This week’s Fantasy Premier League tips focus on the precious wildcard. If well-timed, the wildcard can be an opportunity to make huge strides with your side as you yearn to climb the rankings. It is a tense feeling, that moment in the transfer section of the game when you click “Play wildcard” and open Pandora’s Box. One could play their wildcard at any moment in time, but perhaps you should have a plan as to when to open that box.
Here are the seven scenarios of when you should consider using your wildcard, and why:
1.) After Gameweek 1 – This scenario has already passed us by this season but the premise is simple: You had an abysmal first gameweek. All of your selections look wrong, while everyone else racked up the points. This is usually not a good idea. Unless you have really been beaten with the unlucky stick, stand your ground. Your selections may not have paid off week 1, but unless you have a situation where you don’t think you can start a complete XI in Gameweek 2 due to injuries or players not starting, give your current team a longer look.
2.) After the Transfer Window Closes/International Break – This is the earliest time where I think there is a legitimate reason to play your wildcard. You’ve had a few gameweeks to scrutinize your squad. It is clear it’s not going in the direction you want it to. Heading into Gameweek 4, there is a two week gap 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 looks not worthy of investment on one club can turn into a bargain in their new environment. Also, a two week period for transfers to be made within the fantasy game creates a greater chance of earning team value by bringing in players who are rising in price as there is more transfer movement.
3.) The Holiday Season – In December, the Premier League schedule gets quite busy, resulting in stretches where clubs are playing 3 matches in seven or eight days. This period is when the real-life managers will rotate their starters out more frequently for sake of rest, making it ever so hard to put out a fantasy XI where all your desired starters are starting every match. One could conceivably create a wildcard team geared toward this period of the schedule, drafting in players based on guaranteed pitch time. While using your wildcard to take advantage of this is admirable in its intention, I find this strategy a little too clever for its own good.