“To wild card or not to wild card” – that is the barclays fantasy premier league wild card question


Well, values are all over the  place up and down in an unprecedented manner. So  is now the time to use your fantasy premier league wild card?

Firstly at Wednesday its close to being academic anyway but lets run through the argument.  Lets start at the basics

Why use the Fantasy Premier League wild card?

Historically a fantasy premier league wild card have beeN used for 2 reasons:

1. Defensively

When a team has injuries or underperformers.  Not my choice here.  Hopefully you have your team covered with playing reserves.  If you’ve structured your team right even the underperformers should have good fixtures coming up. At worst, fix it with a 1 or maybe even a couple of 4 point hits  If things look like you wont be fielding a full team

2.  Offensively

Excuse the American terminology (unless you are one of my regular visitors from the US).  Ideally you want to have it for when a number of teams are in a double game week and those teams have good  fixtures therafter.  This can really give you a significant points boost over your fantasy premier league  rivals.  This is how I prefer to use mine waiting until say March to see the time is right.

If you read my 23 rules of play article  (see link below) you will see when analysing last winners a high proportion left them to close to the end of the fantasy premier league season.


So why is this year different.  Why am I even writing this article you may ask? Here’s the reason

Player value rises and falls are mad this year

Lets not kid ourselves, the reason anyone will be using the fantasy premier league wild card is due to the unprecedented change in player values this season.  I have never seen values fluctuate so wildly.  I will acknowledge already that not dealing with the Mata and Hazard price differential through a points hit was already a huge mistake.  They were once the same value not mata is £9.0m hazard £10.1m.  In 3 weeks! Where will they be after the international break. I dont want to wish anyone harm but it would be handy fantasy premier league wise if hazard got injured.

So is it the right thing to use the fantasy premier league wildcard  purely for value or should  you correct things with points hit or ride it out.

Firstly lets remind ourselves of the rises and falls


Michu (31.8% owned 495k transfers in) Tevez(47.% owned 527k transfers in)  – £0.8m

Hazard (37.3% owned 192k transfers in)  – £0.6m

Fellaini (21.2% 307k transfers in) Dyer(26.1%216k transfers in) (29.4%)  RVP(29.4% owned 183k transfers in) – £0.4m

Ivanovic and Petric ave also gone up £0.3m

Historically late 40% ownership is normally the highest ownership gets so Hazard and Michu could still have some rising to go as could all of the people on this list apart from Tevez who should stabilise.  I dont know what % Hazard and Michu started out as but presumably very low as they were new players. But this along with the ridiculously low price of Tevez may explain the rises.  Is it just managers early season getting very enthusiastic and using their fantasy premier league wildcards and the rises feeding themselves or is it moe structural in the game design. The rises of Fellaini Dyer and RVP are the most disturbing.  To me ,especially the RVP price, which is a ridiculous starting price  anyway, shows me that something has changed in the design of the game. Given the ownership levels currently of the above players and assume a 45% rough ceiling combined with  the number of fantasy premier league wild cards that are being used the prices will keep going UP.  This is disturbing.  Will our rivals have a £4m value advantage over us by the end of the international break.

The key question is will the price rises fall again.  It will be interesting to monitor Petric and Kagawa over the break as these players had knocks to their reputation  with substituations over the game week.  Kagawa with the home game agaisnt Wigan may escape.


Mata (4.9% owned 60k transfers out)  Oscar (0.7% owned 12k transfers out)    Sturridge (1.1% owned 16k out) –  -£0.5m

Ramires (7.0% owned (99k transfers out)  6.0% owned 495k transfers out –    -£0.4m

Amazingly there are 16 players who have lost £0.3m in value in 3 weeks.

This seems unprecedented to me and a sign that something fundamentally has changed in the pricing of the game.  Does this mean that should Hazard have some bad  fixtures that the values will fluctuate down as wildly.  Is this a new dimension on fantasy premier league that we will have to adjust to.  As someone who likes to leave the wildcard to late in the season and someone who likes to use their transfer on the Friday at the earliest this is bad news.  However Im not going to use my fantasy premier league wild card  for the following reasons

1.  If I was to use it I should have used it earlier and Ive missed the boat anyway so it seems to be compounding a mistake to use it now.

2.  My hunch is that Mata, my main probalem child has got to the bottom now although I still have Bale NZog Britton and Gorkks having lost value.

3.  I think that this is going to be a new dimension which means prices will continue to fluctuate so its just part and parcel of the new fantasy premier league strategy.

4.  Fundamentally I dont believe that value necessarily equals points.  Think last season of Siggy Jelavic Cisse Graham Dempsey even Bale  compared to Lampard Torres Gerrard Droga.  If you get the right players for the right fixtures (which I havent done in Mata and NZog) then values will take care of themselves.  Last year I finished 4880  overall with an end value of around £106m.  Far ahead of players with £110m.  Its only the difference between 1 expensive and 1 cheap player

5.  Remember you lose half your gain when you sell.  Will Hazard be a keeper the whole season and not get injured?  Maybe?  Will Michu?  Maybe not.

What about 4 point hits?

Instead of using the fantasy premier league Wildcard what about taking hits.  I fundamentally admit I was wrong not to take a hit to get Hazard in to the team at Mata’s expense.  I have suffered a 1.1m differential not doing this.  As you know Im against point hits unless they can be justified with players not playing if the hit wasnt taken.  I just dont believe they generally pay for themselves.  If this is going to be a part of the new fantasy premier league then taking a hit everytime someone has a bad game is just not going to work in my mind.  Plus at the moment Im hoping my problem child Mata has bottomed out.  It will be interesting to see what ahppens to Hazards price. Chelsea have QPR A (which is a tough local derby),  Stoke H, Arsenal A Norwich  H Spurs A.  Theres some challenging fixtures there.

At the moment Ive no plans for a point hit or even a early transfer with the International break but Ill be checking values furiously and updating the site regularly.

I hope everyone found that useful and please put any comments for or against in the comments section under the post as Ill be interested to see what everyone has to say






20 thoughts on ““To wild card or not to wild card” – that is the barclays fantasy premier league wild card question”

  1. I think these crazy price changes are simply due to a combination of:

    the CHELSEA/READING DGW at the start
    aguero injury = tevez bandwagon
    rooney injury = rvp bandwagon
    hazards massive explosion into the league

    Things will die down after the international break (aka wildcard break)


  2. Great article.

    Reassured me that not playing my WC was the correct decision.

    Any chance you could have a glance at my team and rate it / suggest changes?

    Foster (federeici)
    Terry hangeland williams colocini barnett
    Hazard toure michu pienaar noble
    tevez torres jelavic

    0.8m in the bank

    Am thinking of takign terry out for a WBA defender.

    Thanks – all comments greatly appreciated.

    • thanks for the comments your team looks good. youll be performing far better than me! A WBA defender sounds good. They have god fixtures and are looking solid. Ridgewell offers the best attacking threat or McAuley.

      personally i would be looking for RVP as a home and away captain rotation with Tevez and RVP. Maybe transfer out Torres and Toure to find the cash over the next few weeks. Reduces risk by not doubling up on City and Chelsea as well

  3. Really interesting article there – good stuff! That recurring question of whether there have been fundamental changes in the pricing structure in the game merits investigation – how open are the game designers in talking about this? Could be worth following up… you might bag yourself the Paul Foot Award for Investigative Journalism ;-)

    • dave, thanks for the comments. I think there is a format to ask them questions so ll do that

      Cheers good suggestion

  4. Can you please take a look at my team and give me some advice. My defence has cost me alot of points. Want to bring in hazard but it would mean using my wildcard or getting rid of kagawa.

    Barnett, Simpson, Shawcross,Reid,Ivanovic

    • Your team looks good to me and not worth a wildcard

      THere are a few comments I could make on various players but of no use if you dont use your wildcard. I would sacrifice kagawa for hazard however Utd are home to Wigan this week and with rooney out kagawa looks certain to start. hazard has a tricky local derby at QPR which will be at a furious pace and intense so this is not the week to transfer him out. petric is the target to transfer in my mind with berba arriving. with that midfield you could play 3-5-2 with pogrebnyak giving you most of the funds if youve got something in the bank.

      hope that helps

  5. Hey, I’ve decided to play the WC and here’s the team, would like to know your opinion & suggestions?

    Foster Jaaskelainen
    Ivanovic Rafael Hughes Demel Clyne
    Hazard Michu Dembele Cazorla Sterling
    RVP Tevez Graham

    • heres a few points

      not essential but in West Brom theres Ridgewell and Mcauley who are good attacking options. Maybe swap Clyne and put in a £4.5m keeper who rotates home and away with Jaas.

      Mid all ok but

      Dembele – Ive always been negative on as he doesnt score or shoot much but he is very good value in this spurs team and the fixtures are exceptional so worth the punt

      sterling. Looks exceptional but Cole coming back and Assaidi reaching fitness so game time is an issue. Guthrie is the best option still in my mind

      I would look elsewhere from Graham. with the fixtures about to get worse Michu is enough exposure to Swansea in my mind. the options at this price are all laced with issues though. if I had to choose I would go for lambert as fixtures improve after Arsenal away.

      hope that helps

  6. just wildcarded, especially after a 48 without RVP.

    Rafael Baines Jenkinson (STaylor, Demel)
    Michu Cazorla Dembele Hazard (Guthrie)
    DiSanto RVP Tevez
    0.8 in the bank

    I feel a little uneasy on the keepers and maybe dembele, the rest are not as much of a gamble. Thoughts on RVP to torres (who i already had), or going Disanto to Torres and Baines to a 4.0?

    THanks for any advice.

    • Im not sure Guzan will continue playing. it could have just been a reaction to Given having a bad game or given could just have lost out in lamberts coin toss selection policy. is there another £4.5m keeper who rotates home and away with begovic.

      rafael – ok
      baines – expensive option but should get good returns with the easy fixtures. jagielka the next best at £1.0m cheaper
      jenkinson – agna is back in a few game weeks. if you can accept that then hes a good buy but i would go for Gibbs at £5.5m
      taylor and demel ok

      michu cazorla hazard guthrie -ok
      dembele – ive always been negative on as he doesnt score or shoot too much but he is very good value in this spurs team and the fixtures are exceptional so worth the punt

      ok with the strikers

      hope that helps

  7. My team, any changes you think? Foster, A cole, Raphael, baines, yaya, sterling, Fellini, kankanic, tev, RVP, Suarez, RVP being captain home and away at present. Hoping on foster fit this week!

    • Hi scot, what format is your team? sky? Team looks good though. The only players I’m personally not in favour of are

      YYT – doesnt shoot enough for me. Mata and Cazorla despite the weekend are better options for me.

      Also with Cole and Foster. I would take one of them out for a stoke defender/Gk depending on the funds left.

      Hope that helps

  8. i have 4 injuries in my team and i already took a 4 point hit this game week.I was surely going to use the wildcard but your article has made to think again.I am really confused abt whether to use the wild card.please help.
    ivanovic agger zabaleta (johnson n kompany both injured)
    paulinho fellaini snodgrass (morrison and arteta both injured)
    dzeko giroud wolfswinkel

    Thanks for any advice

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