FPL

3 months ago

FPL Guide: Fantasy Premier League Wildcard

Read our Fantasy Premier League Wildcard guide for the full understanding of how the chip works, when, and why use it. We will look in detail at how to use this ultimate fantasy weapon effectively and help you significantly improve your overall score at the end of the FPL season. Let's dive deeper.

In FPL, players are given one free transfer per week (which you may save to use before the subsequent game week), with each additional transfer incurring a penalty of –4 points. For instance, in case you have one free transfer available but make 3 transfers in a single game week, you are going to have 8 points subtracted from your overall score. 

Wildcard allows you to make unlimited transfers  without suffering point deductions, enabling fantasy football players to overhaul their squads without the crippling effect of point deductions.

 

How to Use it

How to use Wilcard chip in FPL

As I have already mentioned, a Wildcard enables you to make unlimited free transfers between game week deadlines. You should play a Wildcard when you feel like making numerous changes to the team of yours. For instance, if your team is underperforming or has suffered a great number of injuries. 

When altering your squad with a Wildcard, you have to stay within the current budget restraints. Do not think you are given an unlimited budget when making use of a Wildcard!

The fantasy league wildcard chip may be utilized twice a season, once in the first part of the season (before Sat 28 December,14:30, in the season of 2019/20), and the other time in the other half of the season. If you fail or forget to use a Wildcard in the first part of the season, it is expended and does not roll over to be used with your other one in the second part of the season.

Wildcards are triggered on the transfers page of your FPL team but do not activate until you've made and confirmed your transfers.

Follow these steps to play a Wildcard in your Fantasy Premier League:

1. Go to transfers by clicking the "Transfers" tab of the menu.

2. Remove all the players you want to get rid of. Do this by clicking the 'X' near a player's jersey. The number of points you lose will be displayed in a box at the center of the screen.

3. Once you have transferred more than 2 players out, a button 'Play Wildcard becomes active. You will find it next to 'Auto Pick' and 'Reset' buttons just above your team screen.

4. When you click the Wildcard button, a pop-up window will remind you that the Wildcard won't be activated until the transfers are made and confirmed.

5. Choose new players to replace the ones not needed in your team any longer and click 'Make Transfers'. Another box will pop up to confirm whether you really want to play the Wildcard.

6. Click 'Confirm Transfers (and Play Wildcard )' in case you are sure. You now have till the next game week deadline to tinker with your squad and make any corrections you want.

 

Fantasy Premier League Wildcard Rules

To be able to enable your chip effectively you should know a set of simple FPL Wildcard rules. As we have already mentioned — you can use it twice per season, whenever you feel your team is in need of some significant changes. However, you should always keep in mind the following rules:

  • The chip can be used twice per season — once in the first half, and once in the second;  
  • You have to make your transfers first to be able to activate the wildcard. After the transfers are done you will have the option available, and you'll need to enable it for the transfers to become free.
  • When you have activated the chip it cannot be undone, so you should be strategical about this decision.

 

Fantasy Premier League Wildcard Tips

FPL Wildcard Stretegy, Early and Late chip

There are two major views regarding the issue of using a Wildcard. There are those who profess using it early on — within the first six Gameweeks. The other point of view is to utilize it as close to the very first wildcard deadline as possible.

 

Early Wildcard in FPL 

The reasoning behind making use of the chip early on is that many things become clear after the first six Gameweeks. You understand which teams have started the season well, which players are on fire and what cheap players are a must-own. If you do not have a certain player at the beginning of the season and he starts lighting the world on fire, the wildcard in Fantasy Premier League in the early stages of the season will allow you to snap him up along with other in-form players you might have missed out on. The Wildcard is the only method to completely overhaul the team of yours if things do not start particularly well for you. 

Player Price Increases

The second benefit of an early Wildcard is increasing your team value.

At the start of a Gameweek, you are able to transfer out any players that are out of form, injured, or have poor forthcoming fixtures. If you manage to transfer in players who are currently on fire, your team value will increase over time. This happens because of the FPL economy. When a player is sold by many players during a Gameweek, his price will most likely drop. The same works the other way around. Players with most net transfer-ins are probably the ones to have their price increased. Once these in-demand players are in your team, they might still continue to increase in price and boost your team value. That means you have more money to spend in the future to alter your squad. There are always a lot of players at the beginning of the season targetted by many managers based on their form. The earlier you identify and buy these players, the better. 

Good team value will surely pay dividends throughout the season as it gives you more transfer money. This is usually a big advantage as it allows you to have more premium players in your squad as the campaign unfolds.

Taking advantage of the Season's First Fixtures

There are always situations when a team plays a couple of tough opponents at the start of the season with more favorable fixtures straight after it. You could take advantage of such a situation in case you play your first wildcard early. For instance, Everton plays against Manchester United (A) and Liverpool (H) during the first two Gameweeks. The vast majority of teams will most likely be without Everton assets. In case you're playing your first Wildcard early, you could load up on Everton players when their fixtures start to be easier. Most of the teams will still be without any Everton assets, so you can jump ahead of the pack if they perform well straight away. 

 

Late Wildcard in Fantasy Premier League 

The alternative strategy is to preserve your FPL Wildcard until around Boxing Day. The reasoning behind this is much simpler compared to the first strategy. The longer you hold onto your Wildcard, the more info you have available on players who you want to form the backbone of your team in the second part of the season. Moreover, it'll probably enable you to save your next wildcard until the very end of the season, exactly when Double Gameweeks are out and about. Having an opportunity to build a squad full of players with two fixtures a week is a huge advantage.

 

Which FPL Wildcard Strategy is Better?

That is the question many FPL managers are constantly asking themselves. Some experienced players build a team targeting the first 4-6 weeks and use a Wildcard after that period of time come hell or high water. Some players build a team for a longer run with the second part of the season in mind. Many managers go into the season without knowing what method they are siding with, just going with the flow.

Sometimes, managers end up in a situation when most of their fantasy picks have flunked, some are injured or suspended, and players they don't own are delivering monster hauls every week. This situation most likely calls for a Wildcard that wasn't the part of the initial plan.  

Both early and late Wildcards can really improve your squad with careful planning. But in an emergency situation you should use it despite what the original plan was. 

 

IMPORTANT

• Begin the whole Wildcard process right after the deadline of the prior Gameweek to get as much value out of it as possible. You should get all the players you want before they increase in price during the week. The best or in-form players are subject to many transfer-ins after a successful game week. Most of these transfers are usually done at the spur of the moment at the beginning of the week by many managers.

Ideally, the Wildcard should be triggered just after a Gameweek deadline has passed. This puts you in the position to have as much money as possible before any price rises occur to create a brand new squad.

• You may tinker with your potential Wildcard teams without pressing the Play Wildcard button. Transfer players in and out but do not save these transfers and do not confirm your team. When you finally assemble the team you like, take a screenshot and save it somewhere. Before the deadline, you will be able to refer back to your ideas and replicate this Wildcard squad.

 

Protect Your Team Value During the Wildcard Week

Before activating your Wildcard, open the transfers page on the FPL site and click 'List View'. The 3 columns you have to think about are 'CP' (current price), 'SP' (selling price), and 'PP' (purchase price). In order to utilize a Wildcard effectively, you have to know how these values work, so allow me to explain.

• A player's current price is the money you must spend to buy a player you do not own at this particular moment.

• The selling price is exactly what you are going to get in case you sell that player.

• The purchase price is exactly how much you spent on the player when you had bought him.

And now the confusing part… In order to make an income on a football player in FPL when selling, he has to increase by at least +£0.2m in price compared to his purchase price. You are going to get only 50% of the price difference in case you sell him. For instance, if you buy Matt Doherty for £6.0m this week and in a month 's time period his price tag has risen to £6.2m, you will get £6.1m when you transfer him out. If his price rises to £6.4m, you will sell for £6.2m etc.

If a player decreases in value after you purchase him, whenever you sell, you will sell for his current price. So if Doherty is to drop to £5.8m, you will just get £5.8m when selling.

 

Important Mistake to avoid

Never sell players you may want to keep in your wildcard team! This is the trap a lot of managers fall into when their Wildcard is active. They become engaged in endless tinkering, trading players in and out all week without any regard for team value. A golden rule is not to swap away any footballers you believe will stay in your team after the wildcard. You might lose money selling those players and buying them for their current price. 

Let's say you've owned Tammy Abraham since Gameweek One. You purchased him for £7.0m and could sell him for £7.2m, as the current price of Chelsea striker stands at £7.5m. You activate the Wildcard on a Saturday evening and transfer the forward out. You change your mind one day later, but now you have to spend £7.5m (his current price) to get him back into your squad! This little flick has cost you £0.3m. That is £0.3m less that you can play with developing your Wildcard squad.

Be really cautious of such situations. Only sell them in case you're 100% percent certain they will not make your ultimate Wildcard team.

 

Monitor purchase price changes 

Price changes happen every night approximately at 01.30 am UK time. During your wildcard week, it is crucial that you watch the market. There are a lot of websites that can be used for this kind of monitoring. Usually, the home page of such sites reveals the players that are almost certain to go up in price and the most likely fallers. This information can't be perceived as a hundred percent accurate but it is still of great help. Typically, these websites measure the likelihood of a player change on a -100 to +100 scale. If a player is near a hundred, there's a good probability he rises in price overnight. Similarly, if a player is edging closer to -100, his price will most likely drop.

If you happen to have a player who dropped £0.1m since you had purchased but is likely to increase in price soon, do not get rid of him. If he does increase in price, you will make back the £0.1m value that you'd lost.

On the other hand, if there's a player you would like to purchase using the Wildcard who is likely to drop in price soon, do not get him until he falls in price. For example, Paul Pogba is £8.5m today but is likely to drop to £8.4m sometime soon. If I were on wildcard this week and needed to incorporate him into my team, I would wait until the last minute hoping to buy him for  £0.1m less. I must admit though, the probability of finding somebody who you really want in your team going forward and who is dropping in price is very small. Players usually drop in price because of negative factors affecting their performance.

Using placeholders is a good way to make an extra buck as well. When you activate your Wildcard, invest in players who might increase in price two times during the week, even if you do not intend on keeping them in your team. You might be able to sell them for £0.1m or more each at the end of the week before finalizing your Wildcard squad.

For instance, if say Ashley Barnes (£6.1m) scores a brace, there is a good chance he goes up in price twice before the next Gameweek. Add him to your wildcard squad on Saturday for £6.1m. You might be able to transfer him out for £6.2m before you finalize the new squad of yours in a week's time.

 

How To Use Wildcard in FPL

There are particular times in the course of the season when more transfers usually occur. It is more probable for price changes to occur at these times. To generate the most value out of the Wildcard, managers should be aiming to use their Wildcards during these windows.

For the very first Wildcard, you would like to make the most of all of the potential drop-out managers. The season has just begun, everybody is excited, and 99% of FPL managers have not given up just yet. As a result, there are actually a great deal more transfers going on at the start of the season. The very first 4-6 Gameweeks for your first Wildcard is a good time to capitalize on their enthusiasm, play the market, and boost your team value.

THE LENGTH OF THE GAMEWEEK

The bigger the gap between two Gameweeks, the much more time you have to busy yourself with some tinkering. Therefore, try not to play your Wildcard somewhere near Boxing Day with only 48 hours to act between matches! Use it when there's at least a one week gap between the conclusion of the last fixture of a Gameweek and the beginning of the next one.

Bearing these 2 points in mind, the first international break is often one of the most suitable periods to use your first Wildcard. Almost all the managers are still massively involved in the game. They are still making transfers and you have a lot of useful information from the start of the new FPL season. You have got a 2-week window to improve your team with the help of the transfer market.

Of course, you might be in a position to make a profit of 0.2 or even 0.3 by playing the market or even committing transfer moves early. But do not chase team value, think of improving your squad first of all. Focusing solely on increasing your team value without considering the future of the team is a horrendous strategy.

When compared to FPL fantasy tournaments 4 or 5 years ago, the Wildcard reality has changed drastically. You could easily make 0,6 - 0,8 million during your Wildcard period swindling players around. Nowadays, it is very difficult to net more than 0.3 as very few players get 2 price rises between 2 Gameweeks. 

 

Learning from the best

Now let's move to the analysis made by one of the users from the website extra.ie. The results of his research show when and how top 1,000 managers played their Wildcards in EPL season 2018/19.

FPL Wildcard timing first half of the season

In the first chart, we see when the best managers decided to use their first wildcard. Gameweek 5 with the preceding international break was the signal for 231 of the eventual top 1,000 to click the wildcard button.

The international pause coming at this particular point of the season seemed to be a perfect place for the wildcard during that year - the transfer windows closed at the end of August. Starting XIs were starting to take shape, and if somebody was injured while playing for the national team, he could be quickly replaced with other players.

More than 60 percent of the top 1,000 played their wildcard before GW10 in 2018/19, with over 100 pulling the trigger in GW9 – but GW5 was undoubtedly the best option to choose.

FPL Wildcard Transfers statistics

Top-1000 proves the point that there is no sense in playing your wildcard if you’re not going to make at least 5 or 6 changes to your squad.

If we take into consideration only those who used their wildcard before GW10, almost half of the Top-1000 players did it at the start of the season while making between 8 and 10 transfers.

Meanwhile, only 7 managers decided to make 4 or fewer transfers. If the team you are managing only requires small alterations, ask yourself whether a paid transfer incurring a penalty would be a much better solution than wasting a Wildcard.

Using a Wildcard does not always mean a quick breakthrough in terms of points. For many of those who finished in top-tier that season, wildcard benefited them in the long run rather than transformed their fortunes immediately.

A fun fact is that one of the managers, who eventually finished in the top-600, played his wildcard ahead of game week 3 and achieved a game week rank of 4,380,579 the following week.

 

Conclusion

In the article above, we gave you a detailed account of how and when to use the chip. We also highlighted some things that might fly under the radar of a fantasy manager. Use these fantasy football Wildcard tips to take full advantage of your chip, plan ahead, increase your squad value, but above all — enjoy the game! 

CRyl7
Author

CRyl7

Sports fan and fantasy sports fanatic. Loves statistics and tries to find the right way of applying it in fantasy sports. Winner of Fanteam Premier League Experience Tournament in 2018.