The recently concluded FPL season showcased impressive performances from our forwards, the top eight collectively amassing an impressive 1,454 FPL points. Leading the pack were standout forwards Haaland and Kane. Notably, the 2022-23 season witnessed a high number of forwards (16) surpass the 100-point milestone. Let’s analyze the top-performing forwards and identify the ideal picks for the upcoming 2023-24 season.
Erling Haaland (Manchester City)
By all measures, Erling Haaland emerged as the standout forward of the 2022-23 season. Haaland’s explosiveness proved indispensable, making him a must-have asset for FPL managers. Beyond merely passing the eye test, his statistical performance was remarkable. Haaland netted a record-setting 36 goals and provided nine assists, plus he accumulated an outstanding 40 bonus points.
Additionally, he led the charts for goal involvement (44), boasted the highest expected goals (xG) value of 28.7, achieved the best goals per 90 minutes ratio (1.17), and excelled in the xG+xA per 90 category.
These statistics clearly highlight Haaland’s immense threat throughout the season. Not only was he a formidable goal-scoring machine, but he also contributed assists. Considering Man City’s favorable opening fixtures next season, we expect the majority of FPL managers will draft Haaland into their FPL teams.
Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Harry Kane had an impressive campaign last season. Had it not been for Haaland’s extraordinary performance, Kane would have certainly been cult hero of the season. The Hotspur striker lit up the 2022-23 season with remarkable statistics, scoring thirty goals, providing nine assists on his way to 263 FPL points — just nine behind Haaland.
As someone who invested in Kane for a significant portion of last season, I can attest to his remarkable consistency. He registered only eight blank game-weeks, and he never went consecutive matches without scoring points. However, the only drawback was his occasional failure to secure double-digit hauls, which somewhat diminished his appeal compared to Haaland.
Kane’s also ranked third in terms of expected goals (xG) in the Premier League, boasting an xG of 21.5. Looking ahead to the upcoming season, Kane could serve as a viable alternative to Erling Haaland if the latter is priced at a premium... But where will Kane be playing?
Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)
Ollie Watkins experienced a sluggish start, struggling to find his form, recording blank game-weeks in nine out of his first eleven. However, following Unai Emery’s appointment as manager, Watkins underwent a significant transformation and regained his confidence.
Under Emery’s guidance, Watkins experienced a remarkable turnaround. Despite scoring only once in his initial ten games, he concluded the season with an impressive tally of 15 goals plus eight assists. FPL managers will fondly recall Watkins’ exceptional run of form from GW-21 to GW-31 when he failed to score in only one match while netting a total of eleven goals. His impressive performances for Villa made the team’s seventh-place finish, securing a spot in the upcoming Europa “Conference” League.
This coming season, Watkins will again be a name high on FPL managers’ wish-lists — if he’s still a mid-priced forward.
Callum Wilson (Newcastle)
Last season marked Callum Wilson’s most remarkable individual campaign in the Premier League. His exceptional goal-scoring abilities played a crucial role in lifting Newcastle to an automatic berth in the UEFA Champions League.
Wilson played a pivotal role in securing that coveted UCL spot, showcasing quickness, strength, aggressiveness in the box, and proficiency in penalty kicks. These qualities enabled him to achieve an impressive tally of 18 goals, falling just two short of the 20-goal mark.
In FPL, Wilson was a valuable asset, particularly in the latter stages of the season. A standout moment for him was in DGW-36, when he contributed three goals plus an assist while amassing an impressive 24 points. He emerged as one of the best mid-priced forwards in the game last season, accumulating a total of 157 points to rank fifth among forwards.
Heading into the upcoming season, Wilson will be a target for FPL managers who recognize his impact on the field. However, beware of the strain added by the UCL.
When considering differential and budget forwards, Bryan Mbeumo stands out as a player whose statistics and performances surprised many. In FPL, Mbeumo garnered an impressive 150 points, remarkable at his affordable 5.7 price. He showcased his versatility by being directly involved in 18 goals, scoring nine and providing nine assists.
Looking ahead to 2023-24, there is excitement surrounding Mbeumo’s potential. With Ivan Toney suspended, and considering Mbeumo’s impressive performances in the final three games last season in Toney’s absence, he is expected to have prominent role for Brentford. In those last three matches, Mbeumo contributed an assist against City, plus he netted two goals and provided an assist for 16 points against Spurs.
With the third striker position being a crucial spot that FPL managers aim to fill economically, Mbeumo’s role as Brentford’s leading striker makes him a compelling option. He has the potential to be an excellent fit for FPL teams, offering value and the opportunity for significant returns.
Solanke, a budget forward, proved to be a solid performer last season. Priced at 5.6 million, he accumulated a respectable 130 FPL points, contributing six goals plus ten assists. As a key player for Bournemouth, Solanke played a crucial role in maintaining Premier League status.
While Solanke was a viable option for FPL managers, his consistency was not ideal. Despite his overall point tally of 130, there were periods where he struggled to find the back of the net or provide assists. Looking ahead to the upcoming season, Solanke remains a solid choice for the third striker position, depending on his price.
Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal)
Gabriel Jesus, a mid-priced forward playing for one of the top attacking teams, quickly grabbed the attention of FPL managers with his assured starting position for Arsenal. He made a strong impact throughout last season, contributing eleven goals plus seven assists. Unfortunately, his promising start was hampered by injuries, limiting his goal involvement potential.
His impressive performances, characterized by hard work, pressing, and dribbling abilities, added a distinct dimension to Arsenal’s attacking play. Many attribute his contributions as a key factor in Arsenal’s ability to compete and contend for the title for a significant portion of the season.
Looking ahead to the upcoming season, it is expected that Jesus and Arsenal will be even more determined and hungry for success. FPL managers will be keen to include Jesus in their teams, recognizing his potential for consistent contributions in terms of goals and assists.
Who was your most valuable forward last season? And who was your most valuable forward not listed above? Please register and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!