Pre-Season

The best mid-price FPL forwards for 2020/21

While there was little to cheer among the budget forwards, there is a bit more to interest Fantasy Premier League managers when we step up a tier.

Our trawl through the mid-price FPL forwards covers the 25 assets who currently find themselves in the £6.0m-£7.5m bracket, with our look at the premium options to follow.

You can read our run-through of the best goalkeepers, defenders and midfielders via the links below.

‘BIG SIX’ BACK-UPS AND POSSIBLE STARTERS

We have opted to include the sole £7.5m-rated forward in this mid-price analysis as much of what we write of Tammy Abraham will also be true of Olivier Giroud (£7.0m).

Both players might be playing understudy to Timo Werner (£9.5m) for much of 2020/21 following the German attacker’s arrival in west London, although an injury to Christian Pulisic (£8.5m) could see Werner reprise the inside-left role he often played for RB Leipzig and open up a central spot for Abraham or Giroud in the early stages of the new season.

The final third of Abraham’s previous campaign was something of a non-event, with the Chelsea striker making only two starts in the final 13 Gameweeks as injury and Giroud’s form saw him reduced to bit-part player status.

Thirteen goals, five assists and 20 bonus points had arrived from Gameweeks 3 to 25, however, with Abraham starting all but one of Chelsea’s league fixtures over that run.

In total, the pair plundered 23 goals and seven assists between them in the Premier League in 2019/20 – which is a testimony to the Blues’ creativity, especially as Abraham was quite profligate following his early-season purple patch.

Pre-season will hopefully tell us whether Pulisic will be fit for Gameweek 1, whether Werner will initially be operating wide-left as a result and, finally, which – if any – of Giroud or Abraham could be leading the line on the opening weekend.

Whoever gets the nod could consequently be a decent differential for the appealing early fixtures but rotation and bench duty would appear to loom large beyond that point.

Michy Batshuayi (£6.0m) will be a mere FPL footnote if he stays at Stamford Bridge but a loan move could renew interest, as happened in 2018/19.

Odion Ighalo (£6.5m) has extended his loan deal at Manchester United until January 2021 but the Nigerian will likely be reliant on an injury crisis hitting the Red Devils to gain meaningful game-time, as Marcus Rashford (£9.5m) or Mason Greenwood (£7.5m) could just as easily deputise as the spearhead of the United attack if Anthony Martial (£9.0m) ever faced a period on the sidelines.

Ighalo, indeed, is still waiting for his first Premier League start since moving from China.

Pitch-time may also be an issue for Eddie Nketiah (£6.0m), with Willian‘s (£8.0m) arrival handing Mikel Arteta the chance to use Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£12.0m) centrally if ever the Arsenal boss opted against fielding Alexandre Lacazette (£8.5m) or indeed moves the Frenchman on.

Arteta clearly rates Nketiah, as the youngster was handed seven Premier League starts after returning from a loan spell with Leeds United in January.

While FPL managers could have stomached semi-regular benchings at Nketiah’s 2019/20 cost of £4.5m, the same might not apply after his price hike given the more ‘nailed’ starters elsewhere in this bracket.

As is the case with so many players, pre-season minutes will be a good way of gauging just how involved Nketiah might be in the Gunners’ appealing double-header against Fulham and West Ham United in Gameweeks 1 and 2.

The 21-year-old striker was given the nod to lead the line in the Community Shield on Saturday, which is a good start.

TOP-HALF OPTIONS

using-the-top-10000-ownership-to-increase-your-fpl-rank-andys-article 7

One of the joys of picking a Burnley asset is that, providing the team is in relatively good form, there is little danger of Sean Dyche rotating.

Chris Wood (£6.5m) is a bit of an unheralded mid-price forward and he delivered more goals (14) and registered more big chances (31) than all bar Abraham of the 25 strikers profiled in this article, despite starting just 29 games in an injury-disrupted season.

He has also registered more shots from inside the six-yard box than any other Premier League player in each of the last two campaigns, which is a great indicator of how often he gets into dangerous positions.

Few managers will be interested initially thanks to a Blank Gameweek 1 and a trip to Leicester City thereafter but he is one for the watchlist when the fixtures improve from Gameweek 3 onwards.

It remains to be see which of Ashley Barnes (£6.0m) or Jay Rodriguez (£6.0m) is Dyche’s preferred option alongside Wood next season, meanwhile, with Barnes starting 2019/20 as first-choice before injury curtailed his season in January.

The pair are more than capable of grabbing a goal or two themselves but Wood did outperform them on most ‘per 90’ metrics and he may well warrant the extra half a million outlay.

Sheffield United offered a lot of FPL value last season but not so much in attack.

The fact that none of their strikers started more than 24 matches or scored more than six league goals is a worry, with Chris Wilder fond of rotating his front two in an otherwise very settled side.

Only four clubs scored fewer Premier League goals than the Blades last season, meanwhile.

Oliver McBurnie (£6.0m) seems to be the pick of the three Bladesmen at this price, having belatedly established himself as a regular up top and having started 16 of Sheffield United’s final 17 fixtures – more than Billy Sharp (£6.0m) or Lys Mousset (£6.0m) managed in the whole of 2019/20.

Kelechi Iheanacho (£6.0m) looks good for a goal whenever he features for Leicester City but game-time is the main issue with the Nigerian, who hasn’t played more than 1,000 minutes of league football in any of the last five seasons.

Unless we get wind of a Jamie Vardy (£10.0m) injury in pre-season or Brendan Rodgers hints at starting two strikers up front, then there seems little value in a player who started just 12 matches in 2019/20 and who was described as an “impact player” by his manager as recently as July.

THE BEST – AND WORST – OF THE REST

What impact has David Moyes had on West Ham? 5

There’s only one place to start our ‘rest of the league’ round-up.

Many of us would have anticipated a positional reclassification for Michail Antonio (£6.5m) but, given what occurred after lockdown ended, few would have thought the West Ham United striker would be available at his cheapest price since 2015/16.

Granted, he’ll lose a handful of points for goals and clean sheets (not that the Hammers kept many) after his move from ‘midfielder’ to ‘forward’.

But the price drop and increased chance of bonus points will partly offset that and, comparing his credentials with other mid-price FPL forwards, he still stands out.

Ten goals and four assists from just 19 starts and five substitute appearances was impressive, with nine of those attacking returns arriving in West Ham’s post-restart fixtures.

Antonio’s season-long minutes-per-xGI (expected goal involvement) figure was also better than any other mid-price forward in this piece bar the peripheral Batshuayi and superior to the likes of Mohamed Salah (£12.0m) and Kevin De Bruyne (£11.5m).

As with most players, there are caveats.

His injury record has long been a cause for concern but he largely assuaged those fears with 14 successive starts at the end of 2019/20, even when the fixtures piled up.

Then there are questions over whether Sebastien Haller (£6.5m) will be reintegrated into the side and whether Antonio will be moved wide as a result or, as happened before coronavirus stopped play, whether they will be paired as a front two.

Perhaps the biggest downside is the tricky early-season fixture schedule but, that aside, he could represent excellent value in 2020/21 based on what we saw at the back-end of last season.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.0m) was a popular FPL purchase immediately after Carlo Ancelotti’s arrival but ten successive blanks in the run-in blotted his copybook.

The Everton striker scored eight goals and set up another in the ten Gameweeks following the Italian’s arrival and he was a reliable starter, with his only benching under Ancelotti coming in Gameweek 38+ when the Italian allowed Moise Kean (£6.0m) a rare run-out up front.

Barring any new arrivals, Calvert-Lewin will still be expected to begin 2020/21 as one of Ancelotti’s go-to picks in attack ahead of Kean and the injured Cenk Tosun (£6.0m).

No other forward now in the £6.0m-£7.5m bracket registered more attempts on goal or shots in the box than Calvert-Lewin from Gameweek 19 onwards, so the underlying stats (and opening fixures) bode well if he can rediscover his finishing touch.

Our sole mid-price representative from the newly promoted sides is Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6.0m).

The Serb is priced up cheaper than he was in 2018/19 and Werner is the only FPL forward who has a higher ownership figure than him at the time of writing.

With 26 goals and two assists last season, it’s not hard to see why: Mitrovic played a part in 49.1% of the goals that Fulham scored when he was on the pitch, a similar involvement figure (46%) that he posted in the Premier League in 2018/19.

Mitrovic also impressed on the underlying stats front last season, as he did the last time he was in the Premier League.

He isn’t particularly clinical, with a goal conversion rate of 17.2% in 2019/20 not too eye-catching considering the inferior standard of goalkeeping and defending in the second tier.

Indeed, Mitrovic only converted 8.4% of his chances when he was last in the top flight.

Despite the wastefulness, the sheer volume of opportunities that came his way in the Premier League meant that, even with a poor conversion rate, he still managed to find the net on 11 occasions.

Mitrovic also has penalties on his side, while none of his teammates had more direct free-kick attempts last season, either (six).

Security of starts is another string to his bow, if we ignore his fitness-related benching in the play-off final.

The ex-Newcastle striker started all 40 Championship games that he was available for, with his one and only substitution being enforced by injury.

Dwight Gayle (£6.0m) had hit a purple patch of form after lockdown ended, scoring on four occasions and assisting another goal, but the Newcastle United striker looks set to be ruled out for several months after picking up an injury in pre-season.

We won’t waste too much of your time talking up Joelinton’s (£6.0m) credentials in Gayle’s absence as, even if he had been half a million cheaper, there would still have been precious few takers in FPL.

The Brazilian didn’t miss a single Premier League match last season but two goals in 32 starts and six substitute appearances tells its own story.

Jordan Ayew (£6.0m) was prolific in comparison to Joelinton, scoring nine goals and assisting another three as a value-for-money £5.0m forward in 2019/20.

Security of starts was a big plus regarding Ayew, with the Ghanaian starting 37 of Palace’s 38 games, but that rise of one million does dent his appeal considering that he has not hit double figures for goals in a single season since moving to England in 2015.

The Eagles were the division’s second-lowest scorers last season, too, with the capture of attacking midfielder Eberechi Eze (£6.0m) from QPR no doubt an attempt to address that issue – and there were promising signs in the pre-season win over an admittedly limited Charlton Athletic side.

Like Calvert-Lewin, there was very little wrong with Neal Maupay‘s (£6.5m) underlying statistics last season.

No forward previewed in this piece registered more penalty box touches or attempts on goal and, while not rotation risk-free, he is still probably the safest route into an improving Brighton and Hove Albion attack after starting 30 of the Seagulls’ 38 league fixtures.

Too often his finishing let him down, however, and a price rise after a modest ten-goal haul when the likes of Wood and Antonio are available for the same money does raise questions over his value.

Similar concerns can be expressed over Aston Villa duo Wesley (£6.0m) and Mbwana Samatta (£6.0m), too, despite them being half a million cheaper.

A combined six goals in 32 starts was a fair reflection of their indifferent debut seasons but they weren’t helped by the supply line or Dean Smith’s brand of play, with their remit as lone target-men as much to bring the midfielders into play as it was to find the back of the net themselves.

Villa, of course, blank in Gameweek 1.

Finally, a word on the man many FPL managers are hoping can partly emulate Danny Ings‘ (£8.5m) achievements of last season.

Che Adams (£6.0m) caught the eye after the summer restart, finding the back of the net on four occasions; Giroud and Antonio were the only two FPL forwards who could better his goals-per-90-minutes average after lockdown.

It’s still a bit early to say for sure whether Adams will become a regular starter alongside Ings as Shane Long (£5.5m) had been preferred before coronavirus stopped play, starting all but one of the matches he was available for between Gameweeks 15 and 29.

With little to play for after football resumed in June, Ralph Hasenhuttl brought Adams back into the fold and it may be that he impressed enough to be given more of an opportunity in his sophomore season.

Pre-season will hopefully give us an indicator, one way or another.


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1,060 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Flair
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    11 months, 8 days ago

    DCL and Maupay definitely on my radar, both have a lot of potential. Antonio I would love to have but with the amount of runouts Haller is recieving and the 4-3-3 being played it seems likely that he'll be displaced soon, will have to reassess after GW10 WC but I don't see the point in getting him now with those fixtures.

    Mitrovic's ownership is curious, this Fulham side are dreadful and I'd rather have Adams - playing for a better team and ended last season on fire.

    1. Christina.
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      I owned both Dcl and Maupay last season. Never ever again.

      1. Inazuma X1
        • 3 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Just curious. Never owned DCL but what exactly went wrong with DCL last season?

        1. el polako
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          11 months, 8 days ago

          He stopped scoring at some point, I had him for his good streak and it was ok.

        2. Flair
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          11 months, 8 days ago

          Everton were on the beach and had no midfield so DCL didn't score for the entirety of the restart period. It's silly to judge him for that, he had 8 in 12 beforehand including a bicycle kick against Arsenal. With the signings Everton are making he's certainly on my radar.

        3. Pukki Blinders
          • 2 Years
          11 months, 8 days ago

          Blanked for 9 straight games after the restart, wasn’t fun.

      2. Flair
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Owned DCL through his hot streak, didn't own Maupay at all so I haven't been tainted yet

  2. juanmata8
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    11 months, 8 days ago

    Any thoughts?

    McCarthy
    TAA | AMN | Coleman
    Son | Auba | Salah | ASM
    Werner | Bramford | DCL

    4m | Romeu | Dallas | Taylor

    Probably Werner > Martial after GW1 & Auba > KDB after GW2

    1. 1zverGGadeM
      • 4 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      I don't like the Coleman in defence + Bamford and DCL as strikers till I see them in action at least

      1. Marmalade Forest
        • 4 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        I love to see Coleman.
        Something different.
        Well done not going Vinagre, KWP, Davies, Justin or another one seen here in every RMT

    2. Hughes the Daddy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      I'd rethink strikers. Bamford and DLC could be much better. I'd try to get ones you'll expect to get points rather than hope will.

    3. Booked4Dissent
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      11 months, 8 days ago

      Bramford won’t even play much, they’ve signed a new striker

    4. Madderegern
      • 7 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      Way to many abbreviations.

  3. InterUranus
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    11 months, 8 days ago

    Unpopular opinion: Werner owners will jump to Vardy after a few weeks because the Leicester striker has the best opening fixtures and we're all overlooking him.

    1. Amey
      • 2 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      That's a prediction...

      1. InterUranus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Unpopular prediction

        1. Amey
          • 2 Years
          11 months, 8 days ago

          Sounds good now 🙂
          I agree !

    2. 1569Tippins
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      Not all of us my friend

    3. Pukki Blinders
      • 2 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      Can see that happening... Werner playing out wide while Pulisic is injured

      1. Old Man
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Playing wide doesn't seem to hamper Auba .... just saying.
        Vardy's supply lines will be severely compromised by injuries to Maddison & Pereira, plus departure of Chilwell. (I have been a Leicester support for a very long time)

        1. Pukki Blinders
          • 2 Years
          11 months, 8 days ago

          Agree with that too, not saying Vardy will be better than Werner but both will probably start slow... And yes those same Leicester players were missing after the restart and Vardy did struggle

  4. 1zverGGadeM
    • 4 Years
    11 months, 8 days ago

    How is this setup looking ahead of the new season, lads?
    ----------------Ryan
    -Aurier Fredericks VVD Ward
    Salah Saka Son Aubameyang
    ----------Kane(c) Ings

    Button; Romeu, Branthwaite, Davis
    0.0 itb.

    Cheers!

  5. Amey
    • 2 Years
    11 months, 8 days ago

    So in short ....

    Mitrovic is midpriced Striker version of Salah !

    1. Inazuma X1
      • 3 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      Yes the Serbian King

      1. Amey
        • 2 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        🙂

    2. KGFC
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      That's a little harsh on Salah.
      I'm sure he'll turn it up when the season begins 🙂
      And Mitro will turn it down 😛

      1. 1zverGGadeM
        • 4 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        this

      2. Amey
        • 2 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Salah is a sh.t finisher !
        Don't care about how big name he is.

        Mane is way better player than him. Salah is great © option though in FPL as his hauls are somehow predictable

        1. KGFC
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          11 months, 8 days ago

          Agree on his finishing touches... definitely not the best.
          But as you've rightly pointed out, he is a great FPL option simply because of the number of chances he gets due to the system Pool plays.

          1. Amey
            • 2 Years
            11 months, 8 days ago

            I'm planning to have him only vs duds home.
            Let's see how it goes ....

            But he is what i said above .... 😆

        2. Greasy Grealish Gang
          • 1 Year
          11 months, 8 days ago

          What an over-reaction.

  6. Differentiator
    • 5 Years
    11 months, 8 days ago

    Whos buying Messi immediately when he's added to the game. I fear I am....

    1. Amey
      • 2 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      I'm not intending to play Fantasy La liga or Fantasy League 1

      1. Marmalade Forest
        • 4 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Fantasy League 1

        Swindon and Rochdale battling out to sign Messi?

    2. 1zverGGadeM
      • 4 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      Looks like almost everyone and he is a perma cap material, but...
      I'm still not sure that he leaves Barca for PL 🙂

    3. Giggs Boson
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      No. He has a blank.

      1. Amey
        • 2 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Don't think Villa or Burnley can afford him tbh ... 😛

    4. KujaliaFC
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      I'll consider getting him in GW3 if he comes in at 12 or under.

      1. Amey
        • 2 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        If he comes he'll be 14m & ALL OF US WILL GET HIM IN GW2

        1. Wild Card this...
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 12 Years
          11 months, 8 days ago

          I bet quite few guys would get him for GW1 so they can admire him on the bench while they prepare for GW2 😉

          1. Amey
            • 2 Years
            11 months, 8 days ago

            You bet

        2. Pumpy Pro
          • 12 Years
          11 months, 8 days ago

          Ate FPL really that dumb ? Pray hes 15 mil to end him as an option. If they screw this up they screw up the game.

          1. Amey
            • 2 Years
            11 months, 8 days ago

            You know what's coming mate 🙂

        3. KujaliaFC
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          11 months, 8 days ago

          All of us except me.

          At 14m, he won't be worth it.

          1. Amey
            • 2 Years
            11 months, 8 days ago

            Fair play

          2. Pumpy Pro
            • 12 Years
            11 months, 8 days ago

            Probably right but it means dropping werner to a 6.5 and Auba to Messi with cash spare. A bit too easy

            1. KujaliaFC
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              11 months, 7 days ago

              I definitely wouldn't sacrifice my Auba Timo combo for Lionel's sake.

      2. yousunkmybattleship
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        lol

    5. Eat my goal!
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      I’ll bring him in if he performs

  7. benyz
      11 months, 8 days ago

      Please, what changes will you make?

      McCarthy
      Davies, Egan, AA
      Salah (c), Auba, Alli, Souček, Armstrong
      Werner, Ings
      (Martin, Vinagre, Johnson, Davis)

      1. MikeBravo
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        None, I like it. Alli nice differential, Soucek fun gamble. This game's all about the fun!

    • Steve The Spud
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      11 months, 8 days ago

      So what formation is everyone starting the season with in your current draft?

      1. Flair
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        11 months, 8 days ago

        4-3-3

      2. el polako
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Most lkkely 352 with Werner and Mitro at top and benched Brewster.

      3. KGFC
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        442

      4. Eat my goal!
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        343 / 442 / 433

      5. Bedknobs and Boomsticks
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 12 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        First game week? 5-4-1

        1. MikeBravo
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          11 months, 8 days ago

          I admire your bravery! I'd do that if I thought Liverpool defence was going to be solid from the start...

      6. Bury94
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        First week 4-4-2 but will be a 3-5-2 from GW2

      7. Marmalade Forest
        • 4 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        532 with three blank on the bench.
        352 is the main side

      8. Pukki Blinders
        • 2 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        352

      9. JBG
        • 3 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        451

      10. Society
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        442
        2 blanks on the bench
        aiming at 352

    • b91jh
      • 4 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      My current draft. Think it is the best from me as long as Doc stays at Wolves.

      McC
      TAA Doc KWP Lamptey
      Auba Ziyech Saka Soucek
      Kane Jimenez

      4.0 Bruno Dallas 4.5

      1. pingissimus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Tbh think Doh may be better at Spurs

        Decent set up for that benching

        1. Pukki Blinders
          • 2 Years
          11 months, 8 days ago

          Won’t get the freedom to roam around the box like he did at wolves though

          1. pingissimus
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            11 months, 8 days ago

            Aurier had plenty of freedom under Mou - like for like replacement is how I see it. Add in general preference for Spurs attack

          2. FPL Pacer
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            11 months, 8 days ago

            We know everything we need to know about mou and right backs. If he secures one who has good attacking capability and they're an acceptable price then they're an option

            Doherty is definitely a prospect imo

            1. Pukki Blinders
              • 2 Years
              11 months, 8 days ago

              He’s definitely a prospect and will be up forward for sure but I think he may stay wide and cut in less than he did at Wolves

    • WolfTheJack
      • 4 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      Any thoughts please?

      McCarthy
      Robertson Justin B.Davies
      Auba Salah Alli Soucek
      Adams Ings Antonio

      Ramsdale Dallas N.Williams Greenwood

      Idea being GW2 swap out Soucek and Antonio for Dallas and Greenwood then GW3 sell on a striker and premium mid for Man City/Utds

      This seem to work?

    • stuey192
      • 9 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      Greenwood (7.5) and Willian (8.0)

      Or

      Fernandes (10.5) and Saka (5.5)

      Or

      Something else...

      1. 1zverGGadeM
        • 4 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        B or something else

    • 1zverGGadeM
      • 4 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      Why so much love on McCarthy?
      Southampton always starting the seasons a bit slow and their fixtures are not so great imo...
      Am I missing something here?!

      1. Amey
        • 2 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Southampton played very well towards the end of the season actually.
        Their main problem was keeping CS at home but somehow no crowd has helped them improving home form.

        Having said that, I'm getting Ryan as i have KWP atm and Don't wanna double up. Can Change that though if some other 4.5m Defenders come to play

      2. Stormbringer22
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        11 months, 8 days ago

        For those of us that are opting to start with a 4.5 GK, it's either him or Ryan. Ryan arguably the worse choice

        1. b91jh
          • 4 Years
          11 months, 8 days ago

          It is between McCathy and Johnstone for me.

          1. Marmalade Forest
            • 4 Years
            11 months, 8 days ago

            I’m going Johnstone.

            McCarthy looks, at season start, to be the best bet for a 4.5 keeper.

            It looks like he’s seen off Gunn and Forster.

            Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if he played less than 33 games this season.

        2. 1zverGGadeM
          • 4 Years
          11 months, 8 days ago

          Ok, so play it safety and swap Ryan for McCarthy then... thanks

        3. Bring back Rafa
          • 1 Year
          11 months, 8 days ago

          If Martinez goes to Villa I think it will come into the picture

      3. Giggs Boson
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        For me personally it's because of VORP - Value over replacement player

        It's very rare that spending an extra 0.5 on a keeper will get you more points than spending the 0.5 elsewhere in your team.

        1. Eat my goal!
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          11 months, 8 days ago

          This

        2. MikeBravo
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          11 months, 8 days ago

          Is that like WAR in baseball stats...?

        3. MikeBravo
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          11 months, 8 days ago

          Is VORP to be found anywhere? It would be good in the members area...

          1. Giggs Boson
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            11 months, 8 days ago

            No because it's not a individual player stat but a comparative one.

            You take a player in your team, lets say a 4.5 keeper, and calculate VORP for all the other players can play in that position.

            The formula is (player pts - replacement pts)/(player price - replacement price). I use a player rating instead of points that I generate using data.

            What you find is that the VORP for defs, mids, fwds is usually higher than all the gk's VORP, which means the money goes further there and they should be your replacement.

            It's hard to explain...

            1. MikeBravo
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              11 months, 8 days ago

              So when comparing McCarthy and Ryan on last season's data regards VORP, there wouldn't be a lot of difference (?), so you'd pick (for now) whoever you prefer based on fixtures etc, and use the money to upgrade other positions, as opposed to upgrading to Pope for example??

              1. Andy_Social
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 8 Years
                11 months, 8 days ago

                That would be correct.

                1. MikeBravo
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 2 Years
                  11 months, 8 days ago

                  Ok, so do you use VORP as well Andy? If so, has it highlighted a player that you may not have thought of bringing in if you were just using eye tests, form/fixtures and the more obvious data available (points, PPG, etc)?

                  1. Andy_Social
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 8 Years
                    11 months, 8 days ago

                    No, not consciously. It's just obvious that the difference between a 4.5 and 5m keeper is less than between a 4.5 and 5m defender or midfielder, or 8.0 and 8.5 m striker, or 10 and 10.5 m midfielder and so on. Sometimes it makes no difference - eg if you have a 5m striker, you might as well make him a 4.5 as there is no extra value.

                    1. MikeBravo
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 2 Years
                      11 months, 8 days ago

                      Cheers Andy

      4. MikeBravo
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Forster could yet displace McCarthy, so Ryan could be the safer 4.5 GK atm...

    • Stormbringer22
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      11 months, 8 days ago

      Given the pre-season Soucek is having, I am considering to bring him back in as my 5th playing mid, despite the tough fixtures. Money no object, would you rather have Soucek or a 5.5 like Armstrong as your 5th playing mid?

      1. Flair
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        11 months, 8 days ago

        In a similar dilemna, I went for Armstrong as West Ham's extremely tough fixtures should theoretically mean they attack less and hence create less chances for Soucek. Would love to pick him up on GW10 WC though.

        1. Stormbringer22
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          11 months, 8 days ago

          That is what I intended to do. Armstrong is good value as well and he currently sits in that 5th slot for me

      2. Amey
        • 2 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Soucek is a lock IN my team. First 2 fixtures are good for his style of play.

        Just get him and put as 1st bench option aftwrads

        1. Stormbringer22
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          11 months, 8 days ago

          You playing a 4-4-2? Feel really set on a 3-5-2 hence why I want my 5th mid to be a playing one rather than 1st bench. It all comes down to over the course of the first 6-7 GWks, who scores more - Soucek or Armstrong... Brain says Armstr., heart says Soucek

          1. Amey
            • 2 Years
            11 months, 8 days ago

            I'm most probably going 442 yeah ...
            Purley because i love Taa & VVD.

            Some version of Vinagre/Taylor/KWP/Shaw/Saiss/AMN(if @ wolves) to complete rest of the Defense.

            1. Stormbringer22
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 1 Year
              11 months, 8 days ago

              Shaw would be a great pick this season if he stays injury free. At 5.0 he is a steal, even if he shares occasional minutes with Williams

            2. Eat my goal!
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              11 months, 8 days ago

              14mil on 0 CS for 4 gws

      3. InterUranus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Go 352 and play both

        1. Stormbringer22
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          11 months, 8 days ago

          KDB - Bruno - Son - Ziyech the rest of the mids, so only one slot available

      4. Holmes
        • 7 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        I prefer Soucek. Other than Shelvey and Maximin, I don't really like any 5.5

      5. Old Man
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        I am amazed that more are not doing this. You HAVE to spend 4.5 on any midfielder - and just take a look at what's available for that price by filtering all those above 4.5. Soucek is likely to score the occasional goal but it will very difficult to predict when and it could be against anyone. He's a shoo-in for me and he's not going anywhere after week 1 either.
        Finally, if another Cantwell does then emerge then you'll have the opportunity to make a transfer.

    • pmletch
      • 6 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      Please RMT

      A)
      Ryan
      TAA, Vinagre, KWP
      Salah, Auba, Son, Soucek, Saka
      Werner, Jimenez

      GW2/3
      Salah/Auba for KDB
      & Son for Bruno

      Or

      B)
      Ryan
      TAA, Vinagre, KWP
      Salah, Auba, Son, Trossard, Saka
      Werner, Jimenez

      GW2/3
      Salah/Auba for KDB

      1. RichRover
        • 9 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        A

    • Inazuma X1
      • 3 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      When is Henderson expected to be back?

      1. Holmes
        • 7 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        "Joel and Hendo looking very good"

        Thats what Klopp said in last press.

    • 1justlookin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      didn't saka play a few games behind the lone striker last season. Dont see how arteta can drop him tbh. Hes a quality player

      1. n-doggg
        • 9 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        He’d need to be a starting playing in my squad and definitely rotation risk with pepe

      2. KujaliaFC
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        He should get games.

        Be aware that Willian and Pepe offer him a rotation risk.

        I think that Willian will play in the number 10 role.

        Saka, when he plays, will be on the wing.

        The front three could end up being Saka Auba Pepe.

        Henry started his Arsenal career on the left and moved centrally. Pierre can follow in his footsteps.

      3. Andy_Social
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        They paid - what was it 75million for Pepe, then threw a huge wodge at Willian.

    • Chandler Bing
      • 5 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      Saliba out for everyone now that he didn't start the game last night?

      1. Eat my goal!
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        It’s disappointing and not worth the risk - particularly with Gabriel coming in

      2. n-doggg
        • 9 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Pretty much, unless he starts any other preseason games

      3. KujaliaFC
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Not me.

        I think he will start the first game.

      4. Pukki Blinders
        • 2 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Yep plenty of other 4.5s

    • n-doggg
      • 9 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      Latest iteration:

      Ryan
      TAA, Tierney, vinagre, Taylor, Johnson
      Salah, auba, son, greenwood, soucek
      Werner, mitrovic, 4.5

      Could be doing Salah to Bruno gw2 if his form doesn’t improve

      1. Eat my goal!
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Could be - not much time to asses improvement in form

    • Jullepuu
      • 2 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      Eze is priced at 5.0 in fanteam. Too good to ignore?

      1. Stormbringer22
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        11 months, 8 days ago

        I don't know anything about him, but have seen people on here rate him highly

      2. Pukki Blinders
        • 2 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        I’m tempted at 6.0 so yes for sure

    • Inazuma X1
      • 3 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      Looking for Alli replacements as he is not nailed 🙂

      1. Pukki Blinders
        • 2 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Why isn’t he nailed?

      2. Greasy Grealish Gang
        • 1 Year
        11 months, 8 days ago

        What happened? Thought most were convinced. Asking as an Alli-owner 😀

    • KujaliaFC
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      I'm considering Mitrovic as my cheap attacker.

      I'm fretting about his propensity for kung fu fighting though.

      Has he matured a bit on the red card front as he's pushed in to his 20s or do I have reason to fret?

      1. n-doggg
        • 9 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Still a yellow card magnet but not really a better option atm

    • Og
      • 5 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      A) Tierney, soucek, Brewster (bench)

      B) Justin (or 4.5) Bissouma (bench) Che

    • 1justlookin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      Looks like I'm in the minority going with Jiminez over Werner then.

      1. n-doggg
        • 9 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Will probably pay off!

      2. pmletch
        • 6 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        I’m going both

      3. Pukki Blinders
        • 2 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Leaning towards Jimenez but may just go with both

      4. InterUranus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        I'm going Vardy over both

      5. Goodison Gladiators
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Keep saying it's the wrong choice. Werner 1st. Then Jiminez or Ings before moving to Martial. With wolves games I might have Werner Jiminez Martial

    • Flair
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      11 months, 8 days ago

      Apparently Ings took the first penalty in the friendly over JWP... if he's on penalties that could be a game-changer. It's also possible JWP lost penalty duties last season after his miss at Everton, Ings was competing for the GB then too and didn't get it, implying the penalty miss could have caused the change in rank order.

      1. mynameisq
        • 7 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Yup noticed this, JWP missed 2 pens in the league last year too so could be Ings is first choice now though he did miss the first 1 he took himself

      2. Pukki Blinders
        • 2 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Just when I thought I was decided on Jimi...

    • pmletch
      • 6 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      Saka nailed? Or better 5.5 that isn’t ASM?

      1. n-doggg
        • 9 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Would love him to be nailed but don’t think he is.
        ASM, Armstrong or soucek

      2. mynameisq
        • 7 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Nope, will get plenty of minutes though but definitely not a week in week out started

    • Zen Arcade
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      I love to see the panic levels increasing the nearer GW1 draws.

      You aren’t gonna pick the perfect squad and it doesn’t really matter whether you get an amazing start tbh, it’s a case of playing sensibly over 38 GWs and taking some calculated risks here and there.

    • Bullet Eder
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      Nailed 5.0 defenders from solid teams like Spurs and Wolves (Bavies and Saiss) will score more than 6.0 budget strikers like Mitrovic. True or false?

      1. Zen Arcade
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        I’ll answer that in May.

      2. Godfrey
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Don't think they will. 90-120 points seems realistic for a 5.0 defender. Mitrovic collected 134 points in his first PL season. 125-150 seems realistic.

        1. Guba
          • 5 Years
          11 months, 8 days ago

          But then it's also an additional £1m you can spend on the rest of your team.

      3. FPL Pacer
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        There are a dozen defenders from last year at 5-5.5 who scored 120-143. A number of these were .5 cheaper last year. Mitrovic would really need to step up by a good half dozen goals on previous season to offer better value.

        Currently defenders and mid priced strikers make more sense to me if you are willing to bench a 4.5 striker

      4. Eat my goal!
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        There is only one Davies in defence!

    • fcsaltyballs
      • 5 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      How’s this guys?

      McCarthy Nyland
      TAA Vinagre Davies Targett Johnson
      Salah Aubameyang Son Greenwood Armstrong
      Werner Mitrovic Brewster

      Thanks

      1. vova
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        I like it, very similar to mine. Which Johnson is it in defence?

        1. fcsaltyballs
          • 5 Years
          11 months, 8 days ago

          It’s Ben, from WHU playing fodder hopefully...

          Tempted by Adams over Mitro, thoughts?

      2. RamaJama
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Looks good! Will WHU Johnson get some starts?

        1. fcsaltyballs
          • 5 Years
          11 months, 8 days ago

          Not too sure?? Are any of the 4.0 more assured?

          1. RamaJama
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            11 months, 8 days ago

            No, just need them to start now and then

    • LangerznMash
      • 5 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      Leeds' Rodrigo should be a good mid-priced option. I'd guess he will be £6.0m.
      Last season he was largely plagued by a reoccurring knee injury (ruled out for 11 games over 3 separate periods) but still managed fairly decent attacking returns with 7 goals and 11 assists in 34 apps (29 starts) of which he only completed 80+ minutes on 18 occasions.
      He averaged an attack return every 138 minutes in an underwhelming Valencia side that finished 9th in La Liga.
      Some of Rodrigo's notable attack returns came against Chelsea (x2), Ajax and Barcelona.
      He has just been called up to the Spain squad for the UEFA Nations League matches against Germany and Ukraine.

      1. FPL Pacer
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        11 months, 8 days ago

        Useful info that's a bit deeper than summary stats presented so far. Cheers

    • Eat my goal!
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      11 months, 8 days ago

      Utd have two good fixtures - thereafter they are ranked mid table at best for attacking returns and 5 from bottom overall per the ticker for the next 5gws

      I expect Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs to be much tougher fixtures this yr

      Much prefer city’s fixtures - really hope Foden is a starter