FPL GW05 Wildcard – FPLMariner’s Thoughts

FPL GW05 Wildcard

FPL GW05 Wildcard – FPLMariner

So after four weeks despite my best efforts I am languishing at 2 million OR and looking back on a shocking GW04, an underperforming Timo Werner, Che Adams and a number of other issues including no Wolves defence cover including Ruben Vinagre.

This left me no other option but to hit the wildcard button early in the international break.

I am happy to share with you my thought process here.

Is anyone “essential” when wildcarding?

The word “essential” is often heard in the day to day FPL discussions so firstly let us look in the Oxford English Dictionary and see what it means in the context of Mo Salah.

FPL GW01 Review

Is the Egyptian King “completely necessary; extremely important in a particular situation or for FPL”?

Well this definition does not really help us, is he completely necessary? No.

Is he extremely important? Yes of course, when you consider his ownership of 44%, his current form and his history of returns with total points scores of 303, 259 and 233 in the last 5 years.

FPL GW03 Wildcard

You could argue that Dominic Calvert Lewin (DCL) has two of these three attributes – form and 48% ownership – as for history is this the year he makes it?

But there is more than one way to win FPL, you simply need the right players at the right time and simply chasing points from the previous week can be a recipe for disaster.

So what is my plan based on my thought process and who as a result is in my thoughts in addition to Mo Salah and DCL who both remain in my team from GW01?


Positive Regression

The first general point is that given the goal fest a number of teams have been performing far better defensively than their results suggest.

Brighton for example have an XGA90 of 1.43 and have conceded 8 big chances over 4 games, yet they have actually conceded 10 goals.

For this reason, I will either keep incumbent keeper Matt Ryan, given the fixture shift (more on these later) or move to Tariq Lamptey, flag and cash permitting.

Burnley are another example, their XGA90 so far is 1.22 with only 5 big chances created over 3 games, yet they have conceded 8 goals. Indeed I am predicting the first 0-0 draw of the season this weekend in their match up with Sheffield United.

Liverpool are another example where positive regression is expected at some stage, given that three of Villa’s goals were from speculative deflected shots. However the issue with their defence is Adrian which means clean sheets remain a long shot in the short term. Of course TAA and the slightly cheaper Andy Robertson can be treated as midfielders so if you have I would probably hold at least one.

Performers, but not necessarily overperformers

By comparing XG + XA = XI and actual FPL returns it’s pretty obvious who has had a great start to the season with the top 20 players being listed on the table below, but is it sustainable?

Notably Son Heung-Min (TOT), Patrick Bamford (LEE) and Jack Grealish (AV) make up the top three and looking closely it is quite clear to me that they will all regress significantly from their heady heights. That said I would normally look for approximately a return per match for Son of around 0.66 per match over 9 matches (given he is 9 million). The question posed is can he achieve this, the answer is yes given a resurgent Harry Kane adding assists to his belt and Gareth Bale incoming.

Son (-3.52) also has about 20% of NpXG (non-penalty expected goals) and is fully rested after the international break. His fixtures are also favourable.

Bamford on the other hand looks more unsustainable to me (-3.43) and consequently is overlooked given the appearance of other strikers in the 6 Million bracket and also Rhian Brewster despite being part of what is so far a rather blunt Blades attack which brings me onto my next point.

FPL Budget Players

Correct Price Points, Strikers across Price-points

If you are wildcarding like me not only do you need the right players but you must try and stick to the right structure.

I already have DCL as a lock-in and am considering Kane as a Spurs Double up for the short term, this in the full knowledge he can become Sergio Aguero once he returns.

Therefore, if am to go with a premium striker I will need to sacrifice elsewhere and therefore I am drawn to Brewster as an enabler at 4.5 Million (FUL next).

That said, if I go with Brewster I will need a plan to consider downgrading a premium midfielder Sterling or KDB by at least 1.5 million in order to consider upgrading Brewster in the coming weeks to the likes of Callum Wilson (NEW), Neal Maupay (BHA), Michail Antonio (WHU) etc, one of whom I would expect to emerge in the coming weeks as a stand out option in this price point. This also allows a Kane to Aguero move will let me still cover Man City or double up with them.

A wildcard is for life not just for Christmas.

Well that’s not entirely true but it has got to last you up to GW16 now, so make sure you have some forward planning in your considerations.  Usually we look around 5 GWs in advance with our FDR (good luck with that at the moment!) before rethinking and given this we don’t want to be locking moves in, in advance.

This year however offers up exceptional and unprecedented challenges. Could I term this process a “COVID Chip” to deal with some of the curve balls I expect us to face in the coming weeks?.

Courtesy Ben Crellin (own average fdr)

I am actually strongly considering a stronger bench with 14 out of my 15 players actually being regulars (defined as no more than 30% benched). This includes players like Masuaku who will come into his own at GW08 as West Ham Fixtures improve or Antonio if I decide to upgrade Brewster for now.

For this reason I am losing patience with Nathan Ferguson who I punted with at the start of the season, with no guaranteed return date, It looks like my seemingly clever move to get in front of the pack for GW05 and the Palace fixture change has backfired. Worse still Tyrick Mitchell the other pick of interest will require a shuffle once Patrick Van Aanholdt (PVA) returns  – which Is expected to be as early as the end of October.

Do I therefore sit PVA on my bench in the hope he returns as a way of forward planning – this is a possibility if I have the funds?


Identify Targets & Captaincy Options

WBA and Fulham are clearly the ones to target, both for clean sheets and the former for hauls.  Fulham do seem a little tighter at the back, this borne out by an Xga of 6.54 against 10.43 for WBA.

Its also important to look for captaincy options, with Kane, Salah and Sterling all having decent fixtures in the coming weeks, although this week is tricky with Spurs matched up against a resurgent West Ham, the Merseyside derby and Man City playing Arsenal.

Don’t completely go with the Jones’

A wildcard always gives you a little opportunity to punt and to make FPL exciting.

There are not many better feelings than nailing a differential early – indeed one of my best feelings of last season was Alain Saint-Maximin’s treble assist –  so use your gut, the stats and of course your eyes to pick one or two gems to go with. Here is a list of players I would consider for these positions who meet the following criteria

  1. Less than 10 percent owned
  2. XI90 greater than 0.2
  3. Less than 30% Benched



Don’t pay the penalty

It would be remiss of me to not include penalty takers in my wildcard consideration despite the apparent leniency afforded to referees given the blow back to some of the quite ludicrous handball decisions.

Penalties has always been a bonus, it sets apart Salah from Mane and has been one of the deciding factors in dumping Werner in this process with the ‘skipping’ Jorginho on Chelsea penalties.  

FPL GW05 Stats

Jorginho in fact offers excellent value at 5.1 Million and for me tops Soucek for value (now 4.9m).

The Reveal

My wildcard remains work in progress and Is subject to a number of flags and doubts so will go to the wire.

For more read my profile and follow me on Twitter @FPLmariner.



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About FPLMariner 4 Articles
FPLMariner is Chris Turner. He has been living in Singapore since 2017 and works in the shipping industry. He supports Grimsby Town and is active on Twitter.

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