Every week The Hype Train analyses the best wildcard options for your Fantasy Premier League teams. Historically weekly dream team’s comprise of mostly wildcard players whose selection falls under 5% 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 match in the upcoming gameweek to decide who could be the differential for your teams.
LAST WEEKS PERFORMANCE (GW 23)
After another strange gameweek we returned with a sense of optimism, by now the Premier League should be at least somewhat predictable, but we were wrong. Only two successes from Roberto Firmino who had a fantastic game against Norwich and the ever reliant Troy Deeney proved the difference makers. All of the other players were solid picks, apart from Zabaleta who is now number two in a City shirt. More points were dropped by teams who went with hype players such as Charlie Daniels and Leighton Baines who left the FPL community disappointed.
Roberto Firmino: 18pts
Danny Rose: 2pts
Shinji Okazaki: 2pts
Jesse Lingard: 2pts
Charlie Daniels: 2pts
Troy Deeney: 6pts
Salomon Rondon: 2pts
Pablo Zabaleta: 0pts
Leighton Baines: 1pt
Aaron Ramsey: 2pts
Gameweek 23 Average Points: 43pts
Gameweek 23 Wildcard Points: 37pts
TEAM OF THE WEEK WILDCARDS
A slight reversal on last week’s performance from the dream team sees six wildcards and five non-wildcards occupy the eleven best players of the week. Patrick van Aanholt gets a special mention because he is selected by a very few percentage and that still hasn’t risen, but in this he has hit back with thunder after thunder, his goal spell might dry up but in the last month he would have been a fantastic option to have in your FPL teams.
Three of the four defensive players were wildcards (surprise, surprise), many players trust established teams but you have to remember that West Brom and Watford have also proven astute defensively this season, it is a thing of fear that stops these players being more selectable. Ben Foster though has returned from injury and looked to be back at his best.
Firmino and Drinkwater were the wildcard midfielders; the Brazilian is no longer a wildcard and one of the few gameweeks we don’t pick Drinkwater he turns up with a world class performance. Firmino has steeply risen in price and looks to be the number one striking unit for Jürgen Klopp at the moment, so expect more bench time for Christian Benteke. In regards to forwards Ighalo and Aguero were no surprises at this point of the season, but Enner Valencia picked up another brace. The Ecuadorian is now a great wildcard option because of injuries to other Hammers strikers.
Wildcards: Foster, van Aanholt, Cathcart, Firmino, Drinkwater, Valencia (6)
Non-Wildcards: Ivanovic, Alli, Ayew, Ighalo, Aguero (5)
Points achieved by wildcards: 71pts
Points achieved by non-wildcards: 62pts
THIS WEEKS WILDCARDS
For this gameweek we are once again selecting ten wildcards, one for each game. Same rules apply: the players we choose must not be selected by more than five percent of the games players. We start in order of the games listed on the official Fantasy Premier League site.
The wildcard options selection percentage is accurate as of Sunday 31/01/2016.
SADIO MANE, ARSENAL VS SOUTHAMPTON
Name: Sadio Mane
Dusan Tadic was the preferred midfielder but he was not a wildcard option by a fraction of a percent, so instead we have opted for the quick Sadio Mane to be our pick against Arsenal. With trouble against Chelsea their faces are currently blushed, but they welcome a team that beat them by four goals earlier in the season to the Emirates. Mane hasn’t dropped points like most Southampton players in the last three games, and with West Ham and Swansea upcoming a Saints player looks good value for money. Southampton will cause Arsenal lots of problems, particularly with Mane’s electric pace. There should be goals on both sides of the coin in this match and we’re betting Mane is a big influence on Southampton going forward.
Charlie Austin was also a possible choice but it is uncertain if he will repeat his starting position on the bench like he did against Manchester United.
21 – WAT (H) – 3pts
22 – WBA (H) – 6pts
23 – MUN (A) – 3pts
24 – ARS (A) – 2nd February, 19:45pm
25 – WHU (H) – 8th February, 20:00pm
26 – SWA (A) – 13th February, 15:00pm
JORDAN HENDERSON, LEICESTER VS LIVERPOOL
Name: Jordan Henderson
Liverpool already have a victory over Leicester in their books this season, the slim victory at Anfield was a big three points for the Reds and now they look to maintain that record against table toppers Leicester City. This fixture is strange; Norwich conceding five is a concern defensively as Firmino looks to be hitting a good purple patch of form, whereas the previous fixture was low scoring between the two. In these situations you look at players that can bring you an advantage, and Liverpool’s captain is a set-piece taker, box-to-box midfielder, and their penalty taker. The Red’s record against Leicester is good, and there could be another trap if you believe that the Foxes are coming out of this fixture victorious.
21 – ARS (H) – 2pts
22 – MUN (H) – 2pts
23 – NOR (A) – 7pts
24 – LEI (A) – 2nd February, 19:45pm
25 – SUN (H) – 6th February, 15:00pm
26 – AVL (A) – 14th February, 14:05pm
STEVEN NAISMITH, NORWICH VS SPURS
Name: Steven Naismith
Club: Norwich City
New signing Naismith proved to be an effective force against Liverpool, scoring and assisting for a penalty. Nobody has ever doubted the ability of the Scotsman and now he is at a club prepared to play him. Naismith looks to be a starter for the Canaries and will be there to make an impact in ensuring they beat the drop this year. Spurs are still prone defensively even if they have turned a corner, and we expect Norwich to make this difficult for them. Naismith and Norwich also have a promising run of fixtures, freeing up valuable money for more marquee players such as Aguero or the returning Alexis Sanchez.
21 – MCI (A) – 0pts
22 – CHE (A) – 0pts
23 – LIV (H) – 11pts
24 – TOT (H) – 2nd February, 19:45pm
25 – AVL (A) – 6th February, 15:00pm
26 – WHU (H) – 13th February, 15:00pm
NICOLAS OTAMENDI, SUNDERLAND VS MANCHESTER CITY
Name: Nicolas Otamendi
Club: Manchester City
Another fixture, another chance for Nicolas Otamendi to get a run out in the wildcard picks for the week. The argentine central defender has thirteen points from three appearances and looks set to make another appearance against Sunderland. Everybody expects Manchester City to breeze past Sunderland, probably with a clean sheet, so Sunderland representation is very extreme and will not be used in this fixture. Otamendi is the best wildcard that Manchester City have, and that is all there is too it, he can achieve points without having to do much.
21 – EVE (H) – 6pts
22 – CRY (H) – 6pts
23 – WHU (A) – 1pt
24 – SUN (A) – 2nd February, 19:45pm
25 – LEI (H) – 6th February, 12:45pm
26 – TOT (H) – 14th February, 16:15pm
MICHAIL ANTONIO, WEST HAM VS ASTON VILLA
Name: Michail Antonio
Club: West Ham
West Ham just keeps producing fantastic midfield options: Payet, Lanzini, Moses, and now Antonio. The former Nottingham Forest player has really been a good buy for Slavan Bilic and the Hammers; he is the perfect mix of power, speed, and technique that have made him such a threat. The attacker is good with both his feet and also his head, he is dangerous as he gets in and around the box more than a lot of the Hammers current players. Aside from this he may benefit with the addition of Dimitri Payet back to his old ways before his injury, so opportunities may come thick and fast against a doomed Aston Villa.
21 – BOU (A) – 8pts
22 – NEW (A) – 2pts
23 – MCI (H) – 5pts
24 – AVL (H) – 2nd February, 19:45pm
25 – SOU (A) – 8th February, 20:00pm
26 – NOR (A) – 13th February, 15:00pm
BENIK AFOBE, CRYSTAL PALACE VS BOURNEMOUTH
Name: Benik Afobe
He could have easily been the Harry Kane equivalent of Arsenal, but instead they allowed him to leave after Arsene Wenger deemed him not good enough for the Premier League. Skip forward three gameweeks after his transfer and he has scored two goals as an official Cherrie. Money seems to have been spent wisely on Afobe, a proven goal scorer, and now they come up against a Crystal Palace who has struggled for any kind of form since Yannick Bolasie got injured. Bournemouth is also providing doubters wrong every week, and they could further add to the hot collar of Newcastle fans should they beat Crystal Palace at the weekend. Afobe looks to be good value for your fantasy team and after this fixture two home games where more reward my await.
21 – WHU (H) – 2pts
22 – NOR (H) – 7pts
23 – SUN (A) – 8pts
24 – CRY (A) – 2nd February, 20:00pm
25 – ARS (H) – 7th February, 13:30pm
26 – STK (H) – 13th February, 15:00pm
JONATHAN WALTERS, MANCHESTER UNITED VS STOKE CITY
Name: Jonathan Walters
Club: Stoke City
Picking the wildcard from this match caused headaches, so we decided upon experience. Manchester United’s main point’s scorers are all unavailable due to their high percentage of representation from their large fan base, whereas Stoke with Ryan Shawcross is a big gamble defensively. Few goals will come out of this match but if there is anyone to cause Manchester United serious problems it will be the veteran Irishman who has a nose for goal. Strong, powerful, and harbouring a wicked shot it could be Walters who could do the damage against the Red Devils. This is a long shot but given the situation the best wildcard out of the bunch going into this fixtures.
21 – NOR (H) – 7pts
22 – ARS (H) – 3pts
23 – LEI (A) – 2pts
24 – MUN (A) – 2nd February, 20:00pm
25 – EVE (H) – 6th February, 15:00pm
26 – BOU (A) – 13th February, 15:00pm
GYLFI SIGURDSSON, WEST BROM VS SWANSEA
Name: Gylfi Sigurdsson
Achieving their first ever win against Everton in league history was a huge accomplishment for struggling Swansea, and in recent performances the quality of Gylfi Sigurdsson has been a factor to their newfound form. Be it either open play or from a dead ball the masterful Sigurdsson is a fringe player always on your mind, but one you may be too frightened to take the risk on. Swansea has a new head coach, a new mentality, and they have been rather lucky which is what a team in their position needs. West Brom aren’t pushovers but this will be a tightly contested game that will quality be the difference between the two, of which Gylfi has plenty of. The Icelander should be good value for the next three games too on paper.
21 – SUN (H) – 7pts
22 – WAT (H) – 2pts
23 – EVE (A) – 8pts
24 – WBA (A) – 2nd February, 20:00pm
25 – CRY (H) – 6th February, 15:00pm
26 – SOU (H) – 13th February, 15:00pm
GERARD DEULOFEU, EVERTON VS NEWCASTLE
Name: Gerard Deulofeu
Everton, or more correctly Goodison Park, is a place where goals are free flowing to all teams. The Toffees look prone to not scoring when Gerard isn’t playing, there is no urgency in their play when he goes off, and they look lethargic. Deulofeu is the difference maker, and when you put him against Paul Dummett of Newcastle there is a slight chance that the pacey Spaniard will be up to more of his tricks. What is most impressive is that his delivery of chances is excellent, he could have three or four assists a game, and when Lukaku is on top form Deulofeu normally benefits. Newcastle may have made some new signings but their defence is still the same, so it is an easy pick.
21 – MCI (A) – 3pts
22 – CHE (A) – 4pts
23 – SWA (H) – 2pts
24 – NEW (H) – 3rd February, 19:45pm
25 – STK (A) – 6th February, 15:00pm
26 – WBA (H) – 13th February, 15:00pm
TROY DEENEY, WATFORD VS CHELSEA
Name: Troy Deeney
Returning from a dry spell of points is the wildcard king Troy Deeney, suppling Ighalo’s goal in the home tie against Newcastle. Chelsea has hit some good form but against good sides they have been tested and there is a trap for thinking the Blues are going to come into this fixture looking to win the match. Watford drew at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea courtesy of Troy Deeney and this could repeat itself, having got back to winning ways the momentum is evenly balanced but Deeney has been consistent. No Chelsea defenders can be considered in this fixture even if they are in form; even their midfielders could be rotated. Chelsea has a lot of question marks so once again we stick faith in the Watford skipper to provide some valued points.
21 – SOU (A) – 1pt
22 – SWA (A) – 2pts
23 – NEW (H) – 6pts
24 – CHE (H) – 3rd February, 19:45pm
25 – TOT (A) – 6th February, 15:00pm
26 – CRY (A) – 13th February, 15:00pm
For all GW 24 build up, check out the Weekly Hype page now.