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 (GW6)
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 6 Average Points: 45pts
Gameweek 6 Wildcard Points: 32pts
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: GW4 - 57pts, 5 player returns
Worst Wildcard Week: GW2 - 25pts, 1 player return
Average Points: 44 (1), 57 (2), 42 (3), 43 (4), 48 (5), 45 (6) = 279pts
Wildcard Points: 25 (1), 25 (2), 26 (3), 57 (4), 37 (5), 32 (6) = 202pts
Best Gamweek Wildcard Player(s)
GW1: Lukasz Fabianski (Burnley vs. Swansea) - 8pts
GW2: Michel Vorm (Spurs vs. Crystal Palace) - 7pts
GW3: John Terry (Chelsea vs. Burnley) - 6pts
GW4: Romelu Lukaku (Sunderland vs. Everton) - 17pts
GW5: Manuel Lanzini (West Brom vs. West Ham) - 7pts
GW6: Hueng-Min Son (Middlesbrough vs. Spurs) - 15pts
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)
GW2: 25 points, 1 player return
Targett (1), Kolarov (2), Lallana (2), Llorente (2), Vorm (7), Deeney (1), Rondon (2), Cazorla (3), Defoe (2), Kouyate (3)
GW3: 26 points, 2 player returns
Janssen (2), Terry (6), C. Benteke (2), Lukaku (2), Huth (4), Fonte (2), Holding (2), Abel Hernandez (2), Stuani (2), Otamendi (2)
GW4: 57 points, 5 player returns
Nolito (2), Mustafi (2), C. Wilson (6), Heaton (2), G. Ramirez (0), Bony (2), Antonio (13), Wijnaldum (5), Sigurdsson (8), Lukaku (17)
GW5: 37 points, 5 player returns
Oscar (2), Monreal (2), Huth (6), Bravo (6), Lanzini (7), Stekelenburg (-1), Rooney (1), Benteke (2), Tadic (6), Lloris (6)
GW6: 32 points, 2 player returns
Huth (-1), Bolasie (2), Matip (2), Hueng-Min Son (15), Chadli (1), Mandanda (1), Kolarov (1), Walcott (8), Lanzini (1), Deeney (2)
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 - Romelu Lukaku (Everton): 17pts (GW4)
2 - Hueng-Min Son (Spurs): 15pts (GW6)
3 - Michail Antonio (West Ham): 13pts (GW4)
4 - Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea): 8pts (GW4)
4 - Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea): 8pts (GW1)
4 - Theo Walcott (Arsenal): 8pts (GW6)
7 - Manuel Lanzini (West Ham): 7pts (GW5)
7 - Michel Vorm (Spurs): 7pts (GW2)
10 - John Terry (Chelsea): 6pts (GW3)
10 - Callum Wilson (Bournemouth): 6pts (GW4)
FPL DREAM TEAM ANALYSIS: GAMEWEEK 6
Wildcards: Heaton, Keane, Bertrand, Son, Milner
Non Wildcards: Bellerin, Lallana, Coutinho, Sanchez, Defoe, Aguero
Points achieved by Wildcards: 61pts
Points achieved by Non-Wildcards: 80pts
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.
EVERTON VS. CRYSTAL PALACE
Player: Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace)
Player Price: £7.6
Player Selection %: 6.2
Benteke is back in the minds of FPL managers after registering two late away goals on the Eagles travels in the Premier League. Dominating in the air the Belgian striker has found his feet at Crystal Palace and is getting the service to be effective at what he does best. Up next for Operation Pardew: Forty Points is a tricky away game to Everton, which actually may not be as tricky as first thought. Palace have drawn the last two league encounters with Everton and in the last two games at Goodison Park they have achieved four points. In the past two seasons the London team have been a thorn in the side of the Toffees, and after slipping up to Bournemouth last week there is no doubt that Pardew has smelt blood in the water. Benteke has been a proficient and useful option to have, and he is still rumoured to be penalty duty as well, which could wield an advantage over other strikers for this gameweek. Palace are moving up the gears and Alan Pardew loves coming to collect points from Merseyside clubs, he has made a habit out of doing it, and with Benteke in form they have a chance at snatching another away win.
SWANSEA VS. LIVERPOOL
Player: Loris Karius (Liverpool)
Player Price: £4.9
Player Selection %: 0.6
Sweeping changes to the defensive structure of Liverpool since the end of last season are starting to become clearer at Liverpool with new centre halves in Matip and Klavan joining the circus, and James Milner has moved to left-back replacing the benched Alberto Moreno. Clyne deservedly retains his place in the defence after another solid season. Probably the biggest change has been the most between the sticks, with Simon Mignolet's reputation in tatters since his move from Sunderland the Belgian looks to have finally moved down the pecking order in favour of Loris Karius. The German keeper made his first appearance against Hull and did little to nothing all game except the incident that led to the goal, a moment Loris couldn't do anything about. Klopp seems to have made up his mind and has even stated that the German will retain his place in the league games to assess the 'keepers potential. Liverpool is brushing aside teams and it leaves the goalkeeper normally playing the part of bystander for large portions of the game. A first clean sheet of the season is inevitable and with the Swans in bad form there is another chance for the Reds defence to get it right.
HULL VS. CHELSEA
Player: David Luiz (Chelsea)
Player Price: £6.0
Player Selection %: 0.9
Clowns paint their faces in many colours; you have many types of clown in fact. Classic ‘Whiteface’ clowns are the bringers of nightmares to most children, the ‘Auguste’ clown who leers at innocent children in parks, and the ‘Tramp’ who wants you to feel sad but normally just weirds you out. The last type of traditional clown is the ‘Luiz’, a clown who can excel at causing danger from distance, but when challenged by another clown ends up falling onto the floor in hilarious circumstances. Partnered with other clowns of similar ability it is a circus show for the whole family to enjoy. In this weeks advertised show the clowns are joined by the Tigers who are added to the event as the clowns will wow you at their ability to tame the endangered species. Two of the tigers have even been taken out of the show for using their paws in close proximity of their handlers, the pack is dwindling and the clowns are amassing. In recent weeks the Tigers have been controlled to lessen their once sharp bite, so the clowns shouldn’t be in any real danger of being harmed when they share the circus this weekend. Tickets are still available, so step right up and get your popcorn at the concession stand.
SUNDERLAND VS. WEST BROM
Player: Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland)
Player Price: £5.0
Player Selection %: 5.2
If a game ever hits you in the face and screams 0-0 this would be that game. West Brom, Sunderland, two teams who work overtime to ensure that entertainment is at a premium in the Premier League. Only one goal has been scored between these sides in the last three league encounters, that was Sunderland’s visit to the Hawthorns last season, meaning the last two enduring matches at the Stadium of Light have ended predictably goalless. Patrick van Aanholt has been chosen because he is the best wildcard option out of both teams. Honestly, you could pick another six defenders and it probably wouldn’t matter, this game will finish without a goal. Mortgages could be placed against this fixture, in one corner you have Sunderland who seek to make amends for previous drab performances and last minutes goals that have cost them, whilst Pulis aims to rack up another clean sheet in West Brom’s catalogue. The Dutchman who plays a good attacking game also comes with the potential of a goal threat so we are just using our heads and listening to the signs. If we are wrong we will make a dramatic public apology to everyone who also believed this would be the only outcome.
WATFORD VS. BOURNEMOUTH
Player: Troy Deeney (Watford)
Player Price: £7.0
Player Selection %: 6.7%
Burnley disappointed the majority of the FPL after they shut out the Hornets before they could sting again; we were devastated not to see Deeney up to his usual antics. Burnley appear to be sapping good teams creative spark at Turf Moor, it is an absolute magnet for teams in good form, only to humble them in the process. Keeping faith with Deeney is easy, he is still the wildcard king for a reason, the man will deliver and there isn’t any doubt that he can cause Bournemouth misery at the weekend. Returning to the Hornets’ nest should aid their recovery, even if they come up against Bournemouth who has found their defensive grit once again after dismantling Everton’s attack in Gameweek six. That doesn’t matter to Deeney though, the man is an absolute unit and his presence makes him the most appealing wildcard in this fixture.
Having faith with Deeney is all we have now, if we didn’t pick him he’d remind us…for that superstition he remains within the wildcards for this weekend’s antics. In 1760 if you defied the kings power you would have been potentially beheaded, we can't take that risk.
WEST HAM VS. MIDDLESBROUGH
Player: Stewart Downing (Team)
Player Price: £5.3
Player Selection %: 0.7
Returns don’t get much bigger than this, forget Luis Figo returning to the Nou Camp, and forget Zlatan returning to the San Siro, or even the reaction Raheem Sterling gets every time he returns to Anfield…the return of Stewart Downing against his old club will be cause for fireworks at the London Stadium in Gameweek seven. An understated hero for Middlesbrough this season the hard-working winger has been chipping in with assists and has a place locked into Karanka’s starting eleven no questions asked. Heat will emanate from the ghostly interior of the new stadium as the hapless West Ham defence gets an education from a player who was deemed not good enough anymore. A cheap and reliable option against the worst defence of the Premier League will be cause for drama as Downing looks for revenge against Bilic, perhaps even rubbing salt in the wounds of the man who was glad to wave goodbye to him. Memories are to be made this weekend.
You will be telling your children were you where when Downing returned to face the Hammers.
MAN UNITED VS. STOKE
Player: Marcus Rashford (Man Utd)
Player Price: £6.9
Player Selection %: 7.3
Despite very few minutes we at The Hype Train believe that Marcus Rashford is legitimately Man United’s most influential player. In front of us is a hungry, determined, and motivated footballer who can turn the pace of the game from one to a hundred in the matter of seconds. It is no surprise they are doing well with a tricky player like Rashford in their squad. Mourinho made a mistake by benching him to begin the season, he is a player coming into his own and whilst Zlatan saw the tumbleweed scurry by in the in the distance in his teams win against the champions Leicester it was Rashford doing all the running and hard work which kept the Leicester back four guessing all game. Originally we opted for Chris Smalling who has made a return to the team, but when you factor in that Stoke have the second worst defence in the league it is only right to assume that they will struggle against the Red Devil’s, we expect Rashford to having another man of the match performance and keeping winning the appraise of the Man Utd faithful, and hearts of the FPL community.
LEICESTER VS. SOUTHAMPTON
Player: Charlie Austin (Southampton)
Player Price: £6.2
Player Selection %: 2.4
Whilst Leicester are taking the plaudits for their European endeavours it is the reoccurring story on the South Coast as the ever-questioned Southampton are growing into yet another rebirth with new players, new manager, new spirit. Having won their last two Premier League matches Claude Puel marches his Saints to the King Power where they meet Leicester whose league form has been not to their usual standards. The man leading this regrowth for Southampton is England international Charlie Austin who has staked a claim to be the main man for Puel since Long has dropped the proverbial baton. Having scored four goals in his last three games (two in the Europa League, and one in each Premier League game since) the forward has reminded the FPL community of his goal scoring pedigree since his switch from QPR. Leicester could be shaken against a re-energised Southampton and if form alone is going by anything then Austin is the most likely player to score in Gameweek seven.
SPURS VS. MAN CITY
Player: Bamideli Alli (Spurs)
Player Price: £8.3
Player Selection %: 6.2
Fresh of a first win in the Champions League the North London club welcomes Pep’s Man City to White Hart for what should be a thrilling encounter. In the last two seasons the Citizens have walked away empty handed after being routed by the hosts, ending the Aguero myth that he can always dominate Spurs no matter the occasion. The two teams who boast unbeaten records at this stage of the season will no doubt want to leave their reputation as undisputed, and we are banking on Pep’s first loss in the Premier League to happen this weekend. Deli Alli has been put back into the team and is aiding Son in the goal scoring duty and general all round attacking play which makes them a real threat around an opponent’s penalty area. Man City haven’t faced a really good team yet this season, and we are even including Man Utd in that bracket of teams too, but a team who can pose a real threat to their status in the league. Spurs once again look the real deal and their fluidity in the final third could be more than the ageing City defence can handle. Dele Alli was unfortunate not to get amongst the goal scorers nearly a year ago but he has a golden opportunity to upset Pep this weekend.
BURNLEY VS. ARSENAL
Player: Alex Iwobi (Arsenal)
Player Price: £5.8
Player Selection %: 1.0
Towards the tail end of last season the presence of Alex Iwobi burst onto the scene after making good on cameo appearances for Arsene's side. Eventually he became a regular starter and offered dynamism, width, and goals to the Arsenal side that needed to be refreshed with some young blood. Come the start of this season it was difficult to see how he fit into Arsenal's main eleven with a relatively fit Gunners squad, but an upturn in good form and faith in the Nigerian winger has seen him cement his place back in the main eleven. Iwobi has been linking up with other players flawlessly and has been a real live-wire to watch, and having scored and assisted in the last couple of games he is back on the FPL community radar and picks up where Theo Walcott left off after scoring against the crumbling Chelsea. Arsenal's opposition isn't as daunting this week, a trip to Burnley is on the agenda and you'd expect Arsenal to pick up a result and score plenty of goals. We have been awaiting Iwobi's return and hopefully he can make good on his return to the main team.
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