Wondering which players to pick in defence? Look no further as Goal breaks down the best and the bargain picks
Still trying to figure out which Premier League defenders to pick on fantasy football?
You might be pondering whether to go with a super back three of full-backs or a reliable back four and it all ultimately depends on your budget.
Goal takes a look at some of the best defenders to choose this season, as well as a number of potential bargain selections you might not have considered.
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Best Premier League fantasy football defenders
The key attributes for defenders in fantasy football are the ability to provide assists and keep clean sheets.
If a defender has a habit of scoring goals, either through taking set-pieces or getting onto the end of them, that is an added bonus.
Trent Alexander-Arnold | Liverpool | £7.5m
Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold is only 21, but he has already appeared in two Champions League finals, winning one, and won the Premier League.
He was the only defender to score over 200 points in FPL last season as he was crowned PFA Young Player of the Year and earned a spot on the PFA Team of the Year for the second year in a row.
The Reds’ system plays to Alexander-Arnold’s strengths – his crossing ability is exceptional – and the fact that he takes set-pieces is a major plus for fantasy football.
Andy Robertson | Liverpool | £7m
Scotland international Andy Robertson is the other raiding full-back in Liverpool’s back-line and, while he is a different style of player to Alexander-Arnold, he still gets plenty of assists.
Robertson contributed 12 assists and two goals last season, which was marginally fewer on both counts than Alexander Arnold, who got four goals and 15 assists.
He’ll be desperate to improve on that, given the fact that he and his full-back partner seem to share a healthy competition with one another.
Matt Doherty | Tottenham | £6m
Tottenham brought Matt Doherty to the club after the Irishman impressed for Wolves over the course of the past two seasons and there is plenty of expectation.
Doherty thrived in Wolves’ formation, which allowed him a lot of licence to get into the opposition box, and it remains to be seen how he will fit in under Jose Mourinho’s system.
Nevertheless, his track record speaks for itself, with over 160 points last season – an improvement on the 144 he amassed the year before.
James Tarkowski | Burnley | £5.5m
Centre-backs aren’t the typical suggestions for fantasy football, but when the team they play in is famed for defensive solidity and keeping clean sheets, exceptions can be made.
Burnley stopper James Tarkowski is an example of a high-scoring central defender. As well as the Clarets’ capacity for clean sheets, Tarkowski occasionally scores headers and gets bonus points through blocks.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka | Man Utd | £5.5m
Manchester United full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka is a solid choice for fantasy football, chiefly because he is the first-choice right-back on the team.
While he still needs to iron out kinks in his game, Wan-Bissaka likes to get forward and help with attacking play.
He scored 127 points last season (helped by four assists and 12 clean sheets) and if the Red Devils can fine-tune their play more, he will certainly score higher in 2020-21.
Virgil van Dijk | Liverpool | £6.5m
Virgil can Dijk is virtually undroppable for Liverpool and the Netherlands captain is another rare example of a centre-back who scores highly on FPL.
The Reds’ defensive fortitude and Van Dijk’s ability to score headers – he got five goals last season and four the season before that – help him pick up points (178 points in 2019-20, 208 in 2018-19).
Cesar Azpilicueta | Chelsea | £6m
A fantasy football stalwart for many years, Cesar Azpilicueta remains a key player for Chelsea under Frank Lampard, despite his advancing years.
The Spaniard is adept at right-back or centre-back and such versatility means that he is rarely out of the team. With a habit of supplying assists, Azpilicueta has never dropped below 100 points in eight seasons.
Kyle Walker | Man City | £6m
Manchester City defender Kyle Walker has been one of the most consistent performers in the Premier League over the past decade and, while his FPL score dipped last season, he remains a good bet.
Not only does Walker get up and down the pitch to support attacks, City are also likely to have one of the division’s best defensive records thanks to their dominant style of play.
Best Premier League fantasy football bargain defendersBen White | Brighton | £4.5m
Ben White has returned to Brighton this season following a highly commendable loan spell at Leeds United and he is expected to be a first-choice selection alongside Lewis Dunk and Adam Webster.
Like Dunk, White has a keen eye for a pass and may well notch a few assists from the back line if he settles comfortably into Graham Potter’s team.
Stuart Dallas | Leeds Utd | £4.5m
Northern Ireland international Stuart Dallas is a flying wing-back and chips in with his fair share of goals from that position for Leeds United.
The worry is always that newly promoted teams will ship a lot of goals, but that isn’t as much of a concern with Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
Ethan Ampadu | Sheffield Utd | £4.5m
This one is something of a gamble, considering it is not clear if Chris Wilder will be willing to change a defence that fared so well last season, but Ethan Ampadu is a player of real quality.
A regular at international level for Wales, Ampadu could well slot into the team as a midfielder, meaning there is potential for a John Lundstram-type situation!
Ruben Vinagre | Wolves | £4.5m
The departure of Matt Doherty to Tottenham should open up a space in the team for Ruben Vinagre as one of Wolves’ main wing-backs.
Vinagre has deputised at both left and right wing-back for Nuno Espirito Santo, and he is highly rated, so he is likely to get an opportunity to prove his worth with frequent game time.