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

    Now that Milner played, is Trent safe for Sunday?

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

      Why not?

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

    Arnie likely to start?

    1. My heart goes Salalalalah
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Yes

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

        Why, any comments?

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

          See scout tweets

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

    Bottomed: is Daniels playing now? Need a makeweight for 31/3. Thanks

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

    Sterling + Son + Rashford + (pogba / kamara) to

    A: hazard + Wilson + Mane - 4
    B: Mane + Wilson + Fraser - 4
    C: hazard + mane + fraser + Wilson/vardy - 8
    D: Mane + Vardy + Wilson + Fraser -8

    AB, 10 players, CD, 11 players. FH32

    Thoughts?

  5. Evasivo
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Adam Smith likely to play this GW?

    Really don't want to transfer out... Mainly cos it'd be for a -4, plus I've just got him in!

    1. Johnny 8
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Hamstring injury so unlikely I think.

      1. Evasivo
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        May just field 10men in that case

  6. DandyDon
      2 months, 10 days ago

      If Giroud goes and gets a start over Higuain this weekend I might cry

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

        One is ill and one scored a hattrick. I'd be worried. (And am because I own him too)

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

        yuh

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

      Piggy who? Giroud is the man.

    • pelle9
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Please pick 1:

      A) Play Westwood - home to Leicester - (1 goal & 7 assists this season)

      B) Do Pogba >>> Fraser for a -4 and bench Westwood.

      I have 11 players for this gameweek if i do A, if i take the -4 i have 12

      Thanks guys.

    • Wild Rover
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      I’m sure Zola just said “I think he’s earned a start this weekend” 😉

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

        He's their best striker, so why shouldn't he?

    • V-2 Schneiderlin
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      I'm down to 6 players this week due to Schar suspension - don't want to mess with my team too much. Should probably just FH this week (have all my other chips including WC) - any downsides to using FH now?

      1. Tsparkes10
          2 months, 10 days ago

          How many FTs you got? I'd take a few hits to field 9 atleast tbh and then can get a triple City, triple Chelsea and double United atleast in GW 32 imo

          1. V-2 Schneiderlin
            • 8 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            Only one FT and team is quite good for GW32 - thinking I can save points losses this week by using FH (and also prevent losing players I'll want back) - but thanks for the advice something to consider

            1. Tsparkes10
                2 months, 10 days ago

                I'm in a v similar position. I'm doing a - 12 to field 11 so I get them for 31 and 33 then can build a v nice squad for dgw 32

                1. V-2 Schneiderlin
                  • 8 Years
                  2 months, 10 days ago

                  It's a tough one as I don't have too many players I can take out permanently

                  1. Tsparkes10
                      2 months, 10 days ago

                      Why? Wildcard in 34 to get them back. Will only be gone in 31 and 33 which they won't be playing in anhway

            2. Johnny 8
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 5 Years
              2 months, 10 days ago

              Your week 33 team?

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

                This

              2. V-2 Schneiderlin
                • 8 Years
                2 months, 10 days ago

                Good point - pretty poor for GW33 with Wolves and ManU so might be better to use it then

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

            Do you think merse did the doc on his gambling addiction to get cash to gamble some more?!

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

              I'd say it's evens.

            2. child of God
                2 months, 10 days ago

                Merse has a gambling problem?

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

                  Water is wet, the Queen is old, Brexit is a disaster!!

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

              Can't see Alonso not starting after this performance. Absolute masterclass.

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

                Still a risk imo - not like Fulham are really considered a challenge

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

                What about Giroud, he’s got a hatty!

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

                Please start on Sunday Alonso
                I need u 2 repay me keeping u all this time

                1. George James
                  • 4 Years
                  2 months, 10 days ago

                  Yep same. Still can’t believe he’s in my team still.

            4. child of God
                2 months, 10 days ago

                Really Giving me a headache this one.
                Need one of these but who's the best for this Gw?
                A. Vardy
                B. Wilson
                C. Arnie

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

                  A closely followed by B

                  1. Twisted Saltergater
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 9 Years
                    2 months, 10 days ago

                    this

                2. Brooksy86
                  • 2 Years
                  2 months, 10 days ago

                  I'm rolling with all 3... But considering Higuain.

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

                  If all start CBA for this week

                4. Brooksy86
                  • 2 Years
                  2 months, 10 days ago

                  But yeah... B

              • DÏLKS
                • 5 Years
                2 months, 10 days ago

                Fab
                Matip - TAA
                Salah - Anderson - Fraser
                Higuain

                Worth doing Rashford, Pogba , Son -> Wilson, Maddison & Hazard (-8)?

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

                  Yes

              • Bring the Cavalry
                • 2 Years
                2 months, 10 days ago

                What is Arnies ownership in the top 10k?

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

                  0.00001

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

                  Non existent as he’s got no points so his owners are all outside 🙂

                3. Bring the Cavalry
                  • 2 Years
                  2 months, 10 days ago

                  Could anyone tell me the website for finding the ownership of players in the top 10k?
                  Cheers

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

                    Fpl discovery - although you’ll only get the last GW

                    1. Bring the Cavalry
                      • 2 Years
                      2 months, 10 days ago

                      Thanks very much!

              • jaywills
                • 3 Years
                2 months, 10 days ago

                Hello lads. I have 5 players for Gw31 and 2FT.
                TAA, robbo, anderson, salah, king.
                Should I free hit?
                I have sterling , jimi, Doherty, ederson, rashford, son, awb for gw32 so theres some doubles in there.
                Thanks for your help!

                1. Brooksy86
                  • 2 Years
                  2 months, 10 days ago

                  FH and save the 2...

              • TAT
                • 1 Year
                2 months, 10 days ago

                Giroud only £7.7. Hm…

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

                  Yeah, but what are the odds he is fit enough to play 90 minutes Thursday followed by 90 minutes Sunday? Even though he went wild today, I'd still wager Higuain is more likely to start this weekend

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

                    It was (slightly) meant as a joke, but if Higuain isn't fit by the weekend, why risk him at all? Play a Giroud coming from a great performance, I'll say!

              • unitednations
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 7 Years
                2 months, 10 days ago

                What a dilemma! Need to choose 3 players from:

                Fwds: Higuain, Vardy, Wilson, Arnie
                Mids: Hazard, Mane, Fraser

                Assuming money isn’t an issue, which 3 would you want for gw31/33?

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

                  Willy Hazzy Maney

                2. Tsparkes10
                    2 months, 10 days ago

                    I'd want 5 of them. What's team and situation?

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

                      Fab
                      TAA • Digne • Pereira • Lascelles -- Schindler
                      Salah • Sterling • Richarlison • Hayden -- Pogba
                      King • Kun -- Jimenez

                      Planing to make 3 transfers

                      1. Tsparkes10
                          2 months, 10 days ago

                          I'd obvs want Fraser and Mane over Hayden and Rich but maybe not for hits

                          1. Tsparkes10
                              2 months, 10 days ago

                              Mane, Wilson and Haz in that case mate

                      2. Twisted Saltergater
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 9 Years
                        2 months, 10 days ago

                        Vardy, Wilson, Mané.

                    2. Pinball Wizard
                      • 2 Years
                      2 months, 10 days ago

                      If you were free hiting would you double up on Chelsea's defense or spread the risk?

                      A) Fab
                      Robbo - Azpi - Luiz

                      B) Fab
                      Robbo - Azpi - Aké

                      Money is not a problem

                      1. Tsparkes10
                          2 months, 10 days ago

                          B

                        • Tsparkes10
                            2 months, 10 days ago

                            I like Ake a lot

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

                              Don’t tell the Mrs

                          • Twisted Saltergater
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 9 Years
                            2 months, 10 days ago

                            Spread 'em

                        • Tsparkes10
                            2 months, 10 days ago

                            King or Maddison ahhhh

                            1. Royal5
                              • 7 Years
                              2 months, 10 days ago

                              None

                              1. Tsparkes10
                                  2 months, 10 days ago

                                  Ake? Brooks? Lols

                                  1. Royal5
                                    • 7 Years
                                    2 months, 10 days ago

                                    Fraser/Wilson

                                    1. Tsparkes10
                                        2 months, 10 days ago

                                        Got Vardy, Fraser , Wilson

                              2. Giggs Boson.
                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                • 7 Years
                                2 months, 10 days ago

                                Hadn't considered Dwight O'Neil. Might take a punt.

                                I have 11 players with fixtures this week but one of them is Puncheon, so might be worth switching.

                                1. Twisted Saltergater
                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                  • 9 Years
                                  2 months, 10 days ago

                                  Do you have Brooks, GB?

                                  1. Giggs Boson.
                                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                    • 7 Years
                                    2 months, 10 days ago

                                    I do not. Might be a better option actually...

                                    I have Wilson.

                                    1. Twisted Saltergater
                                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                      • 9 Years
                                      2 months, 10 days ago

                                      Yep, I'm doubling up on those two.

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

                                Will Higuain need to be risked with Giroud in this form?

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

                                  Super sub 😀

                                2. Royal5
                                  • 7 Years
                                  2 months, 10 days ago

                                  Giroud will start

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

                                    Sure

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

                                  I wouldn’t be rushing to get him in

                                4. Twisted Saltergater
                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                  • 9 Years
                                  2 months, 10 days ago

                                  troll-la-la-la-la

                              4. Prison Mike
                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                • 3 Years
                                2 months, 10 days ago

                                Best option?

                                A) Aguero, Son & Camarasa -> Wilson, Hazard & Fraser (-8)

                                B) Aguero, Son & Jiminez -> Wilson, Hazard & Arnautovic (-8)

                                So... Arnautovic or Fraser?

                                1. Twisted Saltergater
                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                  • 9 Years
                                  2 months, 10 days ago

                                  A

                              5. Twisted Saltergater
                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                • 9 Years
                                2 months, 10 days ago

                                Am going to be getting Wilson in tomorrow. Who would you sell?

                                a) Barnes
                                c) Higuain

                                1. Tsparkes10
                                    2 months, 10 days ago

                                    Hig. Never considered him

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

                                    Sick pigs dont tend to be much use.

                                    1. Twisted Saltergater
                                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                      • 9 Years
                                      2 months, 10 days ago

                                      Chelsea are going to have a DGW later so I'm leaning towards selling Barnes.

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

                                        There’s your answer so.

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

                                    How did you end up being in such a situation??

                                    1. Twisted Saltergater
                                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                      • 9 Years
                                      2 months, 10 days ago

                                      planning 🙂

                                      Howe's press conference last week didn't sound promising that King would start, so I brought in Vardy for Long and benched Barnes vs Liverpool.

                                      I still want Wilson and he's an upgrade on Barnes, so I think I'll make that move.

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

                                  Giroud is going to steal Higuain's spot now, isnt he........

                                  1. Twisted Saltergater
                                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                    • 9 Years
                                    2 months, 10 days ago

                                    Nah, Sarri and Higuain were spotted in a tree k-i-s-s-i-n-g.

                                  2. Giggs Boson.
                                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                    • 7 Years
                                    2 months, 10 days ago

                                    It still surprises me that he wasn't first choice before Higuain's arrival. It seems only the French national team appreciate his qualities.

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

                                  Giroud is fantastic!

                                  1. Twisted Saltergater
                                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                    • 9 Years
                                    2 months, 10 days ago

                                    Much maligned as a donkey. Bit unfairly, imo.

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

                                      Hes a donkey whenever it matters. Has he ever scored an important goal?

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

                                      A bit? He was crucial for Arsenal more than a few times! Still strange to see him in the blue jersey instead of the red one…

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

                                  Score prediction Haz, gameweek 31 and 33?

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

                                    5 and 8

                                  2. child of God
                                      2 months, 10 days ago

                                      12 pointer in both

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

                                    Evening all. Which option looks best?

                                    A. Bednarek - > Ake. Field 9. No hit.

                                    B. Doherty - > Azpilicueta. Field 9. No hit

                                    C. Doherty & Jimenez - > Azpilicueta & Wilson (-4). Field 10

                                    Id lose 0.5m on Doherty & 0.6m on Jimenez so unlikely to rebuy

                                    1. Twisted Saltergater
                                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                      • 9 Years
                                      2 months, 10 days ago

                                      C, mate.

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

                                        Thanks

                                    2. Jimmy Boy
                                      • 2 Years
                                      2 months, 10 days ago

                                      B imo

                                  4. Jimmy Boy
                                    • 2 Years
                                    2 months, 10 days ago

                                    A) Azpilicueta and Barnes (LEI)
                                    B) Emerson and Maddison

                                    1. Tsparkes10
                                        2 months, 10 days ago

                                        A

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

                                      Sterling + Son + Rashford + (pogba / kamara) to

                                      A: hazard + Wilson + Mane - 4
                                      B: Mane + Wilson + Fraser - 4
                                      C: hazard + mane + fraser + Wilson/vardy - 8
                                      D: Mane + Vardy + Wilson + Fraser -8