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FPL_Obsessed Wildcard Reveal – GW7

GW7 WC Reveal

INTRODUCTION

After careful consideration, I played my wildcard on Sunday evening, before GW6 had even fully concluded. This may seem a little knee-jerky, but it was actually well considered – being overly reactive is not in my nature.

I had always had a loose plan to wildcard in GW7 to capture the fixture swings. I was, of course, always open to not doing it and, if I had got off to a rip-roaring start, then I most likely would have held onto it for a while longer. As it stands, the combination of analysing the season’s trends, my poor start and looking at the fixture swing was enough to convince me that now is the time to pull the trigger.

I understand those who are waiting for GW8 before playing theirs, so that they can better navigate the fallout from the international break and bring in Liverpool/City players (in a week where they are not playing one another) but for me, the time is now.

With the decision 90% made on Sunday, I was looking down the barrel of five of my transfer targets getting a price increase, so I made the decision to go for it and capture the team value.


Here are my wildcard picks:

GOALKEEPERS

Aaron Ramsdale (£4.5m / 2.6%)

Fixtures
Next Six: (bha, CRY, AVL, lei, WAT, liv)
FDR Rating: 18 (Average)

Form
Total Points: 18
Average Points (per game): 6
xFPL Points/90: 4.5

There’s an argument to go with a premium GK at this stage of the season, but I like to keep it cheap and cheerful and there’s something exciting about both Ramsdale, and the idea of an Arsenal keeper, for just £4.5m. Arsenal seem to be turning a corner with their fortunes and Ramsdale could generate both save and CS points.

Ben Foster (£4.0m / 20.8%)

Fixtures
Next Six: (lee, LIV, eve, SOU, ars, MUN)
FDR Rating: 19 (Bad)

Form
Total Points: 6
Average Points (per game): 6
xFPL Points/90: 3.26

He’s cheap. He sometimes gets a game. He loves FPL. Ben Foster retains his position as sub-GK.

DEFENCE

Antonio Rudiger (£5.7m / 15.4%)

Fixtures
Next Six: (SOU, bre, NOR, new, BUR, lei)
FDR Rating: 13 (Best)

Form
Total Points: 34
Average Points (per game): 5.66
xFPL Points/90: 4.24

If you want a Chelsea defender who is nailed, then look no further than Rudiger, who has played every minute of the campaign under Tuchel. Averaging almost 6 points per game, the Chelsea man is key to their solid defence and, with the best fixtures on the horizon, I am confident of more points here.

Joao Cancelo (£6.1m / 12.6%)

Fixtures
Next Six: (liv, BUR, bha, CRY, mun, EVE)
FDR Rating: 19 (Bad)

Form
Total Points: 44
Average Points (per game): 7.3
xFPL Points/90: 6.81

Isn’t this what we’ve all been waiting for? Cancelo, the xGI King, seemingly nailed on, getting attacking returns and clean sheets for a Manchester City side who have only conceded a single goal in six matches. Cancelo is currently the highest scoring defender in the game and, with the exception of Liverpool and United (away), has a decent run of fixtures on the horizon. For me, this pick gets better each time I look at it.

Marcus Alonso (£5.9m / 22.8%)

Fixtures
Next Six: (SOU, bre, NOR, new, BUR, lei)
FDR Rating: 13 (Best)

Form
Total Points: 39
Average Points (per game): 6.5
xFPL Points/90: 5.63

Ok, I can’t resist this anymore. Alonso is one of the most frustrating FPL assets for me. He is a points magnet when he is on the pitch, but is often rotated due to both system and personnel changes. So far this campaign he has only missed 5 minutes of action. Now, I know he is still a rotation risk and Ben Chilwell is waiting in the wings to ruin our fun; however, I am prepared to take a bit of a risk until then. Usually when Alonso doesn’t start, he then misses out for the full 90 and, in that regard, I’ll have my 5th defender, waiting on the bench to deputise.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.6m / 32.1%)

Fixtures
Next Six: (MCI, wat, mun, BHA, whu, ARS)
FDR Rating: 20 (Terrible)

Form
Total Points: 35
Average Points (per game): 5.83
xFPL Points/90: 6.95

The Liverpool full back has not moved from my team since GW1 and I intend for him to remain a lock in my team. Yes, Liverpool’s fixtures are amongst the worst but I believe Trent can get a return against any opponent (his performance against Leicester last in the 19/20 season springs to mind!).

Note: at the time of writing, Trent is a doubt for GW7 and possibly beyond. I will be waiting to find out more information about his injury and may switch him to Ruben Dias as a placeholder for his return.

Tino Livramento (£4.2m / 11.9%)

Fixtures
Next Six: (che, LEE, BUR, wat, AVL, nor)
FDR Rating: 16 (Great)

Form
Total Points: 17
Average Points (per game): 2.83
xFPL Points/90: 3.8

As good a £4m defender as you’re going to get this season. He isn’t quite the John Lundstram of yesteryear, but he is good enough to be vying for a spot in all of our Starting XIs. I made the switch from Tsimikas to Livramento when it was clear Robertson was back from injury and I have no intention of taking the Englishman out of my WC squad. After Chelsea away, Southampton have brilliant fixtures, so Tino is a fantastic bench backup who can cover rotation or injury.

MIDFIELD

Mohamed Salah (£12.6m / 59.0%)

Fixtures
Next Six: (MCI, wat, mun, BHA, whu, ARS)
FDR Rating: 20 (Terrible)

Form
Total Points: 57
Average Points (per game): 9.5
xFPL Points/90: 8.21

No surprises here, Mo Salah keeps his place in my squad despite Liverpool’s difficult patch. The most consistently reliable FPL asset (possibly in history) is at it again. 9.5 points per game is his return rate this season. He is in the form of his life. It has not even crossed my mind for a second to take him out.

Raphinha (£6.5m / 15.2%)

Fixtures
Next Six: (WAT, sou, WOL, nor, LEI, tot)
FDR Rating: 14 (Excellent)

Form
Total Points: 28
Average Points (per game): 4.66
xFPL Points/90: 4.92

Raphinha seems a bit of a Marmite player to many managers and I understand people get frustrated by his low points ceiling, with him seemingly incapable of getting more than one return in a match. But to the doubters, I’d say three things:

  • He costs just £6.5m
  • Leeds have endured a difficult start to the season, having played United, Liverpool and West Ham
  • Leeds’ upcoming fixtures are about as good as it gets.

For £6.5m, I am happy for a steady stream of points, even if they never translate into hauls.

Note: at the time of writing, Raphinha is flagged for GW7, so I will monitor the situation. Possible replacements include Doucoure, Gallagher, Saka and Smith-Rowe.

Said Benrahma (£6.6m / 36.6%)

Fixtures
Next Six: (BRE, eve, TOT, avl, LIV, wol)
FDR Rating: 18 (Average)

Form
Total Points: 42
Average Points (per game): 7
xFPL Points/90: 6.11

This will be the first time Benrahma has featured in my team and I am well aware that I may have missed the boat on his hauls. Despite this, I like what I have seen plus he is playing in a decent West Ham side who look deadly going forward. West Ham’s upcoming fixtures are neither great nor terrible.

Note: I am not dead set on keeping Benrahma and could switch him last minute for any of: Doucoure, Gallagher, Saka or Smith-Rowe

Ismaila Sarr (£6.3m / 16.6%)

Fixtures
Next Six: (lee, LIV, eve, SOU, ars, MUN)
FDR Rating: 21 (Worst)

Form
Total Points: 39
Average Points (per game): 6.5
xFPL Points/90: 5.61

I’ll be honest, I’m currently on Sarr because he’s been on my watchlist for a while and he was about to rise in price when I played my WC. He is the most likely of all to be dropped before the deadline and this is all to do with Watford’s fixtures, which could hardly be worse. If I do keep him, it will be for his fixture against Leeds – where I think he will return – but I would be looking to shift him out immediately after that.

Josh Brownhill (£4.4m / 2.6%)

Fixtures
Next Six: (NOR, mci, sou, BRE, che, CRY)
FDR Rating: 18 (Average)

Form
Total Points: 9
Average Points (per game): 1.5
xFPL Points/90: 2.68

3rd bench slot warmer. Sort of stuck with him since he dropped £0.1m. Plays every game which is about all you can say in support of him.

FORWARDS

Romelu Lukaku (£11.7m / 34.4%)

Fixtures
Next Six: (SOU, bre, NOR, new, BUR, lei)
FDR Rating: 13 (Best)

Form
Total Points: 27
Average Points (per game): 5.4
xFPL Points/90: 6.02

Lukaku owners may feel a little hard done by going Rom over Ron. However, this must be viewed with the future in mind. With Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and Man City in his first five matches, Ronaldo was always going to outscore him. Now the fixture pendulum swings (heavily!) in Chelsea’s favour. It will be interesting to see how many managers who have benefitted from Ronaldo’s hauls will now make the jump to Lukaku, despite his two blanks. Between now and GW14 I believe Lukaku outscores Ronaldo and saves managers £1m in the process.

Mikhail Antonio (£8.0m / 43.6%)

Fixtures
Next Six: (BRE, eve, TOT, avl, LIV, wol)
FDR Rating: 18 (Average)

Form
Total Points: 47
Average Points (per game): 9.4
xFPL Points/90: 8.89

Antonio is neck and neck with Salah for points per game despite blanking and getting a red card in GW4. This is a strong indicator of his haul potential. If Antonio were a £12m striker, we’d all be giving him the armband most weeks. One of the reasons why I am perfectly okay with not owning both Ronaldo and Lukaku is because I have this guy. I believe Antonio will just keep on banging them in until his hamstring goes. If you have not got him, get him now.

Allan Saint-Maximin (£6.8m / 15.8%)

Fixtures
Next Six: (wol, TOT, cry, CHE, bha, BRE)
FDR Rating: 16 (Great)

Form
Total Points: 35
Average Points (per game): 5.83
xFPL Points/90: 5.14

Seeing ASM against Watford earned him a place in my team. He was outstanding. With good fixtures coming up and occupying a budget price point, I like the flexibility ASM offers. Given that I am going big at the back, I will either be playing a 4-3-3 or a 4-4-2 and ASM can shuffle on and off the bench as fixtures dictate. He will be gone at GW17 regardless, but that is a long way off yet.


Please note, as always, there is still potential for tinkering so my post-deadline GW7 may have a few changes from the above. If I move away from Trent, I will keep the £1.5m in the bank needed to bring him back. The other likely change is downgrading one of my £6.5m midfielders to ESR to free up funds to be spent elsewhere (maybe even upgrading Brownhill to give a deeper bench), we will see.