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 (GW18)
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 18 Average Points: 52 points
Gameweek 18 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: 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), 44 (15), 43 (16), 48 (17), 52 (18) = 872pts
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), 41 (15), 38 (16), 53 (17), 34 (18) = 715pts
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
GW15: Philippe Coutinho (Brighton vs. Liverpool) - 18pts
GW16: Riyad Mahrez (Newcastle vs. Leicester) - 9pts
Wilfried Bony (Swansea vs. West Brom) - 9pts
GW17: Nick Pope (Burnley vs. Stoke) - 11pts
GW18: Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton vs. Swansea) - 9pts
FPL Wildcards 2017/18: Our Top Points Returns
1 - Eden Hazard (CHE): 18pts (GW12)
1 - Philippe Coutinho (LIV): 18pts (GW15)
3 - Raheem Sterling (MCI): 15pts (GW8)
4 - Philippe Coutinho (LIV): 13pts (GW6)
4 - Philippe Coutinho (LIV): 13pts (GW12)
4 - Sadio Mane (LIV): 13pts (GW14)
7 - Steve Mounie (HUD): 12pts (GW1)
7 - Alvaro Morata (CHE): 12pts (GW3)
9 - Henrikh Mkhitaryan (MUN): 11pts (GW1)
9 - Jack Butland (STK): 11pts (GW2)
9 - Eden Hazard (CHE): 11pts (GW10)
9 - Nick Pope (BUR): 11pts (GW17)
13 - 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)
GW15: 41 points, 4 returns
Christensen (2), Coutinho (18), Niasse (0), Mahrez (6), Shaqiri (8), Davinson Sánchez (-2), Mamadou Sakho (8), Alexis Sanchez (1), Kompany (0)
GW16: 38 points, 4 returns
Christensen (2), Pope (6), Sakho (1), Murray (2), Trippier (2), Bony (9), Mahrez (9), Sanchez (5), Coutinho (1), Kompany (1)
GW17: 53 points, 6 returns
Pope (11), Mignolet (0), Ederson (7), Christensen (6), Martial (3), Mahrez (8), A. Sanchez (3), Son (8), Zaha (5), Gayle (2)
GW18: 34 points, 3 returns
Pope (6), Butland (2), Ederson (2), Christensen (8), Kabasele (0), Smalling (2), Mahrez (2), Sanchez (3), Mane (0), Sigurdsson (9)
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)
GW15: 131pts (8/11 differentials)
GW16: 125pts (9/11 differentials)
GW17: 129pts (9/11 differentials)
GW18: 141pts (7/11 differentials)
Gameweek 18: Dream Team
Wildcards: Ryan, Lovren, Robertson, Mooy, Lanzini, Gundogan, Depoitre
Non Wildcards: Alonso, Coutiho, Sterling, Rooney
Points achieved by Wildcards: 89
Points achieved by Non-Wildcards: 52
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.
Weekly Differentials (GW19)
Christmas is coming, and it is going to be a whirlwind couple of weeks with games coming thick and fast. The good news for lovers of football is non-stop action, but for fantasy managers it is a nerve wracking affair of worrying about festive rotation. This week might be the last normal week left, so here are the chosen ten we believe could hit big this week.
Ederson (MCI), Jack Butland (STK)
Two goalkeepers roll over to this gameweek in favourable fixtures, so there isn’t much to say. West Brom travel to Stoke, and Bournemouth travel to Man City. Neither team is expected to be walking away with a win, and if we are using a microscope it might be tough for both teams to score. West Brom make it difficult on themselves, and Man City are expected to continue their insane form into gameweek twenty. Butland and Ederson might be under-utilised men.
Aaron Cresswell (WHU)
Just the one defender in consideration, and it is arguably one of the strongest picks of the chosen ten. Hammers defender Aaron Cresswell has been a consistent source of fantasy points in the past four weeks. Having picked up points consistently the English defender can make it five from five against a Toon side who hasn’t scored in the previous two games. Newcastle are also winless since gameweek nine, and in the last nine games they have lost a staggering eight. Life on Tyneside has been miserable since the end of October. Meanwhile, life is looking more promising at the London Stadium since David Moyes took over at West Ham, and it has led to stability and an upturn in form. Aaron Cresswell has been a dependable and stable part of Moyes team, and against a pessimistic Newcastle side it could be another bad afternoon for Rafa Benitez.
Pedro (CHE), Riyad Mahrez (LEI), Sadio Mane (LIV), Heung-Min Son (TOT), Wilfried Zaha (CRY)
A stacked pile of midfielders to select this week, all attacking midfielders that play on the wing, or in a front-three. Effectively playing as second strikers this weeks ‘power five’ are all pacey options in attack that are the tip of a team’s attack, all of them have the same qualities in that they are out-and-out goal scorers. Sadio Mane has the raw power to brush past Arsenal, Son has the interplay to break through Burnley, Mahrez has the magic to fool Man United, Pedro has the range to beat Jordan Pickford, and Wilfried Zaha has the work-rate to submit Swansea. Out of all the midfielders picked the inclusion of Mahrez was the most surprising, as he had dipped in ownership after a few slow gameweeks, but the Algerian could strike back at the fantasy owners for their betrayal, he has been called ‘snake’ before and could strike back.
Andre Gray (WAT), Charlie Austin (SOU)
Two forwards are picked this gameweek, and with a lot of forwards blanking for fantasy points lately we think the strikers are long overdue a fruitful gameweek. Every time we picked Andre Gray he tends to return for us in the differential picks, and without Duffy likely to feature for Brighton it could be a tough afternoon for the Seagulls. Watford have derailed a little bit lately, they are a combustible element in the Premier League which makes them exceptional differentials as you don’t know what you’ll be getting from them. Gray should be the main striker, not Deeney, which hurts us to stay as the Watford skipper has been a huge presence for the last couple of years.
Charlie Austin is our differential captain elect, we have gone into more detail about the Saints forward in the next section of the article.
Key Differential: Charlie Austin
Fantasy managers must remember the good old days when Charlie Austin was a cheap forward option scoring goals for QPR, and the optimism that everyone had when he went to Southampton was rife, and we are in a moment where it has been reignited. After being dropped against Chelsea it was a mistake, the Saints are statistically better at scoring with the Englishmen in his team. Southampton have a cosy home fixture against a team that struggle away from home, and it is an understated selection for Austin in your team but one that could outshine ahead of other forwards in tougher fixtures.
The case for Charlie Austin has many interesting stats, the Englishman is worth considering this week as an outsider for the captain’s armband.
Charlie Austin's Key Stats:
Five goals from four starts. Four goals from starting, one substitute appearance goal in GW2 against West Ham.
Four goals whilst playing at home.
One goal whilst playing away from home.
Since Austin returned to the Saints starting eleven they picked up a habit of scoring in every game that he has started. The game against Chelsea where Austin didn’t start resulted in the Saints not scoring a goal for the first time in five games.
Austin is the main penalty taker at Southampton.
Huddersfield only have two clean sheets away from this season, these occurred earlier in the season during GW1 (CRY) and GW6 (BUR).
Huddersfield have scored in only two of their away games so far, this season, during GW1 (CRY), and most recently in GW18 (WAT). The Terriers are much more comfortable at home.
Resting on 45pts heading into the weekend, and @HypeTrainSam can’t look past including Charlie Austin.
Angelo Ogbonna (WHU, DEF, £4,4mil, 4,2% ownership)
Adrian (WHU, GK, £4.3mil, 1.2% ownership)
Demarai Gray (LEI, MID, £5.3mil, 1.4% ownership)
Chris Smalling (MUN, DEF, £5.5mil, 4.8% ownership)
Jese Lingard (MUN, MID, £6.0mil, 3.8% ownership)
Marcus Rashford (MUN, FWD, £7.6mil, 8.6% ownership)
Mathew Ryan (BRI, GK, £4.5mil, 1.2% ownership)
Jose Izquierdo (BRI, MID, £5.9mil, 0.0% ownership)
Glenn Murray (BRI, FWD, £5.8mil, 2.9% ownership)
Marko Arnautovic (WHU, MID, £6.8mil, 1.1% ownership)
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