The first matchday of the FIFA World Cup 2022 has come to a close. In the space of just one week, we have seen both highs and lows, featuring entertainment all-round. This is just the beginning though – Matchday 2 follows straight after Matchday 1 finishes. For fantasy players, there is quite a short turnaround, so it’s a good idea to start planning now. Some players may be considering the possibility of activating the Wildcard chip. Therefore, in this article, we are presenting you the FIFA World Cup 2022 Fantasy Matchday 2 Wildcard guide to look at a potential wildcard draft with the best players to push through in this upcoming matchday.
Furthermore, with the rule surrounding locked and unlocked players (more on this later), it’s possible to make transfers during a Matchday in preparation for the next Matchday as well. In this article, we look at the best players to have in a Wildcard team for Matchday 2, in addition to a view of possible transfers ahead of Matchday 3.
- Understanding the potential of the Wildcard ahead of Matchday 2
- Exploiting the locked/unlocked player’s rule with an unlimited budget
- FIFA World Cup 2022 Fantasy Matchday 2 Wildcard Team: Best Goalkeepers
- FIFA World Cup 2022 Fantasy Matchday 2 Wildcard Team: Best Defenders
- FIFA World Cup 2022 Fantasy Matchday 2 Wildcard Team: Best Midfielders
- FIFA World Cup 2022 Fantasy Matchday 2 Wildcard Team: Best Forwards
- FIFA World Cup 2022 Fantasy Matchday 2 Wildcard Team: Full Team and Strategy
- FIFA World Cup 2022 Fantasy Matchday 2 Wildcard Guide: Planning ahead for Matchday 3
Understanding the potential of the Wildcard ahead of Matchday 2
The Wildcard chip has the potential to turn tables, and it feels weird to use this chip so early on. However, a good reason for this is that having watched each team play already, it’s easier to make predictions of who will perform best. Also, unlimited transfers mean it is theoretically possible to use the over-budget rule several times without losing points through hits.
By using the Wildcard chip before the first game of Matchday 2 (Wales vs Iran), players have unlimited transfers throughout Matchday 2. Then, towards the end of Matchday 2 whilst the final match is being played (Portugal vs Uruguay), we can then replace any player of preference ahead of Matchday 3. Transfers are active throughout the Matchday which is why this is possible – basically, we’re replicating a second Wildcard. Finally, after Matchday 3 ends, there are unlimited transfers anyway, ahead of the knockout stages. In summary, Using the Wildcard chip now ahead of MD2 will result in 3 consecutive Matchdays with unlimited transfers.
Exploiting the locked/unlocked player’s rule with an unlimited budget
The fantasy community has found a loophole in the game rules, which essentially lets you upgrade players regardless of what budget is available. For example let’s say it’s MD1 and we transfer out an 11 million priced Harry Kane (locked – already played in MD1 and scored 7 points) for another cheap 4.5 million forward, who has not played yet and is an unlocked player.
Harry Kane’s 7 points are secured since we transferred Kane out whilst he was locked. The budget changes automatically based on the transfers as well, so even though Kane is still in the team for MD1, we still have that 6.5 million in the bank for that transfer which will go through next Matchday. We could use that budget to upgrade another player, for example, another forward to Mbappe. The budget will work out normally by MD2, since we will go from Kane and a cheap forward to Mbappe and a cheap forward. However, for the current week, we will already have Kane’s points secured, as well as Mbappe’s. So in actual fact, the team for more MD1 exceeds the budget allowance.
Theoretically, this loophole basically removes the budget restriction completely if it is used enough, but each use of the loophole requires 2 transfers so it is at the cost of a points deduction. Then again, when on a Wildcard, transfers are free, which makes this trick a lot more appealing.
FIFA World Cup 2022 Fantasy Matchday 2 Wildcard Team: Best Goalkeepers
1. Andries Noppert (Netherlands) – 4.5 million
Noppert had a great performance against Senegal in the Netherlands’ opener. A clean sheet and a further 3 saves resulted in a 7 points return, and there’s all the chance he comes with more in the next two matchdays. Netherlands face Ecuador then Qatar, in which they are favorites to win. Noppert’s 3.3% ownership makes him a good differential choice too.
2. Aymen Dahmen (Tunisia) – 4.0 million
A cheap budget option here helps a lot when considering the budget for the rest of the team. Tunisia isn’t necessarily reliable, though they came away from MD1 with a clean sheet. They will then play Australia in their next game, where there is a solid 33% chance of a clean sheet for Tunisia. Again, Tunisia isn’t reliable so banking on clean sheet points from Dahmen isn’t a good idea. However, at that price, it’s difficult to expect big things anyway.
FIFA World Cup 2022 Fantasy Matchday 2 Wildcard Team: Best Defenders
1. Denzel Dumfries (Netherlands) – 6.0 million
Dumfries plays in an attacking RWB position and has the potential to return big point totals, which is why he is one of the first names on this wildcard draft. Netherlands kept a clean sheet in MD1 helping Dumfries to 6 points, and the Dutch play Ecuador and Qatar next – both teams they are expected to beat.
2. Luke Shaw (England) – 5.0 million
Being England’s only natural left-back, it’s highly likely that Shaw keeps his place in the team’s starting eleven. Shaw contributed an assist in his side’s 6-2 win over Iran, and he looked like a constant threat going forward throughout the game.
3. Jordi Alba (Spain) – 6.0 million
Spain ran riot in their first game of the World Cup, winning 7-0 against Costa Rica. What’s more, they established complete domination in the game, so much so that Costa Rica finished with just 0 shots taken and 18% possession.
Jordi Alba played a key role in the Spanish defense to make this happen, and he emerged with an impressive 9 points from the clean sheet and an additional assist. Spain could carry straight on from here, when they play Germany in MD2 – an opportunity to prove what they are capable of against good opposition.
4. Joakim Maehle (Denmark) – 4.5 million
At an affordable price, Maehle offers clean sheets and the chance of attacking returns too. During the World Cup qualification rounds, Maehle emerged as his group’s top scorer with 5 goals, despite being a defender. Denmark faces France in MD2 which is a very tough fixture, but Denmark isn’t a team to write off completely, and having Maehle as a bench option could potentially prove useful.
5. Borna Sosa (Croatia) – 3.5 million
Although a slight rotation risk, Sosa did play the full 90 minutes against Morocco on Matchday 1 and he managed to net 6 points from a clean sheet. Croatia plays Canada next week and the bookies predict a respectable 41% of a clean sheet for Croatia. At 3.5 million, Sosa releases useful funds for the rest of the team so he is certainly a good option to have anyway.
FIFA World Cup 2022 Fantasy Matchday 2 Wildcard Team: Best Midfielders
1. Luka Modric (Croatia) – 8.5 million
Modric is Croatia‘s talisman – if the team has a good all-round performance, it’s highly likely Modric was involved. As the country’s penalty-taker and primary creative outlet, he has the potential to score well in terms of World Cup Fantasy points. Additionally, Croatia has a good opportunity to get their first win in MD2, where they face Canada.
2. Bukayo Saka (England) – 8.0 million
Previously, choosing England‘s attackers for fantasy seemed risky, since it was not certain who was going to start. Now that they’ve played their first game, certain players have shined with one of those being Bukayo Saka. He had the right-wing locked down for as long as he was on the pitch and he emerged with 2 goals and 15 fantasy points on his World Cup debut.
Looking at England’s other options, there doesn’t seem to be another left-footed winger to compete with the 20-year-old, other than Phil Foden. However, it’s worth noting that Foden came on as a sub during that match and played in a midfield role. As it stands, Saka looks certain to start and his attacking threat makes him one of the more popular transfers ahead of Matchday 2.
3. Dani Olmo (Spain) – 8.0 million
Olmo was one of Spain’s star players in their 7-0 thrashing of Costa Rica. He finished the game with a goal and an assist, returning a 12-point haul for the mere 0.2% of fantasy managers that own him. Now that he’s proven his impact, more people are catching on. The game against Germany in MD2 is a tough one, but Olmo’s creative ability could help make the difference.
4. Steven Bergwijn (Netherlands) – 7.0 million
Although he was quiet in MD1, Bergwijn confirmed the rumor that was going around earlier, on whether he plays in a more advanced striker role. With Depay likely to be back for the next game, perhaps that Bergwijn and Depay partnership can elevate the Dutch attack.
5. Andreas Skov Olsen (Denmark) – 6.0 million
Olsen couldn’t make an impact in Denmark‘s World Cup opener, although he was playing a more advanced position for the time he was on the pitch. He is a rotation risk, but at 6.0 million, he is not a bad choice. Olsen performed really well at the World Cup qualifiers tallying 5 goals and 3 assists in 7 starts, so his ability is not in question.
FIFA World Cup 2022 Fantasy Matchday 2 Wildcard Team: Best Forwards
1. Lionel Messi (Argentina) – 10.5 million
Argentina slumped to defeat against Saudi Arabia in Matchday 1, something which caught many people by surprise. It didn’t cause major problems in the context of fantasy football however since the 63% owned Lionel Messi still emerged with 6 points.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t quite keep up with the offside rule which would otherwise have resulted in more goals. Nonetheless, the Argentinian will likely crop up on the scoresheet again at some point, and his set-piece threat further helps his case.
2. Kylian Mbappe (France) – 11.5 million
Mbappe is the game’s most expensive player and it makes sense why. France beat Australia 4-1 in their first game of the tournament, and Mbappe dropped a performance worth talking about. He scored 1 and assisted another, returning a solid 9 points for the owners. He is expected to strike again soon, so this is pretty much a no-brainer.
3. Ferran Torres (Spain) – 7.0 million
Ferran Torres was another instrumental player in their vibrant win against Costa Rica. Out of the 7 team goals, Ferran Torres took the shot in 2 of them, including a penalty, ending the game with 10 fantasy points. We have seen quite a few penalties given in this tournament already, and getting those predicted penalty-takers in fantasy teams is worth a shout.
FIFA World Cup 2022 Fantasy Matchday 2 Wildcard Team: Full Team and Strategy
The Captaincy is split between Mbappe (vs Denmark) and Messi (vs Mexico). Both play on Saturday, but since Mbappe plays the earlier game, he is set as captain beforehand. If he happens to blank, there is a short period in which players can switch the armband over to Messi.
A smart move could be to initially put the armband on a player who features on Friday, such as Saka (vs USA) or Bergwijn (vs Ecuador). If either of these players manages to haul, the captaincy will look like a stroke of genius. If they don’t, we can always shift the armband back onto one of the premiums ahead of the Saturday fixtures.
FIFA World Cup 2022 Fantasy Matchday 2 Wildcard Guide: Planning ahead for Matchday 3
It’s a good idea to start planning Matchday 3 transfers early on. Throughout Matchday 2, players have unlimited transfers with a wildcard, so it’s recommended to use this as much as possible. The fixtures to target in Matchday 3 could potentially include:
- Brazil vs Cameroon
- Germany vs Costa Rica
- France vs Tunisia
- Netherlands vs Qatar
- England vs Wales
- Spain vs Japan
Of course, this will depend on how the Matchday 2 fixtures play out. If some teams guarantee qualification by Matchday 2, it’s unlikely they will play hard for the win in Matchday 3, and will therefore look to rotate the squad more. Make sure to keep updated on each day of fixtures, and keep an eye on how the table looks for each group.
It’s difficult to predict transfers straight away, but some changes to consider could include swapping players that have a tough final fixture. For example, Croatia plays Belgium in Matchday 3, so it could be better to swap Croatian/Belgian players for those that have an easier fixture. Additionally, it could be worth considering some premium differentials ahead of Matchday 3. These make the biggest difference against mini-league competition and sometimes, it’s worth taking the risk, particularly when chasing rank.
Did you find our analysis on the FIFA World Cup 2022 Fantasy Matchday 2 Wildcard Guide useful? Are you considering anyone from here? Drop your comments in the comment section below!