It’ll be interesting to see if there is a revenge of the Forwards this year. For large spells of last season, it felt as if no strikers were offering any bang for their buck. As a result, most managers had to content themselves with just having any forward that would show up and play for 90 minutes. After all, why have Ronaldo getting you two points a week for £12.0m when you could have Josh King score the same points for half the price. So, who are the best budget forwards for FPL this season?
What I think we do need to see is a recalibration of expectations for our forward spots. Sticking a few nailed guys, who are cheap and have penalties, could be a viable strategy to begin the season with. If you want to cram in Salah, Son/Haaland, Alexander-Arnold, Cancelo, James etc, one or two budget forwards are going to come in handy.
You still want to squeeze every last drop of value out of your selected cheap forward. I hope you find this guide helpful in your endeavours to do so.
TO BUY IN FPL 2022/23
Deniz Undav (Brighton, £5.5m)
Having signed for the Seagulls in January, Undav was then loaned back to his Belgian club Union Saint-Gilloise (they haven’t heard of you either). He scored 26 goals in 37 games as his club finished top of the table in the regular season.
It will remain to be seen how quickly he can adapt to English football. From what I’ve watched of him, he’s a stocky guy with a decent touch and good finishing abilities. Brighton have always been a team that creates lots of chances, but with terrible conversion rates, if Undav can find his shooting boots early it could be a match made in heaven.
His inexperience in the league, along with questions around if he’ll even start, puts him firmly in the “punt” category. But at £5.5m he could be worth sticking first on your bench.
Bryan Mbeumo (Brentford, £6.0m)
Weekly woodwork worrier Bryan Mbeumo has been handed a price rise and recategorised as a forward, slightly curbing his appeal. A known quantity, if nothing else, he can still provide decent value for his price.
The Bee’s forward scored four goals and made seven assists in 33 starts, returning 119 points for the season. However, he frustrated owners no end by hitting the woodwork seven times! Joint highest in the league, along with Raphinha.
Now with one point less for goals and no clean sheet points, Mbeumo seems a less attractive option, but with a chance of improvement both with regard to himself and Brentford, as well as attractive opening fixtures the Frenchman could be worth a punt if your looking for the best budget forwards for FPL.
Brennan Johnson (Nottingham Forest, £6.0m)
The 21-year-old Welshman will doubtless be worrying a few defences in the league next season. Brennan Johnson has quickly made a name for himself as a very versatile young striker.
A flashy forward with a brilliant knack for a first touch finish, the Forest man has a great eye for goal and a creative touch to go with it. He can drift wide in order to provide assists as well as run in behind with his blinding pace. The striker returned 18 goals and 10 assists in the Championship last year. While it has to be said that the Premier League is a different beast, we have seen strikers from promoted teams come up and do well on more than one occasion, and recently too.
46 appearances (44 starts) in 46 games last season leave no question as to his nailedness. Add penalties to that and Brennan Johnson looks a cheap and safe option for a GW1 draft.
Don’t miss our complete pre-season player-guide:
Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest, £6.0m)
Another new man to the league is Nottingham Forest’s Taiwo Awoniyi. Once on the books at Liverpool, the Nigerian forward joined Forest from Union Berlin this summer for the club-record fee of £17.5 million.
15 goals and 1 assist in 29 starts in a fast improving Union Berlin side is better than a return every other game. Although we do know prolific goalscorers in the Bundesliga don’t always translate well to the Premier League (cough Timo Werner cough).
A powerful and direct striker, the Nigerian does well in a counter-attacking system which Forest are sure to utilise in their first season back in the Premier League in 23 years. I know some don’t like to have anyone new to their league in their Gameweek 1 drafts, but if you are looking to take a punt, Taiwo Awoniyi will surely be a compelling pick.
Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth, £6.0m)
Coming from Liverpool for £19 million in 2019, Dominic Solanke quickly became the focal point of the Bournemouth attack, scoring 15 goals in his first season in the Championship. He went on to score 29 goals last year, just two less than Ivan Toney in Brentford’s promotion campaign.
A tall and powerful forward, the 24-year-old is just coming into his prime as a player and these next few years will be crucial in his development. He can score a range of goals, has good dribbling and passing abilities, making 7 assists to add to his goal tally last year. With promoted teams needing a big strong target man to relieve pressure and provide vital goals Dominic Solanke is sure to provide steady returns.
He has penalties, scoring 4 from 5 last year, and is a nailed 90-minute man. With tough opening fixtures, he could be a wait-and-see option, but one you should consider for your watchlist.
Cameron Archer (Aston Villa, £4.5m)
A youngster who is not expected to start games. However, he is the most exciting pick if you need a filler slot in your team. He is highly rated among Villa fans but monitor, as he could end up on loan in the Championship.
New to the game? Make sure to check out our 10 essential tips for FPL
Odhrán Brennan is a data journalist for a sports data company, living in Finland. He’s been playing FPL since the 06/07 season and is a long suffering fan of both Arsenal and the Republic of Ireland national team.