Fantasy Premier League

2017-18 Fantasy Premier League Defender Transfers: Time to Tackle

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The transfer window is drawing to a close and all the big teams have splashed the cash on marquee defenders.

We previously reviewed the new attacking signings and whether you should pick them up for your Fantasy Premier League team, but now it is time to flip the field and discuss the new high profile defenders.

In the FPL, defenders and goalies earn the majority of their points from clean sheets. While the occasional goal, assist, or bonus points can help boost their score,  clean sheets are the most important and common. There are two key factors for drafting your defense:

  1. They need to start
  2. They need to play for a solid team defensively.

Year after year, Manchester United and Tottenham consistently top the charts defensively. Chelsea was up there last year as well, but United and Spurs are the safest bets. Keep one eye on Manchester City too, they have been particularly active revamping their back line.

Without further ado, here are our thoughts on the top transferred defenders for the 2017-18 FPL.

2017-18 Fantasy Premier League Defender Transfers

Don’t miss the FPL Defender Attackers analysis.

KYLE WALKER, MANCHESTER CITY, £6.5 MIL

It took Pep Guardiola long enough, but he finally moved his aging outside-backs on elsewhere. While the likes of Zabaleta and Sagna have experience, they simply do not possess the pace nor attacking prowess to support Pep’s “tik-taka” philosophy. He has dropped £129 million so far on two right-backs and one left-back.

First up is English international Kyle Walker. In his previous campaign with Spurs, Walker ranked as the number four defender with 142 points. While Manchester City has not defended the best in previous years, Walker’s rapid pace always makes him an option out wide. He racked up six assists last season, the most of any defender.

He will be one of the first names on the team-sheet week after week, and in a revamped defense, Walker is an absolute must in your defense.

Verdict: Buy

BENJAMIN MENDY, MANCHESTER CITY, £6.5 MIL

Benjamin Mendy became the most expensive defender in history on July 24. His fee of £52,000,000 is an absolute fortune, but Mendy looks the real deal. Like Walker, Mendy is a dynamic, attacking wing-back. He recorded five assists in his final Ligue 1 season, more than any other defender in the league.

One slight downfall for the Frenchman is his lack of Premier League experience. French football is extremely technical while the Prem is a physical game. On top of that, a small thigh injury to the former Monaco man means he will miss close to the entire preseason. He should be back for the final friendly against West Ham. In the past, players who miss preseason have trouble adjusting to the English style of play for the opening period.

In addition, fellow newbie Danilo could start over Mendy until he is fully match fit. I would recommend waiting until Mendy is consistently starting to pick him up.

Verdict: Wait till starter to buy

SEAD KOLASINAC, ARSENAL, £6.0 MIL

As the curtain closed to yet another failure of a league campaign, Wenger debuted a 3-4-3 formation. While the move has been lauded a last ditch copy of Chelsea, Arsenal immediately saw a positive change of fortunes as they won eight straight games. They kept this up in their final game of the season, a 2-1 domination of Chelsea to win the FA Cup.

Wenger seems keen on sticking to the system, and Kolasinac could slot into the left center-back position. In his previous season at Schalke 04, Kolasinac played left mid, left wing-back, or left-back in a variety of formations. If he indeed plays left center-back for Arsenal in a 3-4-3, he will score significantly fewer fantasy points than as a more attacking left-back or left wing-back.

One advantage the Bosnian has is his strength. He was touted as an extremely powerful player, and the Bundesliga is similarly physical like the Prem. Last season he registered three goals and five assists in the Germany.

Keep in mind Kolasinac’s stats were playing outside midfield and defense, while as an outside center-back he will almost certainly score and create fewer goals. If he plays outside center-back then I would recommend opting for a more attacking defender elsewhere.

Verdict: Wait to see if outside-back or not, buy if yes

HONORABLE MENTIONS

ANTONIO RUDIGER, CHELSEA, £6.0 MIL

As if Chelsea needed more talent in their squad, Antonio Conte picked up Antonio Rudiger. Rudiger is a fantastic young center-back, but it seems near impossible for him to start over David Luiz, Cesar Azpilicueta, or Gary Cahill. Conte rarely rotated his defensive line in his title triumph, so I do not expect Rudiger to get much game time barring an injury to a starter.

Rudiger is a fantastic young center-back, but it seems near impossible for him to start over David Luiz, Cesar Azpilicueta, or Gary Cahill. Conte rarely rotated his defensive line in his title triumph, so I do not expect Rudiger to get much game time barring an injury to a starter.

Verdict: Avoid

VICTOR LINDELOF, MANCHESTER UNITED, £5.5 MIL

Manchester United may have had the second best defensive record in the 2016-17 season, but this was largely thanks to Jose Mourinho’s infamous “park the bus” tactic, where nearly the entire team became a defender.  Eric Bailly was a revelation at the heart of the defense, but the rest of the center-backs were either not up to scratch or injury stricken.

Lindelof is a decent ball playing defender, but in preseason he has looked mediocre at best. He may be a starter for United this season, but he is is not guaranteed to keep his place. On top of that, Mourinho is known to rotate his defense constantly, so as a general rule be wary of their defenders.

Verdict: Avoid


If you want to play Fantasy Premier League, the game week 1 deadline is August 11. Stay tuned to fantasysixpack for more Fantasy Premier League advice as well as fantasy baseball and American football articles.

 

About Benji Elster

Benji currently attends Northgate High School in California. This is his first year writing for Fantasy Six Pack, but he has been a dedicated Fantasy Premier League player for a long time and loves writing. If you have any FPL related questions, be sure to ask him on Twitter @benjielster

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