Scout Network

The Scout Network: Are premium defenders worth the investment?

The international break and build up to Gameweek 5 were busy periods for the Scout Network. We caught up with some of them to see what they got up to, as well as finding out their thoughts on the latest FPL talking points.

Some key figures from the Network shared their views on the debate surrounding premium defenders and whether they are worth the investment…

Ted Talks FPL

The Scout Network: Are Premium Defenders worth the investment? 2

Ted Talk’s FPL graphic for potential attacking returns from defenders

Clean sheets may have more-or-less vanished since the restart of the Premier League but we don’t necessarily pick defenders just for clean sheet points. We have to play at least three of them in our FPL teams so why not pick those with the greatest attacking potential?

In the graphic above, the black icons represent the defenders priced £5.5m and over. There are only really four premium defenders that are statistically head and shoulders above the rest: Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Chilwell and Digne.

The latter three all have three attacking returns to their name, while Alexander-Arnold only has one, despite having the most impressive stats.

There are certainly more attacking returns to come from the highest points-scoring defender for the last two seasons – sellers beware.

Chilwell’s position is even more remarkable given these numbers are from just two appearances. These four players all play for teams who are in good attacking form, meaning their creativity has a higher chance of being converted into goals. This is a key aspect that might not be applicable long-term to players priced under £5.5m.

The next best players include three West Ham men, Reece James (rotation risk) and Tariq Lamptey. The latter, in my opinion, is the best of the rest.

Brighton have been in good attacking form this season enabling Lamptey’s creativity and penalty box touches to be converted into three assists.

There seems to be a bit of template forming for the defensive line and, crucially, most of the selections seem to be premium options. This is why I am championing keeping money in the backline.

Maintaining flexibility with different price points is important, allowing you to jump on any player easily when they come into form. For example, if you lost faith with an expensive back line and then suddenly Alexander-Arnold started hauling, it would be difficult to bring him back in without the use of a Wildcard.

I am also confident that once goalkeeping issues are sorted out for Liverpool, Chelsea and perhaps Everton, clean sheets will be more forthcoming, at least against low scoring sides such as Crystal Palace, Burnley, Sheffield Utd, West Brom, Fulham and Newcastle.

FPL Partridge

Laporte celebrating scoring for Manchester City during Project Restart

My personal strategy this season is to stick with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson all season. Yes clean sheets may be limited, especially with Virgil van Dijk and Alison injured, but with those two players, you’re basically buying £7m/£7.5m attackers who also get clean sheet points.

I think, come the end of the season, we’ll struggle to find better value than the Liverpool full-backs.

This strategy also allows me to focus my transfers on attacking players as opposed to constantly switching defenders based on form. Outside of the Liverpool full-backs I’m not sure I’d be interested in any of the other premiums.

If however, Aymeric Laporte returns to fitness and looks to be playing regularly, I think he offers tremendous value at £6.0m, so he is the only other premium defender I’m keeping an eye on at the minute

Sam FPLFamily

Alexander-Arnold's consistency continues as Firmino unlucky to blank

Trent Alexander-Arnold in action for Liverpool

The Premium defenders are really divisive topic in the FPL community so far this season. While there have been a similar number of clean sheets in the opening weeks of this season as there were last term, the number of goals conceded in each Gameweek has been higher.

I started this season with one premium, one mid price, two 4.5m defenders and a 4.0m option and actually my thinking on this as a strategy still hasn’t changed.

I held Trent Alexander-Arnold through my Wildcard, however with van Dijk’s injury he made now be downgraded to one of the more mid-range defenders such as Ben Chilwell who, whilst aren’t keeping clean sheets are providing more regular attacking returns than we are seeing from Trent currently or a sideways move to Robertson who is offering more attacking threat currently.

Alexander-Arnold’s forward momentum seemed to have been limited by Jordan Henderson’s positioning in the Merseyside Derby during Gameweek 5, whereas on the other side Robertson was much higher up the pitch and thus his connection with Mane was working better than Alexander-Arnold’s with Mohamed Salah.

For me, if your Premium defender is returning regular attacking returns then it is worth maintaining them, however if they aren’t returning at either end of the pitch nor keeping clean sheets its probably time to think about redistributing the money across the rest of the team.

What’s going on in the Scout Network?

Ted Talks FPL

After a disastrous Gameweek 4, Ted Talk’s FPL played his Wildcard over the International Break which turned out to be a good decision, with new additions Son + Kane (c) doing well, amongst other successes.

Ted’s YouTube channel reached the milestone of 1,000 subscribers aided by two attack and defence videos, which proved to be popular. Over on Twitter, Ted reached 10k followers, having added daily animations to the schedule.

Ted Talk’s FPL will also be appearing on the FFScout sponsored FPL Wildcats’ live stream with FPL Nymfria this Thursday evening at 21:00 BST.

FPL Partridge

In FPL terms I’ve been doing very little to my team. In fact, had it not been for a Jamie Vardy injury, I’d have saved my free transfer for Gameweek 6.

This season I’m trying not to tinker too much with my squad as I find it’s easy to start overthinking things. I spend a lot of time in the FFS Premium Members Area, digesting the stats, but very little time on the Official FPL site, managing my team.

I have been keeping up to date with my blog, where I detail my thoughts and transfers each gameweek and as usual I have been hanging around on FPL Twitter engaging in discussion and sharing my FPL fails.

El Statto

Over the International Break El Statto launched a new series of articles over on his website called The ABC Transfer Guide. He published the first two articles last week Setting out the stall & Early Doors

El Statto also spend International Break making improvements to the functionality and look of his website to make it a more user friendly and nicer site for FPL managers to use.

FPL Poker Player

Weekly FPL Poker Tables blog was published which reported on very encouraging results for the previous gameweek’s predictions, and highlighted the key points of interest regarding the Gameweek 5 scoreline predictions, clean sheet probabilities, expected goals and player points.

Spreadsheet sales went global with customers now from all around the world, including Indonesia, Slovenia, Malaysia, India, and Ireland.

FPL Poker Player also announced the development of a new sortable players expected points table to enhance the value of the tables to make it an even more useful tool for FPL managers.

The betting arm spinoff account also recorded a 25% Return On Investment in GW4, with 3 winning bets out of the 4 recommended to followers.

FPLFamily

Both Lee and Sam played their Wildcard’s over International Break – albeit in very different circumstances. Lee deployed his very early in the two-week window, with Sam playing her’s on the Friday evening before the deadline when the Kevin De Bruyne injury news broke.

Their stream in the middle of International break looked at Lee’s wildcard as well as the drafts of all of their Patreon‘s who were playing their Wildcards.

You can catch the FPLFamily’s latest live stream here.

If you are interested in being part of the Scout Network or the Scout Academy please get in touch here – we would love to hear from you!

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670 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    VVD drop was irritating. Waiting for TAA to drop now for me to press the button on VVD to TAA.

    1. Seanigula
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      You didn’t see it coming?

      1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Was monitoring them both on fplstatistics. TAA was red and minus last night and VVD still had some scope. Plan was to wait for TAA to drop and immediately move him in for VVD. The opposite happened!

    2. No Professionals
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      why not VVD to Robertson? Or even Matip?

      1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        I have a feeling that TAA will return big in the next two GWs

      2. Seanigula
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Matip is currently out of tonight’s game i think, not sure what that means for the weekend...Robbo the best choice

        1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          I believe with direct free kicks and just a 0.3 differential after his drop TAA will eventually offer more value than Robbo. Thinking long term.

          1. Seanigula
            • 11 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            It’s certainly possible, but so far it’s Robbo that looks more involved in the attack...I guess you’ll get another look at them tonight

          2. Silver_and_Gold
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            1 month, 10 days ago

            The point is, Robbo is still cheaper than TAA after price drop and - for the time being - looks more promising on the pitch.
            I think you've focused too much on TAA's price drop "opportunity" which drove you to chosing him over Robbo. And now you're trying to post-rationalize it...

            1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
              • 4 Years
              1 month, 9 days ago

              Havent chosen him yet. 1 FT and 2.4 still firmly in my pocket. Deciding who between those two I should bring in for VVD.

    3. PL Ball
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      If I didn't already own TAA, I'd be tempted to go Robertson. Also Matip an option if you really want Liverpool coverage and don't want to spend big.

      1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        With a 0.3 differential after the drop, I believe TAA will pay better dividends over the long term.

        1. PL Ball
          • 9 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          Fair enough. Go with your gut.
          I hope you're right as I own him too!

        2. Camzy
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          I disagree. The stats favor Robbo. Think Robbo will outscore TAA this season.

          1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            True. But do you see the trend continuing through the season? TAA's potential from direct free kicks combined with his regular outfield play might just nick it for him. But then, I am not an expert.

            1. Camzy
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 10 Years
              1 month, 10 days ago

              Yes, I do see it continuing.

              The fact that Robbo is on corners now is what does it. He already has 1 assist from a corner this year. TAA has direct freekicks only and with how well Robbo is striking it, I won't even rule that out.

              1. Zim0
                • 2 Years
                1 month, 10 days ago

                Good to have both? Trent almost scored free-kick and would have had assist too if pickford hadn't saved matips header

              2. Dark Side Of The Loon!
                • 4 Years
                1 month, 10 days ago

                Fair point.

    4. GreennRed
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Pool conceding goals. Allison out. Van Dijk out. Worse still it's Adrian in goal. Wouldn't be in a hurry to to buy Pool defenders regardless of opposition.

      1. Camzy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        But you're not buying Pool defenders. You're buying Pool midfielders 😛

        1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          Exactly. They are practically mids. Thought about this a lot. All of us are saying that no clean sheets means restricted investment in defense. But then more goals also means more involvement of attack minded players.

          1. GreennRed
            • 9 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Without clean sheet points that cheaper defenders could get you.

            1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
              • 4 Years
              1 month, 10 days ago

              Strange start to the season. Just cannot decide.

  2. lindeg
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Play one:

    A: Justin (ars)
    B: Costa (avl)
    C: Adams (EVE)

    Thanks lads!

    1. Seanigula
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      C or A

    2. Traction Engine Foot
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      A

  3. Holmes
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    A) Robertson, Kilman, Cooper/Lascellas
    B) Dias, Saiss, Cresswell
    C) Any other combo worth 15.5

    Have Targett, so Villa defender is not an option

    1. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      writing like this makes B a no brainer

    2. Seanigula
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Digne, Keane/Cresswell/Bellerin/Saiss/Zouma, Kilman

  4. HaffNanner
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Stick with Pulisic or swap him for Rodriguez with an FT?

    1. GreennRed
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Stick. Just getting matchfit.

    2. Seanigula
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      I think Rod will be much more consistent over a whole season...will Pus even start this weekend after playing 90 yesterday?

  5. Dark Side Of The Loon!
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Does the team and the bench order look ok?

    Martinez
    TAA Dallas Lamptey
    Salah (C) Sterling Son Foden Podence
    DCL Ings

    Steer Mitchell Brewster James

    Thanks a lot!

  6. Hakim Ziyech
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Steer,Martinez

    Ayling,Dallas,Trentminator,Saïss,Castagne

    Son,Barkley,Salah,Rodriguez,Ziyech

    Bamford,Maupay,Jimmy
    1.1itb

    Bamford to Antonio(if fit) for gw 8.
    Anything worth changing?
    (Not interested in Kane)

  7. Aubaaaaa
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 9 days ago

    Which trio?
    A. Son Foden Werner
    B. Sterling Grealish Maupay