At the start of the last season there was a huge debate over whether Stuart Dallas (£5.5m) or his team-mate Luke Ayling (£4.5m) was the better option as a potential fourth or fifth Fantasy Premier League defender, but as managers select their squads ahead of the new season there is a new question to answer: is Dallas still an asset to consider now that he has been reclassified as a midfielder?
By the time the Northern Ireland international was haring between Fernandinho and John Stones to score his second goal of the game, and with it clinching a statement late-season victory at Champions-elect Manchester City, the Leeds United utility man was in close to two-thirds of leading FPL squads.
Dallas started all 38 Premier League fixtures for Leeds in 2020/21, missing only the final nine minutes of the home match with Leicester City. He scored eight goals, provided three assists, contributed to twelve clean sheets and picked up fifteen bonus points along the way. His haul of 171 FPL points made him the leading defender in the game, but being classified as a midfielder could make a sizeable dent in that total.
The most significant difference comes from ‘losing’ three points for each of the clean sheets which would take his total down 36 points to 135. Assists are valued the same for both defenders and midfielders, although the latter get one less point for their goals than the stoppers, but it’s likely that the diminished importance of clean sheets would also deprive Dallas of a handful of bonus points.
A total of 130 for the season, then, looks a reasonable assumption for Dallas if considered as a midfielder. That score would have seen him ranked 25th amongst his class in 2020/21. Players on very similar scores having played more than 2500 minutes include Bertrand Traoré (£6.0m), Youri Tielemans (£6.5m), Leandro Trossard (£6.5m) and Pablo Fornals (£6.0m). But which of these does Dallas most closely resemble?
The statistics available in the Fantasy Football Scout Premium Members Area allow us to narrow it down. As we are using extensive data from there, only those with a valid subscription can access it in full.