Gameweek 13 of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) is almost upon us, which gives us an opportunity to have a look at some more differential options.
This time, we’ve selected low-owned and somewhat unfashionable picks at Watford, Brighton and Hove Albion and Burnley 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: 4.1%
- Price: £5.6m
- GW13-17 fixtures: lei | CHE | MCI | bre | bur
Joshua King (£5.6m) has slotted seamlessly into Watford’s attack this season, and has particularly impressed following the arrival of Claudio Ranieri.
Despite a disappointing loan spell at Everton last term, where he could only find 138 Premier League minutes, he has since thrived as the Hornets main centre-forward. Prior to Ranieri’s appointment, he assisted three times against Norwich City and Newcastle United, and has followed that up with four goals in four games under the Italian, including a hat-trick at Goodison Park. It could have been more, too, as he won the opening penalty against Manchester United last weekend, only for Ismaila Sarr (£6.0m) to miss.
Notably, over the last four Gameweeks no player in any position – not even Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) – can better him for goal attempts (17) or big chances (seven), while only the Egyptian has more penalty box touches in that time.
Life at Vicarage Road has been anything but dull since Ranieri’s arrival. In his five games in charge, Watford have scored nine goals and conceded 10, with a visit to a Leicester City side up next who have failed to keep a single clean sheet since the opening day. In fact, the Foxes’ 21 goals conceded is the joint-third worst in the division, while the expected goals (xG) tally is only slightly better. The schedule to follow is admittedly tough, but eases from Gameweek 16 onwards, with games against Brentford (a), Burnley (a), Crystal Palace (h), Wolverhampton Wanderers (a) and West Ham United (h) before the end of the year.
King has delivered a string of impressive displays of late, and given his appealing longer-term schedule, could be the pick of the budget forwards over the festive period.
- FPL ownership: 0.8%
- Price: £4.4m
- GW13-17 fixtures: LEE | whu | sou | TOT | WOL
Tariq Lamptey (£4.4m) has been Brighton and Hove Albion’s stand-out performer since returning from injury, and was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet against Aston Villa last weekend, when he was denied by a fine save from Emiliano Martinez (£5.5m).
The youngster was substituted late on, with Villa scoring twice soon after his departure, as Graham Potter continues to manage his recovery following his long-term hamstring problem. As a result, he surely won’t start every game in December, but providing you have a strong bench, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue, especially given his budget price tag.
Lamptey’s positioning since returning from injury has been hugely encouraging, playing very far up the right flank and often hugging the touchline. Because of that, since making his first start in Gameweek 11, amongst all defenders, only Reece James (£6.1m) and Ben Chilwell (£6.0m) have touched the ball more often in the opponent’s penalty area, with his four shots in the box only bettered by Chelsea’s wing-backs and team-mate Antonio Rudiger (£5.9m).
Albion now face a Leeds United side who have struggled in attack all season, scoring just seven Premier League goals in seven games in the absence of Patrick Bamford (£7.7m). Encouragingly, for those considering investing, their meeting with Marcelo Bielsa’s side marks a reasonably favourable run, too, with matches against Southampton (a), Wolverhampton Wanderers (h) and Brentford (h) in the coming weeks.
Lamptey has been a real threat down the wing for Brighton in recent matches, and with an ownership of just 0.8%, could be an effective defensive differential.
- FPL ownership: 1.3%
- Price: £6.7m
- GW13-17 fixtures: TOT | wol | new | WHU | WAT
Chris Wood (£6.7m) may have had a slow start to the season, but has now netted two goals in his last three appearances.
The New Zealand international has been a model of consistency since joining Burnley from Leeds United back in August 2017, scoring at least 10 goals in each of his four top-flight campaigns.
This season, he has posted team-leading totals for goal attempts, shots in the box, efforts on target, big chances and penalty area touches, while his performances over the last three Gameweeks have helped his team beat Brentford and take points from in-form Chelsea and Crystal Palace. That’s coincided with Wood and Maxwel Cornet (£6.1m) being paired together up front, a period which has seen Sean Dyche’s side score more goals than any other team bar Liverpool.
Looking ahead to Gameweek 13, Wood could find some joy against a Tottenham Hotspur backline which is still adapting to a new style of play under Antonio Conte, while fixtures to follow against Wolverhampton Wanderers (a), Newcastle United (a), West Ham United (h) and Watford (h) offer further encouragement that he can kick-on.
Burnley appear to have moved up a gear in recent weeks, with more confidence on the ball, and given that Wood has scored two in his last three, could be a nice differential pick for our frontlines.
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