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 (GW4)
The FPL has kept out churning big-point gameweeks for its players, we ask, when will the bubble burst? There have been no signs of slowing down in what will be a Rockstar season for goals and attacking points from full-backs. The Premier League has a ruthless streak about it at the moment…if you are poor, you will be punished, if you are good, the spoils are to be savoured. One lapse…that is all it took. Take Man United, three lapses forced three goals. Look at players who have a bleeding edge, the ability to make the difference, we have hopefully a list of ten players who can make the difference this week.
Another week, no goalkeepers, there haven’t been any exceptional performances of note, and a lack of confidence in selecting them as options. Highly selected David De Gea has disappointed, and clean sheets are at a premium. Matt Ryan and Joe Hart could be good options this week, maybe, but who knows.
Joe Gomez (LIV), Mamadou Sakho (CRY), Nacho Monreal (ARS)
Joe Gomez (Leicester vs. LIVERPOOL)
Three games, three wins, three clean sheets. Liverpool have burst onto the scene in the early stages of the new season, and one player who has been a big benefactor of ‘the best defender in the world’ Dejan Lovren’s late return and injury from the World Cup has been Joe Gomez. The Englishman has been composed next to Virgil van Dijk at the heart of the Reds defence, and without Jamie Vardy to continue plaguing their defence it could be four in four Klopp’s striving team.
Mamadou Sakho (CRYSTAL PALACE vs. Southampton)
The Frenchman has been a commanding force since his move to the Eagles and without doubt is their best player behind Wilfried Zaha. Sakho has been unlucky in his last two fixtures and it has taken some luck and decisions against Palace which has seen them drop points. That said, Sakho managed two bonus points against Watford, despite a 2-1 defeat, much to the delight of his 1.6% ownership.
Against a goal shy Southampton who have changed their formation in each of their three games so far will not relish the chance ‘The Soldier’ as he is known in South London.
Nacho Monreal (Cardiff vs. ARSENAL)
A goal to mark his debut in Unai Emery’s team will cement his place in a likely unchanged Arsenal squad to face Cardiff. Cardiff have been non-existence in the penalty area this season, and it looks like to be a long season for the Bluebirds without any rhythm in the Premier League upon their return. A return at either end of the pitch makes Monreal an attractive option for the week with the Spaniard arguable going to be afforded license to get into the box.
Pascal Groß (BHA), David Silva (MCI), Dele Alli (TOT)
Pascal Groß (BRIGHTON vs. Fulham)
The start of the season has been odd for the Seagulls, they have lost to Liverpool and Watford, but they have picked up a hard-fought win against Manchester United. Home comforts look like they will be needed this season, and against the Red Devil’s Groß picked up ten points, including three bonus points, and he was unlucky to not score against Liverpool were it not for a great Alisson save from a powerful header. Fulham at home represents an opportunity to get back on the right back, and people have overlooked the German, making him a brilliant differential option that could get into the dream team.
David Silva (MAN CITY vs. Newcastle)
We think we were a week too early to include David Silva into the differentials, but we have faith the Spaniard will make an impact against a faltering Newcastle who have struggled to gain any momentum so far in the season. We don’t really need to explain this pick, it’s wasted breath.
Dele Alli (Watford vs. SPURS)
Spurs have started the season strong, three wins from three from the North London club have quietened talk about their lack of transfer activity. Did Spurs need a player? We think so. But, it wasn’t evident against Manchester United. There is an irony about Spurs beating Man United in that Mourinho believes spending money to win games is the only method, but Spurs proved them wrong on this occasion.
Dele Alli has two returns from two games and has been one of the highlights of Spurs's good start, and whilst he is in the shadow of Moura and Kane for the Gameweek it highlights his status as a differential even more.
Álvaro Morata (CHE), Cenk Tosun (EVE), Raúl Jiménez (WOL), Romelu Lukaku (MUN)
Cenk Tosun has been covered in our differentials as the captain gracing gameweek four. Here is a bit about each of the other strikers packed into this gameweek.
Álvaro Morata (CHELSEA vs. Bournemouth)
Here we go, how do we justify Morata? He is panned among most Chelsea fans and even neutrals. Here at The Hype Train we believe Morata is a player of confidence who needs good service to get the best out of him. Sarri is convinced he is a pivotal player to his system, much like Milik was at Napoli before his injury, but the main issue concerning Morata is not because he is wasteful but because he can ghost through games with few mentions of his name.
Morata has been confined to moments of confidence and with Bournemouth yet to keep a clean sheet this season there could be room to manoeuvre and spark to life once more. Morata is a differential in every meaning of the word, so why not?
Raúl Jiménez (West Ham vs. WOLVES)
West Ham have illustrated their defensive ineptness three times this season. They have let everyone walk through them…literally. Watching Mark Noble chasing Callum Wilson during Bournemouth’s win at the London Stadium was embarrassing. Wolves have impressed us since their return to the top flight, they are hard to play and have a system the players know. West Ham appear to have no system and no identity so far, which will take time after their recent investment. We bank on anyone scoring against the Hammers, and Jiménez has been unlucky to score in all the fixtures so far.
Romelu Lukaku (Burnley vs. MAN UNITED)
The Belgian is still a differential…just. Man United are in a bad way, and so is Lukaku, his shooting has been all over the place. Just awful. This probably isn’t the opening to a differential than you thought, normally we like to see the optimistic side behind a player, but with Man United right now that could be a hard ask. What we do know is that Burnley haven’t been any better themselves, this a downright battle of the teams who desperately need a win to kickstart their season into life.
Fortunately for Man United when Lukaku rediscovers the miracle of shooting with his feet they have a goal scorer of the highest regard. It is apt that Lukaku is once again a differential, we remember when he was a regular fixture in the weekly picks and the big man has returned to where he came from. Welcome home, Romelu.
Key Differential: Cenk Tosun (EVERTON vs. Huddersfield)
Everton have spent an amazing 48% of their time in the Premier League so far playing with ten men, and amazingly they have five points and have yet to lose a game. Marco Silva’s bounce on the club is evident, and it isn’t Richarlison who has been the biggest winner of the Portuguese managers arrival, it has been this week’s differential captain Cenk Tosun.
Surrounded by pacey wingers there is a legitimate purpose to the Turkish forward in this Everton team than otherwise standing up top asking why he is playing in this team at all. Tosun has become the enabler for the others around him and this is evident by the two assists he has registered. What the Turk is doing well is holding up play and bringing in the others such as Walcott and Richarlison to manoeuvre the channels and shine bright.
Tactically, Tosun has been excellent in the three games he has started. Priced at a reasonable £7.0mil the forward is overdue goal after three bright performances, and with Richarlison out for another game it could be the time that Tosun is rightly rewarded for his efforts.
We’d have opted for Lukaku this week as the differential captain, but his overall performance has warranted the Belgian jumping the queue ahead of Tosun. The Toffees have a favourable fixture against Huddersfield where they arguably won’t even need Richarlison to see them off, especially with players in-form such as Tosun. There is also a lack of fixture congestion for Everton, you could set and forget Tosun. For now, we recognise a forward that could finally score his first goal of the season.
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.
You can follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube channel, or visit our website here at www.thehypetrain.co.uk