Our Fantasy writer looks at the Hammers to see if their incoming players deserve a spot in your 2017-18 Goal Fantasy team
Lots of clubs have been busy in the summer window thus far, but few more so than West Ham over the past two weeks. Admittedly, things were not great for them in Fantasy last season with only Manuel Lanzini and Michail Antonio placing in the top 100 of total scoring in the Goal game.
Their fans should certainly be happy with the signings of Javier Chicharito Hernandez, Marko Arnautovic, Pablo Zabaleta, and Joe Hart – but should you?
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Javier Hernandez – Forward, £6.9m
The Mexico forward is not coming off his best season, but still managed to finish as a top 10 goalscorer in the Bundesliga. His struggles are part of the reason he was allowed to leave Bayer Leverkusen but statistically last season looks like an outlier from Chicharito’s career trajectory.
His goals per 90 minutes was the worst of his career (.55) but it perfectly mirrored the decline in his shot accuracy (54%) which looks bad at face value but, if he returned to his career average of 59% the goals should return proportionally as well.
Also promising is his scoring record in England which saw him average a goal every 130.2 minutes, which is good enough to come in as the fifth all-time. While the first match against Manchester United is a tough one on paper, don’t be surprised if Chicharito knocks in a goal against his old club.
Marko Arnautovic – Forward, £6.6m
Last season was a frustrating disappointment for the Austrian after what looked like his breakout year in 2015-16. His six goals and seven assists was nothing to scoff at though as he finished first and second at the club in those statistics respectively.
Fortunately, the move to West Ham will surround him with more creative players and, if he can build up the rapport with Lanzini that he had with Bojan, could become a goal threat once more.
The main looming concern over the Fantasy value of Arnautovic is playing time. West Ham now have Antonio, Lanzini, Andre Ayew, Robert Snodgrass, and Sofiane Feghouli all battling it out for the three slots behind Chicharito. While it’s likely that the former Stoke man gets the nod, it’s probably wise to make sure he has that job before investing.
Pablo Zabaleta – Defender, £5.8m
It has been a long time that Zabaleta has been relevant but it’s also been a long time since he got consistent minutes. That should change as he is definitely better than Sam Byram and their most talented right-back, Michail Antonio, literally played more matches as a striker than in defence – depite actually being a midfielder.
Even at his best though, Zabaleta only averaged 3 assists per season in which he played 2,000+ minutes. So, unless West Ham spike up the clean sheet charts, there’s not much value here despite him being just 50th in price among defenders.
Joe Hart – Goalkeeper, £5.8m
In case you didn’t know, Hart did not have the easiest year out on loan at Torino last season. Not only did he make some high profile gaffes, but he failed to make the top five in saves or top 10 in clean sheets.
He’s not exactly stepping in behind a terrific defence at West Ham either as they finished 15th in goals allowed last season. The closest comparison we have for Hart last season in the Premier League was Ben Foster with just one clean sheet and four saves differing (in Foster’s favour) between the two.
That’s not exactly a slight by the way as the West Brom goalkeeper did finish in the top 10 at the position in the Goal game last season. So – if that’s the level of investment to production ratio you’re looking for in net for your Fantasy team – Hart is an ownable option, but not much more.
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