The hat-trick hero in Gameweek 10 of the 2015-16 Premier League season was Harry Kane. The Tottenham Hotspur forward bagged 17 points for the 16.6 per cent of Fantasy Premier League managers who have him in their team.
Goals were always likely to start flowing at some point from the England international, who came second in the race for the Golden Boot last season despite not being Tottenham’s starting striker for the first 10 games. Kane’s underlying statistics show why.
Only two strikers have fired more shots in the Premier League than Kane this season. Only in Spurs’ Gameweek 2 clash against Stoke has the PFA Young Player of the Year failed to fire at least three attempts in a match. Furthermore, a large portion of those shots have been hit from inside the penalty area, which is another positive sign.
Where Kane was falling down this season was getting those shots on target. He only managed four shots on target in the first six games. I noted after the Gameweek 6 match against Crystal Palace that Kane seemed to snatching at shots. A player who is struggling to hit shots on target will struggle to score goals.
But notice how Kane has started hitting the target more frequently since Gameweek 7. I suspect he was low on confidence and forcing his play, but is now playing with more freedom.
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The fixture list mostly looks promising for Spurs (AVL, ars, WHM, CHE, wba, NEW). Some FPL managers might worry that Kane’s hat-trick was against an injury-ravaged Bournemouth side, but we know from his goal against Manchester City in Gameweek 7 this season, plus braces against Chelsea and Arsenal last year, that he can score against anyone.
A bigger issue is whether there is room for Kane (9.2m) in one of the three FPL forward spots. Jamie Vardy (7.2m) is in amazing form, having scored nine goals in the last seven games. Graziano Pellè (8.4m) hasn’t scored for two weeks, but FPL managers will be in no rush to remove a player with five goals and five assists this season, plus five good fixtures in the next six games (BOU, sun, STO, mci, AVL, cpl).
The third highest scoring FPL forward is Odion Ighalo, who offers great value even at his current price of 5.4m. Just behind Ighalo is Lukaku. At 8.4m, the Everton forward is cheaper than Kane and he doesn’t face another team from last season’s top eight in 2015. And then there is Wildfried Bony (8.3m), who scored two last week on his first start filling in for the injured Sergio Agüero in the normally highly productive Manchester City forward line.
Until Agüero is back, FPL managers can afford to field two 8m+ forwards, Vardy and a strong midfield. But once the Argentinian returns, they could face a tricky restructuring job if the money is spread too broadly. Kane looks a good buy, but FPL managers will have to consider carefully whether he is better than their other options.