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 (GW19)
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 19 Average Points: 45pts
Gameweek 19 Wildcard Points: 50pts
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), 46 (15), 48 (16), 47 (17), 54 (18), 45 (19) = 898pts
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), 45 (15), 41 (16), 42 (17), 44 (18), 19 (50) = 758pts
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
GW15: Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea vs. Sunderland) - 13pts
GW16: Divock Origi (Middlesbrough vs. Liverpool) - 11pts
GW17: Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland vs. Watford) - 15pts
GW18: Andy Carroll (Swansea vs. West Ham) - 8pts
Troy Deeney (Watford vs. Crystal Palace) - 8pts
GW19: Andre Gray (Burnley vs Sunderland) - 17pts
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)
GW15: 45 points, 5 player returns
Deeney (2), Monreal (2), Ake (1), Benteke (6), Sigurdsson (13), David Silva (5), Alonso (6), Rose (1), Bertrand (0), Origi (9)
GW16: 41 points, 5 player returns
Slimani (1), Gabriel (1), Origi (11), Alonso (7), Randolph (8), Zaha (2), Iheanacho (0), Lloris (8), Arnautovic (-2), Phillips (5)
GW17: 42 points, 4 player returns
Alonso (6), Llorente (2), Glen Johnson (0), van Aanholt (15), Cresswell (7), Phillips (2), Boufal (1), Oxlade-Chamberlain (1), Lloris (2), Mignolet (6)
GW18: 44 points, 5 player returns
Deeney (8), Monreal (1), Andre Gray (7), Alonso (6), Slimani (2), Phil Jones (2), Carroll (8), David Silva (6), Mignolet (2), Jay Rodriguez (2)
GW19: 50 points, 5 player returns
Mirallas (6), Gray (17), Alonso (3), Ayew (2), Jones (0), Forster (1), Ake (8), Milner (3), Lloris (2), Giroud (8).
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)
2 - Andre Gray (Burnley): 17pts (GW19)
4 - Hueng-Min Son (Spurs): 15pts (GW6)
5 - Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland): 15pts (GW17)
6 - Winston Reid (West Ham): 14pts (GW8)
7 - Michail Antonio (West Ham): 13pts (GW4)
7 - Harry Kane (Spurs): 13pts (GW12)
7 - Marcos Alonso (Chelsea): 13pts (GW11)
7 - Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea): 13pts (GW15)
11 - Divock Origi (Liverpool): 11pts (GW16)
12 - Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland): 10pts (GW12)
12 - Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea): 10pts (GW13)
FPL DREAM TEAM ANALYSIS: GAMEWEEK 19
Wildcards: Boruc, Trippier, Ake, Willian, Alli, Iwobi, Gray, Barnes.
Non Wildcards: Daniels, Phillips, Kane.
Points achieved by Wildcards: 94pts
Points achieved by Non-Wildcards: 41pts
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.
Our Weekly Wildcard Gameweek 20 Picks:
MID/LEI: Víctor Valdés, Goalkeeper, £4.5mil, 5.7% ownership.
EVE/SOU: Leighton Baines, Defender, £5.4mil, 6.4% ownership.
MCI/BUR: David Silva, Midfielder, £8.7mil, 2.2% ownership.
SUN/LIV: Ragnar Klavan, Defender, £4.6mil, 0.8% ownership.
WBA/HUL: Chris Brunt, Defender, £5.0mil, 2.1% ownership.
WHU/MUN: Andy Carroll, Forward, £6.2mil, 3.1% ownership.
BOU/ARS: Olivier Giroud, Forward, £8.5mil, 2.0% ownership.
CRY/SWA: Andros Townsend, Midfielder, £5.9mil, 2.1% ownership.
STK/WAT: Erik Pieters, Defender, £4.5mil, 5.1% ownership.
TOT/CHE: Dele Alli, Midfielder, £8.2mil, 7.5% ownership.
This isn’t going to be a hefty, detailed version of our wildcards, instead we are going to do a summary that should hit all the boxes to ensure you know your differentials for the upcoming gameweek. The thing to know, the crucial thing, is that there will be rotation this week. We’ve already seen it with the likes of Divock Origi being dropped for Liverpool, and Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo also unexpectedly dropped from the stable Manchester United defence. Elsewhere Rondón, Stones, Mahrez, Son, Fonte, Bertrand, Cedric Soares, and Monreal have suffered the effects of the winter break and given rest from the starting elevens. Full-backs seem to be the most prone for rotation, especially in a team like Spurs where Danny Rose was taken off in the win over Watford. So, picking players who will play as certainties is the priority for the gameweek, goalkeepers are the safest options if you’re looking to shake things up and bring in a differential this week. Víctor Valdés, Simon Mignolet, Claudio Bravo, Hugo Lloris, and Lee Grant all have fixtures where they won’t be dropped due to the stature of the games.
As for our differential picks, we considered who will be the weak links for rotation and looked at the players who have to play no matter what. Pieters doesn’t have a replacement, Alli’s form will keep him in the squad for the crucial fixture against Chelsea, West Ham have no other option than to play Andy Carroll up front, Brunt has no equal in the West Brom team, Silva will keep his place in the City midfield as he is their vice-captain and also their main pass-master, Baines is the main set-piece player for Everton so will stick in the main eleven, Giroud is on some incredible goal scoring form, Crystal Palace have no depth and will have to play Townsend, and Valdés as the goalkeeper for Boro is an easy pick as it would be silly to rotate him out of goal.
Wildcard Captain: Olivier Giroud (Arsenal)
The highlighted player for this week is the Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud, the striker has scored in the last two games for the Gunners with two starts, and after the most incredible scorpion kick goal against Crystal Palace he is in fine form and confidence. Giroud offers the Gunner a physical presence in the box and has proved to be the difference against teams that are stubborn and difficult to break down. Sanchez is better at implementing the quick passing, counter attack play that has seen him flourish when in the number nine role, but that isn’t always the case and you do need someone who can make something out of nothing like Giroud has proven in the last two weeks with a cracking header and the goal of the season scorpion kick in the past two games.
Giroud will retain his place against Bournemouth who we suspect will put men behind the ball like they did against Spurs earlier on in the season, so having the physical presence of Giroud will need to be called upon again. Arsenal following this fixture also have Swansea, Burnley, and Watford in the following three fixtures so it might be worth playing the long game with Giroud as these are teams where his services will be needed to break down these teams.
Chosen at Random: Andros Townsend
We had one ‘Chosen at Random’ picked this week, with the Crystal Palace and Swansea fixture throwing up the selection in the air with no clear victors as to good wildcard options. Gylfi Sigurdsson is frustratingly just a non-wildcard option at 8.0% ownership, so we have had to look elsewhere. In the end, we got Andros Townsend and we are thankful the fates have been kind in this fixture because we wanted to a player from the Eagles to feature and Leroy Fer nearly pipped the English winger to top spot in the random generator. Townsend is a player of tremendous quality we believe is being underutilised at Crystal Palace, and with Zaha going to the African Cup of Nations it might be time for his influence to start coming through the ranks again, especially with the potential of goals from either open play or from free kicks. Swansea are a relegated team and having done the research here are the main facts for the fixture:
Crystal Palace haven’t beaten Swansea in the last three encounters in the Premier League.
Crystal Palace have not scored on home turf three times this season in 0-1 losses, against West Brom, West Ham, and Chelsea. If you add on the result in GW19 against Arsenal the Eagles have scored in every other Premier League fixture.
Swansea have only picked up four points on their travels, with a win against Burnley on the opening day and a draw against Everton at Goodison Park.
Swansea’s record this season is terrible with thirteen losses in the Premier League so far.
Swansea have scored on the road five out of nine times so far, this season.
Crystal Palace are goal scorers and Swansea should be put to the sword again as their new manager struggles with rebuilding this club. Here are the results of our generator:
Chosen at Random (CRY/SWA):
Good luck if you are brave enough to pick a differential this week, but if there is one example of a differential fantasy player who can turn up with a result out of the blue look at the performance of Peter Crouch who picked up ten points at Stamford Bridge against an in-form Chelsea. The possibilities are endless.
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