Fantasy Football

FPL midfielders tips and statistics: Gameweek 1 Budget, differential and premium picks

By Tom Dutton

Published: 9:00, 11 August 2023

Midfielders are key when it comes to securing FPL success, with the men in the middle making all the difference. 

At Squawka, we’re diving deeper than ever to help you unearth those differential picks and under-the-radar fantasy football gems that are standing on the precipice of superstardom. Introducing our FPL rating system… the Squawka Score.

The Squawka Score judges a player’s per 90 output for a group of selected stats, with various weightings based on their potential to lead to actual points in FPL. Our tool then spits out a percentage rating from 0 to 100%. You can learn more about how we devised our fantasy football ranking system here

If you think you can beat our FPL boffins, you can join the Squawka Challenge League here.

For now, let’s explore your midfield options for Gameweek 1, bearing in mind that we won’t take into account players who weren’t in the Premier League last season — we’ll keep an eye on those new arrivals and begin introducing their Squawka Scores as we move through August.

The best FPL midfielders
Our top pick for Gameweek 1
The best budget picks for Gameweek 1
The best picks based on fixture difficulty

The best FPL midfielders

OK, let’s keep it straightforward to kick things off. Here, we’ve identified the top 10 available midfielders based on their 2022/23 FPL Squawka Scores. We’ve added their prices in the right column to help you identify the players who are undervalued on FPL, despite ticking all the right boxes. 

Player 22/23 FPL Squawka Score 23/24 Team 23/24 FPL Price
Phil Foden 81% Man City 7.5
Kevin De Bruyne 79% Man City 10.5
Mohamed Salah 78% Liverpool 12.5
Martin Odegaard 75% Arsenal 8.5
Jack Grealish 74% Man City 7.5
Gabriel Martinelli 74% Arsenal 8.0
Bruno Fernandes 73% Man Utd 8.5
Bukayo Saka 73% Arsenal 8.5
Solly March 69% Brighton 6.5
Leandro Trossard 69% Arsenal 7.0

It’s important to note here that our Squawka Score compares the per 90 output of each player to all attacking midfielders across the top five European leagues since 2020/21. The reason we measure against attacking midfielders is because you can select Phil Foden and Declan Rice for the same position in FPL — even Mohamed Salah! So, once again, we want the threshold for potential attacking returns to be higher.

Our top tip for Gameweek 1

Every week we’ll bring you a Differential Duel to shine a light on a player who both ranks well according to our Squawka Score system and isn’t being picked by the vast majority of FPL managers. We’ll then crunch the numbers and pit the chosen differential against a comparable asset who is proving popular — it’s then on you to choose your fighter. 

Let’s take a look at how you can move out of the blocks quickly and steal a ‘March’ on your mini-league rivals in Gameweek 1. This week we’re pitting Solly March (3% ownership) against team-mate Kaoru Mitoma (37%) ahead of their enticing opening day clash against newcomers Luton. Intriguingly, Solly March goes into the new season with a Squawka Score of  81%, with Mitoma slightly behind on 78%. Let’s see how their per 90 stats from last season match up using our Comparison Matrix

FPL Solly March vs Kaoru Mitoma
The best budget picks for Gameweek 1

We all want to load up on premium picks, but how you offset that spend is just as important when you inevitably turn to the bargain bin. Sound like a familiar problem? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve run the numbers from last season through our Squawka super computer and found the budget midfielders who fare best according to the key fantasy football metrics. Their individual Squawka Scores are shown as a percentage.  

The best 4.5 picks for 23/24 FPL

  1. Eliot Anderson, Newcastle (58%)
  2. Alex Baptiste, Baptiste (25%)
  3. Naouirou Ahamada, Crystal Palace (19%)

You can probably tell from those Squawka Scores that there is a scarcity of FPL assets in the 4.5 price bracket. We’ve listed options in case you need a 4.5 player to crowbar in a gem in the top price bracket, but if you’ve got more wiggle room we recommend looking at our 5.0, 5.5 and 6.0 selections below.

The best 5.0 picks for 23/24 FPL

  1. Jacob Murphy, Newcastle (59%)
  2. Harvey Elliott, Liverpool (49%)
  3. Dango Ouattara, Bournemouth (42%)

The best 5.5 picks for 23/24 FPL

  1. Julio Enciso, Brighton (64%)
  2. Leon Bailey, Aston Villa (48%)
  3. Daniel Podence, Wolves (46%)

The best 6.0 picks for 23/24 FPL

  1. Said Benrahma, West Ham (59%)
  2. Alexis Mac Allister, Liverpool (55%)
  3. Christian Eriksen, Man Utd (52%)

FPL 6M picks
The best midfielders based on fixture difficulty

As far as your midfield is concerned, you’re nearly equipped for Gameweek 1. As the final part of our weekly tips offering, we will identify *the* top selection from each of the Premier League clubs with an ‘easy’ fixture in the upcoming gameweek. Disclaimer: We take no responsibility for Pep Roulette. 

The below list has been compiled according to the FPL’s official Fixture Difficulty Rating (FDR), with our Squawka Score determining which player has been picked for each club. 

Team Top pick 22/23 FPL Squawka Score 23/24 FPL Price
Arsenal Martin Odegaard 75% 8.5
Bournemouth  Dango Ouattara* 42% 5.0
Brighton Solly March 69% 6.5
Crystal Palace Eberechi Eze 59% 6.5
Everton Dwight McNeil 46% 5.5
Fulham Andreas Pereira 43% 5.5
Man City Phil Foden 81% 7.5
Man Utd Bruno Fernandes 73% 8.5
West Ham Said Benrahma 59% 6.0