Here’s our FPL Wildcard GW9 where FFGeek Contributors Andrew Whitfield and Rob Reid show their updated wildcards after a fairly eventful week.
FPL Wildcards GW9 – Andrew Whitfield and Rob Reid’s updated Wildcards
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Rob’s last 5 seasons overall rank were 148k, 94k, 22k, 4k and 7k
You can follow Rob on twitter here
GW8 Review – 74 pts (GW average -55 ); GW Rank -591k ; Overall Rank – 695k (367k green arrow) ; OTV – £102.2m
You can see Rob’s original wildcard article last week here
Rob’s original wildcard team from that article:
Hi everyone – here’s an update on where I am with my Wildcard at the start of this week.
There’s been some changes. This international break has certainly been rife with injuries and positive Covid tests, leaving many issues for consideration. Most notable in terms of my Wildcard team from last week, are Mo Salah’s positive Covid test and a yellow flag on Ben Chilwell, who came off in the first half of Belgium v England with a back injury. There’s still one more set of international fixtures to play as well, so plenty could still happen before the Saturday morning deadline. Here’s where I am at the moment.
I’ve changed tact here and I’m now on Martinez and Forster. Villa will have an extra fixture plugged in somewhere, probably in January so this is a nod to this with the bonus being that Villa’s fixtures are great for the next 8 weeks.
I’ve changed Targett back to Walker-Peters for the moment and Cancelo and Coufal stay from my first Wildcard draft. I’ve switched my cheapie to Neco Williams as he might accrue some gametime with Liverpool’s defensive injury crisis. Finally there’s what to do on Chilwell – if he’s confirmed injured for this week I’ll either do Digne or go with Dias for a City double-up.
Ziyech, Grealish, Soucek and Fernandes stay. It’s then what to do with this last premium slot. If Salah misses GW9 (which seems likely at the moment) then I’ll change him to De Bruyne. The plan would then be to hold Bruno for only 1 week and leave some funds in the bank to bring Mo back in GW10. If Mo is ok for GW9, he stays and Bruno becomes KDB in GW10.
I’m pretty settled here now on Calvert Lewin, Watkins and a 4 week punt on Vardy.
Here’s how the current draft looks ‘on paper’
So let’s see what happens in the midweek games and in Friday’s pressers. Hopefully things might become clearer then…or they might not!
Andrew finished with an overall rank of 132k last season and 6k in 18/19 and 19k in 17/18
GW8 Review – 70 pts (GW average 55 ) Total points: 457 Overall Rank – 1,191k Green arrow 372k OTV – £102.2m
You can follow Andrew on twitter here
Here’s a link to Andrew’s original wildcard article last week
Andrews original wildcard draft from that article
– Well they say a week is a long time in politics. It’s even longer in FPL !! After my initial “musings” on my first wildcard article, a lot seems to have changed already, both in terms of my wildcard choices and plans, but it’s also been an extraordinary week, both on and off the field.
Injuries, Covid and wildcard timing:
– Its certainly proving to be an eventful international break !! I can’t remember so many popular players being caught up in such chaos from a combination of injury and positive COVID tests. Injuries can occur anytime, but the Covid cases do bring into question, why the heck are we trekking across the world playing international games in the current circumstances ??
– FPL managers who chase price changes and team value, often successfully, have so far had a sharp reminder of the consequences that such tactics can bring, with many people currently sitting on more flags than the United Nations, and facing a raft of points hits. I think the smart advice from here has to be – Keep calm, hold your transfers , don’t transfer anyone else out as they might still play. Wait for those press conferences and leave it as late as possible. It’s a Saturday deadline this week.
– I am on a wildcard, so for me, I will whisper it quietly, but “maximum carnage” and confusion I don’t mind at all and it really plays to my advantage. I have the flexibility to be able to respond. Wildcarding during an international break has always carried the advantage of “injury insurance “ and especially so this time. My wildcard was planned with this partly in mind, so whilst I have benefited from others misfortune, I have made my own luck to some extent.
– I also acted early and I have been able to take advantage of beating five price rises on my incoming players and four price drops of my departing players. Acting late in the window loses that advantage, where you can often miss the boat and often just miss out on key target players. There will, however, be a few unplanned and enforced wildcards now. Nobody could have foreseen this volume of flagged players.
Where I am at on overall rank:
– I summarised my GW8 in my previous “wildcard article “ and you can see it above but the upshot was, a reasonably good week, with 70 points from eight “returners”, which has given me some momentum with two successive green arrows, a 523k rank rise, taking me from 1.7M to 1.2M. So I am hoping I can now “kick on” with my wildcard on the table. After what seems a never ending international break, we now have eight gameweeks in the next six weeks. I want to emerge from this busy schedule in a strong position to attack the rest of the season.
So how have my wildcard thoughts changed:
– My previous wildcard draft is actually significantly different to the one I have now !! The extended break has afforded me lots of thinking time. My previous draft was largely patching up a few holes and removing a couple of under performers. It was also bringing me into line with my definition of “template players” and mirroring many of the wildcards from a few weeks ago. It was “reactive” rather than “proactive “. I feel I need to be a bit more “aggressive” and put myself more on the front foot.
– I am naturally a cautious and “template based” manager, so for me to move off the popular Liverpool defence, and more importantly, off the heavily owned Spurs duo of Kane and Son, before the template ( possibly ) follows and moves that way, takes me further out of my comfort zone than I like to be !! But the more I have studied it, the more certain I am, that I want to seize this opportunity to get ahead of the curve instead of behind it and take some rare calculated risks, rather than follow the herd, who could actually be exactly where my head is now, in the next few weeks. I want to anticipate where the template is heading and not where it’s been !!
– If you had told me a few weeks ago, that I would be going into GW9, with no Salah, no Trent, and no Kane or Son, I would have said you were stark raving bonkers !! But circumstances have aligned with the Liverpool defence in an injury crisis and making that particular decision easier and Salah having tested positive for COVID.
Let’s talk about Kane and Son:
– The biggest decision by far I have to make on my wildcard is whether to lose Kane and Son, ahead of their fixture run against Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Leicester and Wolves. I am unlikely to captain them in that run when you compare it to the fixtures of Liverpool and Man City, who look to have a monopoly on the upcoming captaincy . Spurs sit rock bottom of the “fixture difficulty ticker” for the next seven games. Their attacking stats have also had a sharp downturn and they have stuttered to wins against three struggling opponents.
– But arguably, they perform better on the break against the bigger teams, rather than breaking down defensive walls, and of course, Kane is the man for the big occasion. So losing Kane and Son represents a huge risk, based on the ownership of Kane at 45% and Son at 58%. These two players have already hurt me once this season before I finally boarded that train. Yes they can hurt my again. They won’t stop scoring and they will still “tick over”
What about these City fixtures:
– But those Man City fixtures in particular jump off the page, with Burnley, Fulham and West Brom all visiting the Etihad in the space of four games !! It’s a sea of green for City fixtures. If they can get it together in those games, then Sterling and De Bruyne could blow this whole game out of the water and be the next Kane and Son, with “bells on”.
– Going without Son and Kane and their high ownership is high risk for sure, but going without any Man City attackers during this upcoming run looks to be even more bonkers and high risk than going without Spurs. It’s a huge fixture swing. You will need a very big sofa to hide behind when Man City start firing in the goals in these games, which seems inevitable.
And now we have a Salah dilemma too:
– It looks like Salah will miss at least one game, due to premier league protocols, even with a follow up negative test. Having said that, there does seem some confusion so it’s by no means certain as I write this. I think if you are not on wildcard and own Salah, you simply keep him and use your bench for one game. Selling looks like madness, especially if you intend to buy him back quickly. But I think on wildcard, it’s a bit different and there is a case for playing a one off explosive differential this week if you plan carefully.
– My current plan for Salah is to switch him on wildcard to Bruno Fernandes until Mo is ready to return. While some are looking to cover him with a Brewster or a Bissouma for what looks like one game, I have set the money aside and I can chase the upside of Bruno v West Brom. It looks well worth a one game punt in the circumstances. It’s a great fixture. If Salah happens to miss two games, then I also have Bruno in place.
– I don’t have to think about Man City next gameweek so I can bring Salah back in for his return. I have already used the wildcard to get my Man City cover in place now and brought in De Bruyne for those tasty fixtures. So when many are looking at points hits next week, to get from Son to Sterling or De Bruyne , I have De Bruyne already in place. I would hope and expect that De Bruyne outscores Son nicely over those hugely contrasting fixtures. It’s interesting that before then, they go head to head this weekend !!
– In the event that Salah is declared fit to start, I would simply keep Bruno for a week for an ideal fixture, bring Salah in, and bring KDB in for Bruno next week instead. Either way, it’s only one transfer next week and KDB and Salah can play in GW10.
The Vardy party :
– I am taking a punt on Vardy, as a way of facilitating the Son to De Bruyne move. Again, it’s gambling on the contrasting fixtures of Spurs and Leicester. Vardy has Fulham at home, followed by Sheff Utd and Brighton, after what appears a tricky trip to Liverpool. But Vardy has scored 13, 17, 7 and 14 in four away games so far. Reflective of his counter attacking qualities. Remember his hat trick away at Man City ? He will be relishing that depleted Liverpool back line in what could be a perfect fixture for him.
– Rather than bring him in for GW10 at home to Fulham, I would rather just get him in now, while I have the opportunity to do so. I don’t think Liverpool is now a bad fixture. Based on fixtures, he has prospects of at least matching Kane, or worst case, getting close. He is not a bad “enabler” as a route to getting that Man City attacking coverage in.
So how is my team now looking :
– My front seven for GW9 is looking full of goals and points potential. I can field a front seven of :
Bruno, De Bruyne, Ziyech, Grealish, Vardy, Calvert Lewin and Bamford
– As well as all being potentially explosive, there are some interesting differentials too. Bruno just 25% ownership, Vardy 21%, De Bruyne 17% and Ziyech 13%. If I can keep the Spurs boys fairly quiet, then that represents a great opportunity to climb the ranks, based on fixtures.
– With Bruno facing West Brom, Calvert Lewin facing Fulham, Ziyech facing Newcastle, Grealish facing Brighton, KDB happy facing anybody, Vardy attacking that Liverpool defence and Leeds just going hung ho against anyone, I think I have more than enough “Spurs insurance” in there, even in case Kane and Son pop a couple in too !!
The case for the defence:
– The Chilwell injury I didn’t need. He is unique and the first name on my team sheet. The best defender in FPL. Chelsea have kept six clean sheets in seven since Mendy arrived. Chilwell seemingly spends half the game whipping crosses in, and the other half on the back post waiting for tap ins !!
– Unless he is confirmed out for more than one game, then I will “carry him” and just play Justin for one week. Hopefully he recovers. If he is out longer, I could either stick with the Chelsea defence and Zouma, or maybe cover the Man City defence with a like for like on Walker until Chilwell is ready. Or select Digne for three great fixtures. Chilwell, along with Grealish, are two players I am very happy to own.
– I am playing a “two from three” rotation of cheaper rotating defenders to play alongside Chilwell. I have studied the rotation carefully and by going for West Ham, Leicester and Southampton, I can ensure that when one has a tough fixture, the other two come together nicely as a pair. I prefer attacking full backs/wing backs, which brings in Walker Peters, Justin and Coufal. All have good upcoming fixtures that combine well. So hopefully they can chip in with some attacking returns to back up their favourable defensive fixtures.
Who gets the armband:
– Captaincy is very tricky this week and in the likely absence of Salah ( who would have been my captain ) it’s really wide open. I think I could captain any of my front seven !! My main candidates are Fernandes at home to West Brom, Calvert Lewin at Fulham, or De Bruyne. I tend to prefer a premium mid over a striker for extra goal and clean sheet points, and I tend to prefer a home fixture, as well as an opponent from the bottom six. On that basis, all roads lead to Bruno. I will also keep an eye on the polls before deciding.
GW9 advantage ?
– It remains to be seen how things work out. How many times does a wildcard team get out scored by your previous weeks team !!
On the face of it, a lot of FPL managers, not on wildcard, will be taking points hits this week, a fair few might have less than eleven players, and a lot will be relying on their “Bissouma benches” to counter those flagged players.
I have a strong looking team that I am happy with, both for this week and beyond. It’s now just a case of them delivering !!
Good luck to everyone in GW9. I hope you get 11 players out on the pitch, and may your arrows be green. I will see you on the other side !!