In this weekly series, Will from Fantasy Football 92 explores the low ownership differential options that could be the hidden gems to help you climb up those world rankings. He is his best differential XI for Gameweek 18.
We’ve all seen the template XI and figured out which elite assets to jump onto for this season. Whether on the Salah train, the Haaland bus or both, FPL managers need some unique names to ensure they’re always one step ahead of your mini-league rivals.
Here are the differential options we like the look of for Gameweek 18.
Bernd Leno – Fulham – 1.9% TSB
Fulham look like a really tidy outfit at the moment and will face arguably the worst side in the league this week – Southampton. Bernd Leno could be an excellent shout following the clean sheet at Crystal Palace and could be useful ahead of next week’s Double Gameweek.
Sven Botman – Newcastle United – 3.9% TSB
Cesar Azpilicueta – Chelsea – 1.6% TSB
Matt Doherty – Tottenham Hotspur – 0.5% TSB
In contrast to Southampton, Newcastle are the league’s form side and boast one of the league’s strongest defences. They face lowly Leeds at St James’ Park, so you could do much worse than get centre-back Sven Botman into your side.
Another unfortunate Reece James injury should open the door for club captain Cesar Azpilicueta to deputise at right-back against Nottingham Forest, while Matt Doherty finally got the nod over the much-maligned Emerson Royal against Brentford last time.
After such a promising display, he should keep his place against Aston Villa. By securing that spot, he could even become the next FPL bandwagon.
Raheem Sterling – Chelsea – 4.3% TSB
Bruno Fernandes – Manchester United – 3.3% TSB
Said Benrahma – West Ham United – 0.9% TSB
Solly March – Brighton – 0.6% TSB
Joelinton – Newcastle United – 0.6% TSB
Could a Raheem Sterling revival be on the cards? He started against Bournemouth in Chelsea’s Premier League return and a lively performance was rewarded by assisting the first goal. A trip to Forest provides another chance for attacking returns and Sterling could be a handy differential for those looking to race up the world rankings.
It’s the same for Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes, who could blossom now that Cristiano Ronaldo has left the club.
Elsewhere, Said Benrahma has always had the potential to be a very useful Fantasy asset since arriving in the Premier League. The Algerian should be carefully considered as an option, being both a penalty-taker and a constant goal threat.
You probably wouldn’t have considered our final two midfielders as genuine options ahead of this season. Yet Solly March and Joelinton are both coming off the back of a goal-and-assist performance and are in excellent form. March next faces league leaders Arsenal but you’d expect Joelinton to have plenty of chances to add to his tally against Leeds.
Eddie Nketiah – Arsenal – 2.5% TSB
Ollie Watkins – Aston Villa – 2.2% TSB
Up front, the injury to Gabriel Jesus has paved the way for Eddie Nketiah to have a run in the side. He wasted no time in getting on the scoresheet when starting against West Ham. Jesus has generally played well but struggled with goals, which Nketiah had no issues with last time out.
He enters the Brighton trip full of confidence and could represent an absolute bargain at £6.5m over the next few weeks.
A new manager is in charge at Aston Villa but Ollie Watkins continues to lead their line. The 3-1 loss to Liverpool included some positive signs, particularly from scorer Watkins.