Gameweek 38 offers Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers a final opportunity to identify a differential to inspire a final push up the rankings.
This time, we’ve selected low-owned picks at Brentford, Tottenham Hotspur 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.
- FPL ownership: 0.1%
- Price: £5.7m
- GW38 fixture: LEE
Despite a stop-start debut season at Brentford, Yoane Wissa (£5.7m) has been one of his team’s top performers of late.
The Congolese winger joined from French side Lorient for £8.5m in August but has taken time to adjust to Thomas Frank’s approach.
Earlier in the season, he came off the bench to score in successive matches against Liverpool and West Ham United, but was then dropped after his manager said he needed to “work harder off the ball”.
However, Wissa’s performances have picked up in his two most recent outings and there are clear signs that he is finally starting to settle. Against Southampton in Gameweek 36, his strike from outside of the box was impressive, before he then created one goal and scored another at Goodison Park last weekend.
In spite of that mixed start, Wissa is Brentford’s second-top scorer in the league this season behind Ivan Toney (£6.8m). He has seven goals, which is a very decent return considering he has only started 11 of the 37 matches. As a result, his 0.49 goals per 90 minutes ranks tenth among all Premier League players, highlighting his potential when afforded pitch time. Bryan Mbeumo (£5.2m), meanwhile, who has partnered Toney up front for much of the season, has started 33, yet has only found the net on four occasions.
An excellent 10-game run has seen Brentford leap up to 11th in the Premier League table, with a potential top-half finish on offer if they can beat Leeds United at home on the final day. Only Watford have kept fewer clean sheets than the Whites this season and while Jesse Marsch did oversee an initial defensive improvement, the fixtures have stiffened over the last four Gameweeks and the goal concessions have been flying in again.
Wissa’s place in the starting XI isn’t completely assured, especially when Frank uses a 3-5-2 formation. However, recent performances have been very good in a 4-3-3, which suggests he will be handed another opportunity to impress from the left in Gameweek 38.
- FPL ownership: 2.3%
- Price: £4.6m
- GW38 fixture: nor
Following the inclusion of Ryan Sessegnon (£4.3m) in last week’s column, this time it’s the turn of team-mate Emerson Royal (£4.6m).
Owned by just 2.3% of FPL managers, the wing-back has recently been handed a run of starts and stepped up in the absence of Matt Doherty (£4.5m) following his season-ending injury.
From Gameweek 31 onwards, Emerson has returned a goal, four clean sheets and two bonus across his eight appearances, producing 38 FPL points. Amongst all defenders, only Joel Matip (£5.2m), Marcos Alonso (£5.7m) and Marc Cucurella (£4.9m) have managed more, while he also ranks sixth for expected goal involvement (xGI) in that time.
The question for many is, which of Antonio Conte’s wing-backs is the better pick for Gameweek 38? In truth, they are both excellent options, but when comparing Emerson and Sessegnon’s underlying numbers since Gameweek 34, the latter has been the more creative of the pair, laying on a whopping five big chances for his team-mates. However, Royal edges the goal threat metrics, leading on goal attempts (6/3) shots in the box (5/3), efforts on target and big chances (both 2/0).
At this stage, we should point out that this is a very small sample size we are working with, but the above data is encouraging ahead of Sunday’s trip to Carrow Road. It’s also worth noting that Norwich City’s left side has been susceptible to conceding chances all season, with Dimitris Giannoulis (£4.4m) run ragged by Chiquinho (£5.5m) at Molineux last time out.
Royal has impressed for Spurs of late and now showing increased consistency, could be an effective differential for the final day.
- FPL ownership: 1.2%
- Price: £7.1m
- GW38 fixture: bur
Callum Wilson (£7.1m) turned in a man-of-the-match display on his return to action in Gameweek 37 after four months out.
The former Bournemouth man played just under 90 minutes and could have scored twice, whilst also playing a crucial role in both of his side’s goals.
Offering a different dynamic to that of Chris Wood (£6.3m), Wilson bullied the Gunners’ defence and ran the channels brilliantly, ending the match with team-leading totals for goal attempts, shots in the box and penalty box touches.
“Immense performance when you consider how long he’s been out and the type of injury it was. To deliver that on his first game back, I can’t say enough positive words about that performance. You see behind the scenes how he’s conducted himself and how hard he’s worked and it doesn’t surprise me because I’ve seen it times before in previous years but you have to back it with the performance.” – Eddie Howe on Callum Wilson
Wilson has missed a large chunk of the 2021/22 season but despite his lengthy absence, is still Newcastle’s top scorer this season with six goals. It’s also worth noting that he has found the net at a rate of a goal almost every other game since moving to Tyneside, with an impressive 18 in 38 starts.
Now, he will be hoping to add to that tally and end his season on a high when Eddie Howe’s side travel to Burnley on Sunday. The Clarets are fighting for their lives near the bottom of the table, but have allowed 11 goals in their last six home matches, whilst also conceding the fourth-most chances from the centre of the pitch under Mike Jackson, an area Wilson thrives in.
And Newcastle are in very good form, too. In fact, only Liverpool, Manchester City and Spurs have taken more points since the turn of the year.
Wilson is a real difference-maker for Newcastle, and could be a decent mid-price punt for those willing to take a gamble in Gameweek 38.
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