With the new season now here, Goal takes a look at the best midfielders available to virtual coaches, including some bargain buys
The 2017-18 Premier League campaign is under way and all the fantasy football managers out there are trying to figure out how to best gather points.
It’s all about getting the biggest possible points haul, so virtual coaches have to pick the players who contribute goals and assists, keep clean sheets and stay out of the referee’s notebook.
You will be happy to hear that Goal Fantasy Football is up and running — and it’s free to play. The mobile app can be downloaded through this link so that you can create and update your squad wherever you go.
The Fantasy Premier League game on the Premier League’s official website is also a popular choice for fantasy managers, but whatever game you use, we’ve taken a look at some of the best fantasy football midfielders, including a few bargains!
BEST FANTASY FOOTBALL MIDFIELDERS
Midfielders who both create and score goals, naturally, are the most valuable when it comes to the world of fantasy football, so playmakers are usually priced somewhat higher than their more defensive-minded counterparts.
So, for example, while N’Golo Kante was the undisputed best individual player in the league last season, he may not necessarily be the best choice when it comes to collecting points.
While creative midfielders are desired, it is also important to take into consideration a midfielder’s disciplinary record, with points deducted for yellow cards and whether they play in a team that is likely to keep clean sheets.
Here is a run-down of the best midfielders to pick in fantasy football.
Eden Hazard (Chelsea – £10.6m)
Much of Chelsea’s attacking play hinges on the work of Eden Hazard, who was involved in just under a quarter of the Blues’ goals as they reclaimed the Premier League title last season. The Belgium international helped his side hit the back of the net 21 times in the league, scoring 16 and creating five.
Last term, Hazard was second only to Alexis Sanchez and Dele Alli in terms of the number of points he accumulated and the 26-year-old is sure to be among the highest scorers this season too. He has overcome an ankle injury and is playing catch-up, but his quality is undoubted.
Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City – £10m)
No player provided more assists in the Premier League last season than Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne and his attacking potency ensured his place in the top five scoring midfielders in fantasy football as a result.
As well as teeing up his team-mates 18 times, De Bruyne found the net on six occasions himself. With new faces such as Bernardo Silva arriving at the Etihad Stadium, it will be interesting to see how City line up this term, but their Belgian playmaker certainly stands on a solid record.
Sadio Mane (Liverpool – £9.3m)
Despite missing a considerable chunk of last season due to the Africa Cup of Nations, Liverpool winger Sadio Mane finished the campaign with an impressive tally of goals and assists. The former Southampton star was the Reds’ talisman in the early part of the year and ended up with an admirable goal-to-game ratio, scoring 13 times in 27 league appearances. He also popped up with five assists.
With the likes of Mohamed Salah joining the ranks at Anfield, Mane will have more assistance and could very well improve upon his showing from his maiden campaign this coming season. However, he is currently laid low with an injury.
Dele Alli (Tottenham – £9.3m)
Of all midfielders in the Premier League, only Alexis Sanchez gathered more fantasy football points than Tottenham’s Dele Alli last season as the England international bagged 18 goals and set up seven more. Remarkably, despite rivalling Sanchez’s points tally, Alli was a whole £2.5 million cheaper than the Chilean at the start of the season, which will surely entice virtual managers.
Christian Eriksen (Tottenham – £9.7m)
While Dele Alli got all the plaudits last season, his midfield partner-in-crime Christian Eriksen was equally as effective for Tottenham. The Denmark international got eight goals and was second only to Kevin de Bruyne in the assist charts, laying on 15 strikes. As such, he was one of the top five scoring midfielders in last season’s fantasy football season, coming just a fraction behind Alli and Eden Hazard.
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool – £9.1m)
Liverpool’s new signing from Roma returns to the Premier League with a point to prove and arrives in England clutching an impressive campaign under his belt, scoring 19 goals in all competitions. The 25-year-old struggled in his two years at Chelsea, but he really made his mark in Italy and last season he scored 15 Serie A goals, chipping in with 11 assists.
He will be expected to take the creative pressure off the likes of Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho, so is sure to be deployed regularly by Jurgen Klopp.
Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool – £9m)
Brazil international Philippe Coutinho scored more fantasy football points than the likes of Mesut Ozil and Sadio Mane last season, but he is still valued less than them in this year’s edition of the game. Coutinho was arguably Liverpool’s main attacking force last term, scoring 13 times, including a number of free-kicks, and assisting seven goals. If he can stay injury-free, the 25-year-old should surely improve upon his point total this year.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Manchester United – £8.3m)
Former Borussia Dortmund playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan showed glimpses of his capabilities in his first season at Old Trafford last year and he has built on that this term as he settles in to Jose Mourinho’s team. The Armenia international has been one of the key providers for the Red Devils and has a habit of scoring the odd goal too.
David Silva (Manchester City – £8.6m)
Spain international David Silva was blighted by injuries last season but he has returned with a bang in 2017-18 and is already one of the highest scoring midfielders this season. His price is considerably cheaper than many of his playmaking counterparts and he has been playing a key role in Pep Guardiola’s new free-scoring team.
BEST BARGAIN MIDFIELDERS
When looking at midfielders, it is a good idea to have a variety of players who are stars for their particular teams and sometimes you can unearth a gem that hasn’t been considered by the majority of fantasy football managers.
We’ve taken a look at some of the midfielders in this season’s Premier League who could be considered bargain buys, if you want to avoid splashing out on the marquee players.
Pascal Gross (Brighton – £5.8m)
Brighton have a tough task on their hands in their first ever season in the Premier League and one man they will be relying on to help secure their status is Pascal Gross. The new signing from Bundesliga side Ingolstadt scores goals and provides assists from play as well as set pieces. Crucially, he is much cheaper than some other options.
Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea – £6.9m)
He started just 13 games for Chelsea last season, but Cesc Fabregas made his worth felt any time he entered the fray from the bench. The former Barcelona star set up 12 goals and scored five himself, even though he had a relatively low amount of minutes on the field. The effectiveness of Fabregas, particularly towards the end of last season, has earned him the right to more minutes on the pitch this term.
Richarlison (Watford – £6.2m)
Watford brought relatively unknown Brazil starlet Richarlison to Vicarage Road this season and he has lit up the ground with a series of impressive displays. The former Fluminense attacker, who is just 20, has shown that he has a keen nose for goal and has been a key reason for the Hornets’ positive early-season form.
Abdoulaye Doucoure (Watford – £5.4m)
French midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure has been one of Watford’s best players in the early stages of the 2017-18 campaign. The 24-year-old has been ever present and has managed to bag himself a few goals. His form has seen his price rise, but he remains a steal at £5.4m.
Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town – £5.6m)
Australia international Aaron Mooy was a key man for Huddersfield as they earned promotion last season and he made his move to the club permanent during the summer. The 27-year-old’s style of play means that he is always popping up in the right place to score goals and he can also pick a pass, meaning he is one of his side’s main playmakers.
BEST OF THE REST
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There is no shortage of top midfielders to choose from in the Premier League and fantasy football bosses can populate their teams with highly rated, but mid-priced performers.
Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling costs £8.2million, while Pep Guardiola’s new signing from Monaco, Bernardo Silva costs less at £7.5m. Manchester United’s Paul Pogba is currently out injured, but costs £8m, while Juan Mata is much cheaper at £7m. Tottenham’s Heung-Min Son commands a £7.9m fee.
Former Barcelona winger Pedro costs £7.9m and Riyad Mahrez is slightly more expensive at £8.4m, while Everton midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, who was one of the best points getters last season, costs £8.1 million. Man City’s Leroy Sane has been picking up points in recent weeks and costs £8.6m, while Man United’s Anthony Martial is valued at £8m.