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FPL Wildcard: What Is It and Best Time to Use

The Wildcard chip is a hugely important part of Fantasy Premier League.

It is one of four chips you get to use throughout the season. Those chips are Wildcard, Triple Captain, Free Hit, and Bench Boost.

Using your Wildcard correctly can make or break an FPL season. Consequently, it is worth taking the time to fully understand what it does and the optimum times to use it.

What Is a Wildcard in FPL?

The FPL Wildcard chip is an exhaustible bonus (chip) allowing you to make infinite transfers to your team for the gameweek you use it.

You are allowed to make one free transfer per gameweek in Fantasy Premier League. If you save one from the previous gameweek, two free transfers can be made.

Any transfer you make in addition to your allocation is met with a 4-point deduction.

The Wildcard takes away this 4-point penalty. As a result, you can change your entire team (within the confines of your budget) without losing any points.

Unlike the Free Hit chip, the transfers you make when using a Wildcard are permanent once the deadline hits.

Therefore, the difference between the Free Hit chip and Wildcard is transfers made using the Free Hit apply for one gameweek only.

In the event you have already made transfers and then subsequently use a Wildcard, those transfers will then become free of charge.

When Can You Use the Wildcard Chips?

There are two Wildcard chips to use across the season. For the 2022/23 season, they can be used at the following times:

  • 1st Wildcard: Before Saturday 12 November, 13:30 GMT (GW16 deadine)
  • 2nd Wildcard: After Monday 26 December, 13:30 GMT (GW17 deadline)

Ahead of GW17 you have unlimited transfers anyway, so a Wildcard isn’t necessary. This was added specifically for the 2022/23 season to accommodate for the World Cup.

Of course, there are a few Wildcard rules to follow in FPL:

  • Wildcard chips not used within the above time frame are sacrificed
  • Once activated, a Wildcard cannot be cancelled
  • You cannot use more than one chip in a gameweek

So, if your Wildcard is active, you won’t be able to play any of your Bench Boost, Free Hit or Triple Captain.

However, if you’ve played your Triple Captain or Bench Boost then you can still Wildcard because these two chips can be canceled once enabling them.

The Wildcard window varies from season to season. Usually, the first Wildcard can be used up until January but with the 2022 World Cup, and the resulting Premier League break, it is much earlier this season.

When Should I Use My Wildcard?

Maximizing the benefit of your Wildcards is an important skill in FPL.

How and when you should use both of them are very different for each. This is primarily due to fixture congestion in the second half of the season.

First Wildcard

There are a few schools of thought as to when you should use your first Wildcard.

Use Early

The first option is to use it around the GW3 or GW4 mark.

The logic behind this is it lets you see which players have started the season well. We learn more about which players are likely to perform and how managers will line up their teams in the first few weeks of the season than any other period.

It also allows you to pick players with only the first gameweeks in mind – should you have decided to implement this strategy before the season starts.

You can also Wildcard early to make the most of early season price changes.

Target Fixtures

The second option is to identify a swing in fixtures.

For example, if Tottenham have a run of ‘easy’ fixtures from GW7 then you could Wildcard in their premium assets.

Outside of this it would be ill-advised to load up on three expensive players from one team, especially without favourable fixtures.

Save Until Late

The final option is to wait until the end of the first Wildcard window. This allows you to set your team up for January, theoretically giving you an advantage over FPL managers who wildcarded early.

Saving your Wildcard does require you to keep a strong team throughout the first half of the season with limited transfers.

However, with Fantasy Premier League giving unlimited transfers before GW17, this strategy isn’t viable for the 2022/23 season.

Second Wildcard

The strategy when to use your second Wildcard is a lot more clear-cut than the first.

In the latter part of the season, there are always double gameweeks. These are the best gameweeks to use your other chips.

If you use your second Wildcard before a scheduled double gameweek, you can set your team up to make the most of your Bench Boost and Free Hit.

For example, if we know there’s a double gameweek in GW34 and GW37 then we can Wildcard in GW33. That way we can target 15 players who play twice and can use a Bench Boost on the squad for GW34.

Additionally, we can take into consideration GW35, GW36 and GW38, too, without worrying about GW37.

This is because you can plan a Free Hit for GW37 which means those fixtures can be taken out the Wildcard equation.

Read More: Free FPL Points Predictor

In this scenario, you could opt to Free Hit in GW34 and Bench Boost in GW37 – whatever you deem the best option to get the most points!

While the optimum first Wildcard strategy is debatable, using your second Wildcard to set yourself up for the double gameweeks is undoubtedly the best tactic.