Differentials

Three attack-minded differentials for FPL Blank Gameweek 31

This weekly series puts the spotlight on three players who all have an ownership of 5% or under in Fantasy Premier League.

As we enter the business end of the season, a considered differential pick could provide a welcome boost for those Fantasy managers chasing a mini-league deficit or striving to improve their overall rank.

Finding a credible differential is a test at the best of times but we have an even smaller pool of players to choose from this weekend, with half of the top flight without a league fixture.

On top of this, many of the appealing Fantasy assets who are in Premier League action in Gameweek 31 have seen their FPL ownership rise as a result of the lack of competition in the transfer market.

There are plenty of differentials within the active top 10k, too, as opposed to the overall FPL ownership figure that includes “ghost teams”: Callum Wilson (£6.4m), owned by just 1.04% of the top 10,000 at the point of the Gameweek 30 deadline, is one example.

We are sticking to the usual rules for our weekly feature, though.

Two of our midfield selections play each other this weekend but their clubs have no clean sheets between them in a combined 14 Premier League matches, so we are banking on goals.

An alternative route into the Newcastle attack is also examined.

Harvey Barnes (£5.5m)

FPL ownership: 0.5%

Youri Tielemans (£6.0m) was close to being our now obligatory Leicester City differential this week.

The on-loan Belgian has delivered attacking returns in each of his last three Premier League starts and is owned by fewer than 1% of FPL managers overall (the same applies within the top 10k).

Since he made his debut in Gameweek 26, only two midfielders have had more attempts on goal than Leicester’s loanee.

One of those players is Harvey Barnes (£5.5m).

Not even Mohamed Salah (£13.4m) can match Barnes’ shot tally over those five Gameweeks.

He is, of course, still yet to score and questions remain over his composure in front of goal and finishing ability.

Having said that, the young winger was only a flying Sergio Rico (£4.4m) save away from opening his account against Fulham in Gameweek 30 and earlier curled another effort narrowly over.

Barnes certainly passed the eye test against the admittedly limited Cottagers and registered his third assist in seven appearances last Saturday.

Barnes continues to be overlooked by the wider Fantasy community: seven Leicester players, including Tielemans, have been bought by more FPL managers in the lead-up to Gameweek 31.

Thirty-three FPL midfielders are proving more popular acquisitions at the time of writing.

On Saturday, Barnes will be up against a Burnley defence that has shipped the joint-highest number of goals (nine) in the last three Gameweeks.

The Clarets have kept only one clean sheet in ten matches and have conceded more chances from their right flank (i.e. Leicester’s left) in 2018/19 than any other side.

Dwight McNeil (£4.4m)

FPL ownership: 0.5%

Perhaps one for the Free Hit crew if they are maxing out on premium options elsewhere, Dwight McNeil (£4.4m) is among the most appealing bargain-bin midfield options in Blank Gameweeks 31 and 33.

McNeil’s performance against Liverpool last weekend was one that defied the key underlying stats.

The young winger didn’t register a single shot or key pass at Anfield, touching the ball just once in the hosts’ area.

However, anyone who saw the game would have been impressed by how much trouble McNeil caused Trent Alexander-Arnold (£5.6m) down Liverpool’s right.

Four of McNeil’s six take-ons were successful, while the Burnley winger delivered eight crosses from the left flank.

Sean Dyche called the England under-20 winger’s display “outstanding”, which bodes well for his chances of starting for the 12th Premier League match in a row on Saturday.

Since his return to the Burnley starting XI in Gameweek 20, only four FPL midfielders have delivered more crosses than McNeil. Those four players have the advantage of being their club’s chief set-piece takers, however, so McNeil is among the leading midfielders for deliveries from open play.

There is plenty of height for McNeil to aim at in this Clarets’ side.

Chris Wood (£6.2m) and Ashley Barnes (£5.7m) didn’t get much joy out of the Liverpool defence last week but a Leicester backline that is without a clean sheet since New Year’s Day may prove easier for Burnley’s strike pair and McNeil to penetrate in tandem.

McNeil’s average of a shot every 51.1 minutes over the last 11 Gameweeks is far from eye-catching but is still the best among Burnley’s regular starters in midfield over the last few months and almost on a par with Wood’s mean (49.7) during that time.

Ayoze Perez (£6.1m)

FPL ownership: 1.5%

Ayoze Perez (£6.1m) comes into Gameweek 31 fresh off the back of a 16-point return against Everton last weekend – by some distance his biggest haul of the season and his first double-digit one at that.

The streaky Spaniard’s three goals and one assist in the last four Premier League fixtures is exactly what he managed in the first 26 Gameweeks of the season and, for those FPL managers who look back at previous trends, we are entering into the time of the year when the Newcastle forward comes to life: Perez’s match-winning strike in Gameweek 31 of last season sparked a run of six goals and two assists in eight games.

Perez also scored three goals and set up another in the final three games of the Magpies’ Championship-winning season of 2016/17.

Perez’s recent upturn in underlying stats are perhaps partly down to the arrival of Miguel Almiron (£6.0m).

Newcastle’s Spanish-speaking front three look more potent than they did when Christian Atsu (£5.1m) was deployed in Almiron’s position and have demonstrated an excellent understanding over the last month.

Since the Paraguayan midfielder made his full debut in Gameweek 27, Perez ranks among the top six FPL forwards for overall goal attempts, shots in the opposition area, efforts on target, penalty box touches and chances created.

Salomon Rondon (£5.9m) is the obvious route into this Newcastle attack but his FPL ownership is surging towards the 10% mark and more than one in four of the top 10,000 managers owns the Venezuelan striker.

While Bournemouth are far less porous on their own turf than they are on the road, the Cherries have the fourth-worst defensive record in the Premier League this season.

Eddie Howe’s side have conceded two or more goals in six of their 15 home matches in 2018/19, too.

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650 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Dr. Agabuse
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Ake or Maguire? Go for the homeside, i guess

    Can somebody with membership check how many points they should get on rmt for this gw pls?

    1. Eat my goal!
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Why does it matter what it says - have a look on the last page for clean sheet odds

      1. Rupert The Horse
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        This

    2. Rupert The Horse
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      For Gods

    3. Tsparkes10
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Ake

      • kalmoffit
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        It's a dismal choice for wk32 free hitters

        1. Annie
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Got your week's wrong there

        2. Rupert The Horse
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Why?

          1. kalmoffit
            • 5 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            Just joking. Not that I want Bou or Lei defender, mind

      • circusmonkey
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Just join. Mind you, a bit like me on boardgamearena.com, waiting for other people to start games.

    4. It’s gonna Ben Mee
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Bottomed

      Is it worth taking a hit to do Schär > Azpi?

      1. Eat my goal!
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Nope

      2. Rupert The Horse
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Neigh

    5. whosBenj
        2 months, 10 days ago

        I may as well take -16 to field a full 11 for GW31, because over 31 & 33 they should at least recoup the -4 (barring injuries/cards) evening out to 0 which I'd be on without them anyway... right?

        1. Tsparkes10
            2 months, 10 days ago

            Yup

          • Rupert The Horse
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            On paper yes.

        2. NUFCAndrew
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Who’s everyone giving the armband to this weekend?

          1. S.Kuqi
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            Mane or Salah. Only a fool wouldn't

            1. Rupert The Horse
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 6 Years
              2 months, 10 days ago

              A foal might.

          2. Rupert The Horse
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            Mane for me

            1. S.Kuqi
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 6 Years
              2 months, 10 days ago

              Salah is due a huge haul.

              1. Longlatini
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 1 Year
                2 months, 10 days ago

                I’m due a pay rise but that probably won’t happen until April either

                1. Rupert The Horse
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 6 Years
                  2 months, 10 days ago

                  Haha. Same. Can’t wait.

              2. Rupert The Horse
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 6 Years
                2 months, 10 days ago

                Haven’t been going with the obvious cap choice this season. It’s worked.

          3. AuFeld
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            Salah. In regard to FPL, Mane is atrocious away. Salah is leading the league in terms of xGI over the last six away matches.

            Wasn't Mane limping after yesterday's match?

            1. Longlatini
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 1 Year
              2 months, 10 days ago

              Yep he took a knock on the top of the foot after striking another player’s foot while trying to kick the ball.

              It happened around 70-75 mins iirc

              Having done that before myself it’s the sort of thing you can run off to a certain extent but then can get worse after a rest period as the swelling increases and the adrenaline wears off.

              Bag of peas on the affected area and he’ll be completely fine for the weekend

              This is all pure conjecture and speculation but is how it worked when it happened to me in Sunday league last season 😉

            2. BigBarn
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 1 Year
              2 months, 10 days ago

              Suprised how little has been said about this today. Seemed to be a genuine condern last night.

        3. Brendan95
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Best replacement for Schar for GW31 thinking Rice at the moment

          1. AuFeld
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            TAA.

            1. Brendan95
              • 3 Years
              2 months, 10 days ago

              already got 3 Liverpool and only £5m ITB

        4. Team Cruel
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          I need Alonso in my team. Showing real killer instinct.

          1. Rupert The Horse
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            He won’t go to Real.

          2. Duka
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            Do it for -16

          3. DAZZ
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            Lol!!! Alonso the murderer, ridiculous he gets to play professionally

          4. Jeremy T
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            I've still got Alonso. It's annoying to see him doing this tonight, then possibly not even playing at the weekend. I'm considering ditching for a -4, but then it's sod's law that he'll play!

          5. Numb
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            More or less essential at this point.

        5. UTK
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Doing son > hazard with my ft will give me 11 for gw31, is it worth a - 4 to bring in Wilson for jimenez and bench Westwood or just stick and play Westwood in a 352? Cheers.

          1. Game Over
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            stick, unless you want 12 to be safe

          2. Tsparkes10
              2 months, 10 days ago

              I'd bring in Wilson

          3. Dakes. 🙂
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            Alonso scores! He was due! 😆

          4. TAT
            • 1 Year
            2 months, 10 days ago

            A -8 isn't too much a risk for BGW, is it? One transfer out would be Puncheon, who might (or might not) play.

          5. Rainer
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            You’re killing me here, Marcos 🙁

            1. DAZZ
              • 4 Years
              2 months, 10 days ago

              Wouldnt be his first time

            2. Team Cruel
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              2 months, 10 days ago

              Too soon mate.

          6. TEEMU PUKKI
              2 months, 10 days ago

              1- whats that useless defence ?
              2- what is alonso doimg in the center of attack

            • Atimis
              • 2 Years
              2 months, 10 days ago

              Which one sounds best?

              1. Jim to Wilson -4 (10 playing 31&33)
              2. Jim Doh to Wilson Azpi -8 (11 playing 31&33)

              Or Pogba to Fraser instead of Wilson?
              But have Brooks already. FH in 32.

              Maybe TC Mane?

              1. Numb
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                2 months, 10 days ago

                1

                1. Atimis
                  • 2 Years
                  2 months, 10 days ago

                  Just Azpi is tempting...

              2. whosBenj
                  2 months, 10 days ago

                  May as well take -8, should recoup -4 over GW31 & 33.

              3. DAZZ
                • 4 Years
                2 months, 10 days ago

                Rondon, Brooks, Felipe. Cant decide on who to bench! Currently benching Rondon

                1. FPL Pillars
                  • 2 Years
                  2 months, 10 days ago

                  The one who’s done piss all when on the pitch for last two months

                  1. Hits from the Bong
                      2 months, 10 days ago

                      Yep, Anderson for me

                2. Dannywaz
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  2 months, 10 days ago

                  Mo farah

                  1. Rupert The Horse
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 6 Years
                    2 months, 10 days ago

                    Is he Egyptian too?

                  2. Dannywaz
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    2 months, 10 days ago

                    English

                3. Chucky
                  • 5 Years
                  2 months, 10 days ago

                  Need Alonso to start against Everton....

                  1. Rainer
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 2 Years
                    2 months, 10 days ago

                    Find out who’s cooking Emerson’s pasta on Sunday and get the chef to do you a favour, Chucky 😉

                4. Maddamotha
                  • 2 Years
                  2 months, 10 days ago

                  A) Aguero, Son > Wilson, Mane -4 (10 playing)
                  B) Aguero, Son, Kamara > Wilson, Mane, Vardy -8

                  1. Tsparkes10
                      2 months, 10 days ago

                      B obviouslyyy

                      1. Maddamotha
                        • 2 Years
                        2 months, 10 days ago

                        Fo sho?

                    • Hits from the Bong
                        2 months, 10 days ago

                        B

                      • whosBenj
                          2 months, 10 days ago

                          B

                        • Maddamotha
                          • 2 Years
                          2 months, 10 days ago

                          Cheers

                        • acidicleo
                          • 3 Years
                          2 months, 10 days ago

                          B

                      • Eat my goal!
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        2 months, 10 days ago

                        Alonso reinventing himself as a number 9?

                      • FPL Pillars
                        • 2 Years
                        2 months, 10 days ago

                        Alonso Goal, assist possible CS and max BAPS. What a guy!

                        1. TEEMU PUKKI
                            2 months, 10 days ago

                            First on bench

                        2. ddfc
                          • 3 Years
                          2 months, 10 days ago

                          Dunk >>

                          1. Azpi
                          2. Luiz

                          Thanks

                          1. JAMO97
                              2 months, 10 days ago

                              Azpi for me

                            • RECKLESS
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              • 6 Years
                              2 months, 10 days ago

                              Azpi as nailed 100%

                            • acidicleo
                              • 3 Years
                              2 months, 10 days ago

                              2

                          2. Brosstan
                            • 4 Years
                            2 months, 10 days ago

                            Whats all this talk about Alonso? Surely anyone who isnt a casual still has him in their team?

                            1. FPL Pillars
                              • 2 Years
                              2 months, 10 days ago

                              He’s hauled in Europa. He was due after hitting post so many times.

                          3. Hits from the Bong
                              2 months, 10 days ago

                              Who should I captain this week?

                              A. Salah
                              B. Wilson
                              C. Hazard

                              Fabianski
                              Robertson TAA Schindler
                              Salah Hazard Anderson Fraser
                              Higuain Vardy Wilson

                              1. I Member
                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                • 3 Years
                                2 months, 10 days ago

                                A

                            • TEEMU PUKKI
                                2 months, 10 days ago

                                So you guys all believe in wilson right ?

                                1. Hits from the Bong
                                    2 months, 10 days ago

                                    I believe

                                  • kalmoffit
                                    • 5 Years
                                    2 months, 10 days ago

                                    Not this week

                                  • Rupert The Horse
                                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                    • 6 Years
                                    2 months, 10 days ago

                                    Should do ok

                                2. RECKLESS
                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                  • 6 Years
                                  2 months, 10 days ago

                                  How nailed will Milner be for Fulham match? With hendo possibly out is his place cemented? Asked as If milner is on pitch Salah wont be on penalties and that makes Mane better captain option

                                  1. Rupert The Horse
                                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                    • 6 Years
                                    2 months, 10 days ago

                                    I’d say defensive rotation would influence that more.

                                3. JAMO97
                                    2 months, 10 days ago

                                    Anyone triple captaining Salah or even Mane? I am heavily chasing and will likely have 9 players. Can’t see many good options in GW35 and am free hitting next week.

                                    1. Hotdogs for Tea
                                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                      • 3 Years
                                      2 months, 10 days ago

                                      GW36

                                    2. Rupert The Horse
                                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                      • 6 Years
                                      2 months, 10 days ago

                                      Not me.

                                    3. DandyDon
                                        2 months, 10 days ago

                                        Will wait til I see champions league draw tomorrow. Whoever liverpool get you fear they may rotate at home to Huddersfield if still in champions league then...in which case why not this week

                                    4. Wetdream
                                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                      • 4 Years
                                      2 months, 10 days ago

                                      Which 2 from these 3 for a -4 ?
                                      Arnie
                                      Vardy
                                      Wilson ?

                                      1. Tsparkes10
                                          2 months, 10 days ago

                                          Vardy Wilson

                                        • DandyDon
                                            2 months, 10 days ago

                                            Depends how long you need them for. Arnie potentially best for just wk31 etc

                                        • Tsparkes10
                                            2 months, 10 days ago

                                            Have Vardy, Wilson and Fraser...
                                            To join them in 31 and 33:

                                            A) King
                                            B) Maddison

                                            1. Wetdream
                                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                              • 4 Years
                                              2 months, 10 days ago

                                              I'd go Tielamans or however you spell it instead of Maddison

                                              1. Tsparkes10
                                                  2 months, 10 days ago

                                                  Hmmmm not too sure about that

                                              2. DandyDon
                                                  2 months, 10 days ago

                                                  B

                                              3. fc_skrald
                                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                • 3 Years
                                                2 months, 10 days ago

                                                I will only have 10 players with a game this gw - who should I start with them?

                                                a. Pogba
                                                b. Rahsford
                                                c. Doherty
                                                d. Jimenez

                                                1. DandyDon
                                                    2 months, 10 days ago

                                                    ?

                                                  • acidicleo
                                                    • 3 Years
                                                    2 months, 10 days ago

                                                    The one spelt incorrectly

                                                    1. VanDijksToWatchOutFor
                                                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                      • 1 Year
                                                      2 months, 10 days ago

                                                      Spelled. Spelt is a type of flour

                                                      1. Deulofale
                                                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                        • 3 Years
                                                        2 months, 10 days ago

                                                        Ignorant American spotted! 😮 😛

                                                  • VanDijksToWatchOutFor
                                                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                    • 1 Year
                                                    2 months, 10 days ago

                                                    D. Never can predict when he'll score

                                                  • Game Over
                                                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                    • 2 Years
                                                    2 months, 10 days ago

                                                    C. Wolves won't concede in GW31

                                                2. acidicleo
                                                  • 3 Years
                                                  2 months, 10 days ago

                                                  Is Wilson gonna rise tonight?
                                                  Is it safe to wait till the presser tomorrow?

                                                  1. Rupert The Horse
                                                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                    • 6 Years
                                                    2 months, 10 days ago

                                                    I don’t think so. Wait.

                                                3. El Fenomeno R9
                                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                  • 3 Years
                                                  2 months, 10 days ago

                                                  Even with his start tonight,Kepa nailed right?

                                                4. VanDijksToWatchOutFor
                                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                  • 1 Year
                                                  2 months, 10 days ago

                                                  Is Daniels playing now? Need a makeweight for 31/3. Thanks