Here’s our fantasy premier league 2nd wildcard team gw25 article where Rob Reid reviews DGW24 and gives what is, hopefully, his final wildcard team. Rob has finished 3 of the last 5 seasons in the top 0.5% of FPL managers.
fantasy premier league 2nd wildcard team GW25 – Rob Reids final wildcard team
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GW24 pts 83 on TC (FPL average 53) GW Rank 347k; OR 117k green arrow 96k, TV – £105.2m
Here’s the points:
A very welcome green arrow, greeted with largely relief on my part. My team has been in free-fall over the last few weeks and it looked like the theme was going to continue as I went into the last match of the gameweek. Only 3 returns from Trent Alexander Arnold, De Bruyne and McCarthy and my Triple Captain sitting finely poised on Mo Salah. By the end of that final game, a welcome 2 returns from Mo meant that over half my gameweek score came from my Triple Captain and took me from staring another 4 million plus gameweek in the face to a healthy 6 figure GW rank and a welcome rise back towards the Top 100k.
Sometimes FPL hinges on these 50/50 calls and I’ll certainly count my luck that this one went in my favour. I have a lot of empathy for Mane captainers – selecting Mane for the TC chip was most certainly not a bad call, you can’t legislate for that sort of bad luck. I’ve been there and no doubt will be there again in the future – I have no love for schadenfreude and I feel sorry for any managers who were victims of this ill-twist of fortune this week.
What my TC chip doesn’t disguise though is how poor my team has been of late. I’ve got several niggly problems in my squad, I’m ill prepared for the fixtures as they swing towards different teams and I’m missing some in-form players. As such, I made the decision after the first night of GW24 to activate my Wildcard. It was going to cause too much damage to buy my way out of the problem with points hits and I can see a strategy whereby I can navigate through the blank gameweeks without it. Having done this last season, I’m fairly confident I can do this again and need the boost that my Wildcard could give my squad over the next 6 weeks. So with that in mind, here’s my strategy and my squad.
GW25 Wildcard Team
I went into some detail about the upcoming blank fixtures in my article earlier in the week but things have changed somewhat since then. The main problem is that Villa surprisingly defeated Leicester on Tuesday night in the EFL Cup semis. The upshot of this is that Villa vs Sheffield United becomes a blank GW28 fixture – problematic when I was targeting double Blades defence coverage as well as wanting to own, Grealish, De Bruyne, potentially Aubameyang and another City attacking player. On further thought however, I’m looking at the positive with this. I’ll have 3 free transfers between now and GW28 so I can lose at least 2 of these players and run with 4, including the GK, on the bench. The big plus with this is that I’m then either guaranteed 4 double gameweek players in future weeks or I’m prepared if the the EPL suddenly decides to shoehorn in one of the blank fixtures prior to GW28 or into GW29.
With that in mind here’s my squad:
I’ve stuck with Dean Henderson and Alex McCarthy, what looks like the most popular combo for those on their Wildcard this week. Having 2 playing keepers leaves me able to bench Henderson in GW28 and again when he’s ineligible to face his parent club further down the line.
Trent Alexander-Arnold stays from my pre-Wildcard team. He’s a must-have at the moment – a defender who gets returns like a midfielder and scores bonus on top. With such nice fixtures and with Mane out, I was always going to double up on Liverpool defence. For the second Pool defender it was a straight fight between Gomez, Robertson and Van Dijk. Robertson has the highest ceiling with attacking returns and Van Dijk is arguably the most gametime secure but it’s impossible to ignore the value in Joe Gomez – he’s in.
Now for the cheaps. First up, Jamaal Lascelles. He’s the lynchpin a Magpies defence that has some kind fixtures ahead and also offers set piece threat. All for 4.2m – he’ll do. I’m back at Southampton for my second cheap defender and I’ve gone for Jack Stephens for gametime security. Kyle Walker-Peters did also tempt me here though and I think he’s one to keep an eye on.
Finally it’s been a tough choice regarding me second Sheffield United defender. A last minute flurry of transfer activity at Bramall Lane has made things more complicated, as has the recent reduction in budget favourite John Lundstram’s gametime. Mo Besic and new signing Sander Berge may compete for his Lordships position and Panagiotos Retsos might offer some competition for Enda Stevens. So with that in mind, I’ve cashed in my chips on Lord Lundstram and switched to George Baldock – I think he is probably the most secure of their attacking defenders though I can’t say I’m 100% sure on this!
Interestingly (and maybe worryingly?) this is the area I’ve debated the least. Kevin De Bruyne and Mo Salah were always going to get 2 of the slots and they’ve been joined by Jack Grealish and Adama Traore – the form of these guys is impossible to ignore at the moment. The final slot is the controversial one. Villa’s win has scuppered my initial plan which was to have John Fleck and use the extra funds to bolster either my defence or frontline. Instead, I’ve gone with David Silva with the plan to keep him for 2 gameweeks then sell him on to make sure I can fill my GW28 line-up when he blanks. I’m particularly interested in his GW26 match-up with West Ham and seeing as I can’t afford both Aguero and Aubameyang unless I make serious cuts elsewhere, then this gives me the double City cover I crave for this fixture. I also won’t feel so bad if he’s rotated by Pep at his price point and and safe in the knowledge I’ll have decent bench cover if he is.
First up Danny Ings stays. He’ll be benched for me this week for his visit to Anfield but after that the fixtures open up. He’s good value and hopefully will hit another hot streak. He’s joined by the returning Raul Jimenez who I should never have sold. Wolves fixtures look a bit tougher on paper, but we all now they are pretty effective against the bigger clubs too. Welcome back Jimmy.
Finally, it was tough call between premiums Aguero and Aubameyang, but in the end it’s come down to cash and how the rest of my team is affected and I’ve gone with Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang. The plan will then be to sell him for Vardy in GW28. It’s going to be a bit scary going without The Foxes frontman for 3 weeks and it’s a gamble that I might regret, but I’m optimistic that Auba can outscore Vardy over these 3 weeks. I hope I’m right!
Effective transfer summary
Here are the changes between the 2 teams:
McGovern out – Dean Henderson in
Soyuncu out – Jack Stephens in
Martin Kelly out – Lascelles in
Cresswell out – Gomez in
Lundstram out – Baldock in
Maddison out – Grealish in
Mane out – D Silva in
Dendoncker out – Traore in
Vardy out – Aubameyang in
Maupay out – Jimenez in
Those who’ve stayed:
McCarthy, Alexander Arnold, Salah, De Bruyne and Ings
Now here’s the transfer plan for the short term:
GW26 – carry free
GW27 – sell 1 City player prior to Leicester game – likely Silva.
GW28 – Vardy in for, still 1 transfer spare in case of injury – could consider selling Grealish for more GW28 cover.
GW29 & 30 – 2 free transfers to start to prepare for doubles as well as any I carry over from GW28 – will know 1/4 final line-up by start of GW29
GW31 – Free Hit to cope with big blank caused by FA Cup 1/4 finals – looking like may only be 3 FPL fixtures this week!
GW32 & 33 – 2 further transfers to prepare for GW34 blank/double
GW34 – blank/double week – possible spot for Bench Boost if enough double players in squad
GW35 & 36 – 2 further frees to load up for next double
GW37 – second double – deploy Bench Boost if not used in GW34
GW38 – 1 transfer left for a 1 week punt
So I’ll have 5 free transfers between GW29 and the first bigger blank of GW34. With the 4 players I carry from the GW28 blank this could give my 9 double players for my BB this week minimum. There’s then 3 more from GW35 to 37 so depending on teams involved I could go up to 12. Let’s see if this slightly crazy plan works! For my team this week then and it’s nice (if not necessarily easy) to have selection dilemmas once more. It’s tricky this week, but I’m going to have to bench Danny Ings for his trip back to Anfield along with Lascelles and Stephens. Mo Salah gets the armband again after bailing me out in midweek.
Best of luck for this week and moving forward folks – hope you enjoy the games!
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