The Scout Academy: Top-half FPL differentials to consider |

Picking the right differential can be the difference between a green and red arrow. Nothing feels better to a Fantasy Premier League (FPL) manager than choosing a player to invest in who isn’t highly owned and seeing them bring big points returns.

We asked the Scout Academy to take a look at the clubs in the top half of the table and pick out the best differentials to invest in.

American’s Talk FPL

Chelsea have found defensive form since Thomas Tuchel took over, and despite rotation all over the pitch, Antonio Rudiger (£4.6m) has started every match bar one in Gameweek 27. At only 4.3% ownership and some kind fixtures on the horizon, Rudiger is a strong differential and a budget-friendly route into the new-look Chelsea.

With goals in four of his past five matches and a friendly upcoming schedule, Richarlison (£7.9m) is a man in form. At just 9.7% owned he is outperforming his teammate, Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.7m), who is selected by 39.9% of managers.

American’s Talk FPL

FPL Focus


Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka (£5.3m) is currently owned by just 9.7% of FPL managers. Arsenal’s fixture in Blank Gameweek 29 makes him look like a wise investment, due to his regularity of starts and his five goals and two assists so far this season.

On the other side of north London, Gareth Bale (£9.5m) has found his form and full fitness. Owned by just 5.1% of managers and on the back of his two goals v Burnley, as well as six goals in his last six matches in all competitions and a fixture in Gameweek 29, Bale looks a shrewd investment.

FPL Focus

Fantasy Football Academy

Despite Villa’s poorer defensive numbers over the recent Gameweeks, they have managed to keep four clean sheets in the last six games. In Gameweek 28 they face a toothless Newcastle team that have been hit hard by injuries and I expect them to not concede, making Ezri Konsa (£4.6m) a great option. His attacking threat is also notable and thus makes him a great asset for both attacking and defensive returns at that price.

Whilst Leicester have struggled in the absence of key players, Timothy Castagne (£5.7m) in a game against Sheffield United looks too good to ignore. The Belgian full-back proved what he can offer as an FPL asset earlier in the season, and with the potential of points returns at both ends of the pitch, he could make a great differential pick.

Fantasy Football Academy

FPL Talking Point

Why I expect Aubameyang to reward loyal FPL bosses

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang‘s (£11.4m) ownership took a nose-dive after a slow start to the season and while currently he has been at risk of rotation, managers willing to invest could take advantage of form that has seen him net six times in his last four starts.

Those who were worried about Diogo Jota‘s (£6.6m) fitness after a long lay-off would have had those fears quickly allayed after watching his start against Fulham. Jota looked very lively and could be key to an attacking resurgence for the Reds, especially given the fixtures that Liverpool have from now until the end of the season.

FPL Talking Point

FPL In The Dugout

Ezri Konsa (£4.6) is more than just a squad enabler. Konsa had two fantastic chances against Wolves and his presence from set pieces adds to his goal threat. Villa’s defence has been very impressive this season with the masses flocking to Emiliano Martinez, but for a cheaper way into that Villa backline, with a goal threat thrown into the bargain, I’d highly recommend Konsa. Aston Villa also play in Blank Gameweek 29. 

FPL In The Dugout

FPL Side Net

Chelsea squad self-isolate as Hudson-Odoi tests positive for coronavirus

Callum Hudson-Odoi (£5.7m) is owned by 1% of FPL managers and therefore offers a real differential opportunity. Facing a Leeds side in Gameweek 28 that will give up plenty of chances, Hudson-Odoi seems to be a favourite under Thomas Tuchel in a wing-back role or further forward.

Everton face Burnley in Gameweek 28, and one player who is starting to make a real impact is Gylfi Sigurdsson (£6.8m). Under 2% ownership, Sigurdsson has always been a great asset to own in previous seasons, and with consecutive attacking returns and penalties in his locker, could prove to be a smart differential move.

FPL Side Net

FPL Shake ‘n’ Bake

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.4m) has four goals in his last three starts and finally, the Arsenal man is beginning to show glimpses of what we expected from him at the start of the season when most considered him an appealing pick. He also benefits from playing in Gameweek 29, when a lot of the league miss out on a fixture.

Josh Maja (£5.5m) impressed his brief spell at Sunderland and Fulham’s form has significantly improved since he joined the team. With some decent-looking fixtures coming up, including an all-important game in Blank Gameweek 29, Fulham will be looking for Maja to build on the brace he scored in Gameweek 24 and fire them to safety.

FPL Shake ‘n’ Bake

What’s happening in the Scout Academy?

We were delighted to welcome two new members to the Scout Academy in March, namely Fantasy Football South Africa and FPL Rabbi. We also published a new ‘How To’ guide for the Scout Academy, detailing how to write an FPL book, by Pro Pundit Gianni Buttice.

Scout Network: Thinking ahead to the blank and double Gameweek in 18 and 19

Over the last month, a number of the members of the Scout Academy – including FPL Side Net, FPL Gents, FPL Chip Chat and last week FPL In The Dugout – have joined FPL Family’s Sam on our new weekly podcast, Scout the Gameweek. This week, Sam is joined by FPL Shake n Bake to look ahead to Gameweek 28.

FPL Side Net

February was a very busy month for the FPL Side Net podcast, with lots of content in the lead-up to the Double Gameweeks on chip strategies and how to attack the Gameweeks. Pete also joined Sam from FPL Family for an episode of ‘Scout the Gameweek’, where they discussed their podcast, their content and the challenges of FPL managing in Australia.

FPL Talking Points

FPL Talking Points has launched a brand new series of featured content this month. Fantasy Football is not just about points but also the stories and moments accompany them. They look back on these stand-out highlights, starting with Michael Antonio’s four-goal masterclass against Norwich City after the restart to the 2019/20 season.

Fantasy Football Academy

Fantasy Football Academy were joined on their recent podcast by FPL_Raptor (Ross), where they discussed all things related to Double Gameweek 26.

FPL Focus

Over the past month, FPL Focus has done live FPL commentary on games such as Everton v Man City, completed a preview and review video for all Gameweeks, and appeared on the FPL Wildcats show for Double Gameweek 27. FPL Focus has also guested on a video about Mezut Ozil.

FPL In The Dugout

iTD will be running a series of A+E FPL team reviews throughout March, as well as the POWERPLAY squads content as they attempt to score the highest worldwide for each Gameweek. These videos provide FPL managers with some food for thought regarding transfers as well as some key differentials that might boost your team up the rankings.

Americans Talk FPL

Throughout February, Americans Talk FPL have continued to provide weekly FPL content, while also focusing on building our Wildcard squads for the UCL knockout rounds. You can hear their latest UCL Matchday 8 Preview here.

FPL Shake ‘n’ Bake

Over the last month, FPL Shake ‘n’ Bake has been working on some new branding/graphics for both the blog and Instagram. This week, he is also making his debut on ‘Scout the Gameweek’ with FPL Family’s Sam.

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