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 (GW25)
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 25 Average Points: 47pts
Gameweek 25 Wildcard Points: 43pts
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), 35 (23), 51 (24), 47 (25) = 1,182pts
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), 39 (23), 29 (24), 43 (25) = 1,043pts
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
GW22: Andy Carroll (Middlesbrough vs. West Ham) - 13pts
GW23: Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea vs. Southampton) - 13pts
GW24: Troy Deeney (Watford vs. Burnley) - 7pts
GW25: Manolo Gabbiadini (Sunderland vs. Southampton) - 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)
GW23: 39 points, 2 player returns
Ozil (2), Stanislas (2), Gray (2), Brunt (2), Lloris (0), Sigurdsson (13), Milner (4), De Bruyne (8), Phil Jones (1), Coleman (5)
GW24: 29 points, 3 player returns
David Luiz (2), van Aanholt (0), Tom Davies (1), Milner (1), Jack Stephens (1), Deeney (7), Chadli (6), Ben Davies (6), Sane (2), Schmeichel (3).
GW25: 43 points, 4 player returns
Rannochia (0), Mkhitaryan (3), Robles (7), Crouch (2), Gabbiadini (13), Chadli (6), Wijnaldum (7), David Luiz (2), Llorente (2), Gabriel Jesus (1)
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)
11 - Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea): 13pts (GW23)
11 - Manolo Gabbiadini (Southampton): 13pts (GW25)
18 - Divock Origi (Liverpool): 11pts (GW16)
19 - Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland): 10pts (GW12)
19 - Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea): 10pts (GW13)
19 - James Milner (Liverpool): 10pts (GW21)
FPL DREAM TEAM ANALYSIS: GAMEWEEK 25
Wildcards: Mignolet, Mawson, Olsson, Bertrand, Fernandez, Lanzini, Feghouli, Martial, Gabbiadini
Non Wildcards: Mane, Sanchez
Points achieved by Wildcards: 111pts
Points achieved by Non-Wildcards: 31pts
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.
CHELSEA VS. SWANSEA
Player: David Luiz (CHE)
Player Price: £6.3
Player Selection %: 5.3
Only eight games this week, and with defensive colossus Chelsea at home against Swansea City the first differential of the pick is a no-brainer. David Luiz is selected because of the likelihood that the Blues continue their impressive defensive form, and because he is the last remaining differential option from their defence. Usually we relied on Marcos Alonso to get the job done, the free scoring left-wing back has been so influential since his move from Serie A that he is now an FPL essential. David Luiz's biggest sell is his free kick responsibility, most recently scoring against Liverpool at Anfield, so there is always an opportunity for their defenders to get among the offensive fantasy points. Swansea may be on the upswing but you wouldn't bet against Antonio Conte's team against anyone, Chelsea are getting results against everyone and with the leanest defence this campaign it is an easy pick to choose Luiz as the best differential pick.
CRYSTAL PALACE VS. MIDDLESBROUGH
Player: Patrick van Aanholt (CRY)
Player Price: £5.0
Player Selection %: 4.8
A big money move to London makes sense for most players, but a move to a fellow relegation rival does not. Why Sunderland let PVA got to Crystal Palace is a question for the magical eight-ball, as is the reasons behind van Aanholt moving to a team almost destined to face the drop. There is optimism for the Eagles however, PVA and fellow recruit Mamadou Sakho are capable defenders which can improve their squad; they also have the attacking talents to hurt teams with Benteke, Townsend, and a recently returned Zaha. Crystal Palace are a team that doesn't make sense, they should be doing better, they are a group of wildcards and that goes in their favour strangely enough. Middlesbrough, their low scoring visiting opponents, have struggled to pick up any real momentum this season and scoring goals has been a major crux of their performances so far. The selection of PVA is, and will always be, a combination of defensive and offensive opportunities. This should be a low scoring affair, but with PVA now in their sides they have arguably the most attacking left-back in the league in their squad.
EVERTON VS. SUNDERLAND
Player: Joel Robles (EVE)
Player Price: £4.7
Player Selection %: 0.9
Should anyone think that Sunderland are going to stay up this season they must have a hard, deep look at the state of affairs in the Premier League. Swansea and Hull are mounting an incredible relegation stand-off and whilst teams around the Black Cats mount a credible challenge it is themselves who are being left behind. Travelling to an in-form Everton does not help matters, not only have they figured out how to use Lukaku this season but they have a solid defence and midfield behind the Belgian striker. One of the biggest notable changes has been the reintroduction of Joel Robles who has played every minute since being subbed on during the game against Liverpool in GW17. Since the late Sadio Mane goal in the Merseyside Derby the Spaniard has yet to taste defeat, and has notched five clean sheets in his last eight starts which is a phenomenal return. Robles should have never been dropped from the Everton team and his prospects look very good ahead of the visit of almost certainly relegated Sunderland who we can't see being competitive in this fixture. Everton are also one of the teams that feature consistently during a time of fixture turbulence so jump on the Robles hype train whilst it lasts.
HULL CITY VS. BURNLEY
Player: Lazar Markovic (HUL)
Player Price: £5.4
Player Selection %: 0.1
Hull City can hold their heads high, when they went to the Emirates to face Arsenal they were brave, decisive, and had incredible pace on the break that threatened the Gunners defences on multiple occasions. What the Tigers didn't have was any luck, instead they have Petr Cech in their way each time. One of the standout players since Silva's appointment as short term manager has been on-loan Liverpool player Lazar Markovic who is making up for lost time in the Premier League. The Serbs pace constantly threatened Arsenal and his performance level has been of a good standard since moving to the KC Stadium. Burnley offer a different challenge to overcome but overall their away form has been unimpressive, and Hull's form in general has been good since Mike Phelan left. Hull desperately need the points, more so than Burnley, and with a little bit of luck a player of Markovic's quality has the tools to unlock that stubborn Burnley defence.
Liverpool supporters rue the fact that a winger that could have helped cover for Sadio Mane's adventure to the African Cup of Nations could slip between the cracks and join another Premier League team.
WEST BROM VS. AFC BOURNEMOUTH
Player: Nacer Chadli (WBA)
Player Price: £6.0
Player Selection %: 1.5
Tony Pulis has worked wonders for West Brom this season, a top half finish is more than deserved for the Baggies who have supplemented some of their defensive grit for attacking flair. One such instrument to this change has been the Belgian Nacer Chadli who sits behind the main striker, a real dynamo in their midfield he has proven quality and a keen eye for goal. Bournemouth are on a bit of a patchy run of form with no momentum going their way, so Pulis should look to inflict further damage on home soil. Chadli is a player who just has 'it', that goal-scoring finesse and trickery to make things happen, so there isn't any more that can be really said to justify his selection.
WATFORD VS. WEST HAM UNITED
Player: Troy Deeney (WAT)
Player Price: £6.7
Player Selection %: 5.2
Differential royalty in the FPL is hard to come across, but in the form of Troy Deeney the table has a member with experience and class. Three goals from his last four games has seen his stock once again rise and with a home game against a questionable West Ham defence we are expecting a fiery London encounter that could have plenty of goal potential from both teams. Boasting the rap-sheet of penalty duty and an unruly amount of strength that makes him a versatile number-nine, Deeney is the man for Watford and when he hits a hot streak it is hard to ignore. West Ham on the other hand do have the potential to continue with their good run of form, so if you fancy picking up Manuel Lanzini who is now filling the Payet role quite nicely then by all means trust the Argentine if you are in the Hammers corner for this match. The Hype Train will trust in one of its longest serving differentials to once again step up and attempt to reclaim the differential throne from the Icelander, Gylfi Sigurdsson.
SPURS VS. STOKE CITY
Player: Hueng-Min Son (TOT)
Player Price: £6.8
Player Selection %: 3.9
This match feels like a bit of a formality, we all know the routine with Spurs against mid-table sides, they like to start slow and then when Rose and Walker get warmed up they start causing trouble for the opposition, opening space for Kane and Alli, then a bunch of goals are scored. The last two encounters between Spurs and Stoke have ended in 4-0 wins to Tottenham, so right now there is little faith in the ability for Mark Hughes to navigate a result out of White Hart Lane. One big player for Spurs this season has been Son, the speedy Korean forward has been influential whenever he plays, and in recent weeks he has been chipping in with goals and assists since being reintroduced to the starting eleven. Once one of the most owned Spurs players it was incredible to see him dropped like he was, mostly to facilitate Alli and Eriksen, but now he has a real place in the team and we believe Spurs will walk away with a comfortable victory under their belts.
LEICESTER VS. LIVERPOOL
Player: Joel Matip (LIV)
Player Price: £5.3
Player Selection %: 1.8
You know that the season is in a tailspin for Leicester when we are selecting a Liverpool defender as a differential in this fixture. Right now, anyone looks like they can steal a win from the Premier League champions, a statement that we regret because we adored Leicester during their courageous march for the title last season. This time last year Leicester beat Liverpool courtesy of 'that' Jamie Vardy volley and it helped them on their way to becoming champions, flash forward a year and Liverpool are the ones fighting for a place in the top four and Leicester are on the verge of dropping down to the Championship if their results don't pick up. Joel Matip is a formality pick because he is Liverpool's best defender and whenever he plays the performance level of the Reds always picks up, and without Lovren in the team due to a niggling knee injury they might stand a chance of picking up a decent result at the King Power. Liverpool had destroyed Leicester earlier in the season at Anfield, and with Mane back and firing it could be another of them of days for the Foxes who are further dragged into their darkening hole.
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.