In our latest reaction to the Fantasy Premier League relaunch, we run through the six players who enter the game under a new positional bracket for the 2021/22 season.
From goal threat to expected stats, you can find official Opta data on the players listed below and much more besides in our Premium Members Area.
Stuart Dallas (Defender to Midfielder)
Stuart Dallas (£5.5m) is the standout name on this list, having been reclassified as a midfielder after his goalscoring exploits as a £4.5m defender last season.
The Northern Ireland international would have scored somewhere in the region of 120 to 130 points as a midfielder in 2020/21, with the lack of three extra clean sheet points the obvious big subtraction from his mammoth score of 171.
Team-mates Jack Harrison (£6.0m) and Raphinha (£6.5m) earned 160 and 133 points respectively over the previous campaign. The ever-present Dallas played 600 minutes more than Harrison and over 1,000 more than Raphinha but while Dallas’ durability is a favourable factor, both of his team-mates have the potential to outscore him over the season given enough pitch time.
With Gjanni Alioski now gone from Elland Road, there seemed to be the chance of Dallas beginning the season at left-back – but the capture of Junior Firpo (£5.0m) from Barcelona seems to have lessened the likelihood of that scenario developing.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Midfielder to Forward)
Had Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10.0m) been classed as a forward last season, it would have made a miserable Fantasy campaign even worse. The Arsenal striker, labelled a midfielder last term, would have seen at least 20 points shaved off his 131 total.
Aubameyang, at least, starts at £2.0m less than his £12.0m price tag last time around. He could, however, just as easily be used from a left-forward role by Mikel Arteta rather than as a central striker.
With games against Chelsea (H) and Man City (a) in Gameweeks 2 and 3, the Arsenal forward will struggle for suitors. That period will allow FPL managers to gauge the Gunners and Aubameyang, ahead of a Gameweek 4 home tie against Norwich City.
Allan Saint-Maximin (Midfielder to Forward)
The appeal of mercurial Magpie Allan Saint-Maximin (£6.5m) has been lessened after time spent as a second striker saw the attacker reclassified as a forward in FPL.
That leaves the Frenchman just £1.0m cheaper than his penalty-taking colleague Callum Wilson (£7.5m). The latter also managed 500 more minutes than the somewhat injury-prone Saint-Maximin (1,554), who scored only three goals in 2020/21.
Matt Ritchie (Midfielder to Defender)
Saint-Maximin’s team-mate Matt Ritchie (£5.0m) is on the opposite end of the scale, having moved from midfielder to defender.
The Scotsman came back into favour under Steve Bruce well into the second half of last season, nailing down a spot at left wing-back.
Only four midfielders delivered more crosses than Ritchie (57) from Gameweek 30. In that period, three of the 12 opportunities that the Newcastle man created were deemed big chances.
Considering the glut of budget defender options this season, Ritchie may struggle for attention but he is definitely worthy of a watchlist posting.
Cheikhou Kouyaté (Midfielder to Defender)
Considering the state of flux that the Crystal Palace squad is in, Cheikhou Kouyaté‘s (£4.5m) starting position under new manager Patrick Vieira is unclear.
But he does come in as a defender in FPL, potentially offering an out-of-position prospect. However, Kouyaté’s attacking threat has always been limited even from a midfield role.
With a difficult opening schedule and a level of uncertainty surrounding the set-up, Crystal Palace assets in general may be ones to revisit later in the season.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Defender to Midfielder)
After a successful loan spell as part of the West Brom midfield, Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles (£5.5m) has duly been classed as a midfielder.
He tallied two assists during half a season at the Hawthorns, while failing to get on the scoresheet. Even if Maitland-Niles does break into the Arsenal first team, he doesn’t currently display the attacking threat to rival an option such as Dallas at the same price point.
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