Let’s go for it. We’ve previewed the best FPL goalkeepers, best FPL defenders, and best FPL midfielders already this week. Now we just have the forwards left with the new Fantasy Premier League season kicking off in less than 48 hours. Here we go.
Studs: Sergio Aguero [11.5m] and Carlos Tevez [9m] are two obvious stud options we can point to right from the start. We analyzed the Argentine pair when looking at Manchester City’s Starting XI and they have their pros and cons. Tevez is cheaper but surely Balotelli and Dzeko will push him for playing time – not to mention he suffers from quite a “unique” character / disposition. Aguero is more expensive but took the Premier League by storm last season. Both are superb options. And thus, studs.
Wayne Rooney [12m] is a stud but is his case bolstered with the acquisition of Robin van Perise [13m] or hindered? We looked at the potential FPL scenarios yesterday when the move was completed. This is a major burning Fantasy Premier League question unlike any other question we have seen in pre-season in years. We need to see how the team lines up against Everton on Monday night and go from there. Obviously, these two are both studs when fit, no matter the tactics or teammates. 20+ league goals each should be expected barring injury.
Let’s go down in price range a bit from the heavy hitters to find the more affordable stud strikers:
- Luis Suarez and Papiss Cisse are both priced at 9.5m. While Cisse scored an amazing 13 goals in just 1,100 minutes last season and Suarez only scored 13 league goals in 2,500 minutes, I still give the stud edge to Suarez. Yes, I am going against all common reason and statistics, but hear me out. Suarez hit the post more times than any other player last season – I believe it was 7 or 8 times. That’s unlucky. The FPL game is about skill and strategy, but it is also parts luck. This time around, if Suarez’s luck changes, he will be a massive stud. I predict 15-20 league goals for the Uruguay star.
- At 8.5m we have Jelavic, Bent and Podolski. I think all three of these strikers are studs at the 8.5m range. They aren’t too pricey but they aren’t that cheap – and they’re all the focal points of their respective attacks, besides Podolski perhaps – who will share the limelight with Giroud [9m]. Since Jelavic and Bent are a bit more proven – they are the bigger studs, but of course Arsenal should score more goals this season than Everton and Aston Villa, so Podolski is right there behind those two.
- Fernando Torres [10m] gets his own bullet point. We were debating whether to put him as a “dud” or “stud” but we’ll start him off as a stud. Chelsea have a double gameweek to start the season and he could grab a goal in one of those two fixtures to inspire his fantasy managers with confidence. Over the course of the season, he’s not as good value as the aforementioned Jelavic or Bent, but he’s still a lethal finisher who deserves one last chance to regain his old form. We promise he won’t be a stud in next year’s pre-season preview if he fails to deliver 12-17 league goals this time around.
- Let’s take a look at a few cheaper, value stud strikers. Pavel Pogrebnyak [5m] is a man we wrote about in our FPL transfers preview who comes in dirt cheap as Reading’s starting striker. He scored 6 goals for Fulham last season in just 900 minutes. Value stud. His strike partner Adam Le Fondre is also 5m.
- Newly promoted Southampton man Rickie Lambert [6m] is one to watch. Think about Grant Holt style production last season at Norwich with perhaps a few more assists. Value.
- I love what Fulham did acquiring Petric and Rodallega [both 6m] up front this summer. Petric has the slight edge for me as he’s played under Martin Jol before, but Rodallega is also an experienced goalscorer from Wigan. Good value studs.
- Other potential cheap third striker options for the FPL include Swansea’s Graham [6m] who should combine well with new signing Michu, and West Ham’s Maiga or Vaz Te [both 5.5m]. Sorry Carlton Cole.
- In the slightly more expensive range at 7m – 7.5m, oldies but goodies Demba Ba, Peter Odemwingie, and Jermain Defoe [a big time potential stud if he starts for Tottenham this season consistently] are all studs when in form. I’ll include Peter Crouch [6.5m] only because of the Stoke man’s goal of the season against Manchester City last season, but I don’t recommend him as a long term stud.
Duds: Let’s take a look at a few duds to complete the preview and start with Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge [8m]. Sturridge had a great season last year as a cheap 6m or so rated winger cum forward under AVB but at 8m and with a starting role no longer guaranteed, the young England international is a dud. Sorry, Danny boy.
Manchester United’s Hernandez [8m] and Welbeck [8.5m], like Sturridge, are superb young prospects who nevertheless are also duds. Sorry guys. With RVP and Rooney up front, don’t buy them. Stay away unless both stars get injured. Berbatov [7m] obviously is a dud as well. How the mighty have fallen. A former Premier League golden boot winner, Berbatov is a dud. He never could have expected this 2-3 years ago.
I love Mario Balotelli [9m], I really do, but he has to be a dud with an inconsistent starting role – unless of course Aguero or Tevez lose form or get injured. Why always him? Sorry, Super Mario. Dud.
And don’t count on last year’s surprise cheap forward bargain in the fall Gabby Agbonlahor [7m] either this time around. He’s a fine player, sure, but at 7m there are cheaper options and with Bent fit and ready to go, Agbonlahor will always be the second option. At 5m-6m he’s a stud but at 7m he’s a dud.
There you have it. Your Fantasy Premier League forwards preview for the 2012-2013 season.
Good luck to all fantasy managers.