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 (GW23)
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 23 Average Points: 58 points
Gameweek 23 Wildcard Points: 33 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), 62 (20), 45 (21), 45 (22), 58 (23) = 1142pts
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), 33 (23) = 913pts
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
GW23: Marko Arnautovic (Huddersfield vs. West Ham) - 16pts
FPL Wildcards 2017/18: Our Top Points Returns
1 - Eden Hazard (CHE): 18pts (GW12)
1 - Philippe Coutinho (LIV): 18pts (GW15)
2 - Marko Arnautovic (WHU): 16pts (GW23)
4 - Raheem Sterling (MCI): 15pts (GW8)
4 - Marko Arnautovic (WHU): 15pts (GW20)
6 - Ederson (MCI): 14pts (GW21)
6 - Riyad Mahrez: 14pts (GW22)
8 - Philippe Coutinho (LIV): 13pts (GW6)
8 - Philippe Coutinho (LIV): 13pts (GW12)
8 - Sadio Mane (LIV): 13pts (GW14)
8 - Steve Mounie (HUD): 12pts (GW1)
12 - Alvaro Morata (CHE): 12pts (GW3)
13 - Henrikh Mkhitaryan (MUN): 11pts (GW1)
13 - Jack Butland (STK): 11pts (GW2)
13 - Eden Hazard (CHE): 11pts (GW10)
13 - Nick Pope (BUR): 11pts (GW17)
17 - 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)
GW23: 33 points, 2 returns
Gomes (1), Ryan (1), Christensen (1), Lascelles (2), Shaw (6), van Dijk (0), Mustafi (1), Tosun (2), Zaha (3), Arnautovic (16)
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 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
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)
GW20: 152pts (6/11 differentials)
GW21: 128pts (8/11 differentials)
GW22: 122pts (7/11 differentials)
GW23: 151pts (8/11 differentials)
Totals: 3,067pts (176/224 differentials)
Gameweek 23: Dream Team
Wildcards: Schmeichel, Evans, Dawson, Arnautovic, Ward-Prowse, Lanzini, Gundogan, Wilson
Non Wildcards: Valencia, Son, Kane
Points achieved by Wildcards: 110pts
Points achieved by Non-Wildcards: 41pts
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 (GW24)
The weekend is beckoning, and some normality has reigned on the weekends. Frustratingly, the Swansea/Liverpool match stretches out the gameweek by an extra day to Monday. Here are our ten picks for the weekend to wet your appetite for differentials for the next heart attacking inducing week of fantasy football.
Goalkeepers (1/10): Jack Butland
Just one goalkeeper this week, and that man is England international Jack Butland. The rationale for his inclusion is easy, it could be one of those new manager games where they tighten up their defence. Paul Lambert has one hell of a job on his hands, but the first order of business is their defence. Having just signed a new Greek left-back the backline has already been addressed. Kurt Zouma and Kevin Wimmer should be doing better than what they are doing, these were too highly coveted options last year, both playing for Chelsea and Spurs regularly. Huddersfield aren’t dynamos, and they are better at home, and Lambert will go in with a new defensive strategy. We expect this game to have few goals, which will benefit Jack Butland who makes the cut this week.
Defenders (3/10): Aleksandar Dragovic, John Stones, Serge Aurier
In front of Butland there are three defenders who are flying under the radar, and all in favourable fixtures. Stones doesn’t need explaining, it is the perfect time for him to regain form against goal shy Newcastle. Meanwhile, Serge Aurier has locked down the right-back slot at Spurs and should retain his place against a goal shy Southampton, so we doubt there will be any chances to the Spurs starting eleven that beat Everton. The one we are taking the most interest in Leicester’s Dragovic who but in a heroic performance alongside Harry Maguire at Chelsea. The Austrian is owned by virtually nobody, and the last time we had a player return with a zero percent ownership was Molla Wagué who will be on the other side of the trenches in this fixture. We are hoping for more extreme differential fortunes for Maguire’s new defensive partner.
Another defender for your consideration would be Luke Shaw of Man United, a player who has three consecutive returns in the FPL and plays a vulnerable Burnley team.
Midfielders (5/10): Eden Hazard Wilfried Zaha, Anthony Martial, Manuel Lanzini, Sadio Mane
There are five midfielders filling the differentials ranks this week, and barring Hazard it is a full house of in-form players. Here is a few lines about each pick.
Anthony Martial – Two consecutive double-digit returns, going up against a falling Burnley side. Manchester United are keeping up appearances in the top two, and Burnley’s stellar performances have dropped off.
Manuel Lanzini – Six gameweek returns since GW11, and coming off a huge 15pt haul. Bournemouth have been up and down, but David Moyes has been surprisingly positive in turning around the Hammers form.
Sadio Mane – Liverpool have Salah, Mane, Firmino, but they sold Coutinho. The Liverpool forward line is a terrifying terror attack even without Coutinho, and last time out the Reds put Swansea to the sword at Anfield in a five-goal extermination.
Eden Hazard – The Blues surely must be a better attacking unit without Alvaro Morata up top, so I am predicting that Eden Hazard finally hits a return without the Spaniard in the squad. Also, it’s Brighton.
Wilfried Zaha – Last time out Zaha dominated the right-wing at Selhurst versus Arsenal. The Gunners are in such a state I am expecting the winger to dominate the midfielder Arsene fields at left-back.
Forwards (1/10): Cenk Tosun
One solitary striker selected for this week. See below for the Turkish sensation, Cenk Tosun.
Key Differential: Cenk Tosun
The new Toffee didn’t quite make the impact against Spurs that he would have wanted, it was a dominant performance by the North London team, so it isn’t the end of the world. Tosun loses nothing of his new reputation against Spurs, it will be the test at home against West Brom which will be the defining attribute to whether Cenk Tosun is worth the £7.5mil price-tag. The Turkish international was lively, did well to create chances at Wembley, and he should have a better time of things at home against West Brom.
The reason why we picked Tosun is once again due to his differential status. Nobody knows what to expect of him still, there hasn’t been enough evidence to assess his threat. There were positive signs at Wembley, and in the battle of the English managers it will be the big debut where all eyes are on Tosun.
The reason we didn’t pick Hazard as differential captain was because Chelsea’s poor attacking form.
We didn’t pick Mane as Salah is already the primary captain for GW24.
Jose Mourinho might rotate Anthony Martial, it wouldn’t surprise us.
Manuel Lanzini is too big of a risk, we would have preferred Arnautovic.
Tosun could come out of obscurity this week, and then doubters might be convinced.
Antonio Rüdiger (CHE, DEF, £5.9mil, 3.6% ownership)
Andreas Christensen (CHE, DEF, £5.6mil, 4.3% ownership)
Shkodran Mustafi (ARS, DEF, £5.5mil, 3.4% ownership)
Jack Wilshere (ARS, MID, £5.4mil, 1.0% ownership)
Mason Holgate (EVE, DEF, £4.3mil, 1.9% ownership)
Ben Chilwell (LEI, DEF, £4.3mil, 0.5% ownership)
Danilo (MCI, DEF, £5.0mil, 2.6% ownership)
Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain (LIV, MID, £5.6mil, 2.7% ownership)
Virgil van Dijk (LIV, DEF, £5.5mil, 4.7% ownership)
Andrew Robertson (LIV, DEF, £4.7mil, 2.6% ownership)
Luke Shaw (MUN, DEF, £4.9mil, 1.1% ownership)
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