When playing fantasy Premier League forward is one of the weakest positions around. This is doubly true when playing FPL draft.
Last season, only Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku, Sergio Aguero, Diego Costa and Roberto Firmino scored at a rate that would make them top tier forwards. This season in drafts (assuming that Costa stays in the Premier League) all three would be gone within the first two rounds of drafts due to the scarcity of the position. Because of that, incoming forwards and transfers between teams need to be watched closely.
We’ll be taking a look at some projected newcomers as well as two forwards who may be changing teams to prepare for upcoming Togga drafts. Here’s what everyone had to say on Twitter:
Which forward would you select first in your #FPLdraft this summer? And where is the best landing spot for Lukaku & Giroud? 👇
— Togga (@playtogga) July 5, 2017
By a sliver, Lukaku edged out newcomer Alexandre Lacazette and for good reason. Lukaku’s 552.50 points on the season were third behind Kane and Sanchez. His 25 goals were second overall, while his six assists are still top 10 among forwards. It doesn’t matter that Lukaku plays next season in Manchester, he will still be a top five forward in Togga formats. Lukaku is a guy that stuffs the stat sheet with goals, assists, completed dribbles, and ariel duels won. He’ll grab his fair share of points.
Moving onto Lacazette is where things get a little murky. He was the number two scorer in Ligue 1 with 28 goals scored and he also provided three assists. Issue number one is that 10 of these goals came from the penalty spot. While all goals count the same, penalties can’t be projected or relied on over the course of a season *cough* Jermain Defoe *cough*. While Lacazette would still be second with 18 goals excluding penalties, this also puts him in the same territory of Radamel Falcao and Bafétimbi Gomis who were underwhelming in the Premier League.
This isn’t to say that Lacazette will flop in the Premier League but expectations should be tempered. His style is a perfect fit for Arsenal’s system as long as Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are on the team on matchday one. Lacazette will only be as good as his providers but with such a shallow forward pool, 18-22 goals are enough to make him a second or third round pick.
Alvaro Morata is another guy who should be coming to the Premier League. As long as the Lukaku saga doesn’t get wonky he should end up at Manchester United. Playing bit-part duty for Real Madrid, Morata was able to net 15 goals while providing four assists. This is in only 26 appearances, 12 of which were from the bench. This is an uptick from Morata’s production at Juventus but his biggest concern is that he has never had a starting striker’s workload. Morata has never had more than 16 league starts in any season of his career so it’s tough to project what he’d do with 30+ starts at Manchester Untied.
If Morata scores in line with his normal statistics, he could supersede Lacazette as the top newcomer at the forward position but we just don’t know. Morata can fit well in the Manchester United attack but the question marks could lead him to be drafted in the 4-5th round (which could also make him the steal of most drafts).
Andrea Belotti may be the least talked about member of this list but he may have the most Premier League suited game out of the potential newcomers. A proper number nine, Belotti scored with his head, left foot and right foot in Serie A and could likely do the same at Chelsea. 26 goals and seven assists are nothing to sneeze at and if he had Eden Hazard and Pedro next to him, there shouldn’t be much of a concern of a steep drop off. The Premier League is played at a faster pace than Serie A but if anyone should be ready for the physicality, it’s Belotti. The issue is out of everyone here, he has the lowest likelihood of ending up in the Premier League. His major links were to Arsenal and Chelsea but the Chelsea link is dependent on Manchester United scooping them for Lukaku. In the Premier League, I’d rate Belotti as a second or third round pick.
What to do with Olivier Giroud?
Seemingly on the outs at Arsenal, Giroud can be had for a 20 million dollar fee to Premier League clubs. His biggest suitor is West Ham United who are interested in any striker with a pulse. Giroud scored 391 points during the season for an average of 10.29 points per match. While Giroud was never fully appreciated at Arsenal, a move to West Ham could turn his fortunes around. Giroud fits the system perfectly as he can do everything that Andy Carroll can do while also staying healthy. This would raise his value to between the fourth and fifth round.
As you can see, the shallowness of the forward position requires us to take a hard look at each possibility for the upcoming season. Pay attention to any forward rumors as they could be a big deal in your Togga Leagues.
[Editor’s Note: Giroud has recently been linked with a move to Borussia Dortmund as coverage for the rumored-to-be departing Pierre-Emerick Aubaneyang]