I have always been partial to dark horses, probably because I constantly mess up my typical mainstream picks. With the transfer window and the international break over, many managers (especially those who have made a poor start to the season) should be considering using the wild card and transform their respective teams.
Obviously, most are likely to go for those with great point already on the board, but here are five players under the radar that could shine this week, and beyond, for you to consider. None of them have done exceptionally well as yet, but various circumstances have combined to give them a platform to strut their stuff.
1. Leroy Sane, Manchester City midfielder (8.2), 2.2% in teams
With manager Pep Guardiola abandoning his 3-5-2 formation for a 4-4-2 the last time around, and Raheem Sterling suspended, it seems to be a perfect opportunity for Leroy Sane to remind Guardiola of his attacking qualities that led him to be nominated for PFA Young Player of the Year last season. Sane looked uncomfortable when he started as a wing back against Everton, so a restoration to a proper winger role might provide some dividends.
2. Matt Ryan, Brighton and Hove Albion goalkeeper (4.5), 0.7% in teams
From what I’ve seen so far, the former Valencia man is an excellent keeper, having made some outstanding saves so far. Furthermore, Brighton did reasonably well in their loss to Manchester City and grabbed their first point against Watford. With Brighton facing a West Brom side whose focus is primarily on defence, points are definitely there for the taking.
3. Davy Propper, Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder (5.5), 0.1% in teams
Still on Brighton, although they are currently having a dearth of strikers, they have someone in midfield who’s definitely capable of filling in the role. Despite being a central midfielder, during the international break Propper played as a No 10 for the Netherlands and proceeded to impress with two goals. Chris Hughton's failure to land another striker, coupled with injuries to all his designated strikers, could force the manager's hand to push Propper up.
4. Joselu, Newcastle striker (5.5), 0.3% in teams
After getting his first start for Newcastle just before the international break, he duly rewarded the team with a goal against West Ham. With Dwight Gayle injured and Aleksandar Mitrovic suspended, it's an excellent chance for him to cement his spot. On top of that, Newcastle's upcoming opponents are Swansea, Stoke and Brighton, which should give him plenty of goal-scoring chances.
5. Theo Walcott, Arsenal midfielder (7.3), 1.3% in teams
Following the departure of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and with Alexis Sanchez seemingly not in the best frame of mind to play, a match against a pointless Bournemouth could be a perfect excuse for Arsene Wenger to start Walcott. There is also a need for Arsene to shake things up and change his formation after losses to Stoke and Liverpool. So, the 28-year-old should benefit from it.