Following on from our goalkeeper combination article, we take a look at the guys sitting just in front of them. With 5 spots available, there is definitely a lot to consider. How to distribute funds? How many top team/mid-range/budget defenders should I have and of course how many defenders should I start? To help you decide here are our fantasy premier league tips, broken down into price ranges:
Top Level (6.0m+)
- Man City – The first name to consider is City’s captain; Kompany, priced at 7.5m he doesn’t come cheap but is practically guaranteed starts. For those looking for a cheaper alternative, they can consider the services of Zabaleta (6.0m) who is sure to start, at least until Richards returns from injury in September. Lescott (6.5m) is another who should be lining up alongside Kompany but the Daniel Agger situation should be monitored as his signing would seriously threaten Lescott’s game time.
- Man United – Evans had a brilliant season in 2011-12, which went a long way in hiding the fact that Vidic (7.0m) had been injured for the majority of the campaign. However, the big Serb is now back in action and will be one of the first names on the team sheet. Evra comes in at the same price and will also be a regular starter, considering Fabio’s loan move to QPR. Ferdinand (6.0m) and Rafael (5.5m) are cheaper but less secure options with Jones and Smalling, breathing down their necks for game time.
- Chelsea – Cole (6.5m) and Ivanovic (6.5m) should be considered, especially given the double gameweek that kicks things off (for more information and fantasy football tips, visit our Chelsea Spotlight article)
- Tottenham – Walker (6.5m) and Kaboul (5.5m) should be considered (for more details and focused fantasy premier league tips, visit our Spurs Spotlight article)
- Other top level options include Jose Enrique (6.0m) who is pushing further forward under Rodgers and Vermaelen (7.0m) who also likes to attack when given the chance and also provides an aerial threat from corners.
Mid-Range (5.0m to 5.5m)
- Tottenham – As mentioned above, Kaboul (5.5m) comes into consideration due to Spurs’ favourable start to the season and should be Vertonghen’s central defensive partner.
- Swansea – All of Swansea‘s starting defenders begin the fantasy premier league game priced at 5.0m and if they can replicate last season’s solidity, they will be excellent value. Swansea have a great start to the season in terms of fixtures and for more information on who to choose from their backline, check out our Swansea Spotlight article.
- Newcastle would normally feature in this category but they have a tough start to the season where they face, Tottenham, Chelsea, Man United and Everton in their first 7 games. However, if they do start putting in some great defensive performances, keep an eye on Coloccini who is their rock at the back and is priced at 5.0m.
- Other mid-range options to follow include Shawcross (5.0m) and Hangeland (5.0m) who both provide an attacking threat and are leaders at the back for their respective teams.
Budget (4.5m and under)
- Players from this category should supplement your squad and should not be regulars as they will play for teams which are likely to concede. However, there will be times where they have comfortable fixtures and these budget defenders will be able to provide the potential for clean sheets.
- Carlos Cuellar – Having moved to Sunderland to join his former boss, Cuellar comes in at 4.5m and is expected to line up in the centre of defence for Sunderland. Over the course of the season, clean sheets will be collected and at 4.5m, Cuellar presents good value. Although you should keep in mind that Sunderland do have a tricky start to the season where they take on Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City in their first 7 games.
- Alan Hutton – Despite talk of Hutton possibly leaving, if he remains and cements the right back role, at 4.5m he will be seen as a bargain. If he does leave, the right back position seems up for grabs and whoever takes it is likely to be 4.5m or lower. A word of caution though, Lambert is expected to turn Villa into a more attacking side which will provide more potential for valuable attacking points but they will be more open at the back as a result.
- Fabio da Silva – Mark Hughes called in a favour with former boss Fergie and has taken Fabio on loan for the season. QPR have been busy in the transfer market and are expected to have a stronger season. Fabio should be a regular and may even pop up in midfield every now and again as shown in pre-season. At 4.5m, he could prove to be a good squad player, especially if QPR start the season well.
It’s important when choosing your 5 defenders that you have a good mixture. A lot of this selection will come down to how much of your budget you are willing to allocate to your defence. Last season was a relatively poor showing from defenders and it’s anyone’s guess as to how things will pan out this season. Taking this into consideration, it is best to have at least one top-level defender and if you choose to have a number of budget to mid-range defenders, their respective teams should rotate well for decent home fixtures. Looking ahead, tomorrow we will be covering the midfield options, where there is certainly a lot of choice.
Image Credit: Flickr – Adrian Corlett