FPL: 5 Must-Have Wildcard Moves

With this being the final week for Fantasy Premier League managers to use their January Wildcard, we take a look at those players who offer the best value for money ahead of the crucial second half of the season. The January Wildcard can often make or break a manager’s season and well informed decisions become crucial in the push for league supremacy.

Sergio Aguero (£12.5m)

Manchester City’s blistering forward is back in action after suffering a knee injury against Everton early in December. Fantasy managers were forced to look elsewhere for a captaincy candidate with Aguero having spent five gameweeks on the sidelines. Few strikers in the Premier League can compare to the highly-priced marksman, the £12.5m tag justified. While many managers will feel that Diego Costa offers a superior option, being £1.3m cheaper, topping the Fantasy ranks for forwards and currently three goals clear in the race for the Golden Boot, he crucially fails to deliver bonus points with the same regularity as Aguero. Statistics point to the Argentine dominating in shots on target, goal attempts and the percentage of team goals that he is involved in. Despite not registering against Everton (in a cameo) and Arsenal, the striker is set for a pleasant run of fixtures and is a no-brainer to captain your side.

Stewart Downing (£6.6m)

The move of West Ham’s midfielder Stewart Downing to a more central role this season has certainly reaped rewards. The Hammers are sitting in seventh spot after a brief spell in the top four and are only three points off Arsenal in fifth. They are also a point above Liverpool, the club that Downing left following two awful seasons that all but ruined his reputation. Employed as a winger at the Reds and his subsequent season at Upton Park, Downing appeared to be English football’s nearly man. But Big Sam has engineered a masterstroke, shifting Downing into an advanced playmaker role at the tip of West Ham’s fashionable midfield diamond. Downing has five goals and seven assists this season and has started in all but one of the Hammers’ fixtures. At a cut price £6.6m, he’s a useful addition for any manager seeking consistency in midfield.

James Ward-Prowse (£4.8m)

There was much murmuring at the beginning of the season surrounding another of Southampton’s outstanding youth products. The Saints’ teenage production line that has unearthed the likes of Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Callum Chambers and Luke Shaw to name a few, have managed to hang on to the services of Ward-Prowse; for this season at least. Possessing killer dead-ball prowess and crossing that conjures images of a young David Beckham, Ward-Prowse had spent three months on the sidelines after breaking his ankle against Swansea in September. Making his comeback in early December, the midfielder has since registered five assists in seven appearances. At a budget £4.8m, Ward-Prowse may prove an ingenious move for managers looking to offset the effects of cost players like Aguero and Sanchez. 

Jason Puncheon (£5.5m)

There is not much to attract Fantasy managers to Crystal Palace but since the arrival of Alan Pardew at Selhurst Park, Jason Puncheon can hardly put a foot wrong. Pardew seems intent on eschewing the defensive sensibilities of Tony Pulis and playing with thrust, making Puncheon critical to his plans. The midfielder landed on the radar of Fantasy managers last season, scoring seven goals, many of them late in the season. Puncheon now has two goals in two matches with an assist to boot and considering his solid finish to last season, may be another price-friendly option for managers in wildcard season. Palace face Everton, Leicester, Newcastle and West Ham in their next five fixtures, giving Puncheon an excellent opportunity for returns.

Harry Kane (£5.9m)

Three 21-year-old strikers are currently regular starters in the English Premier League this season, with two of them grabbing headlines regularly. Romelu Lukaku has disappointed in his move to Everton and is well and truly off of the radar for Fantasy managers, mainly due to his inflated price. Saido Berahino has popped up with nine goals for West Brom this season but with no assists to his name, is a hit-and-miss acquisition. Head and shoulders above both youngsters is lanky Harry Kane. Spending most of the early season on the bench, Kane has risen to prominence over the past twelve gameweeks and now leads the line for Spurs week in and week out, edging the likes of Adebayor and Soldado out of the side. Eight goals and five assists shows his ability, while his tireless work rate ensures that he is always on the brink of a points haul. Despite his price having inflated by almost £1.0m since the beginning of the season, at £5.9m Kane is fantastic value in a three striker Fantasy system.

Written by Rick John Henry for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now! 

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