Here’s some thoughts on strategy for the fantasy premier league January Wildcard
Here’s a few basic facts straight from the site. Excuse the grandmother and eggs connotations but just in case you need to know:
A wildcard allows you to make unlimited free transfers throughout a Gameweek. Playing a wildcard will remove any points deductions from transfers already made in the same Gameweek.
The January Wildcard can only be used after Gameweek 20 starts (1 Jan 11:30) until Gameweek 23 ends (1 Feb 11:30).
Once you have confirmed your wildcard it is final and can’t be reversed under any circumstances.
Once you have played your wildcard, any transfers you make within that Gameweek are free, including any you made before playing your wildcard, up until the next deadline.
When to use your fantasy premier league January Wildcard?
There’s no wrong or right answers to this question. Just a series of points either way that you can take a view on.
What are the key questions in deciding timing?
The main advantages in going early are fairly obvious and not rocket science
1. A chance to give your team an immediate points boost by getting in the players you need
2. A chance to buy them cheaper than if you transfer in later on
3. My guess is most people will use their January wildcard early which gives a chance to make profit on players before finally deciding on your team. Remember though you forgo half the profit
The main disadvantages in using it early are:
1. You miss the chance to pick up new fantasy premier league players in the transfer window.
We all remember the year when January transfers Jelavic, Siggy and Cisse took the 2nd half of the season by storm totally changing the 2nd half of the season. This year new players have been a bit more miss than hit. Ozil has been a success. Negredo, Fernandinho and Navas mixed. Eriksen a failure up until the last few games. Soldado, Lamela, Schurrle, Luis Alberto, Giaccherini, Aspas, Jovetic, Bony, Altidore, RVW, Osvaldo all failures. Worth holding on for this Januarys crop? There are some very interesting potential transfers to come though. Chelsea need a world class striker. United need a world class CM. Arsenal need a world class striker. Will it happen? All are questionable. On the above evidence though is it worth waiting for these possibilities alone? Doubtful
2. You may buy someone who’s transferred somewhere else.
I cant think of an historic example of this but it’s a possibility none the less. To be fair this could be good or bad, Shaw to Chelsea or United? Or bad, Evra to France?
3. You have to do some juggling to get injured players back into your team.
I’m thinking specifically of Aguero who’s back on the 29th of January. Apparently making good progress. At £11.9m that will take some juggling.
Other players in the same boat but easier to accommodate are Ramsey (18 January) Vertonghen (19 January) and Winston Reid (29 January) Carroll (18 January)
4. If you want to have the edge in your mini league
If you only care about beating your mates then hiding your wildcard transfers to the last minute while hopefully seeing theirs will give you a chance to react accordingly.
5. You get a chance to see what the 10 top fantasy premier league managers I follow do in the January window
Apart from those who do it in the last week obviously. Interesting extra data no doubt.
6. Other specific issues
The form of Rooney. With 9 goals and 11 assists in 17 games he looks essential. Set pieces and pens while RVP is injured make the case even more compelling. His positioning against Spurs was extremely disturbing however. I’m sure he had more pen box touches in his own box than the opposition. If you put him in now then if it continues its a wasted transfer (although could work as a straight Aguero swap). If you wait and the situation is rectified then it’s difficult to get him in. Exacerbated by the Aguero return from injury.
There’s also the RVP issue. Down to £13.6m and probably zero active ownership. Lets remember 56 goals and 28 assists in the last 2 fantasy premier league seasons. He’s back on the 11th (allegedly and supposedly according to the fantasy premier league managers best friend Moyes) and a few games will give us a chance to see if there’s any chance of a return to that form.
How did I approach it?
My first question was do I need to do it now?
After taking a 4 point hit I had 8 core players I was happy with:
Coleman, Ward, Chester, Hazard, Silva, Walcott, Lukaku and Suarez
Ward and Chester are rotations only so really only 7 players.
Of the rest I had Dawson home to Palace which made no sense to change and Barkley home to Norwich. I’m also liking Januzaj at the moment. So really I would be using my transfer to change Negredo, Collins and my goal keeper. Hardly compelling reasons.
The main deficiencies in my squad seem to be a lack of an Arsenal defender especially. There’s also the Rooney question and whether a Chelsea defender could give good returns.
The loss of an Arsenal defender could be costly with Villa away and Fulham at home. Their prices are also rising.
I definitely want Aguero in my team when he returns and I want to assess Rooney to see if he is worth completely changing my team. Overall I decided the flexibility for Aguero and Ramsey, the fact my team was ok for this gameweek (Arsenal defender apart) and the chance to look at new transfers meant I decided to hold off.
I’m not sure its the right answer and I may change my mind when I wake up tomorrow. Its a difficult call.
I hope this gave you some food for thought if nothing else and made you think
Good luck either way. Comments disagreeing or agreeing most welcome
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