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Who are the best Romelu Lukaku replacements in FPL?

Romelu Lukaku (£11.7m) is poised to miss Gameweek 9 of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) after injuring his ankle in Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League win over Malmo.

Thomas Tuchel may give us a more exact prognosis on the Belgian’s fitness in Friday’s pre-match press conference but the premium FPL forward is seemingly set to sit out Saturday’s home fixture against Norwich City at the very least, with the Chelsea boss saying Lukaku would miss “some games”.

Over three million Fantasy bosses owned the Belgium international after Gameweek 8 but the mass exodus has begun, with around 400,000 of those having already ditched him at the time of writing.

So who are the best replacements for the injured Lukaku in FPL?

We take a look at the options available to Fantasy managers in the article below.

All our stats and graphics are taken from our Premium Members Area, where there is currently a seven-day free trial on offer.

BEST LUKAKU REPLACEMENTS: PREMIUM FORWARDS

JAMIE VARDY

Vardy on target again as Man Utd's defensive issues continue in Gameweek 8 2

Top among FPL forwards for transfers in ahead of Gameweek 9, Jamie Vardy (£10.6m) is the go-to Lukaku replacement for many Fantasy managers.

It’s not so much the immediate fixtures – Brentford (a), Arsenal (h), Leeds (a) and Chelsea (h) is a mixed bag over the next four Gameweeks – as the form, with Vardy now the Premier League’s joint-top goalscorer after scoring on five occasions in his last four appearances.

Some of us may have wanted to wait for Gameweek 13 and a ticker-topping four-game stretch for Leicester City but moving for Vardy now at least saves a transfer further down the line, and opposition difficulty doesn’t seem to be much of a barrier to the veteran hitman anyway: last season, for example, he bagged 10 goals and assists combined in 12 fixtures against the ‘big six’ sides.

It’s true that 50% of his attacking returns this season have come against Norwich City and Burnley, two of the weakest defences in the division.

And the return to the starting XI of Kelechi Iheanacho (£7.0m) is also worth monitoring, as the Nigerian was the bigger goal threat of the two when Brendan Rodgers paired them up top towards the final third of last season.

Vardy hasn’t been adversely affected so far, with totals of six shots and five attempts in the box in the last two Gameweeks in keeping with his output in 2021/22 before that, and it has been Iheanacho who has been playing slightly wider and deeper.

Above: Touch heatmaps for Vardy (left) and Iheanacho (right) over the last two Gameweeks

One word of caution for medium-term holders of Vardy is that the 34-year-old striker is currently enjoying midweek breathers in the UEFA Europa League to aid with his recovery between league games. More Premier League matches replace those European nights throughout November and December, with nine top-flight games to contest in the space of 35 days from Gameweeks 13-21. The Leicester striker may not escape a benching or two over that period, then, but the same could be argued for huge swathes of the FPL players in our teams.

HARRY KANE

Kane and Wilson enter FPL differential conversation ahead of Gameweek 9

The August curse extended to mid-October this year, with Harry Kane (£12.1m) only opening his Premier League account in last week’s win over Newcastle United.

As is the case with Vardy, it’s not until next month that Spurs’ fixtures really leap off the page – a four-match period from Gameweeks 12-15 looking like the ideal time to pounce on the Lilywhites.

Kane’s extra cost is the main deterrent considering that Vardy and an alternative route into the Spurs attack, Son Heung-min (£10.1m), can be snapped up for some £1.5m-£2.0m less.

Kane’s underlying stats have really stepped up a gear over the last four Gameweeks, as he’s joint-top among FPL forwards for shots alongside Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.5m) and Vardy.

While plenty of those efforts are coming from distance, the typically dead-eyed Kane has still had more shots on target than any of his positional rivals – and the same number of big chances as Ronaldo.

Still, Son is outgunning Kane for big chances, shots in the box and expected goal involvement (xGI) even over this four-match period, so justifying that extra £2.0m outlay if it’s a ‘one or the other’ dilemma is not easy.

THE OTHERS

Cristiano Ronaldo dominates his premium peers stats-wise over the course of the season but some stiff fixtures, not to mention United’s iffy form and inability to carve out a single ‘big chance’ for him over the last three Gameweeks, leads us away from the veteran Portuguese.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£9.9m) is arguably the pick of the rest from the premium pool. Having found the net in each of his last three appearances at the Emirates, the Gabon international and his Gunners teammates have four more very favourable home encounters against Aston Villa, Watford, Newcastle and Southampton between now and Gameweek 16.

Trips to Leicester and Manchester United needn’t be feared from a defensive perspective either, with those two hapless backlines on just one clean sheet apiece in 2021/22.

A lack of big chances this season (two, fewer than 17 other forwards) is the main downside and he’s having to rely on his historically strong goal conversion rate to maintain his output. A possible recall for Alexandre Lacazette (£8.3m) would also presumably see Aubameyang shunted to the left flank, as has happened many times before.

Gabriel Jesus (£8.6m) is being routinely overlooked by many of us, with the week-to-week rotation risk and a ‘reverse out of position’ tag cited as the main reasons. And yet, despite registering fewer minutes than 15 other FPL forwards, he is still third among players in his Fantasy position for points.

The no-shows and one-pointers will be as regular as the double-digit hauls, nevertheless still resulting in a decent points-per-match average (Jesus’s is currently 5.90). Strong benches will be needed to negotiate those rests, so with many of us taking punts on rotation risks such as Phil Foden (£8.0m), Reece James (£5.5m) and Ben Chilwell (£5.7m), the Man City man may be one gamble too many.

BEST LUKAKU REPLACEMENTS: MID-PRICE/BUDGET FORWARDS

IVAN TONEY

Toney off the mark as injuries and Covid impact Villa 4

Lukaku’s injury doesn’t just allow FPL managers to move sideways between premium forwards but downgrade to a mid-price or budget option in order to reallocate funds elsewhere, perhaps with a view to recruiting Son, Kevin De Bruyne (£11.9m) or the man who looks set to lead Chelsea’s line in Lukaku and Timo Werner‘s (£8.6m) absences, the ‘out of position’ Kai Havertz (£8.1m).

One such cut-price striker is Ivan Toney (£6.4m), whose Brentford side sit top of our Season Ticker from now until Gameweek 18.

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3,460 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Mr. Mystic
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 13 days ago

    Play Sanchez or Foster?

    1. Dynamic Duos
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      Foster

    2. Finding Timo
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 13 days ago

      50/50! I keep changing mind I am currently on Sanchez

  2. fpork
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 13 days ago

    1) Jota + Sarr -> Havertz, Mbeumo (-4)
    2) Jota -> Raphinha

    Still got WC.

  3. Pratik
    • 12 Years
    1 month, 13 days ago

    Chelsea's fixtures feel too good to ignore. Feeling so tempted with Lukaku + Brownhill => Toney + Havertz.

    Thoughts? I think it will be tough finding whom to bench every week.

    Ramsdale
    Azpi, Cancelo, Livramento, TAA, Duffy
    Mbeumo, Raphina, Foden, Salah, Brownhill
    Jiminez, Antonio, Lukaku.

  4. tabby98
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 13 days ago

    What to do here guys?

    Sanchez, Foster
    TAA, Rudiger, Cancelo, Veltman, Tsimikas
    Salah, Benrahma, Sarr, Raphinha, Sissoko
    Ronaldo, Antonio, Toney

    £1.2m ITB
    2FT

    Thinking of doing Ronaldo —> Vardy and using the second transfer to get a different midfielder in?

    1. Pratik
      • 12 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      Ronaldo + Sarr -> Vardy + Havertz would be really good.

    2. Finding Timo
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 13 days ago

      Can you afford havertz ?

  5. Cheeky Onion
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 13 days ago

    Bottomed...
    Which transfer would you prioritize for this week?

    A) Ronaldo > Vardy/Jesus/Jimenez
    B) Benrahma > Havertz
    C) Reguilon > Cancelo/Dias

    Still have WC so don't mind short term punts on players like Jesus and Havertz

    1. Pratik
      • 12 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      Jesus isn't a bad shout. I think Vardy is outperforming based on his stats, my personal opinion is its a good time to go against the crowd.

      1. Cheeky Onion
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        Lukaku + Benrahma > Jesus + Havertz would be great differentials

        1. Pratik
          • 12 Years
          1 month, 13 days ago

          Do it! Your name commands it.

    2. Free Hat
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      With wc in hand, I like B.

      1. Cheeky Onion
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        Just did B, don't think the other move's warrant a hit

  6. Infamy, Infamy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 13 days ago

    A. Saka/Lukaku to Havertz/Vardy -4
    B. Lukaku to Kane

    Thanks all.

    1. Drip Doctor
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      B

    2. Finding Timo
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 13 days ago

      Or c lukuku to Vardy ?

  7. Pep Roulette
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 13 days ago

    Reece James(C)?

    1. FOO FIGHTER
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      Skip

    2. Dynamic Duos
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      Hell no

    3. Free Hat
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      Juicy 2 pointer

  8. AzzaroMax99
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 13 days ago

    So much love for Havertz this week. Is he captain material?

    1. Dynamic Duos
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      He is my (c)

      1. Pratik
        • 12 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        O Captain. My Captain!

        Are you sure? That's a baller move if it works.

    2. FOO FIGHTER
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      Has he ever been captain material is what you need to be asking 🙂

      1. AzzaroMax99
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        This is his time to shine 😀

        1. FOO FIGHTER
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 13 days ago

          I am going with the player which is 65% owned.

    3. Drip Doctor
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      Problem with people getting Havertz is, what happens next GW, or the one after that? He's hardly been in favour.

      1. THFC4LIFE
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        Depends how long Lukaku/Werner are out for

  9. Milkman Bruno
      1 month, 13 days ago

      I like Yarmolenko when he plays. Was good at the Euros too. He would get into the mid-lower table sides starting XI I reckon

    • Milkman Bruno
        1 month, 13 days ago

        How did Bowen miss

      • Free Hat
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        First time starting Livramento,
        so expect a 1 or 2 pointer this weekend!

      • Fernandito
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        What do u think i should do guys?

        A Keep Ronaldo
        B Ronaldo to Kane/Vardy
        C Ronaldo & Gray to KDB & Toney

        1. FOO FIGHTER
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 13 days ago

          B

        2. Finding Timo
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 13 days ago

          A

        3. In Bale We Trust
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 13 days ago

          A

      • Jones Kusi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        Greenwood, CR7 > Son, Vardy (-4)
        Yay or nay

        1. Dthinger
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 13 days ago

          nay. Just do the one you can afford and wait a week on the other one

      • jdogg
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        Thinking time for wild card

        Sanchez foster
        Laporte christiansen white shaw williams
        Salah raphinha esr sarr gilmour
        Lukaku ronaldo antonio

        ?x

      • tbos83
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 13 days ago

        2ft, 0.3itb
        Luk + Benny > Toney + Havertz?

        Sanchez
        Shaw Christensen White
        Salah ESR Benny Gray
        Lukaku Ronaldo Antonio

        Steele Kovacic Livra Digne

      • Ian Davis
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        A) Sarr/Lukaku > Mount/Vardy

        or

        B) Sarr/Lukaku > Havertz/Toney (or other cheaper striker)

      • Abra Dubravka
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        A) Son & Jesus?
        B) Son & Toney?
        C) KDB & Toney?
        D) Havertz & Toney (then Gray to Son next week) ?

      • Plonatron
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        A) Kane and Mbuemo
        Or
        B) Vardy and Havertz

      • Atimis
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        Three dilemmas left on WC:

        1) Raya the best 4.5ish GK?

        2) Keep Duffy or bank 0.2 and get Manquilo?

        3) Get Broja for bench or just pick 4.5 and bank 0.5 for the future?

        1. Firmino
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 13 days ago

          Im still on Ramsdale. Keep Duffy. Bank .5.

        2. AC/DC AFC
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 13 days ago

          Wow, credit for single mindedness and persistence to your cause.

      • Firmino
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        Play Saka, Benny or Livra?

      • drughi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 12 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        Play Alonso or Benrahma ?

      • AC/DC AFC
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        Will a rest do Benrahma good or a goal off the bench a bigger boost?

      • Roni! Toni! Toney!
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        Lukaku to Vardy for -4 ?

        Or should I play Alan against Watford ay home?

      • matiakez
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        Mahrez and Lukaku to Havertz and kane for -4

        Or saka and kaku for mount and vardy?

      • The Mighty Whites
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        Already got Vardy and Antonio, best Lukaku replacement?

        A - Kane
        B - Jesus
        C - Toney
        D - Other?

        1. AC/DC AFC
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 13 days ago

          B

        2. No Kane No Gain
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 13 days ago

          D - Jiménez

      • CrouchDown
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        Bench correct?

        Ramsdale

        TAA Cancelo James

        Salah Son Raph Mbeumo

        Vardy(C) Antonio Hwang

        Subs: Foster, Livra Luiz Duffy

      • Yozzer
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        Jota to Mbuomo or Havertz ?

      • tabby98
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        What to do here guys?

        Sanchez, Foster
        TAA, Rudiger, Cancelo, Veltman, Tsimikas
        Salah, Benrahma, Sarr, Raphinha, Sissoko
        Ronaldo, Antonio, Toney

        £1.2m ITB
        2FT

        A) Ronaldo —> Kane (roll 1 ft)
        B) Ronaldo —> Vardy (roll 1 ft)
        C) Ronaldo + Sarr —> Vardy + Havertz

        Or any other suggestions?

      • drughi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 12 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        Just brought vardy in, my fpl history with vardy is grim so sorry all vardy owners

      • Street Friend
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        Hold transfer or shift ronaldo? 0.4Itb 1FT
        Correct bench?

        Meslier
        TAA Christensen Laporte cancelo
        Salah Raphina
        Antonio ronaldo Wood
        (Foster Benrahma saka brownhill)

        1. The Units
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 13 days ago

          Hold

          1. Street Friend
            • 10 Years
            1 month, 13 days ago

            Thanks