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 (GW27)
The El-Plastico to decide the League Cup removes four teams from this Gameweek, leaving only eight fixtures. That means you may have players that need replacing for a week, and we have eight outsiders who may be able to make a big impact in this reduced weekend of games.
Artur Boruc (BOU)
Artur Boruc (BOURNEMOUTH vs. Wolves)
This isn’t the differential you would expect from this game, especially with Wolves visiting the South Coast. Since coming into the team due to Asmir Begovic’s recent refusal to commit his future, the Polish goalkeeper has kept two clean sheets at the Vitality against West Ham and Chelsea, but not kept any away to Cardiff or Liverpool. Should this trend continue it should be a shock in the face of all the FPL managers backing Wolves assets.
Sead Kolasinac (ARS)
Sead Kolasinac (ARSENAL vs. Southampton)
As @HypeTrainRob put in his Forecast this week when best describing Arsenal's upcoming fixture: “Southampton, bad.”
This couldn’t be any truer as the Saints are on the precipice of dropping down to the Championship. Arsenal will take solace in this fixture after losing to BATE in the Europa League. Last Gameweek the Bosnian left-back had an up-and-down week as he was locked in for twelve points plus, before conceding an own-goal of his own making. Against Southampton it should hopefully be smooth sailing, and Sead has shown he can get returns at every area of the pitch, evident by picking up six assists so far this season.
Christian Eriksen (TOT), Miguel Almirón (NEW), Andros Townsend (CRY), Naby Keita (LIV)
Christian Eriksen (Burnley vs. SPURS)
The reliable Dane picked up thirteen points in the home victory over Leicester and highlighted his importance to the team without Harry Kane. Operating as the central attacking threat behind Son and Llorente, the attacker is on set pieces, and is a differential due to Son’s rise in prominence (and the Dane being much more expensive). Burnley away from home shouldn’t be an issue for Spurs who are steadily picking up points to chase the leading pack of Liverpool and Man City.
Andros Townsend (Leicester vs. CRYSTAL PALACE)
The reason we didn’t pick Jamie Vardy was that this wasn’t a big enough game for the Englishman who now gets most of his goals against the top six clubs. One player who can surprise you with a bit of magic this season is Andros Townsend. The versatile winger has been at the heart of the Palace attack this season, and his last two returns came away at Liverpool and their feeder club, Southampton. Leicester can’t be relied upon defensively, which is a shame for fantasy managers.
Naby Keita (Man United vs. LIVERPOOL)
You are probably thinking about why the differential in this match is the man from Guinea. After two incredibly promising performance against Bournemouth and Bayern Munich, the former RB Leipzig midfielder has started ramping up his performances after a bumpy start to his life at Liverpool. Keita is taking players on and is getting into goal-scoring opportunities. Just imagine his first goal in the number eight shirt, formerly of Steven Gerrard, happening at Old Trafford against the old rivals Man United.
Oumar Niasse (CAR), Marko Arnautovic (WHU)
Oumar Niasse (CARDIFF vs. Watford)
The Senegalese forward has been on the cusp of scoring for Cardiff, and it just hasn’t happened for his yet. Since the club had closure over the tragic fate of Emiliano Sala, the Bluebirds fought heroically to overturn their result against Southampton in a 2-1 win. We roll the dice with Niasse against Watford where he nearly ended up when Marco Silva was in charge.
Marko Arnautovic (WEST HAM vs. Fulham)
A familiar face in the differentials belongs to the West Ham forward, Marko Arnautovic. A home fixture against Fulham sounds like the dream fixture, even if the Hammers have been immensely flaky in their form. One week they can be on fire, and then the next they forget how to pass forward, defend, or generally act like a group of players. Marko is their best player alongside Anderson, and it should be a rudimentary affair against the Premier League’s worst defence.
Key Differential: Miguel Almirón (NEWCASTLE vs. Huddersfield)
We weren’t expecting for Newcastle’s record buy to start on the bench against Wolves, but a cameo performance full of promise surely paints the picture of an attack minded player who has pace to burn. Able to operate as one of two strikers, as the central attacking midfielders, or as a left winger, there will be room for him in Rafa Benitez’s team after the Toon went to Spain for a warm weather training camp. After two weeks, the Paraguayan should surely now have settled into life, and because there are only eleven remaining fixtures, we’d expect that he was now ready. This is the kind of league where you do need to hit the ground running, especially when your team is amid a relegation fight.
Last time out we selected Almirón whose cameo against Wolves was a welcome twenty minutes. He didn’t displace a ball, chased the ball, and nearly setup Ayoze Perez but the Spaniard headed over. It had everything to make you see that he has taken to the Premier League like a duck on water. The next test is against Huddersfield at home, and the Terriers are surely out of the picture long-term Premier League barring a miracle of unseen proportions. This is the perfect match for Almirón to show what he can do in front of a rabid home crowd. We stand by everything we said in the last week about Almirón; he is a winner that was the decisive factor in Atlanta win the MLS Cup final against Portland.
Almirón left the MLS a champion. Without him, Atlanta were nothing (well, they wouldn't have won MLS Cup). If that doesn’t tell you about his pedigree, then nothing will. He was so good that he was indispensable to the American club, and that is the calibre of players that Newcastle need now…game changers. Almirón has the potential to do that, and without the majority of people seeing him perform it could be an eye opening ninety minutes at St James Park on Saturday.
Other Consideration: Fabian Schär
Player: Fabian Schär (NEW, DEF, £4.6mil, 1.3% ownership)
Speaking of Newcastle, one of their standout players has been the Swiss defender, Fabian Schär. The defender is playing as the advanced ball carrying right centre-back in a three. Having settled into his role, he has made Newcastle a better team defensively. If there is any other player in this fixture to consider then the Swiss shouldn’t be ignored.
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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.
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