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 (GW33)
Fifteen games last week, and now we’re back to business with only six games in this rotation period of the season. Oh, and those six games don’t include double-Gameweek teams such as Spurs, United, and Man City. All that planning is now put to the wayside, and we are here to help with six players of differential status to help with the reduced Gameweek planning.
Kepa Arrizabalaga (CHE)
Kepa Arrizabalaga (CHELSEA vs. West Ham)
We were so happy to see Calum Hodson-Odoi get his first Premier League start, and even happier to see the young Englishman register an assist for Giroud. The only thing that we are uncertain over is whether or not this one-off appearance is sustainable, mostly because Sarri has been reluctant to choose Hudson-Odoi up until now, and it looks like the only reason he was starting was due to there being a Double Gameweek and the need to rotate.
This week we trust Kepa to jeep his place in goal, and against West Ham there is a strong chance for a clean sheet. The Hammers have been woeful in the past month and it makes sense to trust defensive assets in this fixture.
Joel Matip (LIV), Benjamin Chilwell (LEI)
Joel Matip (Southampton vs. LIVERPOOL)
The Cameroonian defender has a regular spot in our differentials because the Reds don’t have many differentials, but they are good defensively. There is no logic in backing against Liverpool, so we are going to keep trusting their defence to come up good with the fantasy points.
Benjamin Chilwell (Huddersfield vs. LEICESTER)
Leicester have won their last three games under the guidance of Brendan Rodgers, and the Foxes have scored in all four games he has been in charge, and for the first time against Bournemouth they recorded their first clean sheet since GW21 against Everton. Against Huddersfield you want a player with both attacking and defensive returns, and Chilwell ticks both boxes.
For the first time in, well…ever, we haven’t selected any midfield options. There are few differential midfielders of worth in these fixtures. You could look at Miguel Almiron of Newcastle, James Maddison of Leicester, David Brooks of Bournemouth, and at a push an Everton midfielder if you trust Arsenal to keep conceding on the road.
Joshua King (BOU), Salomón Rondón (NEW), Alexandre Lacazette (ARS)
Joshua King (BOURNEMOUTH vs. Burnley)
Bournemouth host Burnley on Saturday, and this has the potential to be a banana peel fixture because the Clarets scored in eight of the last ten fixtures, and they most recently curbed their bad form by beating a rotated Wolves team comfortably at Turf Moor. The good news for Bournemouth is that they have some excellent attacking talent, and King is the top of that list.
The Norwegian scored two goals in their most recent home game against Newcastle, and beyond the fixture with Burnley it is decent fixture after decent fixture for the Cherries. The only tough fixture they have left is a GW37 tie against Spurs, so King may be an investment for the rest of the season.
Alexandre Lacazette (Everton vs. ARSENAL)
Arsenal have two of the best forwards in the league and selecting Lacazette has been teetering on the differential tightrope for most of the season, and with Aubameyang the popular choice, the Frenchman is the starting forward for Arsenal as the Gunners go further into the Europa League. Statistically, Lacazette has six consecutive fantasy returns which includes four goals and three assists. Arsenal are pushing hard for a top four spot, and they travel to Everton whose record against the top six isn’t great.
Key Differential: Salomón Rondón (NEWCASTLE vs. Crystal Palace)
Newcastle are if not anything else…predictable. Looking at their most recent fixtures they have notched up draws against good mid-table teams such as Wolves and Bournemouth on the road and have lost two away games against London clubs by the same 2-0 score-line (West Ham and Arsenal). The Toon have also won their last five consecutive home games:
Newcastle 3-0 Cardiff
Newcastle 2-1 Man City
Newcastle 2-0 Huddersfield
Newcastle 2-0 Burnley
Newcastle 3-2 Everton
This is good reading for predicting possible scores as Rondón has double digit returns against Everton and Huddersfield, and aside from the home form Rondón scored against Bournemouth in GW31. The trend is clear that Newcastle have now got stuck into a pattern where they struggle away from home, but at St James Park they are more expressive and have better attacking rhythm.
This weeks' visiting team to the North is Crystal Palace who just lost to Spurs at their new stadium. Good teams have gone to Newcastle and still lost which says everything about how Rafa Benitez sets his team up, with Rondón the focal point of their efforts. Predictability is a good thing when you are looking for captaincy options, and Rondón fits the bill perfectly in the absence of City, Man United, and Spurs assets from this Gameweek.
If you are unsure if Liverpool will score lots of goals at Southampton, you could be bold and entrust the armband to the in-form Rondón instead.
Newcastle have three remaining home games against Palace, Southampton, and Liverpool. Overall, the Toon have good fixtures to end the season, barring the Liverpool fixture, and a player like Rondón in your team wouldn’t be the worst investment for the end of season run-in.
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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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