With three matches postponed due to events surrounding The Queen’s funeral, Gameweek 8 presents an opportunity for Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers to Wildcard.
A quick read through the site comments reveals that a number of us are contemplating activating the chip this week.
In this article, we’ll weigh up the pros and cons of playing a Wildcard in Gameweek 8.
As ever, whether Gameweek 8 is the ‘right’ moment to Wildcard will depend much on the make-up of your FPL squad, but we’ll try and outline a few of the more general advantages and disadvantages here.
GAMEWEEK 8 WILDCARD: THE PROS
- If you are down to five or six starters in Gameweek 8 following Monday’s announcement, a Wildcard is probably quite appealing. Even more so if you are having to turn to players like Danny Ward (£4.0m) and Cameron Archer (£4.4m) in your starting XI. By activating the chip now, you can ensure you have at least XI Gameweek 8 players without needing to take hits.
- A Gameweek 8 Wildcard means that you can jump on key fixture swings for players like Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6.9m), Jarrod Bowen (£8.1m) and Kieran Trippier (£5.3m), arguably at the optimal time. Knowing that their fixtures improve soon, you could also bench someone like James Maddison (£7.9m) or Wilfried Zaha (£7.2m). This could allow you to get ahead of the curve and take advantage of some particular tasty fixtures, potentially before the masses bring the same players in ahead of Gameweek 9.
Above: Gameweek 8-16 fixtures, sorted by difficulty
- Teams like Brighton and Hove Albion, Liverpool and Arsenal all feature at the wrong end of the above table for fixture difficulty from Gameweeks 8-16, which does suggest now might be a good time to move on from their assets. For example, losing Mohamed Salah (£12.9m) for Kevin De Bruyne (£12.2m) or Son Heung-min (£11.7m) this week, then bringing the Egyptian back in Gameweek 12 for West Ham United (h), is something you might consider on a Wildcard.
- If you were planning a Gameweek 9 Wildcard, it might make sense to press the button now, especially if the team you are building is similar. If it is largely the same, why not go a week early and avoid taking any hits?
- We have unlimited transfers during the World Cup, so using a Wildcard now feels fine, given that the latest you can use it is Gameweek 16 anyway.
Above: A potential Gameweek 8 Wildcard squad
GAMEWEEK 8 WILDCARD: THE CONS
- If you can field at least 10 players in Gameweek 8, perhaps with just one -4 hit, it might be better to use transfers and save the Wildcard chip, especially if you can easily get to highly-owned assets like Erling Haaland (£12.0m), Joao Cancelo (£7.1m), Mitrovic and Trippier. Given that cheap bench options like Andreas Pereira (£4.6m) and Neco Williams (£4.1m) are also playable in Gameweek 8, this scenario will be possible for some managers.
- If you Wildcard in Gameweek 8, you essentially have to build a squad with only three players from Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United, Leeds United, Brighton and Crystal Palace. That might mean assets like Gabriel Jesus (£8.1m), Marcus Rashford (£6.3m) and Pascal Gross (£6.0m) need to be sold, despite starting the season strongly, as well as players like Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m), Reece James (£6.0m) and Salah.
- By saving your Wildcard for the international break (Gameweek 9), you can include some of those players listed above, whilst also reacting to any injuries that may occur. You also have additional time to tinker, given the two-week break. Gameweeks 12/13 are other potential times to use the Wildcard.
Above: Gameweek 12-16 fixtures, sorted by difficulty
- This isn’t a huge issue in the grand scheme of things, but it is worth mentioning. If you already have two free transfers banked, you will obviously lose one if you play your Wildcard this week, as you can’t roll one over to Gameweek 9.
Let us know your own thoughts on the pros and cons of a Gameweek 8 Wildcard in the comments section below.