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 (GW36)
There are only three Gameweek's left of the season, and after a Double Gameweek that yielded few captaincy options except for one in the form of Andre Gray, there is a community of people wishing to go back in time to start over. We advised that Gray had the best chance to be the top scoring forward, and all over the community we are seeing people disappointed be the likes of Son, Jimenez, and Llorente blank.
Even Aguero had a small return with one assist. The warnings were there, as most the teams had mixed fixtures, and few people wanted to trust the fixtures. The top player of the Gameweek banked on Watford differential players to captain his team.
Welcome to the differentials, where we give you options that nobody is including in their forecast teams for the weeks. Get comfortable and explore ten low ownership options for the upcoming Gameweek.
Kepa Arrizabalaga (CHE)
Kepa Arrizabalaga (Man United vs. CHELSEA)
Man United versus Chelsea is a bit of an odyssey in the Premier League, but right now it is a game that could decide if whether team has the ability to make it into the Champions League places come the end of the season. In the foreshadowing eleven Premier League games between the two sides there have been seven instances of either team keeping a clean sheet against each other.
There have been few draws between these two teams, they always have a point to prove to each other. But, right now, they are both in a flux position unable to make ground on their top four hopes. Man United just ended a double Gameweek with six goals conceded against Man City and Everton, and it is unbelievable that they conceded the majority of those to Everton.
United need to pick themselves up. Meanwhile, Chelsea have failed to ride the waves of momentum yet again after a draw with Burnley. In such a hotly contested fixture, and both teams needing a win, we can see a tight and cagey affair that will most likely yield defensive points. Chelsea are the more capable, and that is the only justification we need to select Kepa from the assets in this game.
Toby Alderweireld (TOT), John Stones (MCI)
Toby Alderweireld (SPURS vs. West Ham)
Spurs are yet to concede a goal at their new stadium, and with West Ham visiting this weekend we can see that record continuing. Alderweireld has shown his worth in the recent month, and the Belgian has two clean sheets from fixtures with Palace and Brighton at the New Stadium. They will want to keep sharp ahead of a huge Champions League tie against Ajax.
John Stones (Burnley vs. MAN CITY)
We have no idea what to do when there is a City fixture, we are banking on their being some defensive rotation, and after Vincent Kompany’s shaky performance we can see John Stones coming back into defence alongside Laporte for this tie. Man City are on an unstoppable winning spree, and their defence has tightened up.
Jordan Henderson (LIV), Ryan Babel (FUL), Nathan Redmond (SOU), Gerard Deulofeu (WAT), Youri Tielemans (LEI)
Jordan Henderson (LIVERPOOL vs. Huddersfield)
The midfielders start with an unlikely name, and truth be told we didn’t ever expect to pick the Liverpool captain as an exciting differential. Henderson was a deep lying play-maker, a quarterback for the front-three, and he hadn’t scored in over a few years. When you think of Liverpool midfielders your mind automatically goes to Mane and Salah, but Henderson has made a position change that makes him an irresistible differential for the end of season run-in.
Starting with a cameo appearance against Southampton, Henderson broke his goal duck and chipped in with an assist, and then against Chelsea he stepped up to the challenge and provided the first assist for Mane. Playing in a box-to-box attacking role, Henderson is getting into lots of advanced positions and pushing his team across the line. Liverpool have a comfortable home fixture which should see plenty of goals, and a chance for Henderson to shine again.
Nathan Redmond (SOUTHAMPTON vs. Bournemouth)
The second iteration of this seasons South Coast Clash sees a Bournemouth travel to St Mary’s after a vastly disappointing home loss to an already relegated Fulham. Southampton have found some form under their new Austrian manager, and Bournemouth have had plenty of poor patches this season to place doubt on their team’s ability to produce a differential. Instead, we are picking Redmond who is playing out-of-position for the Saints, and because it is a local derby it may be a heated atmosphere that could provide motivation for the likes of Redmond to up their game.
Gerard Deulofeu (WATFORD vs. Wolves)
The Spaniard finished GW35 as one of the joint best players of the Gameweek. He picked up sixteen of his seventeen points against Huddersfield, and if there is anyone that can hurt Wolves in the absence of Troy Deeney it is Deulofeu. Wolves struggle against teams outside of the top six, and if their current Robin Hood form of taking points from the rich and giving them to the poor continues, it won’t be a surprise to see Watford get something from this game.
Youri Tielemans (LEICESTER vs. Arsenal)
Arsenal are really, really struggling on their travels. The only way they obtained a victory over Watford was due to the Hornets being a man down due a red card. Leicester have been good so far under Brendan Rodgers, and with Youri Tielemans a revelation in their midfield we will trust the player who has seven returns from ten games, and most recently the Belgian assisted in the draw with West Ham.
Christian Benteke (CRY), Ayoze Pérez (NEW)
Christian Benteke (CRYSTAL PALACE vs. Everton)
Originally, we had Dominic Calvert-Lewin as the differential after the Toffees win against Man United, but last week there was also a surprise goal scoring return of an FPL legend. Once regarded as a pedigree striker in the Premier League, a surprising move to Liverpool, then another move to Crystal Palace has seen the long forgotten Christian Benteke move from the limelight to obscurity.
The third Belgian in our differentials this week broke a year long goal draught in Palace’s big win at the Emirates. Appearing again on the radar is enough to bring Benteke out of the cold and back into the differential spectrum. Palace has Everton at the weekend and that could be a fixture to go either way, but with Benteke back in the goals it could be the start of the floodgates opening again.
Ayoze Pérez (Brighton vs. NEWCASTLE)
Along with Deulofeu, who is also on this list, Newcastle’s lucky talisman put three past Southampton at the weekend to edge to safety and make life hell for fantasy managers who banked on the likes of Valery and Bednarek. The Spaniard is on a bit of a hot streak, and in the last away game against Leicester it was Ayoze who sunk Leicester, and then he did it against Southampton.
The Toon travel to a struggling Brighton who haven’t scored a goal in their last four games. The way they are going they might be fighting for their safety on the final day of the season, and that will suit the Toon and Pérez perfectly fine.
Key Differential: Ryan Babel (FULHAM vs. Cardiff)
There are some huge fixtures this week. Manchester United and Chelsea are fighting for a place in the Champions League against each other, and both are in terrible form. Meanwhile, Liverpool will be hoping on Burnley taking points from Manchester City whilst having to navigate Huddersfield on Friday. Arsenal are also putting their top four hopes in jeopardy after a loss to Wolves, and they must put it right against Leicester. Further down the table there is Brighton’s struggling pursuit to keep their place in the Premier League, and to do so they must beat an in-form Newcastle to give themselves some breathing room.
There are lots of fixtures with the spotlight shining brightly on them, and yet nobody is talking about another relegation fixture between two of this year’s promoted teams. Fulham vs. Cardiff is a game that could define the Bluebirds entire season, and if they manage to beat Fulham it could give them a life-line to condemn Brighton to relegation. Cardiff have been playing better football than Brighton this season, they have been massively unlucky with big refereeing decisions against them, and it is debatable that they may not even be in the relegation zone if there was VAR to correct the officiating errors.
All the pressure of this fixture is firmly on Cardiff, and to spite the loyal fans, Fulham go into this game with nothing more to lose and look at what a lack of pressure has done to their recent form. The Cottagers comfortably beat an Everton who just brushed aside Chelsea and Manchester United, and further to that they also went to Bournemouth and held on to beat them whilst keeping quiet in-demand fantasy assets such as Brooks, Wilson, King, and Fraser. A key reason for this upturn in form after it is too late for them is finally figuring out their best team, it is a shame they are already relegated because the supporters are now raising their arms asking where these types of performances where when they needed it the most.
At the centre of this post relegation revival has been Ryan Babel, the Dutchman who has a history in the Premier League with Liverpool. Sporting a head of bright red hair, it is ironically fitting that a player who stands out this much is flying under the radar of fantasy managers. Fulham are done, and players are looking at premium assets to push them across the line, or maybe edge those crucial head-to-head games. A lot of the writing community in the FPL regard low ownership players such as Lacazette or Lukaku, you know, the big names that play for the big clubs. Ryan Babel has three returns from his last five, in the process scoring three and providing an assist, and giving Fulham a real wildcard.
Babel is vastly experienced and since his time at Liverpool he has really matured his game, the Dutchman is a calming presence in a team and his inclusion since January has made the difference, albeit at the wrong time. If Fulham had a player like Babel at the beginning of the season, they may not have already bought their ticket back to the Championship.
Cardiff go with everything to gain, whereas Fulham are playing with no worry and a sense of freedom. Their players are also fighting for their right to stay in the Premier League. There may be suitors for Babel next season, he has the goal scoring prowess that would be welcomed in most bottom half clubs, and if you remember he made good on his promise to score past Virgil van Dijk and his former team. Fulham have the form, and the players to condemn Cardiff, grabbing their feet as the Bluebirds kick and scream back down to the Championship to once they came.
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