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 (GW20)
Sergio Rico (FUL)
Sergio Rico (FULHAM vs. Huddersfield)
We start with Fulham’s Rico who secured us four points in the differentials last week in a 1-1 draw with Wolves. Ranieri is changing attitudes at the Cottage and looking to shore things up defensively which could be good for Rico who now faces Huddersfield who are struggling to score on their own merit. This fixture could be the perfect platform for Ranieri to continue rebuilding the leagues most leaky defence.
Dejan Lovren (LIV)
Dejan Lovren (LIVERPOOL vs. Arsenal)
Amazingly, the Croat made Garth Crook’s ‘coveted’ team of the week alongside regular Paul Pogba, and ahead of Virgil van Dijk. Garth wrote about Lovren as if he was a terrible defender and it was a miracle, he made his ten players plus Pogba. We think Lovren has been Liverpool’s most improved player under Klopp and has been showing signs of his renewed ability with five out seven returns in the FPL so far. After his superb volley against Newcastle we aren’t doubting him on his current form, and it could be a comfortable home win at Fortress Anfield this weekend.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (EVE), Christian Eriksen (TOT), Gerard Deulofeu (WAT), Andros Townsend (CRY), Robert Snodgrass (WHU), Jesse Lingard (MUN)
Gylfi Sigurdsson (Brighton vs. EVERTON)
After a few wobbly weeks and a lack of returns the Icelander has returned to form with returns against Spurs and Burnley with two goals and an assist. The playmaker is showing how pivotal he is again, and with a promising seven fixtures ahead of him without top six teams it could be time to return to banking on Everton again for big returns. First up is Brighton who have been hot and cold all season.
Christian Eriksen (SPURS vs. Wolves)
The Dane is proving to be very popular in the differentials, and after his best return of the season against Bournemouth in the 5-0 win it is now three goals and one assist in the last three games, and three goals and four assists in the last seven games. This form makes our life easier in picking the differentials, normally we have a headache picking options in Spurs games, so we are letting the dice roll with this ridiculous form.
Andros Townsend (CRYSTAL PALACE vs. Chelsea)
Chelsea’s defence has been prone to faltering of late, and as Marcos Alonso’s returns dry up, we look to Crystal Palace for this game’s differentials. Earlier in the season Townsend scored against the Blues at Stamford Bridge, and, he scored the goal of the season against Man City. Townsend is proving that he can produce magical moments for his team more frequently, so that is what we are banking on this this fixture for a return.
Robert Snodgrass (Burnley vs. WEST HAM)
Injuries to West Ham mean that there are few differentials to pick, so we continue selecting Robert Snodgrass who is the player most capable of providing a return. He was unlucky against Southampton not to get something, so we think he can make good on his recent purple patch by making things worse for a sinking Burnley.
Jesse Lingard (MAN UNITED vs. Bournemouth)
Suddenly, and without almost any prompt the England midfielder is on the cusp of no longer being a differential. After a season of no returns, in the last three weeks the playmaker has three goals and two assists, and nearly over eight percent ownership. Ever since Mourinho was sacked, and Ole Gunnar Solskjær replaced him, Lingard has burst into life (like most of the Man United team, surprise, surprise!). After Bournemouth’s recent capitulation against Spurs we think another drumming is on their hands again, and if there are lots of goals, we are backing Lingard to be among them.
Jamie Vardy (LEI), Danny Ings (SOU)
Jamie Vardy (LEICESTER vs. Cardiff)
Here we are again, picking Jamie Vardy in the differentials in what should be a relatively easy fixture for Leicester to navigate. The Foxes host Cardiff, the relegation threatened Welsh team, and here we are debating if Vardy will do anything as both of his last returns came against Chelsea and Man City, top six teams.
The upcoming fixtures for Leicester are Cardiff, Everton, Southampton, and Wolves which should be easy points for the former England forward. Afterwards it is Liverpool, Man United, and then Spurs in a row and that is where we think Vardy will come to life. We are picking Vardy on the sole potential of the fixture but concerned that due to his scoring pattern that we may regret not picking Maddison instead.
Danny Ings (SOUTHAMPTON vs. Man City)
Do you remember Fabio Borini? The Italian scored the winner at Stamford Bridge for Sunderland in 2014 which helped keep the Black Cats in the league, and dent Chelsea’s title chances. He was also on loan from Liverpool and played his part in an eventual failure in the title race for the Reds.
There are similarities with this pick as Danny Ings is on loan at Southampton and he is in a similar position to Borini playing a red and white striped top having to do Liverpool a favour against their title rivals, whilst playing for a club threatened with relegation. City’s current form indicates that lightening could strike twice with Ings helping his parent club in their pursuit of the title.
Ings has already scored against Man City, a penalty at the Etihad, so will have confidence stepping up against a defence with just 1 clean sheet in 8 league matches.
Key Differential: Gerard Deulofeu (WATFORD vs. Newcastle)
Yes, that is right, you are reading the name of a budget midfielder as the differential captain. Gerard Deulofeu has burst into life in the last set of fixtures and has two goals and an assist with returns coming against Cardiff and West Ham. Travelling to Vicarage Road at the weekend is Newcastle who recently shipped four goals against a rampant Liverpool, and Rafa will be wary of his countryman in this fixture who has the pace and raw ability to unhinge the Toon on their travels.
Newcastle are in danger of hitting a run of form that could make or break their season, all it takes is one, maybe two, bad results to be threatened with relegation in their position. Watford on the other hand are a team who are looking to break ground in the top half of the table and are potentially in running for a Europa League qualification place which is their aim.
Watford are finding their home a more comfortable setting to pick up wins, and Deulofeu is the man to be giving Rafa sleepless nights, and whilst we know what we get from the likes of Success and Deeney who are more conventional forwards, the pacey forward has more dynamism which makes him a larger threat to Newcastle’s clean sheet. This makes the Spaniard the perfect differential, and a logical choice to place our captaincy faith in for the coming weekend.
We have a history of selecting Watford forwards in these types of fixtures with a degree of success, but instead of placing the usual faith in Deeney, we are looking at the out-of-position Deulofeu to fill the role in this fixture.
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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.