clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Best Budget, Mid, and Premium FPL Defenders for 2023-24

Lots of options at all price points!

Sven Botman, Kieran Trippier, Dan Burn and Fabian Schar - Newcastle United - Premier League
Newcastle’s back four were solid throughout last season. Will they be again?
Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

While not as glamorous to own as the game’s marquee attackers, defenders can still make or break your FPL team.

It’s vital to get the points from your backline without overpaying, so let’s take at look at the best values for every price point.


Sven Botman, Newcastle, £4.5M

There’s nothing fancy or glittery about this pick or this player. He’s a strong, consistent center back anchoring a solid defense at a reasonable price. I have questions about Newcastle’s ability to match last season’s lofty form, but this is a quality player on a quality team.


Ethan Pinnock, Brentford, £4.5M

In Pinnock (or his teammate Rico Henry) you get a top 15 point scorer at a price that leaves you with cash to spend elsewhere. Last season he served up 10 clean sheets plus three goals.


James Tarkowski, Everton, £4.5M

This is a wait and see pick. Tark somehow managed over 100 points despite being on a terrible defensive team. I can’t imagine that Everton will be as bad as last season. If they can improve defensively, even a little, then Tark becomes an interesting option at this price. He started all 38 games, added a goal and assist, plus accumulated 13 bonus points.


Pervis Estupiñán, Brighton, £5.0M

The Brighton defender is currently the most selected defender in the game. He had a stellar end of the season for a Brighton club that looks to build on success from last season. He’s a key player on both sides of the ball. He tallied seven assists plus a goal last season in 31 starts. If Brighton can preserve its form from the last campaign, then Estupiñán could be a season-long hold at that price.


Ben White, Arsenal, £5.5M

White is another consistent week in and week out choice. Only Trippier scored more points as a defender last season. He’s what I look for in my defenders: consistent playing time (he started 36 games last season), strong overall defensive team (Arsenal should be even better defensively with a healthy Saliba plus the addition of Declan Rice), and offensive threat (two goals plus five assists). White’s Arsenal teammates are slightly cheaper, so worth a look, but he gets forward more than Gabriel and Saliba, which makes the extra cost worthwhile for me.

A word of caution is warranted here though. So far Jurrien Timber’s arrival at the Emirates has not threatened White’s status as a starter, because the Dutchman has been filling in at left back for the injured Zinchenko during the preseason. But Zinchenko is nearing fitness, and when the Ukrainian returns to contention, Arteta may redeploy Timber in his more natural position: right back. Stay tuned.


Luke Shaw, Man United, £5.5M

Only Trippier and Trent Alexander-Arnold scored more bonus points than Shaw did a season ago, and Shaw did it in only 30 games. He’s prone to injury, but when he’s healthy Shaw is a top pick. He often takes set pieces and United will be gunning for the top of the table.


Kieran Trippier, Newcastle, £6.5M

Trippier was by far the best defender last season. His 198 points ranked him 6th overall on points, about 40 points better than the next best defender. Even at that high-for-a-defender price, he’s a lock to be in many lineups because he’ll be cheaper than many attackers whose points he could equal.

One word of caution: Newcastle’s defense was stellar last season. Keeping 16 clean sheets again will be difficult, but I expect Trips will still be on free kicks, corners and crosses to provide an offensive boost to his production. He’s nearly a must have.

* As of now, Trippier is the only “premium” (above £6.0) option that I’m considering. I’m still unsure of how Liverpool will come out of the gate, and three of the top five highest priced defenders are Reds. It’s too much to spend with too much uncertainty.

Where else are you looking? What teams do you expect to be strong defensively?