Well, I succumbed to the urge. There was really no pressing need to do it, but I couldn’t help myself. On Thursday I pulled the trigger on my Wildcard chip.
Below is how Game Week 6 played out for me. You’ll see that I got some nice returns from almost all my defenders, but pretty much everyone else was a disappointment. Only Mohamed Salah earned more than the standard 2 points that players are awarded just for being on the pitch for two halves. His assist brought him to 5 points, which were then doubled to 10 by the captain’s armband. Raheem Sterling never got off the bench and was auto-subbed out for Tammy Abraham’s yet-another 2.
I finished Game Week 6 on 53 points, pretty much on par with the global average of 52. That’s not a terrible result, but frankly I was just pretty bored with my team, and had some names in mind that I wanted to bring in. So I burned my Wildcard chip to acquire the squad below.
Caglar Söyüncü became a cheap route into a stingy Leicester defense that I thought had the best chance at a clean sheet in GW 7. I’ll bench him against Liverpool in game week 8, but he’ll return to my S11 after that to face Burnley, Southampton, and Crystal Palace. I upgraded Andrew Robertson to Trent Alexander-Arnold because of TAA’s superior attacking threat. And I brought in Nicolas Otamendi because he’ll be a guaranteed starter on one of the league’s two best teams. I purchased Issa Diop merely as a 5th defender because he’s a starter in a solid West Ham defensive unit that has a good run of upcoming fixtures. He’ll fit the bill when one of my premium defenders is a doubt or has an unfavorable match-up.
Even though I knew Sterling would probably start Game Week 7 after his rest for Game Week 6, I still dumped him for Kevin De Bruyne, whom I think brings better value and saved me more than £2. Ryan Fraser has mostly been a disappointment for me, so he and Leander Dendoncker were jettisoned for Mason Mount and Isaac Hayden. Mount will be a regular starter for me given his form and Chelsea’s schedule, while Hayden serves as a value-play 5th middie who scores better than Dendoncker for just £0.1 more.
Finally, using the funds I freed up by selling Lucas Digne and Raheem Sterling, I upgraded Joshua King to Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang. Through six games King had managed only two assists and a single goal, and his price had declined by £0.2. I eagerly dropped him for PEA, who had scored 6 goals over the same time frame and whose upcoming fixture list looks bright.
So how did things work out? Well, here’s the Game Week 7 team I would have fielded if I hadn’t played my Wildcard, along with their returns for the week:
- Ederson (4)
- Robertson (6) Lundstram (2) Digne (1)
- Salah (5) Sterling (7)
FraserDendoncker (2) Cantwell (2)
- Abraham (2 x 2) Pukki (2) King (12)
So Dendoncker would have come in for Fraser, adding his 2 points to the 45 from the starting lineup to bring the grand total to 47.
Not too bad, but let’s see how my Wildcard team actually did work out:
Söyüncü and TAA both got me clean sheets, but there were none of the attacking returns I had hoped for from the Liverpool man. City conceded to Everton and Otamendi was shown yellow, so his return was a meager 1 point. Mount and KDB both produced, but Cantwell blanked and Salah continued his goal drought away from Anfield (but did pick up an extra point for Liverpool’s CS). Pukki came away empty-handed and I squandered my armband on Abraham, but PEA managed to bag his seventh goal of the season and also snagged 3 bonus points. Unfortunately, his 9 points were still short of the 12 I would have earned if I had hung on to King. But in the end I finished the week on 52 points — 5 more than I would have had if I had kept my powder dry, but only 1 more than the week’s global average.
So I’m fairly satisfied. I like the names in my new squad a lot better than the names I had in my old one, and anyway, I didn’t cash in my Wildcard chip just for a one-week bump. This is a team full of players whose mid-range prospects I really like (although Hayden, on my sub bench, was shown straight red for a rash tackle yesterday), so over time I think it will outperform my pre-WC squad.
What do you think? Did I drop the right players? Did I buy the right players? Was it a mistake to even use my Wildcard in the first place? Please share your assessment in the comments below.