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 (GW14)
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 13 Average Points: 47 points
Gameweek 13 Wildcard Points: 35 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: GW12 - 67pts, 7 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), 44 (11), 56 (12), 43 (13), 47 (14) = 685pts
Wildcard Points: 36 (1), 40 (2), 48 (3), 21 (4), 44 (5), 37 (6), 41 (7), 43 (8), 34 (9), 38 (10), 45 (11), 67 (12), 29 (13), 35 (14) = 549pts
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
GW11: Jan Vertonghen (Spurs vs. Crystal Palace) - 9pts
GW12: Eden Hazard (West Brom vs. Chelsea) - 18pts
GW13: Will Hughes (Newcastle vs. Watford) - 8pts
GW14: Sadio Mane (Stoke vs. Liverpool) - 13pts
FPL Wildcards 2017/18: Our Top Points Returns
1 - Eden Hazard (CHE): 18pts (GW12)
2 - Raheem Sterling (MCI): 15pts (GW8)
3 - Philippe Coutinho (LIV): 13pts (GW6)
3 - Philippe Coutinho (LIV): 13pts (GW12)
3 - Sadio Mane (LIV): 13pts (GW14)
6 - Steve Mounie (HUD): 12pts (GW1)
6 - Alvaro Morata (CHE): 12pts (GW3)
8 - Henrikh Mkhitaryan (MUN): 11pts (GW1)
8 - Jack Butland (STK): 11pts (GW2)
8 - Eden Hazard (CHE): 11pts (GW10)
11 - 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)
GW11: 45 points, 5 returns
Mahrez (7), Lossl (8), Yedlin (2), Pope (8), F. Fernandez (1), Sturridge (0), Vertonghen (9), Ederson (2), Hazard (3), Andre Gray (5)
GW12: 67 points, 7 returns
Alexis Sanchez (7), Zaha (7), Hazard (18), Pope (8), Coutinho (13), Mahrez (2), Hadergjonaj (-1), Smalling (7), Gray (5), Murray (1)
GW13: 29 points, 2 returns
Mahrez (2), Zaha (2), Smalling (6), Will Hughes (8), Davinson Sanchez (2), Callum Wilson (2), Coutinho (2), Baines (1), Pope (2), Kompany (2)
GW14: 35 points, 3 returns
Murray (2), Davinson Sanchez (1), Zeegelaar (0), Rondon (2), Alexis Sanchez (8), Pope (2), Hazard (1), Sigurdsson (5), Kompany (1), Mane (13)
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)
GW11: 127pts (9/11 differentials)
GW12: 145pts (7/11 differentials)
GW13: 120pts (9/11 differentials)
GW14: 148pts (9/11 differentials)
Gameweek 14: Dream Team
Wildcards: Pickford, Rudiger, Williams, Kenny, Ozil, Young, Brady, Mane, Giroud
Non Wildcards: Salah, Rooney
Points achieved by Wildcards: 120pts
Points achieved by Non-Wildcards: 28pts
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.
DIFFERENTIAL PICKS (GW15)
After a whirlwind gameweek fourteen, the dreaded word 'rotation' crippled the very fabric of the game, a huge percentage of the players of the FPL were left devastated seeing the likes of Hazard, David Silva, Azpilicueta, Rob Elliot, and Sane all benched (or not even playing). We advised on not selecting full-backs, so we have opted for central defenders. Here are the ten lucky picks this week:
PREMIER LEAGUE FIXTURES:
CHE/NEW: Andreas Christensen (CHE, DEF, £5.4mil, 1.3% ownership)
BHA/LIV: Philippe Coutinho (LIV, MID, £8.8mil, 5.3% ownership)
EVE/HUD: Oumar Niasse (EVE, FWD, £5.0mil, 4.9% ownership)
LEI/BUR: Riyad Mahrez (LEI, MID, £8.4mil, 4.2% ownership)
STK/SWA: Xherdan Shaqiri (STK, MID, £6.0mil, 6.7% ownership)
WAT/TOT: Davinson Sanchez (TOT, DEF, £6.0mil, 0.7% ownership)
WBA/CRY: Mamadou Sakho (CRY, DEF, £4.9mil, 0.5% ownership)
ARS/MUN: Alexis Sanchez (ARS, MID, £11.8mil, 2.9% ownership)
BOU/SOU: Charlie Austin (SOU, FWD, £6.0mil, 0.9% ownership)
MCI/WHU: Vincent Kompany (MCI, DEF, £5.8mil, 2.3% ownership)
DIFFERENTIAL CAPTAINCY PICKS (GW15)
C: Riyad Mahrez
VC: Oumar Niasse
VVC: Charlie Austin
12W: Andreas Christensen
No goalkeepers have been selected this week, the only player in consideration was Nick Pope but in a fixture against Riyad Mahrez who is hot form it didn't make sense to have Pope selected.
Davinson Sanchez (TOT),Vincent Kompany (MCI), Mamadou Sakho (CRY), Andreas Christensen (CHE)
Four central defenders have been selected, just because there is never certainty over the place of full-backs during rotation season. Christensen against Newcastle, Kompany versus West Ham, Mamadou Sakho travelling to West Brom, and Sanchez entertaining a Watford team who struggle against 'Top Six' teams. All four of these defenders are in favourable fixtures with real potential, especially Mamadou Sakho who has hit top form to start lifting the Eagles out of the relegation zone. The last defender, Christensen, has been given a more comprehensive analysis further down the article.
Riyad Mahrez (LEI), Xherdan Shaqiri (STK), Alexis Sanchez (ARS), Philippe Coutinho (LIV)
Only one of the 'Power Four' from last weeks survive, and that man is Alexis Sanchez. There isn't any reason to drop the Chilean after an influential display against Huddersfield he retains his place in the differentials. There isn't any doubt Sanchez will continue to be a differential, even if he does well. Meanwhile Shaqiri and Coutinho are in form in favourable fixtures. We've gone into more detail on everyone's favourite Algerian further down the article.
Oumar Niasse (EVE), Charlie Austin (SOU)
The two budget forwards make sense for all the right reasons. Everton's goal threat returns to the frame after a two-game suspension; and Charlie Austin returns to the FPL after scoring two goals on his return to the starting eleven for Southampton. Huddersfield and Bournemouth are there for the taking in two fixtures that guarantee goals, so Niasse and Austin are outsiders knocking the door of fantasy managers minds.
Key Differential: Riyad Mahrez (LEI)
Symptoms of nostalgia include recalling the beautiful scenes at the King Power Stadium when Andrea Bocelli was singing as Leicester celebrated their title victory with a justified victory over Everton. Fantasy managers are currently being induced with these effects, recalling a time when Riyad Mahrez was an option for their teams, and with Claude Puel's arrival at the club a reminder of the Algerian's brilliance has been reignited. Five returns from the past seven games is a fantastic haul for any player, and with six attacking returns (three goals, three assists) The Foxes have the cutting edge in their team back.
The curling winner versus Spurs epitomised Riyad's mean streak, the magic is back in the boots of a player who won the PFA Player of the Year. Deployed as either a right winger, or as a second striker behind Jamie Vardy, is a good felling for Mahrez heading into a run of fixtures that includes:
GW15: Burnley (H)
GW16: Newcastle (A)
GW17: Southampton (A)
GW18: Crystal Palace(H)
Riyad Mahrez is a massive differential, with long term potential.
Key Differential: Andrea Christensen (CHE)
Antonio Conte described Christensen as the 'present and future' of Chelsea's defence when questioned about the reasons behind David Luiz's omission from the starting eleven. The biggest selling point of the Chelsea defender is the value price of £5.4mil, and now seemingly immune to being dropped. Priced lower than all the Blues defenders, and others including Eric Bailly who is being rotated due to injury problems, John Stones who is injured, all of the failing Spurs defenders, and Joel Matip of Liverpool (who would even think). Fantasy managers might even start to think about dropping down Azpilicueta or Alonso to make way for Christensen and build up some reserves towards a premium option in midfield or attack. The time is now to consider Christensen, and on paper there isn't one game soon to concern Chelsea with until gameweek twenty-two away to Arsenal. Newcastle, travelling to Stamford Bridge, have been goal shy against top teams, so it just a logical move for all parties in drafting Christensen into your team.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (EVE, FWD, £5.0mil, 2.6% ownership)
Andy Carroll (WHU, FWD, £5.9mil, 0.3% ownership)
Ederson (MCI, GK, £5.5mil, 5.1% ownership)
Nathan Ake (BOU, DEF, £4.9mil, 12.2% ownership)
Callum Wilson (BOU, FWD, £6.0mil, 4.9% ownership)
Shkoodran Mustafi (ARS, DEF, £5.4mil, 2.5% ownership)
Laurent Koscielny (ARS, DEF, £6.0mil, 1.0% ownership)
Anthony Knockaert (BRI, MID, £5.7mil, 0.9% ownership)
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (CRY, MID, £4.5mil, 6.2% ownership)
Wilfried Zaha (CRY, MID, £6.9mil, 5.5% ownership)
Christian Benteke (CRY, FWD, £7.6mil, 2.1% ownership)
Chris Smalling (MUN, DEF, £5.4mil, 3.9% ownership)
Kiko Femenia (WAT, DEF, £4.5mil, 5.0% ownership)
Heung-Min Son (TOT, MID, £7.9mil, 1.6% ownership)
Want to know more about The Hype Train?
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.
As well as providing FPL articles on our website, we are a founding Contributor to the new Fantasy Football Hub, where you can find more unique articles, including weekly Power Rankings, from The Hype Team. You can support us and read exclusive members only content for just £2 per-month by clicking here.
The Hype Train were nominated and shortlisted for the 'Best Football Blog 2016' by the Football Bloggers Association at their annual Football Blogging Awards (The FBA's), with the final presentation held at Old Trafford in Manchester.
You can follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, or visit our website here at www.thehypetrain.co.uk