It’s that time of year once again! It’s the best but most stressful day of the year and one that you simply can’t over-prepare for. It’s draft day!
In our latest draft kit installment, we reveal our very own draft ranks, starting with our defender rankings! As always, these are down to our own personal preference of where we would pick these players in a draft but shouldn’t be too far off the general consensus.
The idea of “tiered ranks” is that you should be happy taking any of the players named in each tier at a certain stage of the draft. For example, if we’re in the 2nd round of your draft and looking for a top midfielder, we would be equally happy coming away with Bukayo Saka as we would be taking Mason Mount…simple!
That’s enough waffling…let’s get into the ranks!
Like TAA in our defender tiers, Kevin De Bruyne is in a tier of his own in our Midfielder rankings.
Why? We can’t see anyone else outscoring him this season, simple as that. No other midfielder could touch KDB in the second half of last season and despite an injury-hit first half of the season, the City dynamo comfortably finished as the top scoring midfielder despite playing 30 games.
Should he stay fit, the Belgian should keep his place at the top of the midfielder pool this season. A goal return of 15 was outrageous last term and he should comfortably add to his 8 assists this time around now he’s playing behind Europe’s best finisher.
We’ve not seen KDB picked at 1:1 in many mocks so far this summer but it’d be far from the worst idea that’s what you choose to do!
Tier two is a hugely exciting tier, packed with plenty of upside and plenty of risk. You’d normally want a tier two midfielder to be reliable, solid, dependable etc (Hello James Ward Prowse) due to the draft capital you have to spend to get them but this tier is littered with risk and reward picks.
JWP is a top pick as always but despite some uncertainty, I still have Bruno Fernandes down as midfielder number two. He should overperform forecasts of 8th/9th pick overall this season if the Erik Ten Hag era is any improve on those endured previously.
Bukayo Saka looks like the next best pick due to how highly Arsenal appear to depend on the young England star…and that’s where we get to the risky section!
Mason Mount (rotation), James Maddison (fitness) and Raphinha (transfer) should all go at the top end of every draft but the uncertainty surrounding each asset could lead the more cautious manager to look for a safer option among the defenders and forwards.
Definitely a couple of safer options in here with North London pairing Martin Odegaard and Dejan Kulusevski probably unlucky not to be included in Tier Two. Both are crucial to their respective sides and should still most (if not every game). These are the two I’d be looking to snatch from this tier though you may find that you have to reach for Odegaard towards the end of round two.
The maestro Philippe Coutinho is another interesting one here but he may fall in drafts due to some inconsistent performances towards the end of last season. A full pre season following his permanent transfer to Villa can surely only serve to improve his value.
The most notable names in this tier are probably City duo Phil Foden and Jack Grealish. On name value alone you’d expect them to be much higher but despite their obvious draw you should tread carefully with these two.
“Pep Roulette” is the obvious reason but sometimes even a start for these two doesn’t always guarantee a decent score. Foden and Grealish finished 35th and 70th overall last season which is way below where those who drafted them would’ve expected, especially when the latter was taken in round one in many leagues last season.
That said, the departures of Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling should (you’d expect) increase the value of the two English City stars. I like Grealish especially as a bit of a sleeper as he finished last season brightly and Pep’s signings historically improve in their second season. Grabbing him at the start of round three should be an absolute steal this season!
Plenty of excitement here! Bruno Guimaraes hit the ground running and should be on everyone’s watchlist in an exciting new-look Newcastle United this season. Meanwhile, Harvey Barnes without European football could be one of the steals of the draft this season if his early ADP of 48 is to be believed.
Solid scorers such as Jack Harrison and John McGinn should be seriously considered if you take a chance on City and Chelsea assets early on but if you’re in for a bit of risk/reward at this point then make sure you are all over Michael Olise.
We feel that Olise has been under-sold during this pre-season so far as if he can nail down a regular starting spot in Patrick Vieira’s side he has all the ingredients needed to be a top 15/20 player overall. A big claim but one we fully believe!
We’re into the “hidden gem” realms among the midfielders now…could Harry Wilson be that guy? He’s been threatening to burst on to the scene for years now and should finally get that chance as a big part of the Fulham attack. He takes set pieces, has a wicked left foot and shoots from everywhere…he could be the new Jack Harrison of two years ago basically!
Youri Tielemans probably appears too low here but the impressive return of fit again James Maddison has coincided with the Belgian’s decline from a fantasy perspective. Unless Madders picks up another injury then Tielemans is in the “do not draft” category for us.
There’s plenty of steady defensive midfielders to choose from here but that’s not what you’re here for. This is the part of the draft that you can probably pick up a potential big hitter lacking game time such as Emi Buendia and Christian Pulisic with the hope they start a few early on and gain a bit of trade value!
We’re down to the streamers now. Connor Gallagher shoots up the rankings if he gets a much needed move away from Chelsea but apart from him, none of these guys should really be on your draft radar at this point.
Arsenal new man Fabio Vieira will have huge streaming value if and when he gets his chance in a red shirt. Other than that, make sure you’ve got two or three of the previously mentioned big hitters in before you start seeing these names being drafted!