My big dilemma this week was what to do with Teemu Pukki (£7.1m). Having shown up ‘fashionably late’ to the Norwich striker’s party in Gameweek 4, there was a sense that I’d already missed most of the good stuff and, now, it was a case of either waiting to see if there’d be a big Finnish finish or ‘remembering that I’d left the stove on’, and making a quick getaway.
I’m not fully convinced that the Pukki party is genuinely over but Norwich look worryingly out of form and it will always be a concern as to whether they can maintain their attacking output now the initial exuberance of their opening matches is out of the way, especially as their fixtures begin to get tougher.
Comparisons to Fulham and Aleksandar Mitrovic’s decline around this time last season are maybe a little lazy, but still fairly inescapable.
Meanwhile, over in west London, Tammy Abraham (£7.7m) is beginning to look like he could be a genuine mid-priced heavy hitter and, as we’ve seen in the past with the likes of Harry Kane (£10.9m) and Jamie Vardy (£9.0m), these types of players, when they emerge, can quickly become essential for their own points output, for the additional captaincy options that they provide and for the investment that they enable elsewhere.
I could, and probably should, have made the move for Abraham earlier but, despite eight goals in as many games, I still have some reservations.
You see, as a Chelsea fan, I love Abraham to the extent that I’d happily throw myself in front of a Julian Dicks penalty for him, but as a Fantasy Premier League asset, I’m not entirely convinced (yet).
At the risk of applying Love Island logic here, I typically have a handful of boxes that I want my FPL forwards to tick:
1. Do they score goals?
2. Do they play for a team who create enough chances?
3. Do they contribute assists as well as goals?
4. Do they take penalties or other set pieces?
On current evidence, Abraham only offers the first two and, normally, I’d want at least three.
Why does this matter if he’s scoring points from goals? Well, Abraham is currently averaging a goal a game and, even with some good fixtures to come, this output will inevitably regress, particularly without penalties to help inflate his numbers, meaning that blanks are on the horizon unless he can start to contribute assists as well as goals.
In his favour is also the fact that he’s an all-purpose sort of centre-forward, with the size, speed and variety of finishing to deliver against any sort of defence, meaning that, while he won’t score every game, I’ll always believe he stands a chance.
And there’s that price…
Ultimately these factors, plus the opportunity to avoid the sort of “Oh… yay….” instances of cognitive dissonance I’ve been experiencing every time he scores was enough to convince me to finally push the button on Pukki to Abraham.
Will I captain him? It’s tempting but I’m currently leaning towards Callum Wilson (£7.9m) both for the quality of Bournemouth’s fixture at home to Norwich and for his relative consistency this season. Though this particular decision may well go down to the wire.
My team for Gameweek 9
Simon March is a member of our Pro Pundits initiative, a team of Fantasy managers here to bring you regular advice and updates on their teams. Simon won the FPL title in 2014/15 and has become a fixture on the punditry circuit ever since.
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