The season has commenced and GW1 one is now out of the way as we look ahead to GW2 and the promise of more points!
When to Plan and Play your Wildcard
When and how to play your wildcard is always a difficult decision which can make or break your season. This year due to the World Cup in Qatar in November there is an additional wildcard available prior to GW16 due to the Premier League returning on the 26th December. Therefore, it makes sense to play an earlier wildcard this year with the chance to reset your team going into the Christmas period.
My favourite strategy currently is to play the first wildcard GW9 during the international break. I currently favour Arsenal players due to their early favourable fixtures. The added bonus to playing the wildcard in GW9 is that any injuries that occur during the international break can easily be solved without taking any expensive hits.
My reasoning is confirmed by FPL legend Ben Crellin also favouring this strategy currently. Whilst I am loading up on Arsenal players in the first 8 GWs, from GW9 to GW12 they have the following fixtures – Spurs (Away), Liverpool (Away) Man City (Away).
At the same time as this fixture swing, Leicester have the following 5 fixtures – Notts Forest, Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, Leeds and Wolves (GW9 onwards). Players such as Maddison, Vardy, Justin and Castagne will all be high on managers wish lists.
Another benefit to this strategy is to see how the Chelsea defence settles. Their fixtures after GW8 are Crystal Palace, Wolves, Aston Villa and Brentford. It offers the opportunity to load up on their defenders if they look good value at this stage of the season.
And finally, a GW9 wildcard means that you can gamble on an Aston Villa striker against Leeds and Nottingham Forest. I inevitably end up transferring in Watkins or Ings at some point during the season, by doing this I can then switch, without too much upset, to Mitrovic if he is still looking good come GW11.
GW9 really is the standout option for me. The only other option I would consider is to wildcard early if you have a poor start to the league and want to make wholesale changes early to get in some big hitters. I am thinking particularly of Haaland, Son, Kane or KDB, if any of them become essential, an early wildcard in GW3 or GW4 before too many price rises could be a valuable chip and could claw back any early front runners in your mini-leagues.
For the first time since joining Liverpool, Virgil van Dijk has been dribbled past by an opponent AND conceded a penalty in a single Premier League game. Aleksandar Mitrović is responsible for both. https://twitter.com/Squawka/status/1555902493644783616?s=20&t=VAvSopr0DcmmzAaePfxGBw
Mo Salah has never scored a goal for Liverpool (last 5 seasons) in GW2. He continued his record of scoring on the opening day of the season and now has 8 opening day goals to tie with Frank Lampard, Alan Shearer and Wayne Rooney.
Erling Haaland has only missed 2 of his 29 penalties in his career so far. He took and scored the penalty on Sunday vs West Ham (GW1), with KDB and Gundogan on the pitch.
Mitrovic netted 43 goals in the championship last season to eclipse the record set by Ivan Toney, 31 goals in the 20/21 season.
FPL Captain Gameweek 2
Erling Håland (77%) is the clear favourite among the bookies to score at least one goal this weekend. The captaincy choice between him and Salah (58%) seems unmistakable in the bookies’ eyes. In fact, a 77% implied chance to score is almost unheard of (odds: 3/10 fractional/1.3 decimal). Manchester City and Håland looked brilliant in Gameweek 1, with a brace for the Norwegian striker as they ran out 2-0 winners. By contrast, Liverpool looked a bit sluggish against Fulham. Still managing a goal and an assist, we know how consistent Mo Salah is, and the Egyptian can never be considered a terrible captaincy shout.
With the easier fixture and his team in slightly better form, Håland gets the captain’s armband from us this week.
Jack Howcroft is from Leeds, England and has played FPL for 10 years. He has 3 top 100k rank finishes in that time. His highest finish coming in 20/21 where he finished 11,359 in the world.
Away from FPL Jack is a Hull City fan and tries to get to as many games as he can, having previously been a season ticket holder for 10 years as they moved up through the leagues to the Premier League.