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 (GW19)
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 19 Average Points: 60 points
Gameweek 19 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), 44 (15), 43 (16), 48 (17), 52 (18), 60 (19) = 932pts
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), 35 (19) = 750pts
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
GW19: Charlie Austin (Southampton vs. Huddersfield) - 8pts
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)
GW19: 35 points, 3 returns
Mane (2), Pedro (3), Andre Gray (2), Ederson (6), Austin (8), Butland (4), Zaha (1), Cresswell (1), Son (3), Mahrez (5)
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)
GW19: 135pts (7/11 differentials)
Totals: 2,514pts (147/209 differentials)
Gameweek 19: Dream Team
Wildcards: Jagielka, Suttner, Aurier, Atsu, Mata, Choupo-Moting, Allen
Non Wildcards: Elliot, Sterling, Kane, Aguero
Points achieved by Wildcards: 80pts
Points achieved by Non-Wildcards: 55pts
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 (GW20)
A day after Christmas and fantasy managers are dreading one word: rotation. Pep Guardiola’s gift to you all is nervous sweats over which striker he fields, if he rotates his wingers, and how to mess with your fantasy brain. Klopp and Conte have also dabbled in this, but in the face of all this here are the top ten differential picks you should consider.
One goalkeeper this week, and it is a familiar name. Ederson, the Brazilian who is a mainstay in goal at Man City continues to hold his place in the differential team. We continue to select the keeper’ because he is a winning team that is keeping clean sheets, it isn’t any offence to the other team but with the Citizens in the vein of form they can’t be misjudged as anything other than unstoppable. Newcastle may have been victorious at the London Stadium, but Rafa Benitez must be ruing his luck at the timing of City’s arrival.
Andreas Christensen (CHE), Davinson Sanchez (TOT), Andrew Robertson (LIV)
Stable defensive returns are imperative this week, with Spurs, Liverpool, and Chelsea on top of that list. All three teams are playing at home and are playing goal shy teams. Brighton, Southampton (without Charlie Austin), and Swansea (currently going through a managerial shift) are all questionable and backed against. Christensen has been solid since replacing David Luiz, Davinson Sanchez has just returned and made a good impression at Burnley, and with Alberto Moreno still injured the Scottish left-back Robertson has another chance at keeping his good form at Anfield. Plus, Robertson is a snip at £4.6mil.
Marko Arnautovic (WHU), Juan Mata (MUN), Riyad Mahrez (LEI), Gylfi Sigurdsson (TOT), Mesut Özil (ARS)
Goal scoring midfielders are all the rage in the FPL at this current time. Looking at where points are coming from in the FPL in general is now becoming a more intrinsic pattern…forwards are dead memories, but midfielders are picking up their momentum in a surprising way.
Forwards with un-affordable prices are erratic currently. Morata, for example, has been suspended and is in and out of goal scoring form, leading to the rise of Eden Hazard who went from differential to premium option.
Arnautovic has sustained good form, Juan Mata has tapped into blistering form from out of nowhere, Mahrez continues to weave magic passes, Sigurdsson continues to be an asset for Everton’s rise up the Premier League table. All five midfielders are essential to their teams and won’t be rotated, so they are safe bets in a risky Gameweek.
Mesut Özil is our differential captain, the in-form German has been explained in more detail further down this article.
Laurent Depoitre (HUD)
One forward that has been impressing us at The Hype Train all season has been Laurent Depoitre, the Belgian forward who we refer to as ‘The Wrecking Ball’, as emphasised by the goal he scored against Chelsea to destroy FPL managers hopes and dreams. His first goal was a powerful run and finish against Leicester, then he bulldozed his way through Manchester United’s defence after a Lindelöf error, a towering header against Chelsea, a powerful strike from a tight angle against Watford, and another well taken header against Southampton has solidified him as an absolute unit, and architype Premier League forward.
Five attacking returns in the FPL over the past three games has been a monumental return for such a cheap forward option, and at home against a Stoke City who can’t buy a clean sheet makes it an even more favourable option. Huddersfield are better at home, than away, and with the wrecking ball in full swing at Christmas time the Potters may be reduced to broken pots by the time gameweek twenty is over.
Key Differential: Mesut Özil
Two goals down to Liverpool, and a moment of brilliance from Arsenal saw the Gunners overturn the Reds momentum and saw them take a momentary 3-2 lead, courtesy of a clever Mesut Özil run and finish past Simon Mignolet. The German has been turning up and enjoying his football, despite accusations of his destination ahead of next season. Alexis Sanchez is also a consideration, but the Chilean isn’t the same force as last season (despite still being an asset). The Arsenal formation has reverted to a 4-2-3-1 that has enabled Özil and Wilshere room to control the game in midfield, with the German back to his favourite number ten position.
Mesut Özil Key Facts:
The last fixture between these two clubs at Selhurst Park was a 3-0 victory for the Eagles, which was a blip in the head-to-head form, with the Gunners unbeaten in the last fourteen fixtures, dating back to 1994.
Mesut Özil has scored back-to-back for the first time this whole season in GW18 & GW19.
Mesut Özil has picked up maximum bonus three times this season, all in fixtures that he has scored in.
Arsenal are undefeated in their last four Premier League games, keeping two clean sheets in the process, and scoring five goals (W1, D3).
Crystal Palace may be in good form, but Arsenal are in better form. The German is making good on his promise to Wenger to play out his contract with conviction, ahead of whatever adventure awaits him.
Alexis Sanchez (ARS, MID, £11.8mil, 2.6% ownership)
Vincent Kompany (MCI, DEF, £5.8mil, 2.0% ownership)
Sadio Mane (LIV, MID, £9.3mil, 7.0% ownership)
Michael Keane (EVE, DEF, £5.3mil, 4.9% ownership)
Jonjoe Kenny (EVE, DEF, £4.4mil, 4.0% ownership)
Kasper Schmeichel (LEI, GK, £5.0mil, 4.2% ownership)
Victor Lindelöf (MUN, DEF, £4.9mil, 1.2% ownership)
Jese Lingard (MUN, MID, £6.0mil, 4.4% ownership)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (MUN, FWD, £9.7mil, 0.2% ownership)
Manuel Lanzini (WHU, DEF, £6.8mil, 1.0% ownership)
Davinson Sanchez (TOT, DEF, £6.0mil, 0.4% ownership)
Heung-Min Son (TOT, MID, £8.0mil, 3.9% ownership)
Kieran Tripper (TOT, DEF, £5.5mil, 6.1% ownership)
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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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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.
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