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 (GW11)
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 11 Average Points: 52pts
Gameweek 11 Wildcard Points: 39pts
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), 39 (11) = 382pts
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
GW11: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea vs. Everton) - 13pts
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)
GW11: 39 points, 3 player returns
Wilshere (2), Keane (1), Gundogan (3), Bony (2), Alonso (13), Kane (8), Fonte (1), Matip (2), Sigurdsson (5), Zieler (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 - Winston Reid (West Ham): 14pts (GW8)
4 - Michail Antonio (West Ham): 13pts (GW4)
4 - Marcos Alonso (Chelsea): 13pts (GW11)
6 - Troy Deeney (Watford): 9pts (GW7)
6 - Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea): 9pts (GW8)
6 - Callum Wilson (Bournemouth): 9pts (GW8)
9 - Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea): 8pts (GW4)
9 - Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea): 8pts (GW1)
9 - Theo Walcott (Arsenal): 8pts (GW6)
9 - Harry Kane (Spurs): 8pts (GW11)
FPL DREAM TEAM ANALYSIS: GAMEWEEK 11
Wildcards: Alonso, Dawson, van der Hoorn, Pedro, Snodgrass, Gudmundsson
Non Wildcards: Courtois, Hazard, Firmino, Ibrahimovic, Defoe
Points achieved by Wildcards: 73pts
Points achieved by Non-Wildcards: 64pts
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. ARSENAL
Player: Nacho Monreal (Arsenal)
Player Price: £5.9
Player Selection %: 3.9
Manchester United will be without Zlatan for the visit of Arsenal and the weekend and Wayne Rooney is also likely to be absent after picking up an injury during the international break. Not just that but Bailly, Valencia, Shaw, and Smalling are all doubts for this big match up. Put simply the Red Devils are relying on their second team for gameweek twelve of the Premier League season. Arsenal however has their full contingent, minus the presumably injured Hector Bellerin. The game should be low scoring with Arsenal doing a lot of the attacking, which leaves a clean sheet on the cards for the visitors. Monreal has been picked because he will play and there is a high possibility of Man United being left red faced at the famous Old Trafford.
CRYSTAL PALACE VS. MAN CITY
Player: Wilfried Zaha (Palace)
Player Price: £5.3
Player Selection %: 2.3
Man City has won five out of the last six games against the Eagles; however that doesn’t mean they are impregnable. City’s defence has been laughing at times and they are struggling to keep clean sheets, they are suffering from the same problem Liverpool has and after shipping two goals against them in their loss there is a sliver of hope for Alan Pardew’s side. The Citizens line-up is shaky which is why we didn’t pick Sane or Nolito because there is plenty of rotation at Manchester City. Pep Guardiola hasn’t figured out which players are worth keeping about, especially with constant injuries to Vincent Kompany. One consistency in this fixture is the presence of Wilfried Zaha who has three assists, one in each of the last three games. The English winger has a new role since the departure of Bolasie to Everton; his job is to put the ball into dangerous places for Christian Benteke and whoever else is surging into the opposition box. His direct running and delivery has improved of recent weeks and with City’s potential back three there could be plenty of room for him to explore and hurt Man City.
EVERTON VS. SWANSEA
Player: Seamus Coleman (Everton)
Player Price: £5.5
Player Selection %: 4.6
Swansea look a doomed squad approaching the winter period, sitting level on points with Sunderland in the relegation zone is not happy reading if you’re Bob Bradley. Worst yet is when your team comes up against one of the most in-form strikers in the league, enter Romelu Lukaku. Bradley’s mission is only going to get harder as the season progresses and in the trip to Merseyside the Toffees will be keen to make amends for their embarrassment against Chelsea before the international break. Everton are the favourites in this fixture and right-back Seamus Coleman will be bombing down the flank and into the box as much as he can in this match, there is a real goal threat from the Irishman and a defensive one too. Ashley Williams will be extra aware of the attacking threat they pose as he prepares for the time squares up against familiar faces of his former club. The prediction for this match is grim reading for the Swans and there is potential for lots of goals from the Toffees and also a clean sheet from them too on this occasion.
SOUTHAMPTON VS. LIVERPOOL
Player: Loris Karius (Liverpool)
Player Price: £4.9
Player Selection %: 1.1%
There is a real good reason why we have added German goalkeeper Loris Karius to the wildcards this week, the stopper is the ultimate wildcard pick. Everyone expects Liverpool to concede at some point in a game, but the greatest shock will be if they don’t. Liverpool has an incredible record against Southampton, four wins and a draw from the last six meetings across all competition. Southampton haven’t yet found that cutthroat edge that Ronald Koeman gave them, and with plenty of injuries stacking the deck against the Saints it could be another long afternoon for them against the club who has bought nearly half their team in the last three seasons. Karius in particular showed a growing maturity in the last game against Watford, he made the most saves of any goalkeeper. Having had some time to settle into the position at Anfield, and keeping Simon Mignolet frustrated on the side-lines, the ultimate wildcard option could strike in this game.
STOKE CITY VS. BOURNEMOUTH
Player: Bruno Martins Indi (Stoke)
Player Price: £4.9
Player Selection %: 0.3
Famed for the meme of his bulging eyes the Dutchman is no joke at all, he is a serious, tough tackling defender who has been a part of Mark Hughes recent renaissance at Stoke. Making the move from Porto it was a surprise to see him end up in English football, he has been given a chance in one of the most ambitious projects in the Premier League and adds a different dimension to the team being an experienced international with the Netherlands. Bournemouth who visit were embarrassed by ten-man Sunderland and will be rocked as to how it can happen, this is the ultimate chance for Stoke to continue their great run of form. There is lots of potential for Stoke defenders in this fixture.
There is another player worth considering in this value, the real hero of Stoke. Martins Indi is our pick but if you are looking for a temporary budget keeper then look no further.
Player: Lee Grant (Stoke)
Player Price: £4.1
Player Selection %: 2.5
Mark Hughes picked out a gem when he brought Lee Grant from Derby County, the only real question was why he wasn’t starting in place of error prone Shay Given since the Irishman’s penalty blunder against Everton. There are shades of Tom Heaton in Lee Grant, the Potters stopper has only finished on two points twice in his career so far at Stoke, this happened against West Brom and West Ham. It is no coincidence that the results have picked up ever since Hughes made the call to drop Given to the bench, Grant has been superb and definitely overlooked considering his very cheap price in the FPL. The only downer about this selection is that at one point Butland will have recovered from injury and his position will be up in the air. For now though the visit of Bournemouth represents a golden opportunity for Stoke to continue their good run of form and for Grant to attempt to keep his place in the Potters eleven even when Butland is available for selection.
SUNDERLAND VS. HULL CITY
Player: Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland)
Player Price: £5.0
Player Selection %: 4.1
Will Keane’s lengthy injury has left Hull City with only one available striker for their visit of Sunderland, a team who picked up their first win under David Moyes at Bournemouth. Not just that, but Hull have been struggling to create goal scoring chances, they rank in the bottom five for teams with shots on goal in the past five gameweeks. Sunderland’s prayers have been answered; the most out of form team in the league is visiting with a limited strike force. Patrick van Aanholt will be plenty happy about this; it will give him the license to cause terror down the left flank. Choosing a Sunderland defender is risky business but in fixtures like this it is hard to ignore the potential wildcard value that the Dutchman offers, he can have those huge weeks where he does just about everything. Hull City is slipping fast, and they could be dropping points to a relegation rival when the Premier League returns this weekend…a stark change of circumstance for the Tigers who valiantly fought tooth and nail when they had their backs against the wall.
WATFORD VS. LEICESTER
Player: Ahmed Musa (Leicester)
Player Price: £7.0
Player Selection %: 4.3
Musa’s time has finally arrived in the FPL; he is part of the most prolific forward line in the league despite Leicester sitting firmly in the bottom half of the table. Having found his shooting boots against Spurs and Crystal Palace the Nigerian forward is settling in well to his new role under Claudio Ranieri. Watford is a team who have just come away from a spanking against Liverpool and will be still licking their wounds when the Champions visit the reaches of outer north London. Leicester are the more likely to score, it is simple as that, and Musa is in form. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out the rest.
SPURS VS. WEST HAM
Player: Harry Kane (Team)
Player Price: £10.7
Player Selection %:
Arsenal slipped up against Spurs, they allowed Harry Kane a free shot on goal via a penalty after some terrible defending on Dembele. Released from England international duty Kane should have had the time to recover for the weekend when another London derby takes place. Having a player of Harry Kane’s ability and goal scoring prowess is a dream come true for differential enthusiasts, he could be the difference between beating your head-to-head rival or not. Kane reintroduced himself against the Gunners and now West Ham is the next blip on the radar of last season’s golden boot winner.
MIDDLESBROUGH VS. CHELSEA
Player: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea)
Player Price: £6.0
Player Selection %: 2.8
In a season where defensive points are a rarity there is the exception to the rule, and it should be of no surprise to learn that it is Chelsea who is keeping it clean this season. Five straight clean sheets in the Premier League is a big achievement, and last week Alonso was a big hit in the wildcard picks we made. Keeping faith in the Chelsea defence is a must at the moment; they were the only team out of twenty to keep a clean sheet in GW11, which is an incredible little fact to emphasize their power is actually rooted in their wingbacks that are driving the play forward. Middlesbrough doesn’t represent a team who can unsettle the balance when the Blues travel to Teesside for this encounter of well-respected foreign coaches. Defensive goal is coloured blue at the moment in the FPL; we at The Hype Train are more concerned why more people don’t own Alonso at this point.
WEST BROM VS. BURNLEY
Player: Sam Vokes (Burnley)
Player Price: £6.2
Player Selection %: 3.3
Hold on, a forward selected in this fixture? That’s right; Sam Vokes gets the honour of breaking the tradition of predictable 0-0 score lines from these inertly defensive teams. The Welshman has scored three goals in his last four appearances in the Premier League and he is the danger man that West Brom will be sure to keep an eye on for this fixture. Burnley has learnt their lessons from Sean Dyche’s first foray into the top flight, the Clarets possess a more steely determination and dare we say it an attacking edge. Whilst Tom Heaton is keeping them nice and secure at the back the forwards are daring to dream more in the opposition half. This should be one of the more drab encounters for weekday football but there might be some surprises in store. By that we mean there will be goals, as stated in my reasoning for Marcos Alonso very few teams are keeping clean sheets this season, West Brom included.
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