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 6
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 5 and heading into Gameweek 6.
1) Henrikh Mkhitaryan (MUN)
Who was Number #1 previously?: Paul Pogba (MUN), who drops out of the Power 5 TBA
The first round of Champions League games witnessed the end of a fantastic opening of the season for Paul Pogba. Downed by the ‘I’ word, the central midfielder’s injury headache caused FPL players to shift focus on a replacement. Fortunately, tailormade for the job is another fellow Man United midfielder, and one in Henrikh Mkhitaryan who jumps to the top of the midfielder’s Power Rankings for the first time.
Mkhitaryan started the season with a brace of assists against both West Ham and Swansea, and then provided a fifth assist from the opening three Premier League matches against Leicester during Gameweek 3. A blank against Stoke in a 2-2 away draw was just a minor blip however, with the Armenian international adding to his five assists with his first Premier League goal of the season against Everton during Gameweek 5.
This rise of form this season has also added significant financial value to Mkhitaryan in the FPL, as he is the first player to see his price increase by 0.5 million. He Started at 8.0m, and is now priced 8.5m.
Last week we claimed that if you were playing your wildcard, Pogba would be the safe hand to play, and Mkhitaryan the gamble. Gambles are the way to go apparently, especially since Mkhitaryan’s 37 points, which is joint second with Romelu Lukaku in the overall player standings, has not been at all diminished since Mkhitaryan hasn’t completed ninety minutes in the Premier League this season.
GW1 (WHU, H): 87 mins
GW2 (SWA, a): 84 mins
GW3 (LEI, H): 73 mins
GW4 (STK, a): 83 mins
GW5 (EVE, H): 87 mins
For the 31.7% of players who own Mkhitaryan, they’re expecting more of the same with an away trip to Southampton (GW6) on the horizon, before welcoming Roy Hodgson’s lowly Crystal Palace (GW7). We could still be in for a few more weeks of ‘Mkhi Magic’ for FPL players, so we don’t expect to see the midfielder cast from the Power Rankings anytime soon.
2) Mohamed Salah (MUN)
Who was Number #2 previously?: Henrikh Mkhitaryan (MUN), who rises in the Power 5 TBA
Climbing two places in the Power Rankings from fourth to second is Liverpool midfielder Mohamed Salah, whose fortunes for FPL players has been in stark contrast to Liverpool’s form. If last week was an occasion for Liverpool fans to be sick to their stomachs following a 5-0 defeat at Man City during Gameweek 4, this past week, might have been more damaging to the club.
Liverpool have not recovered from the loss to City, as they followed that up with a 2-2 home draw against Sevilla in the Champions League, before labouring to a 1-1 home draw verses Burnley in the Premier League, thanks to a goal from Mohamed Salah, before being knocked out of the League Cup 2-0 by Leicester at the King Power. That means it is four wins on the bounce without a victory for Jurgen Klopp’s men, with the Reds once again travelling to Leicester, but this time in league action.
Mohamed Salah, who did not feature in the defeat at Leicester, has continued his bipolar start to the season, so despite rising in the Power Rankings due to a goal against Burnley, the form book dictates that the Egyptian international is due for a one-point Gameweek 6.
Salah’s FPL Season
GW1 (WAT 3-3 LIV): 11 points (85 mins played, 1 goal, 1 assist, 1 bonus)
GW2 (LIV 1-0 CRY): 1 point (29 mins played as a substitute)
GW3 (LIV 4-0 ARS): 11 points (90 minutes played, 1 goal, 1 assist)
GW4 (MCI 5-0 LIV): 1 point (45 mins played, subbed at half-time)
GW5 (LIV 1-1 BUR): 10 points (90 mins played, 1 goal, 3 bonus)
Salah’s three goals and two assists this season see him rest in fifth position in the overall FPL player standings with 34 points. The winger has also since his ownership spike due to Sadio Mane’s red card, with 27% ownership before the Man City game, snowballing into a healthier 33.7% ownership, which makes Salah the 3rd most selected player this season as of right now (behind Lukaku and de Gea).
Liverpool have lost their two previous Premier League encounters with Leicester away from home, with Jamie Vardy scoring in both matches, so we’re unsure how Liverpool will respond now having lost three consecutive matches at the ground in all competitions, which must be a slight worry for Salah’s faithful owners. With Liverpool, despite the bulging attacking talent in their squad, history has a way of repeating itself, much to the annoyance of its many millions of fans.
3) David Silva (MCI)
Who was Number #3 previously?: Christian Eriksen (TOT), who drops down in the Power 5 TBA
Well, this is a surprise. Fantasy Premier League pundits across planet earth were all echoing the same thing before the season; Kevin de Bruyne would be the best FPL player this season. In our pre-season Forecast KDB was the overwhelming favourite to be ‘the man’ at Man City this season, with six goals and twenty-one assists last season proving too much to sway FPL pundits across the web. That’s why the inclusion of David Silva as the first Man City midfielder in the Power Rankings is a bit of a surprise, given that KDB was so widely remarked before the first ball was kicked.
What’s not a surprise is the talents of the Spanish international. Once forming a deadly duo with Sergio Aguero for FPL players in years past, Silva has opened his account this season with four assists in the opening five Premier League matches. Silva’s also been awarded two bonus points in the FPL in alternating Gameweek’s (1, 3, and 5), with the midfield playmaker absorbing much of the game’s BPS system due to his tackling, pass succession rate, and key passes, which is course aided by the reality that Man City have boasted the most potent attack over the last three to four years in the English game.
David Silva started the season with 167,664 players banking on the £8.0 midfielder, and as of Gameweek 5 the player was selected by 593,479, a figure which is more than three times his original ownership, and it is a figure that continues to grow. Silva’s now priced at £8.3 million, and you guessed it, the price will continue to rise as long as players back the idea that Man City will continue to score a truck load of goals in each game.
With Man City boasting Crystal Palace (GW6) at home, as well as Stoke (GW8) and Burnley (GW9) visiting the Etihad in three of the next four matches, there is real potential that Silva’s cut-price value (compared to KDB) might tempt more than the 16.1% that currently back Silva to deliver points on a weekly basis.
4) Christian Eriksen (TOT)
Who was Number #4 previously?: Mohamed Salah (LIV), who rises in the Power 5 TBA
The pre-season tales of Spurs being a rollercoaster ride of emotion for Fantasy players has been proven true, at least to some degree. More now than ever, playing at Wembley for the season, a young Spurs squad with so much talent is having the same question asked, and for us FPL players it is aimed at the likes of Davies, Eriksen, Alli, and Kane. The will they, won’t they of performing for players is like throwing a dart, blindfolded. You may get treble twenties, or throw the dart into a family member’s leg whilst they bleed and scream in agony.
After an impressive Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund at Wembley, the stage was set for a big result ahead of Gameweek 5. As a result, in a 0-0 home draw against Swansea, the screams of the millions were heard loud and clear. Eriksen and Alli were favoured midfield picks, whilst Harry Kane was the man to back with the armband, whilst Ben Davies was the most transferred in player before Gameweek 5, a game which saw the Welsh international benched.
To Swansea’s immense credit, they defended heroically against an attacking Spurs outfit, and only went close with Harry Kane hitting the bar in the second half. In our eyes more was learnt about Swansea’s defensive resilience and FPL potential, than the efforts of Spurs. We speak vaguely about one person, i.e. the likes of Eriksen or Kane, because the Spurs problem is universally shared amongst their players.
Spurs have failed to win any of their three league games at home this season, picking up draws against pre-season relegation favourites Burnley and Swansea, and losing to Chelsea due to a brace from Marcos Alonso.
Spurs’s Fixture List
GW6: West Ham (a)
Champions League: Apoel Nicosia (a)
GW7: Huddersfield (a)
GW8: Bournemouth (H)
Champions League: Real Madrid (a)
GW9: Liverpool (H)
League Cup (Last 16): West Ham (H)
GW10: Man United (a)
Champions League: Real Madrid (h)
Many corners of the FPL community believe fourth spot in the Power Rankings, Christian Eriksen, is fully justifying his tag of inconsistency after five games, despite producing a respectable three assists and a goal, with five bonus points so far. Expectations, when priced at £9.7 million, can take their toll on FPL players if you’ve blanked in two of your last three games, but overall there isn’t any reason to panic with Eriksen’s included, despite a fixture list in late October and November that look potentially troublesome for FPL players.
The Dane still has fixtures on his side, with trips to West Ham (GW6) and Huddersfield (GW7) next, before hosting a Bournemouth side in Gameweek 7, a side who have just laboured to their first victory of the season.
5) Matt Ritchie (NEW)
Who was Number #5 previously?: Abdoulaye Doucoure (WAT), who drops out of the Power 5 TBA
Propping up the midfielders Power 5 was a tussle between two midfielders who are on a fine run of form for their respective teams. Brighton’s Pascal Gross, who was our one to watch last week, added to his two goals and assists during Gameweek 4, with an assist and two bonus points away at Bournemouth for Gameweek 5. Alternatively, the option we have ultimately decided on, has been Matt Ritchie’s start of the season for Newcastle.
Despite accumulating three yellow cards, Ritchie has notched four assists in the last three games, and claimed all three bonus points during Gameweek 5’s 2-1 victory over Stoke for a brace of assists. This means that only Henrikh Mkhitartan has more assists than Ritchie, who has managed 22 of his 24 FPL points in the last three matches.
A good run of form has also seen Ritchie regain his £6.0 million price tag, having had his price decrease to £5.9 million earlier in the season after consecutive one-point Gameweek’s.
The decision between Gross and Ritchie is down to who we’d rather put in our teams right this very second. We believe that Ritchie offers a lot more in terms of FPL potential, commanding all of Newcastle’s set-pieces, and has a superior run of fixtures which could see Newcastle maintain a run of three consecutive victories.
Newcastle’s Next 5 Fixtures:
GW6: Brighton (A)
GW7: Liverpool (H)
GW8: Southampton (A)
GW9: Crystal Palace (H)
GW10: Burnley (A)
Before the season started this was the outcome that most FPL players had hoped for with Ritchie. An integral part of Rafa Benitez’s side on the right of midfield, the Scottish international was Newcastle’s brightest light for Fantasy points up the pitch, and we’re glad that the budget option in midfield is shining brightly.
One to consider: Robbie Brady (BUR)
Burnley have started the season very well, gaining away results at Chelsea, Spurs, and Liverpool, as well as beating Crystal Palace at home in what was a quintessential Burnley home performance, blocking everything, and having a bit of luck to ride out the game. In the mix for the Claret’s right now is Robbie Brady, with the midfielder providing assists and bonus points in encounters with Spurs and Liverpool in the last three matches.
The prospect of playing Huddersfield (H), Everton (A), and West Ham (H), in the next three games is a potentially enticing move, especially as on current form Burnley will go into the fixture against Everton looking set to gain a fourth away result at a top seven club from last season. Add in two winnable home games, and you’ve got the potential for a good differential in one of Burnley’s set-piece takers.
Burnley’s Fixture List:
GW6: Huddersfield (H)
GW7: Everton (A)
GW8: West Ham (H)
GW9: Man City (A)
GW10: Newcastle (H)