We’re five matchdays into the new campaign and I’m happy to announce that my team is improving week by week! I’ve also learned never to drop Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez from my starting XI. Not that that happened last weekend. It really didn’t. Honestly.
I trust you’ve read my previous two columns (whether you enjoyed them is another matter) - and now know which qualities to look out for in Official Fantasy Bundesliga defenders and midfielders. As there isn’t a great deal of science behind choosing the right goalkeeper (spoiler alert: clean sheets = points!), let’s take a closer look at the strikers in the game.
Leckie flying high
What can I tell you about the Fantasy Bundesliga strikers? Well, you’ll be stunned to hear - or maybe you won’t if you’ve been reading my columns - that goals are not the highest source of points for Official Fantasy Bundesliga strikers. Neither are attempts or assists.
Granted, Robert Lewandowski (63 points), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (44) and Anthony Modeste (57), three of the four players currently on four or more goals for the season, are also among the top four highest-scoring strikers in the game. Vedad Ibisevic (48), who scored his second and third goals of the campaign on Matchday 5, is third. Mathew Leckie, yet to score this season, is fifth. Wait, what?
Yep, you read correctly. FC Ingolstadt 04’s Australia international Leckie is the fifth highest-scoring forward in the Fantasy Bundesliga, despite failing to find the net in the opening five games. How? Remember me harping on about successful challenges and time spent on the pitch in my last column? Well, the same applies to the frontmen in the game.
Who says goals are important?
With as many points on offer for playing the full 90 minutes (three) as for hitting the back of the net, and only one point fewer available for every five successful challenges, this shouldn’t come as a huge shock. However, it does make for some quite astonishing numbers.
Leckie has garnered 41 of his 42 points through successful duels and minutes played. That’s 97.6 per cent of his overall tally. Leckie’s team-mate Dario Lezcano, the 13th highest-scoring frontman, has earned 35 of his 37 points (94.6 per cent) in this manner, while Yussuf Poulsen, 17th in the list of best strikers, has won 32 of his 35 points (91.4 per cent) that way.
Chicharito, who scored a superb hat-trick on Matchday 5, is only three places higher than Poulsen on 37 points, having registered four league goals so far. The Mexican’s Bayer 04 Leverkusen colleague Joel Pohjanpalo, also on four goals for the season, is down in 25th (on 26 points). To cut a long story short, goals alone do not guarantee a place among the creme de la creme of Fantasy Bundesliga strikers.
Which strikers am I looking to sign?
What does that mean for your Fantasy side? Well, you’d have to expect the likes of Müller and Chicharito to score enough goals over the course of the campaign to join Lewandowski, Aubameyang and Modeste at the very top of the highest-scoring forwards chart. Eventually, the strikers with the most goals will rise to the top (are you listening, Mathew!).
On current form, though, why not give Ibisevic a try? Despite scoring three league goals so far this season, the Bosnian has registered twice as many points through successful challenges (18) - even if he doesn’t score, he should win enough tackles to make up for it. Personally, I’m considering bringing Lars Stindl, the seventh highest-scoring forward.
Stindl, on 41 points, has two goals to his name this season and wins the majority of his challenges having racked up 16 points in that category already. He has also completed the full 90 minutes on four occasions and is reasonably priced at 13.4M. In my humble opinion, he ticks every box!
About Matt: Official Fantasy Bundesliga Expert Matt has always been a bit of a numbers geek. As a kid he had a giant poster of Sesame Street’s The Count above his bed, while his current ringtone is Hip To Be Square by Huey Lewis and the News. Our resident number cruncher will provide you with key facts and stats throughout the season.