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Not played your Wildcard? Here's what to do

The Scout 11 Nov 2016
Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Tottenham Hotspur

With, more than half of managers yet to use chip, The Scout advises on pre-30 December plans

Seven Gameweeks remain before the first of the season's two Wildcards expires and more than half of Fantasy Premier League managers have yet to use theirs.

The 61% of managers who have yet to use the chip must do so before 7pm GMT on 30 December, before the Friday kick-off between Hull City and Everton in Gameweek 19.

A second Wildcard is available for the second half of the season, but the first cannot be carried over beyond that date. 

The current international break offers another opportunity in which to deal the Wildcard. 

The extended period between Gameweeks affords more time to plot transfers and, with both Eden Hazard (£10.1m) and Philippe Coutinho (£8.7m) attracting big investment, it presents a means of acquiring their services and shuffling the squad.

Careful planning is required for those looking beyond Gameweek 12.

While the Wildcard can be effective for setting up the squad for a busy festive schedule of fixtures, it is not wise to delay it until one of the shortened Gameweek periods (see table below). 

Gameweeks remaining until first Wildcard deadline

GW Days after GW deadline
13 7
14 7
15 7
16 4
17 9
18 4

The gap between Gameweeks 16 and 17 and Gameweeks 18 and 19 is four days, restricting the time to mull over squad selection. 

The Boxing Day fixtures in Gameweek 18 appear to present a more efficient window.

If the Wildcard is activated after the Gameweek 17 deadline it would allow nine days of planning before the 11.30am GMT cut-off on Boxing Day.

Rest and rotation could be a factor for these fixtures, giving those with Wildcards in play the chance to ensure their bench is stocked with active players who can replace any absentees. 

There is a potential advantage in attempting to schedule the Wildcard.

By doing so, transfers made up to that point can also be planned, knowing there will be the opportunity to refresh the squad.

In this way, FPL managers can look to take more risks with their trades, targeting potentially profitable differentials.

Plan the Wildcard prior to Gameweek 18, for example, and FPL managers could look to the Gameweek 17 fixtures and consider one or even two short-term moves. 

Tottenham Hotspur play Burnley at home in Gameweek 17, promoting Harry Kane (£10.7m) as a potential acquisition.

Those who have Wildcards to play for Gameweek 18 could bring in Kane as a one-week option, knowing they can immediately trade him out with their Wildcard.

Kane is owned by only 5.3% of FPL managers and, while favouring him over popular forwards such as Romelu Lukaku (£9.8m) and Diego Costa (£10.5m) looks a gamble in the mid-term, by planning the Wildcard the Spurs forward could present a differential that can be exploited for a single Gameweek.

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