Welcome to FPL Ramblings Part 2 The Striker Conundrum: What to do? Who to buy? But… if I sell him, I just know it is going to come back to haunt me. If I get this other guy, what happens if the other top striker goes off?! I am afraid of Aguero, but Costa has been so consistent. How about Zlatan? He is on fire right now. There is also some fella named Harry that pops up and gets some nice points for managers. What to do?
Well, sometimes FPL is about gut feel. Sure you can lean on the stats and go with the majority in many cases, but this might not be one of those moments. The top 4 strikers (when fit or not kicking David Luiz) have made this difficult. We also can’t overlook the cheaper options. Because they have also caused us to doubt if it is really wise to invest in the highest priced forwards when there are players out there who will do a similar job for a lot less. And who doesn’t love a bargain! So with some of those thoughts in mind, let us see if we can start figuring out who we should be carrying from the big front 3 and which 3 or maybe 2 with a cheaper third striker. Remember though, this is not week 1. We don’t all have the same money, so some situations are just simply different based on a team’s value. Hopefully though we can sort of start drawing some conclusions on who it is we prefer and which top striker/s we are going to temp fate against.
Now that we are halfway through our FPL season, some of us have some cash to throw around. On average these strikers cost 11.8 each, obviously Kun inflates that number. If you were to invest in a heavy 3 front line with Aguero in it, you probably be looking to spend around 34 million, depending on how early you owned some of the forwards beforehand. 33 million if you ignored Kun and went with the other three give or take 0.1 to 0.3, also depending on which strikers you have built value in. That seems almost ludicrous to spend that much considering some of the mids and defenders you also want. Except if you think back to GW1…
Hmmm, that looks like 31 million there. That screenshot is of the FF247 site team front line on GW1. That was before we built any value on any players or made any extra cash on the transfer market. Our team is worth about 102.0 million now. That is not a lot compared to a good many teams. Just looking around our FF247 Contributors League I see all the teams rolling in cash. Some reaching into the high 104s, but most hanging around 103 or so. So this means that most of us are anywhere from 2-4 million richer than we were at the start. Some will be a bit behind and some will have money out the wazoo, but on average most of us land in that 102-104 range. So if we think back to GW1, where 30 to 31 million was being spent on our front 3 and now we have added some cash after 20 gameweeks… not hard to see where one could easily justify spending the extra money on a third big striker. In some cases your front 3 will be eating close to the same percentage of your overall money than your strikers were in GW1. Now am I saying that this is the way to go or what you should definitely do? No, absolutely not. I am simply giving ammunition to those that feel that this is the way forward.
The exploits of mid priced to bargain mids has also given those that want to go heavy up top a reason to think it won’t hurt their team as much as one would think. Alli, Matty Phillips and Lallana to name a few, mean managers could save money in the midfield and transfer it to their striker fund. If you feel comfortable with these type of players going forward then it certainly makes the dream front line a very real possibility. If you are one of the unlucky managers that are strapped for cash, defenders can also help the fund if one is willing to go cheap at the back. However be aware that the cheap options at the back are not as obvious. Out of the top 20 scoring defenders in FPL, only one is worth less than 5.0 million. Ok, after rambling on for a bit, how about we actually take a closer look at the fantastic four now.
The ever lovable Diego Costa has been in fantastic form this season and all this while behaving relatively well. We can forgive him for slapping Pedro around a bit vs Spurs, he deserved it. Should you contemplate building a super strike force without this guy in your team? I probably wouldn’t, unless you want this slightly reformed bad boy with the whip in his hands and… sorry, I didn’t mean to get you all hot and bothered. What I was trying to say before you drifted off was, Diego is probably the one that should definitely make your squad. Why? Well, he is the cheapest of the four, he returns the most points per 90 and he plays on the best team. His consistency speaks for itself, 15 of 19 games he has returned either a goal or an assist. Plus he has one more thing going for him, that Kun and Ibra don’t. He will not have a blank in GW26 for sure. Kane won’t either, but we will address Harry later. He also has a big leg up on Kun and Kane (equal with Ibra) when it comes to grabbing assists. There are moments in games when we think ‘where did Harry go, or Kun hasn’t touched it yet’, that is rarely ever the case with Costa. He is highly involved in the Chelsea attack and he makes his presence felt during a game. He doesn’t wait for the game to come to him. Which is the probably the main reason he continually delivers. He can’t help but get himself involved. The only possible drawbacks with him are his shots per game (compared to Kun and Ibra) and his lack of set piece duties. That last one hurts him in particular because the other three are on pens and in Ibra’s case also free kicks.
The high flying Swede is proving that age is just a number and that being offside doesn’t matter when you have Mike Dean and his crew on your side. Many were sceptical on Ibra before the season started, but I think it is fair to say that he has certainly squashed a lot of that doubt by now. Zlatan has a 6.47 PP90 which is not too far away from Costa. Among the four he boasts the most key passes per game on average and has 5 FPL assists which ties him with Costa. His price tag is close to the halfway mark between Kun and the other two. He is easily the most in-form of the four, with 5 goals and 4 assists in his last 5 games. By comparison Kun, Kane and Costa have 3 goals each and only 1 assist combined, so a noticeable difference there. He also boasts the easiest fixtures over the next 5 in my opinion. Liverpool at home is not easy for United, but they are very ‘attackable’, so he should have his chances. The other 4 fixtures as you will see in the strikers tracker below, are very appealing and will make him a candidate for captaincy on a couple of occasions. His shots per game, which are only second to Kun in the EPL, and consistent ability to create for others says that his production should keep him owned by many. Surely he can’t keep his ridiculous productive current form, but the underlying stats say that he should keep producing decent numbers at the very least. One more plus for Kung Fu Ibra, he doesn’t get subbed off like the other 3. He has played 90 minutes in every game he has started this season, Kane has come off early 10 times, Kun and Costa 5 times each. This matters a lot more than one would think. While checking the frequency of total goals scored in 10 minute intervals per team, I found that 10 teams combined with their opponents to score the most amount of goals in the 81st through 90th minute interval above all the other minute spans. Basically it just means in times of desperation people send extra players forward which opens up space. If Ibra is still on the pitch, that helps.
What can you say about the Sideshow Bob killer that hasn’t already be said? The guy has a great look to him, his son has Maradona in his blood and he got to do something we all wish we could, just once layout David Luiz. As much as we try and ignore or pretend he is not essential, he gives us reminders here and there that he can burn us alive at any minute for not owning him. Sure this season you feel like you can leave this hag at the house and trot out your mistresses to the bar. Maybe she won’t notice that you smell like alcohol and ladies perfume (she will) but she stores it in the memory bank. A couple of weeks later when you are feeling good about yourself and having fun with the side chicks you come home and your clothes are in the street, the door locks have been changed and your life is over. Not sure what that has to do with Aguero, but if I had to try, I say be careful, If you mess with Kun or your missus, you may end up with your balls chopped off. Aguero is basically the ball and chain of FPL. His PP90 this season is 6.55, which is slightly behind Costa and ahead of the other two. He averages the most shots per game and for all the virtues the other 3 have, if we had to bet who is the most likely to score 20 points, it be him. He is the most explosive, but there are also problems with owning the Argie. Pep… that’s one, no assists all season is two and his price tag is the third. If we feel the other 3 are offering comparable numbers, why pay more? Probably the same reason you have a life insurance, peace of mind! Ideally we would all like to own him, ideally he would cost less. This is the biggest decision you will have to make. Because you can sell him and buy anyone, you can’t however sell anyone in the game and get him in without having money in the bank or using a second transfer to facilitate it. His next 2 fixtures whisper softly don’t worry, yet you never know when this hag will be lurking at the club ready to make a scene and make you look a fool.
Spurs looked splendid, they took Chelsea down a notch and they have now scored 15 goals in their last 5. So why I am a bit sceptical on Harry? Well, his price tag puts him in the high end. He costs more than Diego and is not too far behind Ibra and those two have shown their worth this season. Kane can also show his on his day, but the picture of Alli and Eriksen was a way of highlighting his biggest FPL problem at this moment. The two Spurs mids are going through their best run of form, possibly ever. Alli is scoring the goals, Eriksen is providing the assists and chipping in with goals. Harry is still getting some of the action, but in a world where we can cover a team with a teammate who costs a lot less and still expect the same or more points, it is hard to justify the Englishman. Perhaps if he makes that penalty we be singing a different tune and the opinion be different, or if he scored vs CFC. However we are fickle and I am certainly not the exception. His 2.8 SPG is the lowest among the four and his mate Eriksen is producing more on average per game than he is. He is getting involved in helping create for Spurs, but them key passes and underlying stats haven’t led to him tallying up many assists. His 6.27 PP90 is the lowest among the four and as stated in the Ibra part, he is the most likely to be subbed out this season.
Tracker for the next couple of game-weeks. I stopped at GW25, because of the possible blanks in store for Zlatan and Aguero in 26.
Conclusion: I lined them up in the way I would take them. Doesn’t mean that is the way you should also. Costa is near 1 million less than Ibra and he has no possible blank on the horizon. Plus his next two fixtures are juicy for a striker. Ibra is in top form and only the price tag, next 2 fixtures when compared to Costa and a possible blank in GW26 deterred me from picking him first. Kun is third because I hope us non-owners can get away with not owning him the next two games and as Costa’s fixtures turn harder in GW23 we could then go in and make the swap. Kane is 4th for many reasons and don’t think we need to address those again.
Do we need 3 top strkers? Not sure you do, but I would love to own my top 3 picks if money was no problem. The rise of Giroud and the great value that Defoe has provided all season make it less daring as long as they continue to produce. So what will / would you do? Let us know on the boards below.
Thanks for reading FPL Ramblings Part 2 The Striker Conundrum. This article was written by Mito21