Published on August 15th, 2013 | by Sportingly Better Tipster0
Fantasy Football Tips 2013/2014 – Forwards
Manchester United’s Robin Van Persie finished as the Premier League’s top striker last season with 262 fantasy football points; firing the Red Devils to their 20th Premier League title.
Sportingly Better takes a look at the best value forward options, with Van Persie predictably well backed.
West Brom’s Nicolas Anelka (£5.5m) could be the pick of the budget-priced strikers this season, after racking up seven goals in as many pre-season matches for the Baggies.
The former France international’s versatility may come into play following the loan acquisition of Championship Player of the Year Matej Vydra, with Anelka more than capable of operating wide on the right.
Elsewhere Cardiff’s summer recruit Andreas Cornelius (£5.5m) might well be snapped up, after firing 18 goals for FC Copenhagen last term. Malky Mackay seems to favour a system with a lone target man, but the Bluebirds tricky start to the season, coupled with Cornelius’ lack of senior games may subdue investment.
Hull’s Danny Graham (£5.5m) looks the pick of the Tigers front-line, providing the on-loan Sunderland man can recreate his form of two years ago for Swansea, where the striker scored 12 goals in 36 appearances. Robbie Brady, Robert Koren and Ahmed Elmohammady all provide cheaper options in the Hull City midfield however.
Glenn Murray’s long-term injury could pave the way for a significant move on former Peterborough hot-shot Dwight Gayle (£5.0m). Gayle cost Premiership newcomers Crystal Palace £4.5m over the summer and despite the arrival of former Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh, it is Gayle who looks set to lead Ian Holloway’s line.
Austrian forward Andreas Weimann (£6.0m) was one of the bright sparks for Aston Villa’s last year and despite being fielded on the right of the front three, the young striker managed a return of seven goals, four assists and 13 bonus points for the Midlands club. Weimann is likely to see his playing time increase for the Villains during this campaign, but managers may wait until some kinder fixtures arrive first.
Fulham’s Bryan Ruiz (£6.0m) may be overlooked due to Dimitar Berbatov’s (£7.5m) kind pricing, but the Costa Rica international has showed good form during pre-season. The Cottagers enjoy favourable fixtures up until Gameweek 8 and despite again being fielded in the hole, Ruiz looks set to improve on last season’s tally of four goals and 10 assists.
Meanwhile, Stoke City’s Peter Crouch (£6.0m) could be set for a renaissance under the stewardship of Mark Hughes. Crouch has scored 130 and 128 points over the last two seasons and any improvement in delivery from the likes of Charlie Adam and Matthew Etherington could give the England international the spring block towards a more potent season.
Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku (£8.0m) could prove to be the gamble of the season, should Jose Mourinho fail to snare Wayne Rooney away from Old Trafford. Lukaku hit 17 goals for West Brom in the Premier League last year and Mourinho’s disfavour of both Fernando Torres and Demba Ba could see Lukaku being sprung into the Europa League holders starting line-up.
Elsewhere Manuel Pellegrini’s kind words towards Edin Dzeko (£7.5m) during pre-season seem to offer encouragement towards the Bosnian striker. Manchester City’s midfield and forward selections remain largely inconclusive and with the Citizens boasting a fantastic run of opening fixtures to start the season, finding a starter in Pellegrini’s forward line could make all the difference.
England debutant Rickie Lambert (£7.5m) will be looking to replicate his tally of 15 goals, eight assists and 32 bonus points in the Premier League last year, with the Merseyside-born striker again assured of spot-kick duties at St Marys.
Andy Carroll (£7.5m) completed his permanent switch to Upton Park over the summer, but the England international is an injury doubt ahead of West Ham’s opening game against Cardiff. Carroll’s slow start to the year and spells on the sidelines saw the striker only score seven goals in the Premier League last year and managers will be weary of drafting in the player, despite the club’s superb run of opening games.
Norwich City boss Chris Hughton spent over £13 million on strikers Gary Hooper (£6.5m) and Ricky van Wolfswinkel (£7.0m) over the summer, but it is Hooper’s kinder price and form north of the border that looks set to ultimately decide the picking. Midfielder Robert Snodgrass (£6.5m) could however be the safest bet after returning 152 points last season.
Meanwhile, Liverpool’s Iago Aspas (£7.0m) remains an intriguing option after hitting 12 goals and seven assists for Celta Vigo last season. Aspas’ form and game-time during pre-season suggest Brendan Rodgers may well start with the Spanish striker up top, with Daniel Sturridge struggling with an injury and star striker Luis Suarez banned.
Swansea’s Wilfried Bony (£8.0m) will have impressed many a fantasy manager during the Welsh side’s Europa League match with Malmo the other week, with the Ivorian striker illustrating his aerial prowess and headed finishing to great effect. Bony fired in 31 goals in just 30 games for Vitesse in the Eredivisie last year, but Swansea’s opening fixtures may deter some of the initial attraction.
Dimitar Berbatov‘s (£7.5m) price demands some attention after grabbing 15 goals for the Cottagers last year, whilst Arouna Kone (£7.0m) will be hoping to improve on his tally of 11 goals last season with the former Wigan striker having followed Roberto Martinez to Goodison Park.
Sunderland’s Steven Fletcher (£7.0m) is a 10 goal plus striker, but the Scotland international is struggling to be fit for the start of the season.
Manchester United’s tricky opening fixtures has not deterred investors of Robin Van Persie (£14.0m), who finished as the Premier League top scorer for the second season in a row. Van Persie scored or assisted in 29 of his 35 starts for the Red Devils last season and David Moyes’ admission that he values Van Persie as Manchester United’s number one striker has left the future of England international Wayne Rooney (£10.5m) in some doubt.
Christian Benteke (£9.0m) remains highly coveted, after a debut season which returned 19 Premier League goals for Aston Villa. Benteke will be guaranteed playing time at the head of Paul Lambert’s 4-3-3 formation, with the Villain’s enjoying a bonus fixture in Gameweek 1.
Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge (£9.0m) remains a popular choice amongst fantasy managers, after hitting 11 goals and five assists in just 14 appearances. Sturridge looks set to be the main benefactor of Luis Suarez’s domestic ban, although Spanish import Iago Aspas has also been staking a claim. Liverpool face just one of last year’s top six sides in their first 11 matches at Anfield this season, so picking the right attacking selection for Brendan Rodgers’ side could prove crucial.
The arrival of Roberto Soldado (£9.5m) to White Hart Lane certainly lessens the appeal of both Jermain Defoe (£8.5m) and Emmanuel Adebayor (£8.0m), with the former Valencia striker costing in excess of £26 million for Spurs. Soldado scored 59 goals in just 101 appearances and a late move for the Spain international could prove an interesting differential.
Finally, Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud (£8.5m) could be one to watch, particularly if Arsene Wenger fails to snare any attacking reinforcements before the transfer window shuts. Giroud scored 11 times for Arsenal last season and the France international will be hoping for a greater return and impact for the Gunners this time around.
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Author Credit: Jonathan Day
Image Credit: http://flickr.com/photos/91505937@N04/8483084842