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 (GW35)
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 35 Average Points: 46pts
Gameweek 35 Wildcard Points: 32pts
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), 46 (35) = 1,626pts
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), 32 (35) = 1,477pts
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
GW35: Christian Fuchs (West Brom vs. Leicester) - 8pts
Wayne Rooney (Man United vs. Swansea) - 8pts
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)
GW35: 32 points, 3 player returns
Gabbiadini (1), Arnautovic (3), Afobe (1), Fuchs (8), Townsend (2), Rooney (8), Barkley (2), Sane (3), Ozil (2), Deeney (2)
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 35
Wildcards: Trippier, Fonte, Can, Pedro, Barnes
Non Wildcards: Jakupovic, Cahill, King, Sigurdsson, Aguero, Negredo
Points achieved by Wildcards: 48pts
Points achieved by Non-Wildcards: 72pts
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 36: Differentials
The main difficulty this week with playing your wildcard in preparation for the double gameweeks is that the fixture list is perfect in gameweek thirty-six for you potentially not to play it. There is a favourable team in every fixture, perhaps excluding the Liverpool versus Southampton tie which you could flip a coin over. During this time, a sizable percentage of players are looking for cheap differentials to fill their ranks so they can bolster their attach with the likes of Aguero, Kane, and Costa for gameweek thirty-seven. These 'sure bets' are just logical conclusions based on the fixtures but there is a massive downside to believing in double gameweeks and that is because you could be overlooking the even simpler options at hand. There are some good options to look at in this gameweek, and some that you can carry over into the next week.
This starts us with Jan Vertonghen who has been in exceptional form for Spurs and will play every minute between now and the end of the season. West Ham are low on confidence and lacking tangible results at the new London Stadium, and in the vein of form that Spurs have tapped you don't want to back against them. Vertonghen is a prime example of an actual 'sure bet' when it comes to the double gameweek strategy: pick a player who is in-disposable from their teams starting eleven.
Six of the players that feature this week are unfortunately not eligible for upcoming double gameweek action in the next two weeks of Premier League action, and we have a sneaking suspicion that some of them will shine and be legitimate options. Honestly, if you are considering keeping it simple and going for some easy points the likes of Christian Fuchs and Michael Keane in defence against low scoring Watford and West Brom are no brainers.
Bournemouth have also been in delightful home form of late which leaves Artur Boruc as an interesting choice of goalkeeper that could surprise a few people; and let’s admit now that Stoke have been massively underperforming of late. Swansea have one hell of a battle against Everton and we expect the form of Toffees skipper Phil Jagielka to keep up. Elsewhere we have Lazar Markovic who has two consecutive returns at the KC Stadium and with Sunderland visiting it could be another sorry sight with Marco Silva’s unquestionable home form looking to keep pace with a relegated Black Cats visiting.
Lastly, we have Georginio Wijnaldum at Anfield once again with Liverpool in a battle against Southampton in a bid to cement their claim on a Champions League spot for next season, and whenever it is needed the Gini appears to grant wishes in front of the Kop faithful. All of these six players could make a big impact in this gameweek, it is just a shame that so many fantasy managers have their double gameweek blinkers on.
Of the eleven players, five of the named differentials named feature in the double gameweeks so it is just easy picks if you have the budget in your team, they include: Vertonghen (TOT), Bertrand (SOU), Pedro (CHE), Ozil (ARS), and Jesus (MCI). All of them will be eligible for the upcoming double gameweeks, we look at two of those players now in more detail.
FPL GW36 Wildcard Differential Picks
WHU/TOT: Jan Vertonghen (DEF, TOT, £5.7mil, 6.4% ownership)
MCI/CRY: Gabriel Jesus (FWD, MCI, £8.7mil, 3.1% ownership)
BOU/STK: Artur Boruc (GK, BOU, £4.5mil, 6.4% ownership)
BUR/WBA: Michael Keane (DEF, BUR, £5.1mil, 4.3% ownership)
HUL/SUN: Lazar Markovic (MID, HUL, £5.2mil, 0.2% ownership)
LEI/WAT: Christian Fuchs (DEF, LEI, £5.3mil, 5.4% ownership)
SWA/EVE: Phil Jagielka (DEF, EVE, £4.8mil, 7.6% ownership)
LIV/SOU: Georginio Wijnaldum (MID, LIV, £7.5mil, 1.6% ownership)
ARS/MUN: Mesut Ozil (MID, ARS, £9.4mil, 6.6% ownership)
CHE/MID: Pedro (MID, CHE, £6.8mil, 6.9% ownership)
SOU/ARS: Ryan Bertrand (DEF, SOU, £5.5mil, 3.5% ownership)
Key Differential: Ryan Bertrand
Going into this gameweek you are probably thinking that Southampton aren’t an attractive option with the Saints facing both Liverpool and Arsenal, but there is some interesting reading for these fixtures that might make you think differently about the Saints chances in both fixtures. Claude Puel’s men knocked both teams out of the EFL Cup on their run to the final where they narrowly missed out on taking the trophy down to the south-coast for keeps. Southampton have the potential to do upsets again, especially because they are unbeaten against Liverpool in three fixtures this season, without conceding a goal against them as well.
Ryan Bertrand had a huge part to play in that success, and recently with eight returns in his last eleven appearances is statistics you can’t just brush aside when looking at the best defenders to consider for the weekend. You don’t become Southampton’s top fantasy player this season for no reason; with three assists, four clean sheets, and one goal to his name in just the last eight weeks alone proves that Bertrand has fantasy points coming in from all directions. Arsenal and Liverpool seem vulnerable defensively and aren’t exactly playing at maximum currently, so a player like Bertrand should be considered because he could pretty much can do anything this weekend. A real differential that could prove to be a game changer in the next two weeks of FPL action.
Key Differential: Gabriel Jesus
We must talk about Gabriel Jesus, even if briefly, because here is a teenager who has proven quality in bags that has burst onto the FPL scene. After recovering from a long-term injury, he quite literally walked back into Pep Guardiola’s team without any argument from either Sterling or Sane. The Brazilian can play any three attacking roles and drifts in to what we deem ‘Aguero space’, allowing the Argentine to get more involved with the play too. Pep clearly rates him more than Raheem Sterling, that much is clear, and we have the sneaking suspicion that the Brazilian will be a lock for the upcoming double gameweek.
Manchester City are fond of rotating their squad but key players always keep their place, like Aguero and David Silva. Gabriel Jesus is quickly following suit, and with his phenomenal goal scoring rate in the Premier League so far you must consider him a real option. Crystal Palace are up next for Man City and you expect nothing other than Jesus and Aguero to run riot again.
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