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FPL Watchlist: Don't forget fixture proof Vardy

The Scout 25 Jul 2018
Jamie Vardy, Leicester City

One of the most consistent forwards in the game can be a big differential for initial 2018/19 squads

As Fantasy Premier League managers can now select their 15-man squads, The Scout analyses standout budget and premium players in each position.

Jamie Vardy (£9.0m) LEI

It could be costly to ignore the Leicester City striker.

Vardy has been selected by only nine per cent of Fantasy managers.

That makes him the ninth-most popular forward since the game was launched.

Roberto Firmino (£9.5m) boasts the highest ownership with 37.5 per cent, while Wilfried Zaha, Marko Arnautovic and Cenk Tosun (all £7.0m) are also in more squads than the England international.

This is despite Vardy being the second-highest scoring forward last season. His 183 points trailed only the 217 of Harry Kane (£12.5m).

Mr Consistency

Vardy was one of the most consistent goalscorers in 2017/18.

He scored in 18 of his 37 Gameweek appearances on his way to a 20-goal haul.

Only Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) and Kane, the two most expensive players in FPL, were more reliable.

Salah scored in 24 of 36 matches, while Kane netted in 19 of his 37 fixtures.

Vardy’s role as Leicester’s penalty taker helps his cause.

He scored five spot-kicks last season, second only to Crystal Palace's Luka Milivojevic (£6.5m) with seven.

Fixture proof

Leicester start 2018/19 with a daunting trip to Manchester United.

But the 10 fixtures that follow look promising.

Only two of their matches between Gameweeks 2 and 11 score more than three in the Fixture Difficulty Ranking (FDR).

Those take place in Gameweek 4, at home to Liverpool, and Gameweek 9, at Arsenal.

And even then, Vardy scored in both of those fixtures last season, including two goals at Emirates Stadium.

Indeed, he scored against every team who finished in the top six, netting 11 goals against them in total. 

Leicester's first 11 Gameweeks
GW Opponent Venue FDR
1 Man Utd A 4
2 Wolves H 2
3 Southampton A 2
4 Liverpool H 4
5 Bournemouth A 3
6 Huddersfield H 2
7 Newcastle  A 3
8 Everton H 2
9 Arsenal A 4
10 West Ham   2
11 Cardiff  2

The summer departure of Riyad Mahrez (£9.0m) to Manchester City suggests that Vardy will be more important than ever for Leicester this season.

The opening fixtures hand him the chance to underline that importance.

 See: The Scout's 2018/19 FPL Watchlist

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