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 (GW13)
England, Switzerland, Portugal, and the Netherlands are all through to the finals of the UEFA Nations League. Who would have thought it, England in another ‘semi-finals’ in a calendar year? International breaks also cause injuries, just look at Benjamin Mendy who is missing three months from out of nowhere. We offer as usual ten differentials that might be enough to bring some order back to your teams.
Sorry, no goalkeepers this week. Just the way it is after an international break.
Benjamin Chilwell (LEI), John Stones (MCI), Willy Boly (WOL)
Benjamin Chilwell (Brighton vs. LEICESTER)
Injury to Jamie Vardy withstanding, the England forward wouldn’t have made it as the differential this week. Leicester’s current man of the hour is Ben Chilwell who has two attacking returns his last four games, and two clean sheets on the bounce. The recent tragedy has been sparked a defensive streak in the Foxes, and long may it continue as we hope for a third straight return in a row.
John Stones (West Ham vs. MAN CITY)
Pep Roulette is going to strike, one area it shouldn’t impact however is the rock-solid partnership between Stones and Laporte. If it does, we riot. West Ham usually get drummed at home by the elite teams, Liverpool for example, and they have a problem scoring goals against them too. We can’t see anything other than a huge win for City with an easy clean sheet.
Willy Boly (WOLVES vs. Huddersfield)
If there is anything other than a solid 1-0 win for Wolves, then the world has gone mad. The entire FPL community is hoping for that score-line, and in that rough and tumble pile of defenders is a wildcard defender in the name of Willy Boly. If Huddersfield score, then that would be a huge differential.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (EVE), Andre Schürrle (FUL), Luka Milivojevic (CRY), Xherdan Shaqiri (LIV), David Brooks (BOU), Kenedy (NEW)
Gylfi Sigurdsson (EVERTON vs. Cardiff)
Despite having a knock there is no better differential than the Icelander in this fixture, everyone is talking about how Richarlison is the best captaincy option. Not Salah, Hazard, Kane, Aguero…you know, the players most likely to score this week. If the Brazilian is to have a stellar gameweek then he will need Sigurdsson to be the playmaker making his chances. Returns creating returns.
Luka Milivojevic (Man United vs. CRYSTAL PALACE)
Sometimes luck is enough to be a differential. Last season the Crystal Palace skipper was just about the only player who regularly scored penalties, so much that he was one of the most owned players in the whole fantasy game. There are no Man United options for differentials, which is unbelievable, so we are hoping that luck is enough in this game.
Xherdan Shaqiri (Watford vs. LIVERPOOL)
If you were to ask us who Liverpool’s best players are now then top of the list is Virgil van Dijk, then Salah, Alisson, and then the Alpine Messi, Xherdan Shaqiri. When Shaqiri doesn’t play they get beat by the Champions League’s lowest ranked team, but when he does play then they score goals and win games. Basically, Shaqiri is doing the basic things that make football teams work like bring other players into the game, make runs, create space, and generally be a threat. The Reds wouldn’t be top without him. If he started every game up until now, he would be Liverpool’s most important player. The real question is why Shaqiri isn’t starting every game?
David Brooks (BOURNEMOUTH vs. Arsenal)
We couldn’t pick a good differential in this fixture, so we just picked a player that could do something from nothing. Brooks has been in and around goals this season, not consistently, but he has the chance to impress once again. There are no certain differentials in this game, so we are winging it. Pun.
Kenedy (Burnley vs. NEWCASTLE)
This week’s differential includes some samba this time out, and it is courtesy of Rafa Benitez getting Kenedy back to form. The winger has been upping his game and looks more like the player he was at the Toon last season, and he delivered a delightful assist for his fellow South American team-mate against Bournemouth. Newcastle bested the leagues best team outside the top six, and it could the start of another insane patch of form for Newcastle if Kenedy keeps up his performances.
Andre Schürrle is our differential captain this week, so we explore his potential further down the article.
Alvaro Morata (CHE)
Alvaro Morata (Spurs vs. CHELSEA)
We are on the anti-Spurs hype train this week, and after scraping 1-0 wins on their way to this fixture against Chelsea it could be that time there is a humbling on the horizon. We like Spurs players…Kane, Eriksen, Vertonghen, Trippier (for his England heroics) and well, that just about covers it. What we don’t like is a team that completely sucks the life out of football by making you endure watching the game. We have been critical of Liverpool’s recession of electric style, and Spurs have also followed down a similar path in pursuit of picking up wins.
We want some flair, we want some energy, we want some excitement. Chelsea currently offer that with Sarri at the helm, and one beneficiary is Morata who has come into a purple patch of form. A bullet header from an Azpilicueta is the dream scenario, and Spurs deserve that with the way they have been dulling the minds of football fans.
Key Differential: Andre Schürrle (FULHAM vs. Southampton)
Here we are, at the precipice of selecting a Fulham midfielder as the differential captain. For good reason right now, we at The Hype Train are celebrating the return our favourite Italian manager of all time in the Premier League, Claudio Ranieri. The Italian gave us the most memorable Premier League title win of all time, and it was still a grossly unjust sacking of him by Leicester City.
What we want from this Gameweek is a hugely dramatic return to life in the Premier League for Ranieri, and a last-minute goal from one of their most likely sources, this weeks’ differential captain Andre Schürrle. The team visiting Craven Cottage this weekend is Southampton, and they are led by a manager who is part of the league’s old boys club, and someone who is taking Southampton back down the leagues, Mark Hughes. There is nothing more just than the incredibly talented Ranieri to defeat the very untalented Welshman to reset the karma since his forced departure from Leicester.
The truth is that if there are three players to make an impact for Fulham it will be Mitrovic, Sessegnon, or Schürrle. One of them is note a differential, one of them could play in defence, and the other is starter who scores goals and knows the league well. This is a week that there are few credible captaincy options, so we are going big this week by placing faith in a dream which is effectively what we hope for…a return out of an otherwise overlooked option, and that is exactly what Ranieri brings to Fulham and its players.
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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.