Fantasy premier league – some thoughts on January Wildcard strategy

Here’s some thoughts on strategy for the fantasy premier league January Wildcard

The basics

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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14 thoughts on “Fantasy premier league – some thoughts on January Wildcard strategy”

  1. I’m trying to think through a major reshake and any advice would be appreciated! I’ve put Coleman in for Jagielka this week (with my FT) but still have Ivanovic and I’m not happy with my goalkeepers so I’m really torn on if I should use my WC or not.

    My team is:

    I really don’t want to sell Lukaku, he’s gone up 1.3m since I bought him. But Adebayor has looked good so I’m thinking of selling Ivanovic & Lukaku and putting in Zabaleta & Adebayor. I could then ditch Speroni for the cheapest keeper and put Cech in.

    Weirdly now I’ve typed it all out & thought it through, I’m not sure its worth it. But as I say any advice much appreciated.

    • Looking at your team I think it’s probably nooot worth a wc, but if/when you do:

      As a spurs fan, chiriches over dawson – Chiriches is more of a goal threat, and less clumsy=less yellow+red cards, 0.1m cheaper.

      A.Cole over Ivanovic, cole on top form, 0.1m cheaper, ivanovic injured.

      Lukaku is a lethal bargain to have in your team (presumably at ~7.4m), I wouldn’t want to replace him. Adebayor is lethal too, at 2/3 the price of Rooney may want to consider a swap there (depending on when you purchased Rooney would leave a spare ~3-4m which could come in v.handy)..

      • Thanks v.much for your reply, is Chiriches a nailed on starter every week? Unfortunately it wouldn’t free up any money as Dawson’s SP is 5.1 for me but I could be tempted to do a straight swap with my WC. Also hasn’t Ashley Cole been out of the chelsea team most of the season?

        • Next 2 fixtures look good for Chiriches+Dawson but beyond that they are probably unreliable choices – 4 tough fixtures, Vertonghen+Kaboul set to return soon so their place in the starting 11 will be uncertain

          AC stats (points per game) are better than any other Chelsea players except Hazard. Until ivanovic returns he seems like a great option. I personally think he is world class.

  2. I am a big fan of your website.. can not make any transfer without consulting your articles first :)

    I decided to use January WC to boost my team in my friends mini-league, here are my selection… please your advice:-

    Hart, (Mannone)
    A.Cole, Koscielny, Coleman, (Chester, Whittaker)
    Silva, Hazard, Walcott, Barkley, (Huddlestone)
    Suarez, Rooney, Rodriguez

    one of my problems is I am planning to bring back in Agüero at GW23, and even with 2FT + hit (by G23) I will not be able to afford him, how can I change my team now to accomplish that? or should I let him go?

    • Thanks for your comments. Like your team. I would probably go Terry instead of Cole if you can afford it. The Azpilicueta/Cole thing is interesting as either could lose their place when Ivanovic returns. Otherwise just be prepared for a transfer

      The easy way to achieve Aguero is save 2 transfers and transfer out Silva to a cheapie for the cheaper striker. That may mean investing more than Rodriguez or just accept another hit to say Hart

      I haven’t tried to calculate it exactly but hope that helps

  3. I have what I suspect is a fairly common dilemma and would appreciate some advice. My team has made decent progress recently and I’d be happy if there wasn’t a wildcard but if course I can improve it.

    Current team
    Mannone, Davis
    Coleman, Mert, Kos, Evans, Chester,
    Hazard, Walcott, silva, Cabaye, Januzaj
    Suarez, Rooney, Lukaku

    I could save the transfer this week and go for Lukaku to Sturridge next week but more likely would swap Rooney and Cabaye for Ozil and JRod

    My wildcard team is

    Marshall, Davis
    Coleman, Kos, Azpi, Nastasic, Chester
    Ozil, hazard, Silva, Walcott, Parker,
    Suarez, Aguero, Jrod,

    which I think is a better team but I will not be able to afford it by gw24.

    Long post (sorry) but a short question. Should I wildcard now or take the 4 point hit and wait til gw24 to wildcard?

    Thanks in advance.

  4. I have activated my WC, Im really only focused on winning my mini league with my friends. We have all promised to remove Suárez from our teams because we all have him and it is a waste of money if all the points he is getting is not going towards anything. Please Rate my current team!

    Hart (Kelvin Davis)
    Zabaleta Koscienly Baines ( Ward, Chester)
    Walcott Barkley Cabaye Silva Wilshere
    Adebayor Suárez (Beharino)
    Im not sure who to replace Suarez with, I was thinking Aguero but I really feel RVP’s return to fitness is going to be a huge boost for United and maybe one or two signings for them he could really be a fantasty must have again! Please help me.

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