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 (GW16)
Bernd Leno (ARS)
Bernd Leno (ARSENAL vs. Huddersfield)
We debated which player to pick from Arsenal that is a differential, but the problem is that neither of the forwards are differentials, Aaron Ramsey is being heavily rotated, some outfield players are only getting forty-five minutes, and we are in the middle of rotation season. We are choosing a player who is locked in his place, and against Huddersfield at home you’d expect nothing else other than a clean sheet which is exactly why we are starting the differentials this week with Bernd Leno.
Lewis Dunk (BHA), Diogo Dalot (MUN), Lucas Digne (EVE)
Lewis Dunk (Burnley vs. BRIGHTON)
We didn’t know who to pick in this fixture, so we are going with a stalemate with the potential of a goalless draw. The best performing defender in this fixture if Lewis Dunk, and even with Shane Duffy next to him we are just taking a stab in the dark for this one.
Diogo Dalot (MAN UNITED vs. Fulham)
Now here is a total differential, a player that comes out of nowhere ahead of established options. Diogo is selected with a rock bottom 0.0% player ownership making him a player of unlimited potential with no representation. There is uncertainty over whether some of the forward or midfield options will play for United amidst the middle of rotation season, but we believe Dalot will continue to play after the draw with Arsenal. Fulham at home could be a springboard match for the club to get back to winning ways with a comfortable win.
Lucas Digne (EVERTON vs. Watford)
A rather obvious pick, but with Gylfi Sigurdsson no longer a differential option due to his rise in ownership this leaves Everton with a team of differentials around the core midfielders. The Monday game between Everton and Watford could be a close affair, and Digne has been close to an attacking return lately but with no luck in his court. Hopefully that changes.
Xherdan Shaqiri (LIV), Stuart Armstrong (SOU), Robert Snodgrass (WHU), Hueng-Min Son (TOT)
Xherdan Shaqiri (Bournemouth vs. LIVERPOOL)
One reoccurring name in the differentials is the Alpine Messi, and he is the first name currently on the Liverpool team sheet after Virgil van Dijk. Shaqiri will be playing in the absence of Sadio Mane which underlines the very reason he was bought to Anfield in the first place. There was debate if Klopp would add attacking players to his arsenal in the summer, but he obtained Shaqiri for a basement price and has so far exceeded expectations and now feels like a staple of the team. We continue rolling the dice with Shaqiri as he is in goal scoring form.
Stuart Armstrong (Cardiff vs. SOUTHAMPTON)
We’re back with selecting our first of two Scots who got us a return against Manchester United, and with new manager Ralph Hasenhüttl looking to up the stakes he will need the best attacking players to do it. There is no better game to begin his reign than Cardiff who are expected to be relegated at the end of this season. The Austrian will need players that can score goals to transcend Southampton out of the relegation zone, and luckily, they have Stuart Armstrong who has shown his quality in recent weeks. It will be confusing if Armstrong doesn’t continue playing in this team.
Robert Snodgrass (WEST HAM vs. Crystal Palace)
Four zero-point weeks, five one-point weeks, four two-point weeks, and then a five, then thirteen from out of nowhere against Newcastle and Cardiff. After a season made up of mediocrity and no single return, there is then an explosion, the fuse had been lit and it was a slow burn, and Pellegrini has finally got the spark out of the Scotsman. West Ham needed a creator and Snodgrass is filling that role, and if the form continues, he is a sound differential, and capable of supplying Perez and Hernandez with goals in the wake of Marko’s injury.
Hueng-Min Son (Leicester vs. SPURS)
When a differential is that good you stick with it. The South Korean has two goals and two assists in the last five gameweeks, with his only blank against Crystal Palace where he was a substitute. Son makes things happens, we keep saying it, and right now Spurs need a player with his guile. Leicester are without key attacking assets against them, and they should be overwhelmed by Spurs who will want to right a wrong after their loss in the North London derby.
Gabriel Jesus (MCI), Salomón Rondón (NEW)
Gabriel Jesus (Chelsea vs. MAN CITY)
Sergio Aguero has been absent lately due to injury, and with his scoring record against Chelsea good it will be a blow to fantasy managers if he isn’t fit for the encounter. That leaves Pep with only once choice and is to keep faith with Gabriel Jesus who has been stellar since replacing the Argentine. Chelsea have stumbled lately, with an embarrassing 2-1 loss to Wolves in midweek bridging a huge gap between the top two and the rest. Expect goals in this encounter, and we have faith in a Jesus return.
Key Differential: Salomón Rondón (NEWCASTLE vs. Wolves)
Tis’ the season to be reminded of all the great differentials that are currently out there during rotation season. One thing is for sure, and that is a team in the bottom half of the table will not rotate a goal scoring forward. Rafa Benitez has finally got the big Venezuelan ticking for the Toon and has been instrumental for the Tyneside club in recent weeks. All three of his goals for the Toon this season have come in the last four weeks, and the third once last week away to Everton with a powerful finish past Pickford. Rondón has started the last five games from the off and is now looking like the real deal in the short term. Games against Wolves, Huddersfield, and Fulham should make Rafa a happy man if they can take points from clubs that either got promoted last season, and one that looks likely to go down this year.
Rondón is a forward who is more influential at home than he is away from home, it just happened he was more effective at Goodison Park than he is at St James Park. Combined, the striker had three shots against Everton and Burnley on the road, but against Bournemouth and West Ham he had fifteen shots on familiar soil. He is getting the chances, and if he can be as clinical as he was against Everton then it would be an astute and not-so surprising pick for your team this week.
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