I know how it is. You probably made your transfer(s) or activated your wildcard this week already. Heck, you may have even clicked “Confirm.” That’s fine.
But if playing FPL has taught me anything, it’s that international breaks are like cannibal lobotomists: they really make a hash of your mind. Just when you think you’ve finalized your squad, BLAMMO, here comes some lady or guy with an article about some players you might have overlooked.
So here I am, some guy, with a list of differentials with an eye on Gameweek 5 (and hopefully beyond). As of Tuesday, September 11, all players are currently less than 5% owned, though the goal is to find players owned far less so you can reap the rewards reserved for only the riskiest risk-takers.
Jonas Lössl - Huddersfield (£4.5, 1.5% owned) - So far, this sure feels like a season that makes “handcuffing” your goalkeeper a viable strategy. As we talked about on our podcast this past week, the results back up the season feeling: through 4 weeks, there have been 20 clean sheets, compared to 29 in 2017/18. Guessing clean sheets is tricky enough as it is, so why not take the guesswork out of it and just own both guys from one team? Though this strategy could easily work for Bournemouth keepers as well, I’m picking Huddersfield and there’s nothing you can do to stop me. In Huddersfield’s case, this gives you early season cheap-o darling Ben Hamer (£4.0, 7%) and the more-than-capable Lössl, who only played 1.75 matches so far and scored enough points to tie de Gea & Lloris. Not only are the Terriers’ matchups favorable overall until the beginning of December, it’s not bad to remember that Lössl was the 9th best keeper in FPL last season.
Leicester City Options At Every Level
Ben Chilwell (£5.0, 0.7% owned) – Two weeks ago, this space was focused on Ricardo Pereira, who is still an excellent option, as is Harry Maguire. However, I am surprised that the ownership needle hasn’t moved at all on Ben Chilwell. True, the returns haven’t been there, but the stats say that Ben is like an 11-months-pregnant lady: he’s way overdue. He’s supplied 23 crosses, tied with Willian for the 6th best total in the Premier League, and is tied with Roberto Firmino with 9 successful dribbles, the 4th best total in the league. Beyond that, as those dribble numbers suggest and as we discussed on our podcast this past week, his attacking importance to Leicester cannot be overstated. His touch map vs. Liverpool nearly mirrored that of Marc Albrighton, who was playing in front of him.
James Maddison (£6.5, 3.3%) & Demarai Gray (£5.5, 2%) - This choice might be budget-dependent, but I wouldn’t fault you for choosing either player. Gray leads the team in successful dribbles (10, 3rd best in the PL). Gray & Maddison are tied with 8 shots apiece (10th best total in the PL). Maddison has supplied 5 key passes (8th best total in the PL). Maddison is Leicester’s preferred corner & free kick taker. Ok, maybe I’m talking myself into Maddison here, at least as the safer of the two players. However, Gray is one of the best options at his low price, and might just be able to free up space for you to upgrade elsewhere, perhaps even at forward...
Jamie Vardy (£8.9, 3.2%) - I’ll just type it again. Jamie Vardy is 8 point 9 pounds and 3 point 2 percent owned. Of their next 5 opponents (Bournemouth, Huddersfield, Newcastle, Everton, Arsenal), the Cherries are the only team Vardy did not party against last season. He partied 7 times against those other clubs, though, including 3 parties total against Arsenal. It’s hard to think that Vardy will stay at this ownership or value for long.
João Moutinho – Wolves (£5.4, 1.6%) - Few names stick out on early season stat lists like Moutinho’s, and it’s not just because of that adorable tilde on João. No one has taken more corners this season than he has (20). Only 4 players have attempted more than his 24 crosses (three of them are Trippier, Holebas, and Mendy). He’s one of a whole bunch of players to create 2 big chances, which is the 3rd highest total thus far. He’s supplied 7 key passes, 6th best total so far. His 306 total touches is bettered on the team by only Ruben Neves’ 338, and just over 40% of his 233 total passes have been completed in the final third. Neves may have been the better choice for gameweek 1, but I think Moutinho stands to gain as much as anyone, especially with decent fixtures in 5 of the next 6 gameweeks.
Previously Discussed Players I Still Believe In
Wayne Hennessey – Crystal Palace (£4.5, 4.1% owned) – Luckily, I get to stand by this call for the next 5 weeks while Palace’s schedule remains FPL-playable. 2 weeks ago, he was just 2.6% owned, so good work to the 1.5% of you who scooped him up since then, despite tough fixtures vs. Liverpool & Watford, to get his 8 points against Southampton in week 4. James Tomkins is apparently nearing a return, plus Palace should be boosted by the news that Wilfried Zaha could start vs. Huddersfield. All of this points to Big Wayne (& Crystal Palace defensive options) as solid plays especially in the next two weeks, facing Huddersfield & Newcastle, who both rank in the bottom five of the Premier League in both shots and shots on target.
Will Hughes – Watford (£5, 1.5% owned)
Johann Berg Gudmundsson – Burnley (£5.9, 0.9% owned) - Could return this week to face Wolves.
Previously Discussed Player I Think Could Still Do Something But, Let’s Be Honest, Neither Of Us Is Buying
Steve Mounie – Huddersfield (£6, 0.3% owned)
Remember: being different is fun and good. Good luck in week 5!