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 (GW10)
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 10 Average Points: 58pts
Gameweek 10 Wildcard Points: 24pts
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: GW10 - 24pts, 2 player returns
Average Points: 44 (1), 57 (2), 42 (3), 43 (4), 48 (5), 45 (6), 42 (7), 39 (8), 42 (9), 58 (10) = 460pts
Wildcard Points: 25 (1), 25 (2), 26 (3), 57 (4), 37 (5), 32 (6), 46 (7), 36 (8), 35 (9), 24 (10) = 343pts
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
GW7: Troy Deeney (Watford vs. Bournemouth) - 9pts
GW8: Gylfi Sigurdsson (Arsenal vs. Swansea) - 9pts
Callum Wilson (Bournemouth vs. Hull) - 9pts
GW9: Winston Reid (West Ham vs. Sunderland) - 14pts
GW10: Claudio Bravo (West Brom vs. Man City) - 6pts
Yannick Bolasie (Everton vs. West Ham) - 6pts
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)
GW7: 46 points, 5 player returns
Christian Benteke (5), Karius (2), David Luiz (6), van Aanholt (7), Deeney (9), Downing (2), Rashford (2), Austin (2), Dele Alli (8), Iwobi (3)
GW8: 36 points, 4 player returns
Slimani (1), Sigurdsson (9), Callum Wilson (9), Nolito (6), Arnautovic (5), Danny Rose (0), Christian Benteke (-1), Deeney (2), Forster (2), Milner (3)
GW9: 35 points, 2 player returns
Dele Alli (2), Mustafi (5), Stekelenburg (1), Joe Allen (2), Huth (2), Sigurdsson (2), Reid (14), Matip (2), Austin (2), Moses (3)
GW10: 24 points, 2 player returns
Monreal (0), Smalling (0), Adama Traore (3), Alli (2), Deeney (2), Bravo (6), Christian Benteke (2), Bolasie (6), Redmond (2), Pieters (1)
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 - Winston Reid (West Ham): 14pts (GW8)
4 - Michail Antonio (West Ham): 13pts (GW4)
5 - Troy Deeney (Watford): 9pts (GW7)
5 - Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea): 9pts (GW8)
5 - Callum Wilson (Bournemouth): 9pts (GW8)
8 - Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea): 8pts (GW4)
8 - Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea): 8pts (GW1)
8 - Theo Walcott (Arsenal): 8pts (GW6)
11 - Manuel Lanzini (West Ham): 7pts (GW5)
11 - Michel Vorm (Spurs): 7pts (GW2)
FPL DREAM TEAM ANALYSIS: GAMEWEEK 10
Wildcards: Prodl, Britos, Gundogan, McArthur, Bony, Giroud
Non Wildcards: Heaton, Blind, Hazard, Sanchez, Aguero
Points achieved by Wildcards: 75pts
Points achieved by Non-Wildcards: 62pts
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.
BOURNEMOUTH VS. SUNDERLAND
Player: Jack Wilshere (Bournemouth)
Player Price: £5.9
Player Selection %: 0.8
Playing ninety minutes on two full occasions is a huge achievement for Jack Wilshere who has barely featured in the past few years due to crippling injuries. Joining the Cherries on loan was the wakeup call he needed, and although he has yet to hit the back of the net it is fair to say that he fits into Bournemouth’s system nicely and contributes to their slick passing game. Getting minutes under his belt is the first part, the second is adding goals back to his game, and he has gone close in quite a few matches. He should be inspired his parent club Arsenal’s demolition of the Black Cats in the previous week, he should aim to keep that standard even at his new club. Wilshere has quietly been going about his business and it could be his time to step it up again and reintroduce his goal scoring qualities in the Premier League when the Black Cats take to the field with the Cherries.
BURNLEY VS. CRYSTAL PALACE
Player: Michael Keane (Burnley)
Player Price: £4.9
Player Selection %: 2.2
Tom Heaton’s heroics have boosted the Clarets; the performance against a struggling Manchester United team said it all. Burnley can fight. This rugged defensive aggression is an improvement from when they were last in the league and Heaton’s performances can also benefit the defenders sitting in front of him. Sure, Keane can do better to ensure that Heaton’s life is made easier but he is the defensive organiser that gives them a hope of staying in the league next year. Crystal Palace will be frustrated by recent results and another dip in form; it just wasn’t their day when Liverpool ripped them open. The one thing the Eagles had against Liverpool for both of their goals was opportunities to score goals from crossing situations…something that Burnley are top of the stats for dealing with effectively. Burnley has made more clearances and blocks than any other team in the league, they are the premier defenders in the league and Crystal Palace will be weary of this fact. Benteke should find it difficult to compete with Burnley’s drilled defence; it isn’t even a gamble anymore to consider a Burnley defender.
MAN CITY VS. MIDDLESBROUGH
Player: Ilkay Gündogan (Man City)
Player Price: £5.5
Player Selection %: 4.6
Two goals in each of his last competitive matches for the German midfielder have seen the eyes of the FPL community light up with hopeful possibility of another emerging gem. Since Capoue and Fer and dropped off the radar managers have been looking to find a long term replacement for former goal threats. Watford don’t look like scoring many goals again whilst Fer has been benched by Swansea altogether (we aren’t sure why either). Ilkay is the natural evolution, a player who likes to get in and around the box for all attacking plays, he is the man who ghosts into space and creates chances for the likes of Silva and De Bruyne to play with more freedom, sure he is eating into Aguero space but not everyone is bothered if he does become a valuable asset to have in your teams. At the price of £5.5 he is an absolute steal, and with Boro up next the optimists are lining up and placing their bets on the former Dortmund starlet.
WEST HAM VS. STOKE CITY
Player: Wilfried Bony (Stoke)
Player Price: £7.3
Player Selection %: 1.1
The wait is finally over, Bony has returned. None of The Hype Team has been convinced by his overall performance level, in fact we thought up until the Swansea match he deserved most of the criticism afforded to him. Finding his feet at his new club was always going to take time and against his former club he reminded everyone why he is a valid FPL option when he hits form. We remember that before his move to Manchester City he was one of the essential forward options each and every week. Stoke, who are currently in yet another renaissance under Mark Hughes, are travelling to the most feared stadium in all of English football, that’s right, the London Stadium. West Ham are the opponents, a team that has found themselves on the wrong side of the sword quite a few times this season, and to make matters worse they have one of the league’s most in-form teams knocking on their door, and their striker has just found his shooting boots once more. This should be an interesting match with plenty of goal opportunities for both teams.
CHELSEA VS. EVERTON
Player: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea)
Player Price: £5.9
Player Selection %: 0.7
Antonio Conte has really turned the fortunes of Chelsea on their heads since their demolition by Arsenal in September, since then the Blues have just said ‘No, we are refusing to concede ever again!’ Even David Luiz is looking sharper and more accustomed to his new position in a back three. The real story of the recent Chelsea success has been the wing-backs that are causing teams havoc, on the right you have Victor Moses, and on the left you have Blues newbie Marcos Alonso. We do a lot of research into the form players for each team and if you look at the performance level of Alonso you would be surprised about how well he has adapted to Conte’s new system. He can defend and also create plenty of goal scoring chances; he is near the top of the tables for chances made by full-backs and even has an assist to his name already in Chelsea colours this season. Moses and Alonso make the pitch wide and create space for Hazard and Costa to run the show, the full-backs are the real heroes and despite Everton’s recent good fortunes Chelsea are the strong favourites to carry on keeping in clean into November.
ARSENAL VS. SPURS
Player: Harry Kane (Spurs)
Player Price: £10.7
Player Selection %: 5.0
The enigma that is Harry Kane is returning to action against Arsenal in the North London Derby, and there will be plenty of sighs in relief for his return. Arsenal and Spurs always play out entertaining fixtures and this should be another incredible fixture for the calendar. The problem for this fixture has always been the total lack of wildcard coverage, there are less than two or three options that can be considered for both sides and clean sheets aren’t guaranteed in this fixture. Goals are where things are at between these two teams, and Harry Kane loves tormenting the blood rivals. The Englishman’s has been included into our picks because he could make the shock return which would pump up this derby even more than it already has been.
HULL CITY VS. SOUTHAMPTON
Player: Jose Fonte (Southampton)
Player Price: £5.4
Player Selection %: 4.6
This is an easy pick because Charlie Austin is not a wildcard option. Jose Fonte is at the centre of the action for league games and has been preserved so far in Europe to give Yoshida some minutes this season. The Southampton captain has been in great form this season and Hull will be in disbelief at just how badly they currently have it. Nobody is expecting Hull to mount much of a challenge against Southampton, they missed out against Watford for poor decision making, and the South Coast club are a few notches above the Hornets for overall ability. Fonte has been a regular pick due to his late start to the season from a successful European campaign, and now the Portuguese is marking his territory in the Premier League again.
LIVERPOOL VS. WATFORD
Player: Joel Matip (Liverpool)
Player Price: £5.4
Player Selection %: 2.1
Another week, another debate about the status of Liverpool’s lopsided defensive efforts, it is now normal to doubt the Reds even have the capability of keeping a clean sheet. There is hope however, their set of fixtures has now really cleared up with Crystal Palace out of the way, there is an air of optimism that the Reds can really kick on and get it done in the next seven to eight weeks. One player we at The Hype Train have been impressed with this season has been Joel Matip operating alongside Dejan Lovren. The Cameroon international has added a different dimension to set pieces and offensive long balls…his powerful headed goal against the Eagles pays tribute to that. Watford actually rank as one of the more shaky teams in the Premier League going forward, Troy Deeney for example has had less than ten shots on goal this season. The Hornets have taken a more defensive approach and up until now have had the rub of the green, now they go to Anfield for their biggest test of the season so far. Watford isn’t creating enough clear cut chances for you to take a gamble on a Liverpool defender this week, and if you do try and figure out how you are getting Joel Matip in your team.
SWANSEA VS. MAN UNITED
Player: Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea)
Player Price: £7.2
Player Selection %: 3.4
2-1, 2-1, 2-1, and 2-1 have been the last four scores between these two clubs, three in favour of the Swans, once in the favour of the Red Devils. Clean sheets in this fixture? Guess again. Trends like this need to be respected in the Premier League, and after another horrifying loss in the Europa League it is dark days for Manchester United who is struggling to pick up any real momentum. The problem is simple…they just don’t have enough people willing to intimidate defences. Zlatan can be contained, so can Rooney; the only person to keep teams on their toes has been Marcus Rashford and he has been annoyingly rotated in and out of the team. Arsenal has Sanchez and Ozil, Liverpool has Coutinho and Firmino, Chelsea has Costa and Hazard, Man City have Aguero and De Bruyne, and when fit Spurs have Dele Alli and Harry Kane. Ibrahimovic has been proven to be a fraud, Rooney is now obsolete, and Mata dropped from the team too. Bob Bradley will be a happy man.
Speaking of proven things we turn our attention to Gylfi Sigurdsson who has had quite a lot of success in this fixture, scoring or assisting crucial goals to the slim victories the Swans have had over Man United. Bradley will be calling upon the heroic Icelander to once again set sights on punishing United, and in the run of form the Manchester club is on you’d not want to put Mourinho’s side on your accumulator this weekend.
LEICESTER VS. WEST BROM
Player:Ron-Robert Zieler (Leicester)
Player Price: £4.4
Player Selection %: 0.3
Originally we had picked Kasper to be our wildcard from this fixture (as you can tell by the original graphic we made) but in the Champions League draw in Denmark he got injured…leaving German goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler to deputise whilst Kasper recovers for the next month. We will say the same thing though about both goalkeepers and that is that this should be an encounter to savour for the Foxes, West Brom have looked a shadow of themselves in recent weeks and Leicester are showing signs of climbing the Premier League table. Home is where the heart is for Leicester as they aim for another strong league finish, so we are expecting another tight affair with few real goal scoring chances. This fixture could end goalless, that would be nice if you also had Foster or a West Brom defender.
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