Top 5 FPL picks – West Ham

Disclaimer: The Transfer Window is still open and things could dramatically change for some, or all players mentioned in the Article. The content is however of substance at the time of publishing.

West Ham United were one of the teams to have for Fantasy Football last year. The high flying Hammers finished an impressive sixth (6th) under David Moyes, guaranteeing them a spot in the Europa League 21/22.

Assets like Cresswell, Coufal, Ogbonna, Bowen, Soucek, Antonio and our beloved Jesse Lingard gave impressive returns throughout the year and were highly owned due to the impressive pricing. However, the fantastic season has been rewarded with some price rises and European football, both of which, are anti-fantasy in context of owning West Ham players.

Disclaimers –

  1. David Moyes plays multiple formations, depending on his team and the opposition. He swapped between 3CBs and 2 CBs quite often, with Creswell shifting from LB role to LCB role.
  2. Lingard brought it some much needed X-factor to the team. Attacking flair of the team went straight up the day he entered the club. Sadly, he’s back to Man United now.
  3. Declan Rice is a solid player. He shields the defence and provides a good support to the attacking players. He is under some transfer speculation and a West Ham without him may look very different.
  4. Antonio is the only striker in West Ham, fantasy wise and on the roster too. West Ham is, and should be looking for a striker. Minutes could be shared.
  5. Europa League, although is a very attractive prospect for the team and the players, but it is not pro-FPL. There will be heavy rotation with West Ham prioritising European football (unless relegation looms large).
  6. West Ham have favourable early fixtures. They play Newcastle, Crystal Palace, Southampton, Leeds and Brentford in the first 7 matches. All these teams either finished in the bottom half, or are promoted.

We will first analyse the opening set of fixtures and the proceed with the top 5 picks from Arsenal as per our team in order of preference –

1. J. Bowen: £6.5M (MID)

Jarrod Bowen has to be the West Ham player with the biggest upside for the price. The budget Arjen Robben finished the 20/21 season with an impressive 8 goals and 6 assists, taking his total FPL points tally to 141 points in just 2556 minutes.

He can play multiple positions in the David Moyes system, including playing as the striker in the absence of Antonio, but he has been mainly used as a right sided attacked. With Lingard gone, he is almost certain to start most matches, which adds to his appeal.

Another, upside is that Bowen is on set-piece duties for indirect free-kicks. West Ham play very direct football under David Moyes and are therefore always prone to scoring headers from indirect free-kicks.

2. V. Coufal: £5M (DEF)

It was a very hard call between Coufal and Bowen for our team, but Bowen came out on top due to the higher ceiling he provides. Nonetheless, Coufal at £5M provides brilliant value and is one of the West Ham players to have without a doubt.

The Hammer fullback had a brilliant season last time around with an impressive total of 128 points coming from 9 assists and 9 clean sheets. He also had a brilliant summer with his National team advancing till the quarter-finals of the Euros 2020 with Coufal playing an important part in the run.

Furthermore, Coufal is almost guaranteed to start every match he is fit, and at the RB/RWB role, giving him an impetus to bomb forward at any given opportunity.

3. M. Antonio: £7.5M (FWD)

Antonio has been around for too long, for everyone to know about his troubles with the hamstring and other injuries. The dynamic forward has every trait required to become a superstar, but his body doesn’t support his ambitions.

Cheap, scoring striker, on penalties, lone striker at the club. He has everything you could want from your FPL striker. His per90 numbers are shockingly good and therefore he provides a decent potential at £7.5M going forward in the game. However, with added stress on the team due Europa League, Antonio could see a lot of rotation, which could end up frustrating his FPL managers. Despite that, Antonio can be one of the players to start the game with, given the relatively lesser options we get at the Forward role in FPL.

4. A. Cresswell £5.5M (DEF)

Cresswell finished the 20/21 season with a career high 153 FPL points on the back of 11 assists and 11 clean sheets. These are really numbers of an elite/premium fantasy asset. If you take into account that he started multiple matches at the LCB role, which restricted his entry into the opposition half, the numbers become much more impressive.

Cresswell would have been the pick from West Ham, despite being priced on the higher side, however, we would want to lay caution on him due to the undesirable shift to LCB whenever David Moyes opts for a 3 CB formation. In fairness, Cresswell still has the potential from clean sheets and set-pieces (direct and in-direct both), but the price and other options leave a lot more to be desired.

Depending on the pre-season and the first few matches, Cresswell could end-up becoming an ‘essential’ or a ‘trap’. Keep your eyes on him.

5. S. Benhrama £6M (MID)

An outliner pick that promises the stars, but may not even deliver the moon. Benhrama showed glimpses and flashes of his quality last season, but was never able to cement his spot in the team. With David Moyes looking forward to fighting a battle on two fronts, a lot more rotation can be expected, which bring Benhrama into the picture.

He has looked sharp in the pre-season, and may get a few starts in the lucrative West Ham initial fixtures. He is also priced at a very juicy position, where taking a punt does not seem a big risk.

Benhrama finished the season with 1 goal and 6 assists in just 1376 minutes. He gets into advanced positions more often than not and knows a trick or two, to get out of tight positions. He was often brought on in last quarters of matches, where opposite teams were piling bodies inside their own halves to defend deep; thereby hampering his ability to showcase his strengths.

With that, we conclude our discussion on the inflation hit West Ham assets. We wish you all the luck and hope you make good choices with our help!