Fantasy Premier League

FPL Saturday review: Budget forwards prove their worth

By The Scout 13 Aug 2023
Joao Pedro, Brighton

Brighton's Joao Pedro among host of cut-price attackers to score in Gameweek 1

Related Articles
The advantages of starting FPL in Gameweek 2
Why you should play FPL in 2023/24
Salah: I captain myself in FPL all season!

Joao Pedro (£5.5m) has immediately shown why he is the most popular cut-price forward for managers in Fantasy Premier League.

TV Info

As evidenced in pre-season, Brighton & Hove Albion’s Brazilian has been handed penalty duties after signing from Watford over the summer. 

His converted spot-kick in the Seagulls’ 4-1 home win over Luton Town on Saturday earned Joao Pedro a seven-point haul on his debut.

He is now the most-popular forward under £8.0m and third most-selected player in his position in Fantasy, found in 26 per cent of squads. Brighton now face favourable back-to-back matches against Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham United

Joao Pedro's penalty v Luton
Budget forwards on target

A host of other budget strikers impressed across Saturday’s six matches.

Luton’s Carlton Morris (£5.5m) also converted from the spot at the American Express Stadium, while Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah, Crystal Palace’s Odsonne Edouard (both £5.5m), AFC Bournemouth star Dominic Solanke and Nottingham Forest’s Taiwo Awoniyi (both £6.5m) all scored.

Nketiah's goal v Nott'm Forest

This dominance is also reflected in the Expected Goal Involvement (xGI) statistics from Gameweek 1, with cut-price picks occupying the top five places among forwards. 

Top Gameweek 1 forwards for xGI 
Player xGI Shots Shots in box Pts
Maupay 1.35 4 4 2
Joao Pedro 1.33 4 4 7
Edouard 1.26 7 7 7
Morris 1.14 4 4 8
Solanke 1.12 3 3 7

Everton’s Neal Maupay (£5.0m) ranked top but spurned all four of his shots in the box in a 1-0 home defeat to Fulham.

Alexander Isak (£7.5m), by contrast, was far more productive in Newcastle United's 5-1 win over Aston Villa.

The Swede recorded an xGI of only 0.78 against Villa, yet he netted twice to match Erling Haaland’s (£14.0m) Gameweek-high score of 13 points. 

Isak's second goal v Aston Villa

Isak’s display on Saturday has made him the top target for managers in Gameweek 2, brought in by 115,000+.

Nonetheless, he has a tough upcoming schedule, facing Manchester City and Liverpool in back-to-back Gameweeks. 

A host of budget players also dominated the xGI statistics in midfield, with Isak’s team-mates Harvey Barnes (£6.5m) and Sandro Tonali (£5.5m) among them.  

Top Gameweek 1 midfielders for xGI 
Player xGI Shots Shots in box Chances created Pts
Barnes 1.16 1 1 2 11
De Cordova-Reid 1.13 3 3 0 6
Eze 1.09 8 5 7 3
Gross 0.96 3 2 6 2
Tonali 0.69 2 2 1 6

The duo enjoyed goalscoring debuts in the St James’ Park victory, with Barnes emerging from the bench to also supply an assist and collect 11 points.

The statistics also show Eberechi Eze (£6.5m) was unfortunate to blank in Palace’s 1-0 win at Sheffield United.

His totals of eight shots and seven chances created both currently sit top among all players in Gameweek 1, while Eze's five shots in the box were second only to the seven of his team-mate Edouard.

Edouard's winner v Sheff Utd

Brighton’s Pascal Gross (£6.5m) was similarly unlucky. The German created six chances against Luton but collected only two points.

Also in this series

Part 1: GW1 FPL bonus points
Part 2: GW1 FPL stats: Haaland justifies record backing as captain
Part 4: FPL experts: Who are the best defenders to target?

Latest Videos

More Videos