Ahead of each round of Premier League games The Hype Train analyses the best wildcard player options for your Fantasy Premier League teams. Historically, weekly FPL Dream Team’s comprise of mostly differential players whose selection falls with a low selection percentage 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.
WILDCARDS: WHAT IS A DIFFERENTIAL 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 were been forced to revise our rules on what constitutes a differential. Now in the 2017/18 season, after testing the waters with selection, there are just not enough differentials with the classification in each position from years past, 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.
- Any shot stopper outside of the top 8 selected. A differential Goalkeeper is now considered outside of the top bracket due to the overwhelming ownership selection % of the top 8 GK's for any one Gameweek.
- A GK's ownership must not exceed 10%
- A Defender's ownership must fall below 8%, with the top 20 owned defenders all harbouring 8% ownership or more.
- The Outsider Rule: This new rule applies to defenders who are the last defensive option in a team who we provide an exception to as the 4th of 5th most owned defender from one team if they offer a different value. For Example, if Chelsea or Spurs have three defenders with 10% plus ownership, and their 4th defender choice has downwards of 10% ownership, we will include them as a differential, as they are outside of the common conversation when picking defenders, even from within their own squad. This rule will mostly be used when adding defenders from top half clubs, who lack proper differential status for their defensive options.
- 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.
- The top 10 most owned Forwards in the FPL at any given time can not be touched as a differential.
- Any Forward outside of the 10% ownership range, who is not in the top 10 owned forwards.
DIFFERENTIALS: GAMEWEEK PERFORMANCE (GW9)
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 9 Average Points: 50 points
Gameweek 9 Wildcard Points: 34 points
DIFFERENTIALS: 2017/18 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: GW3 - 48pts, 5 player returns
Worst Wildcard Week: GW4 - 21pts, 1 player return
Average Points: 58 (1), 44 (2), 43 (3), 44 (4), 58 (5), 60 (6), 51 (7), 41 (8), 50 (9) = 449pts
Wildcard Points: 36 (1), 40 (2), 48 (3), 21 (4), 44 (5), 37 (6), 41 (7), 43 (8), 34 (9) = 344pts
Best Gamweek Wildcard Player(s)
GW1: Steve Mounie (Crystal Palace vs. Huddersfield) - 12pts
GW2: Jack Butland (Stoke vs. Arsenal) - 11pts
GW3: Alvaro Morata (Chelsea vs. Everton) - 12pts
GW4: Stephen Ward (Burnley vs. Crystal Palace) - 8pts
GW5: Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle vs. Stoke) - 8pts
GW6: Philippe Coutinho (Leicester vs. Liverpool) - 13pts
GW7: Philippe Coutinho (Newcastle vs. Liverpool) - 10pts
GW8: Raheem Sterling (Man City vs. Stoke) - 15pts
GW9: Virgil van Dijk (Southampton vs. West Brom) - 9pts
FPL Wildcards 2017/18: Our Top Points Returns
1 - Raheem Sterling (MCI): 15pts (GW8)
2 - Philippe Coutinho (LIV): 13pts (GW6)
3 - Steve Mounie (HUD): 12pts (GW1)
3 - Alvaro Morata (CHE): 12pts (GW3)
5 - Henrikh Mkhitaryan (MUN): 11pts (GW1)
5 - Jack Butland (STK): 11pts (GW2)
7 - Philippe Coutinho (LIV): 10pts (GW7)
Gameweek Wildcard History
GW1: 36 points, 3 player returns
Holding (1), Alexander-Arnold (0), Mounie (12), Josh King (2), Sane (1), Klaassen (1), Yoshida (6), Batshuayi (1), Ritchie (1), Mkhitaryan (11)
GW2: 40 points, 4 player returns
Phil Jones (6), Josh King (2), Stephen Ward (2), Fuchs (6), Wijnaldum (3), Yoshida (5), Butland (11), Mounie (1), Ben Davies (2), Ederson (2)
GW3: 48 points, 5 returns
Danilo (5), Benteke (1), Lossl (6), Antonio (2), Richarlison (3), Blind (6), Morata (12), Nyom (8), Wijnaldum (3), Trippier (2)
GW4: 21 points, 1 return
Emre Can (1), Moses (2), Sigurdsson (2), Phil Jones (1), Alexis Sanchez (1), Yoshida (0), Knockaert (2), Stephen Ward (8), Abraham (2), Mounie (2)
GW5: 44 points, 6 returns
Gross (7), Forster (7), Mahrez (2), Emre Can (4), Lascelles (8), Mendy (6), Nyom (1), Trippier (6), Hazard (1), Rashford (2)
GW6: 37 points, 3 returns
Davinson Sanchez (1), Wood (2), Defoe (2), Mendy (0), Phil Jones (9), Cahill (1), Fabianski (1), Coutinho (13), Ritchie (2), Ramsey (6)
GW7: 41 points, 4 returns
Davinson Sanchez (6), Josh King (2), Rashford (9), Butland (2), Femenia (1), Naughton (2), Pedro (1), Alexis Sanchez (6), Niasse (2), Coutinho (10)
GW8: 43 points, 4 returns
Emre Can (3), Wood (7), Cahill (1), Sterling (15), Davinson Sanchez (6), Naughton (6), Alexis Sanchez (0), Sigurdsson (2), van Dijk (1), Schmeichel (2)
GW9: 34 points, 4 returns
Cresswell (0), Hazard (5), Rashford (7), Stones (6), Joselu (1), Butland (1), Abraham (2), van Dijk (9), Pickford (3), Joe Gomez (0)
WILDCARDS: HALL OF FAME
To honour the exceptional diamonds in the rough, below is a a Hall of Fame highlighting the top performing differentials in our Weekly Wildcards series, now into its third season.
2015/16: Top 5 Differentials
1 - Troy Deeney (WAT): 15 appearances, 77 points
2 - Christian Fuchs (LEI): 10 appearances, 48 points
3 - Gylfi Sigurdsson (SWA): 6 appearances, 43 points
4 - Nicolas Otamendi (MCI): 9 appearances, 39 points
5 - Daniel Sturridge (LIV): 5 appearances, 38 points
2016/17: Top 5 Diffferentials
1 - Marcos Alonso (CHE): 9 appearances, 70 points
2 - Gylfi Sigurdsson (SWA): 8 appearances, 62 points
3 - Patrick van Aanholt (SUN & CRY): 6 appearances, 55 points
4 - Troy Deeney (WAT): 13 appearances, 47 points
5 - Gini Wijnaldum (LIV): 10 appearances, 45 points
FPL DREAM TEAM: 2017/18 ANALYSIS
Each week we assess the FPL's overall Dream Team, pinpointing who were classified as differentials or non-differentials, and which category of player is appearing more for each Gameweek.
2017/18 Gameweek Dream Team's
GW1: 131pts (8/11 differentials)
GW2: 136pts (7/11 differentials)
GW3: 121pts (8/11 differentials)
GW4: 146pts (7/11 differentials)
GW5: 133pts (6/11 differentials)
GW6: 137pts (6/11 differentials)
GW7: 138pts (6/11 differentials)
GW8: 119pts (9/11 differentials)
GW9: 130pts (8/11 differentials)
Gameweek 9: Dream Team
Wildcards: van Dijk, Yedlin, Stanislas, Ozil, Ramsey, Pedro, Murray, Batshuayi
Non Wildcards: Elliot, Otamendi, Kane
Points achieved by Wildcards: 92pts
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.
FPL Gamweek 10: Differential Picks
MUN/TOT: Kieran Trippier (TOT, DEF, £5.6mil, 7.9% ownership)
ARS/SWA: Alexis Sanchez (ARS, MID, £11.8mil, 2.3% ownership)
CRY/WHU: Wilfried Zaha (CRY, MID, £6.7mil, 3.8% ownership)
LIV/HUD: Joe Gomez (LIV, DEF, £4.5mil, 2.5% ownership)
WAT/STK: Kiko Femenia (WAT, DEF, £4.5mil, 4.8% ownership)
WBA/MCI: Ederson (MCI, GK, £5.5mil, 4.7% ownership)
BOU/CHE: Eden Hazard (CHE, MID, £10.6mil, 4.9% ownership)
BRI/SOU: Virgil van Dijk (SOU, DEF, £5.4mil, 1.8% ownership)
LEI/EVE: Riyad Mahrez (LEI, MID, £8.4mil, 3.8% ownership)
BUR/NEW: Matt Ritchie (NEW, MID, £6.0mil, 4.8% ownership)
C: Alexis Sanchez
VC: Eden Hazard
VVC: Riyad Mahrez
12W: Kiko Femenia
Weekly Differentials (GW10)
The weeks are now in double digits, and the Premier League has had many twists and turns with plenty more to come. Liverpool have crumbled, Man City now have a good defence, and Mourinho is still parking the bus even when he shouldn't. Moving into the tenth week we pick ten differentials ahead of the weekend.
West Brom looked tame against Southampton, and I can't expect any better luck against league leaders Man City. Last week we picked Stones, and we could have again, but we fancy the easier points in Ederson who might not be involved at much during the game. Pep Guardiola will use him more as a distributing defender than actual goalkeeper. The easy answer about our logic is that Man City should have an easy time of things against the Baggies who will most likely put every many behind the ball.
Kieran Trippier, Joe Gomez, Kiko Femenia, Virgil van Dijk
Four defenders have been selected for this gameweek, the biggest risk is Gomez of Liverpool but it is a huge differential option because nobody expects the Red's to do anything against Huddersfield. Should Klopp decide it was time to shake things up at the back it would be the perfect time for Gomez to start adapting to his new position in Klopp's team. Huddersfield will most likely park at the edge of their box and counter, and they won't pose the threat that Spurs do, so the lack of faith might mean fantasy points come out of nowhere. We could have picked Gomez prematurely.
Trippier is a risk, but on current form you wouldn't want to back against Spurs against Man United who will most likely park the bus. Trippier has been a fixture in Spurs team and has three consecutive returns on the board, so whilst it isn't as big of a risk as Gomez, it is a more logical pick as Spurs will push the Red Devil's in this fixture.
Femenia and van Dijk are more obvious picks, Watford have been solid and the Spaniard played as a wing-back against Chelsea and should have picked up points were it not for Richarlison failing him by wasteful shooting. Virgil had a good game against West Brom as he goes from strength to strength in his recovery, and in the first Coastline Clash between Brighton and Southampton this year expect a tight, and probably, goalless game.
Alexis Sanchez (ARS), Eden Hazard (CHE), Wilfried Zaha (CRY), Matt Ritchie (NEW), Riyad Mahrez (LEI)
Four heavyweight midfielders have been selected this week, and two of them we don't need to introduce: Alexis Sanchez and Eden Hazard. Both players were once well owned premium options, but after slow starts and injuries they remained on the outskirts of ownership. Both players secured returns in gameweek nine, and this week both have good fixtures again. For as long as they are owned by a low percentage they can stay in the differentials all season long.
Matt Ritchie and Wilfried Zaha are budget options in comparison to Hazard and Sanchez, but both are still focal points of their respective teams. The Scotsman Ritchie is a key component to Newcastle's success this season, he is dangerous from set pieces and has a lethal cross on him which has seen Merino, Lascelles, and Clark all have benefited from his service. Burnley might be a hard team to break down but it takes a player like Ritchie to unlock a stubborn defence. Also on the list is Wilfried Zaha who is the driving force for Crystal Palace, and after seeing West Ham broken down by Brighton it could be the perfect chance for Zaha to strike again this season whilst the iron is hot.
We've also discussed Riyad Mahrez and Alexis Sanchez further down the article.
No forwards tempted us this week for the differentials. In recent weeks with Abraham, Joselu, and Andre Gray failing in the pursuit of fantasy points when chosen it is a huge difference between the top ten strikers and everyone else.
Key Differential: Alexis Sanchez (ARS)
The Chilean has registered three consecutive fantasy returns for the first time this season. Supporters of Arsenal should be at ease knowing that their main man is back in the first team as he always should have been. The front three of Lacazette, Ozil, and Sanchez all secured returns against Everton, and it should be a similar story versus the visiting Swansea.
Here is what @HypeTrainRob has had to say about Sanchez for Gameweek 10, who is the wildcard captaincy choice this week:
Rounding off our selections for captaincy this week is our wildcard pick, and for consecutive Gameweek's we have been able to exploit Alexis Sanchez as a viable differential, due to the fact that his low 2.3% ownership has been due to players not valuing the Chile international at a steep £11.8m price in the FPL.
In the 5-2 victory away at Everton during Gameweek 9 the trio of Alexis Sanchez, Alexandre Lacazette, and Mesut Ozil, started as a front three in attack, and against lowly opposition, a game which would be Ronald Koeman's last for Everton (and against the same team that Olivier Giroud plays for, with the Frenchman's failure to sign for Everton the blame Koeman has given for not exceeding this season).
Against Everton, Sanchez, Lacazette, and Ozil, all found their way onto the score-sheet, with the Europa League side throwing their hat into the mix for Fantasy consideration when Swansea visit the Emirates for Gameweek 10.
Arsenal have won all four of their home matches in the Premier League this season, and before rockier ties against Man City (GW11, away), and Spurs (GW12, home), there could be one last hurrah for the time being with Sanchez's form.
For a one-week differential, if you've more money in the bank than you should have, Alexis is worth thought and consideration should your squad be lacking definite captaincy potential.
Stats and Information: Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez has started the season with 1 goal, 3 assists, and 2 bonus points, from 6 appearances in the Premier League, with 27 FPL points.
A net average of -23,446 transferred Alexis out of their FPL Gameweek 9 squads, which results in a 12 point haul against Everton.
After two assists at home, Alexis picked up his first goal and assist away from home this season in the 5-2 victory away at Everton.
With 2.3% ownership, Alexis is the 9th most selected player from Arsenal in the FPL as of writing.
With 27 points, Alexis is the 9th highest scoring Arsenal player in the FPL.
Key Differential: Riyad Mahrez (LEI)
The Algerian winger is back to his influential best, and ironically it happens around the time that a new manager comes into the mix at Leicester. Having failed at his move to another club in the summer he has been a model example of a player focusing on their football. Eighteen points from his last two games has shown his pedigree as a play-maker, and with a wounded Everton limping to the King Power there is blood in the water, and snakes prey on warm blooded animals when they are at their weakest.
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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, live sport, and professional wrestling.
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