Top 5 midfielders to pick in Fantasy Premier League for 2015/16
Which midfielders will get you points for goals and assists, especially in the first few weeks of the season
With less than a week to go for the new season, Fantasy Premier League managers will be busy assembling their squads and balancing between budget options and big name players ahead of the big Premier League kick-off on Saturday, 8 August.
Everyone loves a bit of Fantasy Premier League, but it is not always easy to get your selections right, which is why over the next few days we will bring you the top five players to pick from each position, which will help you to beat your friends in private and public leagues. Having analysed the top five goalkeepers and the top five defenders in our first two articles, we now focus our attentions further up the park and have a look at the midfielders.
Without any doubt, midfield is the most important position in Fantasy Premier League. Not only are the top-priced players likely to return similar points to their expensive forwards, but a few of the lower mid-price budget players have a history of providing us with great value for money. Therefore, getting the engine room of your team is crucial and whether you decide to start three, four or five midfielders, it is important to get your balance right.
Your selections should be based on the goal and assist threat that each midfielder possesses, with an eye for a bargain, instead of someone who is just going sit in front of the back four. Assists are good, but goals are better! You want the man who is going to be running at defences, creating chances for his strikers or cutting in off his wing to fire one into the top corner. And that is why, the attacking midfielders and the wingers are some of the most valuable players in Fantasy Premier League.
Before we get into the list, it is worth nothing a few changes to the Bonus Point System (BPS) allocation which will affect the midfielders this term. The decrease to the BPS for pass completion will hit a number of midfielders playing their trade for the teams that dominate possession, especially the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Santi Cazorla, Eden Hazard and David Silva, who were amongst the top six midfielders for completed passes last season.
However, the improved BPS changes for successful tackles will certainly benefit the hard tackling midfielders, the likes of Nemanja Matic, Morgan Schneiderlin and Lucas Leiva. Here, we have a look at the top five midfielders to pick this season.
5) Yohan Cabaye – Crystal Palace
In a real statement of intent ahead of the new season, Crystal Palace completed the surprise signing of Yohan Cabaye for a club record fee from Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain. The Frenchman was the best player at Newcastle United under Alan Pardew, producing 17 goals and 21 assists during his three years at St. James’ Park.
Now back in the Premier League and reunited with his former manager, the 29-year-old could well become one of the most lethal midfielders in England again. Priced at an unbelievably cheap £6.5m for a player of his class, he should find his way into many Fantasy Premier League squads from the start, and, if he displays the form the fans know he’s capable of, will stay there for the majority of the season.
Palace have a tough start to the season, but games at Selhurst Park and against the likes of Norwich, Tottenham and Watford away from home in the opening seven game weeks could be scoring ones and the set piece specialist could prove a shrewd investment.
4) Memphis Depay – Manchester United
It is never easy to judge how well a new arrival will settle in the Premier League, but the fact that nearly a quarter of FPL managers have selected the Netherlands international in their team suggests he will be well-suited to the English top flight and they expect him to hit the ground running from day one.
Despite finishing fourth last season, Manchester United struggled in the final third and netted just 62 times. Depay’s arrival should bolster the Red Devils’ attack having finished as the league’s top scorer with 22 goals that fired PSV Eindhoven to the Eredivisie title, and has already opened his account for United in pre-season.
It looks like he will be playing on the left of the front three in a 4-3-3 or in the ‘hole’ behind Wayne Rooney in a 4-2-3-1, which means he will get a lot of chances to score and set up his team-mates. After an impressive pre-season in the United States, Depay will feel confident of performing to his potential against Tottenham, Aston Villa, Newcastle, Swansea and then Liverpool, in the opening five game weeks.