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What is a wildcard in FPL – when to use it

By 7 September 2021No Comments

In this article, we are going to be covering what is a wildcard in FPL and when to use a wildcard effectively.

After establishing the fundamentals of ‘How to play FPL’, it is important to start gaining a deeper understanding of the key parts of the game. With the wildcard being one of the most important, we will provide the key tips on how to utilise it to succeed this season.

What is a FPL wildcard?

When a wildcard is activated, you can make unlimited transfers for that gameweek without taking a points hit. A manager gets 2 wildcards throughout the season, the first available after GW1 until GW20 (Tuesday 28th December). If this wildcard is not used by a manager, it cannot be carried over into the second half of the season. The second wildcard is available after GW20, and is available through to the final gameweek of the season. Once confirmed, the Wildcard chip cannot be cancelled.

It is subjective as to which chip is the most effective, as each have their time-and-place to make a significant impact. However, we think that the Wildcard is the most powerful chip available to a manager. The reason for this is because of the ability to change your entire side without the consequences of a points hit. It effectively allows you to reset and start fresh.

How to play a wildcard

Now that managers know what a wildcard in FPL is, we can now cover how to play it:

  1. Select ‘Transfers’ in the top nav of the Fantasy Premier League desktop site
  2. Remove and add as many players as necessary until the full squad has been selected within the allocated budget.
  3. Above your team there will be a button labelled ‘Play Wildcard’, which will be highlighted once a manager exceeds their free transfer limit.
  4. Once the button is selected, a pop-box will highlight further information regarding activating the wildcard.
  5. The final step is to click ‘make transfers’ – button below the team – which will show a final pop-up box. The option ‘Confirm transfers and play wildcard’ will be available which can be selected to finalise the wildcard.

Warning: Ensure that this option is available, if not, it might mean that the wildcard hasn’t been correctly selected (step 3).

Once those moves have been made, the wildcard is active and unlimited transfers can be made up until the gameweek deadline.

 

The steps above are applicable to using the desktop website but this can also be accessed on the mobile app. Check out our video below which discusses how to play a wildcard on mobile.

When to use a FPL wildcard?

For many, the Wildcard is an opportunity to have a new lease on their FPL lives if the squad becomes full of underperforming players. We suggest not using the Wildcard chip unless you have a significant number of players to ship out of your side. 3 or 4 players can be transferred with a 8 or 12 points hit and while this is a big points hit, we recommend playing the wildcard once you plan on transferring out 5/6+ players.

Unlike some of the other chips, timing of this chip is usually very dependent on the individual and their squad. An early Wildcard can sometimes be a popular strategy for some managers, with early risks not coming off. The first international break of the season presents an interesting and compelling opportunity to play the Wildcard. This is because it gives you a 2-week break to assess your FPL options.

Due to the unlimited transfers of the Wildcard, you can use the chip to own players that are rising in price, with the potential of getting a £0.1m price rise to add to squad value. This will give you additional money to spend on your final wildcard squad at the end of the break, a tactic used by many managers.

Again, as mentioned previously there is no perfect time to use the Wildcard. It should be relevant to your own squad, but most importantly used when you need to make mass changes to the side.

Wildcard top tips

Don’t fear using the wildcard early

Playing a wildcard early in the season can sometimes scare managers as it feels too premature to use one of the most valuable chips available. However, as we have touched on previously, playing the wildcard early should be strongly considered by all managers.

Creating a squad for gameweek 1 can be tricky as predicting line-ups and how teams start the season can be almost impossible to guess. Some players can enjoy early season form while hidden gems can emerge that seem too hot to not own.

This is a common problem at the start of a season with these challenges arising and the wildcard can be a perfect solution. Instead of taking multiple points hits to rectify some issues in the team, using the wildcard can avoid this and set the team up for the coming months.

Protect player value

Once the wildcard has been activated, it can be tempting to dump all the previously owned players and draft multiple new teams until the deadline. The issue with this and something managers forget about is the player value that can be lost.

Owning certain individuals for a duration of time might see their price rise on several occasions, making them more valuable. If managers were to sell that player during the wildcard, he would be more expensive to buy-back due to that price rise – for a better understanding of FPL prices check out our ‘How to play FPL’ guide.

Our advice is to only transfer out players that you are certain you don’t want to own in the wildcard team. Hold the players that are still a question mark which can then be decided on prior to that gameweek deadline. Using this strategy means that you don’t waste any money buying back a player sold while trying to plan a wildcard team.

Thank you for taking the time to read our ‘What is a wildcard’ guide. We hope we have covered the basics to get managers up-and-running for the start of the season.

Of course, FPL is a complicated game and there are likely many more questions that need to be answered. Thankfully we will be dropping weekly articles that should help answer any of these questions.

If you want additional, exclusive FPL content, then head over to our Patreon channel. With exclusive Q&A podcasts, team reveals and private leagues, you don’t want to miss out!

Be sure to check us out on YouTube for regular FPL content and also follow us on Twitter for any specific questions you may have – we are always free to help!

Good luck and remember to enjoy!

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