Wondering who are the best Gameweek 1 budget midfielders for FPL 2021/22? You've come to the right place.
We'll be keeping this list of budget midfielders regularly updated before the Gameweek 1 deadline, so make sure to bookmark this page.
Be sure to also check out our FPL Ultimate Guide and other positions below:
- Best Budget Keepers (4.0 - 5.0m)
- Best Premium Keepers (5.5m+)
- Best Budget Defenders (4.0 - 4.5m)
- Best Mid-Priced Defenders (5.0 - 5.5m)
- Best Premium Defenders (6.0+)
- Best Budget Midfielders (5.0 - 5.5m)
- Best Mid-Priced Midfielders (6.0 - 8.0m)
- Best Premium Midfielders (8.5m+)
- Best Budget Forwards (4.5 - 6.0m)
- Best Mid-Priced Forwards (6.5 - 7.5m)
- Best Premium Forwards (8.0m+)
Fantasy Premier League budget midfielders are a crucial spot in our FPL squads, regardless of what team structure we are playing.
When playing a 3-4-3 formation, your fifth midfielder won’t be in your starting eleven but you still need to ensure you pick a sure starter. You never know when one of your players gets injured and they need to be called upon from the bench.
The Best Budget Midfielders in FPL
Stuart Dallas (£5.5m) – Leeds United
The Leeds United man has been reclassified as a midfielder after a fantastic debut season in the Premier League. He scored eight goals and notched three assists and has become another folklore hero amongst Fantasy Football managers.
The natural reaction is to be put off by his midfielder status this season but he could still be a great option. Scoring 11 attacking returns for a £5.5m midfielder is impressive and if he hits those figures again it’s a bargain price.
His statistics also read well also with 48 Shots, 19 Shots on Target, 19 Shots in the Box and five Big Chances. He also created 26 Chances and three Big Chances. Dallas started and played every minute of all Premier League games.
Marcelo Bielsa can be stubborn and he doesn’t change his team selection very often. I can’t see the Argentine changing Dallas' role so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Northern Irishman has another high scoring season.
In the 18 games he started as a left or right-back, he scored four goals and registered one assist. As a midfielder, he also scored four goals in 20 appearances.
Leeds have great fixtures to start the season playing Everton (H), Burnley (a), Newcastle United (a), West Ham United (H), Watford (H), and Southampton (a) during their first eight games.
Daniel Podence (£5.5m) - Wolverhampton Wanderers
The Portuguese’s season was marred with injuries but he showed great promise when available. In his first 15 starts before his injury, he managed three goals and two assists with 25 Shots, 13 Shots on Target, 18 Shots in the Box and three Big Chances. He also created 13 Chances and two Big Chances.
Podence impressed early on in the season which earned him his place in Wolves' starting 11. With the Portuguese winger due back from injury on the 1st of August and Raul Jimenez (£7.5m) also returning from his horrific head injury, I can see Wolves doing much better this season.
Podence comes in at a good price and if he stays injury-free, he can be of great value. I also like their opening fixtures too. The Leicester City and Manchester United games are tough but they also face Watford (a), Brentford (H), Southampton (a) Newcastle United (H), and Aston Villa (a).
It may be wise to hold off on Podence until Watford in Gameweek 4 where their fixtures pick up and we can also get a feel for how he is bedding back in.
Emile Smith-Rowe (£5.5m) – Arsenal
The 20-year old just had his breakthrough season at Arsenal where he showed he is more than capable to play at this level. It was a slow start for the playmaker last season after his shoulder injury. Smith-Rowe earned his first start in Gameweek 15 versus Chelsea.
In only 18 starts, the Englishman scored two goals and accumulated five assists with 12 Shots, nine Shots in the Box and three Big Chances while also creating 27 Chances and four Big Chances. Judging by his playing time and two goals in his last four league games, he should be a starter for the upcoming season.
Looking around at the other FPL budget midfielders, I can’t see many better options in this price range than the Arsenal midfielder. His playmaking stats are great, he has goal threat and plays alongside talented players such as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10.0m) and Alexandre Lacazette (£8.5m).
The Gunners' opening fixtures are a bit mixed bag though. They have a great Gameweek 1 fixture in Brentford (a) but then play Chelsea (H) and Manchester City (a). From Gameweek 3, they play Norwich City (H), Burnley (a) and Crystal Palace (H) which look really good on paper.
Again it may be wise to wait until the Norwich game in Gameweek 4 for Emile Smith Rowe but he definitely has the potential to be a great FPL asset.
Bryan Mbeumo (£5.5m) – Brentford
The French winger had a solid year with Brentford in the Championship last season, picking up eight goals and 10 assists. He had the most attacking contributions for them after Ivan Toney (£6.5m) who scored a monstrous 31 goals and 10 assists.
The Bees scored the most goals in the Championship (79), with 445 Shots (3rd), and an xG of 54.9 (2nd). They seem a really good attacking side and their assets have the potential to offer great value.
Bryan Mbeumo has some impressive career statistics too with 36 goals and 25 assists in 142 games. He scored 15 goals and eight assists in the 2019/20 season with Brentford when they narrowly missed out on promotion.
From all the budget midfielders, the Brentford winger is probably the one that excites me the most. He definitely has the best attacking output but history has shown how hard it can be to adapt and perform in your first Premier League season.
Brentford’s fixtures for the first eight don’t bode well for them. They play Arsenal (H), Aston Villa (a), Brighton & Hove Albion (H), Wolves (a), Liverpool (H), West Ham United (a) and Chelsea (H). Crystal Palace in Gameweek 2 looks the only favourable one according to our Fixture Ticker.
It may be a risk starting with him but their fixtures pick up massively from Gameweek 9 and that will give us plenty of time to assess whether Mbeumo is a worthy option.
If you fancy Brentford to score goals from the get-go then he is still one of the best options in his price range.
Todd Cantwell (£5.5m) – Norwich City
The Norwich midfielder is another familiar name for experienced FPL managers. Cantwell had a decent season with the Canaries in the 2019-20 season where he managed six goals and six assists in 30 starts.
His underlying numbers were also good as he registered 42 Shots, 16 Shots on Target, 31 Shots in the Box, and seven Big Chances. He also created 35 Chances and one Big Chance.
Last season he helped his team to Championship glory with six goals and seven assists in 30 starts. He suffered two separate injuries during the start of the season which kept him out for 10 games.
Cantwell has produced consistent attacking returns over the last two seasons and with a year of Premier League experience under his belt, I don’t see why he can't score similarly or more.
He comes in at a fair price but just like fellow promotion rivals Brentford, Norwich have a tough start to the season.
They face Liverpool (H), Manchester City (a), Leicester City (H), and Arsenal (a) in their first four games. Cantwell is a good option but maybe one to keep an eye on for when Norwich's fixtures pick up.
It is worth noting that Norwich had a similarly tough start to 2019/20 season where they played Liverpool (a), Newcastle (H), Chelsea (H) and Manchester City (H) during their first five games.
The Canaries scored nine goals in that run, beating Newcastle and Manchester City, with Cantwell picking up two goals and two assists.
The Best Budget FPL Midfielders (£5.0m)
Brentford’s Vitaly Janelt (£5.0m) and Mathias Jensen (£5.0m) are also options in this price bracket. The former scored three goals and three assists in 36 starts and played 3,076 minutes while Jensen scored two goals with seven assists in 35 starts, racking up 3,176 minutes. Both of them played the most minutes from the Brentford midfield and look to be assured starters.
Tom Cleverly (£5.0m) is another who deserves a mention. The Watford midfielder notched four goals and two assists in 32 starts. He also has plenty of Premier League experience. Although a bit-part player for most of his 10 years in the top flight, he scored 15 goals and 16 assists during that period.
Kenny Mclean (£5.0m) of Norwich scored two goals and created six assists last season with 30 starts. He is also on some set-pieces and is among the best options in the £5.0m bracket, which doesn’t look too appealing.
Hub Power Rankings
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