We at The Hype Train will be providing a regular series of Power Rankings updates throughout the season for each position in the traditional Fantasy Premier League game for our partners at the Fantasy Football Hub. We will be picking our top five picks for Goalkeepers, Defenders, Midfielders, and Forwards, providing a graphical aid for each chosen player, and the reasoning behind our choices. All aboard.
How do our Power Rankings work?
We use player form, fixtures, potential, and our own gut instinct, to form our own opinionated view on who we believe is the best asset for each position in the FPL. Each position (Goalkeeper, Defender, Midfielder, and Forward) has differing criteria which can help generate FPL points on a weekly basis, whether for short term gain or for the long haul.
For the purpose of this article we will list our top 5 and follow up with a player on the rise in that position to also consider.
All player prices and stats are reflective of the official Fantasy Premier League game at the time of publishing.
Midfielder Power Rankings: Gameweek 4
The balance between budgeting your midfield and attack in the FPL is one of the most important formulas for a winning combination in the Fantasy Premier League. With midfielders you are faced with more options with set-piece takers and goalscorers, and also have a wider range of player options with both wingers, central midfielders, and number ten’s vying for FPL contention.
We profile what we believe to be the best five midfielders, and an honorary 6th place, in the FPL game right now after Gameweek 3 and heading into Gameweek 4.
1) Henrikh Mkhitaryan (MUN)
2) Paul Pogba (MUN)
It’s a Manchester United one-two at the top of our Power Rankings leading into Gameweek four, with both Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba sitting as the top midfielder assets in the FPL with 26 points each. With Man United scoring a mightily impressive ten goals from the opening three games, we have no other option that to have the Red Devils dominate the top two spots this week.
With it being wildcard season, we can almost guarantee that most squads that have hit the activate button will be looking at getting in one of United’s high-scoring midfielders, if not both. Throw into the mix an explosive set of Liverpool midfielders (who feature later in this article), you’ll most likely be coming up against a midfield that has Mkhitaryan or Pogba in your mini-leagues for Gameweek 4.
Operating in different positions, Paul Pogba has managed to get the majority of his FPL points after the 70 minute mark in matches, as Pogba has been allowed to move into the attacking third with freedom due to substitutions that shore up central midfield, usually with the inclusion of Fellaini. Both of Pogba’s goals have been from open-play, though the midfielder failed to return for the first time this season against Leicester, ending Gameweek 3 with just the 3 points.
Mkhitaryan, who we believe to be the more sustainable option of the two, who pips Pogba to the post as the number one midfield pick ahead of Gameweek 4, has been operating behind Romelu Lukaku in a central position. He is the player who is making the killer key passes in the final third, and that has been rewarded with five assists from the opening three matches, managing a return in every game so far. Seeing his price increase by £0.3 million so far, with his price rises showing no signs of slowing, FPL players that own the Armenian interntational must be extremely happy with the rapid start made by the midfielder who finally looks like he’s blossomed into the player that many saw week-in-week-out whilst playing for Dortmund.
3) Mohamed Salah (LIV)
4) Sadio Mane (LIV)
Similarly, with Man United midfielders being joined at the hip in our Power Rankings, this also happens to be the case with Liverpool midfielders, Sadio Mane, and Mohamed Salah, who enter at numbers three and four. We’ve been given no choice but to grace these positions with players from just two clubs, and it is due to their form being so good for their respective clubs that they’ve twisted our arms and given us no other option that to include both. That is certainly how good Mo Salah and Sadio Mane have been at Liverpool in their opening three games.
Both occupy the same role for Liverpool, as pacey wingers on either side of Roberto Firmino. Both Mane and Salah connect play with midfielders and full-backs, and also make darting runs into the box to produce goal-scoring chances. The only blip in the pairs FPL record this season was Salah’s substitute appearance against Crystal Palace, which devastated the 27.3% ownership which Salah commands. Appearing from the bench against Crystal Palace during Gameweek 2 though did change the game. Salah created more space in the channels, which Mane eventually exploited, so one is always helping the other.
Of the pair, Mane is proving the most consistent, with a goal in each of the opening games, and looks a vital piece of the jigsaw as the heart-beat of the club right now, but when starting, Salah is offering more explosive returns with a goal and assist in two of the three games in which the Egyptian has appeared this season. Salah’s third on the Power Rankings due to his explosive form with two assists to go alongside the two goals, as well as edging Mane on the overall FPL charts by a single point. Bonus points aren’t really weighed into the equation with either man as they’re unlikely to acquire many throughout the season. Firmino will eat up all the BPS as long as he is a forward, whilst Liverpool’s midfielders and defenders regularly out-score the wingers on key-stats that determine the all-important bonus points.
Likewise, with Man United assets Pogba and Mkhitaryan being highly sought-after wildcard targets, the same applies for both Mane and Salah. FPL midfielders will weigh up if they want to go with one midfielder each, and then pair them with Firmino and Lukaku, or double down in midfield and use alternative forwards. In the case of Liverpool, we can’t look past the two midfielders as thee go-to options, as most competitive FPL players already own Lukaku, and a Man United defender, which limits them to one midfielder choice from the Manchester club. This opens the door if you’ve the funds, to go all-out for the inclusion of the blistering African wingers who are once again making Liverpool a force in the FPL.
5) Dele Alli (TOT)
Coming in at fifth in the midfield Power Rankings, and unable to break the dominance of Man United and Liverpool assets, is a Spurs player who has been chipping in with the goals in the absence of Harry Kane’s shooting boots in August. We have opted for Dele Alli ahead of Christian Eriksen due to Alli’s goal-scoring capabilities, despite the Danish midfielder yielding three assists from the first two games of the season.
With much frustration over Harry Kane and his curse of scoring a Premier League goal in August, Dele Alli proved in August that his capabilities to perform at any stage (with goals at St James’s Park at Wembley), which has been a great credit and advantage to the 34.9% of FPL players who opted for Dele Alli. In pre-season there was a lot of talk that Alli would be utilised ahead of Harry Kane due to concerns over his ability to score in August, and ultimately that has proven true to FPL players who saw Alli as the alternative goalscorer in the Spurs side.
With Spurs’s unable to improve their forward line, despite the arrival of Fernando Llorente from Swansea, the English international still occupies the same position as last season – a left-midfielder who drifts into the number ten position behind Harry Kane. Alli has a natural eye for goal, and might be the main source of goals at Wembley this season with Spurs.
October and November will be challenging for Spurs, as they face the prospect of playing both Dortmund and Real Madrid home and away in the Champions League, but we doubt that a super-fit outfit like Spurs will change their line-up and their main goal outlets, for league games, as they chase Champions League football for another season next year.
6) Aaron Mooy (HUD)
With the top four picks being dominated by two clubs, Man United and Liverpool, we have seen it fit for this week to include an honorary sixth spot in our midfield rankings. With Mkhitaryan, Pogba, Salah, Mane, and Alli, all commanding a premium midfield price tag, Huddersfield Aaron Mooy sneaks into the Power Rankings offering supreme value in a Huddersfield squad that is brimming with great early season FPL points potential players. Mooy, who assisted Steve Mounie at Crystal Palace on the opening day, then scored against Newcastle during Gameweek 2, is the standout midfield option from the Terriers.
Mooy commands Huddersfield’s set-pieces, and if/when the Terrier’s receive a penalty kick, there is a high change that Mooy will be the man to take the responsibility, though Elias Kuchunga might also be in contention.
Huddersfield’s fixtures maintain their attractiveness for the next three fixtures, travelling to West Ham and Burnley, with a home tie against Leicester sandwiched in-between, before Mooy’s side play Spurs, Man United, and Liverpool, before Gameweek 10 concludes. The FPL is about following form rather than fixtures, and right now Mooy is in great form, and is arguably the best value option that started the season below £6.0m as a midfielder.
One to consider: Anthony Knockaert (BHA)
Brighton are yet to get off the mark in the Premier League with a goal this season. With their opposition claiming clean sheets, even when Watford were reduced to ten men during Gameweek 3’s goalless encounter, many FPL players believe that it will be a bleak season for Brighton, with the south coast club living up to billing as relegation favourites.
With tough fixtures against Man City and Leicester gone, as well as a challenging away tie at Marco Silva’s Watford, Brighton’s fixture list has potential to blossom in the next five to ten games. The Seagulls are a ticking time-bomb to score their first goal, and when that moment happens we believe it will involve French winger, Anthony Knockaert.
Paired with José Izquierdo on the flanks, Brighton might have an extra sharpness in their attack when they entertain West Brom and onward, especially as Knockaert should have gained match fitness with the international break in full swing, and should be confident having completed 80 minutes against Watford, and that is despite being the victim of a horror challenge by Watford defender Miguel Britos.
Knockaert is a skilful winger nicknamed the ‘Little Magician’, who loves to dart into the box and cut into his favoured left-foot. Should the Frenchman be on-form, his potential magic will equate into points in the FPL.
Brighton’s Next 5 Fixtures:
GW4: West Brom (H)
GW5: Bournemouth (A)
GW6: Newcastle (H)
GW7: Arsenal (A)
GW8: Everton (H)