Ben Foster could help Watford form part of an effective defensive rotation this season after his move from West Bromwich Albion.
The data would suggest he stands to bring improvements to the Hornets’ back-line, compared to previous number one Heurelho Gomes.
We’ve run the rule over Foster to see what his Fantasy Premier League prospects are this season.
Ben Foster finally called time on a six-year spell at West Bromwich Albion this summer after the Baggies were relegated from the Premier League. Having proved a fashionable asset for Fantasy football in recent years, his popularity was damaged last season by the struggles of his club, who finished bottom of the league.
However, the 123 FPL points Foster amassed in 2017/18 turned out to be the third-best score of his career. In fact, the ten clean sheets he helped keep was his second highest tally in the Premier League; only in 2014/15 did he register more shut-outs. The 101 saves he registered was also in keeping with expectations.
The main blot statistically on his final season with West Brom was the fact that he ranked bottom of the division for expected goals prevented, with -8.80.
Foster’s FPL pedigree goes back a long way, though. He first made a name for himself by making 178 saves and recording 153 Fantasy points in 2010/11 with Birmingham City.
Since then he has made over 100 saves in five of the last eight campaigns and was only below that number between 2013/14 and 2016/17 as he struggled with injury and team selection.
Foster certainly has what it takes to better Heurelho Gomes (£4.5m) in the Watford net and help the Hornets be a source of more clean sheets in 2018/19 than they were last season.
There is a decent foundation in place already at Vicarage Road as manager Javi Gracia targeted defence as an area in need of improvement after he took over from Marco Silva in January.
In the first 24 Gameweeks of 2017/18 Watford ranked 18th in the division for clean sheets and only Stoke City (50) had conceded more goals than them (44).
Between Gracia’s first match in Gameweek 25 and the end of the campaign the Hornets were ninth-best for clean sheets and 12th for goals conceded. In fact, only Man City (75) and Liverpool (97) allowed fewer shots on goal than Watford (130) over that same period.
They also ranked fifth-best for shots on target allowed (49) and seventh for big chances conceded (27).
If Watford begin 2018/19 in similar form then Foster is likely to perform better than Gomes.
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The Brazilian only played one match under Gracia because of injury, but loanee Orestis Karnezis is no longer at the club and therefore unavailable for comparison.
Gomes’ spell in the team was under Silva, when Watford weren’t as assured at the back. Crucially, despite facing more shots on target per game last season, he still made fewer saves than Foster did per match.
The former West Brom man also out-performed Gomes for goals conceded per game as well as clean sheets too.
With that in mind, the hope is that Watford may be the source of more clean sheets in 2018/19 than they were last season.
The Hornets do have some tricky fixtures early on, with Tottenham and Manchester United among their first six matches.
However, Foster could be rotated with fellow £4.5m goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski to give managers this run over the first six Gameweeks: Brighton (H), Bournemouth (H), Crystal Palace (H), Wolves (H), Everton (A), Fulham (A).