat, Ivanovic, Dier
Sterling Ramsey, King, Sigurdsson
Aguero, Costa, Balotelli

(Guzan, Duff, Taylor, Quinn)

My default second system would be to play 4-3-3 and include Neil Taylor at the expense of King.
Although I have made eight changes to my squad, I wildcarded only really to capture Ivanovic and Costa without taking a crazy 16-20 point hit. I had Costa for the first two weeks but made a 50/50 call to replace him with Aguero when I almost ditched Rooney for the City man. (Note to self – admire, enjoy but don’t trust or listen to ‘presser’ Jose).
With the whole confusion over the price rise/falls currently, I have wildcarded NOT to increase transfer value as the players I have brought in above, I want to keep, so wouldn’t sell them for value as I need them back in place for the eve of GW4.

I have wildcarded for four reasons then:

– As explained I feel I need Costa back and Ivanovic looks unmissable this season.

– Falcao to United, Defoe to QPR – as I write, it is Transfer deadline day morn’. There is a nice secure feeling in having an open wildcard today as once any new signings are added, you can have them without worrying about their price – you only have to worry about who to drop for them. In reality, the next superstar can be in your team for GW4 if you so wish.

– I feel a bit burned (as a few others probably will too) with the mammoth double game week of late last season and the idea of having a WC for another of those isn’t as appealing to me as it once might have been. I feel proper planning ahead of any big DGW will be enough and I certainly won’t be ‘chasing’ it as hard this time around.

– I am trying to be strict with my self-imposed ban on points hits – I’d love to see where it could take me this season.

Good luck to all regardless of whether you wildcard or not.


039NZ Alex
After GW3 points: 193
After GW3 ranking: 6,670


In previous seasons I’ve been very conservative when it comes to using my wildcard, leaving it till as late as possible and trying to use it for a bumper double game week. This season, I had been planning to use it in the international break as I wanted to go to the big front three of Costa, Rooney/Falcao and Augero and gain the vital extra pounds available from price rises. I have also been very impressed with some of the WC teams I’ve seen on the site which has meant I’ve been very tempted to hit the button. However, as the first few weeks have progressed my transfers have been paying off (thanks to the FF247 articles and the community feedback) and my squad is starting to take shape. Also the change to the pricing system within the game means I wouldn’t have been able to gain the same amount from price rises as last season. So in conclusion, after a third week of green arrows and breaking the world top 7k, I’m happy with my most of my squad and, with a few tweaks which will include a 4 point hit during the international break, I will hold my wildcard until injuries or a DGW demand its use! Good luck to everyone whether using or holding your WC.


After GW3 points: 142
After GW3 ranking: 960,831


I usually advocate saving the wildcard for one of the double gameweeks later in the season but I’m changing tact a bit this season having learned a few lessons last season as I shall explain shortly but also and probably more pertinently – I’ve had a stinker so far and need to fix a few things quickly! Which may be reason enough but to be fair I started not too dissimilarly last season and still recovered to a 6k finish but I felt I was always playing catch up and so I feel the need to be more proactive this season. It was always my intention to WC this week to be honest, I’ve said so from day 1 and with good reason. Last season I clung to my WC and felt I wasted it in the end having used it on a DGW but it was a DGW that was planned well in advance and so many others were able to plan ahead and get just as many DGW players in their teams as I was despite my WC so it was wasted somewhat I felt.

The rationale for a GW4 WC was centred around the International break and a few games worth of ‘intelligence’. The 2 week break allows for a small amount of  team value building in theory but that is secondary in my thinking. The main reason is the ability to view some patterns and in form players and take advantage of that to the full rather than waiting and transferring in those players gradually as per last season and costing myself points in the process. Ramsey and Toure were prime examples of that last season, I felt they were necessary and so it proved but it took me so long to get them both in it cost me a lot of points and was very frustrating in the process. It seems easy to say I want him and him but as we all know it can be something else entirely to find the right time to do so without a load of hits given that there always seems to be another issue or two to take care of every week as well.

I had a plan and a theory as to how to approach this seasons FPL but I somehow managed to ignore  it and went at it in my normal fashion but I am now determined that I will stick to my plan after the WC! The plan is to have a core of 7-9 players who I believe will deliver over the entire piece and not rotate them regardless of fixtures. This will leave a spot or two for rotation and I intend to pick a ‘punt’ every week in one of those spots and rotate mainly that position and that will probably be the 3rd striker. I like the look /price of Welbeck for example but he’s got City up next so I will probably begin the process by picking a similarly priced player who has a nicer fixture this week and then switch that around each week or until Arsenal’s fixtures look good and perhaps he looks like he’s settled down. I want Ivanovic and either Coleman or Baines at the back and they will play every week alongside one of three others who will rotate. Going that bit more expensive at the back will mean a couple of budget mids so again I shall pick three mainstays and two cheap ones and the cheap ones will rotate alongside the others. That’s the theory anyway!


041Bryan Munich
After GW3 points: 171
After GW3 ranking: 116,670


A few factors have influenced me to hold on to my wildcard this season. Some of them self-imposed. Unlike previous seasons I’m not going out of my way to build team value, which a two-week break normally affords us. Secondly, as the price fluctuations have been harder for the likes of Fiso and TotalFPL to acclimatise to, and with rises seemingly less frequent, it’s unlikely that there’s much profit to be made anyway.

The most decisive of all, though, is performance-based. This time last year, I was languishing around the 1.7m rank and nursing a squad with a number of non-starters, so I burned my wildcard in GW3. I’ve played a lot safer with my squad choice from the get-go this year, and so far it’s paid off. There’s no major surgery needed, and I’m happy with my team going into GW4, so against all prior expectations, I’m saving my wildcard.

I’m not sure when I’ll be using it, but It would be nice still have it going into January. Of course, there are lots of variables that could change things up. Once the cup competitions get into full swing, a monster DGW could crop up. Another thing worth keeping an eye on is how the new signings, particular at Man Utd, will settle in. If Di Maria, Falcao and Blind start clicking, it could be well worth rethinking my squad’s Old Trafford contingent. As things stands however, I may just use a FT to bring Welbeck in, or even save it completely. Fancy that, eh!


After GW3 points: 174
After GW3 ranking: 84,530


There are numerous reason for pulling the wildcard trigger on my team this week:
Having a non-playing bench forced me to take out Costa which backfired massively. If I’d have a better option in reserve I would have risked him to start and also gone with my original transfers which were Mata and Bojan for Sterling and Ullua! (honest, guv) Also Bringing in Dummet this week just added to the non-playing issue as he looks to have lost his spot as well.
I could have possible restrained from pulling the trigger and rebuilt my team gradually. However, the final tipping point was having a 6 hour car journey with plenty of spare time to tinker and hatch a plan. I figured out that I would have taken at least 5 weeks to get were I wanted to be. Add in injuries and price changes to the mix and that estimate could easily double.
There is obviously a plus side to the above as now I have removed all my United cover we will go on to win the league. GGMU


036Kop Warrior

After GW3 points: 184
After GW3 ranking: 23,321


It probably won’t come as much of a surprise to hear that I will not be activating my WC over the international break. Why? Well the main reason is that I’ve had a solid start, I’m circa 23k. At this stage last season I was circa 600k and falling and I didn’t play my WC, although in hindsight I should have, this season I feel I’m best served holding onto it.
After the first 3 game-weeks there are very few ‘must haves’, if any! At the back there’s possibly Ivanovic but at £7.1m I don’t think he can be considered a must have so I’m willing to go without him for now. Looking at the midfield and the most important players at present are probably Siggy, Sterling, Ramsey & Cesc and luckily enough I’ve had the first three since the beginning and I’ll probably use a FT to get Cesc. Up front Diego Costa is the only one of the big money strikers to deliver consistently. I stupidly sold him last week but again I’ll simply spend a transfer to get him back in. So luckily enough I have quite a few of the big hitters, meaning I feel confident holding onto my WC.
One small issue I do have is the fact that I have three United players in my current squad but I will probably bring Cesc in for Mata ahead of GW4 leaving me with two for a home game against QPR which I feel will tell us a lot about United, so again I don’t feel the need to use my WC to fix this potential problem.
Finally, one of the biggest arguments for using the WC during this international break has been to increase transfer value, but with the changes that have been made to the algorithms which control the price changes fewer players are rising than in previous seasons so it doesn’t look like it will be easy to significantly increase your teams value ahead of GW4.


After GW3 points: 178
After GW3 ranking: 52,719


So, after being interviewed by Cookie pre-season and saying I will keep my wildcard for later in the season, guess what? Yep, I’ve changed my mind. Saturday night I was beginning to have my doubts having watched United scrape a 0-0 draw at Burnley. Then after watching Sunday’s matches and having no Liverpool coverage I decided I needed help with my predicament and turned to my mentor, Mr Artois. Yep I hit the beer. In a big way.
With Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young in my side, I was losing value rapidly as they were so ineffective. Alex Bruce has lost his place at Hull and Callum Chambers’ starting spot is now in question. Surgery was required, the Dutch courage was with me and not United and “BANG”, I pressed the button. Monday morning I woke up to that nagging feeling you get when something is wrong. And then it hit me. I logged onto FPL and sure enough I had activated my wildcard. Instant regret hit me – after all I had every intention of keeping the wildcard until later in the season.
OK, I thought, let’s try and make this work and make some team value in this fortnight…but then the price change sites were letting me down and I vowed never to drink again. Again.
Monday got better watching Deadline Day and I could take some positives from having played the wildcard.

So here is my plan for the next couple of weeks:

– first try and gain at least 0.5mln in team value, if possible
– I plan to keep my two keepers, Krul & Mannone as well as Dier, Siggy, Ramsey, Fabregas & Costa
– out will go those three useless United idiots, Rooney, Mata and Young as well as Bruce and Chambers.
– in will come Falcao, Welbeck, Sterling and Ivanovic
– I’m thinking of a Southampton midfielder, either JWP or Davis. In defence I’m looking at the Swansea/Stoke rotation and a 4mln defender, maybe Wisdom or Duff

That’s the plan, but I’m sure that will all charge by the GW4 deadline – but somehow Mr Artois and I will work it out together!


043Calvin Clyne
After GW3 points: 167
After GW3 ranking: 173,643


So, let’s talk wild cards. From the talk on the boards these past few days it seems like precious few of us still have one intact. And yet many teams I see wildcarding are in the top 100,000. So I must be missing something. Other than the ability to link sentences using commas.
What has happened to the conservative masses? I do no include myself in that group, and yet I think many of the wildcards I have seen played have been done so unnecessarily. I’ll put it simply: do not play your wild card unless you are planning on making wholesale changes to your team! And even then preferably not if you are keeping the bulk of your expensive players, as they are the ones that you would expect to get the most points from. Other fringe players can be changed at a more gradual rate over a course of a few game-weeks. So if your wildcard team is only four or five players different from your current team, ask yourself if it is really worth it. If unsure, ask on the boards before letting your trigger-happy finger click on that activate button. Also bear in mind that you won’t get the same price-rise benefits this season while using your wild card as A: the prices don’t rise as quickly as before, and B: because of this all of the price changes sites have no clue what’s going on, so good luck in predicting the correct moment to buy/sell.
For my part, I am reasonably happy with my team so do not expect to play it any time soon. With the impending arrival of Falcao and possibly others though, how long my lone stand lasts remains to be seen.


After GW3 points: 162
After GW3 ranking: 269,214


My wildcard has been activated and if I’m honest, it was not something I planned I would be doing so early on. I built my team around United and Chelsea as I felt they had the kindest fixtures from the ‘big teams’. I was happy to have 3 from each club and Ramsey, so then it was a case of filling in with others based on price and advice. I had Siggy from the start and I would have had Naismith……….wouldn’t I Innit?! Liverpool didn’t have great fixtures until GW4 so I was happy to go without and I just couldn’t find a spot for any City coverage, as odd as that may sound. I was also comfortable knowing that the 6 from United and Chelsea could possibly stay if all was going well. I went into GW3 with 2ft’s planning to just use 1. I was keeping faith with United and hoping that Terry would do an Ivan and Hazard would bag a brace! Then, step forward Mourinho!! Costa out, doubtful, unlikely to play or whatever. I waited until 11am on Saturday to make my transfers. I had 3 outfield playing subs, but despite that I sold Costa for Jovetic and Chambers for Coloccini. Not the most inspired moves I’ve ever made! By Monday Costa was out of reach without a hit, my United players were disappointing and it was looking I’d chosen the wrong Chelsea defender and midfielder. That could be debatable though.
Anyway, I was going into GW4 with no Costa, no Liverpool attacking coverage and a City striker that is not fixture proof. Mata to Sterling and Jovetic to Costa seemed the obvious moves however I decided to play my wildcard. As I said earlier it was not my plan to use it so soon and I have taken a gamble by doing so, however, with all the transfer moves and the time we have until next GW, it has afforded me an opportunity to construct a squad of around 8 players based on current form who will play each week regardless, and also look at getting on the new transfers early if I decide to do so. I can also build a little team value, however I don’t tend to focus on that part, and certainly not with the new price change system!
Anyway, its the DGW’s that scupper me regardless of having a wildcard or not and the gamble of early wildcard certainly paid off last season, so we’ll have to wait and see!

Thanks to everyone who took part in the Wildcard article – we are sure you’ll all agree that it made a fascinating read with such a cross section of answers and views, proving there is no right or wrong time to play your wildcard and that proper planning either way can lead to success. Or if in doubt, just go on a six hour car journey with a whole load of Stella…obviously as a passenger!!

Thanks for reading FPL Wildcard time or Patience required? Some expert thoughts – Fantasy Football Tips 2014 / 15. This article was written by Cookie

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  1. 49
    B-Bash says:

    Morning all!
    Depressed that there is no footy this weekend! That coupled with Sturridge looking he’ll be out for weeks, oh and I’m on call weekend! Wildcard it is then! smile

    • 49.1

      Evening BB, how’s that wildcard team looking? I don’t even have my WC active to entertain me!

      • B-Bash says:

        Evening NZ…….always sounds weird as I’ve just got up and had my poached eggs! smile
        Well I dont envy you if you only had a week to sort out your wc! I’ve got 3 drafts on the go at the mo! One which goes heavy defensively with Ivan and Baines as the main 2, then 1 that goes attack heavy with Costa, Falcao and Ade. The 3rd is a mid way trying to strike a balance. Stick them on the Build a team on FFS and mid range wins by a point! Loads of comments though I agree with are all wc teams look so similar, so I am trying to find a couple of diffs at least!

        • flingy says:

          Adebayor, Pelle/Tadic, and Jovetic – even though facing Arsenal and Chelsea next, all look like great options for the coming weeks.

        • B-Bash says:

          Ade definitely and it would be nice to see Tadic deliver what we would expect in FPL. I may be completely wrong but Jovetic doesnt seem like he’s nailed on. Plus I’m still peed off with him for scoring 2 fpl points when I bought him for Costa. Yes it is his fault!!!

        • TheDreamers says:

          Ade has some tough fixtures doesn’t he? What about Welbeck – same point re fixtures but cheaper?

        • BB, so what does your mid pieced look like? I’m interesting your weighing up a defensive option with two £7mil plus in, I’ve always avoided pricey backs but with Ivan firing as he is it’s getting hard to ignore. Did you decide against a top heavy team (eg augero/falcao/costa)?

        • flingy says:

          It’s easy to ignore Alex, as the difference between a £5m defender and £7m Ivanovic point wise is far smaller than the difference between a £7m forward and a £9m forward. That’s my reasoning, anyway.

          The “Jovetic isn’t nailed on” shouts baffle me, I’d heard that from game-week 1 and he’s been heads above any other forward each week (subjectively and objectively). My faith in his numbers paid off, hoping he carries on how he has done.

        • B-Bash says:

          Baines is hard to ignore in fpl as is Ivan at the mo. Despite Evertons slow start, Baines’ stats are still excellent, he’s just not pulling in the fpl points. I’m sure he will soon and its an option and would be nice if if I was already on him. The big top heavy option of Kun, Costa and Falcao leaves my team unbalanced, plus 2 strikers with dodgy hamstrings and Falcao may start on bench

        • flingy says:

          Baines stats aren’t great, Van Aandholt has arguably looked better, as has Schlupp.

          Ivanovic is up there with midfielders attacking stats wise, however, he has also played Leicester and Burnley, pretty easy fixtures. Against Everton he had 3 attempts at goal, but didn’t create a single chance.

          £2m is the difference between Schurrle and Fabregas, Navas and Silva, Herrera and Mata. Ok pretty awful examples, but still the point I’m trying to show is there, I hope!?

        • B-Bash says:

          Flingy, sorry to baffle you mate. Jovetic has been outstanding but I doubt many wildcard teams will be built with him in. Kun was injured for the start of the season but now he’s back it will be interesting to see who partners him. Dzecko or Jovetic?

        • flingy says:

          Indeed mate, and I whole heartedly believe it will be Jovetic, Dzeko has looked awful, and the whole “Pellegrini likes to play one big one small” is a myth, Dzeko was dropped for Jovetic when he was fit last season, I remember because I was one of the few who brought him in, I was gutted he didn’t join Arsenal!

        • BB and flingy, some interesting points from you both. Summarising you both. I have managed to get a team with the three big ‘up too’ in but it would mean a move if fab to zaha and that is a big big call. I’m still unlikely to aim for either of the 7+ defenders yet, I agree with flingy that the 2mil goes further with your forward 7. I stand to be corrected if you out score me BB with them both in! So which are you leaning towards?

        • B-Bash says:

          He is quality mate, as we found out to our cost a couple of weeks ago! Tell you what though, your new centre forward seems to appearing in a lot of draft wc teams and I can well understand that! I think he will played in his favoured role as a cf and he has quality around him. Should score loads surely!

        • B-Bash says:

          NZ, I do struggle to justify so much in defence when there is so much fpl points to be had by your forward 7. I willhave one though I’m sure
          I’ll do the same as last year and let Old Speckled Hen decide next Friday night! 😉

    • 49.2
      TheDreamers says:

      Watch the hurling tomorrow B Bash. I’ll convince ye yet smile

  2. 50
    NIN says:

    Woah, unbelievable form from Landon Donovan in FMLS. 15, 11, 4, 4, 13, 11, 15, 14, 23. Suarez-esque.

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