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 (GW25)
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 25 Average Points: 47 points
Gameweek 25 Wildcard Points: 32 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), 50 (24), 47 (25) = 1239pts
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), 54 (24), 32 (25) = 999pts
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
GW24: Eden Hazard (Brighton vs. Chelsea) - 16pts
GW25: Christian Benteke (West Ham vs. Crystal Palace) - 8pts
FPL Wildcards 2017/18: Our Top Points Returns
1 - Eden Hazard (CHE): 18pts (GW12)
1 - Philippe Coutinho (LIV): 18pts (GW15)
3 - Marko Arnautovic (WHU): 16pts (GW23)
3 - Eden Hazard (CHE): 16pts (GW24)
5 - Raheem Sterling (MCI): 15pts (GW8)
5 - Marko Arnautovic (WHU): 15pts (GW20)
7 - Ederson (MCI): 14pts (GW21)
7 - Riyad Mahrez: 14pts (GW22)
9 - Philippe Coutinho (LIV): 13pts (GW6)
9 - Philippe Coutinho (LIV): 13pts (GW12)
9 - Sadio Mane (LIV): 13pts (GW14)
9 - Steve Mounie (HUD): 12pts (GW1)
13 - Alvaro Morata (CHE): 12pts (GW3)
14 - Henrikh Mkhitaryan (MUN): 11pts (GW1)
14 - Jack Butland (STK): 11pts (GW2)
14 - Eden Hazard (CHE): 11pts (GW10)
14 - Nick Pope (BUR): 11pts (GW17)
18 - 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)
GW24: 54 points, 4 returns
Butland (9), Dragovic (6), Stones (2), Aurier (2), Hazard (16), Zaha (2), Martial (10), Lanzini (3), Mane (2), Tosun (2)
GW25: 32 points, 3 returns
Mkhitaryan (1), Benteke (8), Mane (6), Hazard (2), Dragovic (1), Jacob Murphy (1), Soares (2), Ederson (6), Alexis Sanchez (2), Shaqiri (3)
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)
GW24: 144pts (10/11 differentials)
GW25: 137pts (9/11 differentials)
Totals: 3,348pts (195/246 differentials)
Gameweek 25: Dream Team
Wildcards: Ake, Trippier, Lascelles, Stephens, Clucas, Walcott, Can, Stanislas, Wilson
Non Wildcards: Pope, De Bruyne
Points achieved by Wildcards: 112pts
Points achieved by Non-Wildcards: 25pts
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 (GW26)
Only a few short days from the last gameweek and we are once again the middle of rotation season. The guarantee is that there will be a few disappointments from players hoping that they will be able to field strong starting elevens. Riyad Mahrez is one such casualty, and the Algerian might as well have a red flag with the message: “Unavailable – AWOL following failed transfer move to Manchester City – Unknown return date.”
Pep Guardiola is even influencing the rotation for other teams, it is the ultimate power of his ability to influence the rotation of Premier League players. Moving on with the Gameweek ahead of us with ten differential player picks for the weekend.
Mathew Ryan (BHA)
One goalkeeper this week, and Brighton’s Mathew Ryan has made a return to the differentials. The reverse fixture was a whitewash victory for the Seagulls who dominated the Hammers in a 3-0 win. If it was good enough once, it could be good enough again. West Ham are missing a host of attackers, and midfielders, so it could be a promising afternoon for the south coast club.
Aymeric Laporte (MCI), Aleksandar Dragovic (LEI), Antonio Rüdiger (CHE)
Three defenders make the cut for Gameweek Twenty-Six, and it is three easy selections. Chelsea (vs. Watford), Leicester (vs. Swansea), and Man City (vs. Burnley) are all on-paper favourable fixtures.
Rüdiger will step in to replace Christensen who has been a disaster in the FPL since Gameweek Nineteen, Laporte should continue to impress alongside Otamendi, and Dragovic has the chance to continue making waves next to Harry Maguire in the middle of the Foxes defence. No muss, no fuss, defensive picks.
Alexis Sanchez (ARS), Theo Walcott (EVE), Sadio Mane (LIV)
Midfielders have been hard to find for this gameweek, form has been very inconsistent for a lot of picks.
Sanchez returns despite said form, mostly because we cannot ignore his inclusion as Manchester United host Huddersfield, a game where there could be a high chance for goals.
Sadio Mane has been slowly picking up pace, and Liverpool have a great record against Spurs at home, so it could be another showcase performance at Anfield this weekend.
Lastly, and most excitingly, is the return of Theo Walcott to the Emirates. Arsene Wenger must be sweating on his luck, a mere two games after selling Walcott to Everton the English winger has hit form (which isn’t a surprise, Theo is a talented player who was being underutilised at the Emirates). Arsenal still can’t defend and recently reinstated at left-back is Nacho Monreal who is a great asset at the other end of the pitch where he has been scoring goals but is always a liability against a pacey winger. Walcott should cause trouble at the Emirates, the perfect chance to show Wenger what he was missing out on.
Callum Wilson (BOU), Daniel Sturridge (WBA), Christian Benteke (CRY)
For the first time in a long while there is more than one differential forward, or even two, there are three forwards that make the cut. Calum Wilson steps up first, having been an instrumental part in picking apart Chelsea at Stamford Bridge midweek. The Englishman made a superb run that cut open the Blues defence, slotting neatly past Courtois to seal a victory for the Cherries. Returning to the south coast, Bournemouth host Stoke, which is the perfect platform for Wilson to continue his form.
Stepping up next is West Brom newbie Daniel Sturridge, on-loan from Liverpool, who nearly made an instant impact when he came off the bench versus Manchester City. The Reds are weaker with the tricky forward, and Alan Pardew can’t believe his luck…one moment he wanted Ings, the next he upgrades to a Sturridge. Southampton at home will hopefully provide a better chance to make a goal-scoring start to life in the Midlands.
Christian Benteke has been featured in more detail, just below.
Key Differential: Christian Benteke (CRY)
Despite listening to our better judgement, we made the mistake of choosing Eden Hazard last week, and guess what, Chelsea once again flopped when the heat got turned up. Bournemouth didn’t just get a scrappy victory, they were dominant against Antonio Conte’s team. Chelsea are just as bad without Morata as they were with him in the squad. Eden Hazard made sense, he had three goals in January and was in good form, but we are opting instead to go with the pick that should have been the differential captain…step up Christian Benteke.
Christian Benteke, Key Stats:
The Belgian has four consecutive FPL returns by assisting three goals and scoring one goal in his most recent fixture versus West Ham (5, 5, 5, 8).
Benteke has completed the full ninety minutes in his last six starts, and all season when the striker has started has only been subbed off twice all season. Benteke is rotation proof.
Newcastle just recently scored via a headed goal when Burnley’s Sam Vokes nodded past Karl Darlow. Benteke’s goal against West Ham was an unstoppable header.
Crystal Palace’s only two defeats since GW12 have been to Arsenal (GW20, & GW20).
Crystal Palace have scored in nine of their last ten fixtures, the only shutout was during GW21 when the Eagles drew 0-0 with Man City.
Newcastle, the Eagles visiting opponents, have only one two of their last sixteen fixtures. However, they have lost only two games in their last seven (W2, D3, L2).
Newcastle have conceded in their last three Premier League games.
The facts speak for themselves with Benteke, everything is set in motion for another big performing Gameweek for the Belgian. Newcastle and Crystal Palace have been competitive in the most recent five fixtures, but when you look at any captaincy option you must look at players who are in-form. Benteke is that player, and we won’t make the same mistake by ignoring the Belgian’s potential in this fixture.
Olivier Giroud (CHE, FWD, £8.2mil, 8.9% ownership)
Wilfried Zaha (CRY, MID, £6.9mil, 5.1% ownership)
Ederson (MCI, GK, £5.6mil, 7.8% ownership)
Bernardo Silva (MCI, MID, £7.4mil, 0.9% ownership)
Chris Smalling (MUN, DEF, £5.3mil, 2.5% ownership)
Anthony Martial (MUN, MID, £11.7mil, 4.3% ownership)
Jordon Ibe (BOU, MID, £4.8mil, 1.2% 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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