GW17 | Risk Differentials
A word of warning this week, before we delve into the differentials for GW17…
Firstly, we’ve not yet seen the full force of the Christmas fixture pile up on our teams but from Boxing Day onwards we certainly will do. “Rotation” will become a very real problem with a number of teams set to play 3 games in just 5 or 6 days, and we need to be planning accordingly. That means waiting until all the lineups have been announced for the gameweek before finalising your teams (usually an hour before kickoff). FanDuel players across UK are growing smart to the game and you simply cannot finish in the money with a 0 in your team anymore – you have been warned!
We do what we can to help and will be posting our last minute recommendations on Twitter as always. We’ve got a pretty good reputation for getting it right last minute too so make sure you keep an eye out for those.
Secondly, we use the word RISK on purpose because not everyone on the list below is guaranteed to start. If they do, we are confident they will do well but last minute checks of the lineups are imperative here.
This week we are focusing on cheap players for each position that you can use to fill up the spaces in your team around the likes of Payet, Eriksen, Gueye and Costa, who of course are ‘must-picks’ for GW17 – but are expensive.
Negredo (MID) – v SWA (h) – £8.5m
If you were to look at Negredo’s recent FanDuel stats in isolation you might quite easily overlook the Spaniard again this week. Priced the same as both Carroll and Defoe this week, we expect his ownership to be fairly low compared to them. However, that’s just why we like him and think there could be good value here.
Look closely and you’ll see there have been five matches this season where he has excelled and scored well; at home to Sunderland, Watford, Bournemouth, Stoke and Leicester. A home tie against Swansea this gameweek fits the bill again, as another pourus defence rocks up to The Riverside. Seemingly Middlesbrough struggle against the so-called ‘bigger’ teams but perhaps Negredo has just suffered for Karanka’s defensive set up in those games? Either way home comfort against potential relegation stragglers seems to be easy pickings for Middlesbrough and that’s why we think he could have a chance this week.
Jonathan Walters (STO) – v LEI (h) – £7.2m
This is most certainly RISK territory. Walters has only started 6 games so far this season so a last minute check on the lineups will definitely be needed if you opt for him this week. That said, injuries and suspensions might just play into his hands and with Arni out for 3 games and Diouf and Bony seemingly lower down the pecking order there is a good chance Walters will be playing up top against one of the worst goalies and worst away teams in the league this week. On penalties too, if he plays, for £7.2m he’s a great cheap differential option.
NB – If he doesn’t play and Wilfried Bony gets the nod, we may opt for him instead. At just £0.3m more he could do just as well for all the reasons stated above. We are however keeping an eye on Schmeichel’s progress and if he’s back we might re-think this pick completely.
Xherdan Shaqiri (STO) – v LEI (h) – £8.2m
The most expensive of our differential picks this week, Shaqiri really is hit and miss this season. We talk a lot about ‘boom or bust’ players in FanDuel often being the key and Shaqiri most definitely falls into that category. The difficulty is making sure you pick them on their day. Well a home tie against Leicester (providing Zieler is in goal), could just be that time. While he hasn’t found the net recently, he has created 9 chances in the last 3 games. If it wasn’t for some wasteful finishing and good goalkeeping, his points total might have been a lot higher.
Andre Ayew (WHU) – v HUL (h) – £6.7m
Ayew has only played 300 minutes of football so far this season since his big money move from Swansea and when he has played he’s hardly taken the game by storm. Injury has plagued him up until now but in the last couple of matches there have been signs that he could be coming back to his best. Again a RISK because of game time, if he starts, Ayew’s pace and goal threat is perfectly suited to playing at home to Hull, and having got 12 goals and 5 assists for Swansea last season, he’s shown he can perform in the Premier League when given the chance.
Marc Pugh (BOU) – v SOU (h) – £4.3m
A last minute recommendation from us midweek after lineups were announced, Pugh duly delivered for us and the 9% of players who were quick enough to draft him in on Tuesday.
33pts, which included attacking (1 goal) and defensive (6 clearances, 2 tackles) returns made a mockery of his low price tag. With gameweeks coming around so quickly it would seem there was no time for FanDuel to increase his price further this week. His chances of a goal against Southampton are of course not as high as they were against Leicester but at just £4.3m still, he doesn’t actually need to do that much to make him value for money and frees up some all important funds elsewhere.
Sofiane Boufal (SOU) – v BOU (a) – £7.5m
Away at Bournemouth is a tough place to go this season as Howe’s men march on up the table. However, that said, in FanDuel a player doesn’t always HAVE to score to have a good week. (Payet against Hull last week for example). For that reason we still like the look of Boufal this week as his form has been excellent, averaging 25pts over his last three appearances. (Over 3 points per million is a good return). With Austin out, Boufal has seized his opportunity and has played his way into Puel’s starting line up. A free kick taker who has also created 8 chances, made 7 tackles and had 3 shots on target (1 goal) in his last 3 appearances we think he could do it again this week.
Harry Maguire (HUL) – v WHU (a) – £6m
Another of our differential picks from last week who performed very well. Since Phelen’s switch around to a back 3 it’s not just Jake Livermore who has started to see the benefits for Hull. Harry Maguire has started the last 2 games as part of a back 3 and against Spurs last week scored more points even than Michael Dawson thanks to 5 interceptions, 5 blocked shots, 2 Tackles and 2 Clearances. At £2.2m cheaper it’s a no brainer to bring him in if you are looking for Hull coverage again this week, as they prepare for another tough away game likely to provide defensive returns
Fabio (MID) – v SWA (h) – £7m
Recently back from injury and having now started the last 5, Fabio has performed exceptionally well in his last two home games for Middlesbrough. 26pts at home to Hull and 20.75pts at home to Liverpool showed he can rack up both attacking and defensive points for his side. 8 tackles, 5 clearances and 4 interceptions, along with 3 chances created is a good return for any defender. As a result of some good performances his price has started to creep up but at £7m we still think he’s great value for money this week and no reason why he can’t replicate his form against probably the worst team in the league at the moment.
Nyom (WBA) – v MUN (h) – £6.6m
Nyom has scored at least 23 points or more in each of his last 3 home games and that includes the 33.75pts at home to Swansea mid-week. The newly found lease of life provided by Pulis to West Brom this season seems to be bringing the best out of Nyom. Often overlooked because the likes of McAuley and Evans are so relied upon for goals, Nyom has quietly gone about his business this season, playing across various positions on the pitch but consistently racking up defensive FanDuel points with 21 clearances, 10 tackles, 9 interceptions and 1 assist in the last 3 home fixtures alone. Likely to be busy against Ibrahimovic and his disciples this week, we think West Brom defensive coverage is vital for GW17 and Nyom offers the cheapest yet most reliable way in.
Damien Delany (CRY) – v CHE (h) – £6.7m
As highlighted earlier in our featured tipster’s article Delany is not only in a good vein of form, he’s also up against a tough Chelsea forward line that will test him defensively again this week. Likely to be busy with clearances and tackles, and guaranteed to start as Tomkins continues to sit out through injury, there are a lot worse picks than Delany this week.
Our goalkeeper of choice this week is Ben Foster (£7.5m)
He might not be the cheapest, but in recent weeks goalies that play against United average at least 4 saves per game and as we highlighted in our Top Performing Goalkeepers article earlier this week, saves per game is the all-important metric. United currently sit 4th in the league for shots taken and amazingly 20% of those have come just from Ibrahimovic alone. With a shot accuracy of over 50% for the Swede and United averaging 16 shots per game we fancy Foster will be very busy again this week facing off against them.