As the business end of the Fantasy Premier League season approaches, it is becoming increasingly important to invest in players with something to play for.
When relegation comes calling, it can often bring out the best in some individuals although these players are usually hidden gems before the final run-in.
Differential picks are now more important from one Gameweek to the next and teams at the wrong end of the Premier League table can often throw up some good suggestions.
We asked the Scout Network for their thoughts on the best options among teams in the bottom half of the top flight.
I like the look of Wilfried Zaha (£7.1m) who returned from injury at half-time against Spurs in Gameweek 27 and is owned by 8.3% of managers. Considering the length of absence caused by his injury, it is easy to forget he has nine goals and three assists this season, finding the net as often as Harvey Barnes (££6.8m), Marcus Rashford (£9.6m) and Peirre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.4m).
Fulham have registered nine clean sheets since the start of the season, four of those in the last six Gameweeks. Ola Aina (£4.5m) offers both defensive returns and attacking potential too with two goals and one assist so far. Fulham face Leeds in Blank Gameweek 29, an important consideration in any transfer decision right now.
Che Adams (£5.8m) scored his first goal since December in Gameweek 27. With Danny Ings (£8.4m) likely to be out until April, the responsibility of leading the line will fall on Adams. Between Gameweeks 28 and 32 Southampton will hope to pick up a few wins and put any risk of relegation to bed if they are to achieve this they will need Adams at his best. Editor David Munday also looked at Nathan Tella (£4.3m) and James Ward-Prowse (£5.9m) in a recent Scout Notes article.
Joachim Andersen (£4.5m) is owned by just 0.3% of managers. Fulham are showing real fight and have built their revival around being much tighter defensively. Anderson has kept five clean sheets in the last seven matches. I wouldn’t rush to bring him in for a Gameweek 28 clash with Manchester City but, after that, the Cottagers play Leeds (home), Aston Villa (away), Wolves (home) and Arsenal (away).
Neal Maupay (£6.1m) will play Newcastle in Blank Gameweek 29 which is a huge plus when looking at differentials right now, especially as Brighton also boast a winnable fixture against Southampton in Gameweek 28. Maupay registered an assist in Gameweek 27 and is pivotal to the Seagulls’ attack. At 3% ownership he could be a great differential.
Mbaye Diagne (£6.0m) has definitely been passing the eye-test in recent Gameweeks. He has had several chances over the last two games and has been unlucky not to be on the scoresheet. His expected goals (xG) score is also high. Over the past five games, his xG of 3.03 ranks fifth in the Premier League.
Alphonse Areola (£4.5m) has now kept clean sheets in three of his last four Premier League matches. While Fulham have a difficult fixture in Gameweek 28, following that there are plenty of opportunities for defensive returns sheets. At just £4.5m, Areola makes a great second goalkeeper option for managers who still hold their Bench Boosts, as well as as a set-and-forget goalkeeper.
While Brighton have not been had the best few Gameweeks from a defensive view point, Joel Veltman (£4.3m) continues to look like a great value differential. The versatile defender scored in Gameweek 25, highlighting his attacking potential, and also has two fixtures across Gameweeks 28 and 29 (against Southampton and Newcastle). Tariq Lamptey (£4.6m) missing the rest of the season also bodes well for Veltman’s chances of consistent starts.
Mbaye Diagne (£6.0m) could be West Brom key man in the battle against relegation. Sam Allardyce has lately started a more offensive side (with Matheus Pereira (£5.4m) and Conor Gallagher (£5.5m) together) which allows Diagne to post some great underlying stats lately leading us to think Diagne could soon come good.
Takumi Minamino (£6.0m) has the chance he never really got at Liverpool to step up in Danny Ings‘ (£8.4m) absence. Southampton can now capitalise on the return of Jannik Vestergaard (£4.7m) and Kyle Walker-Peters (£4.7m) which should free him from defensive duties allow him to operate as a number 10 or a forward in a 4-4-2. We are backing him to be amongst the points in the next gameweeks.
What’s happening in the Scout Network?
This week Sam will be joined by Brett from FPL Shake ‘n’ Bake to look ahead to Gameweek 28.
Sam has been busy behind the scenes working with the Premier League on a video series about Women in FPL. On International Women’s Day, the first video was released with the Premier League FPL presenters. Sam has also recorded a further video with some of the female FPL content creators which will be released in short form on the Premier League website and channels.
The longer form videos will be released on the FPLFamily YouTube channel over the next few weeks.
FPL Nymfria released her recent Gameweek video where she reviewed her Triple Captain chip and looked ahead to her plans for Gameweek 27. Her new watchlist section has gone down well too.
El Statto has taken an early look ahead to Blank Gameweek 29 by reviewing all four games and highlighting who he believes will perform well.
After a sixth-straight defeat at Anfield, El Statto has also looked at where Liverpool have gone wrong this season. He was also inspired by a question Joe asked on the Scoutcast last week “which team, when they’re on form, can absolutely take another team to the cleaners?” and so took at look at the seasons stats to come up with an answer it for him.
Over the past week, FF Titans have spoken to five FPL managers who are still in the FPL Cup and to track their journeys. Their assembled panel also backed Gundogan as the Gameweek 27 captain. In UCL Fantasy, they picked Haaland to star again after his two goals against Bayern over the weekend.
You can catch podcast number 21 from the FPL Froggies online right here!
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