With Goalkeepers and Defenders taken care of in part one, let’s get down to Midfielders and Forwards. This season has offered plenty of high priced players worth owning, but there’s also been lots of great players at a cheaper price. It’s been hard to choose! Let’s take a look at those players who’ve been on everybody’s wish list.
Kevin de Bruyne (£10.6M) – £9.5M STARTING PRICE – 13.3 SEASON VALUE
He’s been back at his brilliant best for Manchester City, after an injury plagued 2018/19 campaign. Six times he’s given his faithful managers a double digit return, including an epic 17 points in the 8-0 drubbing of Watford, and a laudable 19 points against Arsenal. His price point has made him unparalleled in terms of the premium assets, starting the season £2m+ cheaper than Sadio Mane, Mohammed Salah and Raheem Sterling.
Unsurprisingly, his price has increased eleven times, and his consistency has made him a top captaincy choice as well, giving an attacking return in 66% of appearances. Not to mention he’s a Bonus Points magnet, racking up 19 bonus points so far this season. De Bruyne is an easy pick among a labyrinth of rotation risks for Manchester City.
Sadio Mane (£12.3M) – £11.5M STARTING PRICE – 10.7 SEASON VALUE
The good old Salah vs Mane question is one which has been asked by nearly every FPL manager this season. I personally began with Salah, before moving to Mane when I Wildcarded in Gameweek 3 (don’t rip me too hard for this please). He’s certainly rewarded me for that choice, coming in with 20 more points than Salah. He’s again provided managers with consistent returns, hovering around the same two out of three games mark as De Bruyne, and offering 18 bonus points. There’s no doubt that De Bruyne offers better value for money, but Mane has taken the mantle from Salah as Liverpool’s leading light this season. Watching him play, it’s his ability to score so many different goals that makes him appealing, and his quality in the air is remarkable given his stature. I also love his selflessness in attack. I often watch Salah and feel that he’s desperate to get in among the goals, trying to make a chance for himself constantly rather than laying it off and allowing the team to find the best chance. This is reflected in the stats, with Mane (8) having double the assists of Salah (4). The way Liverpool are playing though, I wouldn’t mind having Salah as well…
James Maddison (£7.7M) – £7M STARTING PRICE – 13.4 SEASON VALUE
As I’ve suggested, I feel there’s been more impressive performances from those in the middle and lower price brackets this season than those up top. James Maddison doesn’t necessarily lead the way, but he’s certainly up there. The only midfielder under £10m to break 100 points by Gameweek 21, he’s been integral to Leicester’s success. For a while, a Jamie Vardy and Maddison double up was guaranteed to set you up for a good score. He broke his recent duck in points form against Newcastle with a superb strike with his weaker foot. Six goals, five assists, and 14 Bonus Points, and he missed a 5-0 win again against Newcastle where he would undoubtedly have got in on the action. He not only offers better value than similarly priced players like Riyad Mahrez, Anthony Martial, Bernardo Silva, but he’s not much of a rotation/injury risk either. I just wish he’d come play for Manchester United.
Richarlison (£8M) – £8M STARTING PRICE – 12.3 SEASON VALUE
A forgotten soldier of this FPL season until recently. I remember last season he was a must-have player for a time. He’s not moved much from his £8m starting price, and when he has its been slightly down (followed by going back up again, of course). He’s earned nearly half the bonus points of Maddison (14 and 8 respectively), and this is the difference in their total scores currently. This could be down to the fact that Richarlison plays for a definitively worse team than Maddison, and certainly hasn’t had the darting runs of Jamie Vardy to aim for. However, Dominic Calvert-Lewin is finding his feet, and so are the team as a whole, under new management. But he could really be counted as a forward, and gets amongst the goals slightly more than Maddison. I’m not sure anybody is thinking ‘I have to get Richarlison in’ when considering their second wildcard of the season, especially given a horror show of a fixture swing in Gameweek 27, facing five of the ‘Big Six’, as well as Leicester, in a seven Gameweek period, but he’s been a great player for managers so far this season.
Jack Grealish (£6.4M) – £6M STARTING PRICE – 14.7 SEASON VALUE
What a player this guy’s becoming. Six goals, six assists and 11 Bonus Points, and 94 points total. He’s an absolute bargain at £6.4m, and he plays for a team firmly locked in a relegation battle! I’ve never owned him, but I regret bringing in Daniel James a few weeks ago instead of him. Who cares if Wesley couldn’t score the fat on the Christmas ham, Grealish will find a way. 51 points since Gameweek 13 have propelled him above the early Villa hero, John McGinn. He was transferred out by a lot of managers before Gameweek 21, preferring the threat of Adama Traore when Villa had such troublesome fixtures approaching, and Grealish punished them with a 13 point haul away at Burnley. Well played, Jack. If he somehow found a January transfer to pastures new in the Premier League, he’d certainly be in my wildcard considerations. But those fixtures just look a bit too scary for me.
Todd Cantwell (£4.9M) – £4.5 STARTING PRICE – 17.1 SEASON VALUE
Whilst Teemu Pukki has been a tricky one, given his streaky form and average price, his trusty sidekick Cantwell has been a definite hit. He’s had four double digit hauls this season, and you still get change back from a £5m FPL note when you bring him in. If you’re after consistency, I’d avoid, but when he scores, he scores. Six goals, two assists and 10 Bonus Points.
You’re looking to players like Adama Traore, Joao Moutinho and John Fleck to find anything near the value for money Cantwell offers you, but they’re all more than £5m and on less points. Another out of position bargain to be had too, playing as a forward really. If you want to free up a few million in midfield, Cantwell’s your guy. Who cares if you bench him? Vardy is bound to be ruled out with an injury that nobody had told us about…
There are many more worth mentioning. Mason Mount started the season off so well. Adama Traore has come on leaps and bounds from a pure dribbler to a more complete footballer, and he’s getting the points to show for it. Sterling and Salah have hardly offered bad value. There are more, but we’re on the clock (or wordcount) so we move forwards.
Jamie Vardy (£10.1M) – £9M STARTING PRICE – 14.3 SEASON VALUE
I’m not even going into much detail on Jamie Vardy. He’s a hero. 17 goals, 5 assists, and an incredible 25 Bonus Points. Enough said. The Vardy party has, unfortunately, ended in recent weeks. He managed a goal at Manchester City in a 3-1 loss, somehow also getting three bonus points, but he did go missing at Liverpool. He’s missed the last two weeks with the birth of his child and an injury. Hopefully he’ll be back after the FA cup weekend, for all our sakes.
Tammy Abraham (£7.8M) – £7M STARTING PRICE – 14.7 SEASON VALUE
One of the £6/7m striker club, and probably the one who’s surprised us the most. Coming into the season I certainly couldn’t have told you which Chelsea striker would take the leading role, but out stepped Tammy Abraham. 12 goals, 4 assists, and 20 Bonus Points. Those are some decent stats for any Premier League striker, he’s well on the way to the 20 goal mark. But it’s his first season playing for Chelsea, that really is good. My one bone of contention with Abraham is his relative inconsistency. Nearly every other striker mentioned in this article is consistent, not blanking often, and scoring a goal or maybe two. Tammy bashed out seven goals in three appearances in Gameweek 3 to 5. Since then he’s been sporadic, scoring just twice since his injury in Gameweek 13. He’s having the shots, even the shots on target, but they just aren’t going in. Tough choices ahead.
Marcus Rashford (£9.1M) – £8.5M STARTING PRICE – 13.4 SEASON VALUE
Disclaimer- I’m massively biased here. I started the season with Rashford, thinking the departure of Romelu Lukaku would leave him as the only potent striker for my beloved United. How wrong I was. He looked awful playing up front, but Martial’s return has allowed him to play out on the left, and he’s flourished. He’s around the same mark as De Bruyne and Mane in terms of an attacking return in 2 out of 3 games since Gameweek 9 (9 out of 13), and quite often he’s managed a goal and assist/a brace. 12 goals, 5 assists, and 23 Bonus Points is outstanding for a winger. If he was a midfielder like Mane, Salah and Sterling, he’d be in everyone’s team. He’d actually be on five more points than Mane with the extra points, but anyway, that’s a hypothetical. He’s looked great in real life, and been great in FPL.
Danny Ings (£6.7M) – £6M STARTING PRICE – 17.6 SEASON VALUE
If anybody had told me Danny Ings would have 13 goals in 21 Gameweeks, I’d have laughed all the way to St Mary’s (Which at the time was actually in the same city). 13 goals, 1 assist, and 27 Bonus Points is remarkable for a striker who would have set you back £6m at the start of the season (or even up to Gameweek 12). He’s been the ray of sunshine in an otherwise disappointing Southampton team this season, with no other player getting close to him in terms of attacking returns. He seems to be another Mr Consistent as well, returning in 13 out of 21 games (4 of which he’s played less than 25 minutes in). I feel like I’ve missed the party on this one, but he has one of the best fixture runs in the league between Gameweek 26-31.
Pierre-Emerick Aubamayang (£10.8M) – £11M STARTING PRICE – 11.4 SEASON VALUE
I’m sorry, what? Where the hell has this guy come from? I feel like Aubameyang has flown completely under the radar to become the second highest scoring Forward in the game. Okay, maybe he doesn’t reflect the greatest value for money at £10.8m when Rashford, Ings and Abraham are all within touching distance of him and far more affordable. But, in an Arsenal team who have really struggled this season, Aubameyang has managed 13 goals, 3 assists and 23 Bonus Points. With Arsenal’s fixtures looking promising and their form taking a similar turn under new leadership, maybe he’s a promising choice? Only time will tell.
So there we have it. Similarly to the midfielders, there are plenty of forward options I haven’t mentioned. I promise I haven’t just taken the five highest scoring forwards, and I’m sure by now you’ll see why each one has been uniquely special this season in terms of FPL.
As promised, Part 3 will look at the flops of the season so far, which promises to bring its fair share of laughter and tears to us all as we are forced to re-examine where it all went wrong, or occasionally, just occasionally, right.