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 8)
Gameweek eight threw up some surprises, but it also did a lot to remedy the expectations of FPL managers seeking valued points. Aguero smashed in five goals in twenty minutes against a Newcastle squad that had dominated the first half of that game, the Argentine had stored up eight gameweeks of goals into one game. Aguero was after all good for his money, especially if you captained him. Hazard also registered points, as did Alexis Sanchez and Pelle. These are the names that people expect on the points board. The comprehensive failure of the chosen wildcards should be rejoiced as players who are actually represented in teams on the large part performed.
The only player to register any successful points tally was Pape Soure of Crystal Palace who got five; everyone else lingered in the one to two point margins. Kurt Zouma did his part in creating a nine man team by not featuring at the weekend, so there isn’t really much to talk about aside from the positives that everyone can take from the week. Wildcards are designed to surprise you and also to fail as they have no guarantees of points returns, the fact one registered any major points is still classed as a success to highlight points can come from any source.
Total Wildcard Points (GW8): 18 points
Gameweek 8 Average Points: 55 points
Pape Soure: 5pts
Mame Biram Diouf: 2pts
Marc Pugh: 1pt
Nicolas Otamendi: 2pts
Cameron Jerome: 2pts
Kurt Zouma: 0pts
Daniel Sturridge: 2pts
Antonio Valencia: 1pt
Gylfi Sigurdsson: 2pts
TEAM OF THE WEEK WILDCARDS
On one side of things there are attackers that everyone would bank on getting points, highly selected players in the FPL, bar Christian Eriksen who has just recently returned from injury it has been a set of attacking players that everyone is thankful for performing. One the other side is a wildcard defence spearheaded by players from Stoke, Leicester, and Watford. Gomes didn’t even keep a clean sheet as he saved a penalty in the draw at Bournemouth. This is a true reflection of the FPL at the moment in the mind of many players…unpredictable defence and solid attacking options. You know it is a crazy world when Glen Johnson is statistically the best defender during the gameweek.
POINTS ACHIEVED BY WILCARD PLAYERS: 52 points
POINTS ACHIEVED BY NON-WILDCARD PLAYERS: 97 points
THIS WEEKS WILDCARDS
For gameweek nine 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 13/10/2015.
DANIEL STURRIDGE, SPURS VS LIVERPOOL
Name: Daniel Sturridge
Currently sitting on the threshold of no longer being a wildcard the inclusion of Daniel Sturridge is the third consecutive time the England international is on the wildcard list. Whilst the man with the dance is still classified as an outside player he will be selected each and every week because it would be idiotic not to bet on him getting amongst the goals. If you are looking for an alternative James Millner has slipped into the wildcards and if he is play further forward under Klopp, which many people think is going to be the case, then that is also a worth a look into.
Spurs are a team Liverpool love to beat, and with Christian Benteke a doubt for the gameweek that leaves Daniel Sturridge as the recognised Liverpool striker. It will be interesting to see if he has a long term future under Jurgen Klopp but the big German has said players will have a chance to prove themselves in his regime, which means Sturridge should be a sure bet to retain his place in the squad. Returning to one of their favoured stomping grounds Liverpool have a chance to further add to Kloppomania that is currently running wild, and knowing the shaky nature of the Spurs backline means Sturridge will be a threat in the ninety minutes.
For our full analysis of Liverpool under Klopp, and how Sturridge might fit into the team, click here or on the picture below.
WILLIAN, CHELSEA VS ASTON VILLA
Having achieved 7pts and 8pts in the last two gameweeks it is left unsaid that Willian has been one of Chelsea’s top performers so far in this stuttering season for the Blues. The Special One comes up against a man trying to save his job, as manager culling season starts the Villain’s boss sees Chelsea’s current dilemma a chance to make good on his promise to keep Aston Villa in the Premier League. Jose will need the likes of Willian to produce brilliance from nothing in what is sure to be a gritty encounter at Stamford Bridge with both teams trying to climb out of the bottom five.
Willian is on set piece duty and is surely un-droppable at this point in the season when not much of their attack is clicking for them at the moment. Who knows though, this has been a strange season so far and this is the perfect springboard for Chelsea to return to winning ways and should the continued effort made by Willian is made then he might also have FPL managers thanking him too.
CARL JENKINSON, CRYSTAL PALACE VS WEST HAM
Name: Carol Jenkinson
Club: West Ham
West Ham has an impressive away record, so why not bank on them continuing that trend against a fiery Crystal Palace? Proven to be solid at the back during away encounters the defence is the most obvious place for points, particularly the full backs for West Ham. Jenkinson has returned to the main setup of the Hammers main eleven and his bursting runs into the box and eye for goal puts him into consideration.
This fixture very well might be a tight and cagey encounter with not a lot of room to breathe, so a defensive asset might actually be beneficial in this fixture. The nature of the FPL currently does not inspire great confidence into the FPL community as to provide answers to the great question: who do we pick for our starting teams? Jenkinson’s consideration for this week is so obscure that all the believers in Crystal Palace’s attack may end up scratching their heads. West Ham have proven everyone wrong so far in the season, so the argument could be that they can do it again.
BRENDAN GALLOWAY, EVERTON VS MANCHESTER UNITED
Name: Brendan Galloway
An ongoing injury to Leighton Baines means that the plucky Brendan Galloway will retain his place in Everton’s starting team; a great young prospect getting his chance in a strong team is always refreshing and inspiring, especially because most Everton defenders this year are classed as overpriced. Galloway is a slim £4.5mil defender in a good side capable of keeping clean sheets, were it not for Baines returning sooner rather than later everyone would have Galloway in their teams.
There is also the small matter of the abysmal record that Manchester United have at Goodison Park, it is really that bad for Luis Van Gaal’s Army in the Premier League. In the last straight two seasons the Toffees have had their number, with cryptic theories that the Red Devils were cursed after prying David Moyes from their dugout. Everton have been riding high and Manchester United has been buckling under pressure in recent weeks and FPL managers will be optimistic about Everton’s chances whilst Romelu Lukaku is on fine form.
WILFRIED BONY, MANCHESTER CITY VS BOURNEMOUTH
Name: Wilfried Bony
Club: Manchester City
Aguero is injured, so are two of their key attackers. Chance for Bony to make a long awaited impression for Manchester City, yes. Many players may not want to remove Aguero from their teams, and despite their injuries if you feel like the Citizens still have a goal scoring edge then why not do the logistic move of replacing Aguero for the man who will be taking his position until his inevitable return. Bony is a starting striker, he is capable of goals in technical teams and in the air, so he fits the bill for an all-round centre forward. It is unlikely to see Sterling put up top as other key central attackers are not available, so Bony will have his chance and even if it is for a month could remind everyone on exactly what they are missing.
The Hype Train would like to take a minute to recognise how important Bony was to the FPL before his move to Man City; he was a credible FPL option and someone you always wanted in your team. The strong Ivorian was the top scorer in the calendar year before his move to the Etihad and it has been a great shame to see him undermined in a team full of mega-stars. Bony can operate at that level, substitute appearances are an insult to a man who couldn’t stop scoring goals before his transfer. Now, his only assurances are being named on an expensive bench joined alongside other expensive players. The hope is that he can finally seize he chance and start repaying some of the hefty fee that the club forked out for him.
RYAN BERTRAND, SOUTHAMPTON VS LEICESTER
Name: Ryan Bertrand
Saint’s fans are glad that one of their star players has returned to the fold, the presence of Ryan Bertrand might just give Southampton that clinical defensive edge that they had last year. Leicester arrives at St Mary’s for an intriguing fixture because both teams are on form and still have everything to fight for. Both teams secured respective 2-0 score-lines against one another on home soil, on paper it should follow the same path but this season has been far anything but unpredictable.
Ryan Bertrand is a player that a large majority of FPL players had in for the duration of last season, so why wait if you think Southampton are coming into a fresh run of form. The next three fixtures are favourable in their odds and Bertrand will no doubt play a part in that. Predicting defence has so far been a tactical gamble as there is no guarantee that anyone can keep a clean sheet anymore. All that is left is ‘What Ifs’, what if Leicester was to not score a goal for the first time this season? What if Saints go on a good run until Christmas? What if there were points in their defence again? The last two prior seasons they have looked legitimate and strong at the back, and it looks like they might be starting to find that balance once again under Ronald Koeman.
STEVEN FLETCHER, WEST BROM VS SUNDERLAND
Name: Steven Fletcher
Appointing Sam Allardyce as the new manager of the Black Cats was expected from the second Dick Advocaat called it quits, and now the new gaffer will be tasked with making an impression against the stubborn defence of West Brom. Not an easy task with all things considered, and half of Sunderland’s defence injured and a suspended Jermaine Lens also out of action. Allardyce prepares every bit of detail to perfection when he comes to set up his squads, amongst the types of players he loves to play are poachers who can take the headers on offer, tap-ins, and always look to be causing problems in the box. Enter the Scotsman Steven Fletcher.
After finding some good form during the euro qualifiers, even bagging a hatrick against Gibraltar he will be high on confidence going into the match an Allardyce will need that if he is to get anything from the game. West Brom will sit deep when being hassled by an oppositions attack and Allardyce will look to have someone collect the ball deep in the oppositions box to get the easy goals, and that should be Fletcher’s main job alongside Jermaine Defoe.
THEO WALCOTT, WATFORD VS ARSENAL
Name: Theo Walcott
Theo Walcott makes his way onto the wildcards list for a second time after a strong international break with England, helping them secure a one hundred percent winning percentage in all of their games during qualification for next year’s euros. The Hype Train team was actually at Wembley during the game against Estonia and he was one of the sparkling gems, always looking to get in behind and feed off passes played from midfield. The debate to whether he is a winger or striker is irrelevant as he is a goal scorer first and foremost. Walcott was also important in the win over Manchester United and he may very well be a formidable player and FPL option should he stay injury free.
Arsenal visit Watford who has made their home ground a fortress, not conceding a goal in the first half of any game to take place at Vicarage Road. Arsenal was expected to lose to Leicester, but they showed the world their goal scoring prowess against a strong side, they will be looking to do the exact same. Arsenal are serious about mounting a challenge for the title this season, and they will need the likes of Theo Walcott to be the keys that unlock the doors to Premier League defences in order to bring the silverware back to them.
ALAKSANDAR MITROVIC, NEWCASTLE VS NORWICH
Name: Alaksandar Mitrovic
Club: Newcastle United
Newcastle suffered a crippling blow as Tim Krul was ruled out for the rest of the season through injury, which in the eyes of many might mean even more doom as their priority goalkeeper is forced to watch on, especially as their defence looks a shade weaker as a result. Confidence isn’t high with the Newcastle backline as it is, but after Mitrovic headed in a wonderful Wijnaldum curled lob against Manchester City their fortunes may be changing on the other end of the pitch. Let's not forget, it should have been two against City, with a back-post effort wrongfully ruled out for offside.
In the first half of games the Toon are blowing teams away if they aren’t already reduced to ten men, and the one thing they have been lacking is someone who can head the ball into the net. To see a Magpie score a header before this season was akin to locating the source of the Nile river, and that goal against Manchester City may see the big Serbian start to finally prove his worth after a torrid start of the season. There are risks involved, such as yellow and red cards, but in the last two games Mitrovic looks to have listened more in training and observed the game more correctly which led to his goal against Man City. A lot of hype has been placed on Aguero that game, and rightfully so, but Newcastle should have been two goals to the good and cruising in the match, so there is no reason why they can’t use that wind in their sails and get their first win of the season against a team that has currently not registered a clean sheet in the Premier League.
NEIL TAYLOR, SWANSEA VS STOKE
Name: Neil Taylor
A game that guarantees goals if you look at last year’s results, and also potential for even more clean sheets. Stoke have been resolute in recent weeks as they begin their climb out of the bottom half of the table, even Glen Johnson has looked a half decent player nabbing twelve points for the few FPL managers who chose him for the gameweek. Swansea won this fixture by two goals without conceding any in 2014/15, and that is encouraging as both teams will be looking for more composure in their defences. This is a fixture that could go either way as both teams are at the same level where they should be performing on a higher level with the talent at their disposal.
Neil Taylor is Swansea’s left back and has started every single game this term for the Swans, after a convincing run of performances he has kept his place in the team despite the new signing of Franck Tabanou from St Etienne. Swansea should edge this on paper, so there is some confidence that they can keep a clean sheet, a big plus for Taylor would be that you wouldn’t need to rotate him either as Swansea have a decent run of upcoming fixtures.
For all GW 9 build up, check out the Weekly Hype page now.