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FPL in demand: Price rise not putting managers off Fernandes

The Scout 27 Jun 2021
Bruno Fernandes

The Scout looks at the most-popular midfielders Fantasy managers are picking for 2021/22

The Scout assesses the transfer trends of Fantasy Premier League managers since the game launched this week.

Managers rush back to Fernandes

A rise in price to £12.0m has not dented the appeal of last season’s top-scoring player.

Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes costs £1.5m more than his opening value of £10.5m from 2020/21, when he totalled 244 points thanks to 18 goals and 14 assists.

Yet he is the second most-popular player in opening squads, held by 42 per cent of managers.

Create your 2021/22 squad now

Man Utd’s early schedule makes Fernandes an appealing pick as a big-hitting captain.

The Red Devils face only one of last season's top eight sides in their first seven matches, visiting West Ham United in Gameweek 5.

FPL's most-owned midfielders
Player  Club Cost Ownership %
Mohamed Salah LIV £12.5m 52.0
Bruno Fernandes MUN £12.0m 42.2
Jack Grealish AVL £8.0m 35.3
Raphinha LEE £6.5m 28.4
Mason Mount CHE £7.5m 20.8
Yves Bissouma BHA £4.5m 19.3
Kevin De Bruyne MCI £12.0m 18.5
Stuart Dallas LEE £5.5m 17.9
Phil Foden MCI £8.0m 14.1
Kai Havertz CHE £8.5m 13.3

Liverpool’s opening run of opponents has also made a big impact in shaping managers’ squads.

Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) is the most-popular player in the game, boasting 52 per cent ownership.

He faces all three promoted teams over the opening eight Gameweeks, while also playing BurnleyLeeds United and Crystal Palace.

Aston Villa’s short-term schedule has also made Jack Grealish (£8.0m) a top target.

He faces promoted pair Watford and Brentford, as well as Newcastle United, in the first three Gameweeks.

Villa's summer signing Emiliano Buendia (£6.5m) is a cheaper alternative after producing 15 goals and 16 assists for Championship winners Norwich City last season.

Grealish's 2020/21 highlights

Leeds are among three sides to have two of the 10 most-owned midfielders.

Last season’s top-scoring defender Stuart Dallas (£5.5m) is proving to be a popular pick despite being reclassified as a midfielder in Fantasy.

See: 2021/22 FPL position changes

FPL managers appear unconcerned by the fact that 48 of Dallas’s 171 points last season came from his 12 clean sheets.

At just £1.0m more, Leeds winger Raphinha (£6.5m) offers far greater potential for attacking returns.

Raphinha's 2020/21 highlights

For Chelsea, Mason Mount (£7.5m) racked up 47 shots and 39 key passes last season, both team-leading totals after Thomas Tuchel took charge in Gameweek 20.

But Kai Havertz (£8.5m) may prove to be worth the extra outlay if he continues as a “false nine” in 2021/22.

The rush to acquire Fernandes and Salah means Kevin De Bruyne (£12.0m) could be a differential big-hitter, with the Manchester City playmaker being owned by only 18.5 per cent of managers.

De Bruyne's 2020/21 highlights

His team-mate Phil Foden (£8.0m) is being backed by 14 per cent, while the champions' top-scoring midfielder last term, Ilkay Gundogan (£7.5m), finds himself in under five per cent of squads. 

Although he is significantly cheaper than De Bruyne, Foden was named in Man City's starting XI on only 17 occasions last season and remains a rotation concern heading into the new campaign.

How to monitor popularity of players

You can monitor the most-popular FPL players yourself in the FPL statistics section. Just sort the players by "Team selected by %" (TSB). 

Also in this series

Part 1: Most popular players
Part 2: Sanchez the leading budget 'keeper
Part 3: Robertson deserving of more interest
Part 5: Iheanacho the go-to Leicester striker

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