From goal threat to expected stats, you can find Opta data on the players listed below in our Premium Members Area.
Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) needs little introduction to FPL managers. The Liverpool midfielder, who scored 22 goals (six of them penalties), was top among all players for shots in the box and efforts on target last season and was also miles ahead for penalty-area touches (312).
We’ve got every position covered, so take your pick!
- The best budget FPL goalkeepers for 2021/22
- The best mid-price and premium goalkeepers for FPL 2021/22
- The best mid-price and premium FPL defenders for 2021/22
- The best premium FPL midfielders for 2021/22
- The best budget FPL forwards for 2021/22
- The best mid-priced FPL forwards for 2021/22
- The best premium forwards for FPL 2021/22
Salah’s nearest challenger for that metric was Sadio Mane (£12.0m), with 260. The Senegalese is a hard sell at only £0.5m less than his Egyptian colleague, given that the former’s expected goal involvement (xGI) figure was almost seven short of Salah’s. Mane ended the season with 11 goals and seven assists, four of which were the Fantasy version.
Another reason that Mane could struggle to curry favour is the £7.5m price tag of Diogo Jota. The ex-Wolves forward racked up nine goals in just 12 starts on his debut Anfield season, having missed a decent portion of the campaign with a knee injury.
The welcome news for prospective Salah owners is that the Egyptian won’t be part of his national side’s Olympic squad in Japan.
That means a full pre-season on Merseyside for the winger and, barring injury, availability for a six-game opening run in which Liverpool top our Season Ticker for ‘attack’.
Despite Salah’s domination of the statistics, it was Bruno Fernandes (£12.0m) who ended the season as the top FPL scorer with 244 points. That has hiked the Portuguese’s price from £10.5m at the start of last season to a hefty £12.0m, though he still comes in cheaper than Liverpool’s Egypt international.
Fernandes totaled 30 goal contributions over the campaign, consisting of 18 goals and 12 assists. Half of those strikes were from the penalty spot, while two of the goals created were Fantasy assists.
Sorting the Fantasy Football Scout fixture ticker by attack over the next six Gameweeks, Man Utd sit in fourth. That is likely to see heavy ownership of Fernandes alongside Salah, despite the pair taking up almost 25% of our FPL budgets.
Indeed, at the time of writing, Salah and Fernandes are the two most-owned players in FPL, sitting in 51% and 41% of embryonic squads respectively.
Marcus Rashford (£9.5m), Paul Pogba (£7.5m), Mason Greenwood (£7.5m) and, soon, Jadon Sancho (price TBC) will join Fernandes in the slightly cheaper premium bracket. Rashford could potentially undergo shoulder surgery over the summer, which would realistically rule him out of FPL contention for Gameweek 1.
“It’s either an operation or I don’t get an operation. I’m not 100 per cent sure if I need it yet, so I’ll just take it as it comes. I’ll finish strong here [with England] and I’ve got a few weeks off to just relax and decide what I’m going to do. The doctors have not said yet [what the timeframe would be].” – Rashford on possible shoulder surgery
Greenwood made 21 starts under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last season before pulling out of the provisional England squad with a suspected groin injury. If Rashford does miss the start of the season, Greenwood could be a big beneficiary in terms of pitch time – although Sancho’s imminent arrival is now a concern.
“Mason’s club appearances were managed carefully to maintain his availability through the intensive 2020/21 Premier League and Europa League schedules. But a further spell of tournament football would not be beneficial and Mason will remain at Manchester United to recuperate and prepare for pre-season training.” – Man Utd club statement
Pogba is unlikely to ping on too many Fantasy radars, meanwhile, having scored three times and garnered three FPL assists over the season.
After ending the season at £11.8m, Kevin De Bruyne has moved all the way up to £12.0m for 2021/22. The Belgian maestro managed just 23 starts in a season pockmarked by injury, with the rise in starting price a surprise not just because of his fitness problems but also because his FPL points-per-match average was a whole point behind that of Fernandes (5.6 v 6.6).
De Bruyne still managed to create a chance quicker than any other player, averaging one every 25 minutes. Only Fernandes (20), who played 1,100 more minutes, created more big chances than the Belgian (19) across the campaign.
Pep Guardiola’s preference for a starting XI with no recognised striker also pushed De Bruyne further up the field, operating as part of a roving front four which also included Riyad Mahrez (£9.0m) and Phil Foden (£8.0m).
Mahrez is one of several players in contention for penalty-taking duties, with Sergio Aguero having taken City’s most recent spot-kick. Mahrez (23) and Foden (17) only made 40 league starts between them but City’s early title win and Champions League chase were big factors in Guardiola’s domestic selection.
The Citizens have a mixed opening schedule but last season’s top scorers (83) are capable in any fixture. They also take on Norwich at home in Gameweek 2, where City assets could prove to be the most attractive options from a captaincy perspective.
Ilkay Gundogan‘s breakout Fantasy season – where he scored 13 times and notched four assists – has earned him a £2.0m price hike up to £7.5m. Only two of those goals arrived after February, however, due to a mixture of Guardiola’s tinkering and tactical set-up. The use of that aforementioned front four saw the Germany midfielder play deeper than he was doing in a more familiar 4-3-3, with fewer opportunities to make incisive runs into the box.
Raheem Sterling (£11.0m) remains a costly asset despite falling out of first-choice favour for a long stretch of the campaign. Despite his excellent England form, the winger is definitely on the wait-and-see list ahead of Gameweek 1.
Son Heung-min (£10.0m) has added an extra million onto his price from the start of last season, following a 17-goal, 11-assist campaign. Just five of those strikes came in the second half of the season, with Son similar to Gundogan in that regard.
Son’s Fantasy appeal could come down to whether or not Harry Kane (£12.5m) remains at Tottenham for the 2021/22 season. If the South Korea star loses his partner in crime, that hefty price tag could see him overlooked.
The uncertainty that a new manager brings is another factor to consider, with the Lilywhites about to embark on life under Nuno Espirito Santo.
While most premium FPL midfielders are really forwards of some design, Kai Havertz (£8.5m) could prove the most out-of-position asset if he operates as a ‘false nine’ for Chelsea.
While Thomas Tuchel has a tendency to tinker with the forwards in his 3-4-3 system, Havertz appeared to be first choice towards the end of the season. The German scored the winning goal in Chelsea’s 1-0 Champions League final victory over Man City.
One player who is as good as nailed in Tuchel’s attack is Mason Mount (£7.5m). The England man made 32 league starts under Frank Lampard and his new manager.
Only Salah, Fernandes and Mane totalled more goal attempts than Mount (82) over the season. However, fewer than half of Mount’s shots were from inside the box.
Fellow Chelsea attackers Christian Pulisic (£8.0m) and Hakim Ziyech (£7.5m) are far less guaranteed of pitch time and would not be picks for the feint-hearted.
Jack Grealish (£8.0m) is another name that is consistently churned out by the transfer rumours mills. The England midfielder only returned to action at the tail-end of last season, after missing 13 games with a shin injury.
“It was a bit of stress on my shin, a different type of injury but I am not concerned. I still need to keep on top of it and heal it after games, [so] that is why I had the ice on.” – Grealish on his injury after an England friendly on June 3
Despite missing a large portion of the season, Grealish still ranked third for chances created (81) behind Mount (87) and Fernandes (95). His minutes-per-chance created ratio of 27 was just behind De Bruyne.
If he stays at Villa, he’s assured of not just starts but 90 minutes in most matches.
The Villans’ opening three fixtures are perhaps the most appealing in the division, although England’s deep run into EURO 2020 will presumably see his pre-season affected.
Rounding out our dive into the premium midfielder bracket is Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe (£7.5m).
The winger ended the season in red-hot form, scoring five times in the final four Gameweeks of the season with strikes against West Bromwich, Crystal Palace and Brighton.
Those goals were half of Pepe’s total for the season as he belatedly came into favour for Mikel Arteta.
Arsenal play Brentford (a) in Gameweek 1 and Norwich (H) in Gameweek 4, with those ties sandwiching fixtures against Chelsea (H) and Man City (a).
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