Midway through January, is it time to think about your Wildcard? Absolutely. The so called template teams of the first 19 gameweeks haven’t exactly seen fantastic scores from gameweek 20 & 21. It appears it’s about the right time to freshen things up.
If you have followed these articles from the beginning then you’ll know that my team is doing pretty good but I have slipped a bit due to the above reason (the demise of popular players), not to mention the 3 gameweeks on the trot that my captaincy has been a fail! Austin (x2) and Hazard have blanked between gameweeks 19-21 and this has led to me slipping down the rankings, although still in the top 10k.
I have refrained from playing my Wildcard despite this tumble simply because I believe the gameweek to activate your Wildcard is GW23. My reason is that we have two whole weeks to ride the price rises thus increasing team value significantly, allowing for more premium players in your squad.
Enough of my team, let’s get into this weeks topic: Midfielders.
Similar to defenders, you have to fill a third of your squad with these players and it really depends on what strategy in Fantasy Premier League you are using. Personally, I’m split in two minds on what to do for the remainder of the season; either play a 3-5-2 with 4 premium midfielders such as Hazard, Sanchez, Silva and Di Maria, then a mid-priced option, or play the more common 3-4-3 and have both Aguero and Costa up top but this would be compromising in the midfield leading to 2 or 3 mid-priced picks.
It’s all about personal preference on strategy so I’m not going to ramble on about that and instead, I will discuss good picks for midfield.
Flair players, the players everyone wants or sees as essential, are good to have so where better to start than Alexis Sanchez? Simple statement: must have. No discussion, if you don’t have him considering the way he is currently performing, you’re only limiting yourself in terms of your overall rank. In my opinion his other Arsenal compatriots aren’t worth the gamble as the offer too much of a rotation risk (Ramsey, Ozil, Carzola & Walcott).
Man City coverage. If any I’d go with David Silva but with the likes of Nasri, Lampard, Navas, Yaya, Milner, Fernando and Fernandinho all pushing for a first team place, I’d actually recommend staying away from him and placing Aguero into your team once he comes up to full fitness. Despite the same sort of competition for places among the Chelsea ranks, I wouldn’t be so scared of them. Reasoning for that is Mourinho rotates much less so it shouldn’t be a problem. If you’re looking for a guaranteed starter then look no further than Eden Hazard. He is surprisingly the only midfielder I’d recommend from the blues. My reasoning: Fabregas has historically dropped off after January, Oscar doesn’t start every game due to the option of Mikel for difficult opponents. Willian or Schurrle I wouldn’t go near with a 10 ft shitty stick.
Man Utd coverage. I’d only consider Angel Di Maria. Despite having an extended run in the team, Juan Mata will surely start to find himself on the bench with all van Gaal’s favourites back from injury. For Liverpool, only Sterling deserves a mention. Lallana will get rotated when Sturridge comes back and although Coutinho is performing well, he’s ineffective within Fantasy Premier League. Henderson deserves a mention, however he’s also ineffective on his new right-midfield role.
The only midfielders I’d consider with a premium price tag without the team around them are Eriksen, Tadic and Mirallas. All excellent players. However, before you dive right into them, remember the later two have stiff competition from other players so won’t start every match.
When you look at mid-priced options, three players again spring into mind: Downing, Sigurdsson and Chadli. All good, solid players that’ll guarantee you game time and points which is neat considering they are in the 6-7m price range.
For sub-5m options, Boyd and Colback are worth considering as a fifth midfielder and if they keep up their scoring of late, they will be a sheer bargain.