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 (GW37)
There are only two weeks left of the season, and that is only twenty more differentials that we can choose from the next two weeks. We thought we’d have some fun with it and pick some players we normally don’t go for, and trust in some press conference rumours from the past week. We even have a captain that we may have not thought about picking all season. For the penultimate time this season here are ten differentials to consider before this whirlwind season ends.
Will Norris (WOL), Bernd Leno (ARS)
One of the big rumours coming out of the press conferences this week were straight from the mouth of Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo. He said that he intends to rotate a few positions before the season ends in order to give all his squad some minutes in the league. With their place in the top ten confirmed, the game versus Fulham is their best opportunity to rotate and not waste their chance at obtaining a Europa League spot. The final day sees Nuno taking his team to Liverpool, a team who will most likely be fighting for the title at Anfield, so he may want a stronger team for this fixture. The big surprise from the presser was towards Will Norris who was with Wolves during their Championship campaign last season. We think he will start, and what other opportunity will there be to try our hand at a £3.9mil priced third-choice goalkeeper in a fixture with a great chance of a clean sheet.
Because you need to hear it for yourselves, we have quoted Nuno’s words for your review.
“A big, big hand. Will is with us all the games, and the way he’s been is fantastic,” added Nuno on the work put in by Norris.
“There are three goalkeepers but only one place. Last season, Will had a chance to play in the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup.
“Things have changed this season, but Will’s behaviour has not changed.
“The way he commits himself to the work has not changed. It’s even improved because the group know each other better.
“We must give Will a chance. Hopefully, I will try.
“I would like to finish the season with all the players having minutes in the Premier League. I would really, really like that.”
Arsenal don’t have bad fixtures to end the season, they host Brighton this week, and then travel to Burnley. The problem with the latter second game is that Arsenal have one of the worst away records in their recent history. The only time they could win an away game was against a ten-man Arsenal, but for now we don’t have to worry about that. Brighton won’t pose the same threat as Burnley, but what Unai Emery will ask of his team is to gather momentum for their return leg of their Europa League semi-finals. It will be a practice run for the Gunners, they will be expected to tweak their defence, keep their attack fresh. We think Leno is a smart option this gameweek as he will be part of an Arsenal team keeping their concentration with their path into the final nearly booked.
Patrick van Aanholt (CRY), Andreas Christensen (CHE), Victor Lindelöf (MUN)
Patrick van Aanholt
Last week we continued our Christian Benteke curse, selecting the Belgian in a game he gets injured. The last time we selected Benteke over two years ago the same thing happened, so we hope he has a quick recovery. Leaving a differential void, we turn to the Eagle’s defence who kept Everton quiet last week and picked up another clean sheet at Selhurst Park. Dutchman van Aanholt is a regular pick in our differentials as he has both attacking and defensive potential, and with Cardiff facing a drop back down to the Championship if they don’t win, we are favouring a Palace team who have a reputation for spoiling the hopes of teams come the end of season.
Sarri has a bit of a defensive headache at this time, and that is because Rüdiger and Cahill are injured in between two Europa League semi-finals, and the end of the season. The Blues are even light of a right-back if Azpilicueta has got to fill in a central capacity. Once upon a time in English fantasy football, Christensen was a popular pick as he was an affordable Chelsea option in a good team. Sarri has no option than to play him, and with a home game against Watford you’d imagine they are favourites to win, it is time to also place our faith in the Dane this weekend.
Manchester United have the top four in their sights, and they have the simplest of jobs to get into those coveted league spaces. First, beat an already relegated Huddersfield. Second, beat a Cardiff side who may already be relegated. On paper, it is in Man United’s hands to grasp this opportunity whilst Arsenal, Spurs, and Chelsea are distracted by European semi-finals. To get there they will need their defence to be on point, and that will mean their big Swede will need to step up. Huddersfield haven’t been able to buy a goal this season, so this pick is a formality due to the fixture.
David Brooks (BOU), Michail Antonio (WHU), Jordan Henderson (LIV), Youri Tielemans (LEI)
We are going to make this simple, because Spurs cause us headaches. We aren’t going for Spurs who will have their head on a trip to Amsterdam. Instead we are opting for Brooks, because we think Bournemouth may have a chance at doing an upset this week.
Last week we selected Toby Alderweireld and stated that there would be now way that they could let their perfect start at their new stadium slip up against West Ham. Well, we were very, very…wrong. Michail Antonio constantly posed a threat for the Spurs defence, and his goal was a well earned after ghosting through the entire Spurs defence. Two consecutive fantasy returns have seen our heads turn for our differential this week, we could have played it safe with Arnautovic, but we are looking at the in-form man of the hour. Southampton have secured their safety and in the hopes of them letting their foot off the gas we have the right differential to capitalise on it.
Liverpool suffered a blow when Ivan Rakitić injured Naby Keita, it is a shame because the Guinean was on a hot streak. That wasn’t the only hot streak in the Liverpool midfield, since Jordan Henderson has switched to a box-to-box role he has made the position his own. The Englishman has provided Mane two assists in recent home games against Chelsea and Huddersfield, and with Keita injured it is up to Henderson to step up as the captain and keep Liverpool’s winning form in the league up, and if in the event of Man City not beating Leicester it could be the most important fixture of the Reds season. No pressure.
Speaking of the Man City vs. Leicester fixture, we are going to keep the dice rolling on Youri Tielemans if Leicester do take a point, or even beat City. We haven’t seen a player like him in the league in a long, long time. What is striking is that he has been vastly overlooked due to the recent double-gameweeks that saw many fantasy managers prioritise teams with more fixtures. Let’s run
Eight returns in individual games.
That gives Tielemans a return percentage of 72.73%
Of the eight returns, half have occurred on away games.
Six bonus points, four at home, two on the road.
Lastly, the Belgian has started in all eleven games.
We could play it safe and pick a Man City defender who will most likely rotate and disappoint us, so we are having some fun with Tielemans in this fixture on the off chance that Leicester surprise Man City in the final game of the week.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (EVE)
Only one forward this week, and that man is also our differential captain.
Key Differential: Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Flash back to the beginning of the season and there was a big debate as to who was leading the Toffees attack. Everton wanted to sign a flashy forward after a summer of heavy spending, and they were left with their remaining options. Eventually, Marco Silva opted for Richarlison to be the main starting striker, and for the first half of the season the Brazilian was a reliable option, not electric, but good enough for a while. Richarlison though started to show his best position was on the left after a disappointing run of form, and Tosun stepped in for a while to spearhead the attack, to give a different option after their season derailed when Divock Origi scored in extra time at Anfield in dramatic fashion to win the Merseyside Derby.
Calvert-Lewin wasn’t part of the picture, one of the main players in England’s youth setup, the forward had only started four games up until gameweek sixteen. The youngster only two goals, one as a substitute, the other as a starter against Huddersfield (which should be expected). Prior to this season he was a regular starter under Allardyce and David Unsworth. The European style of Marco Silva made Toffee supporters believe of a high-profile name leading their line-up, and as a result Calvert-Lewin was just a hot prospect. One for the future. Not a starter. Not what Everton needed. In our minds, that translated to one label: differential.
The second half of the season has been kinder to Calvert-Lewin, finally given his shot he has seventeen starts and looks to end the campaign as Everton’s leading man. Nine consecutive starts, two goals and two assists in that period, and now he is a regular under Marco Silva after being pushed to the bench. Calvert-Lewin is the perfect example of a differential, a player who has been massively overlooked due to superior options. There is also the factor of a huge upturn in fortune at Goodison Park.
Recent performances from the Toffees at Goodison have defied expectation. Seeing away Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester United without conceding has made the Everton faithful they are on the right track. Calvert-Lewin has played his part, and for rising out of obscurity we entrust the differential captaincy on him when the lights are shining on the blue half Merseyside.
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