As a Fantasy Premier League template already begins to emerge it becomes all the more important to have at least a standout differential in your team before the potential bandwagon takes off.
The opening Gameweek of the season saw a number of highly-owned premium attackers deliver fantasy returns but last week’s differentials, Anthony Martial (£7.6m) and Ashley Barnes (£6.5m) also chipped in for good measure.
So here are three low-owned players for Gameweek 2 that may be worth having a think about…
GW2 Opponent: Tottenham Hotspur (home)
Raheem Sterling grabbed the headlines with a much
But we should not forget about one of the Citizens key architects in Gameweek 1, midfielder Riyad Mahrez (£8.5m).
The Algerian international made the most of his surprise start by delivering a hat-trick of assists in the big win.
In some ways it was surprising that he featured from the beginning after reaching the final of the African Cup of Nations and winning it over the summer, but having been rested for the Community Shield it seems he was good to go.
There’s no doubt that Pep Guardiola highly rates him, especially after averaging a goal or assist for every 121 minutes played in the league last season – all the more remarkable when considering that he wasn’t a regular starter in this competition
The only concern with choosing a player like him is the risk of losing out to ‘Pep Roulette’. Guardiola
But it wouldn’t make sense for Guardiola to radically reshuffle his team so early on in the season. After all, he wasn’t able to
Of course, it was a surprise that the slightly injured Bernardo Silva didn’t play last Saturday but it would take some doing for him to bench Mahrez after his Gameweek 1 performance.
Perhaps Mahrez is only worth a punt if you’re looking to Wildcard early. In any case, City averaged a staggering 3.2 league goals per game last season and face Tottenham next who they’ve beaten during their last four Premier League encounters.
GW2 Opponent: Newcastle United (home)
Despite being on the wrong end of an opening day heavy defeat at the hands of Liverpool, Teemu Pukki (£6.5m) broke the hearts of millions of FPL managers by scoring a consolation goal at Anfield.
His three shots in the box and two key passes demonstrated his attacking abilities, especially given he was able to record them in one of the hardest away matches in the Premier League.
In fairness, the way Norwich played against Liverpool, they were unlucky not to score at least twice. They certainly did not park the bus and were not afraid to venture forward against the reigning European champions.
In some ways this may have caught Liverpool off guard after their less than mediocre pre-season and Norwich’s attacking intensity could provide clues to their approach for the games ahead. After all, they averaged more than two goals per game which ultimately helped them to win the Championship.
Their next match will be at Carrow Road where they host a Newcastle United team that looked uninspiring in Steve Bruce’s first competitive game in charge. The much heralded 3-5-2 formation did not work effectively, even against a makeshift Arsenal team.
The Magpies are notorious for being sub-par on their travels and I would expect Pukki to exploit their vulnerabilities in defence. Beyond Gameweek 2, as demonstrated last Friday, his Gameweek 1 display suggests he can also be a threat to even the strongest of defences
We generally pick differentials who are owned by 5% or less, and Pukki was in 4.9% squads when we picked him out. Such is his popularity that he has risen to 5.5% since then.
GW2 Opponent: Watford (home)
Seamus Coleman (£5.5m) could be one of many Fantasy assets to excel in Gameweek 2 as he prepares to host a Watford side that failed to impress on opening weekend.
The Everton right-back has been a consistent source of Fantasy returns in defence over the last decade, averaging 17 a season (including clean sheets) over the last five years, if we exclude the 2017/18 campaign in which he was blighted by a long-term injury.
There aren’t many other defenders that can match this record over the same period and he started well last weekend with a clean sheet at Selhurst Park.
Of course, there were minor concerns over the summer about Coleman being dislodged with the high profile loan-signing of Djibril Sidibe from AS Monaco, but it seems unlikely that the club captain will lose his place straight away.
Everton’s clean sheet potential remains intact despite the loss of Idrissa Gueye over the summer. Against favourable opposition they should be more than capable of showing the defensive form that helped them keep 14 clean sheets last season.
This weekend, the Toffees face a Watford side who looked out of sorts at Vicarage Road in Gameweek 1 and it’s hard to see how the Hornets will trouble Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday.
Coleman is not only £0.5m cheaper than Lucas Digne but he still offers an attacking threat from the other flank of Everton’s defence. He is worth considering as an alternative route into the Everton defence if you can’t afford the France international.
His fixtures over the coming weeks are also positive with Aston Villa (away), Wolves (home), Bournemouth (away) and Sheffield United (home) coming up.
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Lessons learned from Gameweek 1
- Liverpool 4-1 Norwich
- West Ham United 0-5 Manchester City
- Bournemouth 1-1 Sheffield United
- Burnley 3-0 Southampton
- Crystal Palace 0-0 Everton
- Watford 0-3 Brighton and Hove Albion
- Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Aston Villa
- Leicester City 0-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
- Newcastle United 0-1 Arsenal
- Manchester United 4-0 Chelsea