Fantasy Premier League transfer tips and differentials series from @FPLTIPZ where he scours the FPL market for low-owned players with the potential to pick up big points to help shoot you up the rankings.
A slightly different article this week as I use our OPTA stats tool to pick out three players for the coming Blank Gameweek 18 only for consideration for your FPL transfer and Free Hit who are currently under 10% owned from a variety of price points and teams (this article was written a couple of days prior to publication so ownership % may have increased since).
Blank Gameweek 18 FPL Differentials
The Defender Differential – Joao Cancelo – £5.7m, 9.7% owned
Manchester City showed a decline in form from what is expected at the start of the season, however recently that form has improved especially from a defensive point of view. Using the OPTA stats tool Manchester City have kept more clean sheets than any other team in the most recent seven Gameweeks with five clean sheets and just two goals conceded. They have also conceded the fewest shots, shots inside the box, shots on target and big chances in this run of seven Gameweeks. Three of these five clean sheets have come at home and so combining this with a home fixture against Brighton who averaged one goal per game over the past eight fixtures indicates there is potential for a clean sheet for Manchester City in Gameweek 18.
Out of the Manchester City defenders, it is Cancelo that stands out for the Gameweek 18 Free Hit. Throughout this season, Cancelo has the highest expected points out of any Manchester City defender due to his creativity and assist potential. Cancelo has played the second most key passes this season in the Manchester City team with 24, behind only De Bruyne with 45 and the second-most passes in the final third again only behind De Bruyne. This indicates that Cancelo has the highest attacking return potential on top of the already strong defensive capabilities in the Manchester City defence. The other Manchester City defender worth considering is Dias (£5.8m) who has the highest goal threat out of the Manchester City defenders due to headers from corners, however, the Portuguese defender has only amassed a total of 1.02 expected goals so far this season.
The Midfielder Differential – Bukayo Saka – £5.3m, 8.0% owned
Saka is the only Arsenal attacking player to start each of the last six Gameweeks for Arsenal and since Gameweek 1, the English winger has started fourteen matches, made one substitute appearance and missed just one match. This indicates that even at just £5.3m Saka is one of the key players within the new-look Arsenal team for Arteta. Saka has also been the only midfielder to start the last six Gameweeks and as a result, has an average points return of 5.5 points per appearance, second for Arsenal midfielders behind Smith Rowe (£4.4m) who could also be a strong differential despite having started just three of the last six matches. Teammate Aubameyang was one of the most talked-about players before the start of the season, however, Saka has outscored Aubameyang by 3 points despite playing 92 fewer minutes of football. Saka has taken more shots, more shots on target and had more big chances in front of goal. In addition, Saka seems to be the main set-piece taker fpr Arsenal with 15 corners and three indirect free kicks in the last three Gameweeks alone. This indicates that Saka at less than half the price of his teammate Aubameyang could offer as good an option and so be great value.
In blank Gameweek 18, Arsenal face a Crystal Palace team who have looked better defensively recently including a clean sheet in Gameweek 17, although this was against the league’s lowest scoring team in Sheffield United. The Gunners have shown strong form in the most recent three Gameweeks where Arsenal are top for goals scored, shots on target, shots inside the box and expected goals. This combined with the fact that Crystal Palace has kept just two clean sheets this season could allow Arsenal and Saka to create plenty of chances during their Gameweek 18 match.
The Forward Differential – Alexandre Lacazette – £8.2m, 4.9% owned
Lacazette has recently become the main goal threat at Arsenal with four goals in the past five appearances. Lacazette also has the highest points per 90 minutes out of any player in the Premier League over the last six Gameweeks combined. One of the reasons for this has been the clinical finishing of the French forward but also the fact that Lacazette has had the most big chances out of any player in the league over these six Gameweeks with six, equal only with Wood and El Ghazi who have played 150 minutes more than Lacazette. The French forward also ranks third for key passes per 90 minutes for forwards indicating there is potential for assist points as well as goal threat. The form Lacazette has shown has been an improvement from what was seen at the start of the season. In the opening eleven games of the season Lacazette had fewer big changes, fewer goals and less expected goals than in the most recent six Gameweeks indicating a strong change in form for both Lacazette and Arsenal. In Gameweek 18 Lacazette faces Crystal Palace at home as does his teammate Saka, the midfield differential. As stated Crystal Palace have kept just two clean sheets so far this season and so with Lacazette’s strong goal threat in recent Gameweeks, the French forward has the potential to be a good differential in Gameweek 18.
Thank you for reading.
I hope this has been helpful and some of these players return some good points for you in Gameweek 18. This article will be back weekly to highlight a new set of differentials and transfer tips for you all to consider and hopefully help boost your ranks.
Thanks for reading – Feel free to message me any questions – Twitter – @FPLTIPZ