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 (GW19)
Merry Christmas, and happy FPL holidays, where the only gift to you will be sweat and panic in a minefield of fixture congestion. Managers will be looking to change a few things up amid a hectic schedule. Pep will be turning the roulette wheel, Sarri will be rotating his wingers and forwards, and Klopp will be looking to freshen up to give his big players a rest. We are here to spread the Christmas spirit by offering ten differentials we think will either make or break hearts on the Boxing Day schedule.
Sergio Rico (FUL), Vicente Guaita (CRY), Kepa Arrizabalaga (CHE)
Sergio Rico (FULHAM vs. Wolves)
Fulham grabbed their first clean sheet of the season at Newcastle, ending a terrible record they were slowly building as the only English team in the land not to keep a shutout. We don’t know what mess of rotation this fixture will bring up, but we are putting faith in the goalkeeper who won’t be rotated.
Vicente Guaita (CRYSTAL PALACE vs. Cardiff)
Crystal Palace performed heroics to beat Manchester City, inflicting their second loss of the season. We are selecting another goalkeeper because they are the most likely to play during rotation season, and Guaita has been undefeated so far at Palace and it isn’t like they host struggling Cardiff? Oh wait, they do.
Kepa Arrizabalaga (Watford vs. CHELSEA)
Sarri loves to rotate, and he likes to keep changing things. Kepa however, the worlds most expensive goalkeeper, is there to stay all season barring an injury. Watford have been in good form and are comfortably in the top half of the table, but these are the kinds of fixtures that Chelsea easily dispatch.
Victor Lindelöf (MUN), Sead Kolasinac (ARS)
Victor Lindelöf (MAN UNITED vs. Huddersfield)
There were many performers in the Man United victory over Cardiff…Lingard, Pogba, Rashford, Herrera, and also their expensive central defender Victor Lindelöf who many said “looked the colossal titan that the glorious Red Devils needed to never leak a goal again!” Of course, everything was blown out of proportion due to the circumstances but looking at it objectively the Swede looked unshackled without Mourinho and may continue to do so, and against Huddersfield it could be an easy defensive return for the United defender.
Sead Kolasinac (Brighton vs. ARSENAL)
Few Arsenal differentials, and too much Emery rotation. We stick with a player who will play and that is in form. That is good enough given that attacking players can be lucky to get 45 minutes in a game, and no more about it should be spoken, other than Kola being part of a front three with Lacazette and Aubameyang based on recent performances for The Gunners. A clean sheet and an assist in the last 2 games hasn't done any justice to a few stellar weeks for the bulldozer.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (EVE), Riyad Mahrez (LEI), Xherdan Shaqiri (LIV), Christian Eriksen (TOT)
Gylfi Sigurdsson (Burnley vs. EVERTON)
Burnley are going to sit back, defend deep, and hit Everton on the break. What the Toffees need is a midfielder who can break lines and make them shudder whenever they are at a dead ball situation. That man is Gylfi Sigurdsson who most recently scored against his former club Spurs. There is no chance he will be dropped this gameweek, so we return to an old treasure box of points this Christmas.
Riyad Mahrez (Leicester vs. MAN CITY)
This pick is simple…we are hoping for Pep Roulette to work in our favour, and for a fan favourite of Leicester to strike terror into their hearts by scoring against them. Returning stars always cause storms on their return, so we are hoping for one at the King Power. After Man City’s loss to Palace they may look to shake up their attack.
Xherdan Shaqiri (LIVERPOOL vs. Newcastle)
Liverpool will rotate against Newcastle. We think it will be one of Roberto Firmino or Sadio Mane, Keita will be benched after picking up a knock, Milner to be replaced by Clyne at right-back, and Gini Wijnaldum will return to the team. We think Shaqiri will replace Keita on the left of the Reds unbeaten 4-2-3-1, and after being a hero with two goals against Manchester United he is in red hot scoring form.
Christian Eriksen (SPURS vs. Bournemouth)
Five returns from the last six games has seen Eriksen return to the prominence the Dane is most known by. Spurs have looked unstoppable since they reunified their star quartet, and he was our pick in Spurs domination of Everton and he scored. We roll the dice with the midfielder who will be needed to break down a progressive Bournemouth team.
Danny Ings (SOU)
Key Differential: Danny Ings (SOUTHAMPTON vs. West Ham)
We couldn’t be happier with the on-loan Liverpool forward now, we selected him as our differential captain last week and he scored a vital goal in Southampton’s win against Huddersfield by winning a penalty and then converting it.
We said last week that the new manager is a fan of Danny Ings and couldn’t be luckier to have a player that fits his philosophy at the club, and with his minutes managed against the Terriers this was designed to keep him sharp for the congested festive period. West Ham who travel to St Mary's have unravelled themselves once again by proving they still have a soft underbelly following their surprising not-so-surprising defeat to Watford.
Form for West Ham is simply on or off like a water tap, it is either there or it isn’t. Southampton have been developing some form of their own which should worry Manuel Pellegrini who must be wondering how he can stop Ings who has been working the channels for Southampton efficiently. We can’t trust a West Ham asset right, but we can continue trusting Danny Ings who is proving he has a bright future at the Saints. Also we find it ironic picking a Saint as our differential at this time of year.
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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.