The 2022/23 Premier League campaign starts in less than a week which can only mean one thing. Fantasy Premier League is back!
The top managers will probably have drafted and redrafted their team hundreds of times trying to get it right ahead of Friday’s 6:30pm BST deadline, with unlimited transfers up until the start of the season. But who’s in your team?
For many FPL managers, the season will be won and lost based on their forwards. The men tasked with scoring the goals but also some wingers who will also add assists – it’s a bit of a roulette to see whether they are included as a forward or midfielder.
So who do you choose? Which forward prices stand out for good and bad reasons? Who do you want to pick and who is best to avoid?
We’ve done the work for you, looking through the players released so far, so read on for our early FPL advice.
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To pick: Gabriel Jesus
2021/22 score: 120
We start with a man that should definitely be getting more love in the Premier League this season. During his run at Manchester City, Gabriel Jesus sometimes fell foul of Pep Roulette and was pushed out on the wing, taking away some of his threat in front of goal and the ability to build up points.
But he should now be the focal man at Arsenal, stretching his legs and being the fox in the box. Despite his positional change last season, Jesus still averaged 4.3 points per match in FPL, with just four players managing a better record. At £8.0m, this is a very good return, and he’s also the most-picked player in FPL at 65.6%.
First five matches: Crystal Palace (A), Leicester (H), Bournemouth (A), Fulham (H), Aston Villa (H)
To avoid: Aleksandar Mitrovic
2021/22 score: N/A
Here we are again. Aleksandar Mitrovic enters the 2022/23 Premier League season off the back of a record-breaking campaign in the Championship in which he scored 43 goals to help Fulham gain promotion at the first time of asking.
But cast your minds back just a couple of seasons to 2020/21. Mitrovic entered that campaign off the back of a 26-goal season in the second tier and there was a lot of excitement to see how he’d transfer that to the Premier League. In 27 appearances in 2020/21, Mitrovic scored just three goals as Fulham went down. He just hasn’t managed to do it in the top flight, so don’t fall for the same trap that many did in 2020/21.
First five matches: Liverpool (H), Wolves (A), Brentford (H), Arsenal (A), Brighton (H)
To pick: Taiwo Awoniyi
Club: Nottingham Forest
2021/22 score: N/A
Brennan Johnson is an interesting option for Nottingham Forest with 18 goals and 11 assists in the Championship last season, but we’re going for a teammate that has a bit more top-flight experience.
Taiwo Awoniyi spent six years on the books at Liverpool without playing a game, but truly thrived on loan, particularly in the Bundesliga with Union Berlin. Last summer that move to Union was made permanent and the Nigerian scored 15 goals in the Bundesliga to help the capital club secure a fifth-placed finish and direct passage into the group stage of the Europa League. We’ll be hoping he can carry that form over to the Premier League.
First five matches: Newcastle (A), West Ham (H), Everton (A), Tottenham (H), Man City (A)
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To avoid: Diogo Jota
2021/22 score: 175
We’re taking a risk with this one, but we’ll gladly hold our hands up and say we’re wrong if that’s the case come the end of the season. Diogo Jota was the second highest-scoring forward in FPL last season, with only Harry Kane (192) earning more points than his 175. But he was playing a lot as the centre-forward for Liverpool while Roberto Firmino was injured.
We just can’t see him getting the same amount of game time, or goalscoring opportunities. That’s because Liverpool now have a striker in Darwin Nunez, and Jota isn’t displacing Mohamed Salah or Luis Diaz on the flanks. When Jota will be used, it’ll be rotational and if you’re spending £9.0m on a forward you want them to be starting week in, week out.
First five matches: Fulham (A), Crystal Palace (H), Man Utd (A), Bournemouth (H), Newcastle (H)
To pick: Erling Haaland
Club: Man City
2021/22 score: N/A
You’ve got to give us this one.
Erling Haaland is a goalscoring machine and there’s no doubt that he’ll hit the ground running at Man City because that’s just what he does.
The Norwegian scored on his Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal debuts for Borussia Dortmund, the former bringing a hat-trick as a substitute. He also scored on his Champions League debut and has an insane career record of 90 goals in 136 league matches. Plus, he’s the second most-picked player right now with 57.3% so can you really afford not to have him in your team?
First five matches: West Ham (A), Bournemouth (H), Newcastle (A), Crystal Palace (H), Nottingham Forest (H)
To avoid: Neal Maupay
2021/22 score: 98
When you build your team, you’re probably going to need a cheap striking option to warm the bench alongside your star men. But Neal Maupay shouldn’t be one of them.
That’s nothing against the Brighton forward, but his 98 points in FPL last season is not a good enough return for the £6.5m you’ll have to fork out at the start of 2022/23. Sure, it’s not the most expensive, but there will be better options for that price or lower. The same goes for his teammate Danny Welbeck who will also cost £6.5m after 89 points, though he did play significantly fewer matches.
First five matches: Man Utd (A), Newcastle (H), West Ham (A), Leeds (H), Fulham (A)