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 (GW35)
Another week, another chaotic mess in the FPL. We told you there would be no normal gameweeks left this season. We are here to tell you to save your money from the con artists that are trying to sell you the ‘perfect team’ this Double Gameweek, and the only reason is that this is a free game, and nobody can predict the future. Settle down and lets take a look at the best differential options this Gameweek has to offer.
Kasper Schmeichel (LEI), Hugo Lloris (TOT)
Kasper Schmeichel: West Ham vs. LEICESTER
We wanted to include some goalkeeping options this week, and there are none better than Leicester’s Danish keeper. The Foxes travel to West Ham’s London Stadium, and in the form, they are in you can’t look past Leicester doing a clean sweep on the Hammers. Leicester may have lost their last game, but that was against a good Newcastle team. Something isn’t right at West Ham, which is good if you are looking at fantasy options for the weekend.
Hugo Lloris: SPURS vs. Man City (A) & Brighton (H)
Spurs have had a rejuvenation since their new stadium opened, and they have yet to concede a goal at the new White Hart Lane. We have selected their skipper Lloris for the Brighton game, but he wouldn’t be a bad bet over the two fixtures against Man City as well in the early Saturday fixture.
The truth is, Brighton look like they are going to struggle keeping their place in the Premier League next season. We can’t see Brighton troubling Spurs, and we are also concerned there may be rotation in their defensive ranks which makes Lloris a safer bet over the two fixtures.
Shkodran Mustafi (ARS), Joel Matip (LIV)
Shkodran Mustafi: ARSENAL vs. Crystal Palace (H) & Wolves (A)
Arsenal have just kept their first away clean sheet of the season, in bizarre circumstances of course, but it came at the expense of a ten-man Watford that lost Troy Deeney to a red card challenge that should have been rescinded. Arsenal host Crystal Palace, and we can see the Gunners stepping their game up to secure a place in the Top Four at the end of the season. Recent clean sheets against Man United and Napoli indicate that Unai Emery is getting the best out of his defence in the business end of the season.
Joel Matip: Cardiff vs. LIVERPOOL
You have seen the name what fees like a million times in our differentials this season, only because Liverpool’s defence is the best in the league and the rest of the teams are far from being differentials. Cardiff realistically may not trouble the Red’s defence which makes Matip an underrated option in this Double Gameweek.
Kevin De Bruyne (2), Diogo Jota (2), Callum Hudson-Odoi (CHE)
Kevin De Bruyne: MAN CITY vs. Spurs (H) & Man United (A)
The Belgian has two fixtures this week, and with Man City’s recent elimination from the Champions League at the hand of Spurs it may be the same starting eleven from Pep until the end of the season if they are going to see off the challenge of Liverpool.
Kevin De Bruyne has been on a bit of a hot streak of late, he got three assists against Spurs in their Champions League elimination game, and prior to that De Bruyne has started and played all ninety minutes against Cardiff and Crystal Palace.
In both fixtures he picked up eleven points in each of these games, against Cardiff it was a goal and maximum bonus, and against Palace it was two assists and maximum bonus. The De Bruyne of last season has returned, and he could be the difference between the Premier League trophy between now and the end of the season.
Diogo Jota: WOLVES vs. Brighton (H) & Arsenal (H)
We have been here before, picking Jota in a Double Gameweek. Last time out it worked, kind of, but we consider a DGW wasted if a player is rotated. Jota returned in one game last time out when Wolves defeated Man United in GW32, but prior to that lost against Burnley at Turf Moor in a horrid performance.
Wolves are a lot better at home, and the good thing is that both games in GW35 are at Molineux. Oddly, we see Wolves getting more against Arsenal than Brighton, as recently they are the Robin Hood of the Premier League by taking points off the rich and giving them to the poor. Either way Jota is a lock for this Gameweek as he will be playing out-of-position alongside Raul.
Callum Hudson-Odoi: CHELSEA vs. Burnley
We have been waiting thirty-five gameweeks to include CHO into our differential picks, and it has been a long time for Sarri to realise that when you play ambitious young and extremely talented forwards that it results in wins. CHO was rested in the Europa League win against Slavia Prague to keep him fit for the Burnley game, and for better or worse we are sticking with our guns with CHO this gameweek.
Joshua King (BOU), Andre Gray (2), Ayoze Pérez (NEW), Romelu Lukaku (MUN)
Joshua King: BOURNEMOUTH vs. Fulham
Bournemouth look so much better defensively with Steve Cook amidst their ranks, and usually a team with a better defence also is better at the front as well. One group of players that a lot of FPL managers may be regretting dropping in their wildcard would be Bournemouth attackers. Last time out, Bournemouth routed Brighton, and Josh King ran the show. He may have not received an attacking return, but he was the man pulling the strings, sooner or later that will come good and against Fulham you would expect a classic Eddie Howe performance against a relegated team.
Ayoze Pérez: NEWCASTLE vs. Southampton
Usually in this fixture we go for Ayoze’s Venezuelan strike partner Rondón, but the man of the hour right now amongst the Toon is their Spanish forward who inspired them to victory over Leicester. One thing you can’t deny Rafa Benitez is that he can squeeze every drop of potential out of a player, his teams work hard, and take their chances. Perez has been the definition of that mentality this season, and he has earned our praise, and our pick for the game against Southampton. Truthfully, we can’t see how Southampton’s resurgence carries them into luck at St James Park, because there, it is the Toon who make their luck.
Romelu Lukaku: MAN UNITED vs. Everton (A) & Man City (H)
Manchester United are in this oDuble Gameweek, did you know? An away trip to Everton, and then hosting Man City in what could be a title deciding game. Those are two fixtures that you tend to think ‘Hell No’, but with United out of the Champions League due to some Leo Messi brilliance, it will be all hands-on deck to get Man United into the Champions League spaces. Here at The Hype Train we believe in the former player curse, and if there is someone to cause uproar in this game it is the former Toffee golden boy, Lukaku.
Key Differential: Andre Gray - WATFORD vs. Huddersfield (A) & Southampton (H)
Watford have the perfect Double Gameweek, on paper. Huddersfield away, and Southampton at home. Those are two very winnable fixtures and combine both defensive and offensive allure that makes them an appealing option for this Gameweek. The bad news is that Troy Deeney was sent off against Arsenal in what was the most ridiculous red card of the season.
The good news is that Andre Gray is the exact same price as Deeney and is now going to play both games due to an unavailability of players at Javi Gracia’s disposal. Even better news is that in his pre-match conference the manager has urged the Hornets to show ‘no mercy’ against relegated Huddersfield, and we assume that also means making problems worse for Southampton.
Among the Hornet’s ranks Roberto Pereyra, Gerard Deulofeu, and Troy Deeney are missing from their attacking arsenal. Andre Gray played all the game against Arsenal, and he will be expected to do the same against Huddersfield and Southampton. We didn’t expect to pick Andre Gray, and not a lot of FPL managers will want to take the risk with a Watford player for captain when there are Spurs, City, and United options this Double Gameweek to pick from. Against Fulham, Gray picked up two assists to help sink Fulham even deeper, and his last goal was at home against Leicester in GW29 after coming off the bench to give them the win. Andre Gray is a talented striker, and right now Javi Gracia has no alternative than to trust him this Gameweek.
A lot of FPL accounts will try and literally sell you a spreadsheet of ‘answers’ for the Gameweek. And for free, yes…free, we will tell you how they analyse the Gameweek. FPL con artists like Ben Cre…we mean, a nobody, have a ranking system for fixtures and will try and sell you obvious player picks as if you have never heard your own name before. These con-artists would have said something along the lines of… “Let me tell you about a player with perfect fixtures, no rotation issues, and they carry a little bit of form going into the Gameweek. Nobody is telling you about him because they aren’t telling you their secrets, and his name is *redacted*. And for £20 you can have my Double Gameweek secrets!”
Here is how we rank the teams and their fixtures for the upcoming Double Gameweek.
0/2 - Brighton have two tough away games (Wolves & Spurs)
0/2 - Southampton have two uncomfortable away fixtures (Newcastle & Watford).
0/2 - Manchester City have two tough fixtures (Spurs & Man United).
1/2 - Spurs have one bad fixture, and one good one (Man City & Brighton).
1/2 - Manchester United have one uncertain fixture, and one bad fixture (Everton & Man City).
1/2 - Wolves have a good home fixture, and another sketchy home fixture (Brighton & Man City)
1/2 - Arsenal have a good home game but a tricky away fixture (Palace & Wolves)
2/2 - Watford have two very winnable fixtures (Huddersfield & Southampton).
Watford are the only team with a perfect ranking. Andre Gray is the player that those nobodies will try and sell you for a quick buck. It is tempting to have your eye on premium options considering that Man City, United, and Spurs are involved. We have seen a lot of Southampton players involved in draft teams too and we are confused as Newcastle and Watford are tough places to go to get a result. We trust in the fixtures, and due to his low price Gray is a perfect contender for our differential captain this week.
You can save your money for a rainy day.
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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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