Every week The Hype Train analyses the best wildcard options for your Fantasy Premier League teams. Historically weekly FPL Dream Team’s comprise of mostly wildcard players whose selection falls with a low selection % 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 Premier League match in the upcoming Gameweek to decide who could be the differential that sets your team apart. All aboard.
Weekly Wildcards: 2015/16 Season Review
The pursuit of Fantasy Premier League glory never hinges on the success of key 'essential' players, instead finding a differential with very little player ownership can help drive your team up mini-leagues and the global points ladders. The Hype Train invested a great deal of time last season trying to unearth the FPL gems that lay just beneath the surface of our thinking, and we have taken the journey to review our efforts from the 2015/16 season. We're reviewing what worked, what didn't, the teams and players to rely on, and those to avoid. All aboard as we review a season of Weekly Wildcard picks.
To read the full Wildcard Season review, click here, or on cover stars Troy Deeney and Gylfi Sigurdsson below.
DIFFERENTIALS: WHAT IS A WILDCARD PLAYER?
The rules for the 2015/16 season were easy enough to follow. The only rule was that a player had be to selected by less than 5% of the FPL's populace. With 2016/17's price changes, and player selection trends, we have been forced to revise our rules on what constitutes a differential. After testing the waters with selection, there are just not enough differentials with the 2015/16 classification in each position, so we have introduced position specific rules regarding what is and isn't a wildcard/differential player in the FPL that we believe is representative to the game this season.
We have set new boundaries for selection, and these rules listed below will be running throughout the 2016/17 FPL season.
- Any shot stopper outside of the top 5 selected. A differential Goalkeeper is now considered outside of the top bracket due to the overwhelming ownership selection % of the top 5 GKs for any one Gameweek.
- A GK's ownership must not exceed 10%
- Due to the pricing structure, a differential Defender is the uncommon picks for any one side. There is one or two overwhelming options for most teams in the FPL that consume ownership percentage.
- We cannot pick the top 2 selected Defenders, unless they fall below 7% ownership. We can only pick the second most selected for the same reasoning. This ensures 2 wildcard options are available for all teams.
- Any Midfielder under 8% ownership is classified as a differential.
- Our percentage criteria of 8% is due to a greater wealth of premium midfielders. There is a monopoly of top midfielders for most Premier League clubs, leaving only a handful of Midfielders that provide differential options on a weekly basis.
- We cannot pick the most highly selected Forwards in the FPL, most of which are over 10% player ownership. The exception is if the top selected Forward from any club falls below 9%.
- Our percentage criteria of 9% is high because there is already a monopoly of Forwards, and anything outside of that is considered to be a differential.
DIFFERENTIALS: GAMEWEEK PERFORMANCE (GW1)
Our scoring procedure is exactly the same as the FPL's, and each week a good barometer of success is whether or not our weekly selections outscore the average points for a Gameweek. Each week the results vary due to rotation, and unpredictable scorelines, which applies more so to differential players. We have an invested interest each and every week at finding the different players to make a difference, especially since it is easy to say Aguero or Kane will get on the score sheet.
See below for how our wildcard selections got on this past Gameweek.
Gameweek 1 Average Points: 44pts
Gameweek 1 Wildcard Points: 25pts
DIFFERENTIALS: SEASON PERFORMANCE
To help track our progress throughout the 2016/17 season, below you can check how our wildcard selections have done by week to week in the Fantasy Premier League
Best Wildcard Week: GW1 - 25pts, 2 player returns
Worst Wildcard Week: GW1 - 25pts, 2 player returns
Average Points: 44 (1) = 44pts
Wildcard Points: 25 (1) = 25pts
Best Gamweek Wildcard Player(s)
GW1: Lukasz Fabianski (Burnley vs. Swansea) - 8pts
Gameweek Wildcard History
GW1: 25 points, 2 player returns
Fabianski (8), Townsend (2), Deulofeu (3), Friend (2), Tadic (2), Nolito (1), Callum Wilson (2), Lovren (0), Diego Costa (5)
WILDCARDS: HALL OF FAME
To honour the exceptional diamonds in the rough, below is a a Hall of Fame highlighting last season's top performing wildcards, as well as the best individual points returners from this season.
2015/16: Top 5 Wildcards
1 - Troy Deeney (WAT) (P15) (77pts)
2 - Christian Fuchs (LEI) (P10) (48pts)
3 - Gylfi Sigurdsson (SWA) (P6) (43pts)
4 - Nicolas Otamendi (MCI) (P9) (39pts)
5 - Daniel Sturridge (LIV) (P5) (38pts)
FPL Wildcards: Our Best Individual Wildcard Points Returns
1 - Fabianski (Swansea): 8pts (GW1)
2 - Diego Costa (Chelsea): 5pts (GW1)
3 - Deulofeu (Everton): 3pts (GW1)
4 - Friend (Middlesbrough): 2pts (GW1)
5 - Tadic (Southampton): 2pts (GW1)
FPL DREAM TEAM ANALYSIS: GAMEWEEK 1
Wildcards (7): Foster, Kingsley, Collins, Fer, Lallana, Martial, Capoue
Non Wildcards (4): McAuley, Coutinho, Negredo, Ibrahimovic
Points achieved by Wildcards: 69pts
Points achieved by Non-Wildcards: 40pts
GAMEWEEK WILDCARD DIFFERENTIALS
For each FPL Gameweek we select a wildcard player from each game.
We do not select a back-up player for the differentials we bank on – that’s the whole point, being a wildcard.
The selection percentage and player price is accurate with the posting of the article.
Our rundowns of player selections are representative of the Premier League’s TV fixture list.
MAN UNITED VS. SOUTHAMPTON
Player: Matt Targett
Player Price: £4.5mil
Player Selection %: 0.9%
In the past two seasons this fixture has seen Southampton rock up to Old Trafford and leave with the three points, scoring one goal in each fixture with reply. Can lightening hit a historic third time for the Saints? That is the love of the wildcard, and filling in at left-back for the Saints is understudy Matt Targett who looked lively down the left channel in the opener against Watford. The full-back isn’t afraid to put in a cross to the forwards or get forward as much as possible. Southampton will be tougher tests than Bournemouth for Manchester United, so anything could happen in the season’s first Friday night game.
STOKE CITY VS. MAN CITY
Player: Aleksandar Kolarov
Player Price: £6.0mil
Player Selection %: 5.8%
Manchester City have had some time to reflect on the win to Sunderland, allowing Jermain Defoe to creep past John Stones could have been avoided, so we believe Pep will want a compact defence when they travel to the infamous Britannia Stadium. Kolarov has been highly talked by the new manager as a left sided centre back due to his range of passing and will start once again to Stones left for the encounter with Stoke. Kolarov is also a bonus point magnet when he performs, there is potential for goals, set-pieces, and clean sheets with Kolarov this season if Pep continues to field him. Stoke were unconvincing at best against Middlesbrough so it has minds wondering if Pep can really do it on a cold night at Stoke.
BURNLEY VS. LIVERPOOL
Player: Adam Lallana
Player Price: £7.0mil
Player Selection %: 6.4%
The influence of Klopp on Adam Lallana has been incredible. The versatile midfielder has been moved into a central midfield role with license to roam and support the front three forwards. He is the linchpin of midfield and if his performance against Arsenal is anything to go by then this could be a rewarding season for the England international. Lallana’s reputation after the euros as the Three Lions best player at the tournament has followed him into the Premier League and the tricky midfielder might be producing more magical moments during their trip to Burnley if his license to get forward and support the attack is retained. Why would it be? Lallana was probably more important that Coutinho in the goal fest at the Emirates.
SWANSEA VS. HULL
Player: Fernando Llorente
Player Price: £6.5mil
Player Selection %: 3.2%
After picking up a hard fought win against Burnley the Swans face another promoted team as they look to build on their strong start. The Hype Train were pleased to see Llorente make an impact on his debut, his header leading to the Fer goal that picked up their win was a reassurance that the big Spaniard will have a big role to play for the Swans this season. With club record signing Borja Baston most likely missing the game due to injury the road for Llorente remains clear for the moment to continue impressing. At a bargain price with a home tie against a promoted team there is value in having the big guy in your FPL teams, he will be the focal point of Swansea’s attack and should Swansea be more clinical than Leicester were there could be huge points returns for a whole host of Swans this gameweek, Llorente included.
SPURS VS. CRYSTAL PALACE
Player: Michel Vorm
Player Price: £5.0mil
Player Selection %: 0.2%
The Hype Train has concerns for Crystal Palace, legitimate concerns that their main attacking impetus without Yannick Bolasie will leave them waiting for their first Premier League goal for another day. When Bolasie was injured during the Christmas break last season the Eagles soared high and his absence saw a catastrophic plummet down the league table. Some players make teams tick, and when they leave solutions are to be found. The performance against West Brom has hinted that this could very well be the case. Michel Vorm comes in to deputise for the injured Hugo Lloris and may have a fruitful first outing of the season. Spurs defence is still solid so it could be easy points in this fixture for Vorm.
WATFORD VS. CHELSEA
Player: Troy Deeney
Player Price: £7.0mil
Player Selection %: 5.0%
The king is back! Troy Deeney takes his place among differential royalty after last season’s heroic FPL returns for those brave enough to take the plunge with him. Last season Deeney scored against Chelsea in front of their home fans and with Conte’s Chelsea not looking the finished article there is definitely room for some leakage as the Blues come up against the boulder that is Troy Deeney. The Watford skipper is on penalty duty and picked up his first returns of the season as he set up the goal that was tucked away by Capoue against Southampton in GW1 after muscling his way between the defence. Deeney offers you everything, power, set-piece potential, and the ultimate differential option for gameweek two.
WEST BROM VS. EVERTON
Player: Salomón Rondón
Player Price: £6.5mil
Player Selection %: 2.8%
Tony Pulis is the king of pulling results out of thin air, he utilised his biggest weapon against Crystal Palace to great effect as Rondon returned to his highly sought after goal scoring pedigree. The Baggies forward who has recently been linked with Barcelona deserves all the plaudits for his career so far, and the all-round striker will be looking to add to his tally against an Everton squad that is still figuring out things under new manager Ronald Koeman. There isn’t much to say about this pick because it was an obvious choice, nobody else from either team looked like a worthwhile differential. Rondon is at a good price, in-form, and the difference maker to the West Brom team.
LEICESTER VS. ARSENAL
Player: Santiago Cazorla
Player Price: £7.5mil
Player Selection %: 1.7%
Arsenal will be scratching their heads about the loss to Liverpool, the brutal way in which the Reds tore them apart will be felt for weeks to come as they now face the one team they did the double over last season…champions Leicester City. Whilst the season was full of crazy circumstances and unbelievable moments we remember how a certain Spanish attacking midfielder tore Leicester apart with his neat passing and through balls to Theo Walcott. Santi Cazorla was that man, and after reintroducing himself after a long injury layoff the Spaniard looks to have dusted off the cobwebs and is aiming to take his place once again in the Arsenal squad in the wake of Aaron Ramsey’s latest injury. We could be in for another big showing from both teams, most likely goals on both sides, and we like the look of Cazorla going into this gameweek against a shaken Foxes side who lost to Hull less than a week ago.
SUNDERLAND VS. MIDDLESBROUGH
Player: Jermain Defoe
Player Price: £7.0mil
Player Selection %: 6.7%
In the day to day of most FPL managers they will be debating whether or not to Zlatan or if it is time to tweet about Sergio Aguero one more time. One scroll down the annuals of twitter recommendations for the gameweek nobody is highlighting the presence of natural talent Jermain Defoe who is best described as a goal machine. The price given to him has given the Englishman a cloak of invisibility and it isn’t hard to see why, a team under new management with no idea about how or who they are going to regularly play. Defoe put fears to rest among the small number of the FPL community who had been paying attention, he reminded them of his scoring prowess when he wiped out John Stones clean sheet points with ease. Jermain is back, and against Middlesbrough in Sunderland’s first home game it doesn’t take a genius to see that his services will be needed again.
WEST HAM VS. BOURNEMOUTH
Player: Cheikhou Kouyaté
Player Price: £5.5mil
Player Selection %: 2.8%
History is to be made in gameweek two of this intriguing season as West Ham take up residence for their first Premier League game in the refurbished Olympic Stadium. AFC Bournemouth are the visitors, and we should feel for them as they hosted Man Utd, and now must go to a place where the team will be fighting with tooth and claws to ensure that life in their new home ends with a win to kick their season off. West Ham unofficially opened the stadium in a Europa League fixture in which saw Cheikhou Kouyate score two goals to ensure their passage into the next round. Playing being the main striker there is a lot of optimism that he could be a big factor in their attack for the season as opposed to the deeper role he played last year. Lanzini is still out injured, as is Andre Ayew, so there is no reason why Cheikhou won’t play just behind Carroll. At a ridiculously cheap price and in a team with a fit Dimitri Payet we could see Kouyate strike again on the official unveiling in the Premier League for their new home.
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The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015 specialising in the Fantasy Premier League (#FPL), providing beautiful graphics and weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb ranking tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review movies, television, live music, festivals, and any relevant topic in the public eye.
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