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WEEKLY WILDCARDS 2016/17: FPL Gameweek 31

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.

Goalkeepers

- 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%

Defenders

- 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.

Midfielders

- 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.

Forwards

- 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 (GW29)

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 30 Average Points: 40pts Gameweek 30 Wildcard Points: 40pts

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: GW27 - 72pts, 9 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), 45 (26), 44 (27), 19 (28), 47 (29), 40 (30) = 1,377pts

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), 38 (26), 72 (27), 32 (28), 46 (29), 40 (3) = 1,271pts

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

GW26: Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace vs. Middlesbrough) - 15pts

GW27: Fernando Llorente (Swansea vs. Burnley) - 13pts

GW28: Josh King (Bournemouth vs. West Ham) - 18pts

GW29: Manuel Lanzini (West Ham vs. Leicester) - 10pts

GW30: Heung-Min Son (Burnley vs. Spurs) - 7pts

Leroy Sane (Arsenal vs. Man City) - 7pts

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, 4 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)

GW26: 38 points, 4 player returns (from 8 matches)

David Luiz (1), van Aanholt (15), Robles (6), Markovic (0), Chadli (5), Deeney (9), Heung-Min Son (1), Matip (1)

GW27: 72 points, 9 player returns (from 11 matches)

Bailly (0), Fuchs (9), Martins Indi (6, 6), Llorente (13), Gabbiadini (5), Chadli (2), Wijnaldum (8), Davies (5), Sane (10, 2), Pedro (6)

GW28: 32 points, 3 player returns (from 4 matches)

Josh King (18), Robles (6), Llorente (1), Wijnaldum (7)

GW29: 46 points, 5 player returns

Mustafi (1), Mamadou Sakho (9), Robles (6), David Luiz (7), Andre Gray (2), Lanzini (10), Josh King (8), Mkhitaryan (0), Gabbiadini (1), Wijnaldum (2)

GW30: 40 points, 6 player returns

Wijnaldum (2), Rojo (5), David Luiz (0), Carroll (6), Deeney (0), Fuchs (5), Son (7), Tadic (3), Mawson (5), Sane (7)

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)

2 - Josh King (Bournemouth): 18pts (GW28)

4 - Romelu Lukaku (Everton): 17pts (GW4)

4 - Andre Gray (Burnley): 17pts (GW19)

6 - Hueng-Min Son (Spurs): 15pts (GW6)

6 - Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland): 15pts (GW17)

6 - Leighton Baines (Everton) - 15pts (GW20)

6 - Dele Alli (Spurs) - 15pts (GW20)

6 - Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) - 15pts (GW20)

6 - Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace): 15pts (GW26)

12 - Winston Reid (West Ham): 14pts (GW8)

13 - Michail Antonio (West Ham): 13pts (GW4)

13 - Harry Kane (Spurs): 13pts (GW12)

13 - Marcos Alonso (Chelsea): 13pts (GW11)

13 - Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea): 13pts (GW15)

13 - Andy Carroll (West Ham): 13pts (GW22)

13 - Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea): 13pts (GW23)

13 - Manolo Gabbiadini (Southampton): 13pts (GW25)

13 - Fernando Llorente (Swansea): 13pts (GW27)

21 - Divock Origi (Liverpool): 11pts (GW16)

22 - Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland): 10pts (GW12)

22 - Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea): 10pts (GW13)

22 - James Milner (Liverpool): 10pts (GW21)

22 - Leroy Sane (Man City): 10pts (GW27)

22 - Manuel Lanzini (West Ham): 10pts (GW28)

FPL DREAM TEAM ANALYSIS: GAMEWEEK 30

Wildcards: Valdes, Britos, Simpson, Mustafi, Cathcart, Ranocchia, Dier, Zaha, Ndidi, Benteke

Non Wildcards: Coutinho

Points achieved by Wildcards: 116pts

Points achieved by Non-Wildcards: 13pts

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.

Weekly Wildcards (GW31)

Not your usual analysis this week because there was almost no time between the gameweeks to catch your breath, and we will kick-off our differential review with a forewarning about midweek fixtures: expect lots of low scoring fixtures. Happens each time, the last set of midweek fixtures saw only one team score more than three goals in the week. There is an uncomfortable number of fixtures that could end up without a single goal being scored…Manchester United versus Everton, Hull versus Boro, Watford versus West Brom, Burnley versus Stoke, and the list goes on. There are so few attacker’s worth considering that it has the defensive minded FPL players buzzing with excitement for this week. Playing a four-four-two formation would be a legitimate prospect, and usually the differential defenders always have a say in the dream team so don’t be afraid to experiment with a wildcard pick for these fixtures. Take last week’s dream team…every single defender was by classification a differential, and if you include Eric Dier into that list (because let’s face it he is a defender) then you have seven of the eleven players playing in defensive positions. In gameweek thirty there was eight teams who kept clean sheets, that is nearly half of the entire Premier League. Things are tightening up and becoming more difficult to predict, especially as the race for the bottom hots up with Swansea and Hull both doing their best to avoid the drop.

The only forward we have picked has been Oumar Niasse because we don’t rate Boro’s chances going to Hull, and Andy Carroll isn’t a certainty to choose against Arsenal at the Emirates. Obvious midfielder picks include Mesut Özil, Gini Wijnaldum, and Leroy Sane who are against weaker opposition and pulling their weight (Özil returned with an assist), so safe bets in midfield are only to be considered. Three left-backs and two centre-halves round up the rest of the team. There is such a lack of confidence in this being a barnstorming week for most FPL players we are embracing the defensive side of the FPL in gameweek thirty-one. Everyone will be bemoaning their clashing attackers going up against their team’s own defenders so we are looking downfield to find our FPL points this week.

Gameweek 31 Wildcards

BUR/STK: Michael Keane (BUR, DEF, £5.0mil, 3.0% ownership)

LEI/SUN: Christian Fuchs (LEI, DEF, £5.2mil, 5.3% ownership)

WAT/WBA: Jose Holebas (WAT, DEF, £4.6mil, 3.6% ownership)

MUN/EVE: Joel Robles (EVE, GK, £4.7mil, 1.3% ownership)

ARS/WHU: Mesut Özil (ARS, MID, £9.4mil, 5.6% ownership)

HUL/MID: Oumar Niasse (HUL, FOR, £5.6mil, 0.4% ownership)

SOU/CRY: Ryan Bertrand (SOU, DEF, £5.5mil, 3.1% ownership)

SWA/TOT: Jan Vertonghen (TOT, DEF, £5.5mil, 4.6% ownership)

CHE/MCI: Leroy Sane (MCI, MID, £7.5mil, 3.5% ownership)

LIV/BOU: Georginio Wijnaldum (LIV, MID, £7.5mil, 1.7% ownership)

Key Differential: Christian Fuchs (Leicester)

Our showcase wildcard this week will be revitalised Austrian, Christian Fuchs. This week is all about left-backs in the differentials, with Bertrand and Holebas also being selected the left sided defenders have a habit of always being on the ‘wrong-side’ of ownership. Marcos Alonso (CHE), Leighton Baines (EVE), and Charlie Daniels (BOU) are the three-established left sided full backs with over a hundred points so far this season. Last season the Austrian Fuchs played consistently after gameweek eight onward, and he was an absolute sensation and one of our differential players of the season. This season the left-back started out poorly along with the rest of the Leicester team but in his first ten appearances had four FPL returns, so it wasn’t all doom and gloom, but between since then and now Fuchs then only attained a further six FPL returns…of which three of them has occurred in the past four gameweeks, and all of them taking place at the King Power stadium.

Craig Shakespeare’s arrival as the permanent manager has turned the season around for Leicester, and putting the Austrian back into the team after frustrating rotation with Ben Chilwell has seen newfound stability and confidence in the Foxes defensive efforts. Sunderland are the team to travel to the King Power and there is not one person who believes that the Black Cats can outsmart the Foxes in this gameweek thirty-one match-up. Fuchs has been restored on set-piece duty and can get further forward and it is aiding his options as an FPL asset once again. It’s like 2016 all over again with Fuchs gracing the differentials.

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.

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For all FPL Gameweek build up, check out the Weekly Hype page now.

All aboard.

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