Fantasy Football

FPL forwards tips and statistics: Gameweek 1 Budget, differential and premium picks

By Andrew Francis

Published: 9:00, 11 August 2023

Making sure you’ve got the right front line is one of the biggest dilemmas around for FPL players ahead of the new season. 

We’ve been very busy since the end of last term, trying to find the best way to determine which Premier League stars might go under the radar in FPL this coming season. Introducing our FPL rating system… the Squawka Score.

The Squawka Score judges a player’s output per 90 for a group of selected stats, with various weightings based on their potential to lead to actual points in FPL. Our tool then gives each player a percentage rating from 0 to 100. You can learn more about how we devised our fantasy football ranking system here

In this article we’ve been looking at the best forward options for Gameweek 1, but keep in mind that we won’t take into account players who weren’t in the Premier League last season — we’ll be introducing their Squawka Scores in later Gameweeks as the new season begins to take shape.

The best FPL forwards
Our top forward pick for Gameweek 1
The best budget forwards for Gameweek 1
The best forwards based on fixture difficulty

The Best FPL Forwards

Using their 2022/23 FPL Squawka Score, we’ve compiled this list of the top 10 forwards. We’ve also added their 2023/24 FPL Price to the table so you can start to identify where their might be value for your FPL squad.

Player 22/23 FPL Squawka Score 23/24 Team 23/24 FPL Price
Gabriel Jesus 81% Arsenal 8.0
Erling Haaland 80% Man City 14.0
Julian Alvarez 69% Man City 6.5
Darwin Núñez 69% Liverpool 7.5
Callum Wilson 69% Newcastle 8.0
Anthony Martial 67% Man United 6.5
Cody Gakpo 65% Liverpool 7.5
Alexander Isak 65% Newcastle 7.5
Danny Welbeck 63% Brighton 6.0
Eddie Nketiah 60% Arsenal 5.5

For the FPL forwards Squawka Score, the per 90 output of each player is compared to all strikers across the past three top-five European league seasons.

Our top tip for Gameweek 1

Welcome to our Differential Duel feature. The aim here is to pick out a player who scores well on our system but isn’t being picked up by the majority of managers on FPL. We’ll then pit that player against a comparable asset who is being widely selected and it’s on you to make the all-important final decision. 

Here’s who we think might be a good shout to lead the line for your team. This week we’re comparing Julian Alvarez (3.5% ownership) to team-mate Erling Haaland (86.5%) ahead of their opening game of the season against Burnley. Alvarez might have a slightly lower Squawka Score (69% to Haaland’s 80%) but he comes with a huge saving in cost, with the Argentine priced at 6.5 compared to the big Norwegian’s 14.0. Here’s how their per 90 stats compare on our Comparison Matrix

The best budget picks for Gameweek 1

Here, we’ve run the numbers from last season through our Squawka Score super computer and found the budget defenders ahead of Gameweek 1. 

The best 5.0 picks for 23/24 FPL

  1. Carlos Vinicius, Fulham (34%)
  2. Jean-Philippe Mateta, Crystal Palace (28%)
  3. Chris Wood, Nottingham Forest (26%)

The best 5.5 picks for 23/24 FPL

  1. Eddie Nketiah, Arsenal (60%)
  2. Wout Weghorst, Burnley (36%)
  3. Odsonne Edouard, Crystal Palace (33%)

The best 6.0 picks for 23/24 FPL

  1. Danny Welbeck, Brighton (63%)
  2. Evan Ferguson, Brighton (53%)
  3. Danny Ings, West Ham (50%)

The best forwards based on fixture difficulty

You’ve probably got a pretty good idea of who will be leading your line this weekend, but we’ve got one more thing for you to consider. We’ve crunched the numbers on the FPL’s official Fixture Difficulty Rating (FDR) and used our Squawka Score to determine the best player to pick from each club with a favourable opening game. 

Team Top pick 22/23 FPL Squawka Score 23/24 FPL Price
Arsenal Eddie Nketiah 68% 5.5
Bournemouth  Dominic Solanke 63% 6.5
Brighton Danny Welbeck 73% 6.0
Crystal Palace Odsonne Édouard 58% 5.5
Everton Dominic Calvert-Lewin 55% 6.0
Fulham Aleksandar Mitrovic 64% 7.5
Man City Erling Haaland 81% 14.0
West Ham Danny Ings 63% 6.0