Fantasy Premier League Tips: Out of Position Players

The biggest cheat code players in FPL are those who play out of position: defenders who play midfield and midfielders who play forward.

It’s rare to find players truly out of position, but those whose positions are misallocated are lost in fantasy folklore. A young Gareth Bale and a bargain from John Lundstram come to mind.

However, “defenders” who play full-back and “midfielders” who play as attacking wingers also provide a lot of utility.

defenders

Two players have been reclassified this season from midfielders to defenders: Leeds United’s Stuart Dallas (£5.0m) and of Brentford Sergi Canós (£5.0m). This means that they will be able to get clean sheet points, but may be more attacking than their position suggests.

There are no obvious players who have been listed as defenders but who generally play in midfield. However, we know from last season how fruitful full-backs can be in the FPL, particularly those from top clubs that generate a lot of clean sheets.

in Chelsea, Reece James (£6.0m) Y Ben Chilwell (£6.0m) they avoided significant price increases from last season, despite being two of the most offensive defenders in the game.

James equalized Liverpool Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) Y Andrew Robertson (£7.0m) for goal appearances, with 14, despite seeing less than 2,000 minutes of action throughout the season. If he sees more minutes this season in Tuchel’s 3-4-3 system, he has the ability to be the highest scoring defender in the game.

We need to see how Chelsea’s new defensive recruits, including Kalidou Koulibaly (£5.5m)Settle in to gauge clean sheet potential: Antonio Rudiger was a huge loss for Thomas Tuchel in the transfer window, but Chilwell could be a gem this season. The left back, who tore his ACL in November, had the best points per game of any player last season, with three goals, one assist and four clean sheets in just six starts.

Fantasy coaches should view full-backs as midfielders with scoring and assist potential – clean sheet points are just an advantage. They are likely to provide much better value than midfielders at a similar price.



James and Chilwell could be good value picks (Photo: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

There are high hopes for Antonio Conte’s full-backs at Tottenham Hotspur, especially after they beefed up their squad in the summer transfer window. Ivan Perisic (£5.5m) is at the top of the shopping list.

The Croatian transformed from winger to full-back under Conte at Inter Milan in 2020-21 and will thrive in this position. The situation is a bit cloudier on the other flank, with Matt Doherty (£5.0 million), new signing Djed Spence (£4.5m) and potentially even midfielder Lucas Moura (£6.0m) all capable of occupying that position. There are too many question marks to justify fancy investing at this early stage.

Another defender who garners a lot of fantasy interest is the Arsenal recruit. Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.0 million), who has been kindly touted as a long-awaited substitute player at Manchester City. We saw him predominantly at left-back under Pep Guardiola, but he has played as a defensive midfielder for Ukraine.

Mikel Arteta has already alluded to Zinchenko’s versatility. When Kieran Tierney is fit, we are likely to see Zinchenko as a left-sided central midfielder, a No. 8 role. He also offers an option with his left foot from set pieces and is someone to watch.

Nottingham Forest achieved promotion from the Championship in a 3-4-3 formation, with Neco Williams (£4.0m) Y Harry Toffolo (£4.5m) the probable laterals for the first week of the match. Williams could well be one of the bargains of the season, as he was sold from Liverpool, where he was priced to play very few minutes this season.

midfielders

Five players have been reclassified as midfielders this season, having spent 2021-22 as forwards: Jordan Ayew (£5.5m), Hwang Hee-chan (£6.0 million), Rodrigo (£6.0m), Allan Saint-Maximin (£6.5m) Y Joelinton (£6.0m).

Some of the most prolific goalscorers in the Premier League are midfielders in the FPL, but play as attacking wingers: Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) Y Son Heung-min (£12.0 million) they are the best of the lot, and both have seen minutes as a centre-forward in previous seasons.

picking up son on Harry Kane (£11.5m) it means you get a similar position, but one extra point for a goal and one point for a clean goal. It may be worth the extra outlay for this alone, though it’s important to note that Kane is on penalties, which offers a significant advantage.

We can see Leandro Trossard (£6.5m) start the season up front for Brighton along with Danny Welbeck (£6.0m). Trossard was Brighton’s top scorer in 2021-22 with eight goals, but he is drawing a lot of interest in the summer transfer window.

Chelsea’s new signing Raheem Sterling (£10.0m) he’s ready to dominate the left wing and produce plenty of attacking returns — a lack of minutes has been his only barrier to big FPL points in recent seasons. Chelsea are likely to start the season without a traditional number 9, which could see Sterling adopt more central slots.

Forward

Staying with Chelsea, unfortunately, Kai Havertz (£8.0m) he has been reclassified as a striker, having played false nine on several occasions last season. This makes him less attractive as a fantasy option compared to his teammate. Mason’s Fitting (£8.0m)which is eligible for clean sheet points.

Bryan Mbeumo (£6.0m) Y Diogo Jota (£9.0m) received the same fate of moving from midfield to forward for this season – I doubt many managers will look to invest in Jota when there is Luis Diaz (£8.0m) available in midfield which is cheaper, will have more minutes and could score more points for his attacking actions.

Reverse out-of-position status is the worst element of the FPL: Nobody wants to have a striker who plays in midfield or a midfielder who ends up in defence, so those players are some to avoid. We haven’t seen any obvious candidates so far in preseason, but players will emerge as the season begins.

(Top photo: Getty Images)

Source: theathletic.com