The best FPL forwards for a Gameweek 31 Wildcard

International breaks are always popular times for Wildcards in Fantasy Premier League (FPL), and with Double Gameweek 33 just around the corner, usage is about to spike again.

22.79% of the site readers in our sidebar vote said they are planning to activate the Wildcard chip ahead of Gameweek 31, 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 goalkeeper, defenders and players via the links below.

All stats taken from this article are from our Premium Members Area.

HARRY KANE

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With 11 attacking returns in his last seven Premier League appearances, Harry Kane (£12.5m) is the division’s in-form forward. The disinterested figure of the first half of 2021/22 has been replaced by the Kane of old, with the England captain either popping up in the box to finish off moves or creating opportunities for others from deep.

Over the course of the campaign, his rate of goal attempts and expected goal involvement (xGI) are the best of any forward, while he has remarkably been involved in 13 big chances over his last seven matches alone, with eight falling his way and five created for team-mates. In reality, you’ll not need us to convince you of Kane’s merits – he’s probably one of the first names on the majority of Wildcard teamsheets this week.

As for Tottenham Hotspur, Antonio Conte’s side have been very up and down in terms of results this year, but having beaten West Ham United in Gameweek 30, I have now secured back-to-back wins for the first time in 2022. As a result , the Lilywhites are back on track in the race for a top-four place, with some decent fixtures coming up plus another Double Gameweek to be scheduled in later in the season.

CRISTIANO RONALDO

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Following his Gameweek 29 hat-trick against Spurs, Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.2m) sits on 12 goals in 24 Premier League appearances in 2021/22 and is the second-highest scoring forward behind Kane.

Key to his appeal is Manchester United’s short-term schedule, as they take on Leicester City and Everton next, followed by a Gameweek 33 double-header which involves a home clash against rock-bottom Norwich City.

Notably, the Portuguese has racked up nine Premier League goals on home turf – only Son Heung-min (£10.9m) has more (see below) – so there is potential to do well, given that their next two Old Trafford opponents rank 15th and 19th for actual goals conceded on the road this term. In fact, no club has kept fewer clean sheets than the Foxes, while the Canaries have shipped nine in their last four.

The biggest obstacle for many, however, will be Ronaldo’s premium price tag, with the likes of Mohamed Salah (£13.3m) and Kane also vying for our attention.

ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE

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Alexandre Lacazette (£8.3m) has quietly delivered 11 attacking returns in his last 13 Premier League appearances from Gameweek 16 onwards, the majority of which have been assists. The oft-derided Frenchman is, in fact, the second-best performing FPL forward for attacking returns in that time, behind only Kane.

In terms of expected goals (xG) data, Lacazette has massively overachieved on the assists front but has been equally wasteful when in front of goal himself – so his run of returns isn’t quite in the ‘unsustainable’ category.

Mikel Arteta’s side are in good form and have won six of their last seven to surge into the Premier League top four, putting them in pole position to claim the final Champions League place for next season. Some very decent fixtures book-end tricky matches in Gameweeks 34 and 35 (a north London derby also has to feature in the above schedule somewhere), so there are plenty of points opportunities for one of only two sides in the top six who don’ t have the distractions of cup competitions at home or abroad. They also have a decent fixture in Gameweek 32 against the team on the joint-longest losing run in the division – Brighton and Hove Albion – before their Double Gameweek 33.

WOUT WEGHORST

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Wout Weghorst‘s (£6.4m) return of just one goal and two assists in his first nine Burnley appearances is a tad underwhelming, although his all-round performances have generally been good.

The issue is that Burnley just don’t score many goals or fashion enough chances for their strikers to become truly prolific. For example, the Clarets have had 35 big chances this season – the joint-third lowest total (see below) – with their 22 actual goals scored faring even worse (19th). They have scored three goals on three occasions, too. Take them away and it is 13 goals in the other 24 games.

However, Sean Dyche’s side have a nice blend of quantity and quality of fixture ahead: they have more matches (five) and Double Gameweeks (two) than any other team in the next three rounds. These include meetings with rock-bottom Norwich City, an Everton side with the league’s worst away record and a potentially ‘on the beach’ Southampton outfit who have lost their last four matches in all competitions.

Given that there aren’t many good forward options available right now, Weghorst probably warrants inclusion on a Gameweek 31 Wildcard.

CHRIS WOOD

Wood has proven FPL pedigree - but form is key with the Kiwi

Since joining for £25m in January, Chris Wood (£6.7m) has managed one goal in 10 Premier League appearances for Newcastle United. In that time, he is averaging just 1.58 shots per 90 minutes, which suggests Eddie Howe must find a way to better supply the New Zealand international.

However, on a more positive note, his goalscoring exploits in previous seasons – he has scored at least 10 Premier League goals in each of his last four campaigns – suggests he will find some form sooner rather than schedule later, and the short-term is certainly appealing.

The Magpies get to play three games in succession on Tyneside between Gameweeks 32 and 33, while they also have an appealing away trip to Norwich after. They have generally been performing well of late, too, as they sit seventh in the Premier League ‘last six’ form table.

Allan Saint-Maximin (£6.8m), meanwhile, is an alternative forward option at Newcastle, although a catalog of fitness problems is a concern, having featured for just 66 minutes across three alternative appearances during the last six matches.

ALSO CONSIDER…

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Che Adams (£6.9m) has been in decent form since the turn of the year, producing six attacking returns in 10 Premier League outings. With starts for Armando Broja (£5.5m) perhaps in question after a run of six matches without a goal, Adams looks like the go-to Southampton forward for those hoping to capitalise on an appealing run of fixtures which involves Leeds United up next and a double-header in Gameweek 33. The Saints are on a poor run which has seen them lose successive league matches against Watford, Newcastle United and Aston Villa, but prior to that, had lost only once in 13 since mid-December.

Everton, meanwhile, are among only two sides with a Double Gameweek 31, facing West Ham United and Burnley, while they also have matches against Crystal Palace and Watford still to be rearranged, which should result in further ‘doubles’. The issue is that neither Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.7m) or Richarlison (£7.5m) have done much to warrant investment, and it’s hard to put either of them ahead of the options included above.

If Leicester striker Jamie Vardy (£10.3m) can recover in time for Gameweek 31, he is an intriguing differential for the remainder of the campaign. The striker has only played two of the club’s 15 matches in 2022, but is averaging 5.0 points per start this season. The schedule is the most appealing factor, with a ‘double’ against Newcastle United and Everton in Gameweek 33, while the Foxes also have two fixtures still to be rearranged, which will result in further ‘doubles’. However, with Leicester’s biggest hope of qualifying for next season’s Europa League coming from this year’s Europa Conference League, we might possibly see some form of rotation in the league over the coming weeks.

Elsewhere, Jean-Philippe Mateta (£5.2m) is an intriguing budget differential, and might be worth a look with one eye on Crystal Palace’s run from Gameweek 32 onwards, which sees the Eagles face successive matches against Leicester City, Newcastle United, Leeds United, Southampton and Watford, plus a Double Gameweek involving Everton that still needs to be scheduled in. The forward landscape has the potential to change very quickly at Selhurst Park, as Odsonne Edouard (£6.2m) owners will know only too well, but Mateta has scored in three of Palace’s last six matches in all competitions, with his total of eight shots in the box in his last four only beaten by Ronaldo, Kane and Adams among forwards .

Finally, an alternative to Matata could be Cucho Hernandez (£5.0m), who faces a kind run of home matches against Leeds, Brentford, Burnley, Leicester and Everton that will surely define Watford’s season. The winger has started each of Watford’s last three matches, producing double-figure returns on two of those occasions. The Hornets also have a match against Everton to be rescheduled, which should lead to a Double Gameweek later in the season.


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