Are you wondering how to play the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) Wildcard? Or when to use it? Not to worry, you’ve come to the right place.
The Fantasy Premier League (FPL) Wildcard
The Wildcard is by far the most powerful chip in Fantasy Premier League. Veterans of the game will need no introduction, but those who are new to FPL can make the most out of this chip after reading this guide.
A Wildcard allows you to make unlimited changes to your team without incurring any point hits.
All FPL managers are given one free transfer per week and two free transfers if you roll (save) a transfer.
You cannot roll more than two free transfers so you would effectively ‘lose’ a transfer if you didn’t make a single change across two gameweeks.
Every additional transfer you make on top of your initial free transfer(s) results in a four-point hit per transfer.
For example, if you have one free transfer and you make three transfers, you will be deducted eight points from your total score.
However, with a Wildcard, you can make as many changes to your team as you want without losing any points.
When can I use the Wildcard in FPL?
We are provided with two Wildcards throughout the season.
The first can be used at any time before January. It expires in the last Gameweek of December, so the first Wildcard will be lost if you don’t use it.
The second Wildcard can be used at any time after the first one expires all the way until the end of the season.
To use the Wildcard you have to make your transfers. Upon confirming these changes, the option to play the Wildcard will appear.
After finalising these transfers, the chip is now active and you can transfer in as many players as you want before the upcoming deadline.
Once you confirm the Wildcard, it cannot be cancelled so ensure you want to play it before activating the chip.
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When Should you use Your First FPL Wildcard?
The key to a successful season often hinges on your Wildcard selection and when you decide to use it.
The beauty of the chip is that there are no rules on when you have to play them.
Yet it’s important to avoid being reactionary and not use the Wildcard after one bad Gameweek.
The first Wildcard can be played to target fixture swings that need to be identified when picking your Gameweek 1 squad.
For example, you can identify some teams’ fixtures picking up after Gameweek 5. You can pick your initial team for the first five Gameweeks, then Wildcard after Gameweek 5 to take advantage of these fixture swings. This is where our fixture ticker can help you.
The Optimal Strategy for the Second Wildcard in FPL
The second Wildcard is a different kettle of fish. Since the introduction of additional chips, mainly the Bench Boost and Triple Captain, the way we use the second Wildcard has changed drastically.
A popular strategy is to use the Bench Boost in a double Gameweek where certain players will have two fixtures within a Gameweek.
The second Wildcard can be used to load up on 15 of these double Gameweek players a week or two in advance. This sets your team up in a really strong position to maximise these double Gameweek opportunities.
There has been a debate among fantasy football purists about whether this is the optimal strategy. You can gain huge scores from this method in a short period of time.
On the other hand, you are sacrificing other Gameweeks in the process by fixating on the double Gameweeks.
There is also the potential issue of using the Wildcard too late in the season and not gaining more points in the long-term by using the chip earlier.
I have used the Wildcard to Bench Boost strategy ever since the chips were introduced and have done well with them. I still don’t believe this is the only way, and I know many who have taken different approaches and remained successful. As they say, there are many ways to skin a cat.
Price Changes and Your FPL Wildcard
Another advantage of using the Wildcard is you can jump on players who are rising in price which boosts your team value. This tactic is only eligible on the first Wildcard early on in the campaign when price changes are extremely volatile.
It can propel your season and give you a slight advantage for your second Wildcard as you have more money to buy the players you want.
I don’t pay as much attention to price changes compared to most managers but it’s still important to be aware of price changes. Read our comprehensive price changes guide for more information on this.
If you plan to get rid of a player with a lot of money tied up in them, make sure you are 100% certain as you can’t buy them back at the same price. You will have to buy those players at their current price which will either leave you short or cause your team value to decrease.
As discussed throughout the article, it’s essential to think of your Wildcard as a long-term solution rather than a short-term fix. Plan your Wildcard, be patient, and do not use it on a whim or as a knee-jerk reaction.
The Wildcard is the strongest chip available to us and using it well will likely define your entire season.
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