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 (GW24)
The FA Cup’s most recent ventures are done and dusted, and as a result we are left with this cumbersome midweek game’s, followed by more fixtures at the weekend, because…why not? It isn’t like fantasy writers have lives outside of predicting line-ups, is it?
No goalkeepers this week, but if you are looking for a great shout then Martin Dubravka could be a game changer, or Bernd Leno, and lastly Kasper Schmeichel.
Danilo Luiz da Silva (MCI), Jannik Vestergaard (SOU)
Danilo Luiz da Silva (Newcastle vs. MAN CITY)
Manchester City are unbeaten against Newcastle in their last twenty-two games, in what is now the most predictable fixture of all time. Yes, City were even beating Newcastle before the money. It is also the one where Aguero gets his big Gameweek scores that people often triple captain him in. What we also see in this game is defensive potential, as Newcastle are struggling in front of goal at home. Danilo is playing and has attacking returns on his side, as is the standout pick to start this week’s differentials.
Jannik Vestergaard (SOUTHAMPTON vs. Crystal Palace)
You wouldn’t believe it, but Southampton have won five out of their last seven games against Crystal Palace in all competitions. This hasn’t been a kind fixture for the Eagles, barring last season when they beat Southampton on the coast.
The problem is for FPL potential when considering Southampton is that there is a barren abyss of points when you think about mid table teams visiting St Marys. There are few people who want to trust Palace assets, but we will trust a Southampton on our instinct that this game could be dead air.
We haven’t trusted Jannik yet, but he’ll play, and that is good enough for us.
Ryan Babel (FUL), Gylfi Sigurdsson (EVE), Diogo Jota (WOL), Anthony Martial (MUN), Naby Keita (LIV), Christian Eriksen (TOT)
Ryan Babel (FULHAM vs. Brighton)
A good first impression on his debut for Fulham could be backed up with a first attacking return against a Brighton side who are embarking on a run of good fixtures. You won't miss his orange hair this weekend, andwe won't forget his name here if the former Liverpool man net for our differentials.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (Huddersfield vs. EVERTON)
The Icelander is a deep well of fantasy points, and with the Toffees travelling to Huddersfield it will either only keep unravelling their season, or it might be the kickstart they need to overcome that Divock Origi goal at Anfield in injury time. Sigurdsson can make something from nothing and pushed the goal issue as opposed to shying away from it.
Diogo Jota (WOLVES vs. West Ham)
Scoring a hat-trick last week is good enough to make it into the differentials, and prior to missing four games to injury the midfielder who is playing in an advanced attacking role scored goals and assisted twice in three games to jump-start his interest. Jota is having his best-ever season, and with a wobbly West Ham visiting it wouldn’t surprise us to see him add to his ongoing purple patch.
Anthony Martial (MAN UNITED vs. Burnley)
United are now as good as prime Real Madrid according to the people I follow on twitter, and Martial is turning out to be better than Ronaldo before he left the Red Devils. Rashford is as good as Raul, and Jesse Lingard is an in-form Ballon’Dor winning Kaka. I’m trusting twitter who say that Manchester United are course to win their eight straight game and win the European TOTS award.
Naby Keita (LIVERPOOL vs. Leicester)
Trusting our friends on Twitter, apparently Naby lives in a Grundon, and he is as good as Jack Rodwell when compared to Paul Pogba. Rodwell technically has won the Premier League, but who are we to compare? I mean if Naby is as goo as this guy then we must trust that our good friends on twitter when they make these comparisons. Liverpool should be able to navigate Leicester.
Alexandre Lacazette (ARS), Gonzalo Higuaín (CHE)
Alexandre Lacazette (ARSENAL vs. Cardiff)
Arsenal host Cardiff in what is this week’s most overlooked fixture of the week. Arsenal have been undefeated against Cardiff since the forgotten days of football in the English Division One back on February 1961, five years before West Ham won the World Cup. Lacazette has two goals from his last two home goals and is odds on to do better than Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. How is he a differential?
Gonzalo Higuaín (Bournemouth vs. CHELSEA)
We can’t have this week’s differentials without Alvaro Morata 2.0 making an appearance. We’re kidding, kind of. The biggest contrast of Morata and Higuain is that they are playing in different leagues and for different teams. Sarri has a vision of how ‘Sarriball’ works, and if Higuain is asked to do the same things that Morata was tasked with then it may be a case of mistakes repeating themselves. It may just be a thing of taking your chances, and if the Argentine can at least do that he will be a fan favourite in no time. We are banking on him to at least make an instant impact to his start.
Key Differential: Christian Eriksen (SPURS vs. Watford)
For the last week @HypeTrainRob has repeatedly asked the question “have you changed your mind yet over the differential captaincy?” And the answer is no, and every time the question is asked it emboldens the captaincy selection this week that is locked in with Spurs Danish attacking midfielder.
The North London club are a great example of the term ‘differential’. No Kane, no Alli, and Son is just back from the Asian Games after being dumped out of the Asian Games by Qatar of all teams. You don’t know what you are going to get out of Spurs right now after they have been knocked out of both cup competitions in less than a week.
On a Premier League level Eriksen has eight returns from his most recent eleven games which is outstanding for a player who has been shadowed by the rampant form of Kane and Son (who tore apart households when they were both hitting double digits in the same week).
As we mentioned last week it is the duty of their key players left to take responsibility for the goals on their shoulders, and it was Eriksen who provided for Winks’ winner against Fulham last week. We are rolling the dice with Eriksen who has been nothing but prolific in our differentials and has slowly worked up the ladder to being differential captain. Ten of the twelve total returns have occurred in the last eleven games.
“Have you changed your mind yet over the differential captaincy?”
In a week where we have Higuaín making his Premier League debut, a central midfielder shoved out at left-midfielder at Liverpool, and an Icelander who is the only thing from Everton’s season going into freefall, Eriksen is the sanest bet out of them all. So, no, our mind has not been changed.
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.