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Scouting Report: Fulham

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After a year away, Fulham won the Championship Play-off Final to return to the EPL. We take a look at their prospects and potential for the new season.

Fulham - Championship Play Off Final Victory - Premier League
After a year out, Fulham are back in the EPL after winning the Championship Play Offs.
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

We welcome old regulars Fulham back to the Premier League after their 2-1 victory over Brentford in the Championship Play-off Final. Fulham had comfortably secured a play-off position, finishing 4th in the 2019-20 Championship season, only 2 points behind auto-promoted 2nd place West Brom. This was Scott Parker’s first full season in charge of the Cottagers, who were relegated next-to-last in the 2018-19 EPL season. Now let’s take a look at some of the key information to determine the potential of Fulham and their players in the new EPL season.

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Last Season (2019-20 Championship)

As mentioned above, Fulham had to go through the play-off route to secure promotion after a 4th place finish. Their goal-difference was rather mediocre (+16), considerably lower than the three teams above them. However, they racked up an impressive number of clean-sheets (17), 2nd most in the division. Goalkeeper Marek Rodák had the highest clean-sheet percentage (42%).

For the 2nd season running, Aleksandar Mitrović was their unrivaled top scorer with 26 goals (including 4 penalties). The table below provides a break-down of the key stats for their top 6 Attackers. As you can see, Mitrović is the stand-out man, scoring over 40% of the team’s goals. Joe Bryan has provided great returns considering he’s a defender, and Aboubakar Kamara has the best goal+assist return per 90mins, although he has a far fewer minutes due to mostly cameo appearances.

Fulham Top 6 Attacking Stats (19-20)

Player Position Goals Assists Minutes Played Goal+Assist Per 90mins
Player Position Goals Assists Minutes Played Goal+Assist Per 90mins
Aleksandar Mitrović Forward 26 2 3589 0.7
Ivan Cavaleiro Midfield 6 7 3025 0.39
Tom Cairney Midfield 8 3 3263 0.3
Joe Bryan Defence 1 7 3412 0.21
Aboubakar Kamara Midfield 4 4 919 0.78
Bobby Reid Forward 6 2 2845 0.25

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This Season (EPL 2020-21)

So far, Fulham are yet to announce any new signings, nor have they moved any notable first players on. Ex-player Chris Smalling is reported to be on the club’s radar. Scott Parker will mostly likely continue with their 4-2-3-1 formation, although they have previously deployed 4-3-3 last season.

In FPL, top-scorer Aleksandar Mitrović is a budget forward option at £6.0Mil, with Bobby Reid also listed as a forward priced only £0.5Mil cheaper at £5.5. In midfield, key players Tom Cairney and winger Ivan Cavaleiro are priced towards the cheaper end of the scale at £5.5Mil. Winger Anthony Knockaert is also priced at £5.5Mil, with Aboubakar Kamara priced slightly cheaper at £5.0Mil.

Joe Bryan is their most expensive (and worthwhile) defensive option at 5.0Mil, with all other defenders coming in at £4.5Mil. Marek Rodák is a budget goalkeeping option at £4.5Mil, as is backup keeper Marcus Bettinelli.

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Verdict

Even though the Official FPL game is live, we are still awaiting fixtures, which are due to be released by August 21st. This is of course a critical factor in Fantasy selections — determining rotation strategies, chip strategies and matching up of assets. With any newly promoted side, the demand of the Premier League will be greater, so the accumulation of player returns is mostly always less.

Coming in as a budget forward at £6.0Mil in Official FPL, Aleksandar Mitrović is the stand-out Fulham asset. Mitrović has previous Premier League experience (scoring 11 goals and providing 3 assists in his previous EPL season in 2018-19). He comes off the back of an impressive season where has scored 26 goals, finishing as the joint top-scorer. In the official FPL game, he comes in at the same price as Jordan Ayew, Joelinton and Oliver McBurnie. He is £0.5Mil cheaper than Chris Wood, Neil Maupay & Michel Antonio. Fellow promoted forwards Patrick Bamford, Hal Robson-Kanu and Charlie Austin all come in £0.5Mil cheaper.

Ivan Cavaleiro and Tom Cairney are the best Midfield Options (both £5.5Mil), with the latter Captain of the side and less prone to rotation. There isn’t a huge pool of players with strong returns at the same price, however the step up in quality for Fulham will pose fewer opportunities for these two players (as we saw in Cairney’s last time out in the EPL for Fulham: 1 goal & 1 assist).

Joe Bryan (£5.0Mil) is the most viable defensive option, and could work for those looking to rotate more affordable defenders in their squads. He is priced slightly higher than the other Fulham assets due to his potential attacking returns. There are quite a few defenders who are priced at the same price (and cheaper) who may be better options. In comparison, defenders from other promoted sides Stuart Dallas & Ezgjan Alioski (Leeds) are £0.5Mil cheaper.

Marek Rodák (£4.5) is a budget goalkeeper whocould find a place in teams as a backup or rotational player. He’s priced the same as Alex McCarthy (Saints), Matt Ryan (BHA) and Kiko Casilla (LUFC) who will be most likely favored by Fantasy managers.

In Fantrax, all of Fulham’s players will enter the game at the default price of $7.00. But just wait: After Game-week 1, Fantrax’s algorithm will probably crash their prices to the minimum, which will be $4.00 at this point in the season (the minimum will steadily decrease until it reaches a nadir of $1.00 around Christmas). The names I mentioned above may not persuade you at $7.00, but at $4.00 the story may be very different.

Stats obtained from: https://fbref.com/

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Are you interested in any Fulham assets? Do you think other promoted sides offer better value? Please let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

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