Sky Sports

Who are the best Virgil van Dijk replacements in Sky Sports Fantasy Football?

The news that Virgil van Dijk (£10.9m) will be out for a considerable period of time not only threatens to harm Liverpool’s title defence but it also presents a problem for legions of Sky Sports Fantasy Football managers.

Over one in five Sky bosses own the Dutchman, making him the second-most popular defender in the game.

With van Dijk’s injury frustratingly coming one week after the Overhaul, owners will be forced to dip into their transfer allocation to replace the sidelined stopper.

In this article, we run down the runners and riders as we consider who could replace the Netherlands international.

ANDREW ROBERTSON (£10.2m)

Fabinho bolsters Liverpool defence as Werner shows promise ahead of West Brom

Cheaper than not only van Dijk but also Trent Alexander-Arnold (£10.6m), Andrew Robertson (£10.2m) is perhaps the obvious sideways move for those ditching the Dutchman.

Robertson has outscored both of his teammates this season and it’s not just the attacking returns (the Scot has three to van Dijk and Alexander-Arnold’s one) that has brought about that dominance.

The left-back has already accumulated eight points’ worth of passing bonus this season, only one shy of van Dijk’s tally. Alexander-Arnold, by contrast, has yet to get off the mark.

An increased role at set plays is aiding Robertson’s assist potential and the Scotland international has now taken ten more corners than his opposite full-back in 2020/21.

Robertson has almost four times as many penalty box touches as Alexander-Arnold, meanwhile, and is posing more of a goal threat from open play at present.

The loss of van Dijk and Alisson (£8.0m) obviously weakens the Reds from a defensive perspective but in this season where clean sheets are relatively hard to come by across the Premier League, perhaps it’s worth paying more attention to those defenders who can do the business at the other end of the field.

RUBEN DIAS (£9.1m)

It’s still early days for Ruben Dias (£9.1m) but the initial signs are promising.

Manchester City defenders are traditionally good buys for their passing bonus in Sky and Dias duly delivered on his first start at the Etihad, with three points added to his clean sheet return thanks to City’s customary retention of the ball.

Pep Guardiola’s defence is maligned in some quarters but they kept more clean sheets than anyone else last season and were second only to Liverpool in 2018/19.

Guardiola has typically built his backline around one almost-nailed centre-half in the past – Fernandinho (£8.3m) in 2019/20, Aymeric Laporte (£10.3m) in 2018/19, Nicolas Otamendi in 2017/18 – and Dias could well be that man this season, with his manager hailing his leadership qualities after last weekend’s win over Arsenal.

A saving of £1.0m+ on the somewhat injury-prone Laporte is significant, too.

The Citizens’ fixtures get really good from Gameweek 12 in Sky onwards but a double-header against West Ham United and Sheffield United next up is far from daunting, for those who have had their hands forced by van Dijk’s injury.

GABRIEL MAGALHAES (£8.0m)

Tipping up the highest-scoring defender in Sky is uninspired in the extreme but there is justification in highlighting the credentials of Gabriel (£8.0m).

It’s the passing bonus that sets the Brazilian apart, with 11 points-worth arriving in his four appearances for the Gunners.

Mikel Arteta’s insistence on playing out from the back is aiding Gabriel’s cause on that front and no Premier League defender has made more passes than the Arsenal centre-half this season, despite the fact that he missed out in Gameweek 3.

Therein lies the slight worry with Gabriel given Arteta’s plethora of options at centre-back but he has looked the pick of the bunch so far and, with Rob Holding (£6.4m) ruled out for the next three weeks or so, there should be few short-term concerns.

STUART DALLAS (£6.4M)

Stuart Dallas’ (£6.4m) performances haven’t gone unnoticed by the top 1k and he currently sits in 20.6% of those squads, despite his overall ownership being down at 3.6%.

The versatile defender has delivered bonus points in all five of his matches so far this season, with four of them owing to his tackling and the other one a tier 2 shot bonus against Sheffield United – which rather neatly encapsulates what the all-action Northern Irishman is all about.

Granted, the fixtures aren’t great: Leeds sit near the wrong end of our Season Ticker over the next half-dozen Gameweeks, with the likes of Leicester, Everton and Chelsea to come.

Injuries at centre-half and in defensive midfield also shake faith in a Leeds backline that has tightened considerably since their early-season goalfests.

But his total of 23 points is one of the best among sub-£6.5m defenders this season and the freeing up of £4.5m – should funds be required elsewhere – is something to consider.

ASTON VILLA DEFENDER

It’s not just form that Aston Villa have on their side but fixtures too, with the unbeaten Villans sitting near the top of our Season Ticker for the foreseeable future.

Emi Martinez (£6.3m) is the obvious route into this improving backline but for those without him who don’t want to waste a transfer on a goalkeeper, then their first-choice back four are all available for £7.5m or under.

Ezri Konsa (£6.1m) is the cheapest and sits just a point behind Tyrone Mings (£7.5m) but Matthew Cash (£6.5m) warrants a mention, given that he has already racked up tier 1 and tier 2 tackling bonus this season.

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396 Comments Post a Comment
  1. xHaTr
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Burnley defensive absentees stacking up. Reckon Kane could be the shrewd captain this week

    1. Jon Walter's Hatty
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      I'll break him don't worry.

      1. xHaTr
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 1 day ago

        Not sure about that! Burnley have an absolutely dreadful record at home v top 6 teams

        They always have done, and they often get comfortably turned over

    2. F4L
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Not if he starts tonight.

  2. McClements
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Martinez (Forster)
    Semedo/Saiss/Lamptey (Taylor/Mitchell)
    Bruyne/Son/Rodriguez/Salah/Foden
    Jimenez/DCL (Brewster)
    0.9 in bank
    1 FT

    What would you do with Bruyne and Rodriguez?

    1. Sotamendi84
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      kdb is training so expect to start
      i would get and start kilman for mitchell

  3. Lindelol
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Mahrez Keep or move out for Grealish?

    1. Sotamendi84
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      move for me

  4. Sotamendi84
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    A) start chillwell
    B) get Killman with FT?

    1. Jellyfish
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Gotta start Chillwell if you own him right?

  5. The Mighty Hippo
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Who would you have first on your bench from Brewster, Dallas, Mitchell?

    1. Sotamendi84
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      dallas

    2. dbeck
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      mitchell

    3. Whiskerz
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Dallas

  6. Jellyfish
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Which is better (on WC):

    1. Rashford and Keane
    2. Zaha and Robbo

    1. Sotamendi84
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      2

    2. Major League Shocker
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 1 day ago

      1 out of those, Palace are terrible at scoring goals despite the fixtures.

  7. Pukki Blinders
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Why is the Barkley wagon so popular but everyone ignoring McGinn?

    Mcginn had a higher average position than Barkley last week...

    1. Jellyfish
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Villa fan here, and I think McGin is a better FPL pick. Barkley will likely be more explosive, but McGinn will be more consistent imo

      1. Pukki Blinders
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 1 day ago

        thought so, cheers

    2. Sotamendi84
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      + some corners

    3. Seanigula
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      I brought in McGinn...seems like a great 5th mid option

      1. Pukki Blinders
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 1 day ago

        Will be my 3rd mid in a 434... sounds crazy

        1. Pukki Blinders
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 1 day ago

          443*

  8. Super Nashwan
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Is Podence (newc h) to grealish (Leeds h) worth a hit?

    1. xHaTr
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Not for me

    2. Sotamendi84
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      nah

    3. Bullet Eder
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      No

  9. xHaTr
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Should I:

    A: Foden to Grealish (Free)

    B: Save FT

    1. DannyDrinkVodka
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Save, Foden will start

  10. _Ninja_
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Barnes -> Grealish/Pulisic worth a hit?

    Martinez Forster
    Robbo Saiss Chilwell Lamptey Mitchell
    Salah Son Rodrigez Podence Barnes
    DCL Jimenez Brewster

    1. DannyDrinkVodka
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 1 day ago

      tough one, it's a toss-up imo

    2. xHaTr
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Given you have Rodriguez as well Id be tempted to make the move.

      Personally prefer Grealish to Pulisic

    3. Pukki Blinders
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 1 day ago

      not for a hit

  11. Sturridge Wars
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Grealish or Barkley?

    1. DannyDrinkVodka
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Barkley, if he's on pens

      1. el polako
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 1 day ago

        Grealish if you watch football.

        1. Kakashi Of The Leaf
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 1 day ago

          Barkley if you like points.

        2. Hakim Ziyech
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 1 day ago

          Barkley if you understand football

    2. Nimby
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      I reckon Barkley purely for how cheap he is.

    3. La Roja
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Barkley is good punt tbh

    4. BenW3989
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Grealish

  12. Kakashi Of The Leaf
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Pick one

    A Mitro
    B Watkins
    C Adams

    Have Barkley. Thinking of Mitro for Pens.

    1. Pukki Blinders
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 1 day ago

      A

  13. Pukki Blinders
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Play 2:

    A) Justin (ARS)
    B) Lewis (wol)
    C) Soucek (MCI)
    D) Bissouma (WBA)

    1. wulfranian
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      c d

  14. Crouching Tiger
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    I'm on my WC, but can sell Rodriguez only with 7.7 and buying him back later would be 8.0.

    Bench him and play Jorginho or Dallas, or sell him (for who? Zaha?).

    1. KLOPPS AND ROBBERS... the s…
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      easy bench

    2. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Bench, no standout pick in that price bracket

      1. Crouching Tiger
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 1 day ago

        Agreed. Thanks for comments.

    3. Ginola
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 1 day ago

      I'm on WC as well and keeping him. Small chance he features this weekend and big chance he features next week. So bench him and flip a coin on Jorginho/Dallas.

  15. Atimis
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Recon I should just bench Hamez and keep FT ??

    Martinez
    Robo/Reguilon/Lamptey/Chilwell
    Salah(c)/Son/Grealish/Hamez
    Kane/DCL/Maupay

    Martin/Mitchell/Stephens/Hamez*

  16. Elly88 > KTR (Kevin The …
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Long-term which is the better pair.
    1. Mane + Bamford/Wilson
    2. Werner + Grealish

  17. Big Ronnie
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Late to the DCL party but my plan was to get him in for Jimenez this week. Think that can wait a week with the Rodriguez news today?

    1. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Yep

    2. Kurt Zouma
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Yes, Jimi has a nice fixture too

    3. Latetotheparty
        1 month, 1 day ago

        You called? 🙂

    4. The White Pele
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Is Maupay still a good option this week with Hegazy & ivanovic back?

      1. el polako
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 1 day ago

        Hegazy & Ivanovic.... *goes to check what year we have ?*

        1. The White Pele
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 1 day ago

          Not 2017

      2. Pukki Blinders
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 1 day ago

        Makes Maupay an even better option

        1. Hakim Ziyech
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 1 day ago

          😆

    5. Steve The Spud
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Is Ben mee excepted to be back for spurs ? Looks like he only just got back to training. Currently flip flopping between Kane or salah cap

      1. Major League Shocker
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 1 day ago

        No

    6. Kurt Zouma
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Play Lamptey or Chilwell this week?

      1. La Roja
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 1 day ago

        Lamptey

    7. Wolves Ay We
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Can get this team by Week 8 and 9. Worth it.

      Martinez
      Sais, Cresswell, Lamptey
      Salah, Son, Fernandes, McGinn
      Aguero, Kane, Antonio

      Subs: Forster, Bissouma, Kilman, Mitchell

      1. Wrong Captain Choice - Ag i…
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 1 day ago

        Impressive you're on the ball well done on the planning.

    8. Jellyfish
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      On WC, who would you keep from the following:

      1. Keane (sell value 5.1m)
      2. Justin (sell value 4.6m)

      1. Kurt Zouma
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 1 day ago

        Neither

      2. Major League Shocker
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 1 day ago

        Not 2. Maybe 1.

        1. Jellyfish
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 1 day ago

          was leaning towards that, think Keane is flying under the radar a bit

    9. jtreble
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      BUR's xGC is 4.52, the second lowest in the EPL. Playing at home vs. TOT this week - should be an interesting one. 🙂

      1. Major League Shocker
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 1 day ago

        They have played a game less and haven't played any top 6 sides. I'm on Kane(c).

    10. dbeck
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      play two of these friends (one needs to be a defender)

      1. Dallas
      2. Mitchell
      3. KWP
      4. Soucek
      5. Brewster

      Currently on 2 and 4 with 1 first bench spot

    11. La Roja
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Any news on Vardy injury?

      Asking for a friend...

    12. Elly88 > KTR (Kevin The …
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Second time asking.
      Long-term which is the better pair.
      1. Mane + Bamford/Wilson
      2. Werner + Grealish

      1. Latetotheparty
          1 month, 1 day ago

          2

      2. My heart goes Salalalalah
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 1 day ago

        Kane cappers for green arrows

      3. Karan14
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 1 day ago

        Want KDB & Aguero but I guess I'll wait till GW10 for when their fixtures improve.

        Going to be tough watching the next few City matches with just Foden!

        1. Flair
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          1 month, 1 day ago

          No issues in waiting for the attack to gel

          1. Karan14
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 1 day ago

            Yes I guess that's the sensible play. But I have no doubt their attack will gel.

            1. Flair
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              1 month, 1 day ago

              For sure. I'd love to have Foden+Sterling+Aguero+KDB+Dias for that GW10 run!

              1. Karan14
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                1 month, 1 day ago

                Foden I feel will get rotated now.
                With Bilva & Gundo back and Torres also looking decent Pep has options and lot of games to play between now & Christmas period.

                1. Flair
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  1 month, 1 day ago

                  Foden was always going to be rotated. At 6.5M and with those fixtures I expect him to take full advantage of his limited minutes on the pitch. Still confident Pep rates him highly

      4. JURGENAUT
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 1 day ago

        Keep Zaha? Got Grealish too

        1. Aubamewho
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 1 day ago

          Keep

      5. royals forever
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 1 day ago

        Is this WC team G2G or should I make any more changes to it now

        Martinez

        Keane Semedo Lamptey

        Barkley Havertz Son Salah

        DCL Watkins Kane

        Areola Soucek Dallas Chilwell

        0.6 ITB

        Any ideas would be welcomed

        1. Kakashi Of The Leaf
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 1 day ago

          You going with Watkins and Barkley double up? Sure bout that?

          I have Barkley and i am thinking of getting either Watkins OR Mitro in