The Underrated Players of FPL

We all know about the wonderful seasons so far for Mohamed Salah (71.5% ownership), Michail Antonio (47.7%) and Joao Cancelo (28.2%). However, beyond the template teams are a bunch of low-ownership players that are having a fantastic FPL season in terms of points, form or underlying stats. It’s time to give them the attention they deserve.

Sadio Mane (£11.9m, 59 points)

The eighth highest-scorer in FPL having just 3.9% ownership seems odd, until you realise who he plays alongside. Sadio Mane already has six goals and ranks second across the whole game for criteria such as goal attempts, shots on target, big chances, expected goals (xG) and expected goal involvement (xGI). Yet the man who beats him every time is team mate Mo Salah, which is a problem for managers who obviously aren’t going to miss out on Salah but don’t want two expensive Liverpool midfielders.

Jarrod Bowen (£6.3m, 55 points) and Pablo Fornals (£6.0m, 51 points)

Antonio may be the standout West Ham option amongst the masses but Said Benrahma only has four fewer points and Jarrod Bowen is another two behind. Such is the form of Bowen, he could very soon overtake both, with goal involvement in six of their last seven matches which culminated in a goal and three assists from the most recent pair. Throughout the campaign, only Salah tops his 12 shots on target and he ranks fourth for xGI. Pablo Fornals costs slightly less and is also having a great time, with more goals than both Bowen and Benrahma.

Leandro Trossard (£6.5m, 51 points)

Brighton maestro Leandro Trossard is also there with 12 shots on target, tallying up the fifth-most goal attempts with 31. Only Salah, Mane, Antonio and Raphinha have more. The midfielder has been deployed up front as a false nine in the past two matches, scoring both times.

Bernardo Silva (£7.1m, 49 points)

Jack Grealish may have started this season with a high ownership that has now passed over to Phil Foden but fellow Man City midfielder Bernardo has a points total higher than both. He has started every league match since the opening day defeat at Spurs and has strong figures for penalty area touches (29) and passes in the final third (105) from the last four Gameweeks.

Maxwel Cornet (£6.0m, 33 points)

New signing Maxwel Cornet is an under-the-radar option that might be hampered by the unfashionable nature of Burnley. He didn’t start a match until Gameweek 6, where he scored against Leicester but went off injured, returning for the inevitable defeat at Man City. So Gameweek 9 was where Cornet could finally start putting a run together. And he certainly has done, amassing three goals in the trio of matches since. His underlying stats are surprisingly poor during this but the Clarets are about to face Crystal Palace (H), Newcastle (a) and Watford (H) amongst their next six fixtures.

Tyrick Mitchell (£4.5m, 38 points)

Not that Palace are an easy opponent. Their only defeats have been away to Chelsea and Liverpool, having had the audacity to win 2-0 at Man City. This scoreline was repeated last week against Wolves thanks to the fantastic efforts of Conor Gallagher and Wilfried Zaha but their defence has back-to-back clean sheets. Tyrick Mitchell is the attacking full-back here, as shown by his assist against Newcastle.

Christian Benteke (£6.3m, 30 points)

Further upfield, Christian Benteke is another surprise. The last four gameweeks have brought two goals and a ranking of third for goal attempts (13). After the remarkable six shots off the woodwork provided by Brentford’s Bryan Mbeumo, Benteke is next with three moments of unluckiness.

Harvey Barnes (£6.5m, 27 points)

Leicester’s Harvey Barnes has dropped £0.5m in value since the season began, having quickly fallen out of favour after an unproductive start. His points tally is almost half that of Youri Tielemans but no player has more shots (16) or in-box shots (13) during their last four appearances than Barnes. His weekend strike against Leeds came soon after a cup goal against Brighton, suggesting that the 23-year-old is finally hitting some form.

Christian Norgaard (£5.0m, 31 points)

The tide has quickly turned on Brentford assets, with so much expectation placed on their eventual home loss to Norwich. Mbeumo and Ivan Toney have the ownership numbers but Christian Norgaard (2.55) has a higher xGI than both (1.96 and 2.13) over the last six matches. In fact, the period between gameweeks 8 and 11 placed the Dane joint-third across the league for shots.

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