Focus on full-backs or go for the goal-scoring centre-back? Goal takes a look at the best fantasy football defenders
Figuring out which defenders to pick in fantasy football can be a difficult task.
Depending on which formation you go for, you can prioritise the acquisition of certain players, but which ones should you put in your team?
With the new Premier League campaign here, Goal takes a look at the best defenders to choose in your fantasy football team, including a few bargains.
Don’t forget to listen to our new fantasy football podcast for more tips and advice throughout the season!
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Best fantasy football defenders
A defender’s first job is always to keep clean sheets , but the best fantasy football selections are those who get goals and assists as well.
Full-backs tend to be the highest scoring defenders in fantasy football, but there are some notable centre-back exceptions.
*Prices from the official Fantasy Premier League game .
Trent Alexander-Arnold | Liverpool | £7.5m
In Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool boast potentially the best right-full back in world football and his displays for the Reds over the past few seasons have been world class.
Alexander-Arnold is a full-back who can deliver havoc-inducing crosses from practically anywhere as well as being adept at finding the net himself.
What sets him apart from his partner-in-crime Robertson is his set-piece ability, being more than capable of smashing the ball into the top corner from a free kick.
Andy Robertson | Liverpool | £7m
Liverpool have, arguably, the most effective full-backs in the Premier League and Andy Robertson is the man who patrols the left side of defence.
The Scotland captain is a mainstay at left-back and a near-permanent fixture down the left wing, chipping in with plenty of assists over the course of the season.
He is one of the most expensive defenders in fantasy football, but he will be worth it.
Ricardo Pereira | Leicester City | £6.4m
Portugal international Ricardo Pereira took little time to settle into life in the Premier League when he arrived at Leicester City from Porto last season, but he has taken his performances up a gear.
The flying full-back is enjoying his role at the club under the instruction of Brendan Rodgers, who encourages an attacking style of play.
Virgil van Dijk | Liverpool | £6.4m
Virgil van Dijk was crucial in Liverpool’s defensive solidity last season, with his composure filtering through the team and that hasn’t changed much in 2019-20.
While Van Dijk isn’t going to get forward as his team-mates Robertson and Alexander-Arnold will, he is a formidable set-piece threat and was involved in eight goals last term (four goals, four assists).
Ben Chilwell | Leicester City | £5.7m
England international Ben Chilwell is one of the best left-backs in the Premier League and he is still only in his early 20s.
He is playing in a strong defence and, of course, his main strength is getting forward where he can have a decisive impact by setting up goals.
Matt Doherty | Wolves | £6.1m
Republic of Ireland international Matt Doherty has been a star performer in Wolves’ attacking 3-5-2 formation, thanks to his desire to get into the box.
His performance in fantasy football last season, when he scored four goals and set up seven, saw his price shoot up and he has continued in the same vein in 2019-20.
Lucas Digne | Everton | £5.7m
Former Barcelona full-back Lucas Digne has always been an accomplished set-piece taker and his worth to Everton has been emphasised this season.
While the Toffees have struggled somewhat defensively through the season, Digne is a player they will look to for inspiration, either through a marauding overlapping run or a free kick.
Best fantasy football bargain defenders
Since the price range for defenders goes from £7m to £4m, it is hard to find a true bargain, but high-scoring defenders at £4.5m-£5m can be found.
Here’s a few suggestions that could end up bargains this season.
John Lundstram | Sheffield United | £5.1m
Down as a defender despite the fact that he is an all-action midfielder, John Lundstram is a tremendous bargain – even though his price has gone up! – on fantasy football.
The former Everton youth has an eye for a goal and has provided assists for his team-mates as well – those are highly valuable skills for defenders to possess.
Caglar Soyuncu | Leicester City | £5.1m
Any fears that Leicester City fans may have possessed following the departure of Harry Maguire to Manchester United will have been allayed following the performances of Caglar Soyuncu.
The centre-back has excelled for the Foxes under Brendan Rodgers and is proving to be a solid fantasy football bargain.
Lewis Dunk | Brighton | £4.8m
Lewis Dunk is the Brighton captain and one of his strengths is his ability to score headers or to use his physicality to cushion the ball for his team-mates.
However, Dunk’s through-passes this season have been incredible and he has produced some breathtaking defence-splitting balls from the backline.
George Baldock | Sheffield United | £5m
Few fantasy football managers would have looked to Sheffield United for players at the start of the season, but they have shown themselves to be a strong team, with a resolute defence.
Their wing-backs are Enda Stevens and George Baldock both like to get forward to join in attacks, but Baldock is cheaper than Stevens – though the gap between them has closed since the start.