January Wildcard Special : Play it your way! Part 1

Play it your way

Firstly, Happy New Year from the #FY team.

For the Fantasy Football enamored amongst us the New Year brings a late Christmas present…


To help you decide how to best approach the January Wildcard FantasyYIRMA.com will be running a series of articles looking at different perspectives.


Play it your way Part 1: LINK

Play it your way Part 2: LINK

Play it your way Part 3: LINK

First up we are delighted to feature a guest post from the 2012/13 FPL CHAMPION  Matthew Martyniak

Matt finished top of the #FPL tree last season beating out 2.6 million (!!!) players to take the title. Big thanks to Matt for his time and contribution to the site with this excellent post.

Make sure and follow Matt on twitter if you are not already on @spiderm4tt

Here are his thoughts on the January WC…

Here is Matt en route to Hong Kong last summer as part of his prize for WINNING 2012/13 FPL

Here is Matt en route to Hong Kong last summer as part of his prize for WINNING 2012/13 FPL

How will I use my January wildcard…?

This is a question I am often asked; ‘How will I use my January wildcard?’

In the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) we get two wildcards (WCs). One is the ‘normal WC’, which can be used at any point throughout the season, the other is the January WC, which can only be used in January, hence its name.

While some FPL managers cannot wait for the January WC activation date after the Gameweek twenty (GW20) deadline to ‘sort out’ their FPL team due to injuries, suspensions, poor players etc; there will be plenty of FPL managers out there, like myself, that are fairly happy with their FPL team and squad, and therefore feel that they do not need to use it immediately, as one or two free transfers over the next few GWs could ‘fix’ any small problems they may have.

So when is the best time to use it?

I have always said the best way to use a WC in general is – when you feel you need to use it.

Here I have previously discussed my thoughts on the best way to use a WC: Link to FFPundits

The best way I feel to utilise a WC is to either to prepare for a double GW (DGW), or to ‘clean up’ your team after a DGW.  The reason why I feel it is best to use a WC around DGWs is so that you can have many DGW players in your FPL team in order to maximise your GW score potential.  These are the WC tactics I successfully utilised during my FPL title win last season. I used my January WC to prepare for DGWs (DGW22 & 23), while my normal WC was used to ‘clean up’ after a DGW (DGW1).

Here is my FPL title winning review article that explains my WC usage last season: Link to FISO

Other reasons for activating the WC is for restructuring your team due to injuries, suspensions, poor FPL players, and/or gaining team value by ‘jumping on’ the player price rises.

The January wildcard is same as the ‘normal WC’….. But it is also slightly different!

The January WC should be utilised in the same way to an extent as the ‘normal WC’.  However, the January WC differs slightly from the normal season WC.  This is because the January WC, as obvious as it sounds, can only be used in January!  Other differences are when using this WC are that the player price gains in January may not be as profitable as during early season WCs due to the already moderate to high ownership on the best FPL players.  And unless there is snow over the next few weeks to disrupt Premier League fixtures (This cannot be relied on!) then the chances of a DGW occurring this January is unlikely.

So if there are no DGWs in January, which is looking highly likely to be this way at present, and I am happy with my team and my squad that has no major pressing injury/suspensions/poor form concerns, and also with a slim chance of me making any ‘useful profit’ from player price gains……then when is the best time for me to use the January WC?

I will most probably wait until the end of January before I activate it..…..most probably after the GW23 deadline.  This way I can keep my January WC as ‘insurance’ just in case there are any major injuries, suspensions, and poor form that may occur to my FPL team over the next few GWs.

Also it can be advantageous for me to use my January WC as late as possible due to the January transfer window that closes at midnight U.K. time on 31st January only a few hours before the GW24 deadline. And as we all know, many of the Premier League transfers during the January transfer window mainly occur during the final week of January, and even right up to very last moment.

However, it is not just important for me to look at the players transferring to and from Premier League clubs to see whether I want them or not – but it is also important for me to look how that player, or players, may ‘impact’ their Premier League team once they have arrived or departed…..and therefore, will this ‘impact’ help or hinder my other players I have, want or not want, in my FPL team/squad?

So in having the option of transferring in/out FPL players during this period via my January WC may hopefully prove fruitful for my FPL team in the subsequent February GWs, and beyond.

Good luck with your January WC everyone – use it when it is right for you!

I would just like to say thank you and best wishes to FantasyYIRMA and to all the FPL managers out there – I hope 2014 brings you all many green arrows!

Happy New Year everyone!

Matt (@spiderm4tt)

FPL Champion 2012/13

FantasyYIRMA would like to take this opportunity to highlight Matt’s personal charity Fantasy league. You can read about it here http://www.justgiving.com/Matthew-Martyniak where he is raising money for the incredibly worthy charity, Save the Children


The good folk at the PremierLeague have outlined the basics for us. How you decide to play it is up to you! Good Luck




Posted on 4 Jan 2014, in Player Selection and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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