As is the case in real life, midfielders are arguably the most important players on the pitch when it comes to fantasy football.
While goalkeepers and defenders focus on keeping clean sheets and strikers grab the goals, midfielders are rewarded by both in FanTeam’s Fantasy Premier League 2021/22 tournament. Those in the middle score five points for scoring a goal, while they’re rewarded with an extra point for a clean sheet if they’re on the pitch at least 60 minutes.
Then, of course, midfielders also score points when they provide assists and get shots on target. Squeezing the very best out of your midfield and packing out that part of the pitch with the Premier League’s very best can give you the edge against other FanTeam players.
How to join FanTeam’s Premier League 2021/22 Fantasy Football tournament:
- Head to FanTeam via this link (or click the image below) and sign up
- Join the ‘£1M Fantasy Premier League’ tournament and pay your £20 entry fee
- Create a team and click ‘Enter Tournament’
So, to help you prepare for the FPL season ahead, here are the top five midfielders for overall points total from FanTeam’s 2020/21 Fantasy Premier League.
5. Raheem Sterling
- FanTeam Fantasy Premier League points from 2020/21: 184
- FanTeam price for 2021/22: 10M
The first thing to note is FanTeam classify a lot of wide forwards as midfielders, giving you a great opportunity to score extensive FPL points with these prolific players.
By his own standards, Raheem Sterling had a relatively poor 2020/21 campaign but, having notched 10 goals and seven assists, still contributed heavily to plenty of FanTeam line-ups. After spearheading England’s run to the final of Euro 2020 with three goals and a particularly stellar performance against Denmark in the semi-finals, the 26-year-old might well return to nail down his place in Pep Guardiola’s starting XI once again.
At his best, Sterling is an immensely effective goalscorer, picking up great positions in the penalty area to get on the end of Man City’s famous cut-backs. His ability to drive into the box and beat defenders makes him a great source of creativity for the Premier League champions, too. If Guardiola does, indeed, restore Sterling as a regular starter, he might well be one of the highest-scoring players in fantasy football this season.
4. Sadio Mane
- FanTeam Fantasy Premier League points from 2020/21: 200
- FanTeam price for 2021/22: 10M
Like Sterling, Sadio Mane had a pretty quiet 2020/21 Premier League campaign with just 11 goals (his lowest tally in three seasons) and seven assists. What’s more, the Senegal international turned in an unusually high number of frustrating performances as Liverpool floundered mid-season.
But those goals and assists still bagged him plenty of fantasy points, and Mane also started 31 of Liverpool’s 38 league games while placing second only to Mohamed Salah (52) for shots on target (36).
All of this makes him a prolific option for your fantasy Premier League side with the expectation of an improved output in front of goal this season.
3. Son Heung-min
- FanTeam Fantasy Premier League points from 2020/21: 237
- FanTeam price for 2021/22: 9.5M
Son Heung-min’s 2020/21 campaign was like a perfect sandwich, with goals littering the start and end of the season, while the middle was filled with assists. By the time the action came to a close, the South Korea international had scored a career-high 17 goals, while only Kevin De Bruyne, Bruno Fernandes (both 12) and Harry Kane (14) managed more than his 10 assists.
Speaking of Kane, Son’s partnership with the England international led to the two combining for a ridiculous 14 goals, making them the most prolific duo in the Premier League by far. If Kane is in your FanTeam line-up, you might want to get Son in there, too. Especially given his 9.5M price tag, which is a little more favourable than the other players on this list.
2. Bruno Fernandes
- FanTeam Fantasy Premier League points from 2020/21: 244
- FanTeam price for 2021/22: 12M
You can call him ‘Penandes’. You can accuse him of being a set-piece merchant. But there’s simply no getting away from the fact that Bruno Fernandes is top-class, both in real life and in the world of fantasy football.
The Portugal international was the Premier League’s third-highest scorer with 18 goals and FanTeam players won’t care one iota that half of those came from the spot. They still counted for six points each, while the fact he missed just one penalty means he only lost two points from 12 yards. Then, of course, there is his haul of 12 assists, bettered only by Kane.
Edinson Cavani is sticking around at United, Jadon Sancho now mans the flanks and Raphael Varane offers even more defensive security alongside Harry Maguire, all of which adds up to suggest another prolific season from Fernandes, who is a superb candidate to captain your team.
1. Mohamed Salah
- FanTeam Fantasy Premier League points from 2020/21: 247
- FanTeam price for 2021/22: 12.5M
King of the FanTeam midfielders was the Egyptian King himself, Mohamed Salah.
The 29-year-old’s effect on Liverpool since joining in 2017 has been quite remarkable, scoring 125 goals across all competitions and firing the Reds to Champions League and Premier League titles. Along the way, Salah has picked up two Premier League Golden Boots among a host of individual awards.
Need more convincing to shell out £12.5m to get him in your side? Well, Salah also chipped in with five assists in the Premier League last season, while only Kane (53) had more shots on target (52); those are with 0.4 points each on FanTeam. Speaking of which, Salah’s status as a midfielder means his goals are worth six points each, whereas the likes of Kane and Jamie Vardy only score four points for a goal due to being classified as strikers.
Jurgen Klopp will have another Premier League title in his sights this season as his big stars return and the German will once again lean heavily on Salah’s goals in that pursuit.
Last season’s best bargain: Tomas Soucek
- Starting price in 2020/21: 4.5M
- FanTeam Fantasy Premier League points from 2020/21: 174
- Starting price in 2021/22: 6M
Not many had heard of Tomas Soucek when he turned up on loan at West Ham for the second half of the 2019/20 season. But by the end of last season, few were left in doubt about his capabilities.
Those who spent the bargain 4.5M needed to put the Czech Republic international into their FanTeam line-up were rewarded with a fantastic 10-goal return while Soucek scored immense points for time on the pitch, having played every single minute of the 2020/21 season. West Ham kept 11 clean sheets last season and, of course, as a midfielder, Soucek earned some bonus points there as well.
Naturally, Soucek’s price has risen to 6M ahead of the new season. But with 174 points to his name last season, you’d do well to find a better bargain for your midfield.
Biggest flop: Cengiz Under
- Starting price in 2020/21: 7M
- FanTeam Fantasy Premier League points from 2020/21: 14
Cengiz Under had turned in a number of impressive performances during his time with Roma, so when he arrived on loan at Leicester at the start of last season, there was an understandable amount of excitement among supporters. But in the end, the Turkey international never really made much of an impression at all and was something of a disaster for any FPL players determined to stick to their guns and keep him in their team.
Under started just one of his lowly total of nine Premier League appearances, failed to score a single goal, managed just one shot on target and was good for a mere two assists all season. All totalling just 14 FanTeam points.
Of course, with Under now on loan at Marseille for the season, lightning won’t strike twice. Another disappointing player last season (especially when considering his £6.5m price tag) was Liverpool’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who saw his campaign once again disrupted by injuries. The former Arsenal man managed just one goal and one assist across his 13 Premier League appearances and, yet, he’d still set you back £5m this season.
Writer’s tip: Ilkay Gundogan
- Starting price in 2020/21: £5.5m
- FanTeam Fantasy Premier League points from 2020/21: 169
- Starting price in 2021/22: £7.5m
Like Soucek, Ilkay Gundogan wowed the Premier League with a goalscoring flurry, despite starting the season with a modest price tag (£5.5m).
Now, this season, Gundogan’s price has risen to £7.5m and his history with injuries does make him something of a risk. But Guardiola managed the Germany international wonderfully last year and seems to have found a role for him that unlocks his true attacking potential.
Should Guardiola once again keep Gundogan wrapped in cotton wool when needed, the midfielder will be good to go to repeat his 13-goal haul from last season, while his ability from dead-ball situations might well see him improve on the two assists he managed in 2020/21.
Without risk, there is no reward, and this is one you might want to consider in FPL this season.
Squawka is partnering with FanTeam to produce more content ahead of the 2021/22 Premier League season, so stay tuned for more tips over the coming weeks. To sign up for the upcoming season’s Fantasy Premier League tournament, visit their site here or click the image below.