If you are the sort of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) manager who enjoys going against the grain – or takes satisfaction from finding hidden gems before the crowd – then lowly selected players (differentials) can often provide value and offer a source of points which won’t be shared by many other managers. As long as the player picks are justifiable, differentials can give you an edge over your mini-league rivals.
In this article we look ahead to Gameweek 37 and find players from each position who are currently selected by less than 10% of managers, but could reward their owners in the upcoming Gameweeks.
DEF: Raphaël Varane
- Cost: £4.8m
- Selected by: 2.6%
- Next Fixture: BOU (a) + CHE (h)
With a double Gameweek, followed by a home match against Fulham, no other team has a better defensive run in than Manchester United according to the Fixture Planner.
What’s more, United have welcomed the return of Raphaël Varane (£4.8m) from injury, who has already bolstered the Red Devils defensively, helping them get a clean sheet against Wolves, something United have only managed to achieve just once before, since Gameweek 33.
If you are looking for a differential doubler, then Varane could be your man.
MID: Bruno Fernandes
- Cost: £9.5m
- Selected by: 9.5%
- Next Fixture: BOU (a) + CHE (h)
It has been a painful road for owners of Bruno Fernandes (£9.5m) who have watched their premium midfielder perform excellently week-in-and-week-out, yet only been handed meagre returns for their loyalty.
Since Manchester United’s bizarre 7-0 thrashing at the hands of rivals Liverpool in Gameweek 26, Bruno has only managed 3 goal involvements. But as United have slowly looked as if they are getting back to themselves, Bruno’s underlying stats have been up there with the best.
In fact, since Gameweek 30, the Portuguese playmaker is ranked third amongst all players for xFPL Points per 90 minutes (6.65) according to Opta Stats Sandbox. When compared to his actual FPL Points output per 90 (4.57), we can see this is a massive underperformance, suggesting that the Manchester United midfielder has been repeatedly unlucky. No player has more attempted assists per 90 (4.57) than Fernandes and if United’s attackers can finish off some of these chances, then Bruno could well be due a big haul soon.
FWD: Julián Álvarez
- Cost: £6.0m
- Selected by: 3.6%
- Next Fixture: CHE (h) + BHA (a)
With three blanks in his last three appearances, Julián Álvarez (£6.0m) may have escaped the notice of some managers.
What is significant is the number of minutes he has been getting in recent Gameweeks, particularly when compared to the first half of the season. According to Opta Player Heatmaps, Álvarez has played 887 minutes in the second half of the season, as compared to 370 minutes between Gameweeks 1 and 19 – partly due to Pep Guardiola’s decision to play him alongside Erling Haaland (£12.4m) as an attacking partnership.
A factor which bodes well for Álvarez starting at the weekend, is the fact he played for a just a few minutes during Manchester City’s destruction of Real Madrid in the Champions League and hence will be rested for their encounter with Chelsea.
At just £6m, he offers a potent attacking threat without breaking the bank, enabling upgrades elsewhere in the squad. At less than 4% owned, and not even in the Top 15 most transferred in players so far this week (Transfer Analytics), he is likely to remain a differential going into double Gameweek 37.
By Matt Whelan