Fantasy PL

Fantasy Premier League: Is it time to use your wildcard?

With the everlasting international break coming to an end, the focus now shifts back to club football.

For those of you that have been patient with your Wildcard, this could be the perfect time to utilise it. For those of you that haven’t been patient – myself included – it’s gonna be a long wait until January. Either way, you might find one or two gems in here that you may not have considered.

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My team is currently ranked 98,375th in the world, so if you are higher than me in the rankings, close this article and DM me some tips instead – they are very much welcome.

I have done a little research into form players and how the fixtures stack up and this is my ideal wildcard heading into the most hectic time of year.

Goalkeepers

Edouard Mendy (6.2m)

An expensive choice, which isn’t usually my thing for goalkeepers, but a necessary one. With the way Chelsea have defended so far this season, Mendy is by far and away the best and most reliable option between the sticks.

I did have Ramsdale before the break – and at 4.7m it could be a gamble worth taking – but Arsenal’s next few fixtures don’t look promising for any clean sheet points.

Ben Foster (4.1m)

The best option out of all the goalkeepers valued 4.2m and under. A regular starter for Watford and likely to get you a couple of points minimum should your first-choice goalkeeper ever not play.

If you’re struggling for funds and not too concerned about your sub GK not playing, Gunnarsson of Brentford (currently on loan) and Scott Carson of Manchester City are both valued at 3.9m – the cheapest in the game.

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Defenders

Joao Cancelo (6.5m)

Defenders with high output have been the way to go so far this season and Joao Cancelo is currently the best of the best. He has 67 points so far this season, outscoring every player in the league apart from Mohammed Salah. Seemingly safe from Pep Roulette, for the most part, you can’t afford not to have Cancelo in your team.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (7.7m)

Much like Cancelo, Alexander-Arnold has become a necessity rather than a luxury. Just three points separate Alexander-Arnold and Cancelo and neither are showing any signs of slowing down.

Liverpool’s next 5 fixtures are pretty good on paper too and there’s a decent chance of both clean sheets and attacking returns – starting with Arsenal at home on Saturday.

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Ben Chilwell (6.0m)

It’s very much flip a coin between Ben Chilwell and Reece James at the moment but I’ve decided to stick with Chilwell. In an ideal world, you’d have both but I feel it’s too much of a rotation risk although Chilwell has started the last 5 PL games whilst James has started the last 3.

Chelsea also are up against Leicester, Manchester United and West Ham in three of their next 5 games – so I’m happy with just the one for now.

Tino Livramento (4.5m)

By far the best budget defender this season. Currently ranked 7th in FPL defenders, Livramento has been the reliable bargain for many FPL managers this season. He’s a great bench option but I wouldn’t hesitate to put him in from the start this weekend as Southampton travel to Norwich.

He’s got 6 or more points in his last 4 outings and whilst we all hope his good form continues, Southampton’s next 4 fixtures after Norwich look tricky on paper. It could be back to the bench next week as Southampton make the trip to Anfield.

Ben White (4.4m)

A good choice for the bench this weekend with a view to swapping with Livramento next week as Arsenal host Newcastle in the early kick-off. Mikel Arteta has his Arsenal side looking rugged and hard to beat after their nightmare start to the season.

Ben White is a permanent fixture in the Arsenal defence and looks to be settling. At 4.4m, it’s a nice option to swap with Livramento depending on fixtures.

Midfielders

Heung Min-Son (10.3m)

With the appointment of Antonio Conte and some favourable fixtures coming over the next few weeks, it’s a good idea to find a route into the Tottenham attack either through Heung-Min Son or Harry Kane. Honestly, if I could afford Kane, he’d be straight into my team but 12.2m is a little too much for a striker who hasn’t quite found his feet in the Premier League this season.

Spurs have Leeds, Burnley, Brentford, Norwich and Brighton in their next 5 fixtures. Under the guidance of Antonio Conte, you’d expect Spurs to pick up close to maximum points and score a lot of goals – Son should be pivotal in that.

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Mo Salah (13.0m)

There’s no real explanation needed here. He’s currently the best player in the league by a country mile. Simply put, if you don’t have Salah in your team, you might as well pack up and go again next season.

There will be an interesting decision to make when he leaves for AFCON in January – bench and hold or sell? For now, he should be in your team and have the armband most weeks.

Connor Gallagher (5.8m)

Fresh off the back of his England debut, his confidence must be sky-high and with good reason. Gallagher has been instrumental in a Crystal Palace team that have not been beaten since 18th September, a 3-0 away loss to Liverpool. Currently the 5th most in-form midfielder in FPL and with Palace’s next 5 fixtures looking favourable it seems to tick all the boxes.

Phil Foden (8.3m)

I never really like putting Manchester City midfielders in my team purely because of the wealth of options they have but I think Foden is a risk worth taking. He’s started City’s last 6 Premier League games and produced attacking returns in three of them.

Any fixtures look decent on paper for Manchester City but their next five look pretty much guaranteed wins for a City side that seem as if they’re on the verge of going on one of their winning runs that last about 8 years. It definitely feels like 8 years anyway.

The next five for City are Everton, West Ham, Aston Villa, Watford and Wolves with only Villa and Watford away from home. With the lack of a centre forward, Foden seems to be the safest bet to find a way into City’s attack.

Josh Brownhill (4.4m)

Ideal as a third sub and to look after the budget. There are a few midfielders valued at 4.4m this season (the cheapest price for a midfielder) so you can take your pick. Billy Gilmour at Norwich may eventually be the best option if he gets a run of games but the most reliable for now is Josh Brownhill at Burnley.

He’s yet to get a return of higher than 2 points this season but he hasn’t missed a game. Fingers crossed you’ll never be unlucky enough to need him!

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Forwards

Raul Jimenez (7.7m)

After getting his first goal since returning from that horrific injury a few weeks ago, Raul Jimenez has hit a nice bit of form, assisting or scoring in four of the last six gameweeks.

Wolves have West Ham, Norwich and Burnley in the next three weeks before facing Liverpool and City back-to-back in December. He’s not quite there yet but Jimenez is showing signs of getting back to his best, he has the potential to rack up some points in the next three weeks.

Ivan Toney (6.7m)

An FPL favourite early on after a record-breaking season in the Championship but he hasn’t quite lived up to the hype just yet. Maybe that’s a little unfair as he’s contributed a lot more to Brentford than just goals but I think most FPL managers expected more.

At 6.7m and with Brentford having a decent set of fixtures in the next five games, I’m inclined to stick with him for now. Newcastle, Everton, Spurs, Leeds and Watford await Ivan Toney in the next five games but they’ve already shown they can mix it with anyone – especially at home.

Rodrigo (6.3m)

After investing heavily in the defence and midfield, we don’t have much of the budget left to work with to bring in a high-quality third forward – who in fairness will be on the bench anyway.

Budget option in mind, Rodrigo seems like the best bet out of the players available although you may prefer to go a different route – Armstrong (5.9m), King (5.6m), Hwang (5.8m) or Dennis (5.2m). In fairness, Rodrigo has scored in two of the last three gameweeks and has started every game for Leeds since Gameweek 5 so hopefully he can deliver in a struggling Leeds side who face Spurs, Brighton, Crystal Palace, Brentford and Chelsea in the next five.

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So my team for this week will be;

Mendy;

Alexander-Arnold, Chilwell, Cancelo, Livramento;

Foden, Son, Salah ©, Gallagher;

Jimenez, Toney.

I was tempted to make Son my captain this week but when Salah is in the form he is, it’s difficult to look past him.

You may not be able to replicate this wildcard exactly as I bought some of these players earlier in the season when their values were a little lower (I assume the majority will have done the same) but I hope it’s helped you make some decisions ahead of the weekend at least.

Good luck and remember, my DM’s are open for tips if you’re higher than 98,375th!

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