As we enter the international break, there is an abundance of high flying forwards to tempt managers, among these are the two similarly priced options Sébastien Haller (7.5) and Tammy Abraham (7.2), both of which have hauled for two consecutive Gameweeks leading up to the break. With great fixtures on the horizon for both of them, I’ve decided to take a deep dive into their statistics to decide which one is the better fantasy option.
While Haller missed a game through injury, Tammy was a bit part player for the first two weeks, leading them to have similar amounts of minutes played. In 270 minutes, Haller has registered 3 goals and 0 assists, while Abraham has managed 4 goals and 0 assists in only 257 minutes.
You start to notice some interesting differences when you look at the underlying expected goal statistics. Haller has an absolutely massive 3.03 expected goals, showing that he’s actually ever so slightly under-performing! To put this number into context, it lags ever so slightly behind Raheem Sterling’s 3.10 xG and surpasses Mohamed Salah’s 2.71, both of whom have played a whole game more than Haller. He impressively shoots 3.0 times per match, but provides 0 key passes, which is somewhat confusing as he came into the premier league with a reputation as a ‘creative forward’.
Tammy’s statistics tell a different story, his per game goal attempts are very strong, shooting 3.85 times and laying on 2.10 key passes per game. However, it seems like these shots are much lower quality, as he has only generated 1.81 expected goals, demonstrating a significant over-performance of 2.19. As most people who have watched Tammy play know, he isn’t an elite tier finisher, so I expect these numbers to come crashing down to earth soon. Creativity is one factor in which Tammy is superior, but its still nothing to write home about, with 0.86 expected assists to his name as of Gameweek 4.
To summarize what I’ve learned, it would appear that Haller is soundly the better option between the two similarly priced forwards. Nothing is a better indicator of a player’s quality than having their underlying statistics remain true to their real returns, and Haller has truly phenomenal underlying statistics. While his creative numbers are lacking, he could have picked up a fantasy assist had the stonewall penalty against him actually been awarded. Tammy no doubt will do well, but find the extra money to fund Haller if you can, as I would be scared to go without him for the upcoming run of great fixtures.