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 (GW27)
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 27 Average Points: 61 points
Gameweek 27 Wildcard Points: 28 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 & GW26 - 21pts, 2 player returns
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), 43 (26), 61 (27) = 1,343pts
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), 21 (26), 28 (27) = 1,048pts
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
GW26: Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace vs. Newcastle) - 5pts
Alexis Sanchez (Man United vs. Huddersfield) - 5pts
GW27: Alfie Mawson (Swansea vs. Burnley) - 7pts
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)
GW26: 21 points, 2 returns
Laporte (0), Wilson (2), Ryan (2), Dragovic (2), A. Sanchez (5), Sturridge (2), Walcott (2), Benteke (5), Mane (3), Rudiger (0)
GW27: 28 points, 2 returns
Butland (3), Mawson (7), Walcott (1), Deulofeu (2), Bernardo Silva (2), Ibe (1), Mane (3), Alexis Sanchez (2), Aubameyang (2), Giroud (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 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)
GW26: 128pts (8/11 differentials)
GW27: 146pts (7/11 differencitials)
Totals: 3,626pts (203/249 differentials)
Gameweek 27: Dream Team
Wildcards: Dubravka, Moses, Naughton, Hazard, Pritchard, Mounie
Non Wildcards: Davies, De Bruyne, Salah, Aguero
Points achieved by Wildcards: 87pts
Points achieved by Non-Wildcards: 59pts
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 (GW28)
Returning from an FA Cup weekend, the FPL community is clambering for solutions to the problems they have after the mandatory cup disruption. The Hype Train returns with outsider picks that could improve your teams for the upcoming Gameweek.
Goalkeepers (0/10): N/A
No goalkeepers were selected because there weren’t any standout options between the posts this week who we could trust to secure points. Nick Pope was an option, and still is, but for how long until Heaton is back in the side?
Federico Fernández (SWA), Mathias Jorgensen (HUD), Kieran Trippier (TOT), Andreas Christensen (CHE)
Four defenders in the differentials this week, and most of them are due to the nature of the fixture. What we mean by this is the hard to call nature of the fixture. Fernández, Jorgensen, and Christensen are all in fixtures that very well could all finish 0-0.
There are lots of unclear fixtures, and these three are examples of where you would want to avoid for both defensive and offensive fantasy points.
Kieran Trippier is the standout defender, and the habit of picking Spurs defenders is down to who is playing and hoping that Crystal Palace are still searching for answers following the loss of Wilfried Zaha to injury. Trippier has played the last three games in their full, with two returns, totalling nineteen points.
Riyad Mahrez (LEI), Junior Stanislas (BOU), Johann Berg Gudmundsson (BUR), Sadio Mane (LIV)
Four midfielders in the middle of our differentials this week, and all four will play at home in what should be comfortable fixtures. The return of Riyad Mahrez to the differentials is a real surprise, we thought that the Algerian would still be pouting about not getting a move to Manchester City in the January transfer window. Since he has returned the combination of Vardy and Mahrez reunited in the FA Cup where Mahrez assisted for the England international.
Stanislas has also been in good form recently with four returns in the last four games (two goals, two assists). Lastly, Gudmundsson has been in good form for Burnley and in the last home game scored versus Man City to force a draw. Any of these three midfielders are worth a gamble if you are looking to freshen up your midfield.
We have gone into the differential captain, Sadio Mane, further down the article.
Oumar Niasse (EVE), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ARS)
Two forwards at the top to balance the differential team this weekend, one is on form, and the other is an Arsenal forward who just happens to be the best outside bet to make the difference for the Gunners return match versus Manchester City.
Oumar Niasse has been in fine form, and the budget Everton forward has three returns from his last four fixtures (two goals, one assist). The resurgent Niasse has been so good that he has kept Cenk Tosun out of the squad following his pricey move to Merseyside. Watford are still deep within inconsistent form that makes the arrival of Everton an appropriate time for Niasse to continue his revival.
Meanwhile, the League Cup final is this Sunday and Aubameyang has been selected as the differential…just because. The logic is simple; we don’t trust a clean sheet from either team, and the Gabon international is a new entry to the drama of this fixture. Manchester City haven’t faced the new Arsenal forward, making Aubameyang a strong contender for your team this week if you are planning for the next five weeks and beyond.
Key Differential: Sadio Mane (LIV)
The second Liverpool captaincy option this week, three if you include Roberto Firmino, is the differential of the group Sadio Mane. If you read the captaincy article this week then you know Mohamad Salah is the primary captain, and that is due to the fact Liverpool have the most favourable fixture of any top six club in the Premier League this Gameweek. We don’t have to sell you the value of Liverpool midfielders, especially any of Liverpool’s ‘Threatful Three’, or whatever the media are now reporting the trio as currently. Review the stats to see if Mane is the man for you this Gameweek.
Sadio Mane Key Stats:
Sadio Mane’s last game saw the Senegalese forward score a hat-trick against Porto in the Champions League. Mane is deployed on the left of Liverpool’s three-pronged attack.
Mane has started the last seven consecutive Premier League games.
Liverpool are three games undefeated in the Premier League, having scored a minimum of two goals in all three games.
The Reds have lost only one game since Gameweek 10, and was against Swansea during Gameweek 24 (W12, D5, L1).
Liverpool are undefeated at home this season, collecting seven clean sheets whilst playing at Anfield. West Ham are walking into a fortress.
Liverpool beat West Ham 4-1 away from home in the reverse fixture this season. Mane collected ten fantasy points as he made two assists in the game.
Liverpool also have scored a minimum of four goals versus West Ham in their last two league fixtures.
West Ham have only kept one clean sheet since their last in Gameweek 18 away to Stoke, and that happened last week when West Ham beat Watford 2-0 at the London Stadium.
In short, Sadio Mane is worth considering as your captain alongside his teammate Mo Salah. Liverpool are in fine form and looking to take advantage of their top four rivals all facing each other in Gameweek 28. Favourable results for the Reds could see Liverpool jump to second in the league table, so the emphasis will be once again on the goals flowing at Anfield. West Ham love to play the ball and open space in their defence, it is how the Reds have bested the Hammers in the past two league games with a combined aggregate score of 8-1.
Alexis Sanchez (MUN, MID, £11.8mil, 4.8% ownership)
Craig Dawson (WBA, DEF, £4.8mil, 1.3% ownership)
Jay Rodriguez (WBA, FWD, £5.5mil, 1.9% ownership)
Kyle Naughton (SWA, DEF, £4.6mil, 4.8% ownership)
Jürgen Locadia (BHA, FWD, £6.0mil, 0.0% ownership)
Charlie Taylor (BUR, DEF, £4.2mil, 0.9% ownership)
Ederson (MCI, GK, £5.6mil, 7.6% ownership)
Nathan Ake (BOU, DEF, £5.0mil, 6.2% ownership)
Steve Cook (BOU, DEF, £4.6mil, 1.1% ownership)
Jordon Ibe (BOU, MID, £4.9mil, 2.1% ownership)
Matt Ritchie (NEW, MID, £5.4mil, 1.7% ownership)
Kenedy (NEW, MID, 4.7mil, 0.7% ownership)
Ayoze Perez (NEW, FWD, £5.2mil, 1.1% 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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