Who are the pick of the defenders for the 2016/17 Official Fantasy Premier League game ?
Defenders may not be the most glamorous department of your fantasy football team, but if you want to chase down the big prizes and top your leagues, you cannot afford to neglect them.
Here at Fantasy Football Portal we have already looked at the best value goalkeepers available in this year’s Fantasy Premier League game, so now it is the turn of defenders.
A good strategy is to have two reliable defenders that you spend a decent chunk of your budget on, supplemented by cheaper options you can rotate depending on what fixtures they face.
Here is our guide to five of the best value defenders on offer in the 2016/17 FPL game.
Wes Morgan – £5.0m
It will be hard for Wes Morgan to match last season’s achievement of leading Leicester City to the Premier League title, but as he is keenly priced at a tempting £5.0m he will be in a lot of teams.
In fact, at the time of writing, over 15% of players have put the Jamaica international in their FPL squads, even though Claudio Ranieri has put pressure on the places of Morgan and his defensive partner Robert Huth with the summer signing of Sporting Gijón defender Luis Hernández. Michael Keane of Burnley may also be on his way to the King Power Stadium ahead of the big kick-off.
Morgan contributed to 15 clean sheets for Leicester last season – that is a lot of pizza Ranieri had to buy for his team – and he also chipped in with two vital goals in the title run-in as well.
Charlie Daniels – £5.0m
Like Morgan, Charlie Daniels had a fantastic season last year but remains available at a very low price, with just £5.0m asked by the Fantasy Premier League game for the Bournemouth left-back.
Daniels proved to be a very wise selection last season, with three goals, five assists and seven clean sheets a very impressive set of figures for someone who was playing in the top-flight for the very first time in his career.
Taking penalties for Bournemouth helped Daniels to score a total of 130 FPL points over the course of the previous Fantasy Premier League season, which is only three points fewer than West Ham United’s left-back Aaron Cresswell, who is priced up at a cost £0.5m more expensive than Daniels.
However, Daniels faces a tough battle for his place in the Bournemouth side this season, with £8 million signing Tyrone Mings on his way back to full fitness after a long spell on the sidelines, while Nathan Aké has been brought in on loan from Chelsea after impressing at Watford last season.
Ashley Williams – £5.0m
Swansea City captain Ashley Williams returns to Premier League action after a successful summer on international duty with Wales, who he led to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 in France.
Some players carry their international form on into their club duties, while others struggle to match their intensity from huge matches for their country, so Williams may be a high-risk selection.
It is also unclear how competitive Swansea will be this season, with a lack of transfer activity at the club suggesting they could be in for another relegation battle unless reinforcements arrive.
But Williams is typically a very consistent player. In his last four seasons, his team have averaged around 10 clean sheets, conceding about 50 goals each season. At £5.0m, he could be a FPL bargain.
John Stones – £5.0m
The FPL pricing of John Stones at £5.0m reflects the fact the Everton youngster had a very difficult season last time out, but it has not put off his long list of suitors, with Manchester City reportedly ready and willing to pay £50 million to secure the signature of the England international.
Stones has long been talked of as a player with a very bright future and a switch to the Etihad Stadium, where he would be coached by City’s new manager Pep Guardiola, could be just what the 22-year-old needs to take his game on to the next level.
If Stones was to move to City his fantasy football price could rise quickly, so snapping him up at £5.0m could prove to be a canny FPL decision. Even if he was to stay at Goodison Park, new Everton manager Ronald Koeman is known for building solid defences and is likely to develop his skills.
Gareth McAuley – £4.5m
Our final recommendation of bargain defenders to look out for in the Fantasy Premier League game this year is West Bromwich Albion’s Gareth McAuley.
Even at the advanced age of 36, McAuley looks set for another season leading the West Brom back line, having shone on international duty with Northern Ireland at Euro 2016 this summer.
McAuley displayed his goal threat from set-pieces at the finals in France, crashing in a trademark header against Northern Ireland to help his side to qualify from the group stage.
Tony Pulis’ teams are very hard to break down, with McAuley a key player for the Welshman. Last season, he helped West Brom to keep 10 clean sheets in the Premier League.