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 (GW37)
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 37 Average Points: 81pts
Gameweek 37 Wildcard Points: 74pts
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: GW37 - 74pts, 8 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), 46 (36), 81 (37) = 1,753pts
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), 31 (36), 74 (37) = 1,582pts
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
GW36: Christian Fuchs (Leicester vs. Watford) - 8pts
GW37: Gabriel Jesus (Man City vs. Leicester) - 8pts
Leroy Sane (Man City vs. West Brom) - 11pts
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)
GW36: 31 points, 2 player returns (from 11 matches)
Vertonghen (2), Jesus (5), Artur Boruc (1), Keane (0), Markovic (3), Fuchs (8), Jagielka (2), Wijnaldum (3), Ozil (3), Pedro (3), Ryan Bertrand (1)
GW37: 74 points, 8 player returns (from 15 matches)
Gomes (3, 1), David Luiz (8, 0), Jesus (8, 11), Adam Smith (2), Yoshida (2, 7), Llorente (8), Monreal (2, 5), van Aanholt (6), Sturridge (7), Vertonghen (2, 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 37
Wildcards: Romero, Naughton, Ozil, Jesus, Giroud
Non Wildcards: Azpilicueta, Bellerin, Sanchez, Son, Coutinho, Kane
Points achieved by Wildcards: 83pts
Points achieved by Non-Wildcards: 130pts
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 38: Wildcard Differentials
We are at the end of another season, there have been ups and downs, but for the second year in a row we delivered differential results all season. Our end of season article should be interesting because we have massively improved on last season’s record, we aren't even sure of the players that will make the wildcard team of the season...there will be some surprise inclusions with how some teams form have panned out. One example of our weird successes this season is having Gini Wijnaldum in our squad for every home game where he was the best option, and Fuchs renaissance towards the end of 2017 will mean places in the eleven are hard fought in every position. The message is clear: differentials win you points. Look at Josh King, he started as just some random attacking midfielder for Bournemouth and since the new year has become one of the FPL's most coveted assets.
Anyway, for the here and now you are wondering what is left for the FPL on the final day...lots of fresh faces for sure, but what you need to do is look at players who have their positions locked, and teams who are fighting for everything on the final day. Man City, Liverpool, and Arsenal are cut and dry this week because they are all going to play their full-strength teams. David Silva has been rested for the final day, Daniel Sturridge has come into form for Liverpool at the right time, and Rob Holding has proven he is ready for Arsenal's main team with some commanding performances in defence. You can even extend that to Leicester and Southampton who have something to fight for...a confirmed place in the top half of the table. Leicester even have the capability of qualifying for the Europa League along with Southampton (although both sets of fans will want to avoid that at any cost). For that reason, the defensive assets of Yohan Benalouane makes his weekly wildcard debut after earning a spot in the team following Wes Morgan’s injury, and Fraser Forster should see out the season in goal against Stoke City. The Saints keeper has picked up decent form moving into the final day with returns in three of his last five fixtures, including that penalty save to deny Liverpool's James Milner. Benalouane on the other hand we have waited to put him in our selections since Morgan's injury, but Fuch's form has meant he has had to wait, fortunately he has the chance to be an excellent choice if Leicester keep their form up...he is also a poultry £4.0mil in the FPL which raises some eyebrows from us at The Hype Train.
The roundup of our differentials also includes Cesc Fabregas who scored the winner against Watford on Monday night, the Spaniard has been in scintillating form and has even kept PFA Players of the Year N'Golo Kante out of the team. Sam Vokes of Burnley has also been scoring for fun lately and with a home game against the recently demoralised West Ham it should be another chance for the Welshman to cap off a great end to the season for Burnley. Ben Davies and Federico Fernandez earn places for the final day differentials as defenders you shouldn't overlook, Swansea host West Brom who have looked poor in front of goal, and Spurs are just...Spurs; they will defend well and with only one left-back option available there is no way Davies will be dropped. Finishing our selections for the 2016/17 Premier League season for differentials in the FPL is draw masters Manchester United's up-and-comer Axel Tuanzabe. We aren't sure where he will be playing but be it in midfield or defence the youngster has been entrusted by Jose Mourinho to fill out his squad who are chasing the Europa League and access to the Champions League. Crystal Palace have just secured survival so they may relax, but one thing is for sure...the game is going to be low scoring, Jose has made a habit of keeping the score lines low this season when his team are involved, and after going to Southampton to see out another 0-0 there is one final chance for a total wildcard to close out the season with a fantasy return.
Be bold in your picks this week, most of the end of season games are crazy and unpredictable. Our featured wildcard this week is the personification of what it means to be a differential this season, Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge.
GW38: Wildcard Selections
ARS/EVE: Rob Holding (ARS, DEF, £4.1mil, 2.9% ownership)
BUR/WHU: Sam Vokes (BUR, FOR, £5.6mil, 2.4% ownership)
CHE/SUN: Cesc Fabregas (CHE, MID, £6.9mil, 3.0% ownership) (VVC)
HUL/TOT: Ben Davies (TOT, DEF, £4.9mil, 4.6% ownership)
LEI/BOU: Yohan Benalouane (LEI, DEF, £4.0mil, 1.0% ownership)
LIV/MID: Daniel Sturridge (LIV, FOR, £9.6mil, 0.9% ownership) (C)
MUN/CRY: Axel Tuanzabe (MUN, DEF, £4.0mil, 0.1% ownership) (VC)
SOU/STK: Fraser Forster (SOU, GK, £5.0mil, 4.9% ownership)
SWA/WBA: Federico Fernandez (SWA, DEF, £4.2mil, 1.7% ownership)
WAT/MCI: David Silva (MCI, MID, £8.6mil, 2.8% ownership)
Key Differential: Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)
Making a trademark timed run, fooling the goalkeeper, and finishing neatly was how injury cursed Daniel Sturridge transported Liverpool supporters back to 2013. Once one of the most coveted strikers in the whole of Europe the England international has been living season-to-season nursing more injuries than games he had played. Making his return to the starting eleven against West Ham the man made of glass showed everyone his class and finishing ability, he was a threat all afternoon and deserved his goal in Liverpool's destruction of the Hammers. From out of nowhere Liverpool went to having no valuable strikers in their squad to having two on the final day where they must beat Middlesbrough to ensure Champions League football for next season.
Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge made a good combo, furthering the argument that Liverpool should have been playing their squad in the right positions when they had injuries; and with Coutinho moved into a deeper role there is more penetration from the central attacking areas. Middlesbrough won't be dealing with crosses, it will be quick movement around the box, an element of Sturridge's game that is excellent, so we are expecting him to prove his worth in a Reds shirt once again. Liverpool have made themselves a great differential for this gameweek because they have changed personnel, formation, and their attacking emphasis.
West Ham who had been keeping plenty of clean sheets lately were blown away; Sturridge a huge factor in this. The final gameweek of the season demands a key differential that has come out of nowhere, and we have it in Daniel Sturridge, a once loved asset in the FPL.
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