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WEEKLY WILDCARDS 2018/19: FPL Gameweek 21

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.


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.


  • 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 (GW21)

Happy New Year, and welcome to another instalment of ‘I have run out of ideas and I don’t trust algorithms, so I’m listening to this crazy list for advice on my team!’. This week we discuss ten players who are locked in to play for their teams this week during rotation seasons most dangerous period over the holiday period. After a mere two days the games resume and that means FPL managers will be sweating bullets in the run up to this Gameweek. We have your back, and here are ten differentials we think will (hopefully) do something to kick off the new year despite the high ownership options.

Goalkeepers (1/10)

Kepa Arrizabalaga (CHE)

Kepa Arrizabalaga (CHELSEA vs. Southampton)

Chelsea will rotate, and there are injuries, and general uncertainty now as to why the Blues keep spending money on forwards who do nothing for them. They do have a goalkeeper of real quality that contributes for them, and won’t be rotated, so we will chance a clean sheet against Southampton.

Defenders (3/10)

Yerry Mina (EVE), Sead Kolasinac (ARS), Dejan Lovren (LIV)

Yerry Mina (EVERTON vs. Leicester)

Rotation could hurt Everton, but they are now dependant on Mina who was signed from Barcelona in the summer. Leicester are a tricky number as they tend to only do better against the teams in the top half of the table and then do horrendously against the teams in the lower half (case and point beating City and Chelsea, and then losing to Cardiff at home). Mina is a good pick if you want a player who is locked onto the team sheet and is also a threat from set pieces as he now has two goals.

Sead Kolasinac (ARSENAL vs. Fulham)

Arsenal host Fulham. Arsenal beat Fulham. Arsenal do it in style. Arsenal keep clean sheet against promoted club. Simple logic people, that is what we are backing in this fixture.

Dejan Lovren (Man City vs. LIVERPOOL)

The self-proclaimed best central defender in the world didn’t have van Dijk next to him at the Etihad last season in their 5-0 loss, and it shows how far the Reds have come in such a short space of time. Lovren was substituted in that fixture after losing two headers to Gabriel Jesus, and an overall terrible performance. Now though, Liverpool are in the driving seat and Lovren has been class. This a differential picked due to the potential of a comeback story for Lovren, and he also has a goal and assist in his last two games as well to sweeten the returns pot.

Midfielders (3/10)

Christian Eriksen, David Brooks, Morgan Gibbs-White

Christian Eriksen (Cardiff vs. SPURS)

The best differential in this fixture between Spurs and Cardiff is the Dane. He’ll play, Spurs will probably score, and knowing their luck they will concede the most random of goals, so we are playing it safe this week by keeping with Eriksen for yet another week.

David Brooks (BOURNEMOUTH vs. Watford)

There could be goals in this fixture, and there are also few differentials of worth other than Brooks and Deulofeu, and typically this is the type of fixture that Bournemouth win and have a good chance of making a strong impression in front of goal. Brooks has two goals from his last two matches at the Vitality Stadium against Brighton. He also picked up an assist against Manchester United, so we are hoping his form carries over to another home game.

Morgan Gibbs-White (WOLVES vs. Crystal Palace)

Why not? The English forward has been in the front three of Wolves in the last few games and is primed to start this game after injuries to the other players. We don’t know who to select from this fixture, so we are going to go outside of the box and select the young Englishman in hope he can impress.

Forwards (3/10)

Steve Mounie (HUD), Marko Arnautovic (WHU), Salomón Rondón (WHU)

Steve Mounie (HUDDERSFIELD vs. Burnley)

Remember him, Steve Mounie? The Terriers forward scored two goals on his Premier League debut last season, and the name is infamous because @HypeTrainRob selected the forward as his number one draft pick. This fixture provides the perfect opportunity for another appraisal of the forward who has two assists in his last three games. Mounie has been close to a goal, and just about anyone can score against Burnley this season.

Salomón Rondón (NEWCASTLE vs. Man United)

This fixture gave me the easiest choice we had to make all season. In this fixture between the two United’s we had to select the best forward option of either Salomón Rondón or Romelu Lukaku, and after spending a whole minute in deliberation over who the better forward is that can score a goal and we decided unanimously on the Venezuelan, Salomón Rondón.

Key Differential: Marko Arnautovic

Here we are again, ending the differentials with a West Ham forward. Although, the first time we have picked Arnautovic after his long injury layoff ended. The Austrian’s return couldn’t come at a better time for Count Pellegrini and West Ham after injury to Chicharito, as the alternative option was to play Andy Carroll who had only recently returned from injury and we all know what is in store for him sooner rather than later. Marko has proved his quality this season, and alongside Felipe Anderson has been West Ham’s most important player. Linking together the attack and midfield, Marko excels at running between the channels to cause havoc, working alongside Snodgrass and Felipe to try and unhinge the leagues defences.

Arnautovic isn’t a player we feel that must be sold to you, he has eight attacking returns from fourteen games this season (five goals, three assists) which is a solid performance so far to his season, so we know that when he plays there is a good chance that he is involved in the Hammers goal output. West Ham are in themselves an ultimate differential…they either show up and are electric, or, as was the case against Burnley only a few days ago, they are a shadow of their potential. Hosting Brighton should be a favourable fixture for the Hammers, the Seagulls have a torrid away record and their points are concentrated mostly at the Amex. It is fitting we select a player now forgotten after a promising start to captain our differentials, he was once owned by nearly 1.4million players, and now it is around the 377,928 mark, pretty much eliminating all the live players that once had him and leaving all the inactive dead teams representing his entire ownership. Arnautovic is in a position where he must start to win back that once great following to where he is now a differential for the first time this entire season.

Want to know more about The Hype Train?

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.

As well as providing FPL articles on our website, we are a founding Contributor to the new Fantasy Football Hub, where you can find more unique articles, including weekly Power Rankings, from The Hype Team. You can support us and read exclusive members only content for just £2 per-month by clicking here.

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.

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All aboard.


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