Here at The Stats Zone, we are producing a series of articles looking at the chip strategies used by the top 1000 players from the 2018-19 FPL season.
This article focuses on the WILDCARD chips.
The usage of a first wildcard predominantly falls into one of two categories. It is activated to fix a starting squad that has begun the season badly or it is activated in an attempt to gain value at an optimum time. This general usage is supported by the top 1000 players of the 2018-19 season.
GW5 – Activated by 23.0% of the top 1000 players. This gameweek represents the first international break of the season. Occurring so shortly after the opening of the new FPL season, it offers an excellent opportunity to bring in players that have started the season well but before they have gone up too much in value. The long period between matches also provides FPL managers an opportunity to gain value, which is vital for later on in the season.
GW9 – Activated by 10.4% of the top 1000 players. This gameweek represents the second international break of the season. Much like those wildcards activated on GW5, the two-week gap between fixtures allows the largest potential for gain in value, while also protecting the manager against multiple potential injuries to their squad in the international break.
GW4 – Activated by 9.3% of the top 1000 players. Activated so soon after the start of the season and before the international break has been done to fix an initial squad that is struggling for points. The early activation also allows FPL managers to jump on any potential bandwagons early and gain vital squad value.
GW7 – Activated by 8.3% of the top 1000 players in order to prep for the upcoming weeks after the initial period of the season has settled down. A slightly later activation allows FPL managers more time to better judge which FPL players’ form seems temporary and those where it appears more permanent.
GW20 – Activated by 7.6% of the top 1000 players. This is the final gameweek in which the first wildcard can be used.
GW34 – Activated by a massive 78.6% of the top 1000 players, saving their second wildcard until so late in the season allows FPL managers the largest flexibility when planning for the single and double gameweeks at this time in the season. This is particularly true for those managers that also have their triple captain, bench boost and free hit chips available.
All other gameweeks in which the top 1000 FPL managers activated their second wildcard have nominal representation when compared to GW34. They represented a combination of helping them through the blank / double gameweeks (GW32 and GW33) or usage around international breaks (GW22 / GW23).
For more of our 2018-19 chip strategy analysis of the top 1000 players, see below: