22 Feb Hazard warning for Fantasy Premier League managers
While Sergio Aguero, with nine goals in six games, unsurprisingly tops the form chart, Eden Hazard is up to second thanks to six goals, three three-point bonus hauls and three double-figure totals in that same timeframe.
That lifts him to 138 points for the season and while Raheem Sterling and – for now, at least – Christian Eriksen have more points and are cheaper by £1.5million or more, neither has the momentum of the Chelsea star.
His 82.1 form score – out of a possible 100 on a scale factoring in points, cost and the game’s bonus point system – tops a rush of midfielders in the wake of Aguero’s score of 90.
The two highest-scoring midfielders, Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne, are also a shade cheaper than Hazard at £10.4m, as opposed to £10.7m, and rank third and fourth in the form chart but while Salah features in over half of all teams and De Bruyne nearly a quarter, Hazard is owned by just over eight per cent of the game’s managers.
There are cheaper options elsewhere in the top 10 form players, with Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse and Luka Milivojevic useful midfield picks at around the £5m mark.
Ben Davies (£5.6m) is back in favour at Tottenham, starting the last seven games and contributing to four clean sheets as well as collecting two assists.
That resilient form also sees his £6m team-mate Jan Vertonghen into the list while, after Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso earlier in the season, the mantle of in-form Chelsea defender passes to Victor Moses – ninth with a score of 68.
Penalties will pay
Milivojevic’s haul is boosted by four goals in his last six games – two of which have been penalties, showing the importance of knowing your spot-kick takers.
Aguero and Hazard have also benefitted, while Harry Kane’s scorching goal tally for Tottenham is also helped by spot-kicks, but there are cheaper options throughout the league who could pick up penalty points.
Jamie Vardy is Leicester’s regular taker and is over £4m cheaper than Kane, while Watford’s Troy Deeney and Brighton’s Glenn Murray have also boosted their value from the spot.
Positions other than strikers get more points per goal so along with Milivojevic, the likes of West Ham midfielder Mark Noble and Everton full-back Leighton Baines can capitalise – when he returns from injury – if given the job ahead of Wayne Rooney.
There are still bargains to be had in all areas of the pitch, not least in goal where Burnley stand-in Nick Pope and Swansea’s Lukasz Fabianski both have more points than Manchester City’s much-heralded Emerson. Pope’s value has risen from £4.5m to £4.9m but he is still £700,000 cheaper than the Brazilian, while Fabianski is available for £4.6m.
Arsenal full-back Nacho Monreal’s recent explosion as an attacking force makes him an even better pound-for-pound option than Vertonghen, with Fabianski’s team-mate Alfie Mawson also excelling in defence.
And even with all the attention lavished on the runaway league leaders, Fernandinho continues to produce under the radar with 90 points at £5.1m