£430m was spent during the January transfer window in the EPL, £150m of it on deadline day, and no position in Togga was injected with more drama than FOR. As a result, of the 10 forwards below who’ve either changed EPL clubs or joined their first, every one of them is on the cusp of a ranking. Heading into GW28, this is a quick snapshot of how I rank these players, rest of season. Before you @ me, I’ve excluded Alexis Sanchez because his opportunity for minutes has not changed, although we could argue about the quality of that opportunity aka. United are allergic to scoring goals.
Togga Forwards | “Debutantes in the Ranks”
Adding to the headache of ranking caused by this stack of January newcomers is the peculiar methodology Opta employs when classifying player positions. There are 5 or 6 wingers or midfielders consistently listed in my forward rankings, e.g. Arnautovic, Sterling, Salah, Sanchez, so many that I’ve contemplated a Top 30 list for forwards to make sure managers in even 12-team leagues realize there’s fairly deep positional value. Hit me up on Twitter with your thoughts on this idea.
Let’s get started.
- Notes for GW28: I’ve restored David Silva to his customary Top 10 rank with no reliable information as to whether or not he’s going to play. And no, despite how well Gundoggan has played, he’s not a Top 10 handcuff, but he’d crack the Top 25.
- Studs: To quote long-time friend of the ranks (FOTR) Brandon Marcus, “Remind me why Willian isn’t playing every. Single. Game.” Last year, in the midst of blasting the EPL with his 3-4-3 renaissance, Conte consistently favored Pedro over Willian on the right side of the front three, with most pundits believing it was defensive work rate and the Spaniard’s attention to detail that earned him Conte’s favor. In 2017-18 their playing time is nearly equal: Willian (1239 MP) and Pedro (1214 MP). So are their goals scored, 4 apiece. The similarities end there, however, as Willian has 5 more assists (7), 20 more chances created (42), and 16 more successful take-ons (41). It’s safe to say that Willian’s value to Chelsea is not limited to Togga; without his movement and creativity in the side, Chelsea simply don’t look threatening and the pressure on Hazard has at times been unsustainable. Matchup be damned, until further notice I’m treating Willian like a Top 10 midfielder and right now, he’s in the form of his life. Good luck, United.
- Duds: This day was coming and some of you probably wish it had come sooner, but for fantasy purposes alone, this is the week to sit Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal. Arsenal are abject at the moment, defensively in particular. Coming off their shocking FA Cup exit, an angry City awaits. Bellerin is actually playing good football at the moment, but he’s one of very few Gunners who that can be said of.
|1||Nick Pope||Ben Davies||Kevin De Bruyne||Mohamed Salah|
|2||Lukasz Fabianski||Kieran Trippier||Christian Eriksen||Harry Kane|
|3||Hugo Lloris||Andrew Robertson||Eden Hazard||Roberto Firmino|
|4||David De Gea||Virgil Van Dijk||Sadio Mane||Sergio Aguero|
|5||Mat Ryan||Jan Vertonghen||Willian||Alexis Sanchez|
|6||Jonas Lossl||Marcos Alonso||Leroy Sane||Jamie Vardy|
|7||Kasper Schmeichel||Ben Mee||Riyad Mahrez||Raheem Sterling|
|8||Loris Karius||Harry Maguire||David Silva||Romelu Lukaku|
|9||Ederson||Antonio Valencia||Xherdan Shaqiri||P.E. Aubameyang|
|10||Thibaut Courtois||Cesar Azpilicueta||Heung-Min Son||Alvaro Morata|
|11||Jordan Pickford||Kyle Walker||Mesut Ozil||Callum Wilson|
|12||Jack Butland||Matthew Lowton||J. Berg Gudmundsson||Joshua King|
|13||Asmir Begovic||Shane Duffy||Dele Alli||Steve Mounie|
|14||Alex McCarthy||Davinson Sanchez||Junior Stanislas||Jordan Ayew|
|15||Martin Dúbravka||Kurt Zouma||Abdoulaye Doucoure||Jürgen Locadia|
|16||Petr Cech||Ryan Shawcross||James Ward-Prowse||Marko Arnautovic|
|17||Orestis Karnezis||Kyle Naughton||Henrikh Mkhitaryan||Christian Benteke|
|18||Ben Foster||Simon Francis||Pascal Gross||Richarlison|
|19||Wayne Hennessey||Joseph Gomez||Paul Pogba||Oumar Niasse|
|20||Adrian||Christopher Schindler||Marc Albrighton||Jay Rodriguez|
|21||Victor Moses||Gylfi Sigurdsson||Theo Walcott|
|22||Nicolas Otamendi||Oxlade-Chamberlain||Sam Vokes|
|23||Charlie Daniels||Cesc Fabregas||Gerard Deulofeu|
|24||Nathan Ake||Jesse Lingard||Guido Carrillo|
|25||Jamaal Lascelles||Matt Ritchie||Chicharito|
|26||Alfie Mawson||Andros Townsend|
|27||Jose Holebas||Joao Mario|
|28||Shkodran Mustafi||Chris Brunt|
|29||Jonjoe Kenny||Jordon Ibe|
|30||Daryl Janmaat||Emre Can|
|32||Steve Cook||Mohamed Diame|
|33||Mike Van Der Hoorn||Jack Wilshere|
|34||Federico Fernandez||N'Golo Kante|
|36||Moritz Bauer||Wilfried Ndidi|
|37||Aaron Cresswell||Luka Milivojevic|
|39||Ahmed Hegazi||Matthew Phillips|
|40||Martin Olsson||Yohan Cabaye|
This season, our weekly fantasy Premier League ranks are a one-man affair, with Benji Wade taking over the mantle. You can find him on Twitter: Follow @benjiwade.