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WEEKLY WILDCARDS 2017/18: FPL Gameweek 23

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.


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.


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 22 Average Points: 45 points Gameweek 22 Wildcard Points: 48 points


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), 62 (20), 45 (21), 45 (22) = 1084pts

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), 44 (20), 48 (21), 48 (22) = 890pts

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

GW20: Marko Arnautovic (Bournemouth vs. West Ham) - 15pts

GW21: Ederson (Crystal Palace vs. Man City) - 14pts

GW22: Riyad Mahrez (Leicester vs. Huddersfield) - 14pts

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)

3 - Marko Arnautovic (WHU): 15pts (GW20)

5 - Ederson (MCI): 14pts (GW21)

5 - Riyad Mahrez: 14pts (GW22)

7 - Philippe Coutinho (LIV): 13pts (GW6)

7 - Philippe Coutinho (LIV): 13pts (GW12)

7 - Sadio Mane (LIV): 13pts (GW14)

7 - Steve Mounie (HUD): 12pts (GW1)

11 - Alvaro Morata (CHE): 12pts (GW3)

12 - Henrikh Mkhitaryan (MUN): 11pts (GW1)

12 - Jack Butland (STK): 11pts (GW2)

12 - Eden Hazard (CHE): 11pts (GW10)

12 - Nick Pope (BUR): 11pts (GW17)

16 - 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)

GW20: 44 points, 4 returns

Ederson (6), Christensen (0), D. Sanchez (1), Robertson (6), Arnautovic (15), Mata (2), Mahrez (8), Sigurdsson (3), Ozil (2), Depoitre (1)

GW21: 48 points, 6 returns

Ederson (14), Pope (6), Moses (1), Wagué (6), Lascelles (6), Sigurdsson (2), Mane (6), Lingard (2), Sanchez (5)

GW22: 48 points, 4 returns (from 11 matches)

Matt Ryan (3), Mane (8), Mahrez (14), Crouch (2), Rashford (1), Southampton (2), Davinson Sanchez (0), Arnautovic (5), Ederson (3), Christensen (1), Son (9)


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


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 Wildcards 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 Wildcards 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


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)

GW20: 152pts (6/11 differentials)

GW21: 128pts (8/11 differentials)

Totals: 2,794pts (161/217 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 (GW23)

After a long-needed break from all the winter football, the Premier League returns, mostly to continue confusing FPL managers with line-up decisions. We are certain that Pep Guardiola is rubbing his hands in glee at how he will ruin fantasy managers weekends, and we are not going to lie…this feels like one of the most tightly contested weeks in a long time.

Barring two, maybe three fixtures, we think that there is going to be quite a few draws this weekend. So much so that we were left scratching our heads over the differential options, especially with so many draws predicted for the gameweek. Even fixtures results in tight margins, so as a foreword for Gameweek twenty-three we advise caution.

Goalkeepers (2/10): Heurehlo Gomes (WAT), Mathew Ryan (BHA)

There are two keepers selected in this Gameweek for your consideration, we normally pick Ederson and Pope, but they are options in fixtures with strong forward options, so they are avoided. There is a simple problem for Southampton and West Brom scoring goals to ensure an enough faith in Gomes and Ryan.

Defenders (510): Andreas Christensen (CHE), Jamaal Lascelles (NEW), Virgil van Dijk (LIV), Luke Shaw (MUN), Shkodran Mustafi (ARS)

There is an influx of defensive positions filled this Gameweek due to the amount of closely contested fixtures. Here is a line of one pick:

Andreas Christensen: Usual option from a usually stable Blues defence.

Jamaal Lascelles: Scored the winner versus Swansea last time this season, so is a good option again, if he plays that is.

Virgil van Dijk: After a goal scoring debut, the Dutchman is the perfect differential to thwart Man City.

Luke Shaw: Solid option this week against Stoke who are still without a manager.

Shkodran Mustafi: The German was selected because there are doubts over Sanchez. That’s it.

Midfielders (2/10): Wilfried Zaha (CRY), Marko Arnautovic (WHU)

There are three midfielders chosen this week, we are just heartbroken that Riyad Mahrez is no longer a differential option with his ownership rocketing since Coutinho was sold to Barcelona. Only one comment for the midfielders.

Marko Arnautovic: Only trusted option in the Hammers tip to Huddersfield and has been in goal scoring form. The Austrian has finally settled, and who would have thought it would be David Moyes to do it.

Wilfried Zaha has been gone into more detail further down the article.

Forwards (1/10): Cenk Tosun (EVE)

Strikers that are differentials in this Gameweek have been hard to found. Tosun has been chosen because he is the great outsider of this fixtures, nobody knows what to expect of the Turkish striker in this game. If he does score he won’t be the only player performing in a goal scoring debuting after Chris Wood notched at Wembley for Burnley. We have nothing to lose by selecting Tosun, he is the best differential option in this match, and there aren’t many players of consideration who aren’t of high ownership. This is our thinking process behind why we are focused to pick Tosun:

Son. Davies. Vertonghen. Eriksen. Alli. Lloris. Rooney. Not differentials.

We don’t trust the Spurs defence at Wembley.

We don’t trust the Everton defence at Wembley.

All the good options in this match

Gylfi Sigurdsson blanked in his last encounters versus Spurs.

Everton are better defensively under Big Sam.

Spurs have issues playing at Wembley.

Harry Kane tends to blank at home fixtures and let everyone down.

Essentially… there is no harm in picking Tosun for this Gameweek.

Key Differential: Wilfried Zaha (CRY)

We are going to be honest, there are so few differential options this gameweek of captaincy relevancy due to tightly contested fixture list, so the truth is: Zaha is the best option of any differential this Gameweek. The Ivorian winger is at home to Burnley who are struggling for their defenders to be fit in time for the weekend, and the Clarets have stammered of recent, having not won in their last five games (W, D3, L2). The suspicion that Burnley are currently a winning team, and therefore the favourite in this match, are currently untrue.

Crystal Palace have picked up more points in the last five games than Burnley, and also scored more goals. Burnley have kept two clean sheets, but at the expense of their attacking edge, resulting in two 0-0 results against Brighton and Huddersfield, both away from home. Zaha is playing in a fixture where Burnley are there for the taking, and that is a great piece of optimism if you are looking for an inspired midfield option ahead of this gameweek. You might also be looking to drop down Coutinho and invest elsewhere in your fantasy team, and if so, replacing the departed Brazilian for Zaha would be an astute pick. Everyone is talking Man United this gameweek, how to put in Jesse Lingard.

The attention on the England midfielder has taken the limelight away from Zaha, further enforcing his differential status ahead of this weekend.

Wilfried Zaha’s Key Stats:

  • Zaha has four goals and three assists this season.

  • Zaha has produced three assists in his last four home games.

  • Zaha’s price makes him affordable at £6.9mil compared to other premium options.

  • Crystal Palace have lost only one game since a 1-0 loss to Spurs at Wembley in GW11. The game they lost was to Arsenal in GW20, of which Zaha picked up an assist.

  • The 0-0 draw against Manchester City during GW21 was the first time in seven games that the Eagles did not score at home. More impressively Crystal Palace scored exactly two goals in every one of them games.

Other Considerations

Victor Moses (CHE, DEF, £6.4mil, 1.2% ownership)

James Tomkins (CRY, DEF, £4.3mil, 1.2% ownership)

Christian Benteke (CRY, FWD, £7.6mil, 2.2% ownership)

Nick Pope (BUR, GK, £4.8mil, 7.9% ownership)

Manuel Lanzini (WHU, MID, £6.8mil, 2.1% ownership)

Andy Carroll (WHU, FWD, £5.8mil, 0.8% ownership)

Jonas Lössl (HUD, GK, £4.6mil, 8.1% ownership)

Laurent Depoitre (HUD, FWD, £5.5mil, 7.5% ownership)

Christopher Schindler (HUD, DEF, £4.6mil, 3.7% ownership)

Karl Darlow (NEW, GK, £4.4mil, 0.3% ownership)

Christian Kabasele (WAT, DEF, £4.6mil, 2.0% ownership)

Sofiane Boufal (SOU, MID, £5.7mil, 0.2% ownership)

Ryan Bertrand (SOU, DEF, £5.3mil, 4.9% ownership)

Shane Long (SOU, FWD, £5.6mil, 0.5% ownership)

Kieran Gibbs (WBA, DEF, £5.0mil, 0.5% ownership)

Mathew Ryan (BHA, GK, £4.5mil, 2.2% ownership)

Davinson Sanchez (TOT, DEF, £6.0mil, 0.5% ownership)

Jordan Pickford (EVE, GK, £4.9mil, 8.1% ownership)

Gylfi Sigurdsson (EVE, MID, £8.0mil, 2.1% ownership)

Jordan Ibe (BOU, MID, £4.8mil, 0.4% 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

All aboard.


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