Over the course of the last ten Gameweeks we have seen a group of players emerge as the most popular players in the game as a result of their form, fixtures and in most cases both. The ten most owned players include:
- Dominic Calvert-Lewin (7.9m) – 60.8%
- Heung-Min Son (9.5m) – 57.6%
- Harry Kane (10.9m) – 42.9%
- Jack Grealish (7.7m) – 41.8%
- Bruno Fernandes (10.8m) – 38.4%
- Patrick Bamford (6.1m) – 35.2%
- Ben Chilwell (6.1m) – 33.5%
- Mohamad Salah (12.2m) – 29.8%
- Jamie Vardy (10.2%) – 28.7%
- Emiliano Martinez (4.8%) – 27.3%
In order to build a team containing all of these players you would need to spend 86.2m leaving just 13.8m for the other five players you need to build a squad. As such being selective about which of these most highly-owned players you choose is vital, as is selecting the right differentials.
Differentials are key to the success of a Fantasy Premier League squad. Mostly because if chosen correctly their points returns can boost your status in terms of mini-league position and overall rank. However, differentials can also be vital for making the squad budget works as they are often lower value players who enable FPL managers to afford as many of the key highly-owned, highly-valued players as possible.
We asked the members of the Scout Network who they think looks to be the best under 5% owned differential for the run up to Christmas.
Ted Talks FPL graphic for Jack Harrison
Jack Harrison (5.5m) Leeds United – 1.5%
With an assist for Leeds’ winning goal against Everton on Saturday, Harrison is now on four attacking returns for the season. That’s one every 2.5 games. More importantly, he’s displaying some excellent underlying numbers which could suggest that this rate of returns will improve. 18 Chances Created in the last six Gameweeks is only bettered by Bruno Fernandes, of which three big chances created is only bettered by Grealish, Fernandes, De Bruyne and Ziyech. In the same period, 10 Shots, including two big chances means that he is demonstrating combined goal and assist potential.
After Chelsea in Gameweek 11, Leeds play West Ham, Newcastle, Burnley and West Brom in their next five games, three of those at home. Excellent fixtures for budget midfielder Harrison to target. The form of Patrick Bamford is also a plus for the left winger with an increased chance of his crosses being converted. Harrison did pick up a knock towards the end of the Everton match, forcing him off the pitch but the initial reaction indicated nothing serious.
El Statto heatmap – showing Abraham as a penalty box forward
Abraham’s points against lower ranked teams so far this season
Tammy Abraham (7.2m) Chelsea – 2.7%
With all their attacking options brought in the summer I think it was commonly expected that Abraham would be a bench option this season. However, he is proving pivotal to how Chelsea play, he is very much the penalty box poacher (see heatmap) allowing the likes of Werner, Ziyech, Havertz and Pulisic to influence the game from outside the box and in wide positions.
Tammy is averaging two shots per game, although slightly distorted by being in and out of the team over the first six Gameweeks with reduced minutes, however since then he has scored two in four. He is averaging 4.2 pts per game thanks to three goals and two assists already and returning in just over half of the games he’s played.
The most appealing thing for Abraham (and Chelsea in general) is their great run of fixtures over Dec, LEE/eve/wol/WHU/are/AVL. So far, against the non-top-six is where Abraham has performed better (see points split) but also they are up against teams that will allow chances and with Ziyech pulling the strings behind him I really expect his goal tally in particular to benefit over the busy Christmas period.
Alioski in action for Leeds United
Ezgjan Alioski (4.4m) Leeds United – 0.5%
Interestingly enough Alioski was one of the players we tracked before the season started. He, however, did not make his first Premier League start until Gameweek 6.
Over the past 3 games, the North Macedonian international has started in 3 different roles on the left side for Leeds and has excelled. Against Everton, Alioski was deployed as a winger, supporting Harrison and Bamford with his runs on the left. He is listed as a defender and has benefited greatly from Leeds’ back-to-back clean sheets.
Leeds have been playing well with their current set of personnel and set-up so we can expect Alioski to continue to keep his place in the starting eleven. At his price point (£4.4m), only Fabian Balbuena of West Ham and Max Kilman of Wolves have more FPL points.
In Alioski, we may have found the Lord Lundstram of this season – a listed defender deployed in midfield.
Tielemans celebrates scoring for Leicester City
Youri Tielemans (6.4m) Leicester City – 3.2%
Tielemans, and Leicester City generally have not set the world on fire so far this season. The Belgian has returned attacking returns twice this season against Leeds and Manchester City as well as two clean sheet points against Wolves and West Brom.
Whilst the attacking returns haven’t yet been constant the return of key players from injury such as James Maddison will bolster the Leicester attacking and as a result should improve Tielemans attacking output.
Tielemans currently sits 12th in the game for influence with only the likes of highly owned players such as Fernandes, Son, Sarah, Grealish and James Ward-Prowse ahead of him. As such the underlying stats are there to suggest that Tielemans should return some good points for his FPL Managers in the build up to Christmas – especially in fixtures against Sheffield United, Brighton and a Digne-less Everton.
Jesus celebrates scoring for Man City vs Wolves
Gabriel Jesus (9.3m) Manchester City – 1.5%
With some talk that Aguero has re-aggravated his injury, and already a confirmation that Pep isn’t going to rush the Argentine back when fit, this should mean that Jesus is set to get his fourth consecutive start in the Premier League. With two goals and one assist in nine Gameweeks, there’s no surprise he’s just 1.5% owned. However, delve a little deeper and you’ll find his stats the past three Gameweeks are on par with that of other highly owned strikers.
He’s played 270 minutes the same as Calvert-Lewin and Harry Kane, scored the same amount of goals (one) as Kane and Bamford and has one assist along with Kane over his competitors. He’s had eight shots, only Bamford has had more with 13, and while he falls down a little when it comes to shots on target, he makes up for with his touches in the oppositions box. He’s had 20 which puts him right up there (between Gameweeks eight to 10), beating Kane, Bamford and Wilson. Which means, should he get some minutes in Gameweek 11, he’ll be right amongst the thick of things, hopefully making it more likely for a return or two.
If you didn’t have the room for Jesus up front you could consider Riyad Mahrez (3.2%) as another way into the Manchester City side for gameweek 11. In the past three Gameweeks he’s had six shots in the box and four on target. With an xG of 1.17 and off the back of a hat-trick, he’s an exciting prospect, but arguably a much risker one than Jesus based on his inconsistent game-time.
Of course these City differential comes with a massive warning flag, as touched upon, Pep loves to troll us FPL managers. There is no guarantees for minutes played apart from De Bruyne and Ederson in that Manchester City line-up. However, for the shot-term risk takers amongst us, this could be a fruitful punt. My advice is to wait and see what happens mid-week and then check-out the predicated line-ups here on the Fantasy Football Scout website before making your transfer nearer to the deadline.
What’s happening in The Scout Network?
Ted Talks FPL
Last week Ted made his first appearance on The Scoutcast. It was great to welcome Ted in to the Scoutcast family! Joe, FPL Surgery’s Josh Paxman and Ted discussed ‘Form vs Fixtures’, all things Man City, Diogo Jota and their own teams ahead of Gameweek 10. On top of producing content for his own channels, Ted has continued to create videos for some of the FFScout Scout Notes summary this weekend. This week he produced videos for Man City vs Burnley and Chelsea vs Spurs.
Nymfria’s Gameweek 10 video hit her channels highest typical views this week which was an excellent achievement as she looks to improve and grow her weekly content. The FPL Wildcats had a rare week with the original crew, full of Q&A’s and plenty of laugh, and I was joined by Scout Acadamy member FPL Focus as we chose the FPL Dream Team ahead of Gameweek 11.
El Statto’s website jumpersforgoalposts.info passed 50,000 article reads this week since it launched in September – which is a remarkable achievement. He also updated his ABC Transfer guide using hauls and returns as measures and applying the last six Gameweeks data to highlight players you should be targeting with your transfers. Bendarnek was one highlighted who obviously returned with a goal against Man Utd this gameweek!
This week, over and above their regular pieces, FF Titan have had one of their regular contributors share how FPL has improved his mental health. A very important topic in the mist of a global pandemic. The FF Titans have also considered chip strategies for the 2020/21 season.
Last week Sam appeared on the Official FPL Podcast, this week Lee will be joining James Richardson to share his thoughts on Gameweek 11. Lee and Sam will also both be appearing on this weeks FPL Show.
The FPL Family are fast approaching 15k subscribers on YouTube and hope to pass that milestone in the next couple of weeks.
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