Spot the Differential

Fit-again Pereira can return to 2019/20 form in Castagne’s absence

Gameweek 23 is almost upon us after another quick turnaround, which gives us an opportunity to have a look at some more differential options.

This time, we’ve selected low-owned picks at Leicester City, Burnley and Newcastle United, who we think have the potential to make an impact.

As always, to qualify, the player must have an ownership of 5% or less at the time of writing.

Ricardo Pereira

  • FPL ownership: 0.2%
  • Price: £5.9m
  • GW23-27 fixtures: wol | LIV | avl | ARS | bha

Ricardo Pereira (£5.9m) is showing signs that he is almost back to full-fitness, as he completed his first 90 minutes of the season against Fulham on Wednesday night.

Benefitting from Timothy Castagne’s (£5.7m) injury, which is set to keep him out for a ‘short period of time’, the 27-year-old started at Craven Cottage and even had a goal ruled out in the second half for offside.

The numbers caught the eye, too.

Pereira finished the match with 23 final-third touches. Amongst team-mates, only James Maddison (£7.3m) had more, and for context, his colleague on the opposite flank, James Justin (£5.1m), had nine. He also racked up more penalty area-touches, take-ons and crosses than the English full-back during the match, which is encouraging. 

The return of several injured players, including Çaglar Söyüncü (£5.3m) and of course Pereira, has given the Foxes a boost ahead of a testing run of fixtures, which sees them take on Wolverhampton Wanderers, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Arsenal before the end of the month. However, it’s worth pointing out that two of the next three are on the road, where Leicester have won 26 points so far, their second highest total in a Premier League campaign after their 2015-16 title win.

Now almost up to speed, Pereira is surely a must-start for Brendan Rodgers side, and with his ability to bomb forward like a winger, could be an effective differential in the coming weeks.

“He’s one of the top full-backs in the Premier League. We lost him in a game in which he was outstanding. We’ve gained in two ways because it allowed James Justin to come in and grow. Now, to have Ricky back with all of his qualities. He’s not there yet but he’s getting up to speed. We’re really strong in that area of the field.” – Brendan Rodgers

Ben Mee

  • FPL ownership: 1.9%
  • Price: £4.9m
  • GW23-27 fixtures: BHA | cry + FUL | WBA | tot | ARS

English centre-back Ben Mee (£4.9m) has become one of the Premier League’s most consistent defenders in recent seasons, and could be a solid differential given Burnley’s schedule which now includes a Double Gameweek.

The Clarets started the season slowly going seven games without a win, but saw their performances improve once Mee returned to the starting XI following a thigh injury. Since then, the solidity Sean Dyche’s side are renowned for has returned, and resulted in seven clean sheets in their last 17 attempts in all competitions.

Despite just two of those shut-outs arriving this year, it’s worth pointing out that their recent schedule has been tough, with each of their last six league opponents all in the top 10. However, they now have a run of winnable matches against teams in the bottom half, which includes an appealing Double Gameweek 24 against Crystal Palace and Fulham. 

Encouragingly, they have already kept clean sheets against their next four opponents earlier in the season, too.

Captain Mee also carries a bit of goal threat from set-pieces, which has already seen him score against Sheffield United and Aston Villa this term. That could be important too, given that Brighton and Palace often look vulnerable defending crosses into the box, and while clean sheets remain the most likely source of points, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if he were again to take advantage from a dead-ball situation in the coming weeks.

Ryan Fraser

Sterling's away form and low ownership can do real FPL damage
  • FPL ownership: 0.2%
  • Price: £5.6m
  • GW23-27 fixtures: SOU | che | mun | WOL | wba

Despite a stop-start season at Newcastle United, largely due to injury, Ryan Fraser (£5.6m) has impressed in recent matches.

That upturn in form has coincided with Steve Bruce’s decision to switch to a 4-4-2 diamond formation, which has seen the Magpies take more shots than any other side since Gameweek 20.

Operating in a more advanced role alongside Callum Wilson (£6.8m), the more ambitious approach is getting the best out of Fraser, who ranks joint-top for chances created among all Premier League players over the last three matches. He’s also created three big chances, a total only Bruno Fernandes (£11.4m) can match, and whipped in a massive 36 crosses.

The 26-year-old’s appeal is further boosted by this weekend’s opponents Southampton, who following their heavy midweek defeat at Old Trafford have now conceded 15 goals in their last four league matches. It’s also worth noting that they’ve given up 21 chances from their right flank during that time, only Burnley have allowed more, which is relevant with Fraser often drifting into those areas, where he can cut inside onto his stronger right foot.

Fraser has had a testing start to his time in the North East, but can provide a genuine threat for Newcastle when fully fit, and could be a nice pick-up for those on the lookout for a real midfield differential in Gameweek 23.

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858 Comments Post a Comment
  1. AdamJ91
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 10 days ago

    Feel like I'm gonna have a benching nightmare this week but in terms of transfers, should I save or use my FT?

    1 FT; 1.0 ITB

    Pope - Martinez
    Cancelo - Dias - Digne - Dier - Coufal
    Salah - Bruno - Son - Gundogan - Soucek
    DCL - Antonio - Bamford

    1. The 12th Man
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      Id save with that squad. 2 FTs next week will be handy.

    2. Scholes Out Forever
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      Save

      Play 352, bench Dias and one of digne dier

  2. The 12th Man
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 10 days ago

    Best move here with 2 FT's and 4.6m itb
    Martinez
    Cancelo,Coufal,Chilwell
    Salah,Fernandes,Grealish,Gundogan,Soucek
    Antonio,Watkins

    Johnstone,DCL,Dias,Digne
    Guessing its Chilwell out for a Leeds or Burnley defender.
    No Son or Bamford this week though.

    1. Original Pirate Material
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      Dont worry about Son.

      Id go for Burnley defender.

  3. sergioaguero67
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 10 days ago

    Must haves for DGW 24 and 25

    2 City defenders
    Lucas Digne, DCL
    Bamford, Dallas, (Rafinha/Harrison)
    A Burnley defender like Lowton (at a stretch)

    Anyone else?
    Discuss.

    1. The 12th Man
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      Pope and Mee are popular picks too.

    2. Scholes Out Forever
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      Digne is not a must have IMO. The double has City as the extra fixture... hats basically a 2 pointer

      1. Baps hunter
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        Or 1 pointer tbh

      2. ivantys
          3 months, 10 days ago

          He will be decent when everton beat spurs in the cup.

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

      A, B or C please guys.

      Martinez Forster
      TAA Robbo Dias Cancelo Rudiger
      Salah Fernandes Son Burke Bissouma
      DCL Bamford Antonio

      A - Martinez to Pope
      B - TAA to Mee
      C - Save.

      Thanks!

      1. SharkyT
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        B

      2. The 12th Man
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        b

    4. Sprets
        3 months, 10 days ago

        GTG? Bench order correct?

        Pope
        Cancelo - Coufal - Justin
        Gundogan - Fernandes (c) - Salah - Grealish - Son
        Bamford - Antonio

        Meslier - Wilson - Dallas - Dias

        1. The 12th Man
          • 7 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          aye

      • SharkyT
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        1FT Bellerin or Kilman to:

        A) Rudiger
        B) Mee
        C) Azpi
        D) Shaw

        £3.5m ITB

        1. Original Pirate Material
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          Kilman, B

        2. The 12th Man
          • 7 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          Bellerin to Mee

      • LewanGOALski
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        What should I be looking as my transfer/s this GW?

        Martinez
        Dias - Cancelo - Dallas
        Salah - Son - Bruno - Soucek
        DCL - Antonio - Bamford

        Button - Gundo - Coufal - Kilman

        2 FTs
        Bank: 5.1

        1. The 12th Man
          • 7 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          one of :-
          Button > Areola
          Kilman > Mee / Lowton

      • Scholes Out Forever
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        Alioski over Dias to start this week...

        Is that craziness

        1. Original Pirate Material
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          Yes. I think city keep liverpool out.

      • Original Pirate Material
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        When will the ticker get updated please?

      • Yozzer
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        Justin or Dallas chaps ?

        1. Original Pirate Material
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          J

      • Pukki Party
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        Any news on Charlie Taylor injury?

      • Drogba Legend
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        Best move with City/Liv fixture this week and Chil maybe losing his place now? Sitting at 48k and as of now, I'm starting Soucek over Robbo or Stones/Dias.

        Fabs
        Chil* - Dias - Stones
        Salah - Bruno - Rash - Gundo
        DCL - Bam

        Fodder - Robbo - Brewster - Fodder

        A) Robbo > any defender
        B) Chil > any defender
        C) Gundo/Soucek > Grealish
        D) Brewster > 8.4 forward (Ings, Cavani, Antonio, Watkins, etc)
        E) Something else.

        Appreciate any help!

      • hullcityfan
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        I think Mee is being a bit overrated on here. Sure he has 2 goals this season but only got 1 in the 3 seasons before that.

        Much prefer Pope as a way into the Burnley defence. He has averaged 2.4 bonus points per clean sheet this season which is insane.

        1. Christina.
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          both
          easy

          1. Baps hunter
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 10 days ago

            Yes, everyone should have 2 ft:s.

          2. hullcityfan
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 10 days ago

            Also an option. I'm happy with Cresswell in a single against SHU so think I'll just go with Pope. Depends on your team though.

          3. The 12th Man
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 10 days ago

            Do you drop Martinez for him though or go Martinez/Pope and have a headache every week?

        2. Original Pirate Material
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          Get both.

        3. HammersXI
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          Pope is 5.5. Not many people have that much excess. And also taking out Martinez with tons of DGW incoming also seems like a poor choice by many atm.

        4. Steve The Spud
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 10 days ago

          I would get Pope but I have fabianski at home v shu in the double, don’t really see the upside as big enough to burn a transfer on that

      • FootballDog
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        Pick 2 plz.

        1. Bamford
        2. Watkins
        3. Barnes

      • Contegious
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        Martinez
        Justin Cancelo Coufal
        Bruno Salah Son Soucek
        Bamford Watkins DCL
        Steer Mahrez Stones Mitchell
        GTG with the bench?
        And who to cap?

      • Mr Ozil
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        Best Burnley Defender?

        A- Mee
        B- Lowton

        1. Christina.
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          mee/tark if lots of cash

      • Gudjohnsen
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        Coufal, Saka to Lowton, Grealish?

        1. iL PiStOlErO
          • 2 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          Yes yes

        2. HammersXI
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          Can you just do Saka to Grealish instead? Wouldn't want to lose Coufal vs Fulham

      • Do I Not Like Orange
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        Watkins/Salah > Antonio/Son for free a decent play this week?

      • OneDennisBergkamp
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        so Son vs WBA is a differential captain... wow

        1. Baps hunter
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          Only here. He will be the most captained player in top 10k imo.

      • MGD
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        Chilwell -> Dallas with DGW incoming?

        1. HammersXI
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          if you have more FT i would go for Burnley defender first before Dallas

      • West Hammered
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        2FT 0.2ITB Pretty stuck for ideas this week.

        Martinez
        Cancelo Dallas Coufal
        Salah Fernandes Son Grealish Soucek
        Bamford Antonio
        Bench: Steer, DCL, Digne, Stones

        Any suggestions?

        1. HammersXI
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          I would take out Stones for a Burnley defender. But that's taking out one DGWker for another. But I would rather have Sterling / Gundogan over Stones and Cancelo vs Spurs and Everton

      • HammersXI
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        Unsure of what to do, do I move for A/B?

        A) Take out Dallas for Rudiger and potentially have 6 DGW players ( Lowton Dias Stones DCL Lookman and Sterling) for 3 FT in 2 weeks

        OR

        B) Take out Stones for Rudiger and have 4 DGW players ( Lowton Dias Gundogan Sterling) for 3 FT in 2 weeks.

        1. The 12th Man
          • 7 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          Dallas has a double in 25 doesn't he?
          Wouldnt do either.

          1. HammersXI
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 10 days ago

            Planning to WC so removing Dallas wouldn't make a diff

            1. The 12th Man
              • 7 Years
              3 months, 10 days ago

              Id do A then.

              1. HammersXI
                • 8 Years
                3 months, 10 days ago

                Thanks man! Would you bench the double City defenders this week tho?

      • tissae
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        Do you guys play 2 City defenders this GW, or bench one? If so, who are you starting instead or who would you bring in instead of Bednarek here?

        Martinez
        Cancelo Dias Cresswell

        Bench: Bednarek Mitchell

        1. HammersXI
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          I'm very inclined to bench both tbh.

          Bednarek's red has been overtuned, hence he's back in action. I mean if you're not playing him against Newcastle I'm not too sure what other fixture he is in for.

          That being said, you could easily do Bednarek to Rudiger / Burnley defender and bench one of the city defenders.

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

          I'll bench both.

      • ChickenTikkaMoSalah
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        4.7ITB 2FT
        Martinez
        Robbo,Dias,Stones
        Salah(C),Bruno,Gundo,Raphinha
        Antonio,Bamford,DCL

        Button, Bowen,Zouma,Kilman

        What to do?!

      • zorro121
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        Would you play Dallas or Justin this week?

        Other playing defenders will be Cancelo and Coufal. Dias on the bench.

        1. OneDennisBergkamp
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          i'm playing Cancelo, Coufal & Justin

      • Catastrophe
        • 10 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        Best upgrade for this week?

        - Mee (BRI) with Stones (liv) benched
        - Pope (BRI) with Martinez (ARS) benched
        - Antonio (ful) with DCL (mun) benched

        Cheers.

      • Lazaretti
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        Jorginho seems to be nailed - on pens - 4.7

        1. Fit_to_drop
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 10 days ago

          Snap! Me seeking answer to same question also. Maybe some Chelsea fans have an insight into it. Some nice fixtures ahead.

          1. Lazaretti
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 10 days ago

            I would say that he plays next 2 as they need creativity against defending sides and Jorginho definitely can offer that. Someone wrote here that Tuchel likes to have Jorginho type of player in his starting11. But I am not sure if he will keep his place.

      • Fit_to_drop
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 10 days ago

        Jorginho likely to hold his place in Chelsea line-up?

        1. Miguel Sanchez
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          Tuchel likes to rotate so would be careful with Chelsea for now

          1. Lazaretti
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 10 days ago

            This is good point. See above comments

      • FantasyFooty01
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        Into week 3 of last man standing, who should I pick? comment below. 50 left..
        Already picked:
        Chelsea
        Man City

      • Forza Papac
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        What's the story with this Ferguson fella at Palace? I've had him since GW1 because I thought he'd be a starter once fit.