FPL Wildcard GW6 – Andrew Whitfield activates his wildcard


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Here’s our FPL Wildcard GW6 article where FFGeek Contributor Andrew Whitfield activates his wildcard and we see some early drafts as well as his GW5 review and rationale for wildcarding. Andrew’s last 4 seasons overall ranks were 34k, 132k, 6k and 19k. He’s currently on 388 points and 51k overall rank

FPL Wildcard GW6 – Andrew Whitfield Activates His Wildcard

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Gameweek 5 review:

Andrew’s last 4 seasons overall ranks were 34k, 132k, 6k and 19k

GW5 Points: 71  (FPL average 55) Total points: 388, Overall Rank: 51k, green arrow: 60k  Team Value: £100.8m

Follow Andrew on twitter here

Well an interesting week, where putting 11 players on the pitch was an achievement in itself !! Trent Alexander-Arnold, Torres, Richarlison, Reece James and Mendy were all surprise absentees, with Livramento and Tsimikas the notable auto subs stepping in if you got lucky !!

Salah outscored Ronaldo in the battle of the top two captains, and Lukaku blanked, as the debate rages on about whether we need all three of them, or whether a more balanced structure of just two is the optimum play.

Man Utd won it very late and then survived a last gasp penalty miss, Chelsea outclassed poor Spurs, Man City were surprisingly held 0-0 by Southampton, the rush for triple Wolves assets came unstuck, and Norwich continue to be the whipping boys. Chelsea, Liverpool and Man Utd lead the way, with brighton the surprise package in 4th.

My GW5 score and rank:

71 points, with 7/11 “returners”, led by captain Salah 24, Benrahma 10, Bamford & Raphina combined for 13, with Ronaldo and White completing the returners, plus the absence of Torres & Trent brought 6 points off the bench, including a Tsimikas clean sheet.

A “rank halving week”, up from 111k to 51k. So a very pleasing week. It’s great to be inside the top 1% so soon. The aim now is simple, just keep the momentum going.

My GW5 talking points:

Getting the captain right most weeks is a huge step in the right direction. Choosing Salah over Ronaldo was a 6 point gain ( if you own both ). I am averaging 22 captain points this season which is a huge factor. Home advantage has yielded 62% of total goals, with only 38% away. Sticking the armband on a premium player at home to a bottom half team is keeping it simple. But it’s effective. Pity Salah lost 2 extra points by taking his shirt off. Mind you, I would take mine off too if I had a body like Mo !!!!

My biggest decision of the week was whether to bench the suspended Antonio, and play first sub Coufal, or chase the upside of GW5 and swap Antonio to Bamford v Newcastle. Benching Antonio was probably the right move, especially when he plays Leeds and Brentford after his ban, but I knew I was pretty set on wildcarding GW7 and could get Antonio back or even reverse the switch in GW6 if it was playing on my mind. I also knew my bench was thin and I ran the risk of less than 11 players if I benched Antonio. So I took the plunge.

As it happened, my two subs came off the bench for the absent Trent Alexander Arnold and Torres, so Bamford as an extra player gained me 5 points. Whether I would have taken that if offered I don’t know. And sure enough, I woke up anxious next day with no Antonio v Leeds now in GW6, but I do have Bamford up against him in the same match and 5 points extra on the board !!

The Torres benching was frustrating. I took a punt after his 18 pointer, and he has yielded me 3 points only in 2 weeks. You take your chances with Pep Roulette. I bought him on the back of successive 5-0 wins for Man City, so even with 25 mins off the bench, I figured there is a decent chance of a haul. I fancied him to start and return well v Southampton, even off the bench. So disappointing he didn’t. The fact he stayed put and didn’t come on at all actually got me 5 Tsimikas points from 2nd sub, with Coufal auto subbing first for Trent. So not the worst outcome !!

So what next:

Well I have been favouring a GW7 wildcard from early season, with Chelsea fixtures in particular turning gorgeous. A wildcard is not essential of course as it’s possible to get in Lukaku and a Chelsea defender just with transfers.

Looking at my team, I am worried about Torres now who has just one return in five games and he plays that iron curtain of a Chelsea defence next, if he plays !!! I have Greenwood who seems to have been negatively impacted by Ronaldo joining, pushed wide and I am also worried about his starting place now, with Cavani, Sancho and Rashford looming, and Lingard coming off the bench to score the winner !!

I have also woken up in a cold sweat like I thought I might do unless Bamford scored double figures v Newcastle, seeing no Antonio in my team for Leeds and Brentford !!

So.. with Torres and Greenwood not looking good for GW6 and no Antonio in my team, I have decided to go a week early. So I have ACTIVATED MY WILDCARD !!!!!

Sometimes, wildcarding after a bad week can be a bit of a knee jerk reaction and unwise. It’s actually quite pleasing to be wildcarding after a rank halving strong week, on the front foot, so I am quite excited to have pushed the button now, with the aim of kicking on from my good start to try and build further momentum.

Here is how my GW5 team looked, bearing in mind Trent and Torres were first choice in a 352 formation, with Coufal and Tsimikas on the bench.

fpl wildcard GW6

Two premiums or three ??

Without question, the biggest question dominating my wildcard thoughts, is TWO PREMIUMS or THREE !!! When Salah, Lukaku and Ronaldo are all bearing down on goal, it’s a scary thing to only own two !!! At least we don’t have to worry about Kane and Son right now, or De Bruyne, or Mane, whose combined ownership is so low, that even a big score would only cause a minor ripple to your rank. And even Bruno Fernandes has a declining ownership too. So it’s going to be how to tackle the big three of Ronaldo, Lukaku and Salah that is going to be the all important call now, even season defining over the coming weeks potentially.

We have already seen, that when all three return, those owning all three will post some potentially huge scores. But we have also seen that if one of them blanks, those on a more balanced team have come out on top. The points of the big three players can mask shortfalls in the rest of the squad. If only one of the three were to return points, then a “three premium” team can potentially suffer a very poor week against the field. My own personal view is that the “two premium” teams will win this particular battle more than they lose it, but it’s going to be interesting !!

For me, as an example, having the likes of Bamford, Antonio and Jota instead of the third premium plus two cheaper enablers, is pushing me towards just two.

Imagine taking Ronaldo out in GW7 to play Lukaku. United fixtures are going to get tougher soon, but the “two premium” teams are going to be shaking in their boots a few times for sure !!

I saw a stat this week that during last season in Italy, Ronaldo blanked 12 times in 31 starts. He had a “double return” 9 times, but only ONE of those was against a top ten team. So is Ronaldo a “flat track bully” that we can trust to score one or less in his tough fixture run if we flip to Lukaku and his great fixtures. If so, will Ronaldo and two budget enablers be outscored by three solid reliable mid priced attacking players. I hope so.

Team structure:

I want a wildcard that has a bit more invested at the back, particularly with Man City and Chelsea having conceded only one goal each so far all season !! If they can be trusted to keep a clean sheet most games and you can get a Chelsea Man City defender for no more than 6M, can you find a 6M attacking player you trust equally to score a goal most weeks ?? That might make four at the back attractive and maybe a 433 an option if we can’t trust midfield options fully.

I have TWO wildcard drafts in this article. One is a 343 and the other is a 433.

I have seen teams that have three premiums, which also embrace the big at the back idea, but they either have a non playing 3rd striker, or a weak midfield. Remember that if wildcarding now, this might be a team structure that’s going to be hard to get out of. We are going to be carrying this team for probably 30 gameweeks until we wildcard again around the big blank and double gameweeks near the end of the season.

It’s going to be tough to move off three budget midfielders, or that dreaded non playing 3rd striker. If you go 442 or 352 with Lukaku and Ronaldo, that’s a lot of strikers like Antonio, Bamford, Jimenez, Toney etc that you can’t jump on easily. If you have Dennis of Watford as 3rd striker at 5.2M, where do you go from him at that price ??

I like the “price point” of a 7.5M range midfielder. They all seem to be full of holes right now, with Jota, Torres, Greenwood etc all creating concerns, but as sure as eggs are eggs, a 7.5M mid will emerge that’s “essential”. Remember Gundogan last season ?? Having Salah plus a cheap midfield blocks achieving that easily.

I want a structure in place where I can get to other players easily. I want “price points” where if a player breaks out, I am not busting my team up to get him. If two hot mid price strikers catch fire, I can jump on them easily. In form strikers hit really hot streaks. Calvert Lewin has been unstoppable on a roll. That’s a big factor in how I want my wildcard team to look. Having two premiums instead of three allows me the flexibility to achieve that.

So here is my FIRST draft:

fpl wildcard GW6

I know what you are thinking. That’s not much different at all to how many teams including yours already look !! And what’s Jota doing in there when everyone is looking to sell him !!

Again, it comes down to a structure that allows me to jump on and off players very easily. A set and forget three man defence with teams from the top teams that I don’t have to change and can concentrate my transfers on attacking players. A 7.5M – 8M midfield price point, another decent mid slot and place for a break out cheap 4th mid. Two mid price striker slots that allow me to really attack and switch around according to fixtures.

I am actually only changing 4/11 of my current starting eleven under this option. So maybe I can just save the wildcard and make transfers over the next 2-3 weeks with a hit or two. That’s true. But I have issues like Torres, Greenwood, and Antonio ( lack of !! ) that I can fix now. An Antonio hat trick v an injury hit Leeds defence this week could be hugely damaging. I am actually changing 8/15 of my overall squad, so that’s enough for me to push the button. I am on the front foot. I want to stay there.

A few thoughts on my players:

Keepers:

I did consider other options. I had always intended to bring in Meslier of Leeds on my early wildcard. But Leeds are looking leaky. Sa of Wolves is a great option, especially with short term fixtures. But I have left Sanchez in. Brighton are 4th in the league. They are tough to score against.

I have brought in Foster of Watford as 2nd keeper, instead of the security of the Brighton back up. Foster was between the sticks in the last game and Bachman benched. I don’t like rotating keepers. I will play Sanchez most weeks. But if I have two starting keepers and there is a huge contrast in fixture difficulty, its a great option if Foster is going to keep the gloves. I will await the press conferences. If Bachman will return, I will go back to Steele of Brighton.

Defence:

Trent Alexander Arnold needs no words. Hopefully he is over his “feeling unwell” and it’s not Covid related, but either way he is the most important player in my team. Don’t ever go without him.

Luke Shaw I will keep for GW6 v Villa and potentially GW7 v Everton. Then look to switch him to Dias of Man City, who have back to back away games v Chelsea and Liverpool, so it makes sense to give Shaw those two games. He is a bit of an enigma with his attacking menace. I feel like he owes me a biggie before he goes to Dias and the United fixtures stiffen. I might even keep Shaw if I go with my 433 option under my second draft below.

I was set on bringing in Rudiger, even before he scored v Spurs. I doubt he scores many more so I just missed his goal !! Rudiger offers the safest route into the best defence in the league. But Chelsea are just elite defensively and can shut out anybody. One Chelsea defender is essential. Two is possibly the way to go.

Livramento is great value and very attacking and will be first sub. Williams of Norwich plays at least and will be last sub.

Midfield:

Salah i simply can’t see myself losing from my team. I see him as a season keeper, with Lukaku and Ronaldo the rotating 2nd premium. Mo is Mo.

Everyone is probably looking to sell Jota and he currently sits in my wildcard. More due to the lack of alternatives with Greenwood and Torres on the wane. But I like the price point. I am not attracted to Grealish or Gundogan. Jota has been frustrating for his owners. Firmino will surely compromise his minutes. But he will get chances. He has scared me to death as a non owner. Maybe he will start scoring if I buy him !!

It’s currently a tough choice between Raphina or Benrahma for my 3rd mid slot. It’s currently on Benrahma but I have 0.2M to get him to Raphina at the moment. A very tough choice between the two. Sarr of Watford is tempting but as explosive as he can be, I don’t think he is quite matching the other two.

Gray of Everton I would play in a 343. He has Norwich next. It’s close between him and Gallagher of Palace. If he has a tough fixture, I can rotate him with Livramento too, so that’s very flexible.

Strikers:

Ronaldo has the premium striker spot currently, but a switch to Lukaku in GW7 or GW8 is the plan. They both have great home fixtures in GW7, and I need to switch Ronaldo to Lukaku to raise the funds to do Shaw to Dias, which is probably better suited left to GW8. So that might be when I switch Ronaldo to Lukaku.

I am really liking having two mid range striker slots. I can move between the likes of Bamford and Antonio who have the places now, and Jimenez who has great fixtures, and Calvert Lewin when he is in the equation. Bamford has the fixtures if he can turn them into FPL points. Antonio I am just glad to have restored back to my team. I can sleep now.

Wildcard – Option two !!!

Here is my other option, which is a 433, with double Chelsea defence.

fpl wildcard GW6

It brings in Alonso as an attacking Chelsea option to double up on the best defence in the league.

The rotation risk is covered by having Semedo of Wolves as first sub, from a team with great fixtures. If one of the four premium club defenders don’t play, a Wolves defender is a great back up plan.

I could keep hold of Shaw under this option too instead of doubling up on Chelsea defence. And have a defender from each of Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea and Man Utd.

The compromise under four at the back is losing Jota or that 7.5-8M midfield price point, and playing BOTH Benrahma and Raphinha, which takes away the 50-50 call of which to get, with Sarr being a good replacement option if necessary. My two cheap mids are 2nd and 3rd subs but can step in if they have to. Going three in midfield allows me to play four at the back from premium defences.

So much to ponder and plenty of food for thought before Saturday !!!!

I may update my finalish team in another article but will put the final team on my Twitter account before the Saturday deadline.

Good luck everyone !!!

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