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 (GW28)
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 28 Average Points: 17 points
Gameweek 28 Wildcard Points: 49 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: GW28 - 17pts, 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), 43 (26), 61 (27), 49 (28) = 1,392pts
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), 17 (28) = 1,065pts
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
GW28: Sadio Mane (Liverpool vs. West Ham) - 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)
GW28: 17 points, 1 return
Federico Fernandez (0), Zanka (2), Trippier (0), Christensen (1), Mahrez (2), Stanislas (2), Gudmundsson (2), Mane (7), Niasse (1), Aubameyang (0)
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 differentials)
GW28: 125pts (8/11 differentials)
Totals: 3,751pts (218/308 differentials)
Gameweek 28: Dream Team
Wildcards: Ederson, Tomkins, Mariappa, Can, Sane, van La Parra
Non Wildcards: Walker, Salah, Lukaku
Points achieved by Wildcards: 93pts
Points achieved by Non-Wildcards: 32pts
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 (GW29)
The whole Premier League weekend is at jeopardy due to the weather, anywhere we look there are scaremongering reports of games being called off left, right, and centre. This excites us in the differential corner of The Hype Train, the weather is the wildcard, and points will be at a premium. Ten picks still must be made for another week of Premier League action, but we don’t see every game happening.
Kasper Schmeichel (LEI)
One goalkeeper this week, and we are not going to lie, we only picked Schmeichel because we fancy a Leicester victory, the Dane international will play, and because there aren’t that many other differentials of value in Leicester’s team. Worth a punt on what will be a tightly contested fixture nonetheless.
Davinson Sánchez (TOT), Andrew Robertson (LIV)
Defensive options last week proved to be futile, and an absolute waste of time in investment. Watford, Spurs, and Man City were the only teams to keep it clean during GW28, so we are only picking smart defensive picks during GW29. First up is Colombian defender Davinson Sánchez who has kept two consecutive clean sheets, and in both those games picked up two bonus points. The impressive form gets Sánchez a recall to the differentials.
The second and last name in the defenders this week shouldn’t have even been on the list, no thanks due to the demand of Sadio Mane who is no longer a differential. Moving up to over eight percent ownership means that Liverpool’s fearsome three attackers are all now premium options for your teams, and no surprise. One player that has been getting plaudits has been left-back Andrew Robertson, the Scot even recorded an assist in GW28, ironically for that man Sadio Mane. Still a relatively cheap option, Robertson has a straight forward fixture against Newcastle who struggle for goals even on their good days.
Marko Arnautovic (WHU), Leroy Sané (MCI), Alexis Sanchez (MUN)
Three midfielders of quality to choose from this week, and of all of them the one with the biggest questions marks this weekend is Marko Arnautovic who is the dubious fixture that could be cancelled due to the weather. Should the game go ahead the Austrian international is the best player in the match that could be the reason why West Ham walk away with a result, and this season has a good record away from home.
Next up is Leroy Sané of Man City, the champions elect may have over exaggerated the German’s recent injury, but they have a real asset available with question marks over Raheem Sterling’s fitness. Chelsea who travel to the Etihad Stadium are in a moment of flux, so they can’t be trusted, but Man City can. Leroy devastated Arsenal most recently and should be one of the first names of the team sheet after that performance.
We explore Sanchez as the differential captain in more detail further down the article.
Ashley Barnes (BUR), Guido Carrillo (SOU), Troy Deeney (WAT), Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang (ARS)
Cometh the forwards, and we have overloaded on them this week, and why not? After the last two shambolic weeks of picking differentials we are throwing the hat in the ring for four players who could make an impact for their clubs this week. Ironically of the four Aubameyang is the only one without a return from GW28, Barnes and Deeney nabbed goals, whilst Carrillo notched his first assist for the Saints.
Barring the Gabon international Aubameyang, three of the four picks play at home in competitive fixtures. Faith in differential strikers depends on the fixtures, but this week there are plenty of options if you are looking for inspiration of the left-field variety.
Key Differential: Alexis Sanchez (MUN)
Main event time, and once again The Hype Train introduces you to the man known simply as Alexis. The Manchester United midfielder goes to Selhurst Park again after the Chilean ventured there with Arsenal, nabbing an impressive fifteen points in the process. Here are the key points leading into the match.
Alexis Sanchez key stats:
The last time Alexis Sanchez played at Selhurst Park he picked up fifteen points from two goals, and the maximum three bonus points.
Crystal Palace are without Wilfried Zaha, and since the Ivorian has been injured they haven’t won a game and are on a two-match losing street having only scored one goal.
Crystal Palace haven’t won a game in their last five (W0, D2, L3).
Meanwhile, Manchester United have kept two clean sheets out of their last five games, but they have also lost their last two away fixtures to Spurs and Newcastle, respectively.
Manchester United’s most recent fixture was a 2-1 victory over the Champions, Chelsea.
The previous score in the Premier League finished: Manchester United 4-0 Crystal Palace. Goals from Mata, two from Fellaini, and one from Lukaku dispatched the Eagles.
Alexis is a safe bet because the Chilean loves scoring against teams who are more than happy to sit and defend, he is a bottom ten goal threat. Our faith in the Chilean this week is because this could be a rollover fixture for the Red Devil’s, and unfortunately the Eagles struggle to play without Wilfried Zaha. Every game that the Ivorian misses, the closer they get to relegation.
Here is a recap of all ten choices ahead of the Premier League weekend, will you take a leap of faith in any of the names below?
BUR/EVE: Ashley Barnes (BUR, FWD, £5.2mil, 0.9% ownership)
LEI/BOU: Kasper Schmeichel (LEI, GK, £5.0mil, 5.0% ownership)
SOU/STK: Guido Carrillo (SOU, FWD, £6.5mil, 0.1% ownership)
TOT/HUD: Davinson Sánchez (TOT, DEF, £6.0mil, 0.8% ownership)
SWA/WHU: Marko Arnautovic (WHU, MID, £6.9mil, 5.6% ownership)
WAT/WBA: Troy Deeney (WAT, FWD, £6.3mil, 0.5% ownership)
LIV/NEW: Andrew Robertson (LIV, DEF, £4.8mil, 5.0% ownership)
BHA/ARS: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ARS, FWD, £10.5mil, 4.8% ownership)
MCI/CHE: Leroy Sané (MCI, MID, £8.3mil, 7.2% ownership)
CRY/MUN: Alexis Sanchez (MUN, MID, £11.7mil, 4.2% 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.
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