With the Premier League season over, let’s use points and underlying data to pick out the best FPL forwards.
The list of candidates takes several things into account, such as overall score, value and points per match. It also considers those who excelled in the second half of 2022/23, following the World Cup break.
Here are the nominees.
Best FPL forwards
- 272 points, start cost £11.5m, end cost £12.4m
Man City’s phenomenal summer signing has had one of the greatest FPL debut campaigns we’ll ever see. Haaland has already broken the all-time Premier League record for goals in a season, helped by an early run of three consecutive home hat-tricks. It took ten games for a blank to arrive.
In an attempt to briefly summarise his dominant underlying stats, the Norwegian ended with the most points per start (8.10), double-digit hauls (11), attempts inside the box (115), shots on target (60), big chances (59) and expected goals (xG, 28.66).
Interestingly, Haaland’s 227 penalty area touches are the most of all forwards but he’s only tenth for total touches (833), indicating that he’s purely a box player. The main downside to such a magnificent season is that he’ll surely get a large price rise for 2023/24. A value that will force FPL managers to think hard.
- 263 points, start cost £11.5m, end cost £11.5m
Meanwhile, not only is 30-goal Kane the only player with more shots than Haaland but he’s also the best forward for creating chances. It’s a near-perfect combination for his position but Kane’s greatest season for points and goal involvements largely remained in Haaland’s shadow.
Thanks to the 16 final-day points, the Spurs man ended up just nine behind. Although this haul was an exception to a consistent year that rarely delivered multiple goals, yet never brought successive blanks.
Kane’s future at Spurs is already a big summer question. With one year remaining on his contract, could he actually leave the club for a Premier League rival? Such an answer will determine his popularity heading into Gameweek 1.
- 182 points, start cost £7.0m, end cost £7.1m
The Gameweek 6 hat-trick versus Leeds and a brace that sealed Brentford’s away win at Man City were highlights of Toney’s 20-goal season.
He was ranked third amongst forwards for big chances (33), with a fourth-best expected goal involvement (xGI, 22.28) that only premiums Haaland, Kane and Mohamed Salah could beat.
A successful scorer of six penalties, Toney’s eight-month FA ban means he’ll be absent until January 2024.
- 175 points, start cost £7.5m, end cost £7.3m
The January sale of Danny Ings showed that recently-appointed boss Unai Emery trusted Watkins to be his main forward. Until Gameweek 21, the Aston Villa man was only on three goals, exceeding six points on one occasion.
This confidence boost resulted in 11 goals and three assists from the following 12 matches. Watkins was suddenly a piece of FPL gold, ranking as the league’s best for shots on target (27) and penalty area attempts (43) between Gameweeks 17 and 31.
Goals faded from that point but such a brilliant run is enough to earn him a nomination here.
- 157 points, start cost £7.5m, end cost £7.3m
An even more bizarre run happened to Wilson between Gameweeks 29 and 36. Despite a low 555 minutes including just five starts, the Newcastle forward managed to score 11 times.
It means that this 18-goal season is his best ever in the top-flight, highlighted by a 19-point haul versus Aston Villa in October and the 24 that came in Double Gameweek 36. Additionally, he ends as the fourth-best forward for xG (17.49) and only behind Haaland for minutes-per-goal (104.8).
Looking forward, the presence of Alexander Isak keeps Wilson as a rotation risk. This will only increase further now that Champions League football is coming to Tyneside.
- 125 points, start cost £8.0m, end cost £8.1m
Five goals and four assists during his first nine Arsenal appearances meant that Jesus remained in over six million squads all the way up to the World Cup break.
Then, an injury kept him out of 12 fixtures and FPL managers moved on. But the season’s final quarter yielded six goals for the Brazilian, allowing him to end on a high. Also, his 5.1 points per start sit favourably amongst the leading forwards.
- 150 points, start cost £6.0m, end cost £5.7m
The best one under £7.0m is Brentford’s Mbeumo. Due to a pre-season positional change from midfielder to forward, he was overlooked by many in favour of penalty-taking team-mate Toney. There were never more than 570,000 owners.
However, three goals and two assists during the Bees’ last trio of outings means Mbeumo finished on nine of each, ending as the season’s best value forward based on points per million (26.32).
Other FPL forwards
- Aleksandar Mitrovic was one of the early stars, netting 11 times in 15 matches. Goalless for the next six, he then received a large FA ban and – although the Fulham striker scored a few late on – Gameweek 38 brought his fourth missed penalty of the season.
- Finally, he didn’t often score but Dominic Solanke‘s ten assists beat all other forwards. For many, his main use was to help FPL managers place their budget somewhere elsewhere.