As a template begins to form in this new Fantasy Premier League season, the value of differentials only increases from week to week.
So far in 2019/20, we have found several initially overlooked budget players offering points potential to their small number of owners.
Gameweek 2 saw Teemu Pukki (£6.8m) and Seamus Coleman (£5.5m) deliver for the differentials crew, registering 17 and five-point hauls respectively.
With this in mind, let’s hope for further success in Gameweek 3.
GW3 Opponent: Norwich City (away)
Before August 2019/20, Mason Mount (£6.1m) hadn’t even played a minute of Premier League football and yet in the space of two games, he has already begun to make a name for himself at Stamford Bridge.
The young midfielder is already displaying the kind of form that steered Derby to the Championship play-off final last season.
Of course, the Rams fell at the final hurdle but the fact that Frank Lampard managed him then and now is very significant. Whisper it quietly, but is he moulding Mount to follow in his own famous playing style at Chelsea?
In the first two Gameweeks, Mount ranks second for goal attempts among midfielders priced at £7.0m or less.
Of course, it’s still early days and he isn’t going to score in every other game but a generous fixture run points towards the potential for Mount to continue his form.
Up next for Chelsea is a Norwich City team that may have impressed with their attack against Liverpool and Newcastle but who also have a questionable defensive record.
Even if Chelsea can’t defeat them, I would expect Mount to cause trouble to their unreliable backline.
GW3 Opponent: Aston Villa (away)
Everton started August where they finished off last season, with a continued run of clean sheets.
After two games they remain the only team yet to concede in the Premier League.
This recent success has been in no small part to centre-back Yerry Mina (£5.6m).
The Colombian international was blighted by injury during 2018/19 and has quickly become an important defensive asset for Everton in the absence of Kurt Zouma.
So far, Mina is ranked third for FPL points among all defenders at this early stage, despite registering no attacking returns.
The centre-back has claimed bonus points in both Gameweeks thus far for his defensive contributions, also helped by Everton’s attacking players not delivering at the other end of the pitch.
Furthermore, there aren’t many other defenders that boast goals in 29% of their matches on the international stage, which included three goals at the last World Cup.
However, despite these attacking credentials, he’s had no touches in the final third so far this season.
For now at least, if you were to buy Mina, it would be for his defensive fortitude and bonus points potential.
Everton are due to play newly-promoted Aston Villa on Friday night. They may have scored in their first two games, but their team is still in a transitional state and needs time to gel together.
GW3 Opponent: Crystal Palace (home)
Manchester United’s defence has looked in much better shape this season since the arrival of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire this summer.
Solskjaer’s youthful team demolished Chelsea with a comfortable clean sheet win on the opening weekend and it took a Rúben Neves wonder-goal to breach them on Monday night.
Despite all the FPL interest centring around those aforementioned new boys Wan-Bissaka and Maguire, there is still plenty Luke Shaw (£5.5m) can offer.
Despite only being 24, the former Southampton man is one of the ‘elder statesmen’ at Old Trafford.
He has been there for five years and it was only last season when he finally overcame several challenges and established himself as the club’s first-choice left-back.
Despite a lacklustre end to their Premier League campaign in May, he was held in such high regard that he was voted the 2018/19 player of the year by Manchester United fans, as well as his team-mates.
He may not have registered any attacking returns so far, but he is beginning to show some early promise with his involvement further up the field. F
Among defenders priced at £5.5m or less, he is ranked as joint eighth for touches in the opponents half (77) and 12th for touches in the final third (41).
Shaw can certainly build upon his five assists from last season if he continues to get in the right areas and if the in-form Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford can sustain their early clinical touches and goalscoring runs.
Manchester United are due to host a goal-shy Crystal Palace in Gameweek 3.
The Eagles have not scored at Old Trafford in the Premier League since December 2004 which certainly bodes well for Shaw and his defensive colleagues.
Also, beyond this game, he has a generous fixture run which further validates his promise as a tantalising differential.
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