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Why are differentials important in FPL?

Differentials can make or break an FPL season. Choosing the right one can give managers the edge in mini-leagues and boost their overall rank. Getting it wrong can cost vital ground in the quest to become FPL champion. Here we take a look at why are differentials important in FPL.

Fantasy Football is a game of strategy. Managing that strategy correctly is key for the overall success of a season. Understanding why are differentials important, can be the difference between a season they are pleased with and one they aren’t.

What is a differential?

In FPL a player is classified as a differential if they are owned by under 10% of managers. Differentials therefore are players whose points will be gained by fewer managers. The fewer managers who own them, the more these players can help you to get above other managers in mini leagues.

For example, if 80% of managers own Erling Haaland (£14.0m) when he scores a hat trick, his points will only benefit managers against the 20% who don’t own Haaland. However, if managers own Raheem Sterling (£7.0m) when he is just 3% owned and he scores a hat trick those points will be points that 97% of managers don’t benefit from. As a result managers can see huge jumps in league position and overall ranks. This is because differentials can take away or build huge points gaps.

Why are differentials important in FPL?

Differentials are important as they are the players that most players don’t own. Towards the end of the season there is likely to be a template in FPL. This template will be filled with players that high percentages of FPL managers own. Therefore having some differentials in there is what is going to make a difference if you are trying to improve rank or catch up in mini-leagues.

However, managers will need to choose their differentials carefully. If differentials do not perform they can cost managers. Especially if other managers they are completing with have differentials who have registered points that week.

How many differentials should managers own?

At the start of the season one or two differentials is probably enough. The key in the early weeks of the season is to build a strong base for the rest of the season. This means building your team value, by owning players that others want to invest in.

Once the opening few gameweeks of the season have been played managers will be more informed. This is a good time to carefully select differentials. Picking players who have good underlying stats, nice fixtures and are rotation proof is key to maximising the potential for differential success. Managers should look to own at least a couple of differentials. If managers are chasing towards the end of the season then add more differentials to their squad.

However, if by the end of the season managers are winning their mini-leagues less differentials is key. If managers are trying to secure their mini league or overall rank, playing it safe with less differentials could be a wise strategy. Whilst managers are less likely to make huge gains, they are also less likely to have a big loss of points to another manager.

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