Weekly Wildcards: Gameweek Eight
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 7)
An interesting week, and with over forty goals in the Premier League this weekend it is the argument of many FPL managers that they didn’t see any of the points returns. Fortunately, if you were brave enough to trust in one of the wildcards from our list you could have gotten lucky. There was a few players with big points returns, and then many that floated around the one-two point mark. Kevin De Bruyne was the shining light for Man City against Spurs, Daniel Sturridge returned the dance to Anfield with two clinical strikers against Aston Villa, Van Dijk netted for the saints, and Danny Drinkwater bagged an assist against Arsenal. Everyone else floundered in what were another set of fixtures that further defy logic for this season.
Total Wildcard Points (GW7): 46 points Gameweek 7 Average Points: 43 points
Kevin De Bruyne: 7pts
Danny Drinkwater: 4pts
Daniel Sturridge: 13pts
Costel Pantilimon: 2pts
Virgil Van Dijk: 10pts
Victor Moses: 1pts
Aleksandar Mitrovic: 2pts
Jason Puncheon: 2pts
Jonny Evans: 1pt
TEAM OF THE WEEK WILDCARDS
Six out of eleven players in the FPL dream team in gameweek seven comprised of wildcard players. Five heavily selected all made the cut, and to the disbelief of the Hype Team we are astounded to see a Spurs defender as one of them five. Top draws from Alexis Sanchez who returned to hot form, big Lukaku who rallied Everton to a win against the Baggies, Juan Mata carved open Sunderland and De Gea rounds up those five non-wildcard players after keeping the only clean sheet this week as a goalkeeper.
As for the wildcards a surprising victory and first clean sheet of the season got Scott Dann some attention, Van Dijk who was one of the teams picks last week made good on the prediction, Lamela scored a rare league goal for Spurs in their triumphant home win against Man City, Tadic for Southampton got his next set of returns after a not doing anything for two weeks (second time he has done this, so keep an eye out for the Liverpool game!) and lastly the wildcards were rounded up by two strikers in the same game. Daniel Sturridge showed the quality that Liverpool could have up front, latching firstly onto a slick James Milner pass, and then a got a second after great interplay with Coutinho. Sturridge is the ultimate striker in terms of goals-to-games and his return is turning the heads of FPL managers everywhere, he may not be a wildcard for much longer. Rudy Gestede, already a cult hero at Aston Villa led the fight against the victorious Liverpool with two well taken goals against a suspect Liverpool defence.
POINTS ACHIEVED BY WILCARD PLAYERS: 68 points
POINTS ACHIEVED BY NON-WILDCARD PLAYERS: 66 points
THIS WEEKS WILDCARDS
For gameweek eight 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 Monday 28th September 2015.
PAPE SOUARE, CRYSTAL PALACE VS WEST BROM
Name: Pape Souare
Club: Crystal Palace
Securing the first clean sheet of their campaign against Watford was a good sign for the Eagles who return to Selhurst Park soaring high after a patchy run of games beforehand. At their doorstep in the ‘Pulis Derby’ is a West Brom team who got beaten by Everton on Monday night. West Brom are a strong defensive test and this looks to be a tight game with not much in it, so the odds of Crystal Palace keeping a clean sheet are quite high for once. Also, Pape Souare offers a lot in attack so there are always potential point’s returns for the full-back.
The feeling is going into the game that Crystal Palace will only strengthen to their start of the season, and with another home game against West Ham the following week many FPL managers could take their chances on a Palace defender. In all honesty, defence means little nothing at the moment with clean sheets few and far between, and at £4.5mil there is no risk with the addition of Souare to your teams at all.
MAME BIRAM DIOUF, ASTON VILLA VS STOKE
Name: Mame Biram Diouf
Club: Stoke City
Returning the attacking mix it should be settled that Mame Diouf will lead the frontline for the Potters against Aston Villa at the weekend. Struggling defensively and lingering in the relegation zone it will be the hopes of Mark Hughes to have his most potent goal-scorer make an impact and further push Stoke away from those dreaded three places at the bottom of the league.
Scoring in the last gameweek Diouf is hot on the minds of FPL managers, especially with a promising run of fixtures with Swansea and Watford to follow it could be a good time to invest in Diouf. Additionally, with all of the supporting attackers no longer suspended or injured there will be plenty of options for Mark Hughes to get the ball to Diouf. Aston Villa are in real trouble, and that appears to not be leaving their side anytime soon, so why not put your chips against them to lose with an opposition forward.
MARC PUGH, BOURNEMOUTH VS WATFORD
Name: Marc Pugh
Having lost key men in Max Gradel and Callum Wilson in the Cherries attack has been a huge blow for the Cherries, but the one thing that Eddie Howe will want to see is a big reaction from his old guard against Watford at the weekend. Marc Pugh operates in the left of attack, just where Gradel did before his injury, and due to the importance of the wingers getting in and around space it could be an area where Bournemouth players pick up points. Pugh and Ritchie have both already shown that they can operate in the Premier League, and in the last two games that Pugh has played he has picked up five points apiece in each game.
Fans and FPL managers alike will be hoping that there is life after injury for Bournemouth, and they can kick start that with Glenn Murray up top with Ritchie and Pugh supporting. There is great uncertainty if they can cope without Ritchie, but should Eddie Howe figure it out for the Cherries nobody should worry, and Pugh will be part of them plans.
NICOLAS OTAMENDI, MANCHESTER CITY VS NEWCASTLE
Name: Nicolas Otamendi
Club: Manchester City
This wildcard selection is as straight forward as you think, and that is due to the terrible record that Newcastle has against Manchester City at the Etihad. In the last two seasons they have lost in the league on this ground, but strangely won during an FA Cup encounter courtesy of Aarons and Sissoko. Nicolas Otamendi has made it into the first team under Manuel Pellegrini and looks like he is going to be staying there two, despite not keeping a clean sheet in two games and losing both of them to West Ham and Newcastle he has looked solid in both encounters and will be relied upon in defence.
Otamendi may not have a lot do, so expect a very one sided game. The points in defence appear very solid for this gameweek, and with Chelsea floundering in defence there could be money otherwise spent on bringing in the sturdy argentine into your teams.
CAMERON JEROME, NORWICH VS LEICESTER
Name: Cameron Jerome
Club: Norwich City
Currently Leicester City has not kept a single clean sheet in the league after eight games, and their opponents Norwich are no pushovers in the league, both are soaring high and scoring goals. This is going to be a gritty, tactical encounter that could go either way. Norwich will be looking to their leading man Cameron Jerome to continue the trend of Leicester’s defensive woes, especially with Redmond and Hoolahan around him to provide him opportunities to undo Huth and Morgan.
In the last time these two teams met in the Championship it was the Canaries who did the double over Leicester, and each game had a minimum of five goals in it, so should this follow pattern it is a mouth-watering encounter between two teams who have struggled in defence, but blossomed in attack.
ADRIAN, SUNDERLAND VS WEST HAM
Club: West Ham
West Ham, away from home, you know the story.
Incredible victories away from home so far against Arsenal, Liverpool, and Man City, so this test against the Black Cats on paper looks like it has the potential for the Hammers to be on top for most of this game. Adrian being back to Bilic’s side gives them a boost against Sunderland’s goal poaching ways, so do not be surprised to see some up close saves from the Spaniard.
Sunderland is in real trouble along with neighbours Newcastle and this should be a tough game for them provided the goal scoring creativity of Dimitri Payet. Naturally an FPL manager will look to bank against struggling teams as many people with QPR and Burnley last season, and that same trend is happening against for Sunderland in what could be their greatest escape yet. Currently though it doesn’t look like they have what it takes to defend or go forward so Adrian in goal for the Hammers is a solid pick this weekend.
KURT ZOUMA, CHELSEA VS SOUTHAMPTON
Name: Kurt Zouma
Having come into the Chelsea first team and even put the places of John Terry and Gary Cahill into disarray the big Kurt Zouma is the real deal at the heart of the defence and has the capability of putting some energy and life back into the Chelsea defence. A beast in the air and a threat on the ground he is a defender not taken lightly and also has the quality to score goals as a centre back. Southampton visit at the weekend and with Chelsea’s recent form it will be in the interests of the whole team to bounce back strong against Koeman’s Saints.
Critics of Zouma point towards his relative inexperience, highlighted by allowing Newcastle to take advantage of their defence twice. This is cautious omen as nobody knows when Chelsea are going to pick up their first legitimate clean sheet of the season and that could occur at home against Southampton at the weekend, and Zouma will undeniably be involved in shutting Pelle out.
DANIEL STURRIDGE, EVERTON VS LIVERPOOL
Name: Daniel Sturridge
Price: £10.4 (now 10.5 and still rising)
After an impressive performance against Aston Villa it is almost impossible to look at any other wildcard option from the Merseyside Derby whilst Sturridge is fit and playing, and still owned by under fiver perfect of players. During the Luis Suarez year of 2013-14 it was Daniel Sturridge who shined in the local derby, scoring three goals in the two games against the Toffees, and hopeful FPL managers will be looking for more of the same in this hotly contested feature.
Should Daniel Sturridge remain fit and healthy he won’t remain a wildcard for much longer, as mentioned last week he is capable of scoring all types of goals and an incredibly versatile striker. Liverpool may have a patchy run but teams can rest easy with Sturridge in their teams, and so can Brendan Rodgers who looks set to capitalise on having his arguably best striker to choose from.
ANTONIO VALENCA, ARSENAL VS MANCHESTER UNITED
Name: Antonio Valencia
Club: Manchester United
Being an Arsenal fan is a rollercoaster, take this week for example. Arsenal defeated Leicester to put an end to their winning ways, and then flash forward to the midweek they are undone by an efficient Olympiakos at home, yes the Emirates, to slip to the bottom of their Champion’s League group. The last thing Arsene Wenger wants showing up at his doorstep is one his bogey teams to give more fuel to the fire for restless Gunners supporters.
Unfortunately for the longer serving Frenchman they have Manchester United who come into the gameweek as current Premier League winners. After dispatching a vulnerable Sunderland it will be in the interests of Van Gaal’s Army to secure the three points against a team they love beating. In the Manchester United setup is the Ecuadorian Antonio Valencia who has filled in whilst Luke Shaw recovers from a broken leg, and he looked the real deal on the left side and is sure to cause Arsenal some problems. This could be a tight fixture with few goals so there is the opportunity for Van Gaal to inspire the Red Devils to continue their impressive form and shut out the Gunners, with a part played by Valencia to help see that through.
GYLFI SIGURDSSON, SWANSEA VS SPURS
Name: Gylfi Sigurdsson
Just squeezing into the wildcards this week is the Icelander Sigurdsson who welcomes his old club to the Liberty Stadium for what looks like a great game of football between two teams with a point to prove. Sigurdsson will be looking to halt the resurgent Spurs after their victory against Manchester City last weekend, even stating that he looks to add more goals to his game…and nobody should be complaining about that after he is usually so consistent in providing returns to FPL managers.
The price is the only off-putting factor for Sigurdsson but Swansea has a good run of games to follow, firstly with Stoke at home in gameweek nine and Aston Villa away in gameweek ten. Players love scoring against the old clubs, and anything is possible with the way this season is turning out. The Spurs defence has looked kind of robust in the last few gameweeks, but a player as good as Sigurdsson can change that.
For all GW 8 build up, check out the Weekly Hype page now.