We’re already well into the second week of 2019 but, like Daniel Levy releasing news of Tottenham’s stadium, we thought we’d wait until everyone was already sick of the story before publishing something.

So as you’ve likely already broken your own New Year’s resolutions, and certainly tired of columns highlighting every lifestyle blogger’s “three resolutions you can’t start your year without”, why not adopt ours and consider these three differential players (less than 6.5% selected at time of writing) for your fantasy football squad in the coming weeks?

Jan Bednarek, Southampton (DF, £3.9m)

Owned by: 4.6%

Jan BEdnarek

Starting defenders that cost less than £5.0 are a rare commodity, and those who cost less than £4.0 are beautiful unicorns. Southampton’s Polish centre-back has played the full 90 minutes for six matches on the bounce and looks to have solidified his spot under new manager Ralph Hasenhüttl.

Bednarek is the zero-calorie option of FPL defenders, having quite literally scored no points in half of those starts. But he’s cheaper than a petrol station secret santa gift and will have one of the best runs of fixtures over the coming month.

Leicester, Everton, Crystal Palace, Burney and Cardiff are up next, three of those games are at home, and Saints have already kept clean sheets against Burnley and Palace this term. He might not be more than your fifth defender, but for that price he doesn’t have to do much to justify a place in your side. With the funds you save here, you’ll be able to reinvest in better firepower elsewhere.

Christian Eriksen, Tottenham (MF, £9.3m)

Owned by: 6.2%

Christian Eriksen

Since he returned in GW13, the Dane has blanked just twice (and one of those was a needless 23-minute cameo at Leicester), notching four goals, five assists and earning seven bonus points.

Are there rumours linking him with a move away from Spurs? Of course. Are Tottenham hosting a newly resurgent Manchester United this weekend? Absolutely. But the low ownership for both Eriksen and team-mate Dele Alli (£8.9m/2.8%) make for tantalising opportunities to snap up an FPL superstar before their prices start to rise.

The 26-year-old started the year priced £9.5m on the strength of his 11-goal, 10-assist campaign last term. He finished 2017/18 priced at £9.7m and could easily surpass that price in the coming weeks. One only needs to look at the rapid ascent of Paul Pogba (up a full £0.5m in just four weeks) to understand Eriksen’s earning potential.

Following the match against United, Tottenham face Fulham, Watford, Newcastle, Leicester and Burnley – with the middle three all coming at home. That gives Spurs four of their next five games in the now-friendly confines of Wembley, where they posted a 4-0-0 record with 12 goals for and just two conceded before that shock loss against Wolves.

Romelu Lukaku, Manchester United (FW, £10.7m)

Owned by: 4.0%

Romelu Lukaku

Pop quiz: which player leads Manchester United for goals scored this season? If you went with Anthony Martial (8), you’re right. But in a twist worthy of M Night Shyamalan’s later work, Lukaku has eight of his own, having scored in back-to-back substitute appearances during the undefeated reign of boy-king Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

It’s not that Rom was incapable of scoring during Jose Mourinho’s tenure – he bagged 16 goals with seven assists last year – but the heady heights of 25/6 from his Everton days were gone.

It’s true that he has yet to start in the league under Solskjaer, but Lukaku also scored two in the 47 minutes that he’s played – plus he fronted a three-man attack in the Red Devils’ FA Cup win over Reading, scoring their second goal. The Belgian remains one of the finest goalscorers in recent history, and at the age of 25 boasts 109 Premier League goals. 

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Up next for United are Brighton (h), Burnley (h), Leicester (a) and Fulham (a) in gameweeks 23-26. Two of those sides – Fulham (2.24) and Burnley (2.0) – are the only teams to allow two or more goals per match.

Follow us on Twitter @FantasyYIRMA and check out our fantasy football podcast Bang Average on your podcast platform of choice.

FantasyYIRMA started in 2012 focused primarily on news and previews for the Fantasy Premier League. Following consecutive fantasy coverage across 250 gameweeks, we have decided to try to give back to the community and have taken on board John Wallin (aka @FantasyGaffer) as an unpaid intern.

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