Playing your wildcard

The wildcards are a little different to choosing a team the start of the season in that we all have (hopefully) more than £100M to play with, and we have some players who if we sell we won’t get the same price as the price we paid.

1) Recalculate the rank and PPMPG for the players in your team based on the player sale price. This allows you to compare other players to your current crop of players based on their selling price rather than their buying price. A good example is Michu might be poor value at £8.5M but perhaps you bought him at £6.5M and can sell him for £7.5M, and at £7.5M he is good value for money. If you want me to do this for you please get in touch.

2) Create a bench. Our view on a Fantasy Football bench is that it should contain players who play every game so that you know they are there when you need them, but also be as cheap as possible because the bench is full of players who are not earning you points. Each 2 million pounds not on the pitch is 1 point lost per week.

I’m not saying this is the case all the time. For example, it is fine to have perhaps one or two strong bench players for the double game weeks, but most of the time it is money that should be on the pitch earning points. I you have a £7M player on the bench rather than £4M player, then you are losing around 2 points per game.

Our default team is 3-4-3. We can change this later, but it is our starting position. Therefore, for the bench we need a good goalkeeper, two defenders and a midfielder. Use the Latest Stats table to choose two cheap defenders priced between £3.8M and £4.3M with high a Points Per Game Per Million value; a cheap midfielder priced under £5.5M with high a Points Per Game Per Million value; and a cheap goalkeeper priced under £4.5M with high a Points Per Game Per Million value.

On the 22nd January 2012 I picked

Federici (RDG, 4.4., 17.64 PPMG)
Martin R (NOR, £4.1, 19.2 PPMG)
Shaw (SOU, £4, 18.48 PPMG)
Ramirez (SOU, £5.6, 20.72 PPMG)

3) Make a first cut of your first 11 team based purely on the stats. A reasonable rule is “must have played 90 mins or more in the last 4 weeks, and must have played in more than 60% of the games this season”. This rule allows your to focus on the regular players in your first cut. You can also consider player bought by teams in January. The Who’s Hot table can give you a hand with this, as can the Latest Stats, as these tables only include players who have played a lot recently.

The team you generate in this step gives you a basis for playing around. You should expect to have money left over after this step, so in step 4 you will upgrade cheaper players for more expensive players, and you should also expect to remove players with tough fixtures. However, following this step will give you some tips on cheap players regardless of the system you play.

On the 22nd January 2012 I used the following process


The best goalkeeper with over 1000 minutes of playing time, on a PPMG basis was Bergovic (as I bought him at £4.5M at the start of the season).



The three best ranked defenders with over 1000 mins of playing time, who were not injured

O’Brien (WHU, £4.4, 26.29 PPMG)
Caulker (TOT, £4.7, 20.75 PPMG)
Demel (WHU, £4, 19.62 PPMG)
Note: Evans J (MUN, £5.8, 18.85 PPMG) and Bassong (NOR, £5.2, 18.69 PPMG) were at this time marked as injured.

This formation would leave me with 2 West Ham defenders, so I dropped Demel and brought in the next on the list, Nelsen (QPR, £4, 18.19 PPMG). Oh, Nelsen was heading off to manage Toronto. So I dropped Nelsen and brought in Davies (SWA, £4.2, 17.94 PPMG).



The top 4 mids with 1000 mins of playing time were

Walcott (ARS, £9, 22.27 PPMG)
Puncheon (SOU, £5, 22.04 PPMG)
Routledge (SWA, £5.5, 21.36 PPMG)
De Guzman (SWA, £5.7, 21.18 PPMG)
I did not want two Swansea and two Southampton mids (Ramirez was marked for my bench), so I dropped De Guzman and Ramirez. Next on the list were Hernandez (SWA, £5.9, 20.6 PPMG) and Dyer (SWA, £5.2, 20.37 PPMG), both who play for Southampton and Swansea! As Harry Hill says “what are the chances!”. So I look again. The next two were Brunt (WBA, £5.5, 20.35 PPMG) and Fellaini (EVE, £7.5, 19.2 PPMG). So I pick these.



The top 3 forwards with 1000 mins of playing time were:

Lukaku (WBA, £6.6, 24.5 PPMG)
Ruiz (FUL, £5.4, 22.1 PPMG)
Pogrebnyak (RDG, £4.3, 21.86 PPMG)

So this gave me a first cut team of (players in brackets are for the bench)

Bergovic (Federici)

O’Brien, Caulker, Martin R, (Shaw, Davies)

Walcott, Routledge, Brunt, Fellaini (Puncheon)

Lukaku, Ruiz, Pogrebnyak

…and 25million in the bank not earning me points!


4) Now we upgrade these players to ones with higher points potential.
To do this look at the player rank, and pick the top 5 goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and forwards with the highest rank. Also look at the rank of the players in your “first cut team”. Compare the lowest ranked player on your “first cut team” with the highest ranked player on your ranked list. The players with the greatest difference should be swapped. Keep in mind the need to keep the bench under £20M

On the 22nd January 2012 I had


Begovic (STK, £5.1, 18.63 PPGM, 95 rank)
Cech (CHE, £6.4, 14.71 PPGM, 94.13 rank)
Lloris (TOT, £5.9, 15.89 PPGM, 93.76 rank)
Tremmel (SWA, £4.1, 22.32 PPGM, 91.50 rank)
Mignolet (SUN, £5.3, 17.17 PPGM, 91 rank)
Jaaskelainen (WHU, £4.9, 17.5 PPGM, 85.73 rank)
Federici (RDG, £4.4, 17.64 PPGM, 77.63 rank)


O’Brien (WHU, £4.4, 26.29 PPGM, 115.68 rank)
Naughton (TOT, £4.2, 27.23 PPGM, 114.38 rank)
Ivanovic (CHE, £7.1, 15.93 PPGM, 113.07 rank)
Evans J (MUN, £5.8, 18.85 PPGM, 109.3 rank)
Evra (MUN, £7.1, 15.31 PPGM, 108.73 rank)
Zabaleta (MCI, £6, 17.81 PPGM, 106.86 rank)
Lescott (MCI, £5.8, 17.33 PPGM, 100.51 rank)
Azpilicueta (CHE, £5.6, 17.87 PPGM, 100.05 rank)
Nastasic (MCI, £5.6, 17.8 PPGM, 99.7 rank)
Caulker (TOT, £4.7, 20.75 PPGM, 97.52 rank)
Mertesacker (ARS, £5.3, 14.94 PPGM, 79.19 rank)
Martin R (NOR, £4.1, 19.2 PPGM, 78.72 rank)
Davies (SWA, £4.2, 17.94 PPGM, 75.36 rank)
Shaw (SOU, £4, 18.48 PPGM, 73.93 rank)


Walcott (ARS, £9, 22.27 PPGM, 200.44 rank)
Lampard (CHE, £8.4, 22.17 PPGM, 186.23 rank)
Mata (CHE, £9.5, 18.79 PPGM, 178.47 rank)
Bale (TOT, £9.8, 15.01 PPGM, 147.06 rank)
Hazard (CHE, £9.4, 15.63 PPGM, 146.95 rank)
Marveaux (NEW, £4.3, 34.02 PPGM, 146.27 rank)
Fellaini (EVE, £7.5, 19.2 PPGM, 143.98 rank)
Michu (SWA, £8, 17.91 PPGM, 143.29 rank)
Dempsey (TOT, £9, 14.79 PPGM, 133.1 rank)
Santi Cazorla (ARS, £9.6, 13.59 PPGM, 130.51 rank)
Henderson (LIV, £5.3, 24.41 PPGM, 129.38 rank)
Milner (MCI, £6.1, 21 PPGM, 128.1 rank)
Gerrard (LIV, £9.4, 13.62 PPGM, 128 rank)
Silva (MCI, £9.4, 13.54 PPGM, 127.3 rank)
Routledge (SWA, £5.5, 21.36 PPGM, 117.49 rank)
Brunt (WBA, £5.5, 20.35 PPGM, 111.94 rank)
Puncheon (SOU, £5, 22.04 PPGM, 110.22 rank)


Van Persie (MUN, £13.7, 13.41 PPGM, 183.7 rank)
Dzeko (MCI, £7.5, 24.43 PPGM, 183.2 rank)
Tevez (MCI, £8.9, 19.91 PPGM, 177.18 rank)
Lukaku (WBA, £6.6, 24.5 PPGM, 161.69 rank)
Anichebe (EVE, £4.3, 36.41 PPGM, 156.55 rank)
Petric (FUL, £5.4, 28.35 PPGM, 153.1 rank)
Suarez (LIV, £10.3, 14.04 PPGM, 144.56 rank)
Ba (CHE, £8.9, 15.85 PPGM, 141.09 rank)
Ruiz (FUL, £5.4, 22.1 PPGM, 119.35 rank)

This can look confusing, so I’ll do the step here. Take the lowest by “Rank” in each category and compare them to the highest by “Rank” in each category

Federici (RDG, £4.4, 17.64 PPGM, 77.63 rank vs Cech (CHE, £6.4, 14.71 PPGM, 94.13 rank)
Shaw (SOU, £4, 18.48 PPGM, 73.93 rank vs Naughton (TOT, £4.2, 27.23 PPGM, 114.38 rank)
Puncheon (SOU, £5, 22.04 PPGM, 110.22 rank vs Lampard (CHE, £8.4, 22.17 PPGM, 86.23 rank)
Ruiz (FUL, £5.4, 22.1 PPGM, 119.35 rank vs Van Persie (MUN, £13.7, 13.41 PPGM, 183.7 rank)
The differences in points are

Federici (77.63) vs Cech (94.13) = 16.5
Shaw (73.93) vs Naughton (114.38) = 40.45
Puncheon (110.22) vs Lampard (186.23) = 76.01
Ruiz (119.35) vs Van Persie (183.7) = 64.35
So I dropped Puncheon and brought in Lampard, which is fine as Brunt was priced at £5.5m meaning he can become my bench midfielder. This left me with 21.6M in the pot.

I repeated the step. The differences in Rank points were

Federici (77.63) vs Cech (94.13) = 16.5
Shaw (73.93) vs Naughton (114.38) = 40.45
Brunt (111.94) vs Mata (178.47) = 66.53
Ruiz (119.35) vs Van Persie (183.7) = 64.35
So I dropped Brunt and include Mata, which was fine as I moved Pog (at £4.3) to my bench, meaning I’d play 3-5-2. This left 17.6 in the pot so I kept going until the pot is used up.

Ruiz -> Van Persie and £9.3
Shaw -> Naughton and £9.1
Davies -> Ivanovic and £6.2
Martin R -> Evra and £3.2
Routledge -> Bale BUST! So no Bale.
So the team became

Bergovic (Federici)

Evra, Caulker, Ivanovic (O’Brien, Naughton)

Walcott, Lampard, Routledge, Mata, Fellaini

Lukaku, Van Persie (Pogrebnyak)

…with £3.2 in the bank.

5) The last step is to make an “Out List”. To do this we look at our players and say “Is there a good reason to drop them”. On the 22nd January 2012 I did

  • I don’t like having two spurs defenders, and Naughton is a squad player, so I added Naughton to my out list.
  • Looking at the fixtures using our game difficulty checker I could see West Brom had a tough run of games, so I added Lukaku to my out list.
  • It is important to have goalkeepers that rotate. By this we mean that if a goalkeeper is playing at home, your bench goal keeper should be playing away, and if your goalkeeper has a difficult fixture, then your bench goalkeeper should have an easy fixture. Again use the above game difficulty checker. I can see that Reading and Stoke rotate, so while Bergo has a tough game next week, I know Reading are playing Sunderland, so I can play Fedi, and thus none of my goalies go on my out list.

Following the above steps I get Naughton -> Zabaleta and Lukaku -> Dzeko, giving me

Bergovic (Federici)
O’Brien, Evra, Zabaleta, Ivanovic (Caulker)
Walcott, Lampard, Mata, Fellaini (Routledge)
Dzeko, Van Persie, (Pogrebnyak)

…and £0.5M in the bank

Note: later I dropped Dzeko, so you have to trust your gut and football knowledge too :)