The best FPL forwards for a Gameweek 30 Free Hit

With just eight teams in action in Fantasy Premier League (FPL) Gameweek 30, Free Hit usage is about to spike again.

Not far off 40% of the site readers in our sidebar vote said they are planning to activate the Free Hit chip this week, so it’s with this in mind that we have produced a position-by-position guide to pick out the best and most discussed options in each category.

You can read a rundown of the stand-out goalkeepers and defenders herewith a summary of the leading midfield candidates here.

All stats taken from this article are from our Premium Members Areawhere there is currently a free, seven-day trial.

HARRY KANE

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Eight attacking returns in six matches has helped catapult Harry Kane (£12.4m) to the top of the FPL forwards’ points table.

The jaded/sulky/disinterested (delete where appropriate depending on your reading of his early-season body language) figure of the first half of 2021/22 has been replaced by the Kane of old, with the striker either popping up in the box to finish off moves himself or carving out opportunities for others from deep.

Over the course of the campaign, his rate of goal attempts, big chances and expected goal involvement (xGI) are the best of any forward with a fixture in Gameweek 30.

The England international has, remarkably, been involved in 13 big chances over his last six matches alone, with nine falling his way and four created for teammates.

In reality, you’ll not need us to convince you of Kane’s merits – he’s probably the first name on many Free Hitters’ teamsheets this week.

ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE

Saka's goal contributions, Lacazette's creativity, Watford's home form: FPL notes 2

Up there with Kane for medium-term form is Alexandre Lacazette (£8.4m), who has delivered a goal and/or assist in nine of his last 12 run-outs.

From the start of his purple patch in Gameweek 16, only Kane has delivered more attacking returns than Lacazette among FPL forwards.

Above: Forwards with a fixture in Gameweek 30 sorted by attacking returns from Gameweek 16 onwards

In terms of xGI data, the Frenchman has massively overachieved on the assists front of late but has been equally wasteful when in front of goal himself – so his run of returns isn’t quite in the ‘unsustainable’ envelope.

Perhaps the main downside to Lacazette in Gameweek 30 is the potential for fatigue. He has started two games already this week, on Sunday and Wednesday, and faces a mere 63 hours of recovery time before the Gunners take on Aston Villa on Saturday lunchtime. All of his teammates are in the same boat, with Mikel Arteta naming an unchanged team in both Gameweek 29 fixtures, so there is the potential for a bit of a hangover against a well-rested Aston Villa, especially given the energy expended in a battling display against Liverpool in midweek.

RAUL JIMENEZ

Digne injury latest as Jimenez impresses: FPL notes from Wolves v Everton

From an opposition weakness perspective, Wolverhampton Wanderers arguably have the best match-up of the weekend.

Leeds United haven’t kept a clean sheet since Gameweek 14, conceding on 45 occasions in their following 15 league matches, and Jesse Marsch’s appointment hasn’t stopped the flow of goal concessions.

Only three big chances have been consceded by the Whites in the American’s three matches in charge, however, so there may be some green shoots of recovery in West Yorkshire.

As for Wolves themselves, goals haven’t really flowed at the other end of the pitch but there has been a recent improvement: while only four clubs have found the net on fewer occasions (29) in 2021/22, Bruno Lage’s side have scored 16 goals in their 11 matches this calendar year.

Despite the upturn in attacking form, Raul Jimenez (£7.6m) hasn’t really sparkled and remains low down on the below table for everything from shots and chances created to xGI.

Above: Forwards with a fixture in Gameweek 30 sorted by xGI from Gameweek 16 onwards

The Mexican is just one of many FPL forwards who have underwhelmed this season and even his ‘nailed’ tag no longer applies, following benchings in Gameweeks 27 and 28.

He has visibly looked more confident in recent displays against Watford and Everton but it’s fair to say that a punt on Jimenez in Gameweek 30 is more about the opponent than the man himself.

IVAN TONEY

Budget FPL players Duffy and Bissouma 5

The most transferred-in FPL asset of Gameweek 30 was, very briefly, top of the FPL forwards’ goalscorer charts on Saturday afternoon.

Ivan Toney (£6.6m) took his 2021/22 tally to 11 goals with a brace against Burnley in Gameweek 29, continuing a rich seam of form that has seen him plunder seven strikes in his last four Premier League starts.

It’s a belated golden period for the early-season bandwagon who blanked in 14 of his first 19 starts of the season. Indeed, he has more than doubled his number of FPL attacking returns just from Gameweek 22 onwards.

Expectations of a sustained run of good form have to be tempered, then, especially as his last five goals have all come against teams in the relegation zone. Three of those strikes have also been penalties.

However, as we reported last week, Toney has started to look a bit more of a threat outside of spot-kicks: his total of five shots from inside the six-yard box from Gameweeks 22-29 can’t be bettered by any other Premier League player.

Opponents Leicester will have less than 72 hours of recovery following a UEFA Conference League meeting with Rennes, while the Foxes, despite recent defensive improvements, have also allowed more ‘big chances’ than any other side in their last six home matches – a problem they ‘ve struggled to shake all season.

OTHER CANDIDATES

Fit-again Watkins can return to 2020/21 form in Villa's new-look 3-5-2 formation

Slightly going under the radar this week are Aston Villa’s Danny Ings (£7.7m) Ollie Watkins (£7.5m).

The strike duo have been paired together in Steven Gerrard’s 3-4-1-2 in each of the Villans’ last four league matches, delivering six attacking returns between them in that time.

As mentioned above, the swift turnaround time between Arsenal’s matches could be to a well-rested Villa’s advantage on Saturday lunchtime.

Ings has more points in the bag (24 v 13) since he was reunited with Watkins in a front two in Gameweek 27 but it’s the latter who is standing out an underlying stats front, bettering his teammate for shots (eight v two), penalty area touches (20 v 12), big chances (three v two) and expected goals (1.17 v 0.52).

The two are level for expected assists (xA) over the last four Villa fixtures.

Ings has been hooked in all four matches, with Watkins also completed 90 minutes on each occasion.

Above: Expected goal and assist data for Danny Watkins (left) and Danny Ings (right) from Gameweek 27 onwards

Minutes in Europe on Thursday night will also be key when assessing the appeal of the forward options from Leicester City and West Ham United.

The Foxes arguably have the most attractive fixture on paper this weekend, as they take on a Brentford side without a clean sheet on the road since Gameweek 5.

Jamie Vardy (£10.3m) will miss the match through injury so it’ll again be a straight contest between Patson Daka (£7.1m) Kelechi Iheanacho (£6.9m) for striking duties at the King Power Stadium.

Daka was definitely the favorite option during Vardy’s last absence from Gameweek 15-27: the Zambian started every league match that he was available for during this period. Iheanacho was preferred at Arsenal last Sunday, however, and the Foxes’ involvement in European competition is muddying the picture as Brendan Rodgers’ primary focus shifts to matters on the continent with little left to play for domestically.

Whoever gets the least amount of minutes on Thursday may, therefore, be in line for a start against Brentford.

Above: Forwards with a fixture in Gameweek 30 sorted by mins per expected goal involvement (xGI) in 2021/22. Daka ranks fairly well for expected goals (xG) in particular. Kelechi Iheanahco’s mins-per-xGI figure is 245.2.

As for Michael Antonio (£7.5m), fitness and form are dual considerations. David Moyes said that the striker had only done some “light training” ahead of Thursday’s Europa League tie against Sevilla but even if he’s passed fit, his run of two goals and only 56 FPL points in 20 appearances is dismal.

Game-time might also be an issue for Leeds’ three forwards this weekend, meanwhile: Patrick Bamford (£7.7m) could only last 45 minutes on his comeback last weekend, Rodrigo (£6.2m) is managing a thigh issue and Joe Gelhardt (£4.6m) is not just a doubt with a back problem but often just an impact alternative when he is involved in the matchday squad.

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