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 (GW12)
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 12 Average Points: 40pts
Gameweek 12 Wildcard Points: 57pts
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: GW12 - 57pts, 6 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), 52 (11), 40 (12) = 552pts
Wildcard Points: 25 (1), 25 (2), 26 (3), 57 (4), 37 (5), 32 (6), 46 (7), 36 (8), 35 (9), 24 (10), 39 (11), 57 (12) = 439pts
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
GW12: Harry Kane (Spurs vs. West Ham) - 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)
GW12: 57 points, 6 player returns
Monreal (2), Zaha (6), Coleman (9), Karius (6), Martins Indi (2), van Aanholt (10), Musa (1), Kane (13), Alonso (6), Vokes (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 - Harry Kane (Spurs): 13pts (GW12)
4 - Marcos Alonso (Chelsea): 13pts (GW11)
7 - Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland): 10pts (GW12)
8 - Troy Deeney (Watford): 9pts (GW7)
8 - Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea): 9pts (GW8)
8 - Callum Wilson (Bournemouth): 9pts (GW8)
9 - Sheamus Coleman (Everton): 9pts (GW12)
12 - Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea): 8pts (GW4)
12 - Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea): 8pts (GW1)
12 - Theo Walcott (Arsenal): 8pts (GW6)
12 - Harry Kane (Spurs): 8pts (GW11)
FPL DREAM TEAM ANALYSIS: GAMEWEEK 12
Wildcards: Ake, Nyom, van Aanholt, Yaya Toure, Phillips, Mata, Anichebe, Kane
Non Wildcards: Pickford, Capoue, Defoe
Points achieved by Wildcards: 101pts
Points achieved by Non-Wildcards: 28pts
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.
BURNLEY VS. MAN CITY
Player: Yaya Toure (Man City)
Player Price: £7.6 million
Player Selection %: 1.0%
Comebacks don’t get much better than the moment Yaya Toure scored two goals to help his side to victory against Crystal Palace. The behemoth Ivorian had been making a strong statement of intent which shouldn’t be good news for FPL managers who have recently banked on Ilkay Gundogan who wasn’t anywhere to be seen in London last weekend. The imposing presence of Toure is a game changer for Man City; he is capable of moments of brilliance and can take free kicks, penalties, and surge into the box with ease like he did against Pardew’s Eagles. Burnley at Turf Moor represents a similar challenge, but nothing that they aren’t capable of handling now Yaya Toure has made his return to the team. The familiar Toure chants are a welcome addition to the Premier League once again.
HULL CITY VS. WEST BROM
Player: Matt Phillips (West Brom)
Player Price: £5.1 million
Player Selection %: 0.8%
Former FPL option? Check.
Playing for an in-form team? Check.
Cheap budget option? Check.
Playing every game? Check.
Once upon a time in the FPL there were three irresistible FPL options of who played for QPR. These individuals went by the name Charlie Austin, Leroy Fer, and Matt Phillips. Ironically they all now play for separate clubs in the Premier League and have actually made a difference for their respective clubs at one stage or another. Currently that time belongs to Matt Phillips who has been on fire, in the last two games against Leicester and Burnley the winger has two goals and two assists, accumulating a massive twenty seven points in these two games alone. Finding his feet is good news as he becomes a viable option once more, and with his price there would be no risk in bringing him into your team. Hull, the team West Brom travel to, have had their recent troubles and are slowly approaching the relegation zone, whilst West Brom dream of a space in the top-ten. Phillips is proven points when on form; don’t waste any time getting him in your teams.
LEICESTER VS. MIDDLESBROUGH
Player: Danny Simpson (Leicester)
Player Price: £4.9 million
Player Selection %: 1.6%
Qualifying for the last sixteen of the Champions League as group winners is a huge achievement for Leicester City who stormed the Premier League last season. Problem is that this achievement has put a question mark over their inconsistent start to the Premier League; it is almost as if they have returned to ‘normal’ by expectations of the average supporter. Whilst one dream stays alive another might be slipping from their grasp, the good news is that they have won their group no matter what, so there is no longer the excuse about the Champions League hanging over the heads of the Foxes. The attention should be now solely in the short term thinking about life in the Premier League. Opportunities don’t get much better than this, a Boro team who is still struggling with scoring goals visit the King Power. The entire Leicester defensive unit should be valuable FPL options this gameweek in this fixture. Danny Simpson has been picked because he is the cheapest option and not such a risk to bring into your teams.
LIVERPOOL VS. SUNDERLAND
Player: Joel Matip (Sunderland)
Player Price: £5.5 million
Player Selection %: 2.9%
You may find it hard to believe that there are only three teams that have conceded fewer goals in the Premier League than Liverpool since Joel Matip made his debut against Spurs in GW3. Arsenal, Spurs, and Chelsea are those three teams, and defensive units you normally associate with keeping clean sheets. The Cameroonian has improved the defence; he is now one of the first names on the team sheet after being a dominant presence whilst being able to play Klopp’s pressing system. Matip is also well liked by the Liverpool supporters for making daring runs into the opposition half when guarding the goalkeeper gets boring. That is something, the boredom, which could succumb to him and Lovren when Sunderland the famous Anfield this weekend.
The Reds are the most dominant possession based team in the league, normally Matip and Lovren have little to do, and as time has passed they are gelling more as a unit as demonstrated against Southampton by shutting down any attack. Matip also represents a goal threat; being one of the tallest players in the league it is not surprising. We expect Liverpool’s defence to improve as they have an enticing run of upcoming fixtures in the next five weeks.
SWANSEA VS. CRYSTAL PALACE
Player: Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea)
Player Price: £7.2 million
Player Selection %: 3.5%
The man with the plan, the Icelander, the shining light of Swansea’s terrible start to the Premier League season…step forward Gylfi Sigurdsson who has been an ever present FPL option this season despite his teams real danger of slipping off into the Championship if they don’t start picking up results soon. Three returns in three for Gylfi is currently his record, he always manages to cause teams problems in the penalty box or from free kicks, the all-rounded Sigurdsson controls everything from an attacking perspective and it is no surprise why he is so influential to the Swans chance of surviving this season. Four returns in four games doesn’t sound too dramatic either, in fact you may have seen a piece done by the BBC which has revealed that the Eagles are the worst defensive team currently in the Premier League, and also the worst performing side of 2016 in the Football League with an average points-per-game of 0.71. This is lower than York City and Dagenham & Redbridge, who were actually relegated from the Football League altogether, and statistically they are worse than the woeful Aston Villa side that got relegated pretty swiftly in 2015/16.
So yeah, Swansea shouldn’t have any problem getting back the Eagles defence, and if the current trend continues Sigurdsson will be lurking around any goals that they do manage to score.
CHELSEA VS. SPURS
Player: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea)
Player Price: £6.1 million
Player Selection %: 5.0%
Spurs, fresh from waving goodbye to the Champions League must now travel to Stamford Bridge for arguably their most difficult game of the season. Until this point of the season the North London team has been undefeated, we are still unsure if that is a good thing because Liverpool and Arsenal are above them, and they have both lost games this season, Chelsea are included in that too. Worst of all is that the team they are travelling too have kept an impressive six clean sheets in a row, after seeing crippling defeats against title rivals Arsenal and Liverpool the Blues just outright refused to be bullied again and changed to their new 3-4-3 formation which has them playing some mouth-watering football. Spurs are in danger of losing their unbeaten streak, and the consensus is that they are letting their standards slip compared to last season. There has been no consistent team, no consistent goal scorer, and they are still likely to be missing the influential Big Toby. We cannot see how Chelsea are going to concede another goal very honestly, and unless Spurs get another penalty we don’t see them getting past Conte’s revitalised Chelsea in one piece.
Double jeopardy after crashing out of the Champions League.
WATFORD VS. STOKE CITY
Player: Troy Deeney (Watford)
Player Price: £7.0 million
Player Selection %: 6.4%
It has been a while since Troy Deeney has graced the wildcard ten; his performances have lacked the cutthroat edge he carried last season. However, all hope is not lost on the deserved wildcard king, he nabbed his attacking returns in quite a while when he assisted Capoue’s record-breaking Premier League goal, so there is the chance of a revival in the powerful forward. Stoke City are the visitors in gameweek thirteen and Mark Hughes will have been brought down to earth against Bournemouth when Eddie Howe out-Stoked Stoke City. Watford are still one of those teams who people are not quite sure what to make of, they can either be the blistering attack minded squad it is set out to be, or is an overly defensive Greek wall with customary Greece international Jose Holebas (who is also another intriguing wildcard in this match).
We expect this to be a very open match because Stoke will open up their team to have a chance at breaching their defensive line, this should allow for ample room in which Deeney, Capoue, and Pereyra to get forward. We have a good feeling that the king will be back to claim his throne that Gylfi Sigurdsson is currently trying to occupy.
ARSENAL VS. BOURNEMOUTH
Player: Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal)
Player Price: £6.0 million
Player Selection %: 1.8%
Arsenal has never conceded to Bournemouth in the three competitive games they have had.
If that doesn’t convince you to invest in an Arsenal defender if you haven’t done so already then we don’t know how to convince you. This record is hardly in danger, Arsenal have turned on the heat at home since Liverpool stormed the Emirates. Bournemouth will hardly pose the same kind of threat.
Swiftly moving on.
MAN UNITED VS. WEST HAM
Player: Juan Mata (Man United)
Player Price: £7.4 million
Player Selection %: 2.9%
Jamie Carragher said that Juan Mata was as good as Phillippe Coutinho. Let that sink in for just a minute, a Liverpool legend supporting a player from the old rivals in red. That is a bold claim, but one that is justified when you look down to the performance factor that Coutinho and Mata both bring to the table. Both are great playmakers, both players’ links up the midfield and the rest of the attack, both are goal scorers, both are confident dribblers, but one is managed by Jose Mourinho, the other Jürgen Klopp. We don’t wear the same hat that Carragher wears, if Mata was as good he’d be more heavily selected in the FPL. Dogged by the dreaded Europa League, a consistent line up for the Red Devils has been hard to find in recent times, but one player that is now instrumental to their efforts in the league is the Spaniard Juan Mata. West Ham have had their problems and without their best defender Winston Reid this should be the most opportune time to face the Hammers.
SOUTHAMPTON VS. EVERTON
Player: Cedric Soares (Southampton)
Player Price: £4.9 million
Player Selection %: 1.1%
We picked a player out of a hat for this one, no, we are being deadly serious. Using a random online generator we inputted every wildcard from the two fixtures and Cedric Soares was the name that appeared once the generator completed its randomness. The reason we let fate decide? Probably because it would be better than any pick we were going to make. Let us run through the points that clouded our judgement:
Both teams have inconsistent form.
Everton are usually better at home, Southampton too.
Both are capable of keeping clean sheets.
Supply to the main strikers (Austin/Lukaku) could be better.
Very few central midfield FPL options from either team.
Southampton is in Europa League action three days before.
Both teams are managed by two managers still new to the club.
Everton are undefeated in three matches versus the Saints.
Last time these two teams faced at St Mary’s Koeman’s Saints lost 0-3 to Everton.
This is a very close affair to call, on paper Everton should be the favourites. Something is missing from the Toffees on the road; they are unstable and lack the same desire they have at Goodison. Southampton has at least been consistent fighters at St Marys. Looking at the players of who were classified as wildcards we thought it would be better to allow fate to decide our fortune for this encounter. Dependant on the result of the fixture and performance on Soares we might experiment with this method again, so no pressure Cedric.
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For all FPL Gameweek build up, check out the Weekly Hype page now.