There’s no time to waste as the new Fantasy Premier League campaign screeches into view with a range of Premier League fixtures coming up this weekend.
Defenders are increasingly important in the modern game – and subsequently in FPL – as full-backs continue to stretch the boundaries of how far they can bomb forward at any time.
Liverpool duo Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson have proven beyond doubt that they are worthy of places in your team, but a few cheaper options have emerged for you to exploit.
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However, at the end of the day, defenders are still there to rack up clean sheets. It’s no use picking up a league-beating full-back if they play for a side with too many leaks.
Burnley are always a sound option if you’re interested in a solid six points over goals and assists from your defenders, while Sheffield United were top value last season.
Check out our Fantasy Premier League tips for defenders in 2020/21.
Matt Doherty (Tottenham) £6.0m
Wolves defenders fed their managers a solid, steady diet of clean sheets last time out, with Doherty adding a host of goals and assists to that solid defensive record.
Doherty’s premium price tag raised eyebrows at the start of the season but a return of four goals, eight assists and 12 clean sheets justified the outlay.
Now with Tottenham, Doherty will be encouraged to maraud forward at will on the right side, while disciplining his left back to stay back.
Charlie Taylor (Burnley) £4.5m
Burnley kept 15 clean sheets last time out, the second-highest in the league, and the Clarets survived in mid-table bliss without even a whiff of a relegation battle in 2020.
Taylor played just under 2,000 minutes last season and picked up more points than a full campaign (3,240 minutes) the season before. He can be expected to play more and pick up an even greater haul next time out with the excellent Nick Pope between the sticks.
If Burnley invest a little more than in previous seasons, they could be set for another impressive campaign.
Tyrick Mitchell (Crystal Palace) £4.0m
It’s always a good idea to plump for a bargain bucket defender to occupy the fifth spot in your squad.
Several options have presented themselves, but Mitchell is the best of the lot as he looks set to start the campaign for Palace at left-back.
He has featured in most of Palace’s games as the starting full-back in place of Patrick van Aanholt, though the Dutchman is back in training.
Mitchell may be a short term option, but at £4.0m, having a player at least in contention to start is wise.
Kieran Tierney (Arsenal) £5.5m
Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images
Injuries plagued Tierney throughout the majority of the season, but the lockdown break and subsequent restart massively boosted his stock.
The Scottish full-back picked up a couple of assists and scored, with another few wicked deliveries causing opposing defenders all manner of problems.
Tierney’s performances didn’t always translate into big points totals, but Arteta is certainly improving Arsenal and he can be expected to be up there with the likes of Doherty by the end of the next campaign.
John Egan (Sheffield United) £5.0m
Sheffield United didn’t enjoy the best of times during lockdown at the end of last season, but that doesn’t mean they should be written off. Take a look at their opening five fixtures and tell me they’re not under-owned.
Egan is a nailed-on starter for the Blades and sits at just £5.0m, meaning you won’t have to break the bank for him.
He is a safety-first centre-back who could probably occupy your third defender slot, or potentially even your second if you’re going for an ultra-attacking team.
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