I haven’t made any FPL content this season, but some of the advice I’m seeing regarding GW13 wildcards is terrible. I’m on a wildcard, and this is clearly the best draft. I shouldn’t share it, really, but I’d feel guilty if I didn’t try and help people.
I have a tendency to waffle, so I’ll try and keep this brief, because all people want is the players. In fact, sod it, I’ll start with the squad, for those who are short of time, then give the justifications after.
This is the wildcard squad you should be going with:
No Arsenal defence:
People are saying an Arsenal defender is vital on a Gameweek 13 wildcard. I just don’t see it, even as cover, because you simply aren’t going to play them. Let’s look at White as the example.
Is White a better option than Gomez in Gameweek 13? No, because Gomez plays Forest.
Is White a better option than Trippier in Gameweek 14? No, because Trippier is at home to Villa, plays in a better defence, and has much greater bonus points and attacking return potential.
Is White a better option than Mee in Gameweek 15? No, because Mee plays Forest, whereas White plays Chelsea.
You could argue he’s a better option than Gomez in Gameweek 16, especially if Gomez is dropped. If not, though, Gomez plays Southampton at home. So, in the two gameweeks where you might play White over Gomez, White has Southampton away and Wolves away, whereas Gomez has Forest away and Southampton at home. Gomez is the better option.
And all that rotation is even assuming you bench Trippier against Spurs and Chelsea and Trent against Spurs. There’s arguments to just start them, in which case, you don’t need White at all.
If you want an Arsenal defensive player, you may as well get Ramsdale, because you’ll actually play him. I’ll come on to goalkeepers later on.
No Mo Salah:
I am amazed that 99% of content creators are advocating owning Salah on a Wildcard. I can only think it’s either confirmation bias because they own him, or they have already played their wildcard and they are trying to hamstring their rivals.
Salah is a £13m player who you won’t captain, who has been out of form since February – eight months! – and who is hogging the lines so much you’d think he had a cocaine problem. It’s just not worth it. Could he get played centre forward, explode and get 15-20 points in a game? Sure, he has that potential. Darwin actually is playing centre forward, he has an xGi per 90 minutes comparable to Haaland, and he’s £4m cheaper. Even if Salah does get 15-20 points in a game, you won’t double that total, because you won’t captain him, and you’ll weaken your squad considerably.
To put this into perspective, Salah is being outscored by Almiron – yes, ALMIRON – this season. Not just in FPL points, but in actual goals. This wildcard is for four weeks. If you’re going to use it to get Salah in, you may as well just not play it.
Get Salah back in Gameweek 17, by all means, if he starts to show some form. To get him now, though, you’re just chasing a mirage, and even if he does bang, the benefits aren’t worth the cost to your squad balance.
The only content creator I have seen advocate a No Salah approach is @FPL_Salah, and I think (it was late when I watched it, forgive me for not remembering properly) @TheFPLWire discussed it, though I don’t recall if they advocated the approach. Those are the content creators I will be paying much more attention to going forward.
Guaita and Guehi:
Guaita and Guehi are getting attention, but they play in a team who has been crap defensively this season. I see people arguing for them in defence and it’s like, are you not following the football? Palace were decent at the back last year, but this season they have been awful. “Oh, but they’re cheap.” Raya is the same price as Guaita, and Gameweek 16 aside, he is far more likely to keep clean sheets and get save points. For the same price as Guehi, you can get Pinnock, who plays Villa, Wolves and Forest in his next three, and who you won’t need in Gameweek 16. If you got Guehi at £4.3m, you can get Justin, who has almost identical fixtures except for Gameweek 14, when you won’t need him anyway.
Guaita and Guehi are bad choices. Avoid them.
There is no real stand-out pick among goalkeepers. Kepa will prove popular, but he has one of the toughest goalkeeper fixture runs. Guaita I have covered. Pickford looks like he has a decent run of games, but instead of the teams, look at the players: Zaha; Mitrovic; Vardy, Maddison and Barnes; Solanke. They don’t scream clean sheets to me. Everton are terrible defensively – they have the third-worst expected goals conceded in the league, and they are about to play a series of talismanic players.
For me, there are only three goalkeepers to consider – Pope, Ramsdale and Raya. If you want a £4.5m goalkeeper, get Raya. With the cover in this squad, you should have a spare transfer to replace him in Gameweek 16 if required, or you could just play Ward against West Ham. Ramsdale is the only Arsenal defensive player worth considering, because he is the only one you’ll play every week. However, Arsenal have only kept four clean sheets, and though their expected goals conceded is excellent, it means nothing if you concede one goal every game.
For me, I still find it hard to look beyond Pope. He is behind the league’s best defence. He has fixtures in Gameweeks 14 and 15 which should be nailed clean sheets. The games against Spurs and Chelsea will be tough, but those are the sort of fixtures Pope hauls in, and Newcastle will beat Chelsea at St. James’ Park. Ramsdale has to play Liverpool, which is the toughest game either goalkeeper has.
I think Pope remains the best keeper, but any of him, Ramsdale and Raya would be fine. Don’t even suggest Jose Sa, because Wolves are conceding in all four of their next fixtures.
Almiron over Andreas:
With No Salah, this is a no-brainer. Almiron is the better, more attacking player, who is on a hot streak of form, who is nailed for his place in a much better team, and who has the pace to hurt Spurs and Chelsea on the counter if called off your bench. With Isak and Saint-Maximin injured, he has become critical to all of Newcastle’s attacks, and is absolutely brimming with confidence and threat. Plus, he’s far more likely to rise in price, so even if you never play him, he can help you for Gameweek 17’s grand reset. Don’t over-think it – you can afford it, so do it.
I’m not 100% sold on Zaha, because Palace are flaky. He may be a talisman on penalties, but so is Bowen, and he plays at home thrice whereas Zaha is away thrice. However, Zaha thrived away from home last season, he has been the better player this season, and he is cheaper. For me, it would be a case of Zaha & Pope or Bowen & Raya, and I prefer the first option. Either should get you plenty of points though.
Toney is clearly the best option at his price bracket, given Mitrovic is managing an injury, Wilson is still regaining sharpness and Solanke plays for Bournemouth. Toney has Villa, Wolves and Forest in his next three. Bring an umbrella, because it’s raining goals. The only issue is he is one yellow from a suspension. However, with my squad, if he gets booked this gameweek, you bring in Almiron at home to Villa in Gameweek 14. If Toney gets booked in Gameweek 14, Almiron has Southampton in Gameweek 15, or you can use a transfer to bring in Scamacca – my choice for back-up option for Toney – at home to Palace. Get Toney, hope he avoids a yellow, but know that it isn’t an issue if he gets booked.
People will take issue with describing Trent as must-have, but it’s a four-gameweek wildcard, and he has great games – with the exception of Gameweek 15, which Mee covers beautifully. He’s a far worthier gamble than Salah, but if you’d rather not have him, maybe just get White and bench him for Mee instead in Gameweek 15. For me, though, that’s silly. Liverpool have Forest, Leeds and Southampton outside of Gameweek 15, two of which at home – these are the perfect fixtures for Trent to thrive. Make sure you benefit when he does.
Possible future transfers:
Toney to Scamacca in Gameweek 15 or 16.
Saka to Rashford, Trossard or Eze in Gameweek 15.
Gomez to White in Gameweek 16.
You probably won’t need any of them, given the balance of the squad, which rotates beautifully with strong cover, as you can see below.
That’s what my wildcard squad gets you each gameweek WITHOUT transfers. You can’t seriously look at that and tell me it needs Salah, because you’re just wrong. With the three free transfers played, you’re going to have a field day.
If you’re on a wildcard, stop messing around and just follow my suggestions – even if you tweak them slightly (e.g. Zaha to Bowen and Pope to Raya). You don’t even need to thank me when you start flying up the ranks, I’m just glad to help.
I used to be shite at this game, then last season I changed the way I played and finished in the top 10k. Right now, I’m inside the top 30k with all chips in hand and my wildcard active. I’ve written books about my progress, strategy changes, tactics and rise from a 4.8m rank to an elite finish. So far, I’m on course to replicate that. Find out how I did it in these books:
I have slashed the eBook price of each to £1.99, with the complete anthology only £3.99. I’m just trying to help. Copy my wildcard, then buy my books. You will be grateful you did. And, ahead of Gameweek 13, may all your transfers be successful, may all your arrows be green, and may the FPL Gods be in your favour.
I’ve missed writing about FPL. I doubt it’ll be thirteen gameweeks before I do so again. Cheers.
"One of the most insightful works I've read on mental health problems in men ... It is very well-written and a real page-turner. I would recommend it to anyone.
Dancing With Disorder
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The FPL Nightmare: How to Lose the World's Greatest Mini-League in 38 Simple Steps
The FPL Nightmare II:
The Crying, the Hits and the VAR Probe
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The Lawes Rank Redemption
The Complete FPL Nightmare Trilogy:
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Having completed the FPL Nightmare book trilogy, Lawes no longer provides weekly updates on his progress. Instead, he occasionally offers advice to his fellow FPL managers.
Of course, the FPL Gods remain bastards, and they conspire to make his advice look foolish.