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

    Surely Giroud doesn't oust Higuain unless the latter is still sick come the weekend...

    1. DandyDon
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Well he didn’t substitute him which helps but I’m not feeling good about it

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

        *sick=garbage

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

          Nah sick = sick.

          You can't say he's garbo. Not on the same level of troll as Richarlison for example.

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

          He's clearly not garbage.

      • Taking one for the team
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Doubt it, think Higuaín was precautionary

      • child of God
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Come on lads! lets not get carried away now , this is dynamo Kiev, hasn't been scoring goals off the bench in the prem. No chance he starts

      • 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?

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

        Alisson
        Robertson - Smith
        Barnes - Fraser - Salah

        Hamer - Doherty - AWB - Bednarek - Pogba - Sterling - Aguero - Jiménez - Kamara
        1FT - 1.4M ITB

        Doherty and Pogba > Daniels and Hazard (-4) so I potentially have 8 players with Smith being doubtful? Used my FH chip already so at the minute 31-33 is about damage limitation really.

        Any help much appreciated!

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

        Harvey Barnes at risk of rotation with Demarai Gray?

        1. child of God
            2 months, 10 days ago

            Only if they go back to 3 at the back which would be ridiculous imo

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

          Some of us are debating whether or not to ditch Pogba/Jimenez and lose a lot of values. That is complicated by the fact that we probably want them back in FH 32. I thought we could look at the calendar and consider the rotation risk.

          Historically, Nuno likes to rotate key Wolves players if they have three matched scheduled in a 7-day period. If they beat Man Utd in FA Cup QF, they will have the FA Cup SF right after their DGW 32 fixtures. That could mean Jimenez having limited game time in DGW 32. Also not helping is the fact that Wolves don't really have anything to play for in PL at this point.

          Pogba in general doesn't need a lot of rotation, and has started all PL matches under OGS. But that has something to do with his one-match ban in UCL. If Man Utd beat Wolves in FA Cup, they will have DGW 32 + FA Cup SF + UCL QF1. Four matches in a 12-day period. one would think, if Pogba gets any rotation at all, it will be in one of the two PL matches.

          If you plan to have both Pogba and Jimenez in DGW 32, you probably want them knocked out of the FA Cup. Interestingly, you are making two wishes, and one will be granted.

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

            Pogba will play every game that is available- so close to ensuring top four, still challenging for trophies- this is the Utd way!

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

          A/ Wilson
          B/ Vardy

          Have Brooks and Fraser, no Leicester

          1. Taking one for the team
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            Vardy

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

            “Have Brooks and Fraser, no Leicester”

            Do you want all in or spread the risk?

        4. Mc3
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          A) Kun -> Hig (depending on news) for -8
          B) Kun -> Wilson (Bmouth triple up) for -8
          C) Save (field 10 + Puncheon)

          Fab
          Robbo Chilwell TAA
          Salah(c) Hazard Fraser Maddison
          King Vardy Kun**

          Button/Puncheon WB Kiko

        5. mgilbert86
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Puncheon (never plays) -> Brooks for a hit?

          1. Taking one for the team
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            Hard to say without seeing the rest of your team

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

            Sure. Why not, live a little.

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

            Thinking the same, only with Fraser.

          4. Flapjack ✅
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            I did it last week. No reason not too if you’ll start Brooks in 31 and 33

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

            only if you actually plan to play him

        6. kime67
          • 1 Year
          2 months, 10 days ago

          hows this for a -8?
          boruc
          taa robbo pereira luiz
          hazard salah anderson brooks
          wilson barnes

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

          Wilson or Fraser?

          1. Daniel - The Veteran
            • 9 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            Both

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

              This

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

                but youve advocated i dont bring in fraser though?

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

                  See my comment to your question on your post

          2. Taking one for the team
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            Wilson

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

            if only one I'd go for wilson probably. both good options on paper though, and I will likely get both

        8. Daniel - The Veteran
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Why Sarri isn't giving chance to Giroud in pl is beyond me

          1. child of God
              2 months, 10 days ago

              Had his chances early on in the season and didn't make himself undropable

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

            Lascelles back in training. Push for the top 500 or so is back on ! Let’s go team flapjack

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

              Don’t let the rest “eat” away at you!

          3. Daniel - The Veteran
            • 9 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            5:0 juhuuuuuu

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

            Camarasa to Fraser to take me to a -8?? 2.4 ITB

            Fabianski (Boruc)
            Robertson Pereira // Doherty AWB Bednarek
            Salah Mane Anderson // Pogba Camarasa
            Vardy Wilson Higuain

            🙂

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

              Nope

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

                any reason? gives me 10 for the BGWs (playing FH32, WC34)

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

                  Newcastle is my main issue - don’t get me wrong I brought in Fraser and Wilson for free but for a hit against a team that doesn’t concede many especially against non top six teams i’m not so sure it’s worth the hit

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

              I'd do it

          5. kime67
            • 1 Year
            2 months, 10 days ago

            scenes at krasnodar

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

            Shouls this team do good with -8 or too much ?

            Fab
            Azpi/TAA/Pereira
            Salah/Mane/Hazard/Brooks
            Vardy/Wilson/Barnes

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

              Good team but what’s the -8

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

                Doh to Azpi for ultimate -8, doing Jim to Wilson -4 for sure

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

                  This is my dilemma, doh to azpi for a hit. I’ve already 10 playing but cS chances are down to 36% so I’m really torn - Jim to Wilson is more likely to pay out, come back scored and you fancy him to get another but azpi could just be brought in for 33. No doubt I have a couple of drinks fri night and take the gamble tho

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

                    Yeah similar thinking ! Good luck tho !

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

                      Cheers, you too! It’s going to be a messy one!

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

            A) Schar -> Pereira (-4)
            B) Play with 9 men

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

            Who to start this week:?
            A) Maddison
            B) Rondon

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

              A

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

            If rivals TV has dropped considerably but no trades that is a WC? Free hit shouldn't value drop as technically not selling the players??

            1. fr3ddy
              • 1 Year
              2 months, 10 days ago

              FH also drops value temporary

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

                I expected he'd FH so looking for confirmation. Does the value reappear when team returns?

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

                  Whatever the value of those you had before are when you regain them

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

              Correct

            3. g40steve
              • 1 Year
              2 months, 10 days ago

              FH will drop value, value restored once team resets.

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

              thanks all

          10. Pieterke30
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            Best possible front 3 in GW31?

            Wilson, Vardy and...

            A. Higuain
            B. Arnautovic (now that he seems likely to start - vs HUD)
            ??

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

              A imo

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

              A if fit

          11. WE ARE RANGERS
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            Loving all these hits, I have 11/12 without hits and good planning 🙂 Keep those hits coming 🙂

            1. fr3ddy
              • 1 Year
              2 months, 10 days ago

              🙂

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

              Would have been happy with 10 if Schar didn't get himself suspended. Now I'm left with 9

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

              Were you City less last week?

            4. JohnnyRev7 (Afghanistanisla…
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              2 months, 10 days ago

              And you don't link your team?
              Big man with a gun.

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

            Is the preference for Fraser over Brooks now mainly just based on last week's result, then? With Fraser hauling and Brooks not?

            Cause it was the reverse preferences mostly before that. Fraser link up play w/ Wilson a factor?

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

              The link-up play with Wilson is the only reason why I'm thinking of doubling up with both.

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

              What do you think?

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

              You know thats the way this place works, same as Mane being essential now when many preferred the double defence a week back.

              Always preferred Fraser and he and Wilson clearly compliment each other. Same stance as last week, Fraser the better option but if you can only afford Brooks its not the end of the world.

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

                This - Fraser Wilson link up worked a wonder 1st half season when the fixtures were good

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

              Yep. Recency bias.

          13. The Pep Revolution
            • 7 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            What teams are likely to have a DGW in GW32?

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

              Ask after FA cup

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

            Giroud earned a start at the weekend?

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

              No need to rush Higuaín back now I guess

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

              Probably not

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

              Like Hudson....

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

              Can't play Kiev every game............

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

            Auba G
            Ramsey A

          16. seanie3
            • 8 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            What are the games most likely to be played gw33

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

              The ones that should blank are if the remaining PL teams win FA Cup fixture this weekend.

              City
              Brighton
              Palace or Watford

              1. seanie3
                • 8 Years
                2 months, 10 days ago

                Thanks

          17. Monsieur Cantona
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            Does anyone know if you FH you loose a banked transfer ?

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

              Yes.

              In FPL, it has always been that if you play a chip, that's the equivalent to a transfer.

              1. TorresMagic™
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • Has Moderation Rights
                • 9 Years
                2 months, 10 days ago

                Only FH and WC though.

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

                How does the FH chip effect team value? Do you gain/lose value on the players you have free hitted in and equally does your original squad that you inherit back come back with the same price values?

                1. JohnnyRev7 (Afghanistanisla…
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 8 Years
                  2 months, 10 days ago

                  It doesn't. Your FH squad will not gain/lose any value. Your original squad that comes back are dependent on the usual price rises/falls through the GW.

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

            AMN! 😀

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

              So if you play your tv, then fh in the same week. Following gw you revert back to team with tv accounted for. But if you fh you shouldn't expect two tvs next gw ?

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

                Tv?

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

                  Transfer, sorry work acronym

                  1. TorresMagic™
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • Has Moderation Rights
                    • 9 Years
                    2 months, 10 days ago

                    Get your old team back, tf is cancelled.

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

                      kick to the gonads that is

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

                      This.

          19. PascalCygan
            • 1 Year
            2 months, 10 days ago

            Going to be taking a -4 hit to field 10 players.

            Worth taking Jimenez out for -8 if replacing with a player playing both 31 and 33?

            I'd only lose 0.2m from selling Jimenez...

            1. pingissimus
                2 months, 10 days ago

                Yes - just make sure it isn’t Arnie!

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

                  Thanks!

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

              Is it possible to make transfers for the regular squad before playing the free hit chip in the same gameweek or will free hit erase the previous transfers?

              1. TorresMagic™
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • Has Moderation Rights
                • 9 Years
                2 months, 10 days ago

                Free hit = erase

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

                See above, consensus is yes