We’re feeling rather smug at Dream Team HQ this morning.
Prior to the opening weekend of the season, we repeatedly tipped Michail Antonio (£3.7m) as a potentially savvy value-for-money option up front.
After acknowledging the risk attached to backing the West Ham forward because of his injury history, we outlined his impressive scoring record in recent seasons as a significant positive.
Since the start of 2019/20, Antonio averages a goal every 171 minutes in the Premier League.
It’s his impressive strike rate when fit that makes him such an appealing Dream Team asset, especially given the Hammers’ relatively favourable start to the season fixture-wise.
The minority of gaffers who were convinced by our camapign have been handsomely rewarded.
Antonio has racked up 27 points after two games, making him the joint-top scorer in Dream Team alongside Bruno Fernandes (£6.8m) at this stage.
The 31-year-old would have been the outright leader had he not missed a penalty against Newcastle!
Still, we shouldn’t be greedy, he’s already registered two assists and three goals after tearing Leicester apart in tandem with Said Benrahma (£2.8m) on Monday night.
Just 4.1% of Dream Team bosses have benefited from the Irons’ all-time Premier League top scorer’s efforts at the start of the campaign.
His ownership will surely increase in the coming weeks with West Ham hosting Crystal Palace this coming Saturday – the Eagles are one of only four teams yet to score a league goal in 2021/22.
In September, either side of a tough test against Man United, they play Southampton and Leeds – two of the league’s more porous defences.
Call it pure instinct, but it feels like there’s another two goals coming from Antonio before the end of September… at least!
We all know there’s no real need to look at the league table until October but if you were tempted to take a premature peak you’d see West Ham at the very top.
While a Premier League crown may be deliriously optimistic, a second consecutive top-six finish looks achievable, especially if their bullish No9 can stay fit with Benrahma in close attendance.