Throughout the 2022/23 Fantasy Premier League (FPL) season, our team of Pro Pundits, Hall of Famers and guest contributors will be appearing regularly on these pages to share their thoughts and tips.
Only Premium Members are able to read every single one of these pieces, so sign up today to get full access not just to the editorial content but all of the other benefits, from hundreds of Opta stats to a transfer planner.
Here, five-time top 1k finisher Tom Freeman discusses his Wildcard picks and thoughts.
It’s fair to say a lot has happened in the past seven days, with a whole round of fixtures postponed and three more matches called off in Gameweek 8. As a result, I have been forced to change my plans and Wildcard.
Had I not, I had the ability to field a full XI with a -4 in Gameweek 8, but it would have meant starting Pedro Neto (£5.1m), Andreas Pereira (£4.6m) and Cameron Archer (£4.3m), and I want better quality players.
An international break Wildcard was already under consideration, so moving it forward a week isn’t an issue.
Now, rather than go position-by-position, I’m going to offer my thoughts on a few of the big dilemmas Wildcarders are facing, and then end with my current draft. After all, you don’t need to hear why I’m picking Erling Haaland (£12.0m), Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6.9m), Gabriel Martinelli (£6.5m) etc.
KANE V DE BRUYNE
This feels like the biggest decision Gameweek 8 Wildcarders have to make, given that everyone will include Haaland. For what it’s worth, I did try to fit in all three but found that it weakened my team too much.
Firstly, I do like Kevin De Bruyne (£12.2m) AND Harry Kane (11.4m), both are quality picks, but in the end, I opted for the latter.
That’s because I really like Kane v Leicester City in Gameweek 8, while captaincy in Gameweek 11 is another factor: Manchester City visit Liverpool, while Tottenham Hotspur have a home meeting with Everton. That means there is potential to hand Kane the armband in two out of the next four Gameweeks, which adds flexibility.
Even though it feels like we are waiting for Spurs to hit their top level this season, Kane has still managed five goals and an assist in six games. Now, he faces a Leicester side that have conceded 23 times in their past 10 away games. Spurs’ fixtures beyond that are a mixed bag, but his record in the north London derby is good, while Brighton and Hove Albion are a bit of an unknown in light of Graham Potter’s departure.
Kane can then potentially be sold in Gameweek 12, as part of a two-transfer move to bring in Mohamed Salah (£12.9m).
Which mid-price midfielders to include, and how many, is another tricky decision Gameweek 8 Wildcarders face.