It’s been a funny couple of weeks since the overhaul. A lot of the big names have struggled, and there has been a fair share of low scores for fantasy managers.
Not so with my differential team in GW30 though. A sensational score in triple figures saw picks including Romelu Lukaku, Wilfried Zaha and Declan Rice produce big hauls.
Young West Ham defender turned midfielder Declan Rice was the star of the show. Not only was his 21 points the pick of the bunch in my XI, but he was the highest scorer in the game this week.
With the likes of Mo Salah seriously disappointing in recent weeks, some shrewd differentials will have seen you flying up the leaderboard.
How the XI performed
Key: G = goal, A = assist, CS = clean sheet, MOTM = man of the match, T1T/T2T = tier-one/two tackles, T2P = tier-one/two passing, TI/2S = tier-one/two shots, TI/2SA = tier-one/two saves (c) = captain YC = yellow card, RC = red card, OG = own goal
Rui Patricio -0
David Luiz – 0
Declan Rice – 21 – G, CS, MOTM, T1T
Luke Shaw – 1
Miguel Almiron – 4 – T1T
Wilfried Zaha – 13 – G, MOTM
Diogo Jota – 11 – G, A
Gerard Deulofeu – 5 – A
Romelu Lukaku (c) – 36 – G, G, MOTM, T1S, YC
Jamie Vardy – 7 – G
Gonzalo Higuain (c) – 14 – G
Comparison to my actual team
I had followed my own advice in bringing in Declan Rice to my team last week, following the injury to Aymeric Laporte. The wasted transfer doesn’t seem so bad, now.
I made the tricky call to lose Son, despite his favourable fixture against Southampton coming up. I felt Jamie Vardy’s Sunday match, combined with the potential for the captain’s armband in GW31 against Fulham made it worth the risk.
And Pogba for Hazard on Sunday was an example of points never being guaranteed. I have six transfers in hand now, which have been carefully pencilled in to swap the big names around as the season draws to a close. None are planned this week.
But my overall total of 61 showed it was a week where having the big names wasn’t in any way essential.
Ole’s at the wheel, and Lukaku’s back in form
Had I been writing this article on Wednesday, heart may have ruled head and the entire team might have been Man United players!
But on reflection, at least one still deserves a place in the side.
Romelu Lukaku is my captain’s pick for Sunday, despite a tough away fixture at Arsenal.
Two goals in the Champions League, followed by back-to-back league braces, shows the Belgian is in hot form. His performances have bagged him consecutive MOTM awards, too, and his partnership with Marcus Rashford has looked extremely promising.
PSG penalty hero Marcus Rashford is only in 9.91% of teams, too. And with United’s injury crisis and the importance of the Arsenal game, it seems unlikely either would be rested. Keep an eye on Ole’s press conference.
Relying on Leicester
I’m doubling up on Leicester assets, hoping the visit of Fulham provides new manager Brendan Rodgers with a comfortable first win.
Jamie Vardy, declared fit by his gaffer, will take the captain’s armband on Saturday. The Foxes’ frontman scored a goal before being subbed through injury against Watford last weekend.
Also making the cut is new signing Youri Tielemans. The Belgian midfielder has impressed in his last two games, showing his creativity by setting up two goals.
He didn’t pick up any bonus points but they are not out of reach. He managed 52 completed passes of 61 attempts, with 60 per cent of the ball against Watford. He may scrape a tier one at least at home this weekend.
GW31: Differential XI (ownership less than 10%, not team’s most popular player)
David Luiz (£8.8m/8.2%)
Nathan Ake (£8.1m/3.3%)
Declan Rice (£6.6m/3.3%)
David Brooks (£6.3m/4.6%)
Wilfried Zaha (£10.2m/5.4%)
Youri Tielemans (£7.8m/0.1%)
Oleksandr Zinchenko (£6.9m/0.2%)
Jamie Vardy (£11.5m/2.2%) (C)
Romelu Lukaku (£12.7m/4.8%) (C)
Gonzalo Higuain (£11.9m/0.6%)
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