One dilemma facing us FPL managers at the moment is finding the right budget forward. With Salah suffering a hefty price rise this year it has forced managers to make sacrifices elsewhere. Finding the right budget forward could be the key to fitting Salah into your team. I will analyze the best options in the 4.5-6.5 price bracket and see where the value is.
Aleksandar Mitrovic (6.5)
After joining Fulham on loan in January 2018 Mitrovic showed sparks of the ability that was expected of him when he first came to England. Mitrovic netted 12 times in 15 starts for Fulham which was enough to persuade Fulham to snap him up permanently. Now feeling more at home and more settled this could be the year Mitrovic shows his true quality. With some creative and high quality players such as Sessegnon, Seri, Cairney and Schurrle, Mitrovic won’t be short of service and will be the focal point of the Fulham attack. Fulham only face 3 teams from last year’s top 6 in their opening 11 fixtures and favourable home ties against Crystal Palace, Burnley and Bournemouth makes Mitrovic appealing. See full Fixture Difficulty for offensive positions here. Some people feel that the price of £6.5 is slightly overpriced but there’s every chance a rejuvenated Mitrovic justifies his price tag. Mitrovic has all the ingredients to be an FPL bargain this year.
Bobby Reid (5.5)
Reid is just off the back of a breakthrough season with Bristol City in the championship where he scored 19 goals and assisted 7 times. That was enough to impress newly promoted Cardiff to pay 10 million pounds to sign him. Cardiff have 3 good opening fixtures making reid a great 3rd striker if your planning an early wildcard around gameweek 3 or 4. Reid should be capable of scoring points against Bournemouth, Newcastle and Huddersfield. 5.5 is a fair price given Reids form last year and he will need to score goals if Cardiff are to have any chance of staying up.Reid took 4 penalties last year for Bristol scoring all 4. It remains to be seen if he can shrug Ralls off them who had an 80% success rate last year scoring 4 and missing 1. At an ownership of 1.1% Reid has the capability to be this years budget striker.
Charlie Austin (6.0)
I know what many of you are thinking, “Oh no not Charlie Austin again” or “A Southampton attacker, are you crazy!” but I believe Austin can have a great season if he is given the main striker spot (providing he stays injury free too). Most Southampton managers forget the golden rule when taking over i.e Start Charlie Austin. Austin missed large parts of the 2016/2017 and the 2017/2018 with a shoulder injury and a hamstring injury. Austin scored 7 goals and got 1 assist in 1024 minutes last year which is equivalent to 11 games and a 34 minute sub appearance. In 2016/2017 Austin scored 6 goals and got 1 assist in 934 minutes which is equivalent to 10 games and a 34 minute sub appearance. So using that logic Austin scored 13 goals and got 2 assists in 21 games and 64 minutes which is very impressive for a 6 million forward. Austin is on penalties and Southampton have added some new attacking flair to their side this year such as Elyounoussi and Armstrong which will help to create chances for him. Southampton have a very enticing opening fixture list facing only two teams from last years top 6 in their first 11 games. Favourable home ties against Burnley, Leicester, Brighton and Newcastle further enhance Austins appeal. Is this the year Austin stays fit and establishes himself as a fantasy asset?
Ayoze Perez (6.5)
Perez finished last season in blistering form scoring 6 goals and assisting 2 in the final 8 games.Newcastle face 4 of last of last season’s top 6 in their first 5 games so Perez is not someone to draft straight in. However from gameweek 6 to 18 Newcastle face an incredible run of good fixtures facing only one of last season’s top 6.If Perez shows some form in the opening 5 he is definitely someone to consider for his amazing run of fixtures from gameweek 6 on (see fixtures here). Can last years top scoring points forward from 6.5 and under do it again?
Hopefully one of these budget forwards can come to the fore and offer some value in the 3rd forward position.
Written by: Tomas O’Halloran