Gameweek 6 is almost upon us which gives us an opportunity to have a look at some more Fantasy Premier League (FPL) differential options.
This time, we’ve selected low-owned picks at Southampton, West Ham United and Everton 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.
- FPL ownership: 3.0%
- Price: £6.0m
- GW6-10 fixtures: WOL | che | LEE | BUR | wat
Adam Armstrong (£6.0m) has made a promising start at Southampton after joining for a reported £15m in August.
The 24-year-old took the Championship by storm last season and was second in the scoring charts with 28 goals in 40 appearances. He also registered 189 shots, more than any other player in the English leagues.
Now at Saints, he will need time to adapt to top-flight football, but has already scored against Everton and supplied an assist at Newcastle United. He also thought he’d won his side a penalty at Manchester City last weekend, only for it to be overturned by the referee at his pitch-side monitor. Blanks have arrived in three of his five fixtures, then, but it is worth noting the opposition that he is faced during that time, which has also included games against Manchester United and West Ham United.
Despite those tricky fixtures, his underlying numbers remain solid. Amongst all forwards, he ranks second for shots (16) – only trailing Michail Antonio (£7.9m) – with 11 of those attempts arriving inside the box. His 1.46 expected goals (xG) total, however, is trumped by 11 others.
Following last weekend’s 2-0 loss at home to Brentford, it’s hard to know which Wolverhampton Wanderers will turn up in Gameweek 6. The Molineux outfit’s defensive numbers have generally been good this season, but they have managed just one clean sheet during that time. A move for Armstrong also feels like more of a long-term play, given his fixtures from Gameweeks 8 to 12: Leeds United (h), Burnley (h), Watford (a), Aston Villa (h) and Norwich City (a).
At Man City last weekend, Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side were superb, and with fixtures now easing, Armstrong could emerge as the best budget forward to own in Fantasy Premier League (FPL).
- FPL ownership: 1.1%
- Price: £5.4m
- GW6-10 fixtures: lee | BRE | eve | TOT | avl
West Ham United’s new signing Kurt Zouma (£5.4m) has impressed in his two appearances for the club, and quickly established himself as a key part of David Moyes’ backline.
After watching from the bench at Southampton in Gameweek 4, the 26-year-old featured from the start at Dinamo Zagreb last Thursday before facing up to Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.7m) on Sunday. Despite the Hammers conceding twice in that latter game, his performance was excellent, as he made 12 clearances as well as two crucial interventions to stop Man Utd adding to their tally.
While Zouma’s forthcoming fixtures – at least on paper – don’t scream ‘buy me’, it’s worth noting that none of his opponents are exactly firing on all cylinders going forward, while defensively, West Ham aren’t easily broken down, with the effective Declan Rice (£5.0m) and Tomas Soucek (£5.9m) screening the back four.
There is also potential for Zouma to deliver attacking returns.
Despite limited minutes in 2020/21, he scored five Premier League goals at Chelsea, while his headed attempts per 90 minutes total was only trumped by Harry Maguire (£5.4m). That suggests that he could get some joy from set-pieces this weekend, against a Leeds United side who could be four centre-halves down and have already conceded twice from dead-ball situations this season, plus 15 times in 2020/21 – the most in the division.
Zouma could take advantage of those weaknesses, then, and be a nice differential punt with just 1.1% ownership.
- FPL ownership: 3.2%
- Price: £5.5m
- GW6-10 fixtures: NOR | mun | WHU | WAT | wol
Abdoulaye Doucoure (£5.5m) has hit the ground running so far this season, with a goal, three assists and 27 FPL points to his name already.
The Frenchman was predominantly used in a deeper midfield role in 2020/21, but has thrived after being handed more attacking responsibility by Rafa Benitez. That has been especially apparent when Everton use a 4-3-3 formation, which enables Doucoure to roam and have more influence in the final third.
He has also impressed defensively, as he leads the way amongst all midfielders for ball recoveries (45) and ranks in the top 10 for aerial duels won.
There will understandably be reservations about investing in the Toffees’ assets after their heavy loss at Villa Park in Gameweek 5, but I do think that it was a more even contest than the scoreline maybe suggested, while it’s also worth noting that the defeat was their first of the campaign.
Encouragingly for Everton’s forward players, this weekend’s opponents – Norwich City – have made plenty of defensive mistakes since returning to the Premier League. Across their five opening matches, they have conceded 14 goals, and while they have had a tough start against Liverpool, Man City, Leicester City and Arsenal – they struggled against Watford last weekend, giving up six big chances in the process.
With Benitez’s gameplan based around getting lots of crosses in the box via the impressive Andros Townsend (£5.4m), Demarai Gray (£5.8m) and Lucas Digne (£5.4m), Doucoure could thrive this weekend, and given that three of his next four fixtures at home, could be an effective midfield differential.