Fantasy Champ Man GW5 preview: Wildcard special

With season three of Fantasy Champ Man underway, expert David (@FPL_Gills) is here to provide regular advice to the FPL community.


Whether you’re on a Wildcard this week, or holding out until Gameweek 7 (GW7), this guide will have you covered.

WILDCARD: WC5 or WC7?

A lot of the #ChampManFPL community are debating this question. Quite simply, the teams who have good fixtures in Gameweek 5 (GW5) have terrible fixtures in the following round, returning to favourable ones in GW7. Many teams have back-to-back home games both here and in Gameweek 8 (GW8), with the doubles for Chelsea and Blackburn to also consider. So do you ride it out, or hit the button? My advice is this – it depends on your team and your bench.

I’ve activated it already because I had three players either injured or suspended, plus three players with rotation issues, namely Ian Harte, Eyal Berkovic and Richard Rufus. However, if your bench is healthy, there’s every chance a -4 points hit should patch things up.

These clubs have an excellent run of fixtures and should be targeted on a GW5 Wildcard. All start with a home match, and have at least three of the next five games at home.

Prioritise transferring out your strikers with tough away games, such as Hamilton Ricard and Paulo Wanchope, as this is the area where it’s easier to predict returns. Thierry Henry, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Kevin Phillips are obvious premium picks this week. There’s also value to be had in Abbey and Libbra, both of whom have started the season well.

If you have centre backs with tricky away games, such as Gareth Southgate away to Man Utd, there’s a fair chance they’ll pick up a couple of bonus points, so might not be the worst players to own this week. Southgate then has a plum home game vs Leicester next week. I’d recommend not selling a defender for a hit if you plan to Wildcard in two weeks’ time. Check out the fixtures and plan accordingly.

These three clubs start with an away game this week, but still have excellent fixtures. You may find a long term hold or rotational bench options from these clubs.

Who should I target?

The question on everyone’s lips – if only it were that easy!

First, in defence. Chelsea now have a fantastic run of games and I would recommend the double-up. John Terry and Marcel Desailly will mop up the bonus points, whereas Mario Melchiot and Celestine Babayaro can do well with assists. All are £6m and are capable of an occasional goal too – take your pick.

After that, I’d be looking at a couple of premium defenders from the likes of Leeds (Rio Ferdinand), Liverpool (Igor Biscan and Sami Hyypia) and any from Man Utd. Arsenal should improve, so Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell are options too. For budget picks, defenders from Sunderland (Emerson Thome, Pierre Issa) and Everton (Jason McAteer, David Unsworth) have nice runs and the Ipswich boys shouldn’t be ignored, despite their tougher fixtures.

For midfield, I’d recommend one or two premiums to start. It’s harder to predict returns with these, so this is more of a long-term hold. Juan Sebastian Veron is the best in the game but hasn’t had the greatest of starts, so it depends on how you feel. Alternatively, Luke Chadwick is now on corners, and Benito Carbone has the Chelsea double in GW8. Also on my radar are Arsenal, particularly Robert Pires & Andrey Tikhonov. Alongside these are midfielders that performed well last season and are similarly-priced, namely Gary Teale, Julio Arca, Petkov, Lee Bowyer & Kieron Dyer.

If you’re wildcarding in GW7, keep your eye on players from Leicester, Bolton and Liverpool, whose fixtures turn in a couple of weeks.

For budget picks, look at the players that have started regularly. I’d recommend the excellent whitebeard.top data trove for detailed stats on each player. Kevin Nolan at Norwich is very popular in the community and I’ve seen Jobi McAnuff in many teams, as Leicester have five home games in their next six.

For goalkeepers, there’s no stand out option at present. Chris Kirkland (£5m) is currently playing but is a rotation risk for Liverpool. Magnus Hedman has had a great start for Coventry but their fixtures turn in GW7 and his form surely won’t last. There are several £4.5m options and Matteo Sereni looks the best for Spurs but his back up in Tota isn’t on the bench so this is also a risk. I’d look at either a £5m/£4m combination from the same team or two rotating £4.5m keepers.

Finally, up front, pick the best three within your budget for the next week or two. As I’ve said before, this is where you want to prioritise your transfers, as this is where the points are. The excellent sims by the Man On Podcast this week have Leeds to perform well at Bolton and Arsenal to score healthily versus Ipswich.

These clubs all have a home game in GW6, but less than favourable fixtures either side. Unless you want a cheap bench option, I’d avoid on a GW5 wildcard.

One last point – I’d make sure your wildcard has as many ‘nailed’ players as possible, as this game loves to surprise us with injuries – it’s why we love it, right? But it’s probably worth having one risky pick in order to differentiate from the crowd. I’d recommend Harte, who’s started Leeds’ last three, as he is on set piece duties. I’d also consider Olivier Bernard – a defender playing out of position on left wing for Newcastle who costs only £4.5m – even though he’s wanted by a a couple of clubs. Finally, Gary Breen (Ipswich), Thompson and Mills (both Aston Villa) are all £4m and are starting regularly at present.

Best of luck with the wildcard planning. Make sure you engage with the #ChampManFPL community on the Discord and YouTube channels with links on my previous articles, or tweet me.

Fantasy Football Community