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FPL Gameweek 27: Differential Options

Fantasy Football Fix AI 28 Feb. 2024

Fantasy Premier League: Uncover Hidden Gems for Your Squad

In the vast universe of Fantasy Premier League (FPL), where popular players often dominate team selections, there lies an opportunity to differentiate and climb the ranks through strategic picks. With the majority of FPL managers gravitating towards high-owned assets, selecting players with lower ownership can provide a unique advantage. Illia Zabarnyi, James Maddison, and Alexander Isak represent such opportunities. Each owned by less than 10% of live FPL managers, these players offer the potential for significant points returns, making them intriguing differential options for those looking to gain ground in their mini-leagues.

Illia Zabarnyi (Defender)

Cost in FPL: £4.4m

Live Ownership: 0.2%

Top 100k Ownership: 0.1%

Predicted Points for the Next Gameweek: 3.0

Next Fixture: Burnley (A)

Illia Zabarnyi may seem like an underwhelming pick at first, however, with Burnley (A) this Gameweek and a double of Sheffield United (H) and Luton (H) next, he could be a shrewd acquisition. He has been a mainstay in the Bournemouth defence this season, featuring in every minute of their Premier League campaign thus far. Despite the team conceding 47 goals, Zabarnyi has helped secure 5 clean sheets. While this might not seem impressive at first glance, it's worth noting that his cost-effective price tag and low ownership make him an enticing pick, especially considering Bournemouth's upcoming fixture against Burnley, which has clean sheet potential. Zabarnyi's consistent presence on the pitch and his team's defensive resilience in select matches make him a hidden gem for FPL managers seeking a budget-friendly defensive option.

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Zabarnyi is projected to score the second most points in the next two Gameweeks for defenders, as shown in the Predicted Points & Stats tool. His teammate, Senesi, is projected to score more, however, he is two yellow cards away from a two game suspension.

James Maddison (Midfielder)

Cost in FPL: £7.9m

Live Ownership: 4.5%

Top 100k Ownership: 0.1%

Predicted Points for the Next Gameweek: 4.8

Next Fixture: Crystal Palace (H)

With Spurs having a guaranteed fixture in Gameweek 29, their assets are likely to be popular in the coming weeks. James Maddison has been involved in 11 goals this season, scoring 3 and assisting 8 for the North London club. With an expected goals (xG) tally of 3.36 and an expected assists (xA) figure of 4.29, Maddison has overperformed his expected goal involvements. He has achieved the most FPL assists (0.53), attempted assists (2.67) and final 1/3 passes (25.27) per game of all Spurs' players this season. His knack for being involved in key attacking moments, coupled with Spurs' favorable home fixture against Crystal Palace, positions him as a compelling differential pick. Maddison's creativity and set-piece prowess could be the catalysts for FPL managers looking to capitalise on a midfielder with low ownership but high potential.

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The above image from the Match Stats tool demonstrates Maddison's involvement in Spurs' attack, despite him only featuring in 4 of the last 5 Gameweeks.

Alexander Isak (Forward)

Cost in FPL: £7.5m

Live Ownership: 2.0%

Top 100k Ownership: 0.0%

Predicted Points for the Next Gameweek: 5.1

Next Fixture: Wolves (H)

Alexander Isak has been prolific for Newcastle in the 18 games he has featured this season, scoring 10 goals from an expected goals (xG) tally of 10.76, showcasing his efficiency in front of goal. He has not registered any assists with an expected assists total (xA) of 1.1, suggesting he is unfortunate to not have. With 21 shots on target from 39 attempts and 21 big chances, Isak's threat in front of goal is evident. His clinical finishing and relentless attacking intent, makes him an attractive differential option, especially with a promising home fixture against Wolves on the horizon. Isak's ability to convert chances could prove invaluable for FPL managers seeking a forward with the potential to outscore more popular choices.

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Isak sits in 4th for most goals per game this season amongst forwards, as shown in the Opta Stats Sandbox feature.

In conclusion, while the allure of established FPL favorites is strong, the strategic inclusion of under-the-radar players like Zabarnyi, Maddison, and Isak can provide the differentiation needed to climb the ranks. Their low ownership, coupled with promising fixtures and potential for points returns, makes them worthy of consideration for any manager looking to gain an edge in the Fantasy Premier League.

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