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 (GW28)
After forty-eight hours the Premier League is back to taunt us Fantasy managers as the dreaded word returns to the conversation…rotation? Consider it like a roulette wheel of chaos, and the names that appear on the wheel will be a randomised assortment of ‘Why isn’t he playing?’ and ‘I dropped four points to have this benched player in my team!’ Well, we are here to help you with ten players that will most likely play. After injuries to Laporte, and most of Man United, here are ten names to consider for your team.
No goalkeepers this week, but we did get a call from Kepa demanding his place in this week’s picks.
Sead Kolasinac (ARS), Joel Matip (LIV), Nicolás Otamendi (MCI)
Sead Kolasinac (ARSENAL vs. Bournemouth)
The Bosnian was our best differential last week and is a real alternative to have in the Arsenal team. Most options are either Lacazette or Aubameyang. Getting up and down the left-flank, and against Bournemouth it could be another similar performance after his man of the match performance against another South Coast club, Southampton.
Joel Matip (LIVERPOOL vs. Watford)
Liverpool, at home, with two consecutive clean sheets. Another home game against Watford, and Matip is available and will play as the Reds have only had two fit centre halves for the past two months. Watford may have decimated Cardiff, but Liverpool are a different entity altogether.
Nicolás Otamendi (MAN CITY vs. West Ham)
The injury to Aymeric Laporte means that Otamendi is a shoe in to play this fixture, and right now we won’t debate a defensive pick from the Citizens. They are also without Fernandinho, but don’t let that fool you, you won’t expect a clean sheet, but it is probably what you will get against an either scolding hot or freezing cold West Ham.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (EVE), Diogo Jota (WOL), Harvey Barnes (LEI), Miguel Almirón (NEW), Nathan Redmond (SOU)
Gylfi Sigurdsson (Cardiff vs. EVERTON)
Insert generic comment on how Gylfi Sigurdsson is the best player in this match and is also a differential.
Diogo Jota (Huddersfield vs. WOLVES)
Wolves have few differentials which isn’t a surprise, they have one of the best forwards in the FPL, one of the better goalkeeping options, arguably the best right-back, and set-piece takers in Neves and Moutinho. Due to the congestion it leaves the outsiders, and the best of them is Diogo Jota who is next to Raul in the attack. Travelling the Huddersfield should be a rudimentary fixture for Wolves to keep climbing the table.
Harvey Barnes (LEICESTER vs. Brighton)
After being recalled on loan from West Brom, the young Englishman has shone for Leicester. So far from four starts the winger has two assists, and with Puel now departed it could be time for him to stake a claim under the guise of a new manager. Hosting Brighton shouldn’t be a problem for the Foxes who tend to quickly bounce after a manager is sacked.
Miguel Almirón (NEWCASTLE vs. Burnley)
Last week the Paraguayan was our differential captain, and boy oh boy did Miggy do everything other than provide a return. The midfielder was part of a three-pronged attack, playing on the left of Rondón and Perez. He was set through on goal and hit the bar, he could have had half a dozen more, and was also instrumental in setting up the Toon’s second goal. It was a debut to remember, but was missing that attacking return, but he has another home game to impress against Burnley. We are rolling the dice with Miggy until we strike gold, and there will be gold.
Gonzalo Higuaín (CHE), Michy Batshuayi (CRY)
Gonzalo Higuaín (CHELSEA vs. Spurs)
Burnley really did a number on Spurs, and now the North London club travel south to the Kensington area for their standoff with Chelsea, who after the most bizarre non-substitution of all time, ended up losing to Man City in the League Cup final it could be a time for a rebound after Chelsea redeemed themselves from their 6-0 loss only to fall short at the final hurdle. Spurs haven’t liked travelling to Stamford Bridge, and we haven’t seen what Higuaín can do against the top six clubs when given the service.
Michy Batshuayi (CRYSTAL PALACE vs. Man United)
The Belgian scored his first Palace goal against a poor Leicester team, and it might be the luckiest goal he scored after it caught the most convenient of deflection. That is what you need as a forward, just ask Harry Kane, he stole Loftus-Cheek’s goal against Panama at the World Cup in Russia in similar circumstances. After the injury reaper struck a quarter of the Man United team against Liverpool, is time running out for the league run that OGS is currently on? Palace has always been a banana peel for teams looking to cement themselves, so we are hoping a bit more luck for Batsman yields us a return.
Key Differential: Nathan Redmond (SOUTHAMPTON vs. Fulham)
Our last stop this week sees us travelling to the South Coast at a team desperately looking to form a good run of form to take them away from the threat of relegation. Southampton's initial surge under Ralpha Hassenhuttl has simmered, with The Saints looking well beaten at The Emirates on Sunday in a 2-0 defeat.
Back-to-back defeats at home to Cardiff and Arsenal have put Southampton in a must-win position against Fulham - a fixture that was a high-scoring affair in Fulham's favour in the return fixture. The 3-2 win, which was marked with doubles from Stephen Armstrong and Alexsander Mitrovic, promises the potential of even more goals this time out.
Nathan Redmond, who has started 26 of 27 league games this season has been a consistent presence in Southampton's team this season and ticks all of the boxes that we look for in a differential player. He's playing out of position in attack, is a bargain at £5.3 million and is playing the team that leaks goals for a living.
Redmond' 3 goals and 2 assists might not appeal to the statistician in you, but he's one of the ever-presents in a side that must perform in a high-stakes game against Fulham. Redmond, who might find himself on the shopping list in the summer if the club gets relegated, might find that form elusive form to persuade clubs to invest in the Englishman should tragedy strike.
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