As fixtures come thick and fast, FPL Gameweek 22 poses yet more questions for Fantasy managers.
Mohamed Salah and Patrick Bamford were among the names on the chopping block after a disappointing Gameweek 20. However, their contribution in Gameweek 21 vindicated the choice of loyal managers who decided to keep them.
Meanwhile, the likes of Son Heung-Min and Bruno Fernandes disappointed, while John Stones and Joao Cancelo were left out of the Manchester City side, much to the annoyance of many managers.
Here, we take a look at some players who could prove to be good differentials ahead of Gameweek 22 and 23.
Antonio Rudiger – Defender – Chelsea – 4.5m
Thomas Tuchel’s arrival at Chelsea has seen an instant improvement with Antonio Rudiger among the beneficiaries. Rudiger has started Chelsea’s last four Premier League matches. Tuchel appears to have settled on the German alongside Thiago Silva at the heart of the Chelsea defence.
With Tottenham away in Gameweek 22 and a trip to Sheffield United in Gameweek 23, Chelsea should be optimistic of more clean sheets. Interestingly, of the six Premier League matches Rudiger has started, Chelsea have only conceded three goals, with four clean sheets in those matches.
Owned by a mere 1.1% of managers, a defender from a Big Six side at 4.5m is a rarity that can be exploited. Rudiger presents a cheap route into the Chelsea defence. Tuchel knows the player and wanted him while in charge at Paris Saint-Germain. It is a safe bet to assume Rudiger will be a prominent feature under Tuchel, making him a good FPL pick in weeks to come.
Youri Tielemans – Midfielder – Leicester – 6.4m
Leicester’s 3-1 loss to Leeds in was unexpected, such is the expectation now placed on the Foxes. While Harvey Barnes and James Maddison are the more popular Leicester options, Youri Tielemans is a player with real potential.
The Belgian is priced at 6.4m and is owned by just 3% of FPL managers, making him cheaper and less-owned than Barnes and Maddison. However, Tielemans has five goals and two assists so far this campaign. He provides an attacking threat from midfield in a well-functioning side.
Additionally, Tielemans is likely to be on penalties in Jamie Vardy’s absence. This point of difference for the Belgian is appealing, with trips to Fulham and Wolves to come. Brendan Rodgers’ midfield general may prove to be the best Leicester midfielder to own in the short-term.
Emile Smith-Rowe – Midfielder – Arsenal – 4.4m
Emile Smith-Rowe has suffered a price drop since Gameweek 20 when he was last cited as one to watch. The young Arsenal midfielder has impressed since his introduction into the side.
He registered one shot and two key passes against Manchester United, highlighting his creative influence on the Arsenal side. In the absence of Bukayo Saka, Smith-Rowe is arguably Arsenal’s biggest creative threat in terms of guile.
Three assists in seven league games is terrific output for a midfielder at 4.4m. Smith-Rowe could act as an enabler to spend cash elsewhere while providing potential attacking returns. The Arsenal youngster could be a season-keeper and is certainly worth the punt.
Said Benrahma – Midfielder – West Ham – 6.0m
Said Benrahma is the type of player who excites yet sometimes flatters to deceive. The Algerian is skilful and full of flair but hasn’t had the output to match.
No goals and two assists doesn’t scream “pick me” in terms of selection ahead of Gameweek 22. However, Benrahma has been playing close to the central striker in a side frequently selecting four attacking players. His position on the pitch is closer to a striker than a midfielder.
Therefore, Benrahma’s mix of flair and position is exciting for an FPL manager. At 6.0m and 0.2% ownership, the Algerian would be a real differential with enormous upside. Fixtures against Aston Villa and Fulham are possible opportunities for Benrahma to add to his disappointing tally so far. Plucky FPL managers could enjoy watching Benrahma with him in their team.
Gabriel Jesus – Forward – Manchester City – 9.2m
The Manchester City rotation wheel is always risky for FPL managers but Gabriel Jesus’ goal against Sheffield United should secure his place in the team.
Jesus has just three goals and an assist in the league this season however, his 3.1% ownership makes him a highly appealing asset.
If Jesus had a small goal spurt, that 3.1% of owners would find themselves shooting up the ranking, such is the small concentration of strikers in the game. The trip to Burnley in Gameweek 22 makes Jesus even more appealing.
Manchester City’s record against Burnley over the years is one of goals, goals, goals. The Brazilian striker should be licking his lips at the prospect of facing a defence that has been kind to City in recent seasons. If he can capitalise, then investing in the 9.2m man could be a fruitful bit of business. Better still, he could be a differential in terms of captaincy for those willing to double down.