Fantasy Football , GW6 PREVIEW , Premium Forwards Analysis

H17 2017-09-21 Others

It has only been 5 Gameweeks into the season, but the number of premium forward options thrown up so far has even the most experienced Fantasy Premier League players stumped. I take a look into £10.0m+ options.
This season has seen a remarkable number of top forward options produce so far in FPL. Out of the £10.0m+ options, Man Utd's Romelu Lukaku (£11.7m) and weekend hattrick hero Sergio Aguero (£11.6m) lead the goalscoring charts, with 5 goals in 5. Young Brazilian Gabriel Jesus (£10.5m) follows with 4 and Chelsea's summer signing Alvaro Morata (£10.2m) is next with 3. Arsenal's record signing Alexandre Lacazette (£10.3m) and perhaps surprisingly, Golden Boot holder, Harry Kane (£12.5m) have only scored twice thus far. I delve into a quantitative analysis for the six gentlemen in question's prospects.

Player Stats
Kane Lukaku Aguero Jesus Morata Lacazette
Minutes Played 444 450 377 323 365 336
Goals 2 5 5 4 3 2
Shots 32 24 17 15 16 8
Shots on Target 11 11 8 7 5 5
Shots in the Box 23 18 12 12 11 7
Shots in the 6 yard box 3 1 0 3 1 1
Shot Accuracy 34% 46% 47% 47% 31% 63%
Goal Involvement % 29% 38% 44% 25% 63% 29%
Big Chances Missed 3 4 3 2 2 2
Headed Shots 8 2 1 3 7 1
Assists 0 1 2 0 2 0
Successful Passes 64 70 84 83 57 82
Chances Created 6 8 12 2 6 5
Pass Completion 68% 69% 82% 80% 71% 77%
Crosses 5 4 5 1 5 3
Touches 178 170 172 170 150 159
Dribbles 7 3 4 7 2 4
Bonus Points System 57 132 180 104 92 75
Bonus Points 3 6 6 6 5 0
Total Selected By % 28.5% 55.8% 18.8% 12.1% 17.7% 11.1%
*Goal Involvement % - % of goals scored or assisted by player as a % of team's total goals
*Stats are left as total and not per 90 minutes as minutes played is also an issue worth considering while picking the player


Harry Kane (£12.5m)
One thing's for certain, and it's something you might already know - Harry Kane has been criminally unlucky to not have many, many more goals than the 2 he does. The shooting stats tell a tale - most shots by a large margin, most shots in the box, most shots on target, most shots in the 6 yard box, most headed shots. He has also hit the woodwork 3 times - again the most. Kane's 3 big chances missed is also the 2nd most, and we know it's not for the lack of finishing quality, it's just poor luck. In an alternative dimension, perhaps his goal tally would be much, much more than it is. His most touches, crosses and dribbles from the lot also show that he's the most involved in his team's general play. One thing he does have against him is the goal involvement percentage.
Having only missed six minutes of this season, that is also not a problem for Kane, unlike some others. He'll also take the penalties for Spurs. Another key point for the English international is his explosive potential. When he gets into the goals, he'll often do more than just a goal. His 8 performances of 2 or more goals last season were more than anyone in the league. He also got 4 hat-tricks; only Lukaku got more than 1. The most expensive player in the game has had rotten luck this far. But that's the thing about luck - it can change at any instant.

Romelu Lukaku (£11.7m)
Lukaku, like Kane, is up there in terms of shooting stats. Second most shots, tied most shots on target, most shots in the box, second best shot accuracy. He's had a great start to life so far at Man Utd - 7 goals in 7 games in all competitions - and it looks as if that will continue. Even though the big money signing has missed the most big chances of the lot, it could be a good thing depending how you look at it. It means that despite some sloppy finishing, he's still scoring goals and more importantly, it means he's getting big chances. He's playing for a free-scoring Man Utd, who are creating chances by the tonne. And the burly Belgian's the one who's at the end of most of them.
Another major factor in Lukaku's case is his enormous ownership. The striker finds himself in 55.7% of all teams - over 20% more than the next highest, David de Gea (35.2%). This means that if you go without him, and he scores big, you could be staring at a big rank fall. Lukaku has proved himself to be a consistent point scorer, who will always keep the points ticking. He has scored in 4 of the 5 games so far, and could have scored in the 5th too, had Kasper Schmeichel dived the other way. That's not to say he doesn't have explosive potential either - as managers who owned him during his 4 goal blitz against Bournemouth last season will testify for. At the moment, it's hard to make a case against someone who has also played every single minute of United's campaign so far, despite Champions League commitments.

Sergio Aguero (£11.6m)
Fantasy managers will know all too well that Aguero is someone who used to be Fantasy royalty in the past. Just as we thought the Pep Guardiola era at the Etihad would bring the end of a player who used to be the first name on everyone's team sheets as a Fantasy prospect, Aguero's excellence has forced himself back in contention. The brilliant Argentine reminded us all what he could do, with a hat-trick this weekend. Aguero's shooting stats up to Kane's or Lukaku's, but one area he wins in is creation stats. Amongst this bunch, he has the most assists, successful passes, chances created, crosses and best pass completion. This means that along with the goals, he also has a great chance of supplementing his points with assists.
But the problem with Aguero is not what he can do, it's if he will be allowed to do it. Guardiola's made it no secret that he does not care about Aguero's reputation. The Man City legend was benched multiple times last season, and it has already happened once this season. The Spanish coach recently said that he has a squad of 20-21 that he needs to keep happy. In relation to Aguero's game time, he also added that he's not one to care about statistics. With the fixtures piling up for City, there will be rotation. Aguero will score when he plays, but you should know the risk you're taking if you get him in your side. Don't be surprised to see him sit out for an easy fixture.

Gabriel Jesus (£10.5m)
If you thought the minutes issue was bad with Aguero - it's surprisingly worse with his teammate, Jesus. Despite starting every game for Man City so far, he has actually played 54 minutes less than his Argentine counterpart. It seems like a trend that Guardiola substitutes Jesus off early in games. He has been substituted in every one of City's 5 games so far - with 3 of them being before the 65th minute. Even though he is getting the goalscoring job done in the time he gets, it impairs his ability for larger hauls not playing for 90 minutes. Jesus' impact is also reduced when he and Aguero both start together. When Aguero plays with him, Jesus usually has to tend to cut in from the left. This severely hinders his goal scoring capabilities.
Unlike his teammate, his creation stats are pretty poor - his shooting stats pale in contrast to him too. At the start of the season it seemed like despite the cheaper price, Jesus is the better Man City forward to get. It doesn't seem so now.

Alvaro Morata (£10.2m)
Morata is an odd one. Even though his shooting stats don't fare well in comparison to the first four, his goal contribution is the largest. The Spaniard has been either scored or assisted over half of Chelsea's goals so far. It may be interesting to note that all his 3 goals and even his 2 assists have come off the head. The champions haven't been free-scoring so far though - with only 8 goals in 5 games. Perhaps some of that is to do with the absence of star man, Eden Hazard. With his return imminent, it remains to be seen whether they will adopt the same style of play that has brought out the best of Morata's heading abilities so far. With Stoke away and Man City to go before Chelsea's fixtures really turn for the better, perhaps we can give that to Morata as consideration period.

Alexandre Lacazette (£10.3m)
There's not much reason to consider the Arsenal forward over the other 5. This comes in light of Alexis Sanchez' return, too. The Frenchman had a poor outing at the Stamford Bridge, and was substituted early. It is worth noting that Lacazette was the one who came off for Sanchez in each of the last 2 games. Arsenal's record signing was also benched in the only game Sanchez has started this season, and was the one who came on for him. This means that Sanchez and Lacazette haven't shared a minute on the field together so far, and it may be because Wenger doesn't want them to. This also poses a risk to his game time, in addition to his mediocre stats.

Next 6 Fixtures
Kane - WHU (A), HUD (A), BOU (H), LIV (H), MUN (A), CRY (H)
Lukaku - SOT (A), CRY (H), LIV (A), HUD (A), TOT (H), CHE (A)
Jesus/Aguero - CRY (H), CHE (A), STK (H), BUR (H), WBA (A), ARS (H)
Morata - STK (A), MCI (H), CRY (A), WAT (H), BOU (A), MUN (H)
Lacazette - WBA (H), BHA (H), WAT (A), EVE (A), SWA (H), MCI (A)

With 4 easier fixtures in the next 6, Kane, the Man City duo and Lacazette come on top in this regard. Morata's fixtures seem like they improve for the better only after GW8. Lukaku's fixtures are mixed, but it's only after GW10 he has really difficult fixtures.

Final Thoughts
All things considered, in order of my preference, my picks would be Lukaku, Kane, Aguero, Jesus, Morata and then Lacazette. But another thing - you may be often tempted to swap one premium striker for another. Unless injured or suspended, my advice would be to stick. All of them will score a lot sooner or later. Getting stuck into the merry-go-round will only reduce your chances of catching the big haul. Each time one will score big, you will be tempted to get him in. Do remember, you don't get their last week's points, you have to catch the next big point haul. It will be tempting to knee-jerk, but having patience more often than not pays off. You could just as easily use the transfer/points hit to improve your team elsewhere instead of swap out a premium asset.

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