The new season is here…and we are back with our trademark Differential XI!
A good differential pick is the difference between winning a crucial Fantrax matchup 99% of the time. It’s all very well (and also, essential) having a core of top players. However, that low ownership gem that no one thought of can, more often than not, be the difference between a narrow loss and a convincing win which leaves your rivals in awe of your football knowledge.
Each week on Fantasy Football 92, we pick a full eleven consisting of low ownership players which you can help yourselves to in your league in order to (hopefully) grab yourself the win. All of our differentials are 60% owned or lower.
Here are your picks for Gameweek 1…
Daniel Bachmann – Watford – Goalkeeper
Aston Villa (away)
We’re always looking for the next save king amongst goalkeepers and Daniel Bachmann could be the ‘keeper for 2021/22. You’d expect the Watford man to be very busy this season but he has the Championship’s stingiest defence from last season in front of him, meaning the odd clean sheet will not be a surprised! Still only 8% owned!
Joel Veltman – Brighton – Defender
A streaming hero of last season, Joel Veltman could be a great low ownership option again this time around. With Tariq Lamptey still on the sideline, He may even start at right wing back in a favourable first fixture against Burnley.
Joel Matip – Liverpool – Defender
Norwich City (away)
Another Joel and another defender with a friendly start. Liverpool’s Joel Matip looks set to partner Virgil Van Dijk at the centre of the defence on the first day at newly promoted Norwich City and, although it appears unlikely he will keep his place, he should see a good number of minutes during a favourable start for The Reds.
Rayan Ait-Nouri – Wolves – Defender
Leicester City (away)
There’s a lot of talk surrounding the Wolves attacking full backs under their new manager during pre-season. With Nelson Semedo certain to be drafted in every single draft, Rayan Ait-Nouri will be the cheap way to get a piece of that. It may be worth waiting until after the Leicester fixture on the opening day to see how effective those attacking full backs really are.
Ryan Bertrand – Leicester – Defender
Leicester may have got themselves a free agent gem in the shape of the experienced Ryan Bertrand. The former Southampton man has fitted in seamlessly over pre-season and is a timely arrival as The Foxes see their defensive injuries mount up. Bertrand will start the season at left back (potentially left wing back) and will be encouraged to get forward a lot more than he was in his Southampton days. The fact he has a share of set pieces is just an added bonus. Get him in!
Kostas Tsimikas – Liverpool – Defender
Norwich City (away)
“Here we go again” is what Liverpool fans will have thought when watching Andrew Robertson crumple to the floor in pain during the pre-season outing against Athletic Bilbao. Although Robbo’s injury is not as bad as first feared, he looks to be out until the first international break, meaning Kostas Tsimikas should finally get his chance to impress in the Premier League. Although some fear that James Milner may deputise once again, this is exactly what Liverpool signed Tsimikas for and any previous fears around his fitness or abilities will have been eased by his assist for Roberto Firmino in The Reds final friendly on Monday. May be a short term fix but if you’re streaming defenders this season, don’t miss out on Tsimikas.
Naby Keita – Liverpool – Midfielder
Norwich City (away)
This pre-season’s feels like the 43rd coming of Naby Keita at Liverpool. You feel like it’s now and never for the midfielder who is undoubtedly talented but can’t state fit enough long enough to prove it. Keita has looked sharp (once again) in pre-season and Gini Wijnaldum’s departure should mean he will get a run in the team. Plenty of potential to score points through tackles, interceptions and successful take-ons, even if he isn’t on the scoresheet very often.
Abdoulaye Doucoure – Everton – Midfielder
Recent interviews suggest that Abdoulaye Doucoure is another one of those players this season who may be given a new lease of life under a new manager. The powerhouse midfielder was a serious asset at previous club Watford due to his lung-busting forward runs. However, his move to Everton didn’t pan out as expected with Doucoure being limited to a much more reserved, defensive role (when he was on the pitch at all). The arrival of Rafael Benitez appears to be one that will bring Doucoure much more freedom. If he can get back to that Watford form, there’s no reason you can’t get a midfielder of round 6/7 quality from the free agency pool.
Ryan Fraser – Newcastle United – Midfielder
West Ham United (home)
A decent pre-season has led to Ryan Fraser being picked late in both of my drafts this season. Although Joe Willock’s imminent arrival may change things in the long term, Fraser has looked very sharp playing as a number 10 behind his old mate Callum Wilson, scoring once and assisting three times. On his day, the Scot is a ghost point scoring beast and he will be looking for a big comeback following a disappointing campaign last time round.
Nathan Redmond – Southampton – Midfielder
Another old Togga/Fantrax favourite, Nathan Redmond has appeared both of my drafts too at roughly round 10. I think he could be great value there, simply due to Southampton’s lack of current options following the departure of Danny Ings and the possible departure of James Ward Prowse. The Saints look like they’re going to be in for a long hard season so will lean on the experience of Redmond to guide them through it and help them avoid relegation. Although he isn’t the power he once was, the Southampton man still brings in the ghost points when he starts!
Demarai Gray – Everton – Forward
In one of the stranger transfers of the summer, Demarai Gray has returned to the Premier League in a blue shirt once again, this time of Everton. New manager Rafa Benitez brought him in on the cheap and Gray will almost certainly deputize for Richarlison as he recovers from his hectic summer schedule. He has always been full of potential but has only showed it in fits and starts so this little run at the start of Everton’s season is a huge chance for him to stake his claim as a regular starter at his new club. Another one who should enjoy