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Fantasy Premier League Rankings: Stacked Midfields

Andrew M. Laird

Andrew M. Laird, the 2017 FSWA Soccer Writer of the Year, is RotoWire's Senior Soccer Editor and a fantasy football contributor. He is also a two-time finalist for the FSWA's Football Writer of the Year Award.

The midfield group in this year's official Premier League fantasy game is much deeper than the forwards in terms of higher-end quality, but there are a plethora of issues when deciding which players to ultimately put on your fantasy team.

Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez was the highest scoring player last season, amassing 264 fantasy points, a 39-point gap over second-place Dele Alli. Alexis spent the first half of the season lining up as a center-forward for the Gunners, but he was moved out to the wing in 2017, allowing the position masters to keep him as a midfielder this season. His 12.0 salary is a full 1.5 higher than Eden Hazard, the next-highest priced player and third-highest scoring midfielder (he finished one point behind Dele).

As long as he stays at Arsenal, there's little reason to think that Alexis' fantasy value will significantly drop off, especially as opposing defenses now also have to worry about new striker Alexandre Lacazette.

Dele's incredible fantasy season came from an excellent 18 goals and 12 assists, his second consecutive season hitting double digits in each category. That many goals from a midfielder is fairly rare, and duplicating it this year may be tough. Teammate Christian Eriksen was also a top-five midfielder thanks to 20 fantasy assists and eight goals. Both players figure to be highly owned again this season.

The Liverpool midfield may cause the biggest headaches, as Philippe Coutinho (eighth-most fantasy points last season despite playing just 2,243 Premier League minutes), Sadio Mane (11th-most points but in only 2,240 minutes) and Mohamed Salah (15 goals and 11 assists in 2,485 minutes for Roma) make up a formidable attack along with now-forward Roberto Firmino. Complicating matters, Adam Lallana (16th-most points in 2,346 minutes) is still around and likely to poach a few starts here and there as Liverpool participate in the Champions League this season. And let's not forget holding midfielders like Georginio Wijnaldum, Emre Can and Jordan Henderson, all of whom are capable of scoring goals themselves. Coutinho figures to be the highest owned thanks to his partial role on set pieces (defender James Milner is likely to be on penalties as long as he starts ahead of Andrew Robertson), making the others very strong differential plays.

Manchester City pose similar problems, as Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva all compete for playing time, and you know someone will lose a head-to-head matchup to a Yaya Toure brace at some point.

Like the forwards rankings, the midfield list is still a work in progress, but here's how I see them today: