Double Gameweek 23 of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) is fast approaching, so it’s time to have a look at some more differential options.
This time, we’ve selected low-owned picks at Chelsea, Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers, who we think have the potential to make an impact.
As always, to qualify, the player must have an ownership of 5% or less at the time of writing.
- FPL ownership: 0.7%
- Price: £5.0m
- GW23-27 fixtures: whu | SOU | tot | LEE | lei
It may have gone under the radar but Chelsea have kept a clean sheet in all three of Benoit Badiashile’s (£5.0m) appearances so far.
The Frenchman has played just 270 minutes for his new club after signing from Monaco in January, yet he already looks like a shrewd acquisition, having struck up an impressive partnership with Thiago Silva (£5.5m).
Prior to his introduction into the starting XI, Graham Potter’s side had kept just one clean sheet across their last eight Premier League outings. With him in the team, they have managed to shut out Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Fulham.
In Gameweek 22, Fulham attacked whenever opportunities presented themselves but were repeatedly left frustrated by the host’s defensive organisation. In fact, Marco Silva’s side managed just five shots inside the box and 0.65 expected goals (xG) overall, their lowest tally in a single match since the Premier League resumed after the World Cup.
Chelsea added eight players to their ranks last month, but, per UEFA rules, could only register three of these signings (Mykhailo Mudryk, Joao Felix and Enzo Fernandez) in their Champions League squad for the knockout stages, with Badiashile missing out. However, that suggests he could play a key part in their Premier League schedule, which includes guaranteed fixtures in Gameweeks 25 and 28.
All is not rosy at Chelsea right now, especially in attack, but it’s worth noting they have kept seven clean sheets since Potter took charge in Gameweek 9, second only to Newcastle United’s nine. Their underlying defensive stats in the last six matches continue to improve, too, as they sit sixth for minutes per expected goals conceded (xGC).
That makes Badiashile an intriguing differential pick, who can not only help FPL managers navigate the forthcoming blanks but also offer real value at £5.0m.
- FPL ownership: 3.6%
- Price: £8.0m
- GW23-27 fixtures: TOT | mun | ARS | sou | CHE
Having only recently returned from injury, James Maddison (£8.0m) scored Leicester’s early equaliser at Villa Park last weekend.
The 26-year-old played as a second striker at times, often joining Kelechi Iheanacho (£6.1m) in the initial press. However, he would also come short, with Brendan Rodgers’ attacking 4-4-2 formation morphing into a 4-3-3.
It certainly worked, with the Foxes scoring four goals in a match for the third time this season from an impressive 2.57 xG, the most of any side in Gameweek 22 bar Man Utd, who played twice.
Tete (£5.5m) and Iheanacho may have drawn most of the plaudits in Leicester’s 4-2 win, but the former’s arrival allows Maddison to move back to his preferred central position, which is arguably the key FPL takeaway from the match.
Despite sometimes being used in an inverted midfield role from the right this season, Maddison is averaging 0.61 goals per 90 minutes, an impressive tally that is only beaten by six players who you’d deem regular starters (500+ minutes). He’s exceeded his xG by +4.76 (eight goals from 3.24 xG) thanks to his excellent long-range finishing, but even if that drops off, his playmaking skills can provide assists.
The immediate fixtures for Leicester admittedly aren’t that appealing, but Maddison has scored in his last two meetings with Spurs. He also netted against Arsenal earlier in the season and despite blanking, racked up three shots/two created chances when the Foxes met Man Utd in September.
Maddison’s return from injury has been a huge boost for Leicester, who are unbeaten in the three games he has played in 2023. Now, you’d expect them to kick on and provide real Fantasy value for the remainder of the season.
- FPL ownership: 1.9%
- Price: £4.3m
- GW23-27 fixtures: sou | BOU | ful + liv | TOT | new
Budget defender Max Kilman (£4.3m) gave his best display of the season in Gameweek 22, partnering Craig Dawson (£4.8m) at the back in Wolves’ 3-0 win over Liverpool.
As a result, the Molineux outfit have now taken 10 points from the last 18 available, a decent tally for a team still acclimatising to Julen Lopetegui’s methods.
They are undoubtedly moving in the right direction under the Spaniard, with their organisation out of possession improving. In fact, they have conceded only six goals from Gameweek 17 onwards, the same number as Arsenal, whilst keeping two clean sheets.
“[Lopetegui] has made massive changes, to our mentality, our way to work, to press, to be on the pitch and this was very good for us and we are very happy to work with him. Now it’s about fighting for him. We are more like warriors and we are looking for each other. They are protecting me and I am protecting my team-mates. We are more of a family and we are giving all for our team-mates, and this is very important because we are showing character, and we like this.” – Jose Sa
As for Kilman, he is playable in the next three rounds, which includes a double-header in Gameweek 25. You can then bench him against Spurs and Newcastle, which needn’t be an issue given his £4.3m price tag.
Up first for Wolves is Southampton, who lost 3-0 at Brentford last time out, a result which leaves them bottom of the division. That was Nathan Jones’ sixth defeat from seven league games in charge, a period that has seen them score just five goals, so there is real clean-sheet potential for Wolves this weekend.
Owned by just 1.9% of managers, Kilman could be the perfect budget enabler at Wolves, at a time when team-mate Hugo Bueno’s (£3.9m) minutes are perhaps in doubt.