For the next two weeks Micah Heath is counting down the Top 10 most valuable players in a keeper league. Never heard of a fantasy Premier League keeper league? The concept is simple – each season every manager in your draft league is allowed to designate a handful of players who will remain on their roster next season. Those players are never made available to the rest of the league during your draft for the next season.

Of course, there are myriad versions of draft keeper leagues (including draft FPL dynasty leagues where your entire roster is carried over from one season to the next with only a supplemental draft each summer). We have avoided the drama and asked Micah to focus mostly on value next season, but also weigh the long-term potential of each player. There will be one new player discussed each day – concluding with No. 1 on Friday March 24 and Micah appearing on the March 28 edition of Talkin Togga!

  1. Kevin De Bruyne – Man City, Midfielder, Age 25

Take a second and picture a Chelsea team that includes Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku.  That is a terrifying thought unless you are a Chelsea supporter.  Good thing for the rest of us that the Blues have made a couple mistakes over the last few years, which include selling De Bruyne and Lukaku.  De Bruyne has been wonderful upon returning to the English Premier League from Bundesliga side VfL Wolfsburg. The City attacker currently sits second among EPL midfielders in both assists (12) and key passes (71) and first in successful crosses (30).  

The Belgium international’s downfall is putting goals in the back of the net.  De Bruyne has tallied the same number of goals, four, this season as Emre Can, which is tied for 25th among midfielders.  However, last year De Bruyne scored seven goals in a little over 2,000 minutes.  This season De Bruyne is on pace to play 2,700 minutes.  If De Bruyne can maintain the playing time during the 2017/2018 playing time and increase his goal rate to the tune of 10 goals a season then he would be a bargain even as the 7th player off the board.  

Based on WhoScored’s ratings De Bruyne has achieved a rating of seven or better in 15 of his 27 EPL appearances.  In five of those matches he achieved a rating of eight or better.  De Bruyne is another player, see Gabriel Jesus, who may find more success if Sergio Aguero is sold during the Summer transfer window.  De Bruyne has averaged 22.08 PPM in games that Aguero did not feature.  At 25 years of age, and with a contract that does not expire until 2021, Kevin De Bruyne will be one to grace my top ten list for a few more years.  

No. 8 – Sadio Mane                                                      No. 6 – ???