Possible Differential Picks for the FPL Season
Picking a high-scoring player ignored by most other teams can have a massive impact on your FPL performance, whether it’s propelling you up the overall rankings or enabling you to power ahead of your rivals in a mini-league. There are times where you don’t want to play it cute and look for differentials for the sake of being different. Sure, Joel Matip is a whole £2.0m cheaper than Trent Alexander-Arnold, but TAA’s assist record and safe starting spot makes him the best option from the Liverpool defence.
The same is true of premium midfielders and attackers, where you’ll probably need two or three big hitters to keep pace with your rivals. Most FPL teams this year will have at least one of Salah, Mane, De Bruyne, Sterling, Fernandes or Aubameyang in their midfield. Yeah, it still feels weird to think of Auba as a midfielder. These are the players who will be the most popular FPL captain picks each week, so not having any of them could prove costly.
However, lower down in the price brackets is where you can find some juicy differentials. Here’s a look at a few overlooked players who may prove great value for money this season, with all prices and team ownership percentages taken from the official Fantasy Premier League website before the opening gameweek.
Let’s start with the position where you’re least likely to find massive differentials. Given that there are only 20 players who can start in this position in a gameweek, you won’t find many hidden gems. If you read our post for Season 2 Episode 1 of FPL Devil’s Advocate, you’ll see that Smash understandably doesn’t get too excited by the choice of keepers.
Of the expected starters, only Lukas Fabianski (£5.0m, 1.8%), Vicente Guaita (£5.0m, 1.6%) and Sam Johnstone (£4.5m, 0.9%) fall below 2% ownership. The former pair are an awkward price for a keeper, but Johnstone could be of interest if you’re willing to take a punt on newly-promoted West Brom’s defence. He should certainly face plenty of shots, you’ll just have to hope that he saves his fair share.
The versatility of Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles (£5.0m, 1.9%) makes him an intriguing option. While he isn’t yet a nailed-on starter, he could feasibly enjoy a fair few minutes in midfield to become a hallowed out-of-position FPL player. Southampton’s new signing Mohammed Salisu (£4.5m, 0.4%) is tipped for big things, one that should break into the Saints’ defence sooner rather than later. While he’s only bagged two professional goals, the centre-back could be a hoover of bonus points.
Spurs may have taken some stick following Amazon Prime’s All or Nothing series, but they should still be taken seriously as a source of FPL assets. Ryan Sessegnon (£5.0m, 0.3%) is one player that could shine for Mourinho’s men this season. Whether that’s as a left-back or further forward, Sessegnon should rack up clean sheet bonuses and attacking contributions IF he becomes a Spurs regular.
Mark Noble (£5.0m, 2.3%) – okay, hear us out here. He isn’t a glamorous midfield FPL pick, but he could be a reliable bench option. Noble should have license to get forward with Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek providing cover for West Ham, plus he will be on penalties. The Hammers let Grady Diangana (£5.5m, 0.6%) leave to join West Brom, where he should be an integral part of the Baggies’ attack.
— Grady Diang (@GradyDiang) September 5, 2020
Another possible option as a cheap fifth midfielder in your FPL side could be Wolves’ Daniel Podence (£5.5m, 0.4%). It might be worth waiting to see if he can become a first-team regular, but Podence looked like a livewire and a magnet for fouls at the end of last season. At a slightly higher price, Dele Alli (£8.0m, 2.9%) and Riyad Mahrez (£8.5m, 2.3%) are proven Premier League performers, while Nicolas Pepe is similarly unappreciated (£8.0, 2.4%). This is a trio of players with the ability to score highly in any gameweek. Check out the Fantasy Football 247 fixture tracker to see if you can get any of these players in ahead of a run of favourable matches.
It feels odd to be talking about Harry Kane (£10.5m, 15.2%) as a differential. Here’s a man who averages 193 points a season over the last six years. He’s still a deadly force up front and, as of September 10th, is priced at 6/1 in Betway’s Premier League top goalscorer market. That makes him third-favourite to win the golden boot, an accolade he’s won twice before, so it’s no surprise he’s a top forward pick.
Yet Kane is only in 15% of teams, perhaps overlooked because of the glut of premium midfielders. The cost of those top midfielders means that many FPL bosses will be looking in the £6.0-£6.5m region for their second- and third-choice forwards. In that price bracket, Southampton’s Che Adams (£6.0m, 3.1%) and Burnley’s Chris Wood (£6.5m, 3.0%) should get solid game time. Adams was overshadowed by Danny Ings but found his scoring boots late in the season, while Wood has the impressive achievement of hitting double figures in the last three league seasons.
Hopefully this has given you some food for thought when choosing your FPL side over the early weeks of the season. Remember, if you pick any of these players and they perform poorly, then there was probably a reason why they were selected in so few teams…