Joshua King (6.5) and Callum Wilson (6.5) make up a dynamic strike partnership that most fantasy managers will be familiar with by now. With the run of easy fixtures in Bournemouth’s future, many are wondering which of the two evenly priced forwards is the better option. With the abundance of excellent forward options available, the three spots available are all precious, so i’ll be taking a deep dive into their statistics and comparing them to provide some insight.
Not only are the two strikers even in price, they’ve both scored 11 goals apiece. We start to see a difference when looking at assist statistics, where Wilson has laid on 6 (and 3 assists for drawn penalties), while King has only managed a paltry 3. What makes this even more impressive is that Wilson has managed this in only 1906 minutes, compared to King’s 2395.
This chart compares the expected statistics of both forwards. Wilson has registered 10.89 xG, indicating a negligible over-performance of 0.11, while King has a very similar xG of 10.88, over-performing by 0.12. However, due to Wilson’s more limited minutes, he has 0.51 xG per 90, while King only manages 0.41 per game. Looking at the creative side, Wilson is much more of a creator as well, laying on a total of 4.85 xA, indicating an over-performance of 1.15. King has provided 3.64 xA for his teammates, suggesting an under-performance of 0.64. Due to the same minutes related issue, Wilson again trumps King with his 0.28 xA per 90 compared to King’s 0.11. From what I have already said, it’s looking clear that Wilson is the superior option, but I have to take another dig at King’s statistics even more to give a fair comparison.
King is the main penalty taker for Bournemouth, which is obviously a positive for fantasy managers. However, in the expected goals model, a penalty awards 0.76 xG, and Bournemouth have currently receive the second most penalties of any team in the Premier League with 9, which is obviously not going to be sustainable. These penalties have had a significant impact on King’s statistics, so to compare his value in open play to Wilson’s, I will use his Non-Penalty Expected Goals (NPxG).
Once penalties are removed, King sits at 6.32 xG, so when you consider that he has only bagged 6 non-penalty goals, shows that he is performing true to his underlying stats. These stats are however, much worse than Wilson’s. It seems as if, were it not for all of these penalties, King would not even be in the conversation for one of the three precious striker slots.
To wrap this up, I think its pretty clear that Callum Wilson is the better option going forward than his Norwegian teammate. His attacking statistics are better even when penalties are included in King’s, and absolutely dwarf them when they are excluded. While being a pen taker is a boon to a player’s fantasy viability, Bournemouth have already been fairly fortunate in the amount they have received, and it would be unwise to assume they will continue to be awarded to them at the same frequency for the remainder of the season.
Verdict: Wilson is the man