The Fantasy Football Scout 2020/21 awards are underway with the polls for best Fantasy Premier League (FPL) goalkeeper, defenders and midfielders now joined by the ballot for the key forwards. All four are now open for voting on the sidebar of the home page.
We’re assessing the key candidates in each category in four separate articles, with our summary of the leading goalkeepers, defenders and midfielders now followed by this piece on the stand-out forwards.
Overall score, points per match and value in Fantasy Premier League were all factors we considered when compiling this shortlist, with those players making our Team of the Season decided by you the readers.
2019/20 TEAM OF THE SEASON REVIEW – FORWARDS
- Goalkeeper: Nick Pope
- Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, John Lundstram, Matt Doherty
- Midfielders: Anthony Martial, Mohamed Salah, Bruno Fernandes, Kevin De Bruyne
- Forwards: Raúl Jiménez, Danny Ings, Jamie Vardy
From here, it seems almost unthinkable that Harry Kane was not on this list. However, in 2019/20 the England captain was all about consistency, but Mr Fireworks rarely came to town. Just a par-for-the-course quartet of double-figure hauls from 29 appearances which in his price-bracket is a smidgen underwhelming.
Of those that were honoured by Fantasy Football Scout voters, one carried on where he left off while the other two had their seasons disrupted by injury to a lesser or (significantly) greater extent.
Jamie Vardy is once again a candidate for your vote, but Danny Ings, while still scoring comfortably well, never really lit the blue touch paper as we know he can and was always a managerial shrug into a microphone away from a couple of weeks out.
Raúl Jiménez had actually scored four goals in his first six matches before the well-publicised skull injury suffered in a clash of heads a few minutes into the Gameweek 10 fixture at Arsenal brought his campaign to a sudden and premature end. We were very pleased to hear about his return to training and hope that he is soon back to the form that won him our readers’ admiration last summer.
- Points: 242
- Points per match: 6.9
- Start cost: £10.5m
- End cost: £11.9m
Voters, Harry Kane listened to your concerns.
This season, the Walthamstow Warrior was back with a bang, slamming a 21-point hammer to the canvas as early as Gameweek 2 and apparently taking his starting price of £10.5m as a personal insult.
The man who now has more Golden Boots than Jimmy Choo didn’t let up until the final bell when he was crowned as the King of Strikers with 23 goals, 14 assists, 20 Gameweek returns, nine hauls and a 242-point total only a whisker from toppling Bruno Fernandes from the overall summit. As “come and get me” pleas go, it was razor-sharp.
Kane is set to lead his country in the European Championship this summer, but this video reveals that he is also very fond of cricket (and that the selectors should seriously consider Joe Hart for a barrage of left-arm fast/medium hostility next time England are visiting Perth).
- Points: 194
- Points per match: 5.1
- Start cost: £5.5m
- End cost: £6.6m
As Gameweek 1 squads were assembled, the FPL managers least likely to select Patrick Bamford were Leeds United fans. Yes, he had become something of a cult hero at Elland Road, but after a few too many head-in-hands moments watching him in the Championship and the arrival of Spanish international number nine Rodrigo for a club record fee the scene was set for Bamford to gradually step aside from the step up.
And then the football started.
He opened with a goal in each of the first three games, made Virgil Van Dijk (no less) look a bit of a mug and added a pair of assists against Fulham for good measure. There followed a two-game lull and then a second-half hat-trick at Aston Villa that wouldn’t have looked out of place scored by Dennis Bergkamp.
That two-game hiatus at home to Manchester City and Wolves was perhaps simply a case of him getting his breath back after relentlessly pressing opposition defenders if his post-match interviews are anything to go by.
Seasoned Teemu Pukki-watchers kept waiting for the beginner’s luck to wear off but instead, he grew in confidence and poise by the week and finished the season as the second-highest scoring forward, his 17 goals and 11 assists leaving him only six points shy of the traditional elite FPL total of 200 points.
We think we can safely say his starting price next season will be higher than £5.5m.
- Points: 168
- Points per match: 4.5
- Start cost: £6.0m
- End cost: £6.3m
With such glittering credentials, Bamford may well be wondering what exactly Gareth Southgate is looking for that he hasn’t shown. Whatever it is, Ollie Watkins clearly has it after a debut Premier League season that suggested he could be poised for a major breakthrough.
Watkins matched his fellow Championship alumnus stride-for-stride in terms of returns, but trailed him on the really big scores, failing to add to the three he managed in the first 15 Gameweeks. It’s difficult to assess his full potential just yet as Jack Grealish seemed fundamental as a creator of chances for him to shine and Watkins looked to suffer from the England midfielder’s ten-Gameweek absence more than most.
Nevertheless, Watkins certainly didn’t let that get him down, mixing assists with goals to keep him in FPL line-ups right until the end of the season. His success, along with Bamford’s, shows that if Ivan Toney makes it to the Premier League with Brentford for next season, managers should take his Championship form very seriously.
- Points: 165
- Points per match: 5.0
- Start cost: £7.0m
- End cost: £7.5m
Fourteen Gameweeks into the season, the talk around Goodison Park was of the Champions League and a few observers were even daring to suggest that former England youth star Dominic Calvert-Lewin might be not just the heir apparent to Harry Kane in the national side but possibly even a genuine alternative. With James Rodriguez pulling the strings and Lucas Digne firing in the crosses, there was no-one in the league deadlier from six yards out.
And then the niggling injuries started to get in the way, Everton adjusted their style of play, Calvert-Lewin went a bit wider and deeper and Richarlison was vying with him to get on the end of those through balls. There was still always a goal in him as late-season opponents Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers can attest, but this was increasingly untrue of Everton themselves as they mustered only two in their last five outings.
There is no doubt, however, that DCL was a difference-making asset throughout the first third of the season, setting many an FPL team on the way towards a high finish. In the final analysis, Calvert-Lewin was basically Jamie Vardy with half the hauls but for a lot less outlay and his 165 points were good for fifth-best amongst strikers.
- Points: 118
- Points per match: 4.5
- Start cost: £6.5m
- End cost: £6.7m
Michail Antonio‘s record of returning in 44% of the Gameweeks he plays in is up there with all but the very best of his line-leading contemporaries. Unfortunately, he only featured in 25 of the 38 available which, ever since his conversion from wide player to target man, has been his perennial problem.
Antonio’s longest unbroken run of appearances this campaign was six Gameweeks. His potential can be seen in that, if you string those appearances together, he never went more than two without an FPL return. When he takes the field he is always a threat to score and regularly provides very good value to his owners in FPL.
Antonio’s late-season partnership with Jesse Lingard looked particularly promising for next season if the Manchester United loanee should remain at the London Stadium and if Antonio can keep his leg muscles from giving up on him. Intriguingly, if you look at the numbers alone, they bear a surprising resemblance to Timo Werner’s.
- Points: 110
- Points per match: 4.4
- Start cost: £6.0m
- End cost: £6.2m
Kelechi Iheanacho also has something in common with Jesse Lingard: until Gameweek 22, nobody in FPL noticed that they were actually in the game. The former Manchester City striker didn’t quite manage Lingard’s double-digit opening salvo, but his goal away at Fulham was to be the first of a dozen he unerringly rifled home in just 15 league matches as Leicester City missed out on the Champions League by a whisker and swept to a historic FA Cup triumph.
His consistency in Leicester’s lively attack made him a cornerstone for the run-in plans of myriads of FPL managers. Now firmly established as a starter in a competitive team with money to spend, Iheanacho already looks a top starting pick for next season.
- Points: 187
- Points per match: 5.5
- Start cost: £10.0m
- End cost: £10.2m
Jamie Vardy is the only survivor from last season’s trio of Fantasy Football Scout forward heroes. What’s changed for him is everything and nothing.
The emergence of Iheanacho as a genuine frontman has led to Vardy dropping deeper and seeing fewer clear chances in a team that’s evolving to make best use of young talents like Maddison, Barnes and Tielemans. But, both in the Premier League and FPL, the hugely experienced Vardy is still getting it done.
Last season he registered 30 attacking returns. This time around he finished with 29. The translation of a third of his goals into assists meant he dropped a few FPL points overall, but his tally of 187 was still good enough for the bronze medal at the forward position behind only Bamford and Kane. Not bad for an old-timer.
- Points: 138
- Points per match: 4.2
- Start cost: £6.5m
- End cost: £6.6m
Only one striker other than Harry Kane notched a 20-point Gameweek score this season. Step forward (and then jump really high) Burnley’s Chris Wood, who scored 15% of his FPL points in one triumphant afternoon at Molineux, dazzling Wolves and delighting differential-hunters everywhere with a first-half hat-trick garnished by a second-half assist.
That performance was the apex of a late-season assault on the charts that saw him collect eight goals in as many games before he joined his team-mates in a vow of scoring silence over their final three fixtures.
It’s difficult to know if the Clarets’ late-campaign attacking posture is the shape of things to come or just a relaxing bit of fun before the serious business of keeping clean sheets begins again in August, but either way we suspect we know one Scoutcast regular who’ll soon be ticking the voting box for New Zealand’s striking finest.
- Points: 134
- Points per match: 5.2
- Start cost: £6.5m
- End cost: £6.5m
Whisper it quietly but, pro-rata, Callum Wilson‘s FPL performance is actually slightly better than Patrick Bamford’s. They match each other in rate of returns, but Wilson has the same number of hauls as Bamford (five) from only two-thirds of the appearances.
Wilson may not be an obvious candidate for this season’s forwards’ hall of fame, but discerning owners will have been delighted with the value he gave them until he succumbed to injury just after the halfway point. With Newcastle United eventually looking like they might finally have sorted themselves out and hit on some sort of plan, FPL managers would be wise to check out his price when the new lists are revealed.
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Source : www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk – https%3A%2F%2Fwww.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk%2F2021%2F05%2F27%2Fvote-for-the-best-fpl-forwards-of-2020-21%2F