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

    Just realised my 3rd mid is 5.5m and my 2nd mid is 11.5m

    What have I done...

    1. Henrik Larsson
        1 month, 7 days ago

        I had Soucek @ 4.9 as my 3rd mid since the start. Decided it was time to WC

      • lilmessipran
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 7 days ago

        That isn't such a bad thing if you feel they are plenty of good options in either price bracket..can also use 2 fts to swap around easily

      • Flair
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 7 days ago

        Price points in shambles

    2. Aubamewho
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 7 days ago

      JRod confirmed out?

      1. Sam-not-so-wise
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 7 days ago

        whatatatatatatat!!!

        1. Sam-not-so-wise
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 7 days ago

          apparently so

      2. Bushwhacker
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 7 days ago

        Or Carlo games . . .

      3. dunas_dog
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 7 days ago

        Ancellotti said he thinks he will not be available for game so if you have I would play with decent first sub

        1. Aubamewho
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 7 days ago

          Cheers all

    3. Henrik Larsson
        1 month, 7 days ago

        On WC

        McGinn or Barkley as a long term pick?

        1. BenW3989
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 7 days ago

          Barkley 100%

        2. Make United Great Again
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 7 days ago

          Barks

        3. lilmessipran
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 7 days ago

          Neither go grealish

        4. Latetotheparty
            1 month, 7 days ago

            Barkley

          • Pukki Blinders
            • 1 Year
            1 month, 7 days ago

            McGinn easily

        5. haroldhammond
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 7 days ago

          Play 3 from these 4: Keane, Kilman, Chilwell, Lamptey

          1. Sam-not-so-wise
            • 1 Year
            1 month, 7 days ago

            play the ones who you think will get the most points, that's what I try to do

            1. Sam-not-so-wise
              • 1 Year
              1 month, 7 days ago

              hope that helps!

            2. haroldhammond
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 7 days ago

              cheers mate, i've got 3 in my head but wanted to see if i was missing anything

            3. claretparrot
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 7 days ago

              Or, to paraphrase, shut down the comments on FFS as we shouldn't ask for other people's opinions

          2. lilmessipran
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 7 days ago

            Lamptey, kilman and Chilwell

          3. Shark Team
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 7 days ago

            Bench Chilwell ofc

        6. No Professionals
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 7 days ago

          Is it me, or are fpl wire, scoutcast and fpl black box the same video with different hosts?

          1. 2OLEgend
              1 month, 7 days ago

              Who has the best hosts then?

              1. No Professionals
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 7 days ago

                No preference, they all have very similar views though and talk about the same topics. And they are sooooooo long.

            • Old Gregg
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 7 days ago

              I enjoy them for different reasons. Haven’t listened/watched much of Blackbox

            • Fulchester's New Centr…
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 7 days ago

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLka131dUOc

              This guy brief and says something different, stumbled on him last week.

              Don't know how good he is, but worth a listen.

          2. ididnt
            • 9 Years
            1 month, 7 days ago

            Ings to Aguero?

            1. No Professionals
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 7 days ago

              For free? Why the hell not.

            2. HurriKane
              • 8 Years
              1 month, 7 days ago

              Fancy Ings to do well against everton who will be missing James and Richarlison

              1. ididnt
                • 9 Years
                1 month, 7 days ago

                I might live a little

          3. Drizz ✅
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 7 days ago

            Rodriguez out for Southampton game.

            DCL rise incoming 🙂

            1. My heart goes Salalalalah
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 7 days ago

              Detrimental to DCL output too I think. No Rich also

          4. Sloane426
            • 1 Year
            1 month, 7 days ago

            Start Justin, Taylor or Bissouma? Benching Rodríguez.

            1. Sam-not-so-wise
              • 1 Year
              1 month, 7 days ago

              im starting the Almighty anguissa.... Bissouma

            2. 2OLEgend
                1 month, 7 days ago

                Biss

            3. Kakashi Of The Leaf
              • 4 Years
              1 month, 7 days ago

              Richarlison to drop tonight?

              1. KDB4PREZ
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 1 Year
                1 month, 7 days ago

                Looks likely mate am still unsure what to do with him lol

            4. Jönny
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 11 Years
              1 month, 7 days ago

              J-Rod injury has shaken up my WC team a bit... what do you reckon?

              Martinez, Steer
              Robertson, Saiss, Lamptey, Kilman, Struijk
              Mane, Son, Foden, Jackie Harrison, Poveda
              Kane, Aguero, DCL

            5. unitednations
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              1 month, 7 days ago

              Is Kdb fit? 1Ft and 3m itb

              Martinez
              Taa Saiss Lamptey -- James Mitchell
              Kdb* Son Havertz Barnes -- Burke
              Watkins Jimmy DCL

              A: KDB >> Salah and keep 2.4m itb
              B: Havertz + James >> Salah + Kilman (-4)
              C: Havertz + Barnes >> Salah + Barkley (-4)

              1. 2OLEgend
                  1 month, 7 days ago

                  B

              2. Karan14
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                1 month, 7 days ago

                If TAA doesn't look convincing this week it's going to be very hard keeping him.

                That downgrade to Chilwell allows for Jimenez to Kane and possibly Aguero in GW10. It really is very tempting!

                1. Old Gregg
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 3 Years
                  1 month, 7 days ago

                  Very tempting.

                  Will give him the next 2 home fixtures though

                2. Make United Great Again
                  • 8 Years
                  1 month, 7 days ago

                  Yep. This is his last week for me too. Chilwell pending

              3. Flair
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                1 month, 7 days ago

                I wonder if Brewster vs Adrian is worth starting him over JRod who I am currently playing for the slight chance he starts

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

                  Brewster v Adrian sounds a lot better than Brewster v Liverpool... I think you should play jRod, cameo would be unlikely

                2. GAMBIT
                  • 5 Years
                  1 month, 7 days ago

                  If James is back next week then yeah go for it, I don't think its worth transferring him out for one game week, you're just going to want to get him back later

                  1. Flair
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    1 month, 7 days ago

                    JRod ain't going anywhere with Fulham and Newcastle coming up

              4. No Professionals
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 7 days ago

                Well my team is one player different to the fpl scout selection, massive red arrow incoming

              5. Erez Avni
                • 4 Years
                1 month, 7 days ago

                Play one:

                A. Mitchel
                B. KWP
                C. Justin

                1. wulfranian
                  • 4 Years
                  1 month, 7 days ago

                  a

              6. Kakashi Of The Leaf
                • 4 Years
                1 month, 7 days ago

                Watkins OR Mitro if you have Barkley.

                1. Make United Great Again
                  • 8 Years
                  1 month, 7 days ago

                  Watkins

                2. No Professionals
                  • 3 Years
                  1 month, 7 days ago

                  I’m not sure about either. Watkins got that hat trick but hasn’t been great other than that.

              7. HurriKane
                • 8 Years
                1 month, 7 days ago

                Take away liverpool game and Chelsea have scored combined 13 goals against ( bha wba CPL SOT)

                Whats impressive is all of those games are without their most creative players in Pulisic and Ziyech starting together

                I think their attack will be right up there with city and liv in terms of goals scored.

                Agree.? Thoughts are welcomed

              8. Old Gregg
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 7 days ago

                A couple of 4m defs emerging short term at least.

                Stick with the safer option?

                Reece James >

                A) Konsa
                B) Strujik
                C) Kilman.

                1. wulfranian
                  • 4 Years
                  1 month, 7 days ago

                  a

              9. Shark Team
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 7 days ago

                My gut says Kane over Salah but if Mane is out then this is a huge advantage for Mo believe me

                1. ChickenTikkaMoSalah
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 5 Years
                  1 month, 7 days ago

                  Why is mane out??

                  1. Shark Team
                    • 3 Years
                    1 month, 7 days ago

                    He has a "dead leg" it's time for Jota to get his chance and Mane be protected

                    1. ChickenTikkaMoSalah
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 5 Years
                      1 month, 7 days ago

                      Klopp has said he’s completely fine, just ices it when he can.

                      No chance he gets “protected”.

                2. lilmessipran
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 8 Years
                  1 month, 7 days ago

                  Why is mane out?

                  1. Shark Team
                    • 3 Years
                    1 month, 7 days ago

                    He has a "dead leg" it's time for Jota to get his chance and Mane be protected

                3. Flair
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  1 month, 7 days ago

                  Mane will start so you can forget about that advantage

                  1. Shark Team
                    • 3 Years
                    1 month, 7 days ago

                    He has a "dead leg" it's time for Jota to get his chance and Mane be protected

                    1. Flair
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      1 month, 7 days ago

                      Mane will definitely be protected, I'm sure Klopp will take him off after his 12 pointer on the weekend

                    2. Og
                      • 4 Years
                      1 month, 7 days ago

                      Why is mane out?

                    3. Karan14
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 4 Years
                      1 month, 7 days ago

                      Lol

                4. My heart goes Salalalalah
                  • 3 Years
                  1 month, 7 days ago

                  If I had Mané, I would give him the armband

              10. lilmessipran
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 8 Years
                1 month, 7 days ago

                Who is on pens for villa? Do we think grealish takes them?

              11. D-Fens
                  1 month, 7 days ago

                  I need some sage advice please. Which and why:

                  A Jimenez to Kane for -4
                  B Jimenez to Aguero for free
                  C Neither

                  1. Og
                    • 4 Years
                    1 month, 7 days ago

                    C. Jiminez vs Newcastle

                    1. D-Fens
                        1 month, 7 days ago

                        Yes this is probably the smart move. Cheers!

                  2. royals forever
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 11 Years
                    1 month, 7 days ago

                    Help is needed please

                    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. KDB4PREZ
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 1 Year
                      1 month, 7 days ago

                      I’d prob downgrade souchek to 4.4 and upgrade someone else with the .6 itb you could go Barkley>Grealish or upgrade someone else even? Good team tho gl

                    2. Kurt Zouma
                      • 6 Years
                      1 month, 7 days ago

                      Looks good to me

                  3. KDB4PREZ
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 1 Year
                    1 month, 7 days ago

                    Hard to look past Aguero, anyone else feeling this way?

                    Would you do
                    Richarlison&Pulisic>> Augero/Podence for a -4? Tia

                  4. Dark Side Of The Loon!
                    • 4 Years
                    1 month, 7 days ago

                    With so many options now available in the midfield, will Foden still keep his place? Thinking of doing Foden + VVD to Bruno + 4.5 def for -4. Have Sterling too. Think Bruno will do well against that Chelsea defense.

                    1. wulfranian
                      • 4 Years
                      1 month, 7 days ago

                      Foden got a rest on Wed so he will start imo.Keep him.

                  5. Noah’s Ark
                    • 8 Years
                    1 month, 7 days ago

                    Feck.... watch Barnes score v Arsenal now

                    1. ElliotJHP
                      • 8 Years
                      1 month, 7 days ago

                      Fingers crossed

                  6. Jdpz
                      1 month, 7 days ago

                      McCarthy, Nyland
                      TAA, Tierney, Justin, Dier, Taylor
                      Bruno, Son, JRod, Podence, Bissouma
                      Kane, Ings, DCL
                      1 free transfer, 1.2M in the bank

                      A) JRod to Mahrez
                      B) Podence to Barkley / Trossard

                      Best 3 players under 8.9M?

                    • ChickenTikkaMoSalah
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 5 Years
                      1 month, 7 days ago

                      Kane or Salah captain?

                      1. My heart goes Salalalalah
                        • 3 Years
                        1 month, 7 days ago

                        Kane. If you don't mind our usernames 😆

                      2. dunas_dog
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 5 Years
                        1 month, 7 days ago

                        Salah

                    • Jdpz
                        1 month, 7 days ago

                        Is Mahrez good pick?
                        James to Mahrez?

                        1. Flair
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          1 month, 7 days ago

                          Definitely not

                        2. dunas_dog
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 5 Years
                          1 month, 7 days ago

                          I would play James as long as you have decent first sub as fixtures in next few very good

                      • waltzingmatildas
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 10 Years
                        1 month, 7 days ago

                        Ft for Bruno to Salah, then am I gtg?
                        Mccarthy
                        TAA ayling mitchell
                        Sterling Salah(c) son soucek
                        Jimenez dcl antonio
                        (Button bissouma ctaylor James)

                        1. Fulchester's New Centr…
                          • 3 Years
                          1 month, 7 days ago

                          Sterling to Salah (c) doable?

                          1. waltzingmatildas
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 10 Years
                            1 month, 7 days ago

                            Absolutely, would prefer that, but just nervous losing sterling?

                            1. Fulchester's New Centr…
                              • 3 Years
                              1 month, 7 days ago

                              Can't have'em all and City just not doing it yet.

                      • FCRS BGD
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 2 Years
                        1 month, 7 days ago

                        Hi guys
                        In FPL Draft , long term, who is better option?
                        1) Antonio
                        2) Martial
                        I have Bruno Fernandes
                        Thanks

                        1. Fulchester's New Centr…
                          • 3 Years
                          1 month, 7 days ago

                          Tony suspended for next 2 still isn't he?

                          1. FCRS BGD
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 2 Years
                            1 month, 7 days ago

                            Yes , but long term who is better? , its draft league