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 (GW29)
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 29 Average Points: 46 points
Gameweek 29 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), 46 (29) = 1,438pts
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), 49 (29) = 1,114pts
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
GW29: Troy Deeney (Watford vs. West Brom) - 9pts
Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang (Brighton vs. Arsenal) - 9pts
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)
GW29: 49 points, 5 returns
Schmeichel (1), Davinson Sánchez (6), Robertson (6), Arnautovic (1), Sane (3), Alexis Sanchez (5), Barnes (7), Guido Carrillo (2), Deeney (9), Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang (9)
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)
GW29: 115pts (9/11 differentials)
Totals: 3,866pts (227/319 differentials)
Gameweek 29: Dream Team
Wildcards: Butland, van der Hoorn, Alexander-Arnold, Dunk, Ki, Silva, Matic, Deeney, Tosun
Non Wildcards: Son, Mahrez
Points achieved by Wildcards: 89pts
Points achieved by Non-Wildcards: 26pts
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 (GW30)
Only one week before the short gameweek and fantasy managers will be undecided on their strategy for the next two weeks of Premier League action. For the here and now we still have a duty to pick a differential from each and every match, so if you are looking for some inspiration about transfers we have ten sensible differential picks for you to ponder.
No men between the sticks have been chosen this week as there are more tempting options in each game for outfield players.
Virgil van Dijk (LIV), Wes Morgan (LEI), Victor Moses (CHE), Davinson Sánchez (TOT)
Instead of goalkeepers we are looking at defenders of potential this week. Two players are in good form, the other two have the fixtures in their favour. Liverpool’s record signing Virgil van Dijk has finally settled into life at Anfield and has two clean sheets from his last three games. The big talking point of the weekend is the meeting between heated rivals Liverpool and Man United, and we suspect that Jose Mourinho is going to work hard to ensure that the bus is well and truly parked for this encounter, and it wouldn’t surprise us if the score line was a repeat of the slow 0-0 played out at Anfield earlier in the season. Virgil is excellent value in this fixture with the visiting Reds in tremendous form.
The other player in-form is Spurs Davinson Sánchez who has five clean sheets from his last seven Premier League games, a strong return for the Colombian defender. We are big fans of Spurs defence and the visit to Bournemouth shouldn’t represent too much danger for the North London team.
The teams with fixtures in their favour are straight forward picks this week. Leicester travel to relegation threatened West Ham, so skipper Wes Morgan gets the nod as a value pick this Gameweek. Elsewhere, Chelsea host Crystal Palace who are still without Wilfried Zaha. The Blues have the perfect opportunity to recompose themselves and get back to winning ways against the out-of-form Eagles. Victor Moses is a lock for this game and also has the potential of attacking returns in his locker.
José Heriberto Izquierdo (BHA), André Ayew (SWA), Michail Antonio (WHU), Bernardo Silva (MCI)
A mixed bag of midfielders this week to choose from, and some surprising cheap options to consider. We start with Brighton’s Izquierdo who has been in excellent form for Brighton of late, registering two goals and an assist in the Colombian’s last three Premier League games. Everton have been off the boil and are struggling to even settle on their line-up, evident in their recent loss to Burnley, so we expect Brighton to cause more waves and get the better of the Toffees.
André Ayew for Swansea had a productive return on his first start at the Liberty Stadium, making two assists for his team, including one for his brother Jordan. The Swans travel to Huddersfield and the Ghanaian is a player of real quality that can be the difference, and in the form they are in you wouldn’t want to ignore their potential.
Speaking of form, you won’t find any consistency within West Ham, the Hammers have lost three of their last four matches, but they do have a gem to consider in Michail Antonio who has two goals and an assist from his last three games, picking up a fantasy return in three consecutive matches. Surely the England international is now in the team from the start to face Burnley, the only thing stopping most players from taking a gamble on him is the eye watering price tag of £7.4mil.
Finally, there is Bernardo Silva who has been a consistent force in Man City’s attack since the injury to Raheem Sterling, scoring in his last two consecutive games against Arsenal and Chelsea. There is no guarantee that Sterling is going to walk back into the team with Bernardo Silva in such good form, the Portuguese has started and played the full ninety minutes of the last five matches, making him a stable presence in Pep Guardiola’s team. The Citizens face off against Stoke City which shouldn’t cause too many problems, and Bernardo scored his first goal for Man City against the Potters in GW8. Can lightning strike twice?
Essentially, we have selected four in-form midfielders, four players overlooked by most fantasy managers.
Dwight Gayle (NEW), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ARS)
Two forwards lead the line in the differentials this week, and we start with Dwight Gayle who has been re-established as Rafa’s true number nine. The Englishman has two returns from his last three games, and only recently he picked up an eye catching thirteen points against Bournemouth after scoring two goals for the Toon. The trick of picking strikers is to look at form and fixtures, and Gayle ticks both boxes with the visiting Southampton having trouble at both ends of the pitch.
We have covered Aubameyang in more detail below.
Key Differential: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ARS)
The main pick of the weekend sees Gabon international Aubameyang get the nod for the first time as the differential captain. Normally from Arsenal we selected Alexis Sanchez prior to his move to Manchester United, so the big hitter for the Gunners is now the African striker who has somewhat of a mixed start to life at the Emirates. Granted, most of the critics of Arsenal’s recent troubles will point out that the whole team isn’t performing, and that is a very true fact when it is spoken. The problem of Aubameyang’s goal scoring is more down to the team not working hard enough for him, especially Mesut Özil who has been ghosting in recent games.
Arsenal make the ultimate differentials this week because you don’t know if this is going to be the week that they finally have a reaction and pick up a vital win to ease the tensions surrounding the club now. The shambolic loss to Brighton had one glimmer of hope, and that was this week’s differential captain Aubameyang. The striker showed that if given the right space he can make something out of nothing and be that outlet in which Arsenal need to revitalise their season. You know what you are getting from the likes of Man City and Liverpool, so it is easier to predict, but this week we are putting faith in an ultimate differential.
Aubameyang is a player of immense potential who plays for a team who you can’t predict. Things might be rough now, but they can’t sink any lower, can they?
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Key Stats:
Aubameyang has scored two goals since joining Arsenal. Number one happened at home to Everton in GW26, and most recently versus Brighton in G30.
Arsenal have won only two games this season, but they have occurred at home, where they scored a scored a combined nine goals to thwart Crystal Palace and Everton. Aubameyang scored in their last Premier League win.
Watford have only picked up one point in the league on their travels since beating Newcastle in GW13 with Hughes, Gray, and a Yedlin own goal taking the points home for Watford. The overall record for Watford away from home isn’t encouraging (W4, D2, L8).
However, the reverse fixture from last season saw Watford beat Arsenal 2-1 with Troy Deeney and Younès Kaboul sinking the Gunners.
Watford’s last two Premier League games have been consecutive 1-0 wins against Everton and West Brom.
Arsenal are on a three-match losing streak having lost to Spurs, Man City, and Brighton.
There is our take on Aubameyang. Even if it is a one-week trial the prospect of a striker who has found the net recently going up against a team poor on the road is a good gamble if you ask us.
Here is a reminder of the ten names this week:
MUN/LIV: Virgil van Dijk (LIV, DEF, £5.6mil, 7.3% ownership)
EVE/BHA: José Heriberto Izquierdo (BHA, MID, £5.9mil, 0.4% ownership)
HUD/SWA: André Ayew (SWA, MID, £6.8mil, 1.0% ownership)
NEW/SOU: Dwight Gayle (NEW, FWD, £6.1mil, 1.0% ownership)
WBA/LEI: Wes Morgan (LEI, DEF, £4.4mil, 1.8% ownership)
WHU/BUR: Michail Antonio (WHU, MID, £7.4mil, 0.2% ownership)
CHE/CRY: Victor Moses (CHE, DEF, £6.4mil, 2.0% ownership)
ARS/WAT: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ARS, FWD, £10.4mil, 4.4% ownership)
BOU/TOT: Davinson Sánchez (TOT, DEF, £6.0mil, 1.2% ownership)
STK/MCI: Bernardo Silva (MCI, MID, £7.4mil, 1.5% ownership)
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