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 (GW22)
The FA Cup break is done, and it threw up about a few surprises. We resume normality with ten differential picks that should whet your appetite for the next ten games.
Tom Heaton (BUR), Kepa Arrizabalaga (CHE)
Tom Heaton (BURNLEY vs. Fulham)
So, why did Burnley buy Joe Hart? That is right, to create cover and competition for the other two English goalkeepers on their roster. Tom Heaton has come back into contention and started the last two games, and they have also won both games. Burnley won’t change this formula, and with Fulham at home it could be another promising Heaton performance to reconfirm his return to the minds of fantasy managers. A few years ago, he was the best non-premium goalkeeper in the FPL.
Kepa Arrizabalaga (CHELSEA vs. Newcastle)
Newcastle at home? Chelsea have won this exact fixture six times in a row, with the Blues keeping four clean sheets at Stamford Bridge against the Toon. Kepa will play, is rotation proof, and is currently the second-best goalkeeper when you count clean sheets, only behind Liverpool’s Alisson. This should be easy points, fingers crossed.
Sol Bamba (CRY), Ben Chilwell (LEI)
Sol Bamba (CARDIFF vs. Huddersfield)
Cardiff versus Huddersfield in the Championship seems like a colossal clash that would have plenty of goals, but here in the Premier League this match screams 0-0. Bamba has two returns from his last three games and has really surprised a lot of people of how he coped at his age in the most competitive league in the world. By that we mean he has been decent, but in a poor team.
Ben Chilwell (LEICESTER vs. Southampton)
Like Cardiff vs. Huddersfield this fixture screams 0-0. Ben Chilwell has attacking and defensive potential, so we are backing on him to deliver this week. We have previously trusted Jamie Vardy, but we favour defensive returns in this fixture to triumph.
James Milner (LIV), Gylfi Sigurdsson (EVE), Christian Eriksen (TOT), David Silva (MCI)
James Milner (Brighton vs. LIVERPOOL)
We didn’t know how to pick in this fixture, so we picked Mr. Reliable for Liverpool. Xherdan has been in and out, Henderson is injured, Fabinho will most likely be playing in central defence, the other defenders are all owned by a huge proportion of players, and so do the front three. That leaves Milner, and that is ok with us.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (EVERTON vs. Bournemouth)
Here we are again picking the Icelander as our differential in this fixture. Bournemouth’s visit to Goodison could be an absolute goal fest. Bournemouth have the league’s most questionable defence, it is either there or it isn’t. Ask any FPL manager about owning a Bournemouth defender and they will say ‘What is a Bournemouth defender?’ Queue Sigurdsson, a man for all occasions and our only thought in this match.
Christian Eriksen (SPURS vs. Man United)
Hueng-Min Son’s goalscoring feats have kept the ownership of the levels down into differential territory. Everyone is talking about the resurgence of the ‘Old Man United’ under OGS. ‘We are back to winning ways this’, ‘The title is coming home that’, ‘How did Pogba not get in the UEFA TOTS if Mbappe did, and Hazard was placed as a CM?’. Wait, the last point makes sense…moving on. We think people are overlooking Spurs because of the hype and have a huge seven returns of his last nine games which is just incredible. Eriksen is statistically going to do something in this game.
David Silva (MAN CITY vs. Wolves)
Man City destroyed Burton 9-0. They could field a pod of Octopus' and still qualify for the final, and that means they can rest their big players for the big games. Man City have a very tricky fixture in that Wolves just did over Spurs at Wembley, so it is a potential banana peel fixture. The Citizens will be only fielding their best team if they are to catch Liverpool and that includes Silva. They may need help of their trusted custodian if they are to get past Wolves in the title race.
Alexandre Lacazette (ARS), Troy Deeney (WAT)
Alexandre Lacazette (West Ham vs. ARSENAL)
We couldn’t believe it when we saw it, but the Frenchman is finally back to being classed as a differential. We know Arsenal can score goals, and we also know that West Ham can concede lots of goals. The way this season is going if you score one goal you could rise ownership by eight percent overnight, so we are going to potentially have one last opportunity to have Laca as a differential before it is too late.
Key Differential: Troy Deeney (Crystal Palace vs. WATFORD)
How do we at The Hype Train describe Troy Deeney? Worthy. The Englishman is, and has always been, worthy of our consideration for captaincy. Deeney is a goal scorer and the heartbeat of Watford. He hasn’t really got the plaudits because he hasn’t been a Kane or Aguero, but he has slowly showed everyone his class and pedigree in this league. When the going gets tough and Watford need a result, they turn to their Captain for picking up. Andre Gray fizzled out, so did Isaac Success, and they brought in Deulofeu, and then they paired him with Deeney, and the manager hasn’t looked back. Deeney has three goals and an assist from his last four games, and three of them returns came from the last game away to Bournemouth.
Deeney has been worthy of our consideration because each time we ignore him for a ‘better’ option he steps up and reminds us who he is. When we selected Chicharito in GW18 we didn’t consider Deeney, and he was the one to score, and the Mexican blanked on us. Of course he did. We aren’t making that mistake again and in a gameweek of uncertainty after the FA Cup games we are looking for certain starters, and right now that is Deeney.
Everyone looks at Palace hoping that Aaron Wan-Bissaka will provide them a return (wishful thinking, right?) but there are always plenty of disappointments and it wouldn’t be the worst return of the season to have Deeney continue his great form. It has been a long time since Deeney was the differential captain, making this a throwback week from many FPL managers.
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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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