Mid-Price Forwards – A case for Arnie and Zaha as FPL FWD’s

07/08/2018 Planet FPL

Because of my interest as a fan and season ticket holder at West Ham and having seen first-hand the difference of how Marko Arnautovic (AKA Arnie) performed as a Centre Forward (CF) last year I wanted to compare him and Wilfried Zaha, in particular due to their reclassification from MIDS to FWDS this year in FPL. So, I compared them to the other main forwards in their price bracket. I’ve also looked at Cenk Tosun, Josh King and Chris Wood for comparison and I’ve ignored Ayoze Perez due to Newcastle’s issues and lack of investment. I have also discounted Charlie Austin (6.0) who scored 7 goals last year but his injury record puts me off however the season he played around 3000 minutes he returned 18 goals but that was a few years back so one to watch only to start

Most of the stats I’ve seen have quoted the last season’s data as a whole, whilst useful it can be misleading. I’ve made a table of the games played as a CF, for King I’ve included the CF/SS (second striker) as a whole when he had his season ranked as midfielder in FPL in 16/17 season the split between goals was broadly the same whether he played as a SS and CF. I have used data from transfermarket.com which list the players position for the games and it’s a useful reference for stats, playing positions and shows a player’s history across their career.

Thanks for the recommendation from James at Planet #FPL (@TheFPLPodcast) for that.

The pros and cons of each:



Playing pre-season as a CF, 5 goals

West Ham more attacking under new manager

Returned home and away

All but one goal scored was as a CF

FPL return in over 50% of games


Fixtures – 5 of first 9 games against top 6



Opening fixtures 1 of top 6 in first 8

Scoring / assisting pre-season 4 goals

Win pens

FPL return in over 50% of games


Potential striker signing & not CF

More home bias



Opening fixtures 1 top 6 in first 9

Silva more attacking manager

Seems to be favoured CF still


Everton poor pre-season

Only 1 goal aside from the 22-0 game

Didn’t assist much last season

Blanked in 10 games (70%) last year



Play 1 in top 6 in first 10

Scored 4 pre-season

No new signings which threaten his place or role


not always nailed as CF

Has produced in FPL in 16/17 as SS or CF




1 of top in first 8 games

1 in 2 goals when started

Completive games already due to Europa league

Even split of goals between home and away


Didn’t assist last season

Tiredness later in season due to Europa

Summary and conclusion and the dilemmas of choosing

It’s no easy job to separate them all and without a crystal ball I suspect will be a lot of transfer activity between them because of this for the first few games, I’ve written and reread this a few times and honestly can’t come to a confident conclusion

Tosun is probably the first to be dropped from the list but is in a more attacking team than under Allardyce, but I can have Sigurdsson in midfielder who is also on set pieces and most likely penalties instead, Wood, King and Zaha have the fixtures to profit. If you pick Arnie to start you look past the Liverpool game to GW2 and a home game V Bournemouth, Zaha has to score in GW1 or could drop in price and will not get as many transfers in with Liverpool in GW2 so avoiding to start coupled with a risk of not playing as CF, I will wait and see what happens after GW2 . Wood had competitive games in the Europa League already so Burnley will be match sharp as team but don’t score a ton of goals and are more defensive. King has previous and could be upfront or second striker more this year and but may not play in all games.

The talisman theory as written by the Who got the assist boys @wgta_fpl has to be a factor over the season and is a must read. Arnie and Zaha are still their team’s talisman as things stand more so than the others and both score goals & assist.

I will likely start the first 2GW with Arnie and reassess him if he blanks. After the first 9 Arnie will probably be in my team anyway and the fact he has 5 games against the top 6 may hold his price back to enable you getting him in later. I’m not normally unduly swayed by club loyalty as West Ham are not known for their consistency so it is a danger of heart over head but that is more on timing rather than what he can give in FPL returns. I think if Arnie picks up from last year he will get 16 plus goals and that makes him my likely choice – I could also start with King depending on my team set up but have 1 premium FWD at 11M to start