I’m back for the final installment for Most Popular, this time I will be analyzing the most popular forwards. For those of you who are unaware I analyze the most popular players in each position, and the FPL value they present, or whether people are just jumping on the % owned bandwagon! Let’s get to it!
Robin Van Persie – Last year’s highest scoring player is currently the second most selected player. One would think, well if he scored so high last year why isn’t he in everyone’s teams? Well it’s because of his massive price tag! RVP is currently in 36.1% of teams but is priced at a whopping 14.0m! This is absolutely massive and makes it virtually impossible to have both Bale and RVP in the same team, without sacrificing other positions. Although if you can afford to bring him in it would be a fantastic selection. Van Persie won last year’s Golden Boot with an impressive 26 goals. Along with 15 assists Van Persie proved he is one of very few, fantasy musts. Van Persie often got assists from his lethal corners and was often on Penalty duties when Rooney wasn’t playing. After saying how good he is I will not be selecting him in my team, for two reason, firstly Manchester United have a horrid opening month, playing Swansea (A), Chelsea (H), Liverpool (A) and Crystal Palace (H). The second reason I won’t be starting with RVP is because of the price tag. At 14.0 he is just too expensive, especially if you want to have Bale. If Van Persie and United collectively struggle in this opening month he may drop in price but even then will still be very, very pricey. Definitely look to get him in at some stage throughout the year, because he is one of few that you can give the armband to, week in week out. (Note: Written before Bale advancements, if he goes RVP is a must.)
Romelu Lukaku – After such a fantastic spell at West Brom, Lukaku is back at Chelsea, and is he on fire or what! Lukaku is smashing it early in pre-season, and along with Chelsea’s DGW, is why he is in 22.4% of all teams. Last year Lukaku smashed in 17 goals and delivered 7 assists for the Baggies for a total score of 159 points. He was just a monster. Now Lukaku is back at Chelsea and will have to fight for a starting XI role. But if his pre-season form is anything to go on, he should be a lock in Chelsea’s starting XI. As I mentioned before, Chelsea have a very appealing DWG first up, playing Hull City and Aston Villa at home. If Lukaku can be guaranteed a start he will be a fantastic pick for these games, with his goal getting prowess he will be involved! But apart from Chelsea’s DGW it isn’t all dandy for Chelsea. They have a very tough next three weeks. Playing United (A), Break and Everton (A). Two away fixtures against last year’s Champions and top 6 side, Everton, will not be easy and the blues will have to be on top of their game if they’re to get maximum points. Personally Lukaku is in my team, purely because of the DGW and his current form. Although, after GW1 I will be jumping off as I believe he has too much risk involved, with the plethora of options Jose has.
Christian Benteke – Villa’s super signing from last year has finally ended speculation of a departure and has extended his stay at Villa Park. Last year Benteke was instrumental for Villa and arguably their savior from going down. Benteke scored 19 goals and assisted 4 times in his debut year to combine for a total score of 166 points. Benteke is currently in 21.9% of teams and I suspect the majority have their sights set on the DGW Villa are involved in. Villa playing Arsenal (A) and Chelsea (A) over the opening game week, which poses one of the toughest starts imaginable. And it doesn’t get any easier for Villa after the DGW, they play Liverpool (A) then have a break. Personally I will not be jumping on Benteke, even despite the DGW. I am by no means suggesting not to jump on Benteke because he will be a fantastic pick. And don’t be put off by the two tough away fixtures, Benteke showed last year that it doesn’t matter the opposition, he can score regardless. So definitely keep him on your watch list, it’s just a no from me.
Daniel Sturridge – Liverpool’s January signing last year was fantastic when he arrived for Liverpool and showed just what he was capable of. Sturridge is currently in 17.5% of teams and is the fourth most popular Forward. Last year Sturridge scored 11 goals and assisted 5 times for a total score of 99 points. Liverpool have a very, very good early run so Sturridge would provide a fantastic option. The Reds face Stoke (H), Villa (A), Manchester United (H) and Swansea (A). Despite the United game, these all pose as very winnable games for Liverpool and plenty of goals isn’t out of the equation. The one beauty about Sturridge is his job security. With Luis Suarez being suspended for chomping on Ivanovic’s arm, for the start of the season, Sturridge will be Liverpool’s number one striker. He will be a fantastic pick at 9.0 and will be definitely on the score sheet providing Liverpool are doing well, keep a close eye on him!
Rickie Lambert – The last forward I will be covering is the superstar from Southampton. Lambert had a fantastic season last year and it is reflected with 17.3% of teams selecting him in their teams. Lambert scored 15 goals and assisted 8 times for a total score of 187. A fantastic season from the ageing superstar. Southampton have a very, very good early run and Lambert will definitely feature on the score sheet. Southampton face West Brom (A), Sunderland (H), Norwich (A) and West Ham (H) in their opening month. With Southampton building a strong list they will be very competitive this year and will look to turn their stadium into a fortress. Lambert showed last year that he has an incredible goal getting ability and will continue that form, especially at home. At 7.5m Lambert looks a very good option, especially if you’re trying to fit in Van Persie. Definitely look to bring him in at some point throughout the year, a fantastic FPL player!
Well that’s the Most Popular done and dusted for 2013/14. I hope that you have all got an understanding of who is going to produce the goods this year and who is going to struggle. Keep an eye on each teams friendlies to see how your players, and targeted players, are going and to see who’s performing well. Cheers!