I saw a lot of people boasting their excellent scores in the FPL community this past weekend from their 3x premium forward attack, following GW6’s kind offering of plentiful FPL points – as an avid advocate of overall balance, this caused me to ask myself just how feasible it really is to go top-heavy in attack?
In this article, I’m going to explore, using the spreadsheet examples I made earlier today, whether the value is in 3 premium forwards, or whether overall balance is still king.
Analysis: Overall Balance Vs All-Out Premium Forwards
For the analysis, I’ve taken 6 players for each example. The only difference in each example, is either Firmino/Vardy Vs another premium forward option in the ‘overall balance’ selection, or Mooy/Groß Vs another mid-high priced midfielder in the ‘premium forward’ selection, as highlighted.
I’ve recorded the total points scored to date, as well their original starting price of the players just to give an idea of what the points and money spent would look like going with a more balanced side, against a potential all-out premium forward side.
As you can see, the results of the two examples I’ve used to compare, are mostly inconclusive, with a slight lean towards the premium forward option.
Option A, for the ‘Overall Balance’ example, proves a winner with 2 more points scored spending £0.5m less, but option B on the ‘Premium Forward’ side wins it quite comfortably with 6 more overall points spending £1.0m less.
It’s clear though from this small analysis, that there isn’t a great deal of difference between the two strategies in this example in terms of points, with only 2 points in it in example A, and 6pts in it in example B.
The difference in price however, is a fair amount each time because of the starting prices at the beginning of each FPL season, begging the question; what could have been done with the money saved in each example?
Would It Last?
So, as we can see with the example, 3 premium forwards could have worked if we went with it from the off, but how likely would it be to last?
We have to consider the two anomalies in the data, which is Groß and Kane.
Kane is the most expensive player in the game at £12.5m and is averaging 5.3pts a game, whereas Groß is very cheap [£5.7m] and is averaging 5.8pts a game.
Given that Kane is the most expensive player, his total points return of 32 isn’t as good as it needs to be to justify the price-tag, although it’s beginning to improve and will undoubtedly continue to do so.
More than half of Groß’s points came in one game this year, where he bagged 2 goals, an assist and 3 bonus totalling 18 points – we have to consider whether it was just a one off and how consistent his returns can be in the team he plays for.
The difference in points between Groß/Ritchie/Richarlison and Mkhi/Coutinho/Eriksen/Salah/Mané/Alli, need to better the difference in points between Firmino/Vardy/Chicharito and Kane/Lukaku/Aguero/Morata/Lacazette – who’s more likely to keep a relative pace?
Without question, the analysis provided is a limited view of the two strategies we can employ and isn’t a representative enough sample to be truly valid.
To get a more accurate and reliable comparison of the two strategies, I’d need to compare and evaluate all options available to us, which unfortunately, I don’t quite have the time to do that, but thought that this provided some interesting insights to consider nevertheless – these are insights only and as such, I do not claim them as fact.
I think if we weigh everything up, the answer to the question posed at the end of the previous section, is that Firmino/Vardy/Chicharito, in particular Firmino and Vardy, are more likely to keep pace with the premium forwards than Groß/Richarlison/Ritchie are to keep pace with the premium midfielders.
It’s easy to jump on the all-out premium forward bandwagon after a week where every premium forward that played scored well, but that was one week and people forget that players like Alli, Mané, Salah, Sánchez, Hazard all virtually play as strikers for their teams and who all score an extra point more when they score a goal and who get an extra point for clean sheets.
I remain an advocate of overall balance personally, but I do think the all-out premium forward strategy is one that has merit and could work however, over the course of the entire season, I believe overall balance will still win the day.