FPL

1 week ago

FPL Value In Promoted Players - Forwards

With the clock ticking and the days turning into hours, time is running out before the first FPL deadline of the seasonб and although you cannot win any prizes at such an early stage of the campaign, the last thing you need is a bad start to proceedings. There’s nothing worse than giving your rivals a head start, and with the world of fantasy football being difficult enough to manage, it is even harder if you find yourself playing catch up after a poor opening weekend.

 

At this point, managers will fall into one of two campsб and if you think that your squad is already prepared for battle, then give yourself a pat on the back. While if you are still frantically looking for smart selections, we may just be able to offer some last-minute assistance.

This week we’ve been looking at the value that promoted players from the EFL Championship can provide and after analysing the first three positions in the game, it is time to highlight the effectiveness of the attack line.

 

Forwards

Selecting two or three attackers can be a difficult balancing act as there is often a decision to be made. Do you go top-heavy and use a large proportion of your budget, or do you try and find a diamond in the rough?

Usually, the answer lies somewhere in between, and the setup of 'one big and one not so big' or 'one big, one in the middle and one even cheaper' is the standard makeup of attacking selections across the game.

Of course, we all know that a player who performs for a 'Big Six' club is going to command a hefty slice of your 100.0 budget and with that in mind, we are going to look a little further down the scale and assess how strikers at promoted clubs have fared over the past five seasons.

As before, we are going to first look at the highest scoring attacking promoted players since the 2015/16 season:

Player

Club

Points

Season

Ranking

Ighalo

WAT

175

2016

5

Negredo

MID

130

2017

11

Perez

NEW

124

2018

8

Jimenez

WOL

181

2019

3

Pukki

NOR

139

2020

10

Read more: FPL Value In Promoted Players - Midfielders

Already you can see that the picture is a lot more positive than when we looked at midfielders in our previous article and looking at their per season overall rankings, they seem far more valuable than players in the middle of park.

Bar Alvaro Negredo in 2016/17, the rest of the sample have all finished in the top 10 in terms of per season rankings and it was an incredibly good season for Raul Jimenez in 2018/19 as he finished as the 3rd highest attacker in the whole game.

Looking at this sample of data, we now know that:

The average ranking for the highest scoring attacker: 7.4
The average points for the highest scoring attacker: 149.8

 

Positional Comparision

For further context, we will compare this against the same findings for midfielders:

The average ranking for the highest scoring midfielder: 23.4
The average points for the highest scoring midfielder 132.6

Then again, why stop there? Why don’t we do an overall comparison against all four positions:

The average ranking for the best performing goalkeeper is: 2.8
The average points tally for the best performing goalkeeper is: 153

The average ranking for the highest scoring defender: 11
The average points for the highest scoring defender: 131

Therefore, when comparing all the four categories together the perceived value from top to bottom in terms of positions, is as follows:

1. Goalkeepers

2. Attackers

3. Defenders

4. Midfielders

However, just because a midfielder finds itself at the bottom of this list, does not mean that they should be shunned completely? Do not forget, a promoted midfielder could act as an enabler for bigger purchases.

Read more: FanTeam's Million Game Analysis: Midfielders

Talisman Striker

Now that we know what we know, why are attackers considered to be more valuable when looking at promoted players and more often than not, the answer lies with the talisman – the player that carries the majority of the scoring burden.

What is interesting in that two of the five forwards in our sample were also relegated at the end of their high points scoring season. Which means, although they had a decent campaign in front of goal, it was not enough of an effort on its own.

Then again, it is not necessarily down to one man alone and when we look at Watford’s FPL tally for the 2015/16, there were not one but two fearsome hitmen to bring home the promoted fantasy points.

We already know that Odion Ighalo finished as the 5th highest scoring attacker that season and in addition to that Troy Deeney finished just one place behind him, as the Hornets’ captain earned 166 points for the season.

Over the five-year sample, this is the only genuine strike partnership that both chipped in together. With that said though, Sheffield United offered very much a collective effort last time around.

Their top three attackers, finished 25th, 26th and 32nd respectively as Ollie McBurnie, Lys Mousset and David McGoldrick were rotated throughout and this is another point that needs to be taken into consideration.

Because if there is competition for places, that will only diminish the value of a promoted attacker and even though Norwich were so poor last season, their over-reliance on Teemu Pukki was of huge benefit to FPL managers all over the world.

Of course, Norwich’s goals dried up completely at the end of the season, and had the flying Finn been sharper in the final few weeks, his 139 points could have swelled to an even more impressive number.

Read more: FPL Forwards Statistical Head-to-Head Battles

Conclusion

Ultimately if you are looking at promoted players, Fulham’s Alexsandar Mitrovic at 6.0 may be your first port of call and with the Cottagers only having two recognised attackers in the game thus far, goals will have to come from the Serbian.

Whether West Brom and Leeds are as clear cut in having a single recognised attacker can be argued, but hopefully, this and three articles earlier in the week, have now provided some much needed insights before Fulham play host to Arsenal this Saturday lunchtime. Best of luck!

Dan the Stat Man
Author

Dan the Stat Man

Armed with experience as a data analyst, Dan has become a successful writer during the past few years, combining his loves of football and statistics.