Game Week 18 Striker Dilemma
Striker Dilemmas – Part One
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The players in Fantasy Premier League that usually return the most points are your strikers and that is why most people will invest more money in this area (per player) and why most managers almost always opt for a 3 up front formation policy. With players like Ighalo, Lukaku and Vardy all performing at a consistently high level and returning plenty of goals for their managers and with the strike options such as Olivier Giroud, Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero all being very viable options, it is providing FPL managers with a headache and the question of who to play up front is a tricky one.
Assessing the options:
The players who you should be choosing from are Vardy, Ighalo, Kane, Giroud, Lukaku, and Aguero. They are the top 6 Premier League strikers in terms of the goals they have scored (ranging from 7 to 15 goals each) but their prices range from £6.1m to £13m.
Form is talked of as being one of the key factors when choosing players for your FPL team and with 3 of these players being in teams that are in the top 4 for form (last 6 games) are they the obvious choice? Sergio Aguero is of course the most expensive of these strikers and he has scored the least of the six, but he has also played the least amount of game time and is perhaps the only player on the list capable of scoring 4+ goals in a game (something he has already achieved this season).
Jamie Vardy – Goals: 15 Assists: 4 Price: £7.7m
The Leicester front man has been prolific this season and already has 15 goals to his name – if he continues this form then he will be one of only a handful of players to score 30+ goals in a Premier League season and whilst that is an amazingly difficult feat to achieve, it is not completely unbelievable considering Leicester currently sit top of the pile and show no signs of stopping.
He currently has a hamstring injury but it is not thought to be too serious and his manager has already come out and stated that he expects him to be available for the trip to Liverpool on Boxing Day.
Lots of people predicted the downfall of Vardy and Mahrez as soon as the fixtures started to get tougher, but the Foxes have stepped up to the challenge in impressive style scoring 5 goals in their last 2 games. Vardy is instrumental to their success and until he goes a few games without an assist or goal then he has to remain in your team. In the short term, I can see Leicester beating Liverpool on Boxing Day and I think they will score a couple against Man City who are struggling defensively right now, they then play Bournemouth at home and I know who I will be backing for that game.
Verdict: The must have striker right now, keep him if you have him, buy him if you don’t!
Odion Ighalo – Goals: 12 Assists: 5 Price: £6.1m
Watford are the third best team in terms of form in the Premier League as we head in to Christmas and with four wins on the bounce and 5 goals and 2 assists in that time for Watford’s highest scorer of the campaign so far, he has become a very popular choice. He was our second choice captain pick last week and he did not disappoint with a fine performance over Liverpool.
The biggest concern for Watford and Ighalo is the fixture run that they are about to embark on. Chelsea (a), Spurs (h), Man City (h), Southampton (a) is a tough run for any team and it might be one that just is a tad too much for this solid Watford outfit. That being said, Ighalo is the main man scoring 57% of Watford’s goals this season (more than any other player in the Premier League) and he is still a very good pick. He can continue to score goals and I think he will have a 20+ goal season but I don’t think the form will read the same for Watford and Ighalo by the time we get to the middle of January.
Verdict: A good pick, but perhaps the time has come to bring in a real big gun. If you don’t want Vardy then Ighalo is a must have, but if you do then this is a gamble too far based on the fixtures.
In Part 2 we will be assessing the credentials of Olivier Giroud, Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero and Romelu Lukaku. We will also be giving you our top 3 overall and looking at how this impacts on your midfield.