The forwards, just like the midfielders is another area where managers like to invest heavily in the game, usually going with 2, or at times even 3, top strikers who can do the bulk of the scoring. The Fantasy Premier League has been no different this season either with Lukaku being owned by 46% of the managers while Kane has 35% ownership despite the exorbitantly highly prices. Having used up a major chunk of their available budget on procuring midfielders and 2 quality forwards, managers are left with no option but to look at a few cheaper options to complete their squads. In this fourth and final installment, we do exactly that. We assess a few strikers who can fit the bill, the price cap for this final installment is £6.5m.
1. Charlie Austin (Southampton)
First five fixtures: Swansea (H), West Ham (H), Huddersfield (A), Watford (H), Crystal Palace (A)
Charlie Austin is best known for his stint with Queens Park Rangers where he literally played out of his skin in the 14/15 campaign and scored 18 goals, which still unfortunately was not enough to help QPR retain their Premier League status. Even though QPR went down, that campaign announced the arrival of a certain, Charlie Austin. He made a good start last season and managed to get 6 goals before he was sidelined for four months with a shoulder injury. After recovering from the shoulder injury, Austin didn’t really look at his best after returning to the side, but he would be hoping to get his old form back next season. Southampton have a comfortable first few games and Austin would really be looking to capitalize early-on in the season.
2. Salomón Rondón (West Brom)
First five fixtures: Bournemouth (H), Burnley (A), Stoke (H), Brighton (A), West Ham (H)
Salomón Rondón might not be the most prolific goalscorer in the Premier League, but with West Brom scoring 21 off their 43 goals from set pieces in the previous campaign, it shows their reliance on corners and indirect free-kicks. Rondón, who is a 6’2″ tall striker is renowned for his heading abilities and is often the target during a set-piece. West Brom are yet another side, who have a good first few games and Salomón Rondón could be an option for the third striker spot.
3. Troy Deeney (Watford)
First five fixtures: Liverpool (H), Bournemouth (A), Brighton (H), Southampton (A), Man City (H)
The next player on our list is Watford captain, Troy Deeney. Deeney has had two successive 10 or more goals seasons in the Premier League looks on course to make it three seasons in a row. Something that must also be kept in mind is that Deeney is also the first-choice penalty taker in the side which is an added advantage for any FPL gaffer. Barring the two games against Liverpool and Man City, Watford have a good run in the first few weeks and Deeney would look to lead from the front in what shall be Watford’s third season in the top flight since promotion in 2015.
4. Dwight Gayle (Newcastle)
First five fixtures: Spurs (H), Huddersfield (A), West Ham (H), Swansea (A), Stoke (H)
Dwight Gayle is currently the 8th most popular striker in the game following his exploits in the Championship for Newcastle United where he was an integral part of the side and scored 22 goals to help Newcastle get automatic promotion to the top tier of English football. Newcastle have a decent run of fixtures other than their opening day fixture against Spurs. Gayle would look to establish himself as a Premier League striker, something which he couldn’t achieve with Crystal Palace and at £6.5m he could be worth investing in.
5. Saido Berahino (Stoke)
First five fixtures: Everton (A), Arsenal (H), West Brom (A), Man United (H), Newcastle (A)
Yes, the one time wantaway striker Saido Berahino is the final player of this Fantasy Premier League series. Having joined Stoke from WBA, Berahino has failed to really make an impact so far, with his first goal coming for his new club in a friendly against AS Monaco six months after he made the move from WBA to Stoke City. With Mark Hughes’ other alternatives being Peter Crouch and Diouf, who had 8 goals between them, a good pre-season for Saido could really help him reignite his career and match the heights of his West Brom career. Although the fixtures aren’t very kind in the beginning, Berahino could be an option from gameweek 9 when Stoke play Bournemouth, Watford, Leicester, Brighton and Crystal Palace one after the other.
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