Weekly Wildcards: Gameweek Seven
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 6)
All in all last week was a disaster for most of The Hype Train’s wildcard picks, the true standout performer who wasn’t a goalkeeper (and only outfield player to register serious points) was Odion Ighalo who scored a brace against Newcastle. This match confirmed the suspicions of many that the Toon are destined for a difficult season, with many already stating that Wolly with his Brolly isn’t the man to carry them out of this disastrous position. The other two players who registered serious points were John Ruddy who picked up a bonus point against Liverpool, and Artur Boruc who registered a clean sheet against another struggling norther side, Sunderland. Effectively on an eight man team as Stoke and West Ham outdid Leicester and Man City’s defence it underlined that whilst there are points in wildcards you have to make calculated risks…in each of these cases there was a solid argument for their selection.
Total Wildcard Points (GW6): 41 points Gameweek 6 Average Points: 32 points
Theo Walcott: 2pts
Scott Sinclair: 1pt
Artur Boruc: 6pts
Odion Ighalo: 13pts
Jeffrey Schlupp: 0pts
Steven Naismith: 2pts
Eliaqium Mangala: 0pts
Yannick Bolasie: 1pt
John Ruddy: 5pts
Dusan Tadic: 2pts
TEAM OF THE WEEK WILDCARDS
Gameweek six provided no surprises as to the nature of wildcards. Seven of the eleven wildcard picks from this week’s dream team are selected by fewer than five percent of all players. The only four that were not considered wildcards were Jack Butland, Riyad Mahrez, Eden Hazard, and Graziano Pelle. The latter three are no surprises; all should be goal scoring threats and no surprise to the team of the week. Mahrez’s form has continued and with no end in sight his name on the team of the week has been a welcome addition that leaves eleven others to fight out for the rest of the places.
Forty four points this week from the dream team have spurned from defence, and this is no surprise, nobody trusts any defence. Now that Manchester City have had their nut broken by the resilient Hammers there is no defence that is safe of scrutiny. Attacking options are always the safer options as people now consider that defenders should get two points a game, plus some luck on top should their team perform. Picking a defence is hard work as you have to weigh up defensive pros and cons, pick out goal scorers and chance makers (usually in full backs), but also work out who is going to be getting the bonus points too. This week there was three centre backs, and one full back (Daniels, BOU), which flies in the face that full backs yield greater returns than that of their comparative centre-half’s. For example, Arsenal defenders get an unpreceded number of bonus points which is why they are very popular should they keep out their opponents. Defences might be as simple as taking a risk on obvious choices and starts in squads, Russell Martin is the prime example for this as even though Norwich hasn’t kept many clean sheets he has been influential in goal scoring for the canaries. West Brom defenders are a classic case of this too, and are always heavily overlooked in favour of bigger clubs. Overall, defence was pretty lean in this week’s dream team and they all deserve their place in the team of the week.
Attack was surprising in areas, and not so surprising in other aspects. Odion Ighalo solidified the fact that Newcastle has the worst defence in the league, whilst De Bruyne is making good on his hefty price tag, and leading the line was Anthony Martial who was still a wildcard coming into this game week. There has been some hype around Martial, both encouraging, and most of it very silly as it is early days. One thing that unites FPL managers is that Martial poses an actual option for your fantasy teams.
The total points achieved by non-wildcard players in GW6 was: 79 points.
The total points achieved by wildcard players in GW6 totalled: 39 points.
THIS WEEKS WILDCARDS
For gameweek six 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 Wednesday 23rd September.
KEVIN DE BRUYNE, SPURS VS MANCHESTER CITY
Name: Kevin De Bruyne
Club: Manchester City
What’s that, Spurs have accrued some clean sheets in recent weeks? Well, that period is over as Manchester City roll into London to continue their amazing run of games against Spurs. If there is one team the Citizens love knocking on the door and running rampant it is Tottenham, in particular Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko have had phenomenal scoring records against the COYS. If there is any away game we can confidently back it is this one, and with the rise of Kevin De Bruyne who has scored in his last two games for Man City this wildcard option is a no brainer.
What Spurs lack in total defensive cohesion against top opposition they do make up in creating a valid FPL option in the opposition attack, and De Bruyne looks to be the real deal in the sky blue attack, he may not score but he is a great passer of the ball and can create chances for others. At a pricey £10.0mil he may be the most expensive wildcard this week, but one which has limitless potential in a fixture that has the tongues of FPL managers from corners wagging for points.
DANNY DRINKWATER, LEICESTER VS ARSENAL
Name: Danny Drinkwater
Club: Leicester City
Leicester’s incredible run has astounded everyone watching, it is an absolute delight to watch and there are many arguing the cases that their current run isn’t going to stop anytime soon and why would you argue against it after having come back in two fixtures on the bounce to get the points. Their current fixture is against Arsenal who can be sturdy opposition for any team, as Jose Mourinho pointed out they have the potential to win the league and should always be a feared opponent.
A major part of Leicester’s run has been the reintroduction of Danny Drinkwater in the heart of the Foxes midfield; he is making things happen for the likes of Mahrez and Vardy and is supporting the attack as much as possible. Also, priced at £4.5mil he would be a perfect fifth midfielder. Many already have Mahrez in their team but if you felt brave to double down on Leicester midfielders it wouldn’t be dumb at all considering that their FPL points have been concentrated from either two or three sources, and Drinkwater is verging on becoming part of that.
DANIEL STURRIDGE, LIVERPOOL VS ASTON VILLA
Name: Daniel Sturridge
The dance is back, well…hopefully for Liverpool supporters and FPL managers who are seeking the return of one of the most clinical strikers in the Premier League. Daniel Sturridge is a goal scoring striker, and when he is on point with his ability he is unstoppable. Pacey, stronger, and the ability to score all types of goals is an attribute that all FPL managers look for in a striker as it raises the consistency and hope they will always perform. For example, Jermaine Defoe is best with the ball at his feet, and Rudy Gestede is best fighting in the air for headers. Sturridge can do it all and he may be the spark that Liverpool’s attack needs to start a good run of form.
With Benteke a doubt for the game, and with a partnership striking up between him and big Belgian it could be time to reinvest in Liverpool’s top striker, the only doubt is that he may be managed and come off for Danny Ings at one point, so there is a short window to score the goals and create the chances he needs to become an FPL option. Wildcards are about taking risks, and Sturridge has that, but with the onus that he at one point will start registering points for FPL managers.
COSTEL PANTILIMON, MANCHESTER UNITED VS SUNDERLAND
Name: Costel Pantilimon
The irony of this wildcard is that Sunderland (along with their neighbours Newcastle) is looking like they are going to struggle and be contenders for the drop. On the other side of the irony is that Anthony Martial has rejuvenated the Manchester United frontline, and rejuvenate is the correct word to use. There is no revolution as Manchester United still plays the same type of passing football; they just now have the outlet that Rooney can no longer provide up top to score the goals.
The problem about selecting a wildcard from this game is that Manchester United’s team is pretty much set, and with deliberation about who is taking the left-back slot there are no wildcards to select from the Red Devils except Ander Herrera of whom has been dropped in favour of Louis Van Gaal’s Army new formation. The Hype Train also believes Sunderland may not have the attacking flair to score many points in attack, which leaves their defence and still their best defensive player is the big Romanian between the sticks. Sunderland can push for a draw to remind the rest of the Premier League they can turn on the defensive streak when needs be, and also where other defenders are more likely going to get booked the goalkeeper can accrue points in saves. Pantilimon can’t be faulted for having a suspect defence, and he always does his part to frustrate opponents with crisp saves, so he is always a contender for points in any fixture if they win or lose.
That is why he is nicknamed ‘Three Point Panti’ to the team at The Hype Train.
VIRGIL VAN DIJK, SOUTHAMPTON VS SWANSEA
Name: Virgil Van Dijk
Swansea hasn’t scored in two games, whilst the Saints have looked defensively sharp whilst posing a goal threat. Recent results would indicate a Saints victory, but last year this fixture was won by the Swans, courtesy of a Jonjo Shelvey screamer. Games between these two clubs are normally quite tight and don’t feature many goals, so there is always the potential for the inevitable nil-nil. That is what The Hype Train is hoping for as there will be more returns in two teams getting clean sheets than a win with small margins in it.
Virgil has looked like he has settled perfectly into the Saint’s backline next to Fonte and if Saint’s remove the mistakes they made against Man Utd then this could be a defensive showcase full of points. Most points so far in wildcards have come from defenders, and Saints have one of the best defensive records in the league at this stage of the season. The only fear factor with Virgil is his premium price, which can put you off adding him into your team, but with points few and far between and in the age of the budget midfielders perhaps more money in defence is more acceptable.
The question is…when will Liverpool launch their £20mil bid next summer?
BOJAN, STOKE VS BOURNEMOUTH
Club: Stoke City
Towards the end of last season everyone had faith Bojan would elevate their teams as he was coming onto a serious run of form. Subsequently, and much to the vein of FPL managers, he broke his leg and has only just returned. And what a time to return too, Stoke City are struggling, having taken only three draws from six games they need their luck to change and right on time the Spanish forward pops up and picks up from where he left off to score against Leicester.
Bojan has proven on many occasions to be the difference maker for Stoke, and in their draws they have scored, and in their three losses they haven’t. This game is a must win for Stoke who face promoted side Bournemouth who have done considerably better than them at this stage of the season. Bojan could be that difference maker and Stoke are a much better side with him than without him, and should they improve their result against Leicester then there could be points in this game for forwards for both sides.
VICTOR MOSES, WEST HAM VS NORWICH
Name: Victor Moses
Club: West Ham
Moses was a beast at Stoke, he was a beast against Chelsea during pre-season, and he is still a beast now that he is at West Ham. Moses has come into his own and returning the faith Slavan Bilic put into him after signing on deadline day by coming up with the goods. Moses has scored in his last game, and should have scored against Newcastle but claimed the assist. Two returns in his last two appearances put him close to boarding the Hype Train.
Should your team not be able to afford Dimitri Payet then why not select the next best alternative from the same team? At a significantly lower cost and equally as great points return potential it may be a perfect cheap midfielder to have in your teams. Guaranteed to be a starter in a Hammers shirt Moses could be a big player for a discount price, and with Norwich up next there is no reason why the run that West Ham are on can’t continue with the help of Moses and Payet.
ALEKSANDAR MITROVIC, NEWCASTLE VS CHELSEA
Name: Aleksandar Mitrovic
Curses in the Premier League are real, and one of the most famous is Jose Mourinho’s record at St James Park, or lack of record. Last season everyone believed Chelsea could become the next invincible team, then up steps Papiss Demba Cisse who stormed off the Toon bench and crippled that notion with two clinical strikes. Papiss is currently a doubt for the game, which means that the returning Mitrovic could stake a claim in this game and make reparations for previous performances.
Even if we don’t want to believe it the curse of St James Park may strike again, and Mitrovic has been unlucky so far in his time in the Premier League, but there is always a time and a place for a comeback and The Hype Train has touted that Newcastle’s first win would be in this gameweek against Chelsea. Newcastle fans will tell you that aside from the rivalry with Sunderland they love playing the Blues at St James. Whilst this is the most extreme wildcard this week it may be the least surprising come close the end of the match.
JASON PUNCHEON, WATFORD VS CRYSTAL PALACE
Name: Jason Puncheon
Club: Crystal Palace
Having suffered two losses in a row will frustrate the Eagles who have been soaring high so far this season, and their next opponent has collected four points from their last two games against Swansea and Newcastle respectively. This London ‘derby’ if you could call it that could go either way with the away team’s impressive form from home, and Watford’s impeccable home record of who haven’t conceded a single goal at Vicarage this term.
All records were meant to be broken, and that run may end when a determined Crystal Palace show up looking to avenge their two recent losses. Jason Puncheon in particular is one of their star midfielders; he is sharing set-piece duties with Yohan Cabaye and still getting into dangerous scoring positions or chance creating spaces so he could be pivotal to the success of Crystal Palace at the weekend. Lastly, Puncheon has fallen in price, so if you are new to having the English attacker in your squads then that is more the reason to give him a chance.
JONNY EVANS, WEST BROM VS EVERTON
Name: Jonny Evans
Club: West Brom
The Pulis effect is in full effect at West Brom, their defence is looking sharp and keeping the clean sheets so far this season in four out of six games this season. The only teams to find the back of the net against the Baggies so far this season have been Chelsea and Manchester City, and currently they retain the second best defensive just behind Man City. In the heart of their defence Jonny Evans has been a major factor for them; his organisational and discipline skills helped him towards 2bps in his last appearance and looks like he is going to retain his place since the departure of Joleon Lescott.
West Brom looks like they are going to continue their great defensive efforts throughout the season, which is why Boaz Myhill is one of the top keepers at the moment. Everton have proven they can either be on absolute fire in front of goal, or be a tame a wet towel, so this wildcard pick is just taking a punt on which defence you believe to be the sturdier. Jonny Evans has made the right move by leaving Manchester United for the Hawthornes. Dawson is also someone who can be selected but with an equal level of returns you have to go for the cheaper option, and should West Brom continue it wouldn’t be a surprise to see some of their defence on the Hype Train.
For all GW 6 build up, check out the Weekly Hype page now.