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 (GW15)
After only a few sleeps the Premier League returns to action, and so will the dread ‘R’ word. Yes, that is right…rotation. Pep Roulette will be a game played by all managers, so we predict the ten players that we think are locked onto start.
Kepa Arrizabalaga (CHE)
Kepa Arrizabalaga (Wolves vs. CHELSEA)
Midweek rotation gives us the feeling that there is going to be lots of rotation, so we are going to trust a man who literally will play every minute this season. Pedro, Giroud, and Morata could all be rotated. So, could the central midfielders, and the full-backs. Sarri hasn’t shied around from changing his team, and we trust the goalkeeper is safe.
Patrick van Aanholt (CRY), Fabian Delph (MCI), Yerry Mina (EVE)
Patrick van Aanholt (Brighton vs. CRYSTAL PALACE)
Crystal Palace won’t rotate a winning team, there will be no rotation if they just come away from their best performance of the season. Palace dominated Burnley and PVA had his part to play with moving the ball forward and keeping their Claret wingers penned into their own half. PVA was our only defensive differential last week, and with returns potential at both ends of the pitch we will stick faith with him against Brighton at the Amex Stadium. Two clean sheets in a row is showing their defensive grit.
Fabian Delph (Watford vs. MAN CITY)
Injury to Oleksandr Zinchenko gives Delph a chance to play again, and that is the theme of this week’s differentials…playing. The Englishman has been a reliable player for Pep, and we want to take our chances and win this week by selecting the midfielder turned defender.
Yerry Mina (EVERTON vs. Newcastle)
Despite losing at Liverpool courtesy of a late Divock Origi goal (talk about differentials!) the duo of Keane and Mina were fierce and kept Liverpool’s regular front three quiet. Digne is also a differential and could have been selected, but in rotation week it could see Baines come back into the team for one game, but Mina will keep his place after his impressive start.
Xherdan Shaqiri (LIV), James Maddison (LEI), Heung-Min Son (TOT)
Xherdan Shaqiri (Burnley vs. LIVERPOOL)
We continue rolling the dice on the only real differential in Liverpool’s trip to Burnley. We hope there will be more goals than the Merseyside Derby, especially because Burnley are slipping into relegation spaces without any footing to get themselves out. Shaqiri was subbed early in the derby, most likely to game manage him for the busy period coming up.
James Maddison (Fulham vs. LEICESTER)
From pariah to hero, James Maddison has reminded FPL managers about his value after scoring a beautiful goal against Watford. We would have picked Vardy, but he is a doubt, and most likely won’t play. Maddison is a locked-on starter and that is good enough for the midweek games.
Heung-Min Son (SPURS vs. Southampton)
Eighteen of the South Korean’s twenty-nine points have come in the last four games, reintroducing him to the minds of fantasy managers over the land. Spurs have a bright spark in the winger, he is a player that makes things happen. We can’t see why he will be dropped, especially with Lamela injured and Eriksen and Alli still working their way back to full fitness. Southampton at home should be an easier test than the North London derby.
Joshua King (BOU), Javier Hernández (WHU), Romelu Lukaku (MUN)
Joshua King (BOURNEMOUTH vs. Huddersfield)
This game was easy to decide a differential, and that is because Huddersfield are slipping down the ranks in the Premier League. Bournemouth have been mightily impressive this season, and King has been back on the right track since his return from injury. This is the kind of game where King, Fraser, Wilson, and Brooks all get returns.
Romelu Lukaku (MAN UNITED vs. Arsenal)
We know, we have gone a little bit crazy by including Lukaku into the picks, but why not consider him? Lukaku has two returns from his last three games and grabbed an impressive goal against Southampton. Based on the way that both of these teams are playing it will be a game full of goals, and we are backing Lukaku to impress against Arsenal despite his reputation against top six teams.
Key Differential: Javier Hernández (WEST HAM vs. Cardiff)
The differentials are always captained by a player that has a combination of quality, reputation, form, and a little bit of luck. That perfectly describes West Ham’s Mexican forward Chicharito, and it was a real surprise to see him in the starting line-up, but it was a perfect move by the Hammers who enabled both of their sharpest talents to combine on the pitch.
Chicharito and Arnautovic showed a good understanding against Newcastle, and they linked up well to break down a stubborn defence. Manuel Pellegrini shouldn’t rotate the team that dominated the Toon, and it was the poaching nature of the Mexican forward who made the difference, and against Cardiff they might need that again. Chicharito is a player who has excelled everywhere he has been without much credit.
Wherever it be…Manchester, Madrid, Leverkusen, and now London, he is a player of immense quality in the box. There is not a shadow of doubt behind his ability to impact a game, and his status as an overlooked player makes him the perfect differential to come out of nowhere and be captain this week.
Players in-form play, and if he can keep up the good form then he may be able to cement a place in the starting eleven, putting a question mark over Marko Arnautovic as a forward. We have been waiting for this time when Chicharito could captain us in a fixture like this, and with differentials you strike when the iron is hot.
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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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