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 (GW14)
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 14 Average Points: 50pts
Gameweek 14 Wildcard Points: 55pts
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), 46 (13), 50 (14) = 648pts
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), 42 (13), 55 (14) = 536pts
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
GW13: Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea vs. Crystal Palace) - 10pts
GW14: Christian Eriksen (Spurs vs. Swansea) - 18pts
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)
GW13: 42 points, 5 player returns
Yaya Toure (2), Phillips (5), Simpson (4), Matip (6), Sigurdsson (10), Alonso (2), Deeney (2), Mustafi (1), Mata (2), Soares (8)
GW14: 55 points, 5 player returns
Pedro (1), Zaha (2), Eriksen (18), Glen Johnson (7), Anichebe (2), Phillips (9), Lanzini (2), Origi (6), Coleman (2), Valdes (6)
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 - Christian Eriksen (Spurs): 18pts (GW14)
2 - Romelu Lukaku (Everton): 17pts (GW4)
3 - Hueng-Min Son (Spurs): 15pts (GW6)
4 - Winston Reid (West Ham): 14pts (GW8)
5 - Michail Antonio (West Ham): 13pts (GW4)
5 - Harry Kane (Spurs): 13pts (GW12)
5 - Marcos Alonso (Chelsea): 13pts (GW11)
8 - Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland): 10pts (GW12)
8 - Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea): 10pts (GW13)
10 - Troy Deeney (Watford): 9pts (GW7)
10 - Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea): 9pts (GW8)
10 - Callum Wilson (Bournemouth): 9pts (GW8)
10 - Sheamus Coleman (Everton): 9pts (GW12)
10 - Matt Phillips (West Brom): 9pts (GW14)
15 - Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea): 8pts (GW4)
15 - Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea): 8pts (GW1)
15 - Theo Walcott (Arsenal): 8pts (GW6)
15 - Harry Kane (Spurs): 8pts (GW11)
15 - Cedric Soares (Southampton): 8pts (GW13)
FPL DREAM TEAM ANALYSIS: GAMEWEEK 14
Wildcards: Grant, Muniesa, Brunt, Tomkins, Eriksen, Fraser, Chamberlain, Benteke
Non Wildcards: Sanchez, Kane, Costa
Points achieved by Wildcards: 106
Points achieved by Non-Wildcards: 48pts
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.
WATFORD VS. EVERTON
Player: Troy Deeney (Watford)
Player Price: £6.9 million
Player Selection %: 5.5%
We enjoyed seeing our Wildcard King grace the television for Match of the Day at the weekend, the man is a real personality and knows his football too. Who doesn't quite know their football? Everton Football Club.
Unable to keep clean sheets, unable to get Lukaku putting away the goals, just lingering in football purgatory where your performance is enough not to be embarrassed, but not good enough to win matches. Ronald Koeman has one giant task on his hands to better the fortunes of the Toffees after he abandoned a persevering Southampton squad. From a strong start in the opening eight games of the season they have really taken their foot off the gas, and their recent loss can be the gain of the Hornets. Looking to better the fortunes for themselves their leading man Deeney will be a focal point of any resurgence they have. In short Deeney is the man for Watford, and aside from his duty as penalty taker he is the target in the box and has equally as good feet, and with two assists in recent weeks he is starting to rekindle some good form in front of goal. Troy Deeney is one goal away from his achieving his century of goals, and in the vein of form that Everton are currently in there is no better opportunity to break his duck than in this upcoming match.
ARSENAL VS. STOKE
Player: Nacho Monreal (Arsenal)
Player Price: £5.9 million
Player Selection %: 4.3%
We talk about Arsenal defenders a lot in our wildcard picks because Arsenal have very few options considered differential, and you don't want to bank on the opposition when visiting the Emirates. So, that leaves us with Nacho Monreal, a Gunners defender who plays in the usually dominant side. Here are the other points to consider, usually you shouldn't have to sell Arsenal defenders, but we will to justify our choice of Monreal:
Arsenal are capable at defending and keep clean sheets.
Arsenal have kept three consecutive clean sheets against Stoke in the Premier League.
Stoke have been struggling for good form, they have shown to be very inconsistent this season.
Monreal is a full-back and has recently picked up an assist for providing width to Wenger's team.
There is more emphasis on Monreal's attacking potential with Hector Bellerin currently injured.
Arsenal haven't lost since the opening day of the season in the Premier League, this was the defeat by Liverpool at the Emirates.
Monreal has a good habit of occasionally picking up any number of bonus points if they keep a clean sheet. At The Hype Train we refer to this as the 'full-back sinkhole'.
Arsenal are heavy favourites to win this match.
Stoke have scored the fewest goals out of any team in the top half of the table (16).
Arsenal have scored the second most amount of goals this season (33), the only team to score more has been Liverpool (35).
Arsenal have the second-best goal difference in the Premier League.
Arsenal are a top four team for a reason.
BURNLEY VS. BOURNEMOUTH
Player: Nathan Ake (Bournemouth)
Player Price: £4.2 million
Player Selection %: 2.0%
In fear that Chelsea would recall the Dutch utility man the decision to play Nathan Ake has been more than profitable for Eddie Howe's Bournemouth in the past few weeks. Ake has scored both winning goals in the Cherries last two wins, the first against Stoke away from home, and then Liverpool two weeks later at the Vitality Stadium. Match winning displays have made the defender a good luck charm for Howe's team, and with a visit to Turf Moor where they will encounter a hot and cold Burnley will suit their schedule. On the road, Bournemouth are making themselves tough to beat, as evident on their win over Stoke City where they dug their heels in deep, and other exceptional defensive displays were when Spurs travelled to the coast for an arguably entertaining goalless draw.
Originally slated for relegation by all the so called 'experts' this was meant to be a season of accepting the worst of things, and to prepare for life back in the Championship once their second season syndrome eradicated the team’s confidence. Bournemouth have once again shocked everyone by defying the expectations placed on them and they look set to have a better finish than last season if they keep up their valiant displays. Nathan Ake has been central to that and with a talisman like him in the team it might be another good day for the rising Cherries.
HULL CITY VS. CRYSTAL PALACE
Player: Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace)
Player Price: £7.5 million
Player Selection %: 6.8%
The giant Belgian has been in great form in the past four games, picking up four goals and an assist is signs of real promise for the Eagles record signing. So far, this season Benteke has been famed for his last-minute pinpoint headers which have rescued the game for his team, usually away from home. Benteke exists just outside of the ‘premier’ strikers in the league, you know the names; Kane, Aguero, Lukaku, Costa. His specialism of heading the ball is equal to Andy Carroll no matter the debate about it, so he has been marginalised as not having the firepower to really make the impact expect when he joined Liverpool, and now Crystal Palace. Put simply Benteke is the outsider, the wildcard, the one who could explode onto the scene at a moment’s notice.
Benteke appears to have found his feet and started realising the weight behind the huge sum of money that brought him to London after being outcast by a certain German on Merseyside. Benteke suits Crystal Palace, it makes sense, and against Hull you’d bank on Christian on being the man to deal the heavy damage against a team that has not only suffered for goals, but also keeping clean sheets. The clash with Boro on Monday night proved that Hull are starting to feel the cracks form around their feet.
SWANSEA VS. SUNDERLAND
Player: Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea)
Player Price: £7.4 million
Player Selection %: 7.4%
The Icelander Gylfi Sigurdsson for the past three seasons has been consistently getting better, it is just a shame he doesn't get the plaudits he deserves with the way he has been playing. Pretty much any Swansea attack comes through the feet of Sigurdsson, and if there is a free kick or penalty he will be there, there is no mystery about his talents and it is scary to think what he could achieve in a better team than Swansea.
Gylfi currently skirts between wildcard and non-wildcard status, he has been a popular pick to replace the injured Coutinho and has a good set of upcoming fixtures where he can be an unstoppable source of FPL potential. Visiting the Liberty Stadium, the last match taking place garnered nine goals, is the resurgent Sunderland team led by their captain Jermain Defoe. This should be another entertaining match with plenty of attacking play from both sides, Sunderland will be keen to grab their fourth win in five games, and Swansea look to remove the pain of their defeat to Spurs in the past Gameweek.
This is a bottom of the table game with colossal implications, as both teams are in the relegation scrap, so the result here could go a long way to deciding who may go up or down. Whilst the Black Cats have Defoe, the Swans can do one better and trump their forward with Gylfi Sigurdsson. Swansea's man of the moment may not be a wildcard option much longer so we are taking the chance to include him before he slips out of our reach.
LEICESTER VS. MAN CITY
Player: David Silva (Man City)
Player Price: £8.7 million
Player Selection %: 2.2%
The Spaniard was our generated differential pick this week because when we come to figuring out who was the best wildcard we were left scratching our heads. All the good options are accounted for, and there is no guarantee that Kelechi Iheanacho will get any minutes with Guardiola. With Divock Origi the primary wildcard striker now you would be foolish to add in the upcoming Nigerian international to your teams in a time of turmoil for the Citizens. Opting for David Silva makes sense because he has been deployed in more advanced positions to help create space for the striker, whoever it is, and his range of passing and skill is an asset that now Guardiola must not utilize if it means picking up points in the next four games until Aguero returns from his suspension. It might even mean a return to playing Silva as a centre forward in a false-nine formation, or playing him further forward to ease the pressure since the Argentine's dismissal.
Choosing a Man City midfielder in this game makes sense because they have become a wildcard team without Aguero, you just don't know what you are going to be getting from them without the Kun starting upfront. The big risk is that there is incredible risk, but on the other hand it could also be one of the most inspired transfers you make before the new year.
The randomizer for the LEI/MCI game garnered these results in this specific order:
1. David Silva
3. Claudio Bravo
4. Kelechi Iheanacho
5. Islam Slimani
6. Robert Huth
CHELSEA VS. WEST BROM
Player: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea)
Player Price: £6.4 million
Player Selection %: 6.4%
This is a pretty explanation because at this point we shouldn't have to be selling a Chelsea defender to you, it should just be knowledge that the Blues have the best defensive returns, they are just pure essential at this stage. Alonso more than the others because he has also recently scored and assisted for Conte's team, and is always lurking around the box when Costa can't quite get to the ball, so there is plenty of optimism for the Spaniard to become a regular starter in your FPL teams.
The challenge for Chelsea this week is clean sheet experts West Brom who travel to Stamford Bridge to continue their excellent vein of form which has taken them to seventh in the table at this stage, but with their results coming from teams in the bottom half they haven't quite faced a team like Chelsea so far, this season. Well, they did also face Liverpool away from home and their defence crumbled, and it is a far cry from what it once was in past seasons, they are susceptible to be breached, and their forward line relies on set-pieces to hit teams hard. Chelsea won't be phased by this, they have the best defence for a reason and anything less than a clean sheet and potential attacking returns from Alonso would just be disappointing. This is easy points for the Spaniard.
MAN UNITED VS. SPURS
Player: Danny Rose (Spurs)
Player Price: £5.9 million
Player Selection %: 5.4%
Choosing a wildcard in this fixture is tough work, because in this fixture you don’t know what you are going to be getting from either team. Much like the Leicester and Manchester City game this is a fixture where you must be brave when choosing a differential player and allow chance to take over. We have put the available and best wildcard options (all of them from Spurs mind you) into the hat, and out came Danny Rose on top. We are kind of glad it happened and Rose was chosen because Manchester United are coming off a fixture in the dreaded Europa League, and Spurs are just that extra level above Manchester United. Rose isn’t that dangerous, a hotly contested fixture of this calibre has the potential to finish in a nervy stalemate. Fate has decided, and it is in the hands of the attack minded Rose to follow in the footsteps of Soares and Eriksen into differential glory.
The randomizer for the MUN/TOT game garnered these results in this specific order:
1. Danny Rose
2. Christian Eriksen
3. Hueng Min-Son
4. Hugo Lloris
5. Dele Alli
SOUTHAMPTON VS. MIDDLESBROUGH
Player: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton)
Player Price: £5.4 million
Player Selection %: 1.1%
Two clean sheets in the last three games is a good return for Southampton considering some of their fixtures, it was the combination of Bertrand, van Dijk, Fonte, and Soares that have quite literally stopped any travellers from Merseyside from breaching their goal. Stern defensive discipline saw the buses departing for Liverpool leave just that extra bit quicker as the resilient Southampton showed there is life after death for a third season running. Bertrand has been a solid choice among all of that, cruising down the left channel in search of assisting the talented foray of players Claude Puel has at his disposal. There are good times to be had on the coast and Bertrand is proving his quality yet again with displays that have kept the likes of Bolasie and Mane quiet…two of the most pace setting wingers in the league. Adama Traore shouldn’t be any worry then to Bertrand.
Southampton have an enticing run of fixtures that make their options just that little bit better, after Boro visit they visit Stoke and Bournemouth in games you wouldn’t bet against the Saints. There have been issues with the defensive side of Boro’s right flank with Barragan’s nervy displays and Bertrand is the kind of player with the quality to exploit that.
LIVERPOOL VS. WEST HAM
Player: Divock Origi (Liverpool)
Player Price: £6.5 million
Player Selection %: 2.6%
Three goals in his last three appearances for Liverpool has seen Divock Origi put the brakes on any potential return for Daniel Sturridge to the Reds starting eleven. Even more encouraging is that this season he has achieved five goals in five starts across all competitions for Klopp's side so far, this term. Coutinho's injury has been the gain of the well-rounded Belgian forward, he has everything from devastating pace, raw strength, hold up play, and good feet, and against Bournemouth he could have had more than just the one goal if he had been that little bit more clinical. Origi is still only twenty-one years old and has the best years ahead of him, but in this moment, he has proven to be an important option for Liverpool's attacking assets and has eased the fears that it isn't all doom and gloom since Coutinho's absence rocked the hearts of Liverpool supporters and FPL managers.
Klopp recently took his team to Barcelona for a warm weather training camp and to revitalise the team after their loss to Bournemouth, utilising the free time by not being in European competition will hopefully see a refreshed Liverpool return for the 'challenge' of West Ham at the weekend. The asterisks were used on 'challenge' because after Arsenal tore the Hammers to pieces there is very little optimism for Slavan's squad heading to Anfield where the hosts have a phenomenal home record since the turn of the year. Life without Coutinho isn't so bad and with Origi they have an in-form striker who is relishing a return to the starting eleven.
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For all FPL Gameweek build up, check out the Weekly Hype page now.