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FPL tips: Holding out hope for a differential boost

By January 25, 2021No Comments

As the Fantasy Premier League season enters its second half, many managers will be considering how to quickly turn around a deficit in their mini-leagues.

The top-scoring players have been consistent for much of the season but are likely to be selected by most of your rivals as a result.

Here, the PA news agency shines a light on some of the less popular picks who could provide a differential boost in gameweek 20.

Build from the back

FPL tips: Holding out hope for a differential boost PLZ Soccer
Rob Holding has differential potential (PA graphic)

PA’s Transfer Score system uses a player’s recent form, combined with his cost, ownership and upcoming fixture difficulty rating (FDR), to assess his current worth.

Manchester City players continue to dominate this week’s list, with Ilkay Gundogan and John Stones posting transfer scores of 95 and 93 respectively out of 100 and Ruben Dias not far behind.

For managers looking to shake things up, though, a version with ownership capped at five per cent picks out some diamonds in the rough who could help you quickly make up ground.

Arsenal defender Rob Holding is the pick of the selection, averaging 6.6 points per game in recent weeks at just £4.5million.

Only 4.7 per cent of fantasy managers have cottoned on, so Holding could help you steal a march on your rivals while also freeing up funds to spend elsewhere.

Southampton’s Jack Stephens and Leicester’s Jonny Evans are other appealing defensive options based on the same criteria, with both players owned by less than one per cent of managers. Stephens is cheaper and has better recent form, though Leicester’s upcoming fixtures may make Evans the safer pick.

Crystal Palace’s Vicente Guaita has the highest transfer score of any goalkeeper, 78, with his 3.2 per cent ownership parking him ahead of Alphonse Areola and Karl Darlow on the filtered list.

“Hey Bert…”

FPL tips: Holding out hope for a differential boost PLZ Soccer
Bertrand Traore has been amongst the goals (PA graphic)

Bertrand Traore has emerged as a key man for Aston Villa recently, with four goals in his side’s last six games.

Classified as a midfielder, he gets an extra point for each and has also scooped three clean sheet points in that time, and at £5.4m his ownership may not stay at 0.6 per cent for long.

His transfer score of 78 is one ahead of West Brom’s Matheus Pereira after the latter’s three-goal resurgence in his side’s double gameweek, with Leicester’s Youri Tielemans at 75 in a strong selection for those not convinced to hop on the Gundogan bandwagon.

Tielemans’ team-mate Harvey Barnes is just over the five per cent ownership mark but earns a transfer score of 81.

Play it safe up top

FPL tips: Holding out hope for a differential boost PLZ Soccer
There is little to appeal up front beyond Neal Maupay (PA graphic)

One position where there is little differential value to be found is up front.

Brighton’s Neal Maupay has the best transfer score of any qualified player at just 67 – though it is worth noting that that places him third among all strikers this week, behind Ollie Watkins and Alexandre Lacazette.

West Brom’s Callum Robinson (61) and Newcastle’s Andy Carroll (58) are the next best of an unappealing bunch when the ownership filter is applied, so most managers may prefer to stay the course up front and look for quirky selections elsewhere to make an impact.