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The Watchlist Updated – Defenders

Having checked out the goalkeeper pecking order in our updated Watchlist, we now turn our attentions to the defence.

Our Watchlist rankings can be found in your sidebar on desktop, or via your slide-in menu on mobile or tablet.

They give an indication of our thinking on player selection for each position, listing the factors that are contributing to the given rank.

Southampton’s Cedric Soares sits at the top of our current reckoning thanks to some compelling short-term fixtures.

Home encounters with Newcastle, West Brom and Burnley, in addition to a trip to Brighton in the next four, bode well for the Portuguese right-back.

Soares has yet to claim attacking returns, but boasts some strong underlying numbers. He’s level with man-of-the-moment Ben Davies for shots (10) and efforts in the box (six) and is joint-fifth in defence for crosses (31) over the opening seven.

Despite that, he is perhaps fortunate to benefit from the uncertainty in the Saints’ central defensive positions.

Mauricio Pellegrino’s preferred defensive partnership appears to be up for grabs, with Virgil van Dijk now seemingly back in favour, perhaps alongside Maya Yoshida.

That leaves Soares as the most secure of the 5.0-priced Saints defenders ahead of a run that should see them add to their tally of three clean sheets so far.

Spurs’ Ben Davies is only kept off the summit due to a mixed batch of fixtures.

Home matches with Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and West Brom in the next six should allow the Welshman the opportunity to cement his place at the top of the FPL defender standings.

Yet a visit from Liverpool, allied to trips to Man United and Arsenal, means that he may have to rely on attacking returns to maintain his current trajectory.

That’s certainly not been an issue so far, with Davies racking up two goals and three assists.

Top for key passes among defenders, he’s runner-up for shots, shots in the box, crosses and successful crosses and also boasts a share of corner kicks for Mauricio Pochettinho’s men.

As shown in Gameweek 5, he still remains subject to the occasional bench role when the Spurs boss rotates, though Davies’ output has persuaded over 143,000 to invest ahead of Saturday’s visit from the Cherries.

He fends off the challenge of Manchester City’s defenders to hold on to second spot, although our confidence in Pep Guardiola’s rearguard is growing.

Nicolas Otamendi claims a high rung in our ladder by virtue of four successive clean sheets and a spell of fixtures that bring both Stoke City and Burnley to the Etihad Stadium next.

The Argentinian has so far been immune to Guardiola’s rotation, although with a Champions League tie beckoning in midweek, that may not continue should Vincent Kompany return to fitness.

A potential suspension is the other factor to consider.

Otemendi is currently on three yellow cards and another would place him on the suspension tightrope. Should that caution arrive in either of the next two Gameweeks, the centre-back could be preserved for Arsenal’s visit in Gameweek 11.

Below the City man, Stephen Ward (4.6) is Burnley’s form defender and our clear budget defender of choice. He now prepares for home clashes with West Ham, Newcastle and Swansea, plus a trip to Southampton over the next five.

The Irishman has already matched last season’s goal and assist and with three clean sheets – in addition to seven bonus points – in the last four, has shot up to joint-third in the FPL defender rankings.

Second to Davies for transfers-in among defenders for Gameweek 8, he’s been acquired by over 100,000 on the back of a 12-point haul at Goodison Park last time out.

He trails only Robbie Brady for key passes for the Clarets (seven to 13), but does lag some way behind Ben Mee (4.5) for efforts in the box, by two to seven. Indeed, no defender has registered more close-range attempts than Mee this season.

Below Ward, West Ham’s Aaron Cresswell is the only defender to better Ben Davies for crosses (69 to 40) and successful crosses (16 to 13), and is second to the Welshman for key passes, by 11 to 16.

Like Davies, Cresswell has also been handed some dead-ball duties – he’s taken 18 of the Hammers’ 27 corners so far.

Slaven Bilic’s side have found some decent defensive form, with three clean sheets in four, and now take on Burnley, Brighton, Palace and Watford over the next five.

Cresswell’s team-mate Joe Hart is cheaper (4.5 to 5.0), but has offered little in the way of save points, ensuring the left wing-back a high placing in our current ranks.

Arsenal have been even more resilient of late, racking up four successive clean sheets ahead of their trip to Watford.

Subsequent fixtures against Everton and Swansea have potential, though back-to-back encounters against Man City and Spurs in Gameweeks 11-12, along with the recent injury to Skhodran Mustafi, suggest that defensive returns could be scarce.

With attacking returns perhaps more important over this period, we’ve opted for the raiding wing-back Sead Kolasinac over Nacho Monreal.

Since being installed on the left flank in Gameweek 4, the Bosnian is level with Hector Bellerin for key passes (five), but betters his fellow wing-back for shots (three to two) and efforts in the box (two to one).

Leicester City’s Harry Maguire has collected 33 points despite facing the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Man United and Liverpool over the opening seven.

The summer signing’s ability to deliver points at both ends is key – he’s bagged a goal and two assists, as well as two clean sheets and four bonus points.

Coming in at 5.1, he’s the most expensive Foxes defender on offer, but looks the most likely to justify the investment for a kind run of fixtures that pits him against just two of last year’s top six in the next 11 Gameweeks.

Between now and Gameweek 18, Craig Shakespeare’s side host West Brom, Everton, Burnley and Palace and also travel to Swansea, Stoke, West Ham, Newcastle and Southampton.

Significantly, Maguire not only offers a goal threat, he is also best placed to earn bonus points in a Leicester City clean sheet scenario.

He tops the Foxes ranks for successful passes and, combined with his penchant for clearances, blocks and interceptions, he is likely to dominate his back four team-mates in the Bonus Points System (BPS).

Ten points over the last four Gameweeks has seen interest in Marcos Alonso wane considerably.

The Chelsea wing-back lost over 151,000 owners last week and has since been shipped by a further 46,000 ahead of a trip to goal-shy Crystal Palace.

Yet the Selhurst Park encounter kick-starts a run of matches that pits the champions against just two of last season’s top six in the next 14 rounds of fixtures – essentially taking us to the second Wildcard phase in Gameweek 22.

Alonso’s potential for defensive and attacking points could escalate over this upcoming period – he’s number one defender for total attempts (11), while no other backline option has bettered his four attempts on target.

The recent injury to N’Golo Kante has calmed our interest somewhat, however. The combative midfielder is a hugely effective shield for Chelsea’s defence and his absence could have an impact on potential clean sheet returns should he remain sidelined.

Elsewhere, both Kyle Naughton of Swansea and Brighton’s Shane Duffy earn honourable mentions as budget options ahead of favourable fixtures.

The latter just usurps team-mate Lewis Dunk as our preferred Seagull’s option, although the jury is still out on this. Duffy surpasses Dunk for CBI and shots on goal so far this season.

Phil Jones drops with a stiffening schedule and new concerns over his fitness following recent injury doubts. The Manchester United centre-back remains the optimum route into Jose Mourinho’s defence and, should we see the Red Devils successfully adopt a rearguard policy at Liverpool in Gameweek 8, then Jones will surely climb our rankings once again.

Lower down, Charlie Daniels looks set to shoot up our standings once next week’s trip to Spurs has passed.

Second only to Leighton Baines for key passes (seven to nine) among defenders in the last four Gameweeks, he’s the number one in the final third when it comes to touches, passes received and successful passes over that period.

And the forward-thinking left-back has the schedule to turn heads, too.

From Gameweek 9-16, Eddie Howe’s side square up to Stoke, Newcastle, Huddersfield, Swansea, Burnley, Southampton and Palace, with a Gameweek 10 encounter with Chelsea the only hotspot on their schedule.

The appeal of Jamaal Lascelles (4.7) is understandably dented by his cheaper team-mate Rob Elliot (4.1) as a route into a Newcastle defence which has conceded just six times.

But Lascelles’ goal threat is worth considering.

Over the last four Gameweeks, he has scored twice and registered four efforts on target – twice the tally of any other defender. As a result, he has bettered Elliot by 26 points to 15 from Gameweek 4 onwards, with the keeper collecting just two save points during that run.

And Stoke’s big-money signing from Spurs, Kevin Wimmer, appears in our thinking for the first time this season.

At a price of 4.4, he’s worthy of consideration once next week’s trip to the Etihad Stadium is done. From Gameweek 9, the Potters have six strong fixtures (BOU wat LEI bha cry SWA) in the subsequent seven.

2,297 Comments Post a Comment
  1. lugalooch
    1 month, 15 days ago

    Thoughts on my potential w/c

    Foster, Elliot
    D.Luiz, Otamendi, Maguire, Francis, Mbemba
    Salah, D.Silva, Richardlson, Brady, RLC
    Kane, Lukaku, Vardy

    Can be quite flexible with a 4-3-3/3-4-3. Don't feel comfortable with no Man U (as a fan) so keeping Lukaku until he stops scoring.

    1. Ghost Gooner
      1 month, 15 days ago

      Don't like the Francis pick

  2. ZoumasBloomers
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 month, 15 days ago

    So, are people gambling on Fabregas?

    1. Eden Wizard - Matagascar AM
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 15 days ago

      Nobody with a brain

    2. PumpkinHead
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 15 days ago

      He's got 1 assist all season

      He's playing in the pivot.

      I was tempted but then I realised there isn't that much appeal

      1. Eden Wizard - Matagascar AM
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 15 days ago

        Unless 3-5-2 happens which very much could (based on Conte's notable change in preference this season).

    3. A Manager Has No Name - Emr…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 15 days ago

      Why get only to sell later? Surely there will be pressing issues at the time to resolve elsewhere than finding a replacement for him.

    4. Pieterke30
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 15 days ago

      Not before we hear Kante is out for a month at the very least

      Even then Fabregas could still see the bench if Conte starts Luiz in midfield, but the punt could be worth it

  3. PumpkinHead
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 month, 15 days ago

    If Jesus starts for Brazil it would be madness to bring him in this week right?

    1. Respect My Authoritah
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 15 days ago

      He will start for Brazil. He'll also more than likely start for City given he's the only fit striker

      1. Pinocchio ╰☆╮
        1 month, 15 days ago

        They have 3 games in a week with a tough midweek.. Pep might play false 9 this weekend and then bring jesus on if needed.. thats my view.

      2. PumpkinHead
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 15 days ago

        He arrives back Thursday from a long flight then expected to train and prepare on Friday to play sarurday. I'm not so confident given it's pep and they say players need 3 days after a game to recouporare . Sterling or sane could play up top

        1. Respect My Authoritah
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          1 month, 15 days ago

          It's not a certainty of course. I think we really really overhype the need for rest on here though. With no Aguero, I expect Jesus to start every game. Players are fit enough to play twice a week. Easily. It's only October, not March.

    2. Arctic_Orangutans
      1 month, 15 days ago

      Not at all. He’s city’s only striker he’ll get 60+ minutes at least

    3. Norman Conquest
      1 month, 15 days ago

      he will start against stoke prob only get 60 mins but then you have him in ready for burnley game next week

    4. Ode
      1 month, 15 days ago

      Why would it be?

    5. Carroll-er coaster
      1 month, 15 days ago

      Just get him in next week.
      For all we know Delph could play the striker at home vs. Stoke

      1. PumpkinHead
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 15 days ago

        I'm starting to think this is wise. Although either way carries an element of risk

        1. Carroll-er coaster
          1 month, 15 days ago

          Ederson
          Walker - Stones - Otamendi - Danilo
          KDB - Fernandinho
          Sterling - Silva - Sane
          Delph

          W8 for it

    6. potatoBoyde
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 15 days ago

      Hes their main striker atm. He should start. Injuries aside. He's a young pup too. He'll be fine

    7. Hotdogs for Tea
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 15 days ago

      KdB false 9, you read it here first

  4. Pranav Santhosh
    1 month, 15 days ago

    Anyone have any clue why the **** mooy is on the bench?

  5. Phil Dagger ⭐
    1 month, 15 days ago

    Australia level

  6. Trevez
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 month, 15 days ago

    What would you do
    A Fabianski
    B Pope
    Second keeper Elliot

    1. Phil Dagger ⭐
      1 month, 15 days ago

      A

    2. joe blow
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 15 days ago

      toss a coin

    3. Carroll-er coaster
      1 month, 15 days ago

      Pope rotates better, but at some point Heaton will be back.

      If you can plan ahead -> Pope
      If you end up taking a hit when Heaton is back -> Fab

  7. Phil Dagger ⭐
    1 month, 15 days ago

    Brazil XI in training:

    Ederson; D. Alves, Miranda, Marquinhos, A. Sandro; Casemiro, Paulinho, R. Augusto; Coutinho, Neymar & Gabriel Jesus

    1. A Manager Has No Name - Emr…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 15 days ago

      Team looks strong considering they already qualified

    2. PumpkinHead
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 15 days ago

      Jesus defiantly going to start ain't he

      That's the team that was revealed as starring vs chile 2 days ago

  8. Eden Wizard - Matagascar AM
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 month, 15 days ago

    Cuco wagon

  9. torisak
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 month, 15 days ago

    When is scout cast jo om YouTube?

    1. torisak
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 15 days ago

      * up on

  10. OldBenKenobi
    1 month, 15 days ago

    Anyone here sticking with Firmino or just me?

    1. A Manager Has No Name - Emr…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 15 days ago

      I would hold if he were only Liverpool attacker. With their slightly tougher fixtures, would not advise having 2 of their players upfront.

      1. OldBenKenobi
        1 month, 15 days ago

        Got him and Salah. I've just got this niggling feeling that I shouldn't play the fixtures with them. Big scores inbound

        1. A Manager Has No Name - Emr…
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          1 month, 15 days ago

          Then you should not be concerned with having Firmino. Keep him.

    2. TA6
      1 month, 15 days ago

      those with Morata and no WC

    3. donlobatto
      1 month, 15 days ago

      Yep - I'm sticking - Lord help me!

      Already on -4pts and no guarantee Vardy scores 4pts more than Bobby

      'Pool love a home match against United so I'm sticking (behind my sofa)

      I'm also a Liverpool fan so clinging onto my last 'Pool player in some vain solidarity 😉

  11. joe blow
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 month, 15 days ago

    willian
    fab
    hazard

    which will score the most points in next 3 gws

    1. OldBenKenobi
      1 month, 15 days ago

      Hazard most likely

  12. SuperMario
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 month, 15 days ago

    There is a massive lack of viable CHE options on the WC..

    I was kinda set on getting Luiz at his current price as I think its solid value, but really think Alonso is worth the extra 1m if I accept that Hazard is a bit of a risk to get until he starts firing..

    Alonso will get the CS and should bomb forward/ park himself high up the pitch over the nice few fixtures up ahead.. Can always downgrade when fixtures change and use the cash to upgrade Jesus/ Vardy to Aguero/ Morata/ Lukaku..

    Thoughts..??

    1. Eden Wizard - Matagascar AM
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 15 days ago

      This. Alonso Moses & Morata (when fit) for me.

      1. SuperMario
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 15 days ago

        Yeah Morata will probably join wichever defneder I end up going for.

    2. Blue Lion's Biatch
      1 month, 15 days ago

      Hazard isn't a risk. Did you watch him last week. All the signs are there. If you want him and think he'll do well why wait to chase his points?
      If you don't think he'll do well why would that change when he scores a goal?

      1. SuperMario
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 15 days ago

        Just looking at his price range and thinking that I realistically wont be confident captaining him when I dont go with Kane..

    3. Respect My Authoritah
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 15 days ago

      Massive lack of options? Just named 3. Then there's Azpi + Hazard

  13. ronty
    1 month, 15 days ago

    No City coverage currently..

    Looking at Makkhi to Sterling for few weeks before I activate WC..

    Good decision?

    1. TA6
      1 month, 15 days ago

      do it then

    2. Norman Conquest
      1 month, 15 days ago

      yea why not, im doing salah to sterling for 2 weeks then mkhi for cout after huddersfield game

    3. Transferred Out
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 15 days ago

      or mkhi to silva?

      1. ronty
        1 month, 15 days ago

        .1 short 🙁

    4. Jaws
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 15 days ago

      No. You don't need City players. You need players that do the job for 90' and a coach you can rely upon.

  14. TA6
    1 month, 15 days ago

    A. Silva, Joselu
    or
    B. Choupo, Vardy

    1. Transferred Out
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 15 days ago

      tough call, what is rest of mid and fwds?

      1. TA6
        1 month, 15 days ago

        Sterling, Coutinho, Richarlison, RLC
        Kane Lukaku

        1. Transferred Out
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          1 month, 15 days ago

          then B

    2. Slartibartfast
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 15 days ago

      b

  15. Transferred Out
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 month, 15 days ago

    A. Luiz & Silva
    B. Azpi & Sterling

    1. Eden Wizard - Matagascar AM
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 15 days ago

      Woy the troll

    2. Slartibartfast
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 15 days ago

      b

      1. Slartibartfast
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 15 days ago

        But it's close...

  16. Slartibartfast
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 month, 15 days ago

    Quite surprised Kolasinac still makes the watchlist.

    Anyone else here still have him? I'm thinking about selling him for a City defender.

    1. Pieterke30
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 15 days ago

      Still have him yes

      Dont want to take a hit to replace him wouldnt make sense

      But if I dont have to use my FT for sth else next week I might do Kolasinac out for Azpi, Alonso or Luiz

    2. Transferred Out
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 15 days ago

      on a wc and currently on ota bavie and azpi over ars defenders

    3. Phil Dagger ⭐
      1 month, 15 days ago

      What's the problem..?

      Wat Eve SWA next 3.
      Plus attacking and assist threat

      1. Slartibartfast
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 15 days ago

        Mustafi out is surely bad news for Arsenal defence? Also I think Watford and Everton will score, maybe a CS from Swansea though.

        1. Eden Wizard - Matagascar AM
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          1 month, 15 days ago

          This

        2. Pieterke30
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          1 month, 15 days ago

          yeah no way they keep a CS vs Watford

          on the verge of even benching Kolasinac coming GW

          more likely to get attacking returns than Cédric but less likely to keep a CS...

    4. AllanM
      1 month, 15 days ago

      If I had a spare transfer I'd swap for Walker but I have higher impact transfers to make sadly.

    5. Pasqualinho
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 15 days ago

      You might be right. I think that once his form slips below that 7 ppg mark then he'll start to tumble down the watchlist.

      1. Slartibartfast
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 15 days ago

        Fair point

      2. Slartibartfast
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 15 days ago

        I have 2FTs to spend and no obvious moves to make. so just trying to think proactively and make a move before he starts bringing in less points... but of course I could just be overthinking.

    6. Eden Wizard - Matagascar AM
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 15 days ago

      THIS

  17. HarryB
    1 month, 15 days ago

    Mane, Salah or Coutinho for long term?

    1. Creedey
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 15 days ago

      Salah

    2. Live Lad
      1 month, 15 days ago

      Mane if you can spare the cash

    3. TA6
      1 month, 15 days ago

      I'm afraid no one can really answer this. Having the right one at the right time is key

  18. Live Lad
    1 month, 15 days ago

    Kane isn't going to rise tonight, is he?

    1. aleksios
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 15 days ago

      prob not but monitor.

  19. reyson90
    1 month, 15 days ago

    elliot
    benmee, davies,creswell,
    hazard, fab, eriksen silva,
    jesus,kane,vardy

    is this okay for gw8?

    1. aleksios
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 15 days ago

      g2g

  20. Fuchs Mane Kante
    1 month, 15 days ago

    My Boycott with Iceland is over.

    What a team, must be proud people.

    They even Jailed the banksters.

    What a nation.

  21. Ldemell
    1 month, 15 days ago

    De Gea or Elliot in goals?
    Who's more likely to keep a clean sheet?

  22. aleksios
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 month, 15 days ago

    Hi all.Which combo would you rather have?

    a) Kolasinac-Richie-Lukaku
    b) Fernanndez-Salah-Morata
    c) Azpi-Salah-Vardy

    Thanks all.

    1. CloudSky
      1 month, 15 days ago

      C

  23. CloudSky
    1 month, 15 days ago

    Which one would you prefer?

    A: Eriksen, Luiz
    B: Coutinho, Alonso

    1. CoxysLeftBoot
      1 month, 15 days ago

      A for me. Would rather Spurs cover than Liverpool.

  24. Pieterke30
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 month, 15 days ago

    Great goal by Eden Hazard.

    He looks hungry.