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 (GW31)
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 31 Average Points: 45pts
Gameweek 31 Wildcard Points: 52pts
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), 45 (31) = 1,422pts
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 (30), 52 (31) = 1,323pts
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
GW31: Mesut Ozil (Arsenal vs. West Ham) - 14pts
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)
GW31: 52 points, 6 player returns
Keane (9), Fuchs (7), Holebas (6), Robles (1), Ozil (14), Niasse (6), Bertrand (0), Vertonghen (2), Sane (2), Wijnaldum (5)
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)
FPL DREAM TEAM ANALYSIS: GAMEWEEK 31
Wildcards: Schmeichel, Yoshida, Jagielka, Keane, Ozil, Hernandez, Niang, Deeney
Non Wildcards: Eriksen, Alli, Hazard
Points achieved by Wildcards: 88pts
Points achieved by Non-Wildcards: 38pts
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 (GW32)
So, three days removed from the last Premier League fixture and we are already watching the beautiful game again at the weekend…what a time to be alive with spring weather ramping up the atmosphere. Under the summer skies there is a silent air of trepidation as one of the most dreaded words in the FPL vocabulary rear its ugly head, that’s right…rotation.
Welcome to the danger zone, where your invaluable options and transfers somehow wind up on the bench for a cameo appearance in the last twenty minutes. Managers always like to freshen things up and rest players to ensure that burnout doesn’t occur over the season, so we always try and think around that in rotation season. Choosing centre-backs that are themselves invaluable to their team is always a smart option, it is more times than none that the full-backs are the ones who see their minutes reduced as they work harder for the team. Centre backs by their definition shouldn’t be the most athletic and more capable of playing every single day of the week. Opting to go for the quartet of Jan Vertonghen (who captains Spurs without Lloris playing), David Luiz (because Conte doesn’t like to rotate), Eric Bailly (because Man United don’t have alternative options, and Michael Keane (because why on earth would Sean Dyche drop him?) are mainstays within their respective squads and should see the full ninety minutes. Lest we forget when central defenders do nothing they are normally in line for bonus point contention, take Eric Bailly who picked up two bonus points in the score-draw versus Everton midweek.
Ahead of the defenders we choose five playmaker midfielders who can’t be dropped by their squads, we are thinking players whose removal impacts upon their chances of success. Kevin De Bruyne has been in good stead for City recently and his passing and set-pieces could unlock Hull, Everton don’t have a replacement for Ross Barkley, and West Ham need Lanzini at the London Stadium as he on scoring form in front of his home audience. Elsewhere Mesut Özil is a mainstay for Arsenal and after his performance against the Hammers we don’t expect his place to be compromised, particularly because the Gunners need stability in their ranks whilst their fanbase go to war with each other. Lastly, we have Nathan Redmond who is fitting in nicely at Southampton, and after another double point week against Crystal Palace they Saints travel to a West Brom team who are beginning to wobble like they do at the end of every season. Redmond is a great option considering his low price and fact that he has only missed one game this entire season, so picking a player for stability is our general advice which is why we are comfortable including Redmond for this gameweek. Ask yourself the question if the player is at any risk of being rotated, if they are and you have any doubt, don’t debate it and move onto another option.
The final player we have in the differential ranks for gameweek thirty-two is Liverpool striker Divock Origi who has two goals in his last two games for the Reds. Reinstated following the injury to Mane he has begun to show his pedigree in front of goal against after a run in the team the last time Mane was out of action due to the African Cup of Nations. Origi is set to keep his place as Klopp doesn’t like to tinker too much with his team, he barely touches his substitute options unless it is required, so the Belgian forward is a safe option to have. Stoke haven’t been electric and after Mark Arnautovic proved with the squandering of countless chances in front of Tom Heaton that the team is just off the ball at the moment, the last thing they need is a hungry Liverpool turning up with an in-form striker.
Gameweek 32 Wildcards
TOT/WAT: Jan Vertonghen (TOT, DEF, £5.6mil, 4.9% ownership)
MCI/HUL: Kevin De Bruyne (MCI, MID, £10.4mil, 6.9% ownership)
MID/BUR: Michael Keane (BUR, DEF, £5.0mil, 3.7% ownership)
STK/LIV: Divock Origi (LIV, FOR, £6.2mil, 5.4% ownership)
WBA/SOU: Nathan Redmond (SOU, MID, £5.9mil, 6.2% ownership)
WHU/SWA: Manuel Lanzini (WHU, MID, £6.5mil, 3.2% ownership)
BOU/CHE: David Luiz (CHE, DEF, £6.3mil, 5.3% ownership)
SUN/MUN: Eric Bailly (MUN, DEF, £5.3mil, 6.4% ownership)
EVE/LEI: Ross Barkley (EVE, MID, £7.1mil, 7.7% ownership)
CRY/ARS: Mesut Özil (ARS, MID, £9.6mil, 5.8% ownership)
Key Differential: Ross Barkley (Everton)
Last week we talked about Christian Fuchs, the marauding left-back for the Foxes. This time we turn the tables on Leicester who are on the road and searching for their next consecutive win on the bounce. Looking at the nature of the games in the league now, we as FPL enthusiasts shouldn’t ask who wins matches but who provides goals and assists for your team’s assets. Barkley has been a strange one this season, from game to game he goes by largely unnoticed but turns up for some huge returns from time to time. He is however helping dictate Everton’s play and has been a large part of the success they have had so far in 2017 despite some bad injuries and suspensions to Ronald Koeman’s side.
Leicester haven’t kept a clean sheet on the road since a terrible game at Middlesbrough, it was really a drab affair, and they always look vulnerable when they aren’t playing at the King Power where they have the electric fans behind them. Lukaku and Barkley, aided by Mirallas and Davies, are a good combination that should have enough firepower to breach their defence even if they don’t outright beat the resurgent Foxes. Barkley has enough to make a difference, he is a player drifting between legitimate option and differential every week which makes him a great wildcard in this fixture and one that we probably would otherwise overlook because there are other matches with better options.
Not all great runs last forever, the Arsenal invincible team were beaten, Suarez left Liverpool, and even Leicester realised that not all dreams could be continued when they came crashing into the 2016/17 season. Let’s not forget Everton are still a tough team to beat, so we are really intrigued by the outcome of this match for weekend.
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For all FPL Gameweek build up, check out the Weekly Hype page now.