Pre-Season

The Best Budget Defenders to Buy in FPL 2018/19

Last Thursday saw the release of the 2018/19 Fantasy Premier League game and Fantasy managers will no doubt be scanning the price list for potential bargains in the offing.

We began our look at this season’s player prices with an assessment of the value for money offered by various goalkeepers and we continue our analysis with an appraisal of the budget defenders on offer.

The £4.0m Enablers

The fifth defensive spot in FPL squads is, for a fair proportion of Fantasy managers, either written off as unplayable bench fodder or as a stopper to call upon in absolute times of crises. Either way, the position is a routine method of liberating some of the £100m budget to spend elsewhere on premium assets.

Whatever the approach, there are one or two viable £4.0m-rated defensive assets that have presented themselves in the price list for 2018/19.

As we have seen in recent seasons, it is rare for any defender in this bracket to be guaranteed playing time. However, full-back Lee Peltier featured regularly for Cardiff City in the Championship last season and, barring any further transfer activity in the summer, would seem set to play a prominent role in the Bluebirds’ Premier League campaign this time around.

Sean Morrison is the more attractive route into the Cardiff backline – who had the joint-best defensive record in the Championship last season – but his obvious goal threat has seen him priced at £5.0m, which will be too steep for many Fantasy managers to swallow.

Ryan Bennett was a semi-regular feature of the Wolverhampton Wanderers’ back three last season, although it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if the free-spending West Midlands club bolstered their backline further between now and the start of the season. Bennett’s place would seem the most likely at risk.

Team-mates Roderick Miranda and Danny Batth would seem even more unlikely to feature in the Wolves first team next year.

Chancel Mbemba was a staple of many FPL benches last season and the Newcastle United defender is once again priced up at £4.0m. His time in the north-east looks likely to come to an end this summer though, with a move to Porto mooted.

Martin Kelly, Jan Bednarek and Craig Cathcart are among the other familiar names in the bargain bin of defensive assets.

The £4.5m Candidates

That extra £0.5m will, more often than not, get Fantasy managers the guarantee of starts from their budget defenders and has the potential to return considerable points hauls for little extra investment.

The likes of Shane Duffy, Jamaal Lascelles, Ahmed Hegazi, Kyle Naughton, James Tarkowski, Mathias ‘Zanka’ Jorgensen, Stephen Ward and Christopher Schindler all began last season priced at £4.5m and went on to break the 100-point barrier in FPL.

Duffy and his centre-half partner, Lewis Dunk, are again priced up at £4.5m this season. The Brighton and Hove Albion pair had some of the best Clearance, Block and Interception (CBI) statistics in 2017/18 and were desperately unfortunate not to convert their combined 55 chances into more than the one goal.

Team-mates Bruno, Gaetan Bong and new signing Leon Balogun are also in this price bracket. Albion kept ten clean sheets last season; only the sides who finished in the top seven registered more.

READ MORE: Our guide to the best Brighton assets for 2018/19

Schindler and Zanka, the Huddersfield Town centre-back pairing, are also unchanged at £4.5m. Florent Hadergjonaj, who had one of the best minutes-per-chance-created averages among defenders last season, and Terence Kongolo are among the other Terriers at this price.

Possibly the stand-out candidate at £4.5m is Charlie Daniels, who started last season £0.5m higher. Bournemouth’s leaky defence kept only a joint-worst six clean sheets last season and is no doubt the key reason why Daniels, along with club colleagues Simon Francis, Steve Cook and Adam Smith, is available at a reduced price. Only five defenders had more touches in the final third than Daniels last season, however.

Just one of Bournemouth’s opening ten fixtures is against the “Big Six”, which adds to Daniels’ appeal.

READ MORE: Our guide to the best Bournemouth assets for 2018/19

Burnley’s impressive defensive record last season (39 goals conceded and 12 clean sheets) means that only back-ups Kevin Long, Phil Bardsley and Charlie Taylor are available for under £5.0m this time around.

Jamaal Lascelles’ excellent performances for Newcastle United last season have been “rewarded” with a price hike to £5.0m, although the Magpies’ DeAndre Yedlin, Paul Dummett and Florian Lejeune are available for £0.5m cheaper.

Rafael Benitez’s side had the best defensive record outside of the top seven last year.

Though both Newcastle and Brighton have tricky fixtures to start with, their schedules improve from October. A Dunk or Duffy double-up with, say, Lejeune would give a very favourable run of fixtures (WHU, BHA, WLV, WAT, BOU, LEI, WHU, CRY, WLV) from Gameweek 8 onwards.

Like Charlie Daniels, Cedric Soares will surely tempt Fantasy managers after dropping down from the £5.0m mark. The Portuguese full-back, who ended last season playing in an advanced role in Mark Hughes’ 3-4-2-1, recorded three assists in his last seven fixtures for Southampton.

Maya Yoshida, Jack Stephens and Wesley Hoedt are available for the same price.

The Saints’ first five fixtures (BUR, eve, LEI, cry, BHA) look particularly appealing and the south coast side’s matches interchange perfectly with West Ham United this season, offering an unbroken run of home matches if assets from both clubs are used in rotation.

Speaking of the Hammers, Winston Reid, Angelo Ogbonna and new signing Issa Diop are the stand-out candidates available at £4.5m. Arthur Masuaku, who attempted more than twice as many take-ons as any other Premier League defender last season en route to collecting three assists, has been reclassified as a midfielder.

New signing Lukasz Fabianski, perhaps surprisingly available at just £4.5m, will though likely be the more popular route into that West Ham backline. It should be noted, however, that the Hammers had the joint-worst defensive record in the Premier League last season.

Rob Holding and Calum Chambers featured prominently in the Arsenal team towards the end of last season as Arsene Wenger prioritised the Europa League, though it remains doubtful whether the pair will be in Unai Emery’s plans for next season.

As one would expect, there is a raft of options available at this price for the newly promoted clubs.

Joe Bennett, Sol Bamba and Bruno Ecuele Manga split Cardiff’s £4.0m and £5.0m-rated defensive assets, while Tim Ream is a near-certain starter for Fulham next season.

Willy Boly, Conor Coady and Matt Doherty are £4.5m-rated options for Wolves, as is Romain Saiss. Although the Moroccan international featured at centre-back for his country at this summer’s World Cup, Saiss was largely deployed alongside Ruben Neves in the centre of midfield last season and has the potential to be an “out of position” asset. Before any Fantasy manager gets too excited, however, Saiss’ duties in the centre of the park are generally restricted to defensive ones.

READ MORE: Our analysis of Wolverhampton Wanderers’ promotion-winning season

READ MORE: Our analysis of Cardiff City’s promotion-winning season

READ MORE: Our analysis of Fulham’s promotion-winning season

Jose Holebas, who attempted more crosses than any other Premier League defender last season, appeals after dropping back to the £4.5m mark. Ten other Watford defenders, including the attack-minded Kiko Femenia, are also available at this price.

Wes Morgan, Christian Fuchs and Danny Simpson, staples of Leicester City’s title-winning side, will be expected to play more peripheral roles next season following the arrivals of Jonny Evans and Ricardo Pereira and the emergence of Ben Chilwell.

Bench duty surely awaits Ragnar Klavan at Liverpool too, although there are potential bargains (albeit ageing, unconvincing ones) to be had in the blue half of Merseyside: Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams are among five Evertonians available at £4.5m.

James Tomkins, who scored on three occasions last season and was Crystal Palace’s highest-scoring defender in FPL, is £1.0m cheaper than Patrick van Aanholt, meanwhile.

World Cup Data

We’re delighted to offer World Cup data as an early addition to our regular season offering to help those playing Fantasy games over the summer.

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638 Comments Post a Comment
  1. potatoace
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    4 months, 6 days ago

    Is there a members league code yet?
    I can't seem to find it
    Where is it?

    1. Athletico Timbo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Usually on members home page I think.

      1. potatoace
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        thats what I thought..
        dont think its there , yet

        1. rainy
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 3 Years
          4 months, 6 days ago

          It’s been added. Just below the league tables on the members’ home page, as Timbo suggests above.

  2. OldBenKenobi
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    4 months, 6 days ago

    Cedric (and a few others) @4.5 seems too good to be true!
    It's just too easy....feels like a TRAP!

    1. Brosstan
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      becuase it is

      1. OldBenKenobi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        4 months, 6 days ago

        its got to be...right?

        1. ZoumasBloomers
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 1 Year
          4 months, 6 days ago

          I can't believe I'm returning to Daniels and Cedric (also Walcott) after how they burnt me last year.

          Somehow the inevitable string of 1s and 0s hurts less when they're 0.5 cheaper

          1. Brosstan
            • 4 Years
            4 months, 6 days ago

            Walcott is the worst of that trio. Hes not a trap, hes a gaping chasm in the ground.

            1. ZoumasBloomers
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • Has Moderation Rights
              • 1 Year
              4 months, 6 days ago

              yeah, think I'll shift him to Siggy and Mendy to Coleman

          2. Pierce34
            • 3 Years
            4 months, 6 days ago

            I managed to get 1 clean sheet out of 6 from Daniels so I'm counting it as a success 😆

            As for Cedric, I got one of his assists - on my bench.

            The best Walcott did for me was that phantom goal that was credited as an own goal in the end.

    2. *sigh*
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Posted something similar last page.Theyre cheaper than the new guys Douglas and Morrison

      1. ZoumasBloomers
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 1 Year
        4 months, 6 days ago

        Think Doherty might be a shout though unless they recruit

  3. ZoumasBloomers
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 1 Year
    4 months, 6 days ago

    It seems almost certain I'm going to have to double up on defence somewhere. All the value seems to be in Saints, Bournemouth and Brighton - frustrating

    1. Pierce34
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Double up only because of value? Because as a strategy I don't like it personally.

      1. ZoumasBloomers
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 1 Year
        4 months, 6 days ago

        Yep - Begovic and Ryan are both value keepers and then Cedric and Daniels are nailed in most teams, with Bednarek and Schelloto being reasonable 4.0s

        1. *sigh*
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          4 months, 6 days ago

          Begovic Fabianski rotation looking good

    2. *sigh*
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      I agree.Cedric Dunk/Duffy and Daniels look good at 4.5.Like the look of Holebas/Kiko also at Watford for same cost.
      A couple of days in and it’s looking like 4.5 defenders and decent mid price mids (Ses Pereyra Jota) can get you Salah Kane Kun and Lacazette in the same team!

      1. @fpl_phenom
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        Kane & Lacazatte? No thanks

      2. Brosstan
        • 4 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        Too many expensive players seem like a bad strategy. They offer poor value unless captained.

        1. Deulofail
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 6 days ago

          Unless the other players in your team are great value and you can still afford to buy a premium player's absolute points.

          Lacazette isn't particularly expensive any way, so it's only really three actually expensive players 🙂

          I agree with what you're saying, bu "too many" is defined differently each season, and at different times of the season, depending on the players avalailable, their prices and who else you have in your team 🙂

    3. Deulofail
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      The value is in Arsenal, Everton, Palace and Liverpool (as well/actually) 🙂 You shouldn't have a problem.

      If the players you are buying are 5.5+ (maybe 5.0+) then a double up with another mid/premium or a budget def is not a problem, because you won't be likely to rotate them.

    4. Doosra - ☭A Noble Grape…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Brighton: wat MUN liv FUL sou TOT mci

  4. Chandler Bing
    • 2 Years
    4 months, 6 days ago

    Who's going to replace Son for the first few weeks?

    1. @fpl_phenom
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Would he need to be replaced?

    2. HamezMace
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Lamela, or Moura

    3. Pierce34
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Poch seems to love Lamela - otherwise how would anyone in their right mind start Lamela over a fit and available Son, as he did sometimes last year?

    4. Brosstan
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Lamela is Poch's lovechild

  5. @fpl_phenom
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    4 months, 6 days ago

    3 week team as I will be wildcarding after GW3 to get in rested Workd Cup Players, catch bandwagons etc..

    Ederson
    Coleman PVA Shaw
    Sanchez Salah Silva Wally Deulofeu
    Aguero Zaha
    —————————————
    Hamed Bedbarek Quanar Malone

    Thoughts appreciated!

    1. HamezMace
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      I like your style!

    2. fplfansss
        4 months, 4 days ago

        Not sure about Shaw and Coleman. Perhaps Jones should be in.

    3. BRONALDINHO
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      I think I'm starting to like Edmilson for a 5th $4.5 mid, if I want to save the 0.5 from Cairney. I know the fixtures are rough but he seems to have assist potential which is all I really need from a 5th mid.

    4. CptCrunch
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Were John Stones injured last season?

      1. Pierce34
        • 3 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        Not much, he mostly wasn't very good 😛

        1. Pierce34
          • 3 Years
          4 months, 6 days ago

          But joking aside, it was clear that Otamendi and Kompany were the preferred starters from Pep when everyone was fit. Not sure if anything's changed now.

        2. CptCrunch
          • 4 Years
          4 months, 6 days ago

          No I don´t think he is especially good either. Always thought he came to City due to the quota.
          If no serious injuries, 1300 minutes is just god awful...
          Thanks

      2. HamezMace
        • 4 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        I believe he did have a few niggles at various times throughout the season, and that disrupted his game time. I'm not sure he's safe in that City defence, Otamendi seems the first choice, then Kompany if fit...followed by Laporte and Stones to fight it out

    5. The Invincibles
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      So I've gone for a team based primarily on value, what do people think?

      De Gea, Speroni.
      Azpilicueta, Belerin, Daniels, Cedric, Zanka.
      Salah, Grob, Doucoure, Kante, Stephens.
      Kane, Firmino, Arnoutovic.

      Seems a little weak in midfield, but the points per millions spent around £6-7m is hard to ignore.

      1. fplfansss
          4 months, 4 days ago

          My thoughts are:
          1. Get one Man.City DF, probably by swapping Azpilicueta for Walker or Otamendi. We don't know who would be starter if Sarri does come to Chelsea. Sarri is a 4-3-3 fanatic so he will only play with two CBs. I don't see him playing Azpi as one of his CB duo hence he could be rotated with Zappacosta or Moses on the right flank or replace Alonso on the left flank since Alonso might have difficulty playing as fullback.
          2. Perhaps Bellerin for Monreal? I am big fan of the left footed Spaniard and I think he is guaranteed starter even under Emery. Bellerin, on the other hand, has to fend off the competition with Lichtsteiner.
          3. Replace Doucoure with one of Deulofeu, Jota or Townsend. You need more attacking threat from MF.
          4. Tosun or Zaha for Arnau? Both have more favorable early fixtures than the Austrian and they have same prices anyway. You can bring back Arnau later once his fixtures are easier.

      2. Salah'd n Sauce
        • 2 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        Is Ashley Williams likely to see much game-time this year. Everton seem to have a number of options at the back

        1. Christina.
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          4 months, 6 days ago

          don't go there.

          1. Salah'd n Sauce
            • 2 Years
            4 months, 6 days ago

            The fact I even mention it shows how brutal my weekend was. Still not sober 😐

        2. Athletico Timbo
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          4 months, 6 days ago

          That would be the worst nightmare since Pam Ewing woke up to find Bobby in the shower and that hairy guy with the big moustache she'd been shagging turned out to be the dog.

          1. Salah'd n Sauce
            • 2 Years
            4 months, 6 days ago

            That did make me chuckle!

        3. Salah'd n Sauce
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 6 days ago

          Trying to trim what i have to go TAA > Robertson

      3. Doosra - ☭A Noble Grape…
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        😯 Peeps are buying 6.00 defenders???

        1. buzzkill
          • 3 Years
          4 months, 6 days ago

          I have Robertson and I'm not taking him out

      4. Gullit
          4 months, 6 days ago

          Reposting, trying to get some imputs.

          WC near the end, but still unfinished business for me. I’m leading my league (slight margin - only 3pts).

          Top 3 gets free sushi dinner from the rest. And the winner will have free drinks bought by all others for the rest of the summer (whenever we go out).

          So, what do you think about this for the semis:

          OUT: Fagner, Meunier, Bentancur, Coutinho and Neymar.
          IN: Varane, John Stones, KdBruyne, Fellaini and Griezmann

          Pickford, (Nakamura);
          Pavard, Varane, Maguire, J.Stones, Lovren;
          Fellaini, KdBruyne, Modric, Rakitic, (C.Sanchez);
          Griezmann, Lukaku, H.Kane

          No WC, BB or MC left.

          Any recommendations? Tkx

        • Mr_Barbs
          • 1 Year
          4 months, 5 days ago

          Which last two transfers are the best for semis of World Cup?

          A) Subasic & Fagner > loris & vertonghen

          B) Subasic & Fagner > Courtois & Varane

          C) Fagner & Bentacur > Hernandez & Fellaini/Chadli

        • mranonymous
          • 4 Years
          4 months, 5 days ago

          Is Ralls on set pieces for Cardiff?

          1. Jotun99
              3 months, 10 days ago

              Yep

          2. fplfansss
              4 months, 4 days ago

              Any thoughts on this team?

              GK: Lloris, Hamer
              DF: TAA, Walker, Jones, Bednarek, Peltier
              MF: Sane, Mahrez, Miki, Gudmundsson, Masuaku
              FW: Tosun, Kane, Firmino

              Should I spend the remaining 0.5 to upgrade Sane to KDB?

              1. Johnny Leghorn
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 2 Years
                4 months, 3 days ago

                Don't think Kane or Walker will start much early on after WC duty. Jones not guaranteed starter.

            • Lav
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              4 months, 4 days ago

              Early odds on Aaron Wan-Bissaka being a starter for Palace? Could be a brilliant 4.0m option.

              1. tigermania_78
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                3 months, 28 days ago

                quiet please

            • Michael Gary Scott
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 27 days ago

              How many premiums (9.0 and up) do people consider as ideal, and why?

            • Brakos2k
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 16 days ago

              Best 5.5m defender? Cheers.

              A. PVA
              B. Bailly
              C. Coleman
              D. Other

            • Jotun99
                3 months, 10 days ago

                Aubameyang or aguero for The opening fixtures?

                1. Udo
                  • 1 Year
                  3 months, 10 days ago

                  I went for Kun

                2. Miggy007
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  3 months, 4 days ago

                  Very tight call that one and bit too dear to have both. im plumping for Aguero in week one and probably switch to Aubameyang for gameweek three. He's less likely to get rotated than Aguero.

              • boa0069
                  3 months, 4 days ago

                  Thoughts on this?

                  Foster // Patricio

                  Tomkins // Robertson // Cook // Wan-Bissaka // Peltier

                  Salah // Mane // B Silva // Richarlison // Hudson-Odoi

                  King // Lacazette // Aguero

                  Any suggestions?

                  TIA