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 (GW11)
This week, The Hype Train pays tribute to Leicester City and their owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha who passed during the helicopter accident after Leicester’s draw with West Ham. Vichai gave us the greatest differential team in all of sporting history, he assembled a squad of unlikely heroes who defied all odds and won the Premier League title. We all remember that year, nobody saw it coming, nobody could expect it…they were the greatest differentials to ever exist that were successful. Vichai gave us Mahrez and Vardy, with Morgan and Huth at the back. He also brought into the spotlight N'Golo Kanté who is now one of the worlds best players. In his owner, we select ten players that could make it big this Gameweek.
Hugo Lloris (TOT)
Hugo Lloris (Wolves vs. SPURS)
We start with a World Cup winning captain, and questionable goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. The Frenchman is a good pick this week against Wolves, a team who haven’t scored in their last two games. Having found out the reality of the Premier League, Wolves are currently in a re-adjustment period. Lloris has made a minimum of four saves in his last three games and picked up three bonus points. Spurs last three fixtures have ended 1-0, and we’re guessing it may end the same way.
Adam Masina (WAT), Fabián Balbuena (WHU), John Stones (MCI)
Adam Masina (Newcastle vs. WATFORD)
The Hornets have a new budget defender on the watchlist, and his name is Adam Masina. The left-back has phased out Jose Holebas and in the last two weeks has an assist and two clean sheets. We doubt he’ll have trouble at Newcastle, the Toon have struggled for goals and Watford have found a moment of resurgence.
Fabián Balbuena (WEST HAM vs. Burnley)
The Paraguayan defender has played every minute of West Ham’s season, and he was also one of the goal scorers on the tragic day at the King Power last week. There are few differentials to trust in this fixture, but with him and Diop rebuilding the Hammers defence we believe it will be a good home game them, and it isn’t hasn’t exactly been a stellar season for Burnley to date.
John Stones (MAN CITY vs. Southampton)
Man City have kept six straight clean sheets, and John Stones has been involved from the start in the last three. There isn’t any doubt that that the combination of Laporte and Stones are the best partnership for the Citizens, and it would be a travesty if the Englishman was rotated. John Stones is getting better and better with each touch of the ball, and against Southampton it could be a another easy clean sheet for the World Cup semi-finalist.
Anthony Martial (MUN), Gylfi Sigurdsson (EVE), Xherdan Shaqiri (LIV), Ross Barkley (CHE), André Schürrle (FUL)
Anthony Martial (Bournemouth vs. MAN UNITED)
The second Frenchman in the differentials is a man who is going from strength-to-strength, and we can’t believe it is Anthony Martial. Four goals and one assist from his last three starts is phenomenal stats for a player who couldn’t buy a minute. In his current form we can’t disregard Martial, even if it is Bournemouth who have been an even better team than Man United this season. Martial is the wildcard in this fixture, he is about the only one who can make a difference.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (EVERTON vs. Brighton)
Why oh why is the Icelander still a differential? He is currently the seventh best midfielder in the FPL, only two points behind Pereyra, and seven ahead of Maddison. This is a dream fixture for Gylfi, a team where his set-piece potential could pay dividends.
Xherdan Shaqiri (Arsenal vs. LIVERPOOL)
It’s finally time to unleash the Alpine Messi into the differentials. Liverpool need their best team to beat Arsenal, and right now that team includes Shaqiri. We expect the team that beat Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League to show up at the Emirates, and with six points in both his last two fixtures Xherdan has proved he is ready. Considering Liverpool bought him for a cheap price in todays market he has turned out to be one of the signings of the summer, and the Reds ace in their sleeve for the upcoming match.
Ross Barkley (CHELSEA vs. Crystal Palace)
When Chelsea purchased Ross Barkley from Chelsea we didn’t think it would end this way, and what we mean by that is it ended out being a good move for both Barkley and Chelsea. Shrugging his injury woes, the England midfielder has had a career resurgence at the Blues and has accumulated a staggering thirty-six points in his last three fixtures…that is an average of twelve points a game which is unbelievable. After his man of the match display against Burnley where Barkley bossed the fixture, we can’t ignore the obvious potential against Crystal Palace where it could be the same story.
André Schürrle (Huddersfield vs. FULHAM)
Huddersfield versus Fulham is one of those fixtures where you pick a differential who has a tad more quality than the rest, and with Huddersfield they have few players of real quality, and with Fulham there are two. One is Mitrovic who is nowhere close to being a differential, and then there is the German, André Schürrle, who has scored four goals this season. If there is anyone to add more goals to their tally this season in this fixture, it will probably be him.
Key Differential: Jamie Vardy (Cardiff vs. LEICESTER)
Following the tragic death of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha after the draw with West Ham, Leicester have a point to prove, and a man to honour. We are paying homage to the Thai owner of Leicester by entrusting the armband on Jamie Vardy this week. We can already see it now, Vardy with his arms pointed to the sky in memory. Cardiff have only kept one clean sheet this season, and that was against Newcastle (no surprise, honestly), so we can’t see another reality where Vardy helps piece together the recent disaster. One of Leicester’s most loyal players has the chance to start the healing process.
Football pays homage to a generous man this week. The tragedy at Leicester further fuels one of football’s most memorable stories in the past few years, and it can be safe to say that no team in the league has as many highs and lows in recent memory. Getting promoted, nearly getting relegated, winning the Premier League the following year, reaching the Champions League quarter finals, Leicester players in England getting to the semi-finals of a World Cup, and now the death of their owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. It is warming to see so much faith in football again which has united over this disaster, and after a surreal few days, it will be a celebration of just how important football is, and here to hope that players are going to make this a special week in the world’s best league.
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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.