Everyone already knows about the top fantasy Premier League players. It’s easy enough to add the likes of Sergio Aguero, Romelu Lukaku, Dimitri Payet, Mesut Ozil, Kevin De Bruyne, or even Riyad Mahrez (despite his falling star status). It is more difficult to find those FPL differentials that will help your team to make up some ground.
There is a reason for template teams and there is a reason for selecting the top scoring players because they have consistently performed and shown that they can bring your team points. In trying to get in a player as a differential the whole idea is that they haven’t been as consistent throughout the whole season, but more recently have shown that they can step up and make a difference for their team as well as your FPL team. One of the key things to look at is the ownership percentages and being able to pick up players that are not as highly owned as someone like Mahrez at 65.2%.
Michail Antonio: £5.2m – 1.2% ownership
While the majority of FPL managers have Dimitri Payet in their lineup, Antonio is a cheaper option when looking at West Ham players and a valuable FPL differential. While his performance dropped off in week 22, he’s still the most in form player in fantasy Premier League at the moment.
Going up against Manchester City at the moment isn’t the most ideal time, but West Ham are playing at home where they are currently unbeaten in their last eight matches and they have scored two goals in the last two home matches. With Dimitri Payet back in the lineup (creating 8 chances since his return) the Hammers have scored a total of 6 goals including two that Antonio has assisted on.
A match against Manchester City is going to be a difficult ask, but West Ham have already proven they can beat the Citizens this season and it is quite possible that City will focus on Payet, leaving Antonio as the man to step up. This is as good a time as any to bring him to your FPL team.
Jermain Defoe: £5.2m – 3.9% ownership
As a differential up front Defoe’s ownership isn’t quite as low as Shane Long (£5.7 and 0.8%), but his price is much lower and his form is better. The bigger difference here is the fact that Defoe has been a scoring machine against the teams in the lower part of the table.
In recent matches he has scored two against Aston Villa (38 goals allowed) and a hat trick against Swansea City (30 goals allowed). In Saturday’s match Sunderland host Bournemouth, a team that has allowed 37 goals this season with 21 of those given up in games on the road.
This is the chance to get Defoe in, if you haven’t already, while he’s hot. In addition to getting an in form striker, you also are picking up a forward at £5.2m and creating extra room to bring in Sergio Aguero, who is expected to continue his scoring run in the coming weeks.
Jonjo Shelvey: £5.3 – 1.9% ownership
Right now Georginio Wijnaldum is the Newcastle player to own, but he is rapidly becoming highly owned and no longer a differential. To make his case even worse, he’s a player that has only really thrived on playing at home. His points at home averages out to 7.25 per game, while his points on the road is an average of 3.1. Factor in that the bulk of his 87 home points came in the week 9 four goal display that netted him 25 points, and he’s no longer looking like a great pick at £7.0m and ownership numbers rising. He’s a player that will need to be played and stuck with to make him worth owning and Newcastle does not have another back to back home match gameweek for the rest of the season, making him even less desirable for me.
Shelvey may have only picked up two points in the official FPL game, but he did show signs of the player that he can become at Newcastle United. In his first match for Newcastle he had one shot on target and created one chance for the team while also winning three tackles. With favorable matches coming up against Watford this weekend and at home to West Brom in week 25, he’s a good choice for a cheap midfielder to make room for the likes of Sergio Aguero.
If Shelvey can settle in at Newcastle, then he’s a great differential pick. The problem right now is the fact that he’s struggled to settle in and is a risk, even as a differential. Still, he’s shown promise in the past and seems to have a desire to do well for Newcastle.
When you’re setting up your fantasy Premier League team this week make sure that you take a look at these FPL differentials that can change your red arrows into green.
For more FPL writing you can find my work at Togga as well as here on the site including my weekly Premier League predictions. Good luck and have fun!