Spot the Differential – Lacazette can match Aubameyang output

The Gameweek 1 deadline is now upon us which gives us a chance to have a look at some differential options for the start of the season.

We’ve pulled out three players currently under five percent ownership who represent viable alternatives to some of the more popular assets out there.

Alexandre Lacazette (£9.5m)

Ownership: 4.3 percent

There is reason to believe that Alexandre Lacazette (£9.5m) could match Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.0m) in FPL this season, which could help Fantasy managers looking to save money.

The two strikers have scored the same number of goals in Arsenal’s public pre-season friendlies, with six apiece and Aubamayang just one ahead on assists (three to two).

As Lacazette’s involvements have come from slightly less time on the pitch, his minutes-per-goal involvement is remarkably similar to his Gabonese colleague. The Frenchman has averaged one every 31.37 minutes, with Aubameyang involving himself in a public pre-season strike every 32.22 minutes.

As for his position within the team, Lacazette looks likely to start as the central striker, with Aubameyang operating from an inside-left position, as has been the case this summer.

It must also be noted that Lacazette actually finished the end of last season in sensational form, as he began to develop a great relationship with Aubameyang. In his final six appearances of 2017/18 he found the net five times and produced one assist. By comparison, Aubameyang also scored the same number of goals in his last six outings of the campaign, edging the Frenchman only on assists (three to one).

In the last six Gameweeks, Lacazette also bettered Aubameyang for minutes-per-goal (90.3 to 103.6) and was close behind when it came to minutes-per-shot too (33.9 to 30.1).

Having one of the two Arsenal attackers looks to be a smart move for the beginning of the season. Their opening fixture against Manchester City has the makings of a high-scoring game and Gameweek 2 pits the Gunners against a new-look Chelsea side that look defensively vulnerable in the Community Shield final.

After those two fixtures, there are home meeting with West Ham, Everton, Watford and Leicester mixed with trips to Cardiff, Newcastle, Fulham and Crystal Palace before Liverpool come to the Emirates in Gameweek 11. That is certainly a run of matches where there are goals on offer.

In both the climax of last term and in friendlies this summer, Lacazette has demonstrated the ability to match his more esteemed colleague. This could prove hugely important for Fantasy managers as it gives them the potential to save £1.5m to use elsewhere in their squad if they were to opt for Lacazette over Aubameyang, while still investing in an attack with potential for goals.


Ownership: 2.6 percent

Andros Townsend (£6.0m) could prove to be a steady supplier of assists for Crystal Palace this season and offer a differential route into their attack, with just 2.6 percent ownership. The Englishman has impressed both in the back-end of last term and during pre-season, so considering the strength of the Eagles’ fixtures, there’s every reason to believe he is worth investing in.

In the final 10 Gameweeks of 2017/18, no midfielder in the league created more big chances than Townsend’s five. Furthermore, no midfielder from a club outside the top six managed more passes received in the final third between Gameweek 29 and 38, while only one (Riyad Mahrez) registered more touches in that area of the pitch. In that time-frame he laid on three assists, but more ruthless finishing from colleague Wilfried Zaha (£7.0m) at the start of this campaign could help improve on that.

In fact, that has largely been the case in pre-season with no Palace player involved in more goals than Townsend. He provided six assists during the summer months, which is actually more than any other Premier League player managed to accrue during their respective off-seasons.

The Eagles also have the fixtures to get the best out of Townsend. No team ranks higher for attack than them on our Season Ticker in the first six Gameweeks of 2018/19, with trips to Fulham, Watford and Huddersfield alongside home meetings with Liverpool, Southampton and Newcastle.


Ownership: 1.1 percent

Bournemouth midfielder Ryan Fraser (£5.5m) could prove a shrewd investment at the start of the season as an alternative route into the Cherries’ attack.

Eddie Howe’s men have some appealing fixtures in the early part of the season which has led to 7.2 percent of managers looking to Josh King (£6.5m) for their forward lines. They host newly-promoted Cardiff on the opening day of the season before Everton and Leicester come to the Vitality Stadium. Trips to West Ham, Chelsea and Burnley are a little tougher but could still offer goals for this particularly attacking side.

Fraser can provde a cheaper alternative to King while still being central to the Bournemouth attacking output.

In the last six Gameweeks of 2017/18, only four midfielders created more chances than Fraser. Across the course of the season, he was Bournemouth’s most creative player, with 38 key passes played, at a rate of 1.6 per game. He also topped the Cherries’ charts for touches in the final third (23.5m), passes received there (14.7), successful crosses (0.7) and successful passes in the attacking third (10.5).

There is also the potential for finding the net to go alongside his assist credentials. No Bournemouth player had a higher goal conversion rate. He scored 16.9 percent of the 30 opportunities that fell his way, with King behind him on 15.7 and Wilson on 15.1.

Fraser’s strength does largely lie in his ability to create goals, though. In pre-season he was the provider of four assists, adding one of his own strikes to take his goal involvement tally of five – the same as King.

The form of the Norwegian striker also heightens Fraser’s appeal. He found the net four times over the summer and looks set for a good spell now that the Premier League is back. If he does take his chances at the beginning of the campaign, there’s a good chance he’ll be helping Fraser register assist points.

Read more with Scout

Visit our PRE-SEASON PAGE to get the latest pointers from pre-season friendlies and read scout reports on new players by CLICKING HERE.

Pick your FPL team for 2018/19 using our list of best available players, sorted for your convenience by position and price:

Goalkeepers | Defenders: Budget | Defenders: Mid-Price and Premium | Midfielders: Budget | Midfielders: Mid-Price | Midfielders: Premium | Forwards: Budget | Forwards: Mid-Price |Forwards: Premium

Also check out our detailed statistical analysis articles on every team comparing data for the last two seasons to highlight the players to sign and the players to avoid:

Arsenal | Bournemouth | Brighton & Hove Albion | Burnley | Cardiff City | Chelsea | Crystal Palace | Everton | Fulham | Huddersfield Town | Leicester City | Liverpool | Manchester City | Manchester United | Newcastle United | Southampton | Tottenham Hotspur | Watford | West Ham | Wolves

Read them all in one place

Become a Member and access our data

Memberships for the 2018/19 campaign are now available for the pre-season price of just £12.50. This will increase to the regular price of £15 after the first Gameweek of the season.

Join now to get the following:

  • Plot your transfer strategies using the fully interactive Season Ticker.
  • Get projections for every Premier League player provided by the Rate My Team statistical model.
  • Use Rate My Team throughout the season to guide your selections and transfers.
  • Get access to over 130+ exclusive members articles over the season.
  • Analyse our OPTA-powered statistic tables specifically tailored for Fantasy Football Managers.
  • Use our exclusive tool to build custom stats tables from over 100 OPTA player and team stats.
  • View heatmaps and expected goals data for every player.
  • Use our powerful comparison tool to analyse players head-to-head.


3,777 Comments Post a Comment
  1. TheJoker
      8 months, 12 days ago

      Please RMT:



      1. nichodinho
        • 1 Year
        8 months, 12 days ago

        Like it, nice and balanced 🙂

    • Gentle_Turks
      • 1 Year
      8 months, 12 days ago

      Best 4.5 mid?

      Stephens the overwhelming favourite at the moment with 12% ownership, but will he play?

      1. Phillips
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        8 months, 12 days ago

        I've had Gunnarsson for a while but tempted to switch to McDonald.

        Seems like it's Stephens' place to lose.

        1. Gentle_Turks
          • 1 Year
          8 months, 12 days ago

          Cheers. Why McDonald?

    • Lenny83
      • 1 Year
      8 months, 12 days ago

      pressure's on after last year one both my leagues and really not a clue what I'm doing other than researching online!

      What do you think?

      Foster (Speroni)
      Mendy Robertson Davies (Kabasele, Peltier)
      Neves Moura Salah Fraser (Stephens)
      Aguero Lacazette Firmino

      Thanks! Cx

      1. Lenny83
        • 1 Year
        8 months, 12 days ago

        *winning :/

    • Lukaku91
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 12 days ago

      A) Neves
      B) Cairney
      C) Hughes

    • Lukaku91
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 12 days ago

      is going without salah crazy? I have mane firmino and sanchez


      1. Gentle_Turks
        • 1 Year
        8 months, 12 days ago


    • Gentle_Turks
      • 1 Year
      8 months, 12 days ago

      A. Peltier


      B. Cedric


    • leo123
      • 5 Years
      8 months, 12 days ago

      Hi, first RTM this season, please help !

      McCarthy (Fabianski )
      Robertson Coleman Mendy (Dunk WanB )
      Salah B Silva Moura Fraiser (Cairney)
      Aguero Firmino King

      Also thinking about
      United def, Lowton, Richarlison, Houdson Odoi, Lacazette

      Appreciate any help

    • gullibaldurs
        8 months, 12 days ago

        Last pick of my team.

        Sanchez or save 1m and go Mane/Eriksen?

        Can't for the life of me decide.

      • BigMeZzY
          8 months, 12 days ago

          Pro League - Win cash - 3558990-930210

        • neilddd
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          8 months, 12 days ago

          very tempted by KDB now

          A) Mane + Aubameyang
          B) KDB + Firmino

        • Boleyn Boy
          • 8 Years
          8 months, 12 days ago

          Afternoon All,

          Please let me know how this looks and any changes needed. Thanks in advance:

          Mendy - van Dijk - S.Cook
          Salah(c) - Sanchez - Mkhitaryan - Richarlison
          Aguero - Arnautovic - King

          Subs - Fabianski - Wan-Bissaka - Stephens - Peltier (0.5 ITB)

        • Shifty17
            8 months, 12 days ago

            Hey. New here. Please RMT, any help welcomed.

            Option A
            Ederson (Hamer)
            Robertson, Tomkins, Keane (Wan-Bis, Holebas)
            Salah, Mane, BSilva, Cairney (Hudson-Odoi)
            Aguero, Lacazette, King

            Option B
            Ederson (Hamer)
            Robertson, Mee, Wan-Bis (Bellerin, Peltier)
            Salah, Mane, BSilva, Rich (Hudson-Odoi)
            Aguero, Zaha, King
            0.5 ITB

          • Deeney-is-a-god
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            8 months, 12 days ago

            Comes down to this

            Rich and jota
            Bsilva and fraser

            Already got king and tosun

            1. Rodgers's CHARACTER
              • 3 Years
              8 months, 12 days ago

              Rich and jota

          • Rayz_Raymond
            • 5 Years
            8 months, 12 days ago

            Best 5.0m Defender?

          • cheeky_ash
            • 7 Years
            8 months, 12 days ago

            Guys....need a recommendation for 6.0M or below midfielder....currently on Schurrle

            1. CLASS OF 78
                8 months, 12 days ago

                I think Townsend (6), McArthur (5) and Fraser (5.5) are all better shouts given end of season and pre-season form and also with Fulham being new and with new players, including Schurrle who wasn't that amazing last season either.

            2. Rodgers's CHARACTER
              • 3 Years
              8 months, 12 days ago

              A) Sanchez & Cairney
              B) Mahrez & Maddison

            3. Badgerharri88
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              8 months, 12 days ago

              my sky sport team please rate

              gk pickford

              cb trippier
              cb maguire
              cb christensen

              mf lingard
              mf foden
              mf fabinho
              mf ki

              fw aguero
              fw mitrovic
              fw salah

            4. team77
              • 4 Years
              8 months, 12 days ago

              Thoughts/ suggestions?

              My starting 11 is

              Stones VVD Trippier Stones
              Salah KDB Townsend Neves
              Aguero Firmino (C)

              Does Stones seem likely to be in the City starting 11?

            5. Deulofale
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              8 months, 12 days ago

              I currently have TAA (WHU) and Sakho (ful) in my XI with the following bench order:

              1. Hughes (BHA)
              2. Mendy (ars)
              3. AWB (ful)

              Is there anything you'd change here and why please? Many thanks

            6. Down with this sort of thin…
              • 1 Year
              8 months, 12 days ago

              Tosun or Mitrovic? Or other striker around that price? Thanks!

            7. Ruud000
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              8 months, 10 days ago

              Has everyone’s FPL id changed?

              Thought it always stayed the same!

            8. Chaste
              • 3 Years
              8 months, 10 days ago

              89 post baps,most here got a good score by the looks of it