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Spot the Differential

Differentials emerging in defence ahead of Christmas period

Fantasy Premier League managers may find some interesting differential options in defence from Gameweek 17 onwards.

The last round of action saw a welcome return to form for a number of richly-owned offensive assets.

There were double-digit hauls for the likes of Harry Kane (£10.9m), Jamie Vardy (£10.1m), Mohamed Salah (£12.2m), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10.8m) and Son Heung-min (£10.0m) and many of these could continue to set the agenda for premium spending over Christmas.

However, as always, five of the top 10 Gameweek 16 scorers were owned by 5% of Fantasy managers or less. 

There is still plenty of budget value to capitalise on, especially among backline assets, which will be the focus of this latest Spot the Differential article.

Vicente Guaita 

Price: £5.1m 

Ownership: 2.1% 

GW17 Opponent: Brighton and Hove Albion (home)

With three consecutive clean sheets in a row, it’s becoming hard to ignore Vicente Guaita (£5.1m) and the Crystal Palace defence. 

Since Gameweek 14, no goalkeeper has scored as many Guaita, who has amassed 26 points, more than the 24 recorded by Vardy, over that period.

The Palace shot-stopper has been helped by a decent run of generous fixtures which continue to have appeal all the way up to New Year’s Day. 

It seems surprising that more FPL managers own the injured Hugo Lloris (£5.3m) than Guaita, even though the injured Spurs man in 3.6%. But that just highlights the potential for differential gains that Guaita offers and I’d be surprised if his ownership did not rise between now and the beginning of 2020.

Perhaps the biggest concern with Crystal Palace is the injuries that are being picked up by their defenders recently, including Patrick van Aanholt (£5.5m), Joel Ward (£4.4m) and Jeffrey Schlupp (£5.5m) while Mamadou Sakho (£5.0m) is suspended for the next two. 

This may weaken them during the festive fixtures although ongoing defensive absences haven’t stopped them in recent outings. 

Some might consider Kasper Schmeichel (£5.3m) for a little more of their budget given Leicester’s defensive form but he still has to face Manchester City and Liverpool in Gamweeks 18 and 19 respectively.

This weekend, Gutaita goes up against Palace’s rivals Brighton who have the seventh-worst away record in the league since August and only three teams have scored fewer goals on their travels since Gameweek 1 too.

Jonny Evans

Price: £5.2m

Ownership: 4.8%

GW17 Opponent: Norwich City (home)

After a fantastic run of form that has catapulted Leicester second place in the league, you would be forgiven to think that all of their defenders would be highly owned.

But despite being a regular starter for the Foxes, Jonny Evans (£5.2m) is still a de facto differential, sat in just 4.8% of teams.

It might seem strange that he hasn’t attracted more attention but up until very recently, Çaglar Söyüncü (£5.1m) was offering exactly the same as Evans but for much cheaper.

However, with their prices now similar, the former Manchester United man is starting to look more attractive.

He has scored 20 points over the last two Gameweeks and last weekend he had more penalty touches (four) than Kane (3), indicating that he can be a threat for the Foxes.

Leicester have kept five clean sheets in their last seven games and are more than capable of making it six from eight against a Norwich team with the worst away record in the league. 

Bigger tests lie ahead after that, with a trip to the Etihad followed by hosting Liverpool on Boxing Day and it may be a tough ask for Leicester to hope for clean sheets in those matches. 

But one thing is for certain, they are a completely different unit under Brendan Rodgers, both in defence and attack. Therefore, Evans is a viable long term pick if you don’t currently have anyone from the Leicester defence.

George Baldock

Price: £4.8m 

Ownership: 5.0% 

GW17 Opponent: Aston Villa (home)

If you missed out on the John Lundstram (£5.1m) bandwagon or are looking to double up on Sheffield United defensive assets then look no further than George Baldock (£4.8m).

In recent weeks, the right wing-back has shot up to fifth for FPL points scored among defenders. As things stand, Baldock has registered a higher season total than Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.3m) and Virgil van Dijk (£6.4m).

Of course, his tally received a massive boost after he found the net and assisted against Norwich last Sunday, but he has actually outscored Lundstram by 34 points to 31 since Gameweek 11 anyway.

That said, Sheffield United’s lack of clean sheets of late is slightly problematic. Since Gameweek 9 they have only kept one and it’s somewhat surprising that they conceded three goals in their last two games, against Newcastle United and Norwich.

However, Baldock’s offensive potential combined with Aston Villa’s defensive problems could see him register more attacking returns.

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978 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Johan Queef
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 12 days ago

    Got a transfer to burn so any advice appreciated on some dullard moves:

    A) Pope to someone (Henderson/Guita/Ryan??)

    B) Saiss to Kelly or Cahill

    Ideally I wouldn't get rid of Pope before a home match but he's my only playing GK and the fixtures are dire.

    Team is:

    Pope
    TAA, Lord, Soy, Lund, Rico
    Mane, KDB, Maddison, Alli, Mount
    Vardy, Jimmy, Connolly

    Thanks!

    1. Gaddafi
      2 months, 12 days ago

      pope to martin

      1. Johan Queef
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 12 days ago

        I could do McGovern to Martin (Fabianski will be back eventually)

        1. Gaddafi
          2 months, 12 days ago

          he's blanking next week but it's worth it for the cheap backup, so you can start him over Pope for the bad gws.

    2. Ole Trafford
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 12 days ago

      I had a transfer to burn and done Saiss to Cahill.

      1. Johan Queef
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 12 days ago

        Seems like a good long term move for winter fixtures

    3. Planet Head
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 12 days ago

      What about KDB to Son?

      1. Johan Queef
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        I think that might me a move I do next week. Giving KDB another chance against dodgy arsenal

  2. tiger
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 12 days ago

    Should I play Baldock or Lundstram?

    1. Gaddafi
      2 months, 12 days ago

      lundy tbh, more attacking prospects to be fair.

    2. Planet Head
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 12 days ago

      I'd got for Baldock out of the 2. Almost never touches the ball in his own half compared to Lun, check out their heatmaps

  3. ASAP Rocky
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 12 days ago

    Any suggestions on what to do with this lot?

    Schmeichel - Button

    VVD - TAA - Tomori - Kelly - Lundstram

    Pulisic - Mane - Maddison - Cantwell - Alli

    Vardy - Kane - Mousset

    1. Gaddafi
      2 months, 12 days ago

      You have a wildcard?

      Sell Tomori/Mousset for Ings/Clark.

    2. Holmes (specialist in failu…
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 12 days ago

      Save FT.

      If you have 2, then change Tomori

    3. F0oTBall GuRu
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 12 days ago

      tomori needs to go

      1. ASAP Rocky
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 12 days ago

        No wildcard. I just don't want to lose the FT.

        1. ASAP Rocky
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 12 days ago

          Is Rashford or Abraham more important to bring in?

    4. Planet Head
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 12 days ago

      Tomori to Rico for a rotation with Lunds

  4. gomez123
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 12 days ago

    GTG??
    Ryan
    TAA Soyuncu Lundstram
    Mane James Pulisic Tielemans
    Rashford (vc) Kane Vardy (c)

    Button/Cantwell/Dunk/Mings

    0.6m in bank 1 FT

    1. Gaddafi
      2 months, 12 days ago

      gtg

  5. Camzy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    2 months, 12 days ago

    For anyone that still has WC, I strongly recommend WC'ing in 18.

    It looks as though 20 is viable. But there's a big problem. You have 48 hours only to do it. That means you have far fewer days of price rises, you have less time to come up with an optimal strategy especially since the games will be played and will change your mind. The end result is that you'll be seriously rushed and could do something kneejerky like bring in a player who scored well in 19.
    .

    1. Ole Trafford
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 12 days ago

      I tend to agree with all of this. I blew mine at the beginning though. Premature wilcardation.

    2. Cricket_Badger
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 12 days ago

      I'lll be in a country with little or no internet for the next few weeks so it's going to be a real pickle. Only downside of being away over Christmas, aside from the turkey.

    3. HMC
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      That’s the plan for me. A lot of players are auditioning for me this game week

  6. Over Midwicket
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 12 days ago

    Who do you prefer?
    Kelly (4.3) huge ownership
    Cahill (4.5) low ownership and more goal threat?

    1. Ole Trafford
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 12 days ago

      I went Cahill

      1. Ole Trafford
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 12 days ago

        Have a good feeling about it so likely a red card.

    2. F0oTBall GuRu
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 12 days ago

      Kelly

    3. Camzy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 12 days ago

      Cahill.

    4. Brosstan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 12 days ago

      Cahill is nailed forever. Kelly isnt.

  7. FPL FREAK
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 12 days ago

    Pope.
    Tomori. Lundstram. Kelly.
    Mane. Son. Alli. KDB.
    Vardy (c). Abraham. Ings.

    Subs: Button. Rico. Hayden. Lescalles.

    Is it worth getting Tomori > Someone for a hit...??? Iam worried that my cup opponent will thrash me since he have some good def options... I have Rico in subs but I think that won't help much..

    So who should I get in def for a hit....????

    1. Bushwhacker
      2 months, 11 days ago

      No. Probably not even worth it if you can guarantee a clean sheet.

  8. Cricket_Badger
    • 7 Years
    2 months, 12 days ago

    WC in hand - planning to use GW19. So for this week just Jimenez --> Abraham (FT)?

    Henderson
    VVD - Tomori - Lundstram - Willems
    Mané - KDB - Son - Maddison
    Vardy - Jimenez

    Button - Cantwell - Greenwood - Rico [1FT + 1.2m ITB]

    1. HMC
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      I like owning Jimmy
      Would rather move Tomori for free as your defence look suspect

  9. Crystal Alice
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 12 days ago

    Gazza
    TAA Robbo Lundstram
    KDB Mané Maddison Zaha
    Vardy Tammy Ings

    Button Doherty McGinn Rico

    2FT.. 0 itb, wildcarding before GW20
    Any good moves? Thinking Button > Martin otherwise

  10. HMC
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    Best keeper to get if owning Guaita on wildcard?
    Have heaton right now but he’s not doing so well. Would rather own Targett
    Best to have 4m to use funds elsewhere?
    I’m so used to playing keeper rotation over the years

  11. Fatboy Fatboy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    Fixtures don’t help decide this week. Mount looked good last match Bou up next.…single digit hauls but thinking of betting against a defence...two from Soyuncu Lundstrom and Mount. Thoughts appreciated