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 (GW12)
One week before the next international break, and there is panic in the midfield department as Richarlison (EVE) and Maddison (LEI) are both likely set to miss out on this weekend’s games. Not to fret, we have selected a whole bunch of midfielders for your consideration, and a few forwards to.
There are no goalkeeper picks this week, and we don’t trust that there is much value this week in goalkeepers. That might come back to bite us, but there are undeniable attacking options to consider this week.
Kiko Femenía (WAT)
There is only one defensive option in this attack minded Gameweek, and it is a full-back who loves getting up and down the right channel. Southampton have struggled in getting in the penalty box, and there is a potential of offensive and defensive returns for Watford this weekend.
Felipe Anderson (WHU), David Brooks (BOU), Erik Lamela (TOT), Xherdan Shaqiri (LIV), Mesut Özil (ARS), Leroy Sané (MCI)
After the mauling of Burnley, West Ham’s attack is in good form, and the reason was due to Felipe Anderson who looked unbeatable against the Clarets. Two goals to win the match for West Ham could carry over his form into a match against Huddersfield who have conceded a huge amount of goals.
Playing up front? Check.
Goal scoring form? Check.
Travelling to a team who has been inconsistent? Check.
The better question is do we trust Newcastle as a source of FPL differentials? No.
We are backing Bournemouth to continue their consistent form, and David Brooks has been a focal point of the team since his transfer into the team. We can’t believe how good he has been as we thought he would be a bench player, but he has improved the team.
A year ago, if you were to tell us that Erik Lamela was a legitimate attacking who was regularly getting minutes, we would have immediately dismissed you. In football anything can change, and the Argentine has been a potent attacking threat for the North London club. Three attacking returns in his last three games is a good return, and it could get even better if Spurs are able to repeat their goal scoring form against Crystal Palace whose defence hasn’t been solid all season.
Liverpool were horrendous mid-week in the Champions League when they got squashed by Red Star Belgrade. They were truly and utterly dominated by the Serbian club, and without Shaqiri in their attack who they left out due to political reasons, they had no cutting edge. The Swiss midfielder has been Liverpool’s sharp edge in attack, and if he doesn’t start this weekends fixtures then it is a tragedy as he has been brilliant since his move from Stoke City in the summer. Fulham haven’t kept a clean sheet this season, and if Shaqiri repeats the exploits in his last Anfield appearance then he cannot be overlooked.
We were surprised there was more than one goal in the Wolves and Spurs thriller last weekend, it was an incredible game full of goal scoring prowess, and everyone was mourning as they had a certain Mexican striker on their bench for the Gameweek. If there is any chance of a repeat, we are picking the man who will most likely make it happen and break a deep lying defence. Mesut is that player.
The German winger has played five games at the Etihad so far this season, and so far, has five fantasy returns to his name. Utilised as an aggressive winger to break lines at the Etihad there is no way that Pep drops him after he has been so influential in attack. A goal and two assists against Southampton was a powerhouse display, and with a hundred percent record at home it could a straight six return at home the winger.
Glenn Murray (BHA), Jamie Vardy (LEI), Álvaro Morata (CHE)
The most likely goal scorer in this game is Glenn Murray, and with six goals so far this season it is a healthy return for a striker of Murray’s age who is showing his pedigree with his age. Cardiff look likely to be the team finishing bottom of the table, so we expect most strikers could have a good game against them.
There are few differentials in this Leicester game of consideration, so we will keep rolling the dice with Vardy. Burnley have been woeful in defence and are conceding goals galore in this moment, and with Leicester looking to honour their recent chairman it might be another emotional affair for the Foxes.
Key Differential: Álvaro Morata (CHE)
We round off our differential musings for the week by unleashing an enigma in the English game. Chelsea's Alvaro Morata, who at times couldn't score in a brothel, has had a few weeks to remember, first scoring in Chelsea's impressive 4-0 away win at Burnley, before bagging a brace against Crystal Palace last weekend.
Morata's been a joy to watch, in truth, and could have had double-digits worth of goals in the past three weeks had his shooting boots not been laced with butter. Chelsea played direct to Morata against Crystal Palace, with Morata winning the key battles against Mamadou Sakho and James Tomkins, though the tide of anticipation only real turned when Eden Hazard was introduced as a second-half substitute. Hazard played in Morata almost instantly for his second goal.
Morata's 13-point haul means that he has accumulated more bonus points (3) than Mohamed Salah has this season, and like with Lacazette, all 3 of our captaincy picks have scored 5 Premier League goals this season and have dipped and risen in form.
Everton's away record this season against top 6 clubs this season (a 2-0 defeat at Arsenal and a 2-1 defeat at Man United) suggests that Chelsea are justified favourites for the tie at Stamford Bridge, which of course puts Alvaro Morata in a healthy and usable position this weekend as the unbeaten Blues aim for 12 games without defeat this season.
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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.