Fantasy football tips: 7 best defenders to sign for your FPL team this season
With two defenders finishing in the top five FPL scorers last season, it’s well worth investing a large chunk of your budget on the backline
The Fantasy Premier League season is back which means it’s time to experiment with that attacking trio of Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane and, of course, Mo Salah that you’ve been dreaming of all Summer.
Not so fast! With two defenders finishing in the top five FPL scorers last season, it is well worth investing a large chunk of your budget on the backline.
Here are seven players we believe are worth signing ahead of the new season.
Lucas Digne, Everton
Lucas Digne emerged as a standout FPL defender in the 2018-19 season, earning four assists and rattling in four goals.
With a year under his belt and Everton’s side shaping up nicely following a productive transfer window we expect this trend to continue in the upcoming season.
The Toffees kick off their season with a winnable run of fixtures taking on Crystal Palace, Watford, Aston Villa, Wolves and Bournemouth making him a must-own player for Gameweek 1.
Cost: £6m Points in 18/19: 158
Serge Aurier, Tottenham Hotspur
Kieran Trippier’s move to the Spanish capital will have come as music to the ears of Ivorian Serge Aurier who has largely deputised for the England international since signing in 2017.
Juan Foyth appeared to be Mauricio Pochettino’s preferred option at right-back for some time, but following injury to the youngster, Aurier should emerge as a starting player for the opening Gameweeks.
The recruitment of Aurier could be good business for FPL managers given the former PSG man’s tendency to bomb forward and contribute to attacks.
Cost: £5m Points in 18/19: 24
Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool
It’s no surprise that Virgil van Dijk is being touted for the Ballon d’Or. The giant Dutchman was the key reason behind Liverpool’s outstanding defence last season which kept 21 clean sheets and conceded just 22 goals.
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This form paired with the tendency to pick up the odd goal saw Van Dijk rack up an outstanding total of 208 points, just five behind teammate and leading defender Andy Robertson.
Van Dijk is also a shade cheaper than Robertson at £6.5m – excellent value for a player who could well score over 200 points again this season.
Cost: £6.5m Points in 18/19: 208
Andy Robertson, Liverpool
If you do have a spare £7m to spend, however, we reckon you would be daft not to sign Van Dijk’s teammate.
Adored in equal measure by Liverpool fans and FPL managers alike, Robertson was simply outstanding last year, picking up 11 assists and scoring the 4th most FPL points behind only Mo Salah, Raheem Sterling and Sadio Mane.
Liverpool kick the Premier League season off against a Norwich side who conceded 57 goals in the league last season – 16 more than second-placed side Sheffield United. Don’t be surprised if they run riot and Robertson picks up his first assist of the season in the process.
Cost: £7m Points in 18/19: 213
Ahmed Elmohamady, Aston Villa
The Egyptian is already a familiar name to followers of the Premier League due to his spells with Hull City and Sunderland and we believe he could be a great value option for cash-strapped FPL managers this season.
As full-back, Elmohamady laid on an impressive eight assists last season – more than any other defender in the Championship. He also played an important part in the Villains’ 12 clean sheets.
What’s more, £4.5m is terrific value for an attacking minded defender who will likely start most games for his club this season. Avoid signing him in Gameweek 1 when Villa take on Spurs, but consider bringing him into the fold in Gameweek 2 when the Midlands club face AFC Bournemouth.
Cost: £4.5m Points in 18/19: N/A
Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Manchester United
We recommended the young Englishman at the start of last season when we noticed his paltry price tag of £4.5m. Since then Wan-Bissaka has established himself as one of the finest full-backs in the country and earned himself a move to Old Trafford.
As a result AWB has earned a price bump of £1m, but we reckon this still represents terrific value. The former Palace player consistently earned bonus points for his club last season and finished the campaign with a respectable total of 120.
Expect him to build on this total at his new club where he will be provided greater attacking freedom and will likely pick up clean sheets on a more regular basis.
Cost: £5.5m Points in 18/19: 120
Kyle Walker, Manchester City
By his own high standards, Kyle Walker endured a quiet season in 2018-19, scoring and assisting on just one occasion.
Despite this he was still able to rack up an impressive total of 150 points, due to his role in 18 of City’s 20 clean sheets.
We believe it’s worth testing the water with the English full-back for the first five Gameweeks when the champions face West Ham, Spurs, Bournemouth, Brighton and Norwich, all of which they will be confident of winning.
Cost: £6m Points in 18/19: 150
And one last thing.
Join i’s league on the official Fantasy Premier League game to pit your wits against fellow readers – and our hapless sports desk team. Code: 1mx9nm
Join our Facebook group where you can swap tricks and tactics throughout the campaign.