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 17)
Pandemonium for the choices made for gameweek seventeen as the only player that performed was a Chelsea player, of all ten games the only one to deliver was Pedro in Chelsea’s win against Sunderland. Eighteen weeks in and the wildcards are flipped on their head, this is one of those weeks where everything was to play for but nothing had been achieved. Pedro surprised everyone because Chelsea’s poor run of form, it made sense to include him, but it is still a surprise considering everything.
Two players made it to the dreaded 59th minute before being subbed off, Man Utd’s Fellaini and West Hams Zarate were carted off before they could even make it to two points, a real shame and blow for the week. The only member of the nine who failed to produce points we’ll mention is Jordan Henderson, from one of the player of the week last week to, well, a hindrance to Liverpool in their embarrassing defeat to Watford. No player in the league so far this league has hit the lows of ball retention in the second half of the pitch than Jordan Henderson this year, everything he did never worked out and he set the bar for Liverpool’s low standards that day. The Hype Train’s resident Liverpool fan was the most critical of a disastrous performance.
Gerard Deulofeu: 2pts
Marouane Fellaini: 1pt
Paulo Gazzaniga: 2pts
Marko Arnautovic: 2pts
Craig Dawson: 1pt
Daryl Janmaat: 2pts
Jordan Henderson: 2pts
Mauro Zarate: 1pt
Aaron Ramsey: 2pts
Gameweek 15 Average Points: 59pts
Gameweek 15 Wildcard Points: 34pts
TEAM OF THE WEEK WILDCARDS
You know the state of the league is truly in chaos when not one, but two, defensive options from the Spurs team occupy the team of the week is a reality. Last season this would have been a thing of miracles, not now it is the normal. Spurs must have added some extra security with the seat belt they have installed on their home kit. In truth though Hugo Lloris and Kyle Walker were brilliant from start to finish, with Lloris showing real pedigree and class with some fine saves. Elsewhere Watford have another two additions to the team in Ake and Ighalo, and a Chelsea defender (yes you have read that right) made the cut. Every week defies expectation, which is unless you captain a certain Algerian midfielder week-in, week-out.
Riyad Mahrez once again occupying his reserved spot meant that the dream team is now him and ten others, and with a visit of Liverpool upcoming expect the seat on his hype train to still be warm by the time he comes back for it. Ozil and Ighalo are following in a similar fashion; it is actually unbelievable that the Gunners most hated purchase is now proving every single one of them wrong. It is poetic justice after he was chastised every time he touched the ball in 2014/15, and now he is the only person Gunners fans want hogging the ball. Every week people are trying to explain this season, but nobody can. The best suited analogy is a prison riot, and everyone is going after the Chelsea gang after domination the previous season. Left, right, and centre chaos roams the halls of the once controlled FPL, even a Norwich striker got into the team this week. Imagine anything, with Martin Skrtel out next week it could Kolo Toure who is player of the week, or maybe even Paul Dummet, it is time to just start picking at random and believing that once and for all there is a wildcard god pulling the strings.
Wildcards: Ake, Walker, Daniels, Alli, Jerome, Okazaki (6)
Non-Wildcards: Lloris, Ivanovic, Mahrez, Ozil, Ighalo (5)
Points by wildcards: 71pts
Points by non-wildcards: 62pts
THIS WEEKS WILDCARDS
For Gameweek Eighteen 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 24/12/2015.
GLEN JOHNSON, STOKE CITY VS MANCHESTER UNITED
Name: Glen Johnson
Club: Stoke City
Position: Defender (actually plays right wing)
If anyone would have told The Hype Team’s Liverpool resident that Glen Johnson would be outperforming every single Liverpool defender at this point in the season he would have called you delusional. Currently that is the reality, and unlike the Liverpool defence the attacking right back has been a solid FPL option for the last two months. Van Gaal’s United are looking vulnerable and unlike Crystal Palace the General doesn’t have the same attacking grit than the Eagles do, and with so much controversy on the media about his imminent departure clouding the heads of the Man Utd players this may be the game that breaks the straw on the camel’s back for the General Van Gaal’s time at Manchester United. Glen Johnson could be in the team that has the Dutchman sacked, and just for knowing that is a possibility there is no other way another Stoke City player is getting close to this wildcard pick for gameweek eighteen.
15 – (H) – 6pts
16 – (A) – 7pts
17 – (H) – 1pt
18 – MUN (H) – 26th December, 12:45pm
19 – EVE (A) – 28th December, 15:00pm
20 – WBA (A) – 2nd January, 15:00pm
ANGELO OGBONNA, ASTON VILLA VS WEST HAM
Name: Angelo Ogbonna
Club: West Ham
Ask to show you a consistent group of players defensively at the moment and The Hype Train will show you the West Ham defence. Their defence has been lean, and they don’t even have Winston Reid in it currently. Sitting next to James Collins is the former Juventus player Ogbonna who has kept a clean sheet in West Ham’s last three outings. Looking into future fixtures and there is great hope this defensive run can continue with Aston Villa, Southampton, and Liverpool. All three of these teams are woeful in front of goal at the moment and if there is a reliable team for clean sheets look none further. This pick was easy, but if you wanted a cheaper option then you could opt for James Collins, but at the risk of him being rotated with Tomkins in the heart of the Hammers consistent backline.
15 – MUN (A) – 6pts
16 – STK (H) – 6pts
17 – SWA (A) – 6pts
18 – AVL (A) – 26th December, 15:00pm
19 – SOU (H) – 28th December, 17:30pm
20 – LIV (H) – 2nd January, 12:45pm
GLENN MURRAY, BOURNEMOUTH VS CRYSTAL PALACE
Name: Glenn Murray
Club: AFC Bournemouth
A risky pick considering Bournemouth’s next three fixtures, the two best away teams visit the Vitality Stadium in the next two weeks as do league leaders Leicester. However, feat not, because the goal scoring Glenn Murray has been picked because The Hype Train sees a curse unfolding right before our eyes, this one relates to players performing against their former clubs. Both Cherries and Eagles are riding highs at the moment and if anyone should score it will be Murray for Eddie Howe’s team then destiny would have it be Murray against his former employers. Headlines are reserved for moments like these.
15 – CHE (A) – 5pts
16 – MUN (H) – 1pt
17 – WBA (A) – 2pts
18 – CRY (H) – 26th December, 15:00pm
19 – ARS (A) – 28th December, 17:30pm
20 – LEI (A) – 2nd January, 15:00pm
TROY DEENEY, CHELSEA VS WATFORD
Name: Troy Deeney
For our weekly collaboration with the Fantasy Football Pundits we write a piece on a team currently of interest in the Premier League. This week it was time to turn our attention to Chelsea and the departure of their former manager Jose Mourinho, if you have a few minutes check it out, it will definitely open your eyes to the problem Chelsea are in this season even with Hiddink in charge now. The Hype Train’s stance on Chelsea still hasn’t changed; they are in a relegation battle. By defeating Sunderland, added to their victories over Norwich and Aston Villa, they are doing the bare minimum to stay in the league. Watford are a significantly better team at the moment, and after crushing Liverpool they look to one of the worst teams in the league. Wildcard royalty turns up to Stamford Bridge looking to continue his and Odion Ighalo’s fine scoring form, and with the Chelsea defence still leaky expect there to be goals. King Deeney isn’t going anywhere.
15 – NOR (H) – 11pts
16 – SUN (A) – 2pts
17 – LIV (H) – 5pts
18 – CHE (A) – 26th December, 15:00pm
19 – TOT (H) – 28th December, 15:00pm
20 – MCI (H) – 2nd January, 17:30pm
CHRISTIAN FUCHS, LIVERPOOL VS LEICESTER
Name: Christian Fuchs
When looking through the Liverpool players to pick it was difficult to spot a single contender from a team comprised mostly of wildcards, from an FPL standpoint they are a total liability. We are not being harsh on Liverpool but each and every week their players are letting us all down with mediocre performances, and things don’t look like they are going to improve with table toppers Leicester paying a visit to Anfield. Just exactly what the doctor ordered. We pulled left-back Christian Fuchs out of a hat, no word of a lie, because at this stage of the season any Leicester wildcard is worth more than a Liverpool player. Leicester are the favourites to win this match and Fuchs has been a big part of their success since he has been playing. His long throws are cruel, and his passing will cause Liverpool problems all over. Without a true goal threat in their team at the moment it also is a logical bet to put faith into a Leicester defender because the Reds are struggling in front of their beloved Kop.
15 – SWA (A) – 6pts
16 – CHE (H) – 2pts
17 – EVE (A) – 1pt
18 – LIV (A) – 26th December, 15:00pm
19 – MCI (H) – 29th December, 19:45pm
20 – BOU (H) – 2nd January, 15:00pm
NICOLAS OTAMENDI, MANCHESTER CITY VS SUNDERLAND
Name: Nicolas Otamendi
Club: Manchester City
If there was a game that Manchester City has to keep a clean sheet at home it is this one, against struggling relegation threatened Sunderland. Otamendi has been solid for Manchester City this term but their defensive capabilities have diminished since Kompany has been out injured; with the chance for Kompany to enter the fold alongside the Argentine could help rebuild their once mighty defensive form. Sunderland have really struggled, even with Big Sam at the wheel, this might finally be the year that they get relegated after dodging death countless times. A comprehensive victory, and long awaiting clean sheet for City, could help highlight the extend of the Black Cats troubles.
15 – STK (A) – 0pts
16 – SWA (H) – 2pts
17 – ARS (A) – 0pts
18 – SUN (H) – 26th December, 15:00pm
19 – LEI (A) – 29th December, 19:45pm
20 – WAT (A) – 2nd January, 17:30pm
KYLE WALKER, SPURS VS NORWICH
Name: Kyle Walker
Everyone knows that Roy Hodgson is spending his Christmas at White Hart Lane, the England manager loves visiting the Lane because four of his prodigal children all play there. One man he especially adores is this week’s wildcard pick Kyle Walker who excelled against Southampton and making it into the dream team for gameweek seventeen. Nathaniel Clyne must be worried that his place isn’t certain in the squad, and there will be plenty of people supporting that nation currently. Norwich on boxing day will be a tricky encounter but one that could be an easy challenge for Spurs to conquer, and with more attacking options than Big Toby then the attacking right-back might be the man for your team this week.
15 – WBA (A) – 2pts
16 – NEW (H) – 1pt
17 – SOU (A) – 12pts
18 – NOR (H) – 26th December, 15:00pm
19 – WAT (A) – 28th December, 15:00pm
20 – EVE (A) – 3rd January, 16:00pm
GYLFI SIGURDSSON, SWANSEA VS WEST BROM
Name: Gylfi Sigurdsson
Sooner rather than later the Swans are going to return to form, and with West Brom struggling to pick up any momentum this match could be the perfect springboard for their recovery and ascension away from the relegation zone. Gylfi Sigurdsson has been a reliable pick for the wildcards every time he is picked, the last time he was predicted to score a free kick and did exactly that against Aston Villa. Swansea are looking better and they are trying to find something that clicks into their system, and from that their true quality will show good faith, Gylfi is that quality. With several key players serving suspensions, and injuries to the West Brom team this could be the perfect time to repay some of the faith in the Icelander.
15 – LEI (H) – 2pts
16 – MCI (A) – 2pts
17 – WHU (H) – 3pts
18 – WBA (H) – 26th December, 15:00pm
19 – CRY (A) – 28th December, 15:00pm
20 – MUN (A) – 2nd January, 15:00pm
ALEKSANDAR MITROVIC, NEWCASTLE VS EVERTON
Name: Aleksandar Mitrovic
Newcastle are on some good form coming into this encounter a stuttering Everton who recently lost to Leicester. Papa Cisse is out injured which will mean that Mitrovic will get called back into the starting eleven for the Magpies as they continue their great scoring run against the Toffees. Like Crystal Palace the legacy of a Pardew team faring well against Merseyside teams continues to this day, after defeating Liverpool they look to their blue neighbours for the same result. Mitrovic is a big player and after showing huge quality against Spurs in Newcastle’s victory at the lane perhaps he can repeat his heroics to give victory over the Toffees. Based on history this fixture promises goals so that is worth keeping in mind.
15 – LIV (H) – 0pts
16 – TOT (A) – 11pts
17 – AVL (H) – 1pt
18 – EVE (H) – 26th December, 17:30pm
19 – WBA (A) – 28th December, 15:00pm
20 – ARS (A) – 2nd January, 15:00pm
THEO WALCOTT, SOUTHAMPTON VS ARSENAL
Name: Theo Walcott
Whilst everyone is running their praise comb over the fine head of Giroud another big player to return to their main eleven is the pacey Theo Walcott who has scored in his last two league encounters. Walcott plays in midfield in the FPL, but in reality he is utilised as a second striker when Giroud is playing on the right of midfield, it is actually the dream line-up for gunners seeing both playing at the same time. Arsenal also has a tantalising run-up of fixtures over the Christmas period and he could be an influential player for the Gunners, he is the one breaking behind the defence to score the goals, and considering some of the more expensive options failing to live up to expectations you may have in your team (cough, Hazard, cough) Walcott could even save you some money for investment in the rest of your FPL teams.
15 – SUN (H) – 1pt
16 – AVL (A) – 6pts
17 – MCI (H) – 7pts
18 – SOU (A) – 26th December, 19:45pm
19 – BOU (H) – 28th December, 17:30pm
20 – NEW (H) – 2nd January, 15:00pm
For all GW 18 build up, check out the Weekly Hype page now.