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 (GW34)
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 34 Average Points: 56pts
Gameweek 34 Wildcard Points: 44pts
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), 56 (32), 46 (33), 56 (34) = 1,580pts
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), 33 (32), 45 (33), 44 (34) = 1,445pts
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
GW32: Jan Vertonghen (Spurs vs. Watford) - 6pts
Eric Bailly (Sunderland vs. Man United) - 6pts
GW33: Phil Jagielka (Everton vs. Burnley) - 11pts
GW34: Phil Jagielka (West Ham vs. Everton) - 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)
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)
GW32: 33 points, 4 player returns
Vertonghen (6), De Bruyne (0), Keane (5), Origi (2), Redmond (3), Lanzini (2), David Luiz (2), Bailly (6), Barkley (5), Ozil (2)
GW33: 45 points, 5 player returns
Vertonghen (6), Christian Benteke (6), Jagielka (11), Berahino (1), Carroll (5), Niang (2), Sane (8), Wijnaldum (3), David Luiz (1), Monreal (2)
GW34: 44 points, 5 player returns (from 11 matches)
Afobe (6), Niasse (-2), Shaqiri (2), Jagielka (7), Bailly (6, 6), Wijnaldum (3), Pedro (4), Ozil (3), Barragan (0, 0), Townsend (2, 2), De Bruyne (3)
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 34
Wildcards: Blind, Darmian, Bailly, Monreal, Martial, Pugh, de Roon
Non Wildcards: de Gea, Daniels, Costa, Benteke
Points achieved by Wildcards: 93pts
Points achieved by Non-Wildcards: 61pts
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.
FPL Gameweek 35: Wildcard Differentials
SOU/HUL: Manolo Gabbiadini (SOU, FOR, £6.3mil, 3.4% ownership)
STK/WHU: Marko Arnautovic (STK, MID, £7.1mil, 1.2% ownership)
SUN/BOU: Benik Afobe (BOU, FOR, £5.5mil, 2.5% ownership)
WBA/LEI: Christian Fuchs (LEI, DEF, £5.3mil, 5.4% ownership)
CRY/BUR: Andros Townsend (CRY, MID, £5.8mil, 3.3% ownership)
MUN/SWA: Wayne Rooney (MUN, FOR, £8.6mil, 2.2% ownership)
EVE/CHE: Ross Barkley (EVE, MID, £7.1mil, 7.4% ownership)
MID/MCI: Leroy Sane (MCI, MID, £7.5mil, 5.5% ownership)
TOT/ARS: Mesut Ozil (ARS, MID, £9.4mil, 6.1% ownership)
WAT/LIV: Troy Deeney (WAT), FOR, £6.8mil, 6.1% ownership)
On the cusp of more double-gameweeks we at the final 'business as usual' week of the FPL, that being ten matches where stable teams are expected to be fielded. GW36 and GW37 will be rife with rotation as the number of teams being forced into resting players comes into full swing. Ten teams, ten players, and plenty of midfield options to consider this week with half of the chosen differentials coming from that category. Our contingent of wingers includes Townsend, Barkley, Arnautovic, and Leroy Sane...leaving Mesut Ozil in the middle of this attacking firepower. The truth of the matter is that in terms of differentials in each of these fixtures they are just the best options to even consider. Clean sheets are never guaranteed anymore in the FPL and this leaves it up to the creative midfielders to work their magic, so that is why we have selected five midfielders because there aren't many defensive options to choose from this week. There doesn't need to be any justification for the midfield five because they are the obvious picks in the fixtures, the only one we will comment on is Andros Townsend who has been in spectacular form the past few months and his Eagles should cruise past Burnley at the weekend...he is also on set-piece duties with Cabaye.
Talking of Crystal Palace we had looked at bringing Mamadou Sakho into the mix against Burnley but his untimely injury against Spurs provoked us into moving onto the next safe bet of Andros Townsend. The lone defender is Christian Fuchs who features for a revived Leicester, and now they are out of the Champions League we expect the Austrian to keep his place in the Foxes starting eleven. West Brom have hit a scoring drought and this is good news for those with Fuchs already in their team, and as the Baggies go on without Phillips and Robson-Kanu you would expect a gritty performance from both sides that has few goals in it. This is the stuff of dreams for Tony Pulis, he must be relishing the sheer thought of this weekend.
The forward options are the most feasible differentials this gameweek with the foursome of Deeney, Rooney, Afobe, and Gabbiadini all good options to have in your FPL teams. The only question mark is on Wayne Rooney whose Manchester United host Swansea at the weekend, but based on team selection for the upcoming fixture list it looks like Rooney will be used in league games to ease the burden on the Europa League semi-final fixture against Celta Vigo. Rooney's appearance against Burnley proves that he still has a point to prove in the league and Mourinho doesn't have any other forward options to consider if he is to fight on both fronts. Elsewhere expect to see Troy Deeney bully the Liverpool centre-halves who looked weak and culpable yet again when they were defeated by Crystal Palace courtesy of two goals from former player Christian Benteke who abused the space left by sloppy Reds defending. Deeney is the kind of player who would flourish against a team like Liverpool in the current situation so expect him to be a big focal point of the Hornets attack. Gabbiadini and Afobe speak for themselves, both strikers are playing against teams in the midst of a relegation scrap so it is just simple logic which determines their place in the differentials. It also helps that the pair of them have also been in good form. Speaking about Manolo in more specifics he is our featured differential this week, the one to really watch.
Featured Differential: Manolo Gabbiadini
Kicking off in the early game on the south coast is Southampton who entertain a resurgent Hull City, but it is the limp away form of the Tigers that spurs on the hope that Southampton can get a positive result in their push for another top half finish this season. The real dynamo in their attack has been the recent acquisition of Manolo Gabbiadini from Napoli, the Italian so far has four FPL returns out of six fixtures, and this doesn't even include the double he scored against Manchester United in the EFL Cup final. His clever movement and positional awareness is what sets him apart in the Southampton team, his ability to run onto balls and be in the right place at the right time is exactly what the Saints need and with the creative forces of Boufal and Tadic supporting the January signing he has been in fine form since moving to England.
Southampton have a good Premier League record against Hull City, of the last five encounters they have won four of them, the only blip being the recent 2-1 loss at the KC Stadium in November where the Tigers have been more up for the challenge. The difference now is that they didn't have Gabbiadini running the channels in the last encounter between the two teams, and with the fine form the Italian has been in you wouldn't want to bank against him. Southampton without the Europa League look a better, and more dangerous side, they really had a go at Chelsea and Manolo's movement is what made the first equalising goal when he played it in for Oriel Romeu. Expect Gabbiadini to be among the action again when gameweek thirty-five kicks off, the stats are on his side.
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