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. 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.
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 (GW3)
No standout goalkeeper options are available this week, but if you fancied Chelsea then Kepa could have made the list. Ben Foster and Petr Cech were also dubious options if you really wanted to push the differential envelope.
Sokratis (ARS), Jon Stankovic (HUD)
Sokratis - £5.5 million:
FPL managers have been waiting patiently for Arsenal to get a clear run of fixtures, and now they have the row of green fixtures on the horizon. Arsenal start with West Ham, and this could be the real start of the Unai Emery era. Sokratis is a lock and might have an easier time of things against the Hammers than his last two fixtures.
Jon Stankovic - £4.0 million:
Are you heartbroken over the loss of Aaron Wan-Bissaka after his red card against Liverpool? Are you looking for a dead-set £4.0mil defender to bring into your team? Then look no further. After scoring against Man City, new signing Stankovic looks like he will continue in the team for the Terriers against goal-shy Cardiff. This could be a solution to a problem for many FPL managers.
David Silva (MCI), Ryan Fraser (BOU), James Milner (LIV), Pedro (CHE)
David Silva - £8.4 million:
Trying to figure out Pep Guardiola’s team on a week-to-week basis is mathematicians dream, it takes a skilled mind to predict the rotation in advance, and it has been two weeks, and there have been two wholesale changes to the attacking setup. David Silva has walked back into the team and without Kevin De Bruyne he will be a focal point of their creativity, so I can’t see him going anywhere in this team. We hope. We aren’t going to make Silva the captain after Raheem Sterling was left on the bench last week, so for the time being Man City options are always valued, but never trusted.
Ryan Fraser - £5.5 million:
The Cherries Scottish winger has started the season with an explosion of energy and pace. Having assisted and scored in his last two fixtures the troublemaking winger has been pivotal to Bournemouth’s strong start to the season so far, and whilst all eyes are on Richarlison it means Fraser is flowing low avoiding detection. The perfect wildcard.
James Milner - £5.5 million:
Jürgen Klopp has always trusted in youth, as does his transfer policy rely on it. However, his current Liverpool team cannot function without James Milner in the centre of the park. The Englishman was the best player for Liverpool in pre-season, and he just scored his first goal of the season against Palace in a tight and cagey affair. We selected Milner last week and will continue to ride his hype train for another stop, this time with a travelling Brighton who lost in both fixtures to Liverpool last season, shipping eight goals in the process.
Pedro - £6.6 million:
Chelsea’s in-form man of the hour is the Spaniard who has so far been the main benefactor of ‘Sarriball’, and having scored two goals in two games, Chelsea travel to St James Park where they usually have a poor record of late. Times have changed with the introduction of Sarri, and Chelsea have the form and players in-form, and Newcastle are struggling.
Danny Ings (SOU), Troy Deeney (WAT), Aleksandar Mitrovic (FUL), Romelu Lukaku (MUN)
Danny Ings - £5.5 million:
After a bright cameo appearance against Burnley, the new Saints forward then picked up where he left off with a goal against Everton. The cheap FPL forward has been on the radar of most managers and we are taking the plunge with Ings for their home tie against Leicester. Quite frankly, Ings was the only Saints forward who looked like he could score, and we have a feeling that Mark Hughes is going to need him this season if they are going to avoid the drop.
Aleksandar Mitrovic - £6.0 million:
The Serbian scored his first goal of the season against Spurs at Wembley, and with Fulham breaking their duck they have a much easier task at home against Burnley who have wobbled between their early Europa League campaign. We are huge fans of Mitrovic at The Hype Train and we have a feeling he is going to be harassing the Claret’s defence.
Romelu Lukaku - £11.0 million:
Yes, the Belgian is back to being a differential option in the FPL. Man United are in flux at the moment, they could be good, they could be bad, but they do have goal scorers. Spurs have yet to keep a clean sheet and Lukaku has kick-started his campaign with a goal against Brighton in their recent loss. There are few differential options in this fixture, so we are going with the player with the best chance to get his name on the score-sheet.
Key Differential: Troy Deeney (WAT)
A few times a season we try and pick up on Watford’s early season form. It has happened for the last two seasons…they start strong, then they taper off after they close to 30 to 35 points. Crystal Palace have lost their first game of the season against Liverpool and now they travel to Watford who are in their purple patch.
Troy Deeney and Andre Gray have a blossoming partnership which tore Burnley apart, and now they have another game to continue their exploits. We have selected Troy Deeney as a captain in the past three seasons of our captaincy series, and he has always returned for us so right now is that time to put some faith in his ability again.
A goal and an assist against Burnley cannot be overlooked, his slick movement and interplay with the players behind him make him prime real estate for GW3, even more than all the other differentials.
We haven’t even mentioned that he is on penalty duty and with some luck could once again be a hugely overlooked option, and one for captaincy contention given the right extremities of your mini-leagues.
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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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