As all Fantasy Premier League addicts know, our January Wildcard is nearly upon us and the questions are already arising to when we should use it, deploy earlier and try and capitalise on fixtures and form? Or play the waiting game, patience is key after all. Either way, planning your wildcard is very important in order to make the most of it!
My personal strategy is to wait. My team is in good shape, currently sitting 5k in the global rankings with over 3.4 million players isn’t too bad, is it? More to the fact I have 2 free transfers saved up for gameweek 20 on New Years Day, with only Wilfred Bony departing my team for the African Cup of Nations with the Ivory Coast. No pressing injury concerns, why waste the precious wildcard after all?
Also, playing the waiting game allows fantasy football managers to spectate the comings and goings of the transfer market and allows signings time to warm to the league. It allows transfers on players that will leave the league to be avoided.
Enough with the formalities of Fantasy Premier League, over the next 4 gameweeks (until the start of gameweek 24) we will be providing you with articles on players that should be looked at when playing your wildcard.
This week it’s the turn of Goalkeepers, so often overlooked yet pivotal to success. Like the wildcard itself, many different approaches can be taken.
1. Play it safe; ‘splash the cash’ on the big keepers such as Courtois or Hart who will guarantee you over 5 clean sheets in the remaining 19 games of the season.
2. Use your money more sparingly. Deploy what I will call the ‘Under 9m tactic.’ Spending literally the bare minimum required. This is when a manager buys 2 Goalkeepers of the same team (eliminates rotation risk.) Sounds simple enough right? If only it was that easy.
The problem here lies with the Under 9m budget option, you’re only going to be able to buy lower half of the table keepers. The teams that have this combination available are; Newcastle, Aston Villa, Burnley, Leicester, QPR, West Brom & Sunderland. Doesn’t exactly install confidence in me if you’re banking on them for a clean sheet.
What this tactic does let you do however is spend the vast majority of your money on the ‘front 7.’ The most popular formation in Fantasy Football is 3-4-3. You want to spend your money on the players that have the highest points potential; midfielders and attackers.
The keepers I’d advise you to look at are those of Aston Villa, Newcastle and Sunderland. The most solid of the 7 teams mentioned. If you’re willing to go just over the 9m budget then the rotation of Pantilmon/Krul looks reasonable with teams never both facing away games on the same gameweek. Otherwise I’d stick with the big Goalkeepers for guaranteed returns.
Hope you have enjoyed this little taster of what is to come in future weeks. Defenders, Midfielders and Attackers will offer more discussion as it isn’t just two positions in your squad that needs filling.