The best mid-price FPL midfielders for 2022/23

We turn our attention to the best Fantasy Premier League (FPL) mid-price midfielders as we continue to survey the price list.

Players costing between £6.0m and £7.5m are profiled here and it’s fair to say that there are slim pickings this year, at least at first glance.

Gone are the likes of Bukayo Saka (£8.0m), Mason Mount (£8.0m), Jarrod Bowen (£8.5m), Dejan Kulusevski (£8.0m), James Maddison (£8.0m) and the Barcelona-bound Raphinha from this price bracket.

But if FPL managers are intent on picking premium options elsewhere, a bargain or two from midfield may be necessary.

With unlimited transfers allowed during the World Cup downtime and a Wildcard to use before then, we’re mostly focusing on Gameweeks 1-8 in this series.

Shotmaps, heatmaps, Opta stats and more on the players featured in these articles are available in our Premium Members Area, where you can now get a full year’s subscription for just £2.49 a month.

FPL 2022/23: Can Dias or Laporte cover Cancelo?


The best budget FPL defenders for 2022/23 1

If we’d written this article a month ago, it’s a fair bet to suggest that we wouldn’t be leading with a pair of Manchester United midfielders.

The Red Devils were collectively poor last season but Marcus Rashford (£6.5m) and Jadon Sancho (£7.5m) particularly had disappointing campaigns.

Six attacking returns was Rashford’s worst ever season’s tally, while no current £7.5m+ FPL midfielder had a worse minutes-per-xGI figure than the pair (Rashford 245, Sancho 249) in 2021/22.

All of those underlying numbers may be moot now, of course, after a regime change and a promising start to pre-season.

Sancho has arguably been United’s best player over the summer, while Rashford has looked sharper and has bagged a couple of goals of his own. The two wingers have been operating outside of a similarly rejuvenated Anthony Martial (£7.0m); time will tell whether the pre-season honeymoon period extends into Gameweek 1 and beyond.

The schedule isn’t bad without being great, with six of the first eight fixtures against teams who finished eighth or below last season. The two big-six sides that United do face, Liverpool and Arsenal, both have to visit Old Trafford.

We may be able to add Christian Eriksen (£6.5m) to this section soon but without having seen the Dane kick a ball for United, it’s difficult to be bullish on his prospects at this early stage.

The late-season form at Brentford offers encouragement, at least: he was third among FPL midfielders for chances created from the point of his Gameweek 27 debut onwards.


The best budget FPL defenders for 2022/23 5

Game-time was always a worry with Gabriel Martinelli (£6.0m) last season and it’ll likely be the case again this time around.

Emile Smith Rowe (£6.0m) will again provide Martinelli with competition down the left, while we even saw Eddie Nketiah (£7.0m) successfully operate on that flank in Thursday’s win over Orlando City.

It’s a pity because, when he is on the pitch, he poses some real menace.

Martinelli was second among current £6.0m-£7.5m midfielders for minutes-per-xGI last season (minimum 10 appearances), averaging a shot in the box every 42.2 minutes – a figure unbeaten by anyone in this article.

No £6.0m-£7.5m midfielder had more big chances (13) in 2021/22, either, while he even scored a spot-kick in Gameweek 38 to suggest he’s somewhere in the Arsenal penalty-taking pecking order.

It should also be noted that Martinell did start 19 of the last 23 league matches he was available for, appearing in the other four fixtures as a substitute.

The fixtures are very decent for the Gunners in the opening eight Gameweeks, while the new ‘five substitutes’ rule should ensure that Martinelli gets game-time of some variety in the vast majority of Gameweeks – just don’t expect him to last 90 minutes very often.

Martin Odegaard (£6.5m) is another potential mid-price route into the Arsenal midfield: he’s more expensive and not as threatening as Martinelli but appears more of a safe starter for now, with Fabio Vieira (£6.0m) still battling to regain full fitness and looking likely to be eased into the Gunners’ first-team fold.


The best budget FPL defenders for 2022/23 6

There are going to be fewer worries over minutes for the similarly priced Bruno Guimaraes (£6.0m), who is very much part of Newcastle’s first-choice midfield three.

Don’t let the six substitute appearances of 2021/22 fool you: the first five of those were in fact his first five run-outs in a Newcastle shirt, with Eddie Howe bedding the Brazilian in slowly and rewarding the form of Joe Willock (£5.0m) that preceded Guimaraes’ arrival.

Sceptics will point to the fact that the Brazil international had never scored more than three league goals in a season before he landed on Tyneside, after which he found the net on five occasions in just 17 appearances.

But Guimaraes hadn’t previously been deployed in the same sort of role he now enjoys with Magpies, with Jonjo Shelvey (£5.0m) holding the fort as the ball-spraying number six and Guimaraes allowed to operate more as a box-to-box midfielder.

Above: Bruno Guimaraes’ xG shotmap in 2021/22 (green = goal)

While he’s not a penalty-taking talisman or a chance-creating set-piece whizz, the Brazilian does feature midway up the table in Martinelli’s section above, so he has the potential to quietly tick over with attacking returns without being unignorable.

Eight of Newcastle’s first 10 fixtures are against teams who finished seventh or below in the Premier League last season (including all three promoted clubs), although there are the off-putting splodges of red on the Season Ticker in Gameweeks 3 and 5.


The best budget FPL defenders for 2022/23 4

Brighton and Hove Albion finished 2021/22 in sensational form, with Graham Potter striking gold with a 3-5-2 system that he has carried on into pre-season.

Leandro Trossard (£6.5m) was central to that upswing, racking up four goals and three assists in his final six appearances.

He did most of it, curiously, from a left wing-back role, although the fluid system was such that he was more Marcos Alonso than Jack Colback, the formation allowing him to pop up in the opposition box at will.

Yes, he ‘overachieved’ in those six Gameweeks based on Opta’s expected data, but even if he’d hit par with his non-penalty xGI, he’d still have been first for FPL returns among the current £6.0m-£7.5m midfielders.

There are obvious concerns about Brighton’s ongoing profligacy; it’s all good creating chances, something Trossard did plenty of towards the season’s end, but having someone to reliably put the ball in the back of the net has been Albion’s problem for years.

Six Gameweeks’ worth of data, which is all we have of Trossard in this position, is also a small sample size.

Still, the fixtures are good for Brighton from the off: they don’t meet any of last season’s top five until Gameweek 9.


A secure starter? Rarely substituted off? On penalties? Playing a direct part in 42% of his side’s goals when he’s on the pitch? Wilfried Zaha (£7.0m) checks all of these boxes and he goes into 2022/23 off the back of his best-ever season for not just FPL points but goals scored, too.

No other current mid-price midfielder scored on as many occasions as Zaha (14) last year, with only a meagre assist count (two) preventing him from entering Team of the Season territory. A total of 46 chances created suggests he was unlucky, or unfortunate to be met by wasteful finishing, on that front.

The main downside to Palace assets is their awful opening fixture run, which sees them meet five of the ‘big six’ and avoid any newly promoted club in the opening nine Gameweeks. Perhaps Zaha can wait, then, for an easier run.

James Ward-Prowse (£6.5m) isn’t the sexiest of picks but no-one in this article ended up with more FPL points in 2022/23 than the Southampton man (159), who finished ninth among midfielders of any price.

Nailed and on spot-kicks like Zaha, he has the added advantage of taking all of Saints’ set pieces. He’s little threat from open play, of course, with nine of his 10 goals either penalties or direct free-kicks, but there is no-one who makes a mockery of the xG statistics like Ward-Prowse given his dead eye from distance.

Once again the fixtures are off-putting, however, with Spurs, Man Utd, Chelsea and a Europe-free Leicester in the first five Gameweeks.

Harvey Barnes (£7.0m), who delivered 17 attacking returns from Gameweek 11 onwards, despite making just 17 starts in that time, is another who falls into this category.

His Leicester side face Arsenal, Chelsea and United in the first five Gameweeks, making his always risky game-time prospects seem like not worth the gamble.

In-form Robertson an appealing FPL differential for Gameweek 23 and beyond 1

Philippe Coutinho’s (£7.0m) price was no doubt kept down by the Brazilian’s run of 10 successive blanks between Gameweeks 29 and 37.

Nestled somewhere in between Guimaraes and Trossard for minutes per xGI in the table towards the top of this article, his stats weren’t the most eye-catching in his brief spell at Villa towards the end of 2022/23.

There’s quality there, of course, but it was too sporadically seen, with six of his eight attacking returns coming against the porous defences of Leeds and Southampton.

Perhaps a full pre-season with Gerrard can kickstart his FPL career in earnest, with the Villa boss not even ruling Coutinho out of the running for penalty-taking duties despite the Brazilian’s recent miss.

The opening four fixtures are certainly decent enough, with newly promoted Bournemouth and the questionable backlines of Everton and West Ham to come in the first four Gameweeks.

Points shared at Selhurst Park as Cancelo receives maximum FPL bonus 5

With plenty of focus on Messrs Haaland, Cancelo, Foden and Mahrez, it’s easy to overlook the potential Manchester City bargains out there.

Jack Grealish (£7.0m) and Bernardo Silva (£7.0m) are cut-price routes into the City attack, albeit for a reason.

Grealish was a huge disappointment from an FPL perspective in 2021/22, registering just six attacking returns – even Ruben Dias bettered that.

Still, Pep Guardiola’s track record of getting the best out of signings in their second season should give Grealish some hope of a renaissance, as should the fact that his xGI figure suggested he should have had more goals and assists to his name.

Grealish, like Ilkay Gundogan (£7.5m), was a bit of a rotation risk as the season went on, and you couldn’t count on those two players for starts with any conviction. Bernardo was a little different, however, making the starting XI on 33 occasions, including an unbroken run from Gameweeks 2-29.

A total of 155 points was his best ever in FPL but only six attacking returns arrived in his final 21 appearances, with that early-season purple patch proving unsustainable (his minutes-per-xGI figure above hints at this) and Kevin De Bruyne returning from injury and poor form to dominate proceedings from central midfield from Gameweek 17 onwards.


Our algorithm-generated FPL points projections for the 2022/23 campaign have been refreshed again in the last few days.

These will be further updated as pre-season continues and more team news information becomes apparent.