It’s been an unexpected week of Premier League football, as we’ve seen some surprising, high-scoring and downright controversial results this time around. As for Fantasy gaffers however, the main talking point has to be the notorious seasonal dilemma: to wildcard or not to wildcard? If the answer to that was yes, let me take you through a list of must-haves in your wildcard squad, all of which are bound to make you suffer without them in your side.
Watchlist: Wildcard Essentials
Ideally, you’ll want to keep the price down in the keeper's department in order to afford the Haaland-Salah duo (£26.7m combined). And I’m sure it won’t come as any surprise that I personally recommend Areola (£4.2m) and Turner (£4.0m) as your two shot-stoppers. Both start week in week out for their respective sides and sit at dirt cheap prices. On top of this, Areola is one of only three keepers to have netted over 30 points this season, whilst making the 3rd most amount of saves to add to his appeal. For me he’s more than proven his ability to be a primary keeper in FPL, as well as the potential to secure solid returns on a regular basis.
In terms of defence, I’m liking the looks of Matty Cash who currently sits at £4.9m. The Poland international has 3 direct goal involvements in his last 5, and faces 5 upcoming game weeks, most of which Aston Villa should take with moderate ease.
Crystal Palace centre-half Joachim Anderson (£4.8m) should also be up for consideration. After scoring his second goal this season, the dangerous set piece threat now has the most points of any defender, with the highest points per game average to top it all off. Fellow Premiership centre-back Dan Burn (£4.6m) offers the cheapest route into red-hot Newcastle’s defence, as they now look to build on their emphatic 4-1Champions League win over PSG.
Spurs full-back Destiny Udogie (£4.8m) can be used as a cheaper alternative to Pedro Porto (£5.0m), and whilst I’d personally recommend Porro if you can get either, that’s unlikely to be the case. Udogie still has a point to prove, with 2 assists in 5, and favourable upcoming fixtures against Luton and Fulham.
Despite injury doubts, I’m still keen to bring in Moussa Diaby (£6.7m) to be a part of my midfield. The in-form French man has impressed for Villa so far, and should claim a high point return with winnable fixtures on the horizon. From one winger to another, Liverpool hero Mohamed Salah (£12.6m) has once again proved his worth in FPL with a more creative role this season, and should be a must-have with fixtures like Everton, Nottingham Forest and Luton yet to come.
Looking over to North London, Spurs star James Maddison (£8.0m) has played a key role in his side’s early success this season, and should no doubt be a feature in every manager’s side, wildcard or not. He’s a much cheaper and better value option than teammate Son Heung-min (£9.3m), who’s simply too expensive to fit in a side occupied by Haaland (£14.1m) and Salah (£12.6m). The upcoming fixtures which Spurs hold should add even more to Maddison’s already impressive points tally, and I’d strongly suggest that you make the switch for him if you somehow haven’t already.
Watkins (£8.0m) and Solanke (£6.4m) stick out as the best striker options with Haaland (£14.1m) being the obvious third. Watkins has only blanked once so far, and will likely take advantage of Villa’s promising fixtures. Meanwhile Solanke faces Everton, Wolves and Burnley in his next 3, all of which have shipped in a considerable number of goals already this season.
Although I’ve been heavy on the wildcard activation, it’s important to note that it’s only truly necessary in the event of a crisis, especially as it’s still early doors for now. And whilst for most managers injuries have left us with no option, if your team is still for the most-part injury free and capable of scoring points, don’t feel the need to follow the trend, and do it later down the line when the time is right, or if change is needed.