Spot the Differential

FPL Gameweek 1 differentials: Digne, Maddison and Bamford

The Fantasy Premier League (FPL) Gameweek 1 deadline is now upon us, which gives us an opportunity to have a look at some differential options for the start of the season.

As always, we’ve selected three players with an ownership of five per cent or less at the time of writing, who represent viable alternatives to some of the more popular assets out there.

LUCAS DIGNE

Digne’s FPL potential evident in Aston Villa debut 5
  • FPL ownership: 4.3%
  • Price: £5.0m
  • GW1-5 fixtures: bou | EVE | cry | WHU | ars

Lucas Digne’s (£5.0m) performances towards the back end of last season were particularly strong, as he settled into his new role as one of Steven Gerrard’s attacking full-backs.

From Gameweek 22 onwards, his first outing in an Aston Villa shirt, the Frenchman created more chances than all defenders bar Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m). In that time, he ranked third for successful crosses and fifth for final-third touches, while as a corner taker, he also has an additional route to points.

Villa produced some decent defensive displays under Gerrard, as they ranked eighth amongst all Premier League sides for actual goals conceded from his appointment in Gameweek 12 onwards. Not only that, but they look set to tighten up further at the back in 2022-23 following the acquisitions of centre-back Diego Carlos (£5.0m) and defensive midfielder Boubacar Kamara (£5.0m).

Villa have played five matches during pre-season, winning four whilst keeping a trio of clean sheets. Now, with an appealing run against Bournemouth, Everton and Crystal Palace inside the first three Gameweeks, there is potential to start strongly.

In all of Gerrard’s favoured set-ups, be it a narrow 4-3-2-1, 4-3-3 or diamond formation, Digne will be handed plenty of freedom to attack, and as a result, could be a nice differential pick for the opening rounds.

JAMES MADDISON

Eriksen Covid latest as Maddison and Castagne haul 1
  • FPL ownership: 5.0%
  • Price: £8.0m
  • GW1-5 fixtures: BRE | ars | SOU | che | MUN

James Maddison (£8.0m) has performed well in pre-season, notching four attacking returns which included an assist against Sevilla last weekend.

“James Maddison, it’s the best I’ve seen him in the three-and-a-half years I’ve been at Leicester. He looks now really physically strong, technically confident and tactically, his view of the game is outstanding.” – Brendan Rodgers on James Maddison’s pre-season form

The playmaker had a slow start to 2021/22, producing just one assist in the first 12 Gameweeks. However, he went on to register a whopping 22 attacking returns in his final 23 appearances, averaging an eye-catching 7.4 points per start in that time.

As a result, he ended the campaign as the fifth highest-scoring midfielder in FPL.

While Leicester City’s first eight fixtures aren’t anything to shout about, they do face Brentford and Southampton in Gameweeks 1 and 3, opponents Maddison scored against last season.

Zero summer signings may have contributed to a sense of a worry around their assets in FPL, but the Foxes hit over 60 Premier League goals last season, despite a demanding European campaign and an injury-hit squad.

Now, Leicester will benefit from the easing of fixture congestion in 2022/23 as a result of their non-involvement in Europe, and given that Maddison is in contention for an England call-up for the World Cup, could pick up where he left off last season.

PATRICK BAMFORD

Scout Notes 7
  • FPL ownership: 1.3%
  • Price: £7.5m
  • GW1-5 fixtures: WOL | sou | CHE | bha | EVE

Patrick Bamford’s (£7.5m) fitness has been carefully managed over the summer, in the hope that he can now leave last season’s injury woes behind him.

The striker was restricted to just nine top-flight appearances in 2021/22, but registered just under 200 FPL points a couple of years ago, as he netted 17 goals and 11 assists under Marcelo Bielsa.

Bamford has made four appearances throughout pre-season and in his last outing against Cagliari, captained the side and scored an excellent brace in a 6-2 win.

Now, he is expected to start against Wolverhampton Wanderers after gaining 90 minutes of action against the Italian Serie B outfit, with manager Jesse Marsch giving an encouraging update earlier this week.

“It’s been a huge week for him, he looks great, he looks fit, he looks sharp. The good thing as well is now having Patrick closer to 100%, we’ve been able to work tactically through what we want him to look like. I believe there’s a lot of room for improvement and that’s our goal to help him. He looks great, he’s psychologically incredibly excited and I know we have a great player on our hands. Is he at 100%, probably not but he’s close.” – Jesse Marsch on Patrick Bamford

He should also be on penalty-taking duty, too, having previously scored two from two.

2021/22 was a difficult campaign for Leeds United which involved a change in the dugout, and as a result, they are a bit of an unknown quantity ahead of this new campaign. However, according to our Season Ticker, only Arsenal have a better opening seven matches than the Whites.

Undoubtedly, the sale of Raphinha to Barcelona will be a huge loss, but if Bamford can stay injury free, he could re-emerge as one of the best mid-price forwards in FPL.

FPL pre-season: Trossard hits hat-trick from wing-back role 2

1,368 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Jimjam
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    3 days, 3 hours ago

    (A) Robertson, Walker, Mount.
    (B) James, Dias, Diaz.

    1. Miguel Sanchez
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      3 days, 3 hours ago

      b

    2. AC/DC AFC
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      3 days, 3 hours ago

      A

    3. krawiecus
      • 1 Year
      3 days, 3 hours ago

      A

  2. The Duke
    • 11 Years
    3 days, 3 hours ago

    Which do you reckon for long term?

    A - Ederson & Gabriel
    B - Ramsdale & Walker

    Cheers

    1. 007 [RoboKlopp]
      • 5 Years
      3 days, 3 hours ago

      B

    2. WVA
      • 5 Years
      3 days, 3 hours ago

      A as Walker offers little

    3. krawiecus
      • 1 Year
      3 days, 3 hours ago

      A

    4. The Duke
      • 11 Years
      3 days, 3 hours ago

      Cheers, I was leaning on A

  3. Louis99
    • 7 Years
    3 days, 3 hours ago

    How will Cucurella affect James' role, if it does at all? Another option in the back three means James more likely to be pushed to wing-back, right?

    1. Bushwhacker
      • 3 Years
      3 days, 3 hours ago

      Doesn't effect him at all ; suspect Cucu will play left side of a back three with James and Chill up the sides.

  4. LochineFDC
    • 10 Years
    3 days, 3 hours ago

    Back after a long hiatus. How's my team looking,
    Mendy | Ward
    TAA | Chillwell | Tripper | Castagne | Patterson
    Mount | Diaz | Saka | Bailey | Fernandes
    Vardy | Jesus | Wilson

    Have a great season everybody

    1. Louis99
      • 7 Years
      3 days, 3 hours ago

      Zeromium! That is radical. Perhaps too radical. But I

      1. LochineFDC
        • 10 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        I will probably get kane if this goes downhill but i think vardy will have a great first half of the season

      2. Louis99
        • 7 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        Sent early - see below.

    2. DeuloRad
      • 6 Years
      3 days, 3 hours ago

      What am I missing RE Chilwell?

      1. LochineFDC
        • 10 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        I think james is as likely as chilwell to not play. If he's healthy he's up against patterson this week which could be a haul. But its early and i can always transfer him out

    3. Louis99
      • 7 Years
      3 days, 3 hours ago

      Zeromium!

      That is radical, perhaps too radical. Vardy and Bruno in particular I'm just not sure are worth the cash. Also Chilwell needs to be shipped, not a guaranteed starter.

      Nevertheless, I commend the bravery, and Wilson is a great differential.

    4. Bushwhacker
      • 3 Years
      3 days, 3 hours ago

      Fernandes a hella punty . . . but hell why not!

  5. lampsblues
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    3 days, 3 hours ago

    A or B?
    A) Martinelli and Cancelo
    B) Sala and Walker

    1. lampsblues
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 days, 3 hours ago

      Sala*

      1. lampsblues
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        Fu***autocorrect. Saka*

      2. WVA
        • 5 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        Huge fail

        A btw

    2. krawiecus
      • 1 Year
      3 days, 3 hours ago

      A

    3. Meganburrows
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      3 days, 3 hours ago

      A

  6. Zola
    • 12 Years
    3 days, 3 hours ago

    Final dilemma - can you guys offer an opinion on what looks best here:

    A) Cancelo, Trippier, Neto (5-3-2, having to bench Neto/Bailey GW1)
    B) Dias, N. Williams, Mount (4-4-2, no bench headache)

    Cheers

    1. LochineFDC
      • 10 Years
      3 days, 3 hours ago

      A looks better

  7. AD2110
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    3 days, 3 hours ago

    1) Kane or Haaland?

    2) Best 4.5m fwd?

    1. Finding Timo
      • 1 Year
      3 days, 3 hours ago

      Kane and archer or greenwood

  8. Top Lad Dakes.
    • 5 Years
    3 days, 3 hours ago

    People captaining Salah or Haaland, if choosing between?

    1. Bushwhacker
      • 3 Years
      3 days, 3 hours ago

      Salah, not even a debate.

    2. Sgt. Schultz
      • 5 Years
      3 days, 3 hours ago

      Salah

  9. Johan Queef
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    3 days, 3 hours ago

    Last one I promise...

    A) Ramsdale & Walker
    B) Leicester 4.0 boys & James

    Thanks!

    1. Truicegod
        3 days, 2 hours ago

        for me A

    2. Disco Stu
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      3 days, 3 hours ago

      A. Walker/Robbo

      B. Cancelo/Tripper

      1. Joey Jo-Jo Junior Shabadoo
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        A

      2. WVA
        • 5 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        I'd want robbo cancelo trippier

        1. Disco Stu
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          3 days, 3 hours ago

          Right now, I have TAA/Cancelo/James/Tripper/Neco

          Just trying to decide if to stick or do Walker/Robbo instead of Cancelo/Trip

    3. FantasyHero
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      3 days, 3 hours ago

      Pick one

      1. Digne/Cash, Almiron (already have bailey), and Haaland

      2. James, Mahrez/mount, Wilson

    4. reo19uk
      • 11 Years
      3 days, 3 hours ago

      Last decision I need to make I think.

      Kane or Haaland?

      1. FantasyHero
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        K

      2. Pompey5
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        H

      3. Disco Stu
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        I'm going K this week and switching to Haaland next

      4. JoeSoap
        • 8 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        Tough one. Kane this week & Haaland next week but do you want to waste a transfer on that already.
        Currently on H but not happy about having no Spurs.

    5. mad_beer ✅
      • 7 Years
      3 days, 3 hours ago

      I was fully confident in going without Jesus. But I have caved because I'm too scared.

      Guaranteed blank.

      1. Sadge
        • 1 Year
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        I am going without Jesus. I honestly think people underestimate Crystal Palace defending ability and pre season form doesn't really matter that much ...

        I might get punished super hard though but it is what it is ...

    6. Mr Ozil
      • 7 Years
      3 days, 3 hours ago

      Hi All,

      Pick 2 please:

      A- Bailey
      B- Neto

      1- Rashford
      2- Martinelli (have Jesus)

      1. Dee Lixon
        • 5 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        A1

      2. WVA
        • 5 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        A1

      3. Apwilkin
        • 2 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        A1

    7. Eleven Hag
      • 4 Years
      3 days, 3 hours ago

      Mahrez or Mount?

      1. Top Lad Dakes.
        • 5 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        Mahrez

      2. Pompey5
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        Mahrez

      3. Men in green tights
        • 3 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        Mount

    8. Top Lad Dakes.
      • 5 Years
      3 days, 3 hours ago

      Bench Neto or Bailey? Why?

      1. CONNERS
        • 3 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        Bailey playing the worst team in the league (probably)

      2. mad_beer ✅
        • 7 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        Seems odd that you have that kind of decision on GW1.

        1. Top Lad Dakes.
          • 5 Years
          3 days, 3 hours ago

          Why?

          Ramsdale (Ward)
          TAA Cancelo James Trippier (Williams)
          Salah Rashford Martinelli Bailey (Neto)
          Haaland Jesus (Archer)

          1.5 ITB

      3. Jam0sh
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        Neto. Playing oop

    9. Ste75
      • 9 Years
      3 days, 3 hours ago

      Justin or Botman?

    10. ganjalf
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        Do you think City will find new full-back to the end of transfer window?

      • fantasist
        • 12 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        Worth taking a punt on Elanga as a budget midfielder? Is he likely to start?

      • Manani
        • 10 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        should i downgrade any of these to upgrade Martinelli to Saka?
        a. Cancelo
        b. James
        c. Robertson

        1. Ady87
          • 8 Years
          3 days, 3 hours ago

          No

        2. Mattador
          • 7 Years
          3 days, 3 hours ago

          no

      • Pompey5
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        Which option?
        A - Robertson and Ward
        B - James and Ramsdale

      • THE SHEEP HUNTERS
        • 5 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        Only 7 Entrants!!

        The Sheep Hunters Whisky challenge league. (H2H)

        Winner will get a bottle of Johny Walker Black(YUM) and an engraved tumbler.!

        Rules: Only sheep and over 18's please.
        https://fantasy.premierleague.com/leagues/auto-join/n1bab5

        1. SAY MY NAME
          • 5 Years
          3 days, 3 hours ago

          signed up...

        2. Jam0sh
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          3 days, 3 hours ago

          😀

      • Ady87
        • 8 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        Anyone starting Kane and, all good no well, bringing in Haaland GW2, or just starting Haaland if preferred over the longer term and hoping to bank FT?

        1. Ady87
          • 8 Years
          3 days, 3 hours ago

          Going*

        2. Pompey5
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          3 days, 3 hours ago

          Just Haaland. Going to need the free transfers

        3. Men in green tights
          • 3 Years
          3 days, 3 hours ago

          Transfer in gw2

        4. SAY MY NAME
          • 5 Years
          3 days, 3 hours ago

          going Kane, will stick unless Haaland smashes it and spurs look poor

        5. Bushwhacker
          • 3 Years
          3 days, 3 hours ago

          Starting Kane . . will see how Haaland fares for minutes and impact.

      • CONNERS
        • 3 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        Hey all

        Good luck everyone. Does this look all look ok?

        Ramsdale
        TAA - Robbo - James - Cancelo
        Salah (c) - Kulu - Maddison - Bailey
        Jesus - Wilson

        Steele / Archer - Neco W - Andreas

      • Botman and Robben
        • 5 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        Good luck everyone. Any last improvements to make?

        Ward
        TAA Cancelo James Trippier
        Salah(C) Diaz Rashford Martinelli
        Kane Jesus

        Sanchez N.Williams Andreas Greenwood

        1. CONNERS
          • 3 Years
          3 days, 3 hours ago

          Looks good

        2. royals forever
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 12 Years
          3 days, 3 hours ago

          G2G

      • royals forever
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 12 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        Your opinion please

        Is this team G2G or are there any changes that you make to it

        Ramsdale Ward

        TAA James Walker Dalot Williams

        Salah Saka Diaz Rashford Pereira

        Jesus Kane Greenwood

        Any ideas would be welcomed

        1. Bushwhacker
          • 3 Years
          3 days, 3 hours ago

          Template.

      • lordkippe
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        Getting close! Does this team look ok? 1m itb

        Ward (Iversen)

        Taa - Cancelo - Trippier - Digne ( Williams )

        Salah - Saka - Mahrez - Rashford ( Andreas )

        Kane - Bamford ( Dervisoglu )

        1. Mattador
          • 7 Years
          3 days, 3 hours ago

          maybe not Bamford - rest looks fine

        2. Bushwhacker
          • 3 Years
          3 days, 2 hours ago

          For differential I'd go Wilson over Bamford

      • Mattador
        • 7 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        3rd post no response - someone put me out of my misery please
        A) Perisic, Neto, Haaland
        B) Neco, Rashford Kane

        1. royals forever
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 12 Years
          3 days, 3 hours ago

          B

        2. lordkippe
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          3 days, 3 hours ago

          B for me

        3. WVA
          • 5 Years
          3 days, 3 hours ago

          B

      • Zoostation
        • 8 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        Stop tinkering? 1.0 ITB or Neto to Rashford?

        Ward (Sanchez)

        TAA Cancelo James Gabriel (Williams)

        Salah (C) Diaz Martinelli Neto (Andreas)

        Kane Jesus (Archer)

        1. royals forever
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 12 Years
          3 days, 3 hours ago

          Neto > Rashford

      • Ady87
        • 8 Years
        3 days, 3 hours ago

        In that awkward position between wanting work colleagues to start with half decent teams so they don’t lose interest and also wanting to win all their money. Lots of bizarre picks in the work league and most of them have been in 6 years+ now!