Every week The Hype Train analyses the best wildcard options for your Fantasy Premier League teams. Historically weekly dream team’s comprise of mostly wildcard players whose selection falls under 5% of overall players, to which there is no doubt that their influence cannot be ignored. With such an abundance of points coming from the FPL’s hidden gems The Hype Train selects one player from each match in the upcoming gameweek to decide who could be the differential for your teams.
LAST WEEKS PERFORMANCE (GW 2)
Hit quickly with the news that Pablo Zabaleta was out for at least a month we were rocked already, boasting a nine man team, a fantastic start to the wildcards list for the most recent gameweek. Last week’s wildcard selections are a testament to both the bizarre nature of the Premier League, but also of the risk with their selection in your teams. Jamie Vardy and Diafra Sakho true to form were the only ones to keep up appearances and bag an assist each, but apart from that nobody else amounted to much. Here is how the selections last week got on.
Total Wildcard Points (GW3): 24 points
Gameweek 1 Average Points: 45 points
Adnan Januzaj: 3pts
Rudy Gestede: 1pt
Jamie Vardy: 5pts
Wes Hoolahan: 2pts
Jefferson Montero: 2pts
Diafra Sakho: 5pts
Pablo Zabaleta: 0pts
Jordan Ibe: 1pt
TEAM OF THE WEEK WILDCARDS
Despite the terrible performance of the wildcard selections it isn’t all doom and gloom on this front, with eight of the best eleven this week classed in the wildcard category. Crystal Palace’s Sako and West Brom’s Morrison the most surprising wildcards this week, Pedro also impressed in his debut for Chelsea and Sagna joins his Manchester City full-back Kolarov in this week’s team after solid performances following Zabaleta’s injury. Above all else it was the performance of Callum Wilson who stole the show at the weekend, with West Ham making Bournemouth look like Barcelona it was the hard working striker who was the teams Leo Messi on the day, bagging a hatrick and all of the bonus points. The Hype Train may have got some of its selections wrong, but that doesn’t go to say all wildcards are pointless, with another large majority appearing in the team of the week.
The only players who were not deemed wildcards going into this gameweek were Diego Costa, Mahrez and Kolarov, and as it stands now there are already so many of these hype players have found themselves into many new teams. Mahrez is on unbelievable form, Costa continued scrapping for goals and Kolarov is destroying it down Manchester City’s left flank. On a tactical standpoint Kolarov looks much more assured in the position with the pacey Raheem Sterling in front of him, and the former Liverpool attacker providing his assist is a sign that currently the left side is their strongest. A word of caution on Kolarov however, and that is the dreaded word: rotation. You may not want to believe it but no Citizens full-back lasts longer than ten games in that position before they are randomly replaced.
The total points achieved by non-wildcard players in GW2 was: 35 points.
The total points achieved by wildcard players in GW2 totalled: 95 points.
THIS WEEKS WILDCARDS
For gameweek four we are once again selecting ten wildcards, one for each game. Same rules apply: the players we choose must not be selected by more than five percent of the games players. We start in order of the games listed on the official Fantasy Premier League site.
The wildcard options selection percentage is accurate as of Tuesday 25th August 2015.
GEORGINIO WIJNALDUM, NEWCASTLE VS ARSENAL
Name: Georginio Wijnaldum
Team Percentage: 3.3%
Gary Neville has done his bit to rub salt in the wounds of Arsene Wenger and Arsenal fans alike after claiming that their performance against Liverpool was uninspiring. Credit where credit is due, Arsenal pushed Liverpool but they just didn’t have any luck go in their favour against one of the form teams of the league. This may be good news for the Wolly in the Brolly who may implement the same tactics which frustrate the gunners: sit deep, wait, counter, hopefully score. At the heart of that will be the industry and running ability of the Toon’s very own Gini who makes his second appearance in the wildcards this season, with the signing of Thauvin from Marseille they look a better side and the Dutchman who scored on the opening day of the Premier League might fancy his chances against Wenger’s men.
JERMAINE LENS, ASTON VILLA VS SUNDERLAND
Name: Jermaine Lens
Team Percentage: 0.7%
Confidence is Sunderland isn’t good at the moment, but they are scoring and making chances so it isn’t exactly Football League Tonight just yet for the Black Cats. Amidst their current squad they have an assist king in the form of their second Jermaine, all their goals have come from his input and a wise head may see this as an indicator of things to come, particularly as he is the attacking midfielder sliding in silky balls to the other Jermaine as we saw against the draw with Swansea. Aston Villa are the perfect team for the Black Cats to return to any kind of form and avenge previous defeats from last season, or it could be warning signs that Wearside will be tuning into Channel Five next year.
MAX GRADEL, BOURNEMOUTH VS LEICESTER
Name: Max Gradel
Team Percentage: 0.4%
Carl Jenkinson is one of the fastest full backs in the league, last time he was tested he was deemed to be the fastest Arsenal player when he returned from loan last year from the Hammers. Step forward Max Gradel who made the Englishman’s pace look like Richard Dunne chasing down a parked bus. Max Gradel comes with big expectation and with Bournemouth in-form and with a favourable run ahead of them he could be in fantasy teams for weeks to come. Credited with being good enough for the Chelsea team then why can’t he feature in your fantasy teams? His role at Bournemouth is to make things happen, beat defenders, make chances, and score them. Gradel looks like he is going to be getting into a lot of goal scoring opportunities now that he has got a place locked down in Eddie Howe’s starting eleven. The Hype Train fancies Gradel to run amok a Leicester defence that has yet to keep a clean sheet, and so should other FPL managers.
KURT ZOUMA, CHELSEA VS CRYSTAL PALACE
Name: Kurt Zouma
Team Percentage: 0.8%
John Terry may have self-imploded but where they comes great falls there comes great opportunities for others to step-up and make an impression. Kurt Zouma could make it into just about any team in the league as a starter, which is why Chelsea’s bench has a ludicrous amount of talent to fall back on in times of jeopardy such as now. Kurt is sure to feature in the next home game against Pardew’s Palace alongside Gary Cahill, and at £5.5mil he is their cheapest outfield defensive option, there are obvious concerns that Terry will come back into the side but he did get the nod over Cahill against West Brom which might mean he gets a starting berth no matter what this season. For now he has his place locked down and that is definitely worth consideration for any FPL manager in hope that the Blues secure their first clean sheet of the season.
ROBERTO FIRMINO, LIVERPOOL VS WEST HAM
Name: Roberto Firmino
Team Percentage: 1.6%
Liverpool looked sharp against Arsenal, with Roberto Firmino a big part to play in the team. With injuries to Adam Lallana, and a heftier price-tag to go alongside this it may be time that the Brazilian comes into the team for good. Roberto nearly set up four of Liverpool’s potential goals against Arsenal and if this is the trend of how he is to play under Brendan Rodgers then it is very exciting if you are a Reds fan and FPL manager. Having fallen in price Firmino is a tad more acceptable to place in your teams, and with a promising game against West Ham at Anfield it could be the perfect time that Firmino starts repaying the money invested in him by Rodgers and putting some serious points on the board.
BACARY SAGNA, MANCHESTER CITY VS WATFORD
Name: Georginio Wijnaldum
Team Percentage: 3.3%
The Hype Train is going to correct its mistake from last week and actually include the right back who will start for Manchester City in the next gameweek. Thankfully, thanks to Kolarov stealing all of the attention from the majority of managers it is the Frenchman and former Gunner who has been overlooked. Having a solid record so far and picking up three bonus points in the last game is a fantastic return for a £5.0mil Manchester City defender who look like they may never concede again. For the same price you can choose options such as Soare, Mbemba, Amavi, Dann, Naughton, and Lovren. Currently the first choice right-back Sagna is probably the best value for defenders you can get at the moment. Watford travel to the Etihad and beyond that ties against Crystal Palace and West Ham in the following weeks make Sagna an essential wildcard in your teams.
XHERDAN SHAQIRI, STOKE CITY VS WEST BROM
Name: Xherdan Shaqiri
Club: Stoke City
Team Percentage: 2.4%
Who’d have thought it? A Champions League winner for Bayern Munich in the peak of his playing career plying his trade at the Britannia Stadium, nobody would have thought the deal would actually happen and here we are talking about how the new Potter factors into their plans for top-half success. Shaqiri is on set pieces and looks like Stoke is going to play through the Swiss international, the £7.0mil price-tag may be off-putting but he is the creativity Stoke may need to create and score their chances, and against West Brom who are yet to find their defensive form under Tony Pulis it may be a good first home game for Xherdan Shaqiri, the Potter. Never did anyone believe those words would be one and same.
TIM HOWARD, SPURS VS EVERTON
Name: Tim Howard
Team Percentage: 4.2%
Fast approaches another Spurs home game, and so does another prediction for the opposition coming to visit White Hart Lane. Everton have looked convincing (some what) in the start of the season, the same couldn’t be said for Spurs who have so far struggled to get any kind of lift-off following the rocket-fuelled Hurrikane wreaking devastation across the FPL last season. The Toffees backline has looked stern (some what) and well protected this time round, and teams cherish taking as many points as they can haul away from the Lane. Lukaku and Kone are going to be causing the problematic Spurs backline a world of problems which might result in Howard having a fairly inactive game if Spurs problems continue.
MAARTEN STEKELENBURG, SOUTHAMPTON VS NORWICH
Name: Maarten Stekelenburg
Team Percentage: 1.8%
Hot on the heels of Southampton’s first clean sheet of the season many people are wondering if this is the start of their defensive revival, and with Stekelenburg a confident signing for this season it may be time to start having a little bit of faith in the Saints once again. Largely overlooked by the likes of Panti, Cech, Hart, and Mingolet the Saints new number one isn’t the best defensive option to have but he may be good value for his price tag should Southampton find their feet back onto solid ground again. It is sound logic to always bank against promoted teams for a good reason, and that rule may apply in this game.
JONJO SHELVEY, SWANSEA VS MANCHESTER UNITED
Name: Jonjo Shelvey
Team Percentage: 3.4%
Jonjo is on the verge of getting an England recall for his stellar performances in the heart of Swansea’s midfield, and it is absolutely no surprise why. Having an excellent range of passing the former Liverpool man hopes to be causing Blind and Smalling problems in defence as he attempts to keep feeding the goal machine Gomis. Shelvey may be openly attacking Blind’s left hand side for Gomis to sneak in and abuse the Red Devil’s utility man, that would make sense considering this is the first real test for Manchester United against a side that have had their number in the recent seasons. Jonjo will be a part of any success that occurs at the Liberty Stadium at the weekend and for only £5.5mil he may be a steal.
For all GW 4 build up, check out the Weekly Hype page now.