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GW5 FPL Differential Focus

15 Sept. 2023

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.


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In this article we look ahead to Gameweek 5 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: Willy Boly

  • Cost: £4.5m
  • Selected by: 0.5%
  • Next Fixture: BUR (h)

Fixture Planner

This may seem a little off the wall but hear us out. Willy Boly (£4.5m) is a huge differential, being owned by just half a percent of managers. At £4.5m he is great value and plays for a team who have been pretty solid at the back so far this season, given the circumstances.

The start to the season has been brutal for Nottingham Forest. In the first four Gameweeks, they have faced Arsenal, Manchester United, and Chelsea, all away from home. Despite this, they are mid-table (10th) for Expected Goals Conceded (xGC), and are ranked fourth-best for shots in the box conceded (31) according to Opta Stats Sandbox. If Forest can maintain such impressive defensive stats against difficult opposition, then a clean sheet could be on the cards when they host Burnley in Gameweek 5.

But, there’s more! Boly is actually ranked second-best (amongst defenders) for shots on target (4) and is ranked 9th for xFPL Points (19.64), so attacking returns could also be on the cards. A word of warning, Forest face Manchester City in Gameweek 6, so this needs to be factored into your bench/transfer plans.

MID: Moussa Diaby

  • Cost: £6.6m
  • Selected by: 9.6%
  • Next Fixture: CRY (h)

Diaby Attempted Assists Map

Only just a differential at over 9%, Moussa Diaby (£6.6m) has taken to the Premier League like a duck to water. Having faced Newcastle and Liverpool (away) in the first four Gameweeks, Aston Villa have endured a mixed start, but a home game against Crystal Palace marks the beginning of a lovely run of fixtures for Diaby.

As well as bagging 3 goal involvements already, Diaby is ranked 3rd amongst all players for xA (2.03). While his attempted assists tally (7) may be less than that of other midfielders (see Opta Player Heatmaps) his high xA shows that the quality of the chances he is providing for his team mates is much higher.

FWD: Gabriel Jesus

  • Cost: £7.9m
  • Selected by: 2.5%
  • Next Fixture: EVE (a)

Jesus Profile

The forward who featured in the vast majority of pre-season drafts, is now available at £0.1m less than he was at the beginning of the season and has a home fixture against Everton in Gameweek 5. What’s not to like? Oh, and by the way, he has already scored a goal despite only playing 15 minutes all season.

Bringing in Gabriel Jesus (£7.9m) also solves the problem of freeing up a valuable midfield slot, whilst also retaining the services of an Arsenal attacker.

By Matt Whelan

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