In this article, we take a look at our Best FPL defenders for the upcoming season, from premium picks to budget-saving bench-fillers. We know in recent times attack-minded defenders are worth their weight in gold in FPL. Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold earned a whopping 210 points last season, the 4th most in the game (level with Golden Boot winner, Jamie Vardy). Last season’s price tag for TAA was £7.0Mil, which is astonishing value compared with players who scored similar points (Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tallied five fewer points but cost £5.0Mil more) this really shows how attacking defenders are key to success. Budget options also have their place in the game, with some FPL managers opting for a rotation strategy to maximise favorable fixtures. Here are our picks for the new season:
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) - £7.5Mil
Following on from the above sentiment regarding attack-minded defenders, there are no surprises here with our first pick. The ultimate premium priced defender and our stand-out option. Alexander-Arnold has just come off the back of a season where he boasted impressive attacking returns with 4 goals and 13 assists (behind only KDB who had 20). Alexander-Arnold is absolutely vital to the Liverpool side who look to defend their first EPL title. He currently has the highest ownership in the game (55.2%), even after his 0.5% price rise. Leave out at your own peril.
Kieran Tierney (Arsenal) - £5.5Mil
After a slow start to life at the Emirates due to injury problems, Kieran Tierney is becoming a regular feature in the Arsenal lineup. He really started to show form towards the end of season. The former Celtic man is part of an Arsenal team who are gradually strengthening at the back and playing some attractive football under Mikel Arteta. He scored and assisted in the final day of last season, showing us his potential of big hauls. The only concern is that Tierney has been recently deployed as a left-sided center-back in a back three; however, with the return of William Saliba and the arrival of Gabriel Magalhaes, Tierney should have the opportunity to play more in the left wing-back position.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Manchester United) £5.5Mil
Wan-Bissaka retains his £5.5Mil price tag from last season, a season when he provided four assists in total (two of which came in the restart). Although his attacking returns weren’t huge, he did amass an impressive 16 bonus points in the season thanks to his style of play and defensive performances. Wan-Bissaka is a solid option and reasonably priced for a guaranteed starter playing in a team who are continuously improving at both ends of the pitch. In the restart, Manchester United kept five clean-sheets while netting 22 goals in nine games. Luke Shaw comes in slightly cheaper at £5.0Mil, but we’re backing Wan-Bissaka due to Shaw’s injury history.
Charlie Taylor (Burnley) - £4.5Mil
A £4.5Mil solid defender who is a mainstay in a team that had the 2nd most clean-sheets last season is hard to ignore. Taylor’s only attacking return last season came in the form of an assist; however, he did amass a total of 5 Bonus Points, thanks to his defensive contributions. Burnley kept clean-sheets in 7 of 15 games that Taylor started but only 4 in 14 fixtures without him. In addition to Taylor, fantasy managers will be looking to the likes of Erik Pieters and Phil Bardsley who are also priced modestly at £4.5Mil; the pair of them boasted seven assists between them last season.
Stuart Dallas (Leeds) - £4.5Mil
Our first selection from one of the newly promoted sides, Stuart Dallas had an impressive outing in the Championship last season, scoring five goals and providing three assists. We are encouraged by the fact that he’s not shy to shoot, registering 77 shots last season. Leeds had by far the best defense in the Championship, conceding only 35 goals on their way to 15 clean-sheets. Of course the Premier League will be a step up, so attacking returns are expected to be less, but the Leeds defensive assets of Dallas and Ayling are the pick of the bunch amongst the promoted sides and are priced low.
Matt Doherty’s (Spurs, £6.0Mil) appeal has diminished with his move to Spurs, where he’s competing with Serge Aurier and may not be given the same attacking platform, though he could well succeed. Roman Saiss (Wolves, £5.0Mil) and Ruben Vinagre (Wolves, £4.5Mil) are affordable options who will feature in a strong defensive Wolves side (with the latter featuring due to injury to Jonny). Aymeric Laporte (Man City, £6.0Mil) is a player who has been plagued by injury in recent times, and one that is seen as the Citizen’s first choice defender as well as someone who has previously provided big hauls. James Justin (Leicester, £4.5Mil) continues to be a cheap starter option in a strong Leicester side, featuring whilst Ricardo Pereira struggles to return from a long-term injury. Kyle Walker-Peters (Southampton, £4.5Mil) is another cheap starter who has moved to the South-coast club, who were in good form since the restart last season. John Egan (Sheffield United, £5.0) is an affordable option in a team who were defensively strong last season; he registered 2 goals and 1 assist.
Statistics obtained from fbref.com & premierleague.com
JOIN THE NMA FPL MINI-LEAGUE
The Never Manage Alone “BTB” (“Beat the Bloggers”) FPL league has been automatically renewed, so if you were a member last season, there should be no need for you to do anything (except buying your initial roster of course).
If you are new to the league, first set up your account and pick a squad. You can do so by visiting the Official FPL site and registering. Then you can join by clicking on “Leagues” and then “Private Leagues.”
League Name: Never Manage Alone “BTB”
League Code: btojt9
Will you pick TAA? What’s your strategy this season with defenders? Will you look at rotating budget options, or are premium options a must? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below!