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 (GW10)
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 10 Average Points: 46 points
Gameweek 10 Wildcard Points: 38 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), 46 (10) = 495pts
Wildcard Points: 36 (1), 40 (2), 48 (3), 21 (4), 44 (5), 37 (6), 41 (7), 43 (8), 34 (9), 38 (10) = 382pts
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
GW10: Eden Hazard (Bournemouth vs. Chelsea) - 11pts
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)
5 - Eden Hazard (CHE): 11pts (GW10)
8 - 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)
GW10: 38 points, 4 returns
Trippier (0), Alexis Sanchez (2), Wilfried Zaha (7), Joe Gomez (6), Kiko Femenia (1), Ederson (1), Hazard (11), van Dijk (2), Mahrez (6), Ritchie (2)
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)
GW10: 122pts (8/11 differentials)
Gameweek 10: Dream Team
Wildcards: Pope, Fuchs, Milner, Mee, Fernandinho, Fletcher, Hazard, Davis
Non Wildcards: Kolasinac, Sane, Hernandez
Points achieved by Wildcards: 87pts
Points achieved by Non-Wildcards: 35pts
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
STK/LEI: Riyad Mahrez (LEI, MID, £8.4mil, 4.4% ownership)
HUD/WBA: Jonas Lossl (HUD, GK, £4.6mil, 8.5% ownership)
NEW/BOU: DeAndre Yedlin (NEW, DEF, £4.4mil, 0.6% ownership)
SOU/BUR: Nick Pope (BUR, GK, £4.5mil, 1.3% ownership)
SWA/BHA: Federico Fernandez (SWA, DEF, £4.5mil, 3.4% ownership)
WHU/LIV: Daniel Sturridge (LIV, FWD, £8.0mil, 0.7% ownership)
TOT/CRY: Jan Vertonghen (TOT, DEF, £6.0mil, 7.6% ownership)
MCI/ARS: Ederson (MCI, GK, £5.5mil, 4.7% ownership)
CHE/MUN: Eden Hazard (CHE, MID, £10.6mil, 5.2% ownership)
EVE/WAT: Andre Gray (WAT, FWD, £6.3mil, 1.3% ownership)
C: Riyad Mahrez
VC: Eden Hazard
VVC: Daniel Sturridge
12W: Andre Gray
Jonas Lossl, Nick Pope, Ederson.
We are going all out in goal this week with three players who are in the right position to score big this weekend. Jonas Lossl is the first up, and despite the Dane's team Huddersfield having a tough time of things defensively he has been picking up points through assists and penalty saves. West Brom who travel to the small town aren't a force to be reckoned with offensively. The second pick is Nick Pope who is the understudy to the injured Tom Heaton, and you wouldn't have guessed that there was any difference between the sticks. Pope has stepped up to the challenge in Heaton's absence and with the way things are going it might be hard for Sean Dyche to decide who is number one after Heaton returns from injury. Southampton are goal shy and Burnley are the team in-form, you'd be forgiven to think the Saints are favourites, but they aren't the team consistently picking up points.
The last goalkeeper is Ederson, and this is an easy one. Arsenal played in the Europa League on Thursday, Arsenal struggle away from home, and Man City are scoring goals for fun. All of these picks are smart choices, perhaps not the most obvious, but they are good picks when you think about the form of the teams in question.
DeAndre Yedlin, Federico Fernandez, Jan Vertonghen,
Three defenders are selected, and it doesn't take a lot of convincing, all three are playing for teams at home, picking up points defensively, and guaranteed minutes. Newcastle should beat Bournemouth, Swansea should beat Brighton, and Spurs should (big should) beat Crystal Palace. All of these are comfortable fixtures on paper, so we are going with three comfortable choices.
Riyad Mahrez, Eden Hazard
We've going into the Algerian winger Mahrez further down the article, he is a great differential considering the almost total lack of faith in his abilities. The other winger on our differential list is Eden Hazard, and with Chelsea's form against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge the Belgian is a solid choice. Three matches, two wins, and a draw are in the favour of the Blues, and the Red Devils rarely come out of their half in this specific fixture, so you could argue for the case for a defender, but we can also see Mourinho's press conference bemoaning a lack of discipline and his defence (and more likely a sour face blaming everyone but him).
Daniel Sturridge, Andre Gray
Up front in our differentials are two English strikers, and both face defences that are collapsing in around themselves. West Ham conceded a delightful goal from Sturridge in April last year, and right now with the Hammers defensive crisis with most their players nursing injuries or suspensions, it could be a long ninety minutes at the London Stadium (again). Meanwhile, Everton have thrown themselves off a cliff, and their defence is a huge concern for loyal supporters who can't see their chances improving. Andre Gray will come in for the suspended Troy Deeney so right now we would fancy anyone scoring against the Toffees in their current poor run.
Key Differential: Riyad Mahrez
The Algerian has been back to his brilliant best in recent weeks, he has been the playmaker that Leicester need to drive them forward and in his last three games has three assists and a goal to his name. Having moved on from his failed transfer appeal in the summer he has worked extremely well at the club that still believes in him, and with Claude Puel giving him a more direct role in a 4-3-3 formation it could further bring out the best in Mahrez. Only two seasons ago Mahrez won the PFA Player of the Year award, he is still a highly talented footballer, and the spark that Leicester need for Puel to continue his bright start at the helm of the snake den.
The presence of Mahrez in the current top ten fantasy midfielders is interesting, because everyone around him has a higher ownership percentage, the next midfielder in the points table that has less ownership is Anthony Martial who is not even a frequent starter for Manchester United. Faith in Leicester is rightfully put in Jamie Vardy, and unlike in 2015/16 you wouldn't want to double down on Vardy and Mahrez this season with other options available. This factor has allowed the Algerian to snake up the midfielder points table almost unnoticed (reminiscing thoughts from the Jurassic Park 2 cave scene are quick to conjure). Stoke have proven to be very beatable this season, and Leicester are in their new manager bounce that should see Mahrez have a good chance of making it four games in a row with fantasy points on the board.
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