Is Bruno Fernandes a ‘Must-have’ in FPL 2021/22?

If you look around the FPL community many Fantasy Premier League drafts will include Bruno Fernandes. Some will even argue that you can’t afford to not have him.

However, with the likes of Mohamed Salah costing £12.5m, in addition to Fernandes’ £12.0m, having the both of them means making sacrifices elsewhere.

The Man Utd playmaker is currently the third most picked player in the game at 47%. This is evidence that the FPL community is indeed torn between BruYES and BruNO.

BruYES

The arguments for including Fernandes in your team are clear. There would very few that wouldn’t include him should you were to be given an unlimited budget.

Top Points Scorer

The Portuguese midfielder finished top of the charts for FPL points last season. He amassed a huge 244 points, edging out Harry Kane by 2.

Some might argue this was a lucky season, and while he may not replicate this again, his stats from the season before suggest otherwise. In 1,187 minutes played in the 2019/20 season he scored 117 points – a far superior points per minute ratio than even last season.

Additionally, Fernandes’ xGA were only 2.5 less than his actual returns.

Fixtures

If you’re going to spend £12.0m on a player you are going to want good fixtures. That’s exactly what Man Utd provide over the first 7 Gameweeks.

They don’t face a top 6 team (Leicester away) – until Gameweek 8 or a top 4 team (Liverpool home) until Gameweek 9.

They are the only team that can claim this, making their opening fixtures objectively better than any other team.

Jadon Sancho

The addition of Jadon Sancho should help Fernandes’ points. Theoretically Sancho improve Utd’s finishing which in turn would boost Bruno’s assists.

However, there is an alternative point of view here. Sometimes new players can actually lessen the output of others.

Also, Sancho could alter Fernandes’ role in the team, reducing his scoring opportunities. We are not saying this is the case but it is something to consider.

BruNO

FPL managers will have contrasting opinions as to who is more essential out of Fernandes and Salah. Assuming you can’t live without Salah against Norwich (we don’t blame you) then in order to own Fernandes it will reduce the quality of your team elsewhere.

The question then becomes is it worth sacrificing a mid-priced player for a budget one. Even having Heung Min Son instead gives you an extra £2.0m to play with.

Other Man Utd Players

Then there is the opinion that Man Utd players might share out the Fantasy Premier League points this season.

At the top of that list is Jadon Sancho. The £9.5m midfielder is one of five players to have scored 15 and assisted 15 in the same season.

Now, this doesn’t guarantee he’ll be a hit in the Premier League but it certainly bodes well.

Elsewhere, Mason Greenwood (£7.5m) is expected to feature more prominently. He only played 1,813 minutes last season.

With his clear eye for goal, he will be expected to exceed his best FPL points total to date of 106.

Finally, Edinson Cavani has impressed since his arrival at Man Utd. It appears he is now Utd’s first choice striker. As such he will also be hoping to build on the 14 goal contributions he provided in 1,364 minutes of play.

Penalties

Sometimes Fernandes is not so affectionally called “Penandes” – an obvious reference to a lot of his goals coming from penalties.

Over the last three seasons Man Utd have been awarded 11 more penalties than the second highest (Leicester). Now, this can be put down to variance or that Man Utd have the type of players that draw fouls – it’s probably both.

However, they have received double digit penalties in each of the last three seasons. With VAR giving fewer “soft penalties” it is reasonable to expect this number to drop. This will naturally have a negative effect on Fernandes’ FPL points.


So, they’re the reasons for BruYES and BruNO – are you one of the 50% that has picked him?

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