Best Fantasy EPL Players: Manchester City
Updated: Jul 21, 2021
Our Fantasy EPL 21/22 Draft Kit promises to be the most comprehensive set of pre-season Draft Premier League articles ever produced! A key component of our Draft Kit will be the Team Preview articles which analyze key assets to sit alongside our all-important Draft Rankings. This article delves into the Best Fantrax Fantasy EPL Players from Manchester City!
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Manchester City Best Fantasy Players
As noted above, these are the Best Manchester City Players for the Fantrax Fantasy EPL platform. We analyze the Cityzens' top three prospects ahead of the new season, with an estimated draft pick for each player.
Kevin De Bruyne
20/21 Points: 430.5 (9th Overall)
20/21 Points Per Start: 18.4
Recommended Draft Pick: Top 2 for any league size
Overview: Kevin De Bruyne is the definition of fantasy gold. Anyone with a Top 3 pick this season should not let him pass beyond that pick.
Fantrax has always been the creative, attacking midfielder's game. As such, De Bruyne has long reigned as the Premier League's top attacking midfield and as the Fantrax tried and true 1.1 pick. Outside of the 2018-2019 season where he suffered significant injury, De Bruyne usually lands in the Top 5 or Top 10 asset for overall points by season's end. Despite only starting 23 EPL games last season, De Bruyne's league-leading 18.4 points per start landed him 9th overall.
Anyone who follows the sport knows De Bruyne's talents: limitless passing range, a cannon shot from either foot, and a open play cross that's so prolific most fans know where the "KDB zone" is on the pitch - that half space on the right side just beyond the 18-yard box. In a squad that is top to bottom star-studded with attacking talent, De Bruyne is Pep's focal point and foundation for attacking play.
Last season's struggles for Aguero and Jesus pushed Pep to evolve the shape and play without an identifiable central striker. With Aguero gone, we may see this system used with regularity (as regular as a Pep squad can be though) if Manchester City do not replace Aguero with another elite striker. KDB has hit double digit assists in four of the last five seasons, but it was his 13 goals in 2020 that catapulted him to 1st overall for points in 2020. If KDB can deliver 30+ starts, double digit assists, and find that goal scoring form again in the absence of a top striker, KDB will outperform both Bruno and Kane, who are his primary competitors in that first overall selection this year.
20/21 Points: 311.5 (43rd Overall)
20/21 Points Per Start: 16.2
Recommended Draft Pick: 15-25 (Top 12 League: Early 2nd Round to Early-3rd)
Overview: Expect Foden to take another step in his evolution as one of Manchester City's premium attackers. Behind KDB, many draft community sharks are putting him 2nd on the City board to be drafted before the usual suspects - Mahrez, Sterling, and Jesus!
Phil Foden's story arc reminds me in some ways to Leroy Sane not so many years ago. Like Sane, Foden has been a slow-burning but very bright fuse for this Manchester City attack. In 2020, he was only given 9 starts in 23 appearances. Last season, he improved his start total to 17 out of 28 appearances. Normally, a manager would be fairly frustrated by this stat, but what's plainly clear is Foden's high ceiling. From January to February, Foden was given an extended run of starts in the side and rewarded Pep with the following Fantrax totals: 26, 18.5, 20, 8.5, 7.5, 33.5, 11.5, and 15.5 points. Unfortunately for managers, Foden's electric form led Pep to heavily feature him in cup tournaments through the Spring of 2021.
If Foden's involvement is a straight-line trend, Foden could see 25-30 EPL starts this season, which is why he's often off the board before the 2nd to 3rd round turn in early mock drafts this summer. Without diving too much into WAR discussions, Foden possesses weekend-winning ability and many managers appear to be willing to stomach Pep rotation to acquire the young English winger's services. Like De Bruyne, Foden's classification as midfielder remains a strong boon to reach for him as your first midfielder if you've gone for a premium forward in Round One.
20/21 Points: 359.5 (23rd overall)
20/21 Points Per Start: 13.3
Recommended Draft Pick: 25-50 (12 Team League: Round 3/4)
Overview: 3rd overall amongst defenders last season, Cancelo is the perfect asset to capture a slice of Manchester City's attack and defense. He's in the top tier of defenders this year and is the perfect start to any core of defenders.
Fullbacks who play for the top Premier League clubs always float to the top of defender ranks. They often make weekly Perfect XI's due to their potential for clean sheets and attacking returns. To call Cancelo a fullback is generous though. His average heat map for pitch positioning is often a flat yellow because he's everywhere. With Stones, Dias, and Walker anchoring the backline, Cancelo was often given free license to roam in the build up and find open space to receive passes with time. Amassing 45 key passes, he ranked 6th for defenders for the stat.
Here's a truly gross stat: Manchester City, with Cancelo on the pitch, only conceded 18 goals. To get a sense of why that's so wild, I had to go to the 33rd overall defender Nathaniel Phillips to find a defender who conceded fewer goals. Mind you Phillips played 1,453 minutes compared to Cancelo's 2,297 minutes. Manchester City's defense last season wasn't just good, it was the best. I expect some slight regression, but not much. In Cancelo, you gain access to City's high volume of clean sheets with the bonus of the occasional free kick chance and plethora of open play key passes.
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