Just five Gameweeks into the new season, Fantasy Premier League managers are already having second thoughts over owning Bruno Fernandes (£11.9m).
The Manchester United midfielder was the top-scoring player in Fantasy last term, totalling 244 points.
Fernandes appeared to have established himself as a must-have once again after starting 2021/22 with his career-high haul of 20 points against Leeds United on the opening weekend.
But the Portuguese has since managed only a single goal in four Gameweeks.
He is now the most-sold player this season, with over 2.13 million transfers out.
Fernandes sits on 33 points, level with his more budget-friendly midfield team-mates Paul Pogba (£7.8m) and Mason Greenwood (£7.7m).
Instead, Mohamed Salah (£12.6m) has strengthened his claim as the go-to premium pick in midfield.
Liverpool’s Egyptian is the top-scoring player in Fantasy, averaging 10 points per match over the first five Gameweeks.
The arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.7m) at Old Trafford has also significantly lessened Fernandes’ appeal.
Ronaldo has scored four goals in three matches in all competitions since returning to the club.
Since making his second debut for Man Utd in Gameweek 4, Ronaldo’s 13 shots, 12 shots in the box and seven shots on target are all league-leading totals.
Over 3.58 million managers have brought him in this term, more than any other player.
#FPL ✅ RISERS/FALLERS ❌— Fantasy Premier League (@OfficialFPL) September 20, 2021
✅ Shane Duffy ➡️ £4.3m
✅ Mohamed Salah ➡️ £12.6
✅ Ruben Dias ➡️ £6.1m
✅ Allan Saint-Maximin £6.7m
✅ Cristiano Ronaldo ➡️ £12.7m
❌ Ben Chilwell ➡️ £5.6
❌ Bruno Fernandes ➡️ £11.9m
❌ Eric Bailly ➡️ £4.9m pic.twitter.com/8gWVoOHd0I
The need for a premium forward looks particularly crucial this season, with Romelu Lukaku’s (£11.6m) return to Chelsea another big factor to consider when planning ahead with transfers.
Chelsea's outstanding schedule from Gameweek 7 suggests Lukaku will be a key captain pick in Fantasy.
Indeed, according to the Fixture Difficulty Ratings (FDR), each of their next five matches from that point on score only two.
Cut-price midfielders such as Conor Gallagher (£5.6m), Raphinha (£6.5m) and Ismaila Sarr (£6.1m) have the form and fixtures to thrive in the coming period.
They can help provide strong value alternatives to Fernandes in Fantasy, while also helping free up funds to invest up front.
Remember, the Gameweek 6 deadline is at 11:00 BST on Saturday 25 September.