Skip to main content

FPL tips: Elite back English forwards almost exclusively

Everton v Arsenal – Premier League – Goodison Park
(Image credit: Jon Super)

England’s attacking options haven’t looked as appealing as they do right now for some time – that much is reflected in the selections of elite Fantasy Premier League managers.

To analyse what the best managers do, we have created a sample of 1,000 FPL bosses with multiple top-10,000 finishes to their name.

In gameweek 28, the most popular forwards among them were English.

English strikers corner market

Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane celebrates scoring their side’s second goal of the game during the Premier League match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday February 28, 2021

(Daniel Leal Olivas/PA)

Harry Kane has seen his ownership among this elite group rise by 64.9 percentage points in just three gameweeks, and he now leads a group of English forwards that the elite can’t do without.

Patrick Bamford (67.1 per cent elite ownership), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (57.9 per cent) and Ollie Watkins (52.8 per cent) follow, while the top five is rounded out by the slightly less popular Michail Antonio (20 per cent).

This demonstrates a strong consensus on which forwards to buy, with plenty of elite managers having three of the top four and Antonio mopping up lots of the remaining spots.

Kane had notched three goals in three gameweeks ahead of the north London derby.

A graphic showing the most popular forwards among elite Fantasy Premier League managers in gameweek 28

Bamford meanwhile has a favourable immediate fixture list, with Fulham and Sheffield United to come, but may see a decline in ownership with Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United to follow.

Calvert-Lewin notched his first goal since GW23 and repaid the support of the elite in the process, and Watkins has two assists in six games, but no goals.

While Kane commands a high price, the others appear to have more time to impress the best bosses with their lower values – if Kane adds another blank next week, will they lose their patience?

Bale on sale

Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale during the UEFA Europa League Round of Sixteen match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London. Picture date: Thursday March 11, 2021

(Neil Hall/PA)

Kane is not the only Spurs man the elite are falling for – Gareth Bale saw his ownership rise among the elite more than any other player going into GW28, after notching two braces in three games ahead of Tottenham’s trip to Arsenal.

The Wales international was unable to muster any attacking returns for his side this week, however – in fact, having scored 55.9 for Creativity and 70 for Threat the week before, he managed just three and four respectively at the Emirates.

A graphic showing the most popular midfielders among elite Fantasy Premier League managers in gameweek 28

While Bale’s in style, Mohamed Salah saw his elite ownership drop by 115 to 663 ahead of GW28.

The Liverpool forward has no goals in four games, and while such a drought may have seemed a blip in seasons gone by, he also experienced a six-game drought earlier this season.

Combined with a blank for Liverpool in GW29, it should come as no surprise that Salah is unpopular given his premium price tag.

However, with 171 FPL points, the Egypt international is only outscored by three players at present this season.

A tale of one city

Manchester United’s Luke Shaw (left) scores their side’s second goal of the game during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. Picture date: Sunday March 7, 2021

(Dave Thompson/PA)

In defence, one team continues to dominate the market, but their very local rivals are making their own moves.

Joao Cancelo, John Stones and Ruben Dias all saw small dips in elite ownership ahead of Manchester City’s game at Fulham, and those who stuck with them after four games without a clean sheet were rewarded.

Cancelo and Stones both added attacking returns to the clean sheet at Craven Cottage, while Dias notched six points – but could their local rivals provide appealing alternatives?

A graphic showing the most popular defenders among elite Fantasy Premier League managers in gameweek 28

Manchester United are currently on a run of four games without conceding a goal in the league, including a 2-0 win against City.

Luke Shaw is the only United player to make the elite’s top 10 defenders in GW28, with 224 of our 1000 including him in their squad.

While United are very much a work in progress, Shaw scored against City and has more assists (five) this season than any of Pep Guardiola’s defenders.

At £5.2m, he comes in cheaper than any of Stones, Dias or Cancelo too.