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 (GW22)
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 22 Average Points: 46pts
Gameweek 22 Wildcard Points: 46pts
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: GW21 - 65pts, 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), 49 (20), 56 (21), 46 (22) = 1,049pts
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), 50 (19), 63 (20), 65 (21), 46 (22) = 932pts
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
GW20: Leighton Baines (Everton vs. Southampton) - 15pts
Dele Alli (Spurs vs. Chelsea) - 15pts
Olivier Giroud (Bournemouth vs. Arsenal) - 15pts
GW21: Marcos Alonso (Leicester vs. Chelsea) - 21pts
GW21: Andy Carroll (Middlesbrough 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)
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)
GW20: 63 points, 5 player returns
Valdes (0), Baines (15), David Silva (0), Klavan (1), Brunt (8), Carroll (1), Giroud (15), Townsend (1), Pieters (7), Alli (15)
GW21: 65 points, 6 player returns
Vertonghen (6), Gray (2), Stanislas (7), Grant (2), Sigurdsson (2), Deeney (1), Carroll (5), Alonso (21), Barkley (9), Milner (10)
GW22: 46 points, 5 player returns
Mignolet (1), Stanislas (2), Barkley (3), Carroll (13), Arnautovic (2), Dawson (6), Wimmer (0), Yoshida (6), Mustafi (7), David Luiz (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 - Marcos Alonso (Chelsea): 21pts (GW21)
2 - Christian Eriksen (Spurs): 18pts (GW14)
3 - Romelu Lukaku (Everton): 17pts (GW4)
3 - Andre Gray (Burnley): 17pts (GW19)
5 - Hueng-Min Son (Spurs): 15pts (GW6)
5 - Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland): 15pts (GW17)
5 - Leighton Baines (Everton) - 15pts (GW20)
5 - Dele Alli (Spurs) - 15pts (GW20)
5 - Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) - 15pts (GW20)
10 - Winston Reid (West Ham): 14pts (GW8)
11 - Michail Antonio (West Ham): 13pts (GW4)
11 - Harry Kane (Spurs): 13pts (GW12)
11 - Marcos Alonso (Chelsea): 13pts (GW11)
11 - Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea): 13pts (GW15)
11 - Andy Carroll (West Ham): 13pts (GW22)
16 - Divock Origi (Liverpool): 11pts (GW16)
17 - Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland): 10pts (GW12)
17 - Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea): 10pts (GW13)
17 - James Milner (Liverpool): 10pts (GW21)
FPL DREAM TEAM ANALYSIS: GAMEWEEK 22
Wildcards: Coleman, Brunt, Cedric, De Bruyne, Llorente, Carroll
Non Wildcards: Foster, Cahill, McAuley, Firmino, Fletcher
Points achieved by Wildcards: 79pts
Points achieved by Non-Wildcards: 58pts
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.
ARSENAL VS. WATFORD
Player: Mesut Ozil (ARS)
Player Price: £9.5 million
Player Selection %: 7.3%
Round up our collection of three Captaincy picks ahead of Gameweek 23 is our lowly selected Wildcard pick, and upon discovering our 10 best options ahead of the midweek games, only a few of our options stood out as captaincy worthy. Toying between the inclusion of Kevin de Bruyne, away at West Ham, and Andre Gray,who is preparing to take on Leicester at the modern day fortress of Turf Moor. In the end we chose to keep pace with London side Arsenal, and their German international Mesut Ozil. When questioning why, we had a few general thoughts that make Ozil's first appearance in our Captaincy articl an enticing one.
1) Set piece specialist - on all corners and free kicks that are not direct (he's got to fight Sanchez for those).
Going back to basics - has assisted in his last two games.
2) laying in the CAM role - The free role he played in the Champions League group stage campaign.
3) Was rested in the 5-0 FA Cup victory at Southampton - Game time assured, as Ozil's been nursed back from a small niggle.
4) Gunners finding form - Ozil and company are on a green patch of form.
5) Different option - Ozil offers another route into the Arsenal midfield if you don't have Sanchez, or can't afford Alexis's hefty price tag.
6) Ozil scord in the reverse fixture in a 3-1 victory at Vicerage Road.
2016/17 Wildcard Captaincy Successes
GW1: Nathan Redmond (Southampton vs. Watford) - 10pts
GW12: Harry Kane (Spurs vs. West Ham) - 13pts
GW13: Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea vs. Crystal Palace) - 10pts
GW15: Divock Origi (Liverpool vs. West Ham) - 9pts
GW16: Marcos Alonso (Sunderland vs. Chelsea) - 7pts
GW17: Marcos Alonso (Crystal Palace vs. Chelsea) - 6pts
GW18: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea vs. Bournemouth) - 6pts
GW19: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea vs. Stoke) - 3pts
GW20: Olivier Giroud (Bournemouth vs. Arsenal) - 15pts
The availability of Mesut Ozil as a wildcard is not surprising at this point of the season. This team last season Ozil had already managed 17 assists and was on the tail end of his form for the 2015/16 FPL season. It was the Sanchez show after January, and the Ozil show before it. So it is oddly refreshing that Ozil is still part of the conversation in regards to being a valid option for players to dwell on ahead of a visit from Watford.
The travelling side have been struggling for form, which has been tipped by the Italian Baldwin, Walter Mazzarri, looking visibly distressed after his Hornets got dumped out of the FA Cup by a Millwall side who are struggling not just with their league campaign, but for its existence entirely. When visiting Arsenal the script is usually set before the whistle. Arsenal will have a lot of possession, play the ball around until they squeeze the life out of Watford, and if not, the life out of a frustrated Arsenal crowd who expect better from a squad who should be dispatching sides like Watford as easily as Chelsea do.
There's every viable chance that Ozil will be instrumental for FPL players during Gameweek 23, utilising his set pieces and high passing rate as a means that will ultimately attract Fantasy points.
Notes on Ozil
Mesut Ozil has managed 5 goals, 6 assists, and 10 bonus points, totalling 96 FPL points from 19 appearances.
Ozil has as many points (6) as Liverpool left-back, and FPL midfielder, James Milner.
Ozil's 5 Pemier League goals is the same as 7 other midfielders: Pedro (CHE), Willian (CHE), McArthur (CRY), Coutinho (LIV), Sterling (MCI), Allen (STK), Eriksen (TOT), and Capoue (WAT).
The German international's 6 assists this season is the same as 5 other midfielders: Stanislas (BOU), Pedro (CHE), Coutinho (LIV), Mane (LIV), and Sigurdsson (SWA).
Ozil has as many bonus points (10), assists (6), and goals (5) as Chelsea's Pedro. The Blues midfielder is £2.5 million cheaper and is owned by just 5.9% of the FPL, compared to Ozil's 7.3%
BOURNEMOUTH VS. CRYSTAL PALACE
Player: Junior Stanislas (BOU)
Player Price: £5.3
Player Selection %: 4.2
We have been unlucky in our last pick of Junior Stanislas who failed to produce an attacking return, but anyone against Crystal Palace is a very good option to have in your team. Currently the Eagles are leaking goals like a tap leaks water, and there is more chance of a clean sheet for Palace than Liverpool overturning the deficit against Chelsea and winning the league (as stated by our resident Reds supporter). Stanislas has been a key attacking player for the Cherries and is on corners, set-pieces, and penalties, so there is no better player to help drown Palace than the Frenchman.
BURNLEY VS. LEICESTER
Player: Andre Gray (BUR)
Player Price: £6.2
Player Selection %: 5.3
Who’d have thought that Burnley would be one of the best performing home teams this season, and it is even more crazy that the reigning Premier League champions are not the favourites heading into this encounter. Robert Huth and West Morgan are in for one hell of an encounter when they have speedster Andre Gray leading the Clarets line, not only does he take their penalties (maybe not anymore with Burton back in the team) he has the goal threat and pace which could tear apart the ageing Leicester defence. The Foxes have been woeful, woeful, away from home and heading to one of the Premier League’s fortresses only compacts their rank as second favourites in this match. Gray should cause them problems, enough to be considered an asset in this match.
MIDDLESBROUGH VS. WEST BROM
Player: Chris Brunt (WBA)
Player Price: £5.0
Player Selection %: 2.9
There isn’t really a lot to mention in this match except that if an encounter screamed 0-0 then it would be this fixture, and we don’t expect a goal fest from two teams who keep it tight and compact. Boro are the new age West Brom in disguise, a team that has a reliable goal scorer when they need it, but their main rocksteady approach is designed on four capable defenders supported by capable midfielders who can defend. If this fixture doesn’t end 0-0 we’ll be very, very surprised. Chris Brunt has been chosen just because he is an affordable wildcard who will play enough minutes in this fixture to obtain a clean sheet and perhaps get on the scoresheet as he has done recently.
SUNDERLAND VS. SPURS
Player: Hugo Lloris (TOT)
Player Price: £5.5
Player Selection %: 7.2
Frenchman Hugo Lloris might be the luckiest goalkeeper of them all, sitting nicely in front of the likes of Rose, Walker, Eric Dier, and Big Toby must be a dream come true for any custodians in goal. The North London club has a lot of offensive action which keeps teams penned into their own half, but they also have the players who can dig them out of a hole, on the other side only Jermain Defoe seems capable of doing such a thing. Lloris should have a quiet game against a relatively timid Black Cats team, and because he is the captain he has no rotation risk. Easy pick.
SWANSEA VS. SOUTHAMPTON
Player: Gylfi Sigurdsson (SWA)
Player Price: £7.2
Player Selection %: 5.4
Scoring the winning goal against Liverpool at Anfield is the best way to pick yourself up after a torrid run of fixtures, further adding to the point that Swansea have the tools to stay up in for the form if Icelander Gylfi Sigurdsson and the Spaniard Fernando Llorente. Southampton, also with a recent victory over Liverpool under their belts, have been in poor form since their victory at Anfield and this couldn’t come at a better time for Paul Clement’s team as they look to build on their positive start to 2017 where they rest just above the relegation zone. Gylfi is still the man on the set pieces, penalties, and can score goals from open play. The Saints are without their main disciple Virgil van Dijk in the heart of their defence and this will make anyone in a white shirt happy.
LIVERPOOL VS. CHELSEA
Player: James Milner (LIV)
Player Price: £6.4
Player Selection %: 5.6
The midfielder turned full-back has been once again chosen at random to perform in this do-or-die encounter for Liverpool. The order makes sense (see below) as it has the main goal threats listed in a sensible order, and of course Milner’s comes in the fact that he is the penalty taker for the Reds. Milner was chosen at random against Manchester United, and he bears the brunt of the random generator once again.
Here was the order of picks for this fixture:
WEST HAM VS. MAN CITY
Player: Kevin De Bruyne (MCI)
Player Price: £10.5
Player Selection %: 7.1
First Özil, now KDB; the wildcard potential in midfield has been incredible for the week and if you remember a few weeks ago, when West Ham United got destroyed by a visiting Manchester City. There is plenty of potential that this could be a high scoring affair and KDB is a player in need of some good luck of his own. The Hammers haven’t been in fine tune against the bigger teams and following the sale of Dimitri Payet they cause more harm than good in the coming weeks, they should have kept him and reinforced the ideals of the club. The outcome of this match looks bleak for West Ham, and someone of KDB’s creativity has the kind of way of cracking teams wide apart.
MAN UNITED VS. HULL
Player: Phil Jones (MNU)
Player Price: £5.0
Player Selection %: 4.1
We find it unbelievable that Jose Mourinho denied that his team lost in ninety minutes to Hull City during their second leg EFL Cup fixture against the Tigers. But, what we always get with Mourinho is the fact that he always gets his way and the BBC love telling us all about it. The media has a way of completely over-hyping the effect of the Red Devil’s, especially when they get things right. You’re thinking why The Hype Train is mentioning this, but it leads perfectly into our thoughts on Phil Jones at the heart of Mourinho’s new defence alongside Marcos Rojo. The press would have you believe that at their current pace Man United are a deaf-defying, fearless, unstoppable juggernaut that has no way of being contained. Well, they aren’t that, but what they are with Phil Jones reinstated is solid at the back. Despite the memes of his face he has kept calm an otherwise rocky defence, and he has helped rebuild United’s fortunes. The good news for Mourinho is that he has a chance to correct that ‘1-1’ draw that Man United suffered last week.
STOKE VS. EVERTON
Player: Seamus Coleman (EVE)
Player Price: £5.6
Player Selection %: 7.3
Everton have proven their stripes in the past few weeks, especially Coleman who has registered three consecutive clean sheets, one match winning goal against Crystal Palace, and an assist in the rout of Manchester City. The Irishman has found that rich vein of form which has seen Everton transform their fortunes and with an attacking element to his game there is returns on both ends of the pitch. 23pts from his last three games is serious talking and right now you wouldn’t want to be the Stoke attacking line who must cope with the reshaped defence and threat of Coleman and Baines down either flank.
Want to know more about The Hype Train?
The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015 specialising in the Fantasy Premier League (#FPL), providing beautiful graphics and weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb ranking tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review movies, television, live music, festivals, and any relevant topic in the public eye.
You can follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, or visit our website at www.thehypetrain.co.uk
For all FPL Gameweek build up, check out the Weekly Hype page now.