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FPL positions: Midfielders merit more attention

The Scout 5 Jun 2021
James Ward-Prowse, Southampton

The Scout on why a five-man midfield could prove profitable next season

With 2020/21 Fantasy Premier League now over, The Scout reviews each position to highlight lessons from the season and players to consider next term.

Midfielders

The success of midfielders in Fantasy this season strengthens the case for a 3-5-2 formation next term.

Three of the four top-scoring players were listed as midfielders, those being Bruno Fernandes, Mohamed Salah and Son Heung-min. 

Manchester United’s Fernandes and Tottenham Hotspur’s Son also proved the most explosive players in 2020/21, returning 12 and 11 double-figure hauls respectively.

Best-scoring positions in 2020/21
Points 150+ 140+ 130+
GKP 3 8 11
DEF 4 6 10
MID 10 15 24
FWD 5 6 10
Total players 22 35 55

Further analysis shows that 10 of the 21 top-scoring players – or over 48 per cent – were midfielders.

Indeed, 25 of the 55 players who produced 130 points or more this season - more than 45 per cent - were midfielders.
        
Their potential is boosted by the scoring system in Fantasy.

Midfielders earn five points for scoring a goal, compared with four points for forwards. They are also awarded a point for every clean sheet their side keeps.

Cut-price picks provide value

Although the premium-priced midfielders dominated the top spots, a number of budget options also enjoyed big seasons.

Leeds United’s Jack Harrison, Ilkay Gundogan of Manchester City, Southampton playmaker James Ward-Prowse and Matheus Pereira of West Bromwich Albion all ranked among the top 10 scorers in the position.

Yet all four were priced at no more than £6.0m at the start of the campaign.

The appeal of opting for a five-man midfield is further strengthened when assessing the performances of the top-performing forwards.

Only six forwards produced 140 points or more, compared with 15 midfielders. Indeed, as many as eight goalkeepers hit that total in 2020/21.

When that factor is combined with the dominance of midfielders, it may be that more managers move away from 3-4-3 set-ups and turn to a 3-5-2 next season. 

Also in this series

Part 1: FPL positions: Martinez shows the many routes to points
Part 2: FPL positions: Promoted goalkeepers among best for value
Part 3: FPL positions: Full-backs dominant in defence
Part 4: FPL positions: Tuchel’s Chelsea the best defence
Part 6: FPL positions: Lingard shows promise with league's top form
Part 7: FPL positions: Rely on Kane against lower-ranked sides
Part 8: FPL positions: Iheanacho and Watkins can push on

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