For FPL managers hoping to make up ground, it’s getting to be now-or-never time. A clever differential could be just the ticket. Read our staff’s picks and then answer the poll!
It’s hard for me to believe, but as I write this, we are just eight days away from the final Sunday of the 2021-22 EPL campaign. If you are sitting pretty in your mini-leagues, then perhaps you’re planning to just hold tight and play it safe to see it out. But if you are chasing, then time is running out to leapfrog up the standings, and you’ll have to break from the pack with some of your selections.
If you’re in the second camp then fear not — We’ve polled our staff for their best under-the-radar picks for DGW-37, and we’ve given you a poll so you can weigh in at the end.
Good luck and godspeed.
David: Vitaliy Mykolenko (£4.9m, Everton)
A double-gamer seems an obvious choice, so I’m not going to try to be cute by selecting a single-gamer. I don’t like Burnley in general, nor the Clarets’ fixture against Tottenham in particular, so I’m avoiding them. With little left for Patrick Vieira’s Palace to play for, the manager has gone on record stating that he will use the run-in to blood academy players. Brendan Rodgers could well do the same with his Leicester lineups, so I’m mostly off Eagles and Foxes as well. And our “differential” definition of <5% ownership further narrows the pool of doublers by culling out attractive picks such as Matty Cash (£5.3m), Lucas Digne (£5.0m), Philippe Coutinho (£7.1m), Ollie Watkins (£7.5m), Danny Ings (£7.7m), Anthony Gordon (£6.2m), and Richarlison (£7.6m).
But relegation-threatened Everton is hitting form just at the right time, accruing eleven points over the last six matches to pull right up the face of the precipice to the brink of EPL safety. The Toffees have always been better at home this season, and this week they enjoy two such matches against favorable opposition (Brentford and Crystal Palace) at Goodison Park. So my pick for best GW-37 differential is Vitaliy Mykolenko. Owned by less than 1% of FPL managers, this up and coming defender’s run of regular starts has coincided with Everton’s improved form. So with Frank Lampard fighting for survival, the Ukrainian rising star should be set for two full shifts this week. And since cementing his place in the starting XI eight matches ago, he has averaged 4.625 points per game, with a recent lineup shift to wingback helping him notch a goal plus an assist in addition to three clean sheets.
Chris: Mason Holgate (£4.2m, Everton)
It hasto be a DGW player for me. Of the teams playing twice, only Burnley and Everton have something left to play for so will be sure to trot out their regular starters both times (barring injury or suspension of course). With Everton at home twice as opposed to Burnley away twice, and with the Toffees having more favorable fixtures, I’m going with an Everton player.
Anthony Gordon, Demarai Gray and Richarlison are the only Everton attackers worth having, but they are all over 5% selection, so they don’t qualify as “differentials”. Likewise keeper Jordan Pickford. By process of elimination therefore, I turn to defense. I do like Vitalii Mykolenko since he offers a triple threat (goal / assist / clean sheet), and because he costs only £4.9m. Similarly, Michael Keane isn’t a bad play at £4.6m, but his spot could come under threat if Yerry Mina passes fit for the second game. So at the bargain basement price of only £4.2m, Mason Holgate (currently at just 1.2% FPL selection) and coming off a 13 point return in DGW-36 seems like the best differential. Holgate also offers offensive appeal, with two goals plus an assist in 1,863 minutes this season.
Stall: Harvey Barnes (£6.5m, Leicester)
I have to go for a DGW player, so I’ll suggest you choose a player who has been something of a trap a few times this season: Harvey Barnes.
There is a risk he doesn't start twice, but injury permitting, he surely plays 120+ minutes over the two games. The midweek win over Norwich saw him provide two assists and look much livelier than he has for a while. Of course he won't be playing Norwich, and both his games are away from home, but the Foxes start against a relegated Watford side with a number of players who know they won’t be there next season. The second game is against a recently vulnerable Chelsea side who may have both an FA Cup hangover to deal with and the need to rest big names for the final game of the season.
Barnes can be explosive and is currently owned by 3.5% of FPL managers.
Paul: Emiliano Buendia (£6.1m, Aston Villa)
High-risk, high-reward: Villa has two decent home fixtures with Ramsey still out and Watkins a doubt, so Buendia should be in for a start or two, especially after being reduced to a cameo appearance last time out. Buendia’s play recently has been impressive — In his last start back in the first game of DGW-36, he got a goal plus an assist, adding to an assist in another cameo appearance in GW-35. His ownership is vanishingly low, but he could strike lucky. I’m going to take a gamble on him in my wildcard team.
PPQ: Alex Iwobi (£5.8m, Everton)
I’m with Chris that an Everton defender is a good way to go, but I’m going to add Iwobi to the list of potential differential options. He has had his best two outputs of the season over his last two games. He’s currently (and rightly) owned by only 0.2% of teams at £5.8. He has been a week-in and week-out player as Everton fight for survival, and now he has two home games against midtable teams.
Guy: Nathaniel Clyne (£4.3, Palace)
I was going to go with an Everton defender, all of whom are very low-ownership (hardly surprising since until recently they were a liability). Their recent starters all have a good chance to play twice, and they have decent fixtures, but since others have put their case so eloquently, I’ll go for a defender from a different team, not only at less than 1% ownership, but very cheap too.
Clyne has been in excellent form recently, and this has continued despite Palace having moved clear of relegation threat. 20 points in his last three games with an assist and picking up a bonus point each time suggests his head is not yet on the beach.
Palace’s games are not the easiest, and they are both away from home, but neither are they really tough, and Palace hasn’t been conceding much recently.
Olakunle: Connor Roberts (£4.4, Burnley)
Burnley is deep in a three-way battle with Everton and Leeds in a scrap to avoid being the third team to join already relegated Watford and Norwich in the Championship next season. The Clarets have improved since appointing Jackson as manager, with Roberts becoming one of the team’s standout players. The right-back has slotted into the team effortlessly, scoring his first goal for the club in the fixture against Southampton. Burnley faces Tottenham and Aston Villa in DGW-37, so clinging to a clean sheet could be crucial to getting anything out of either fixture. Who knows? Roberts might even pop up with another goal contribution.
Which player is the best differential for DGW-37?
This poll is closed
Have you been looking for an FPL differential to make a late move against your rivals? What do you think of our picks? Whom have you been eyeing? Please log in and share your thoughts in the comments!